Makeup Bag: Winter

August 23, 2011 at 9:29 am (Beauty) ()

Inspired by Jess’ fabulous post here, I’ll let you all into the wonderful world of my winter skincare and makeup essentials that have kept me from looking like a dried up old hag this winter. Products that I love and swear by – the Top 16.

Cleanser: Origins Checks and Balances Cream Cleanser and Shu Uemura Skin Purifier Cleansing Oil
Moisturiser: Ella Bache Hydra Gelée Fraîche Matité
Serum: Origins Plantscription
Mask: APIVITA Revitalising Face Mask with Orange

Primer: NARS Makeup Primer with SPF
Foundation: Clinique Redness Solutions in Calming Alabaster
Concealer: MAC Studio Finish
Blush: NARS Powder Blush in Orgasm
Bronzer: NARS powder bronzer in Laguna
Eyeshadows: Clinique Milly Pretty in Prints palette, Stila Eyeshadow in Storm
Mascara: Benefit BAD gal lash
Lip balm/gloss: Lanolips in Rhubarb
Lipstick: NARS Matte in Carthage and MAC in Ruby Woo

What products have saved your skin this season?


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Inspiration Station: Beautiful Braids

August 4, 2011 at 12:26 pm (Beauty, Inspiration Station) (, , , )

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I have always loved creating interesting hairstyles and it’s one of the reasons I can’t bear to part with my long hair. Braids or plaits used to be worn mainly with school uniforms, but have the ability to be so much more fascinating. I hope you find something interesting to try in the pictures below (even if you have fairly short hair).

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T & T: Origins, Clinique and NARS

July 20, 2011 at 4:33 pm (Beauty) (, , , )

It has been a little while since I have done a T & T (Tried and Tested) post, so my apologies for those of you who have been hanging out for more beauty. These posts feature products that I have bought or been given as gifts, with no correspondence with the company. This ensures that I can express my opinions honestly rather than posting elaborate sales pitches to you all. Here are a few products I’ve fallen for recently:

Origins Plantscription Serum

($97 from Mecca Cosmetica)

What is it? A plant extract based anti-aging serum.

Things that make you go mmmm!

  • The light and smooth consistency. Some serums tend to take a little while to sink into the face and become sticky before they are absorbed, but not this baby. It glides on so easily and doesn’t leave any sticky residue.
  • The smell. There is something about natural skincare that smells so refreshing.
  • The brand itself is very environmentally conscious. As well as using natural and/or organic ingredients in their products, they also use recycled materials and green sources of energy at their manufacturing facilities and continue to donate funds to support environmental projects. Bonus.

Things that make you go hmmm..

  • You probably choked over the price of this stuff (c’mon, you did didn’t you? You can tell me…) but in reality serums do cost more than their moisturiser counterparts. They are more concentrated and you need a lot less product per use to get the job done.

Verdict:   My skin is definitely glowing and has a plumpness to it, particularly when I wake up after it’s been working its magic all night. Although I can’t say that it works any anti-aging miracles as I am only 25, it definitely makes my skin smoother and dewy.

Clinique Redness Solutions Makeup

($50 from Mecca Cosmetica)

What is it? A foundation designed to correct red skin tones with SPF 15.

Things that make you go mmmm!

  • It does what it says it will do. I can’t begin to tell you how frustrated I get with foundations that promise good coverage and don’t deliver. I have mild rosacea (redness) on my face and therefore need a foundation that will neutralise the redness. Tada! This one is it.
  • Doesn’t dry out combination skin. I tend to moisturise and prime before foundation anyway, but this formula doesn’t seem to dry out the skin as others do.

Things that make you go hmmm..

  • It seems like a small bottle, but it seriously goes a long way. You only need a couple of pearl-sized pools of the product to cover your whole face and neck.

Verdict: I am just relieved to find a foundation which gives good coverage over red skin tones and doesn’t require 4 coats to do so. I can wear very little foundation and still feel confident.

NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Carthage

3rd pic (please excuse the just-washed hair): I’m wearing Clinique Redness Solutions Makeup in Calming Alabaster, NARS powder blush in Orgasm, Benefit Brows a Go Go Kit, MAC Fluidline gel eyeliner in Macroviolet, Benefit BADgal Lash mascara in Black and NARS Matte Lipstick in Carthage.

($54 from Mecca Cosmetica)

What is it? A bright pink matte finish lipstick.

Things that make you go mmmm!

  • The colour. I tried for about 20 minutes to get a good shot of my wearing the colour, but the photos don’t do it justice. It is much brighter in real life. Luckily Temptalia got some great swatches (including the one above in the middle).
  • It’s long lasting. So much so that it almost stains the lips a little (some cleansing oil takes it right off though).

Things that make you go hmmm..

  • If you’re used to using a moisturising lipstick like me, then a matte one will feel strangely drying. I apply a hydrating lip balm before the lipstick to ensure that it goes on smoothly and doesn’t feel dry and flaky after a few hours.
  • It is fairly pricey for a lippie.

Verdict: To be honest, I am head over heels in love with this colour. It automatically adds some spring in my step when I apply it in the morning. The money is worth it if it puts a smile on your face.

What products have you tried and tested that you’ve fallen in love with?

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Beauty Editorial: Chanel Campaigns

November 17, 2010 at 4:51 pm (Beauty, Enchanting Editorial) (, , , , , , , )

There’s something about Chanel beauty campaigns that I find just magical. I’m constantly captivated by the imagery and the photographic experimentation with light and shadow.

Always cast with sexy yet strong women, each picture evokes a sense of desire and of course a need for the product.

Photos by Jean-Baptiste Mondino (Vanessa), Dominique Issermann (Keira and Audrey) and video directed by Baz Luhrmann.

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Maintenance Cycle prep

August 25, 2010 at 11:22 am (Beauty) (, , , , , , , , )

Well, I am all prepped, bronzed, painted and cut for my holiday away. I am determined to give this (high) Maintenance Cycle thing a good go while overseas (blog experiments are fun, right?)!

I’ve had my hair cut and coloured, eyebrows shaped, a pedicure, a facial and a spray tan. For my lovely Australian readers I thought I’d review a few of the places and products I used during my preparation over the last couple of weeks.


Where: Aqua Skincare Retreat, Fitzroy

I found out about this spa through a special offer voucher which entitled me to a one hour customised facial for only $29. Bargain – get me in the door!

I arrived a little late (peak hour Melbourne traffic to blame) but Paula was very understanding and ushered me through to the treatment room. It had beautiful, ambient music playing and a relaxing vibe which immediately put me at ease.

Paula really knew her stuff about facial treatments, skincare, skin conditions and products. She talked me through every aspect of the treatment (without trying to sell me anything). I left feeling plump and invigorated.



Where: French Pink, Melbourne CBD
Butter London

I walked in a pedicure virgin and walked out a convert. I hate feet, particularly mine, so I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t enjoy a pedicure. Boy, was I wrong!

The French Pink salon is tiny but comfortable and I churned through numerous (up to date) magazines while my therapist buffed, trimmed, soaked and polished my feet. I chose the Butter London polish ‘Snog’ as it is a bright “I’m going on a holiday to somewhere sunny and fabulous” pink colour.

Once I was all done and lathered up with moisturiser, I was given disposable thongs (jandals for those Kiwis out there) so as not to mess up my new nails. Friendly service and a great treatment makes this salon a must do in my books. (Note: the iPhone picture doesn’t do the colour justice).



Where:   Orchid Day Spa, Melbourne CBD
Naked Tan

Let me just say thank spray tans scare me half to death. I’ve only ever had one and that was for a stage musical. What if I turn out like an Oompa Loompa? What if I’m all patchy? The staff at Orchid didn’t make me feel any less concerned either. There was no small talk and no comforting words of spray tan wisdom. It’s a fairly daunting process too – stripping off in front of a stranger and posing in various ways while they hose you down with a reverse vacuum cleaner-type device.

Lucky for me, the colour turned out pretty great (despite having to stand outside in the freezing cold wearing a loose fitting mini dress, no bra and my disposable shoes from my pedicure, right in the centre of the city). I’d had the brand recommended via the fantastic beauty experts at PRIMPED. Naked Tan didn’t turn me too dark and definitely stayed away from that orange shade I’d been dreading.


What beauty experiences have you tried recently?
Any recommendations?

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T & T: Bobbi Brown, Hissy Fit and Benefit

August 2, 2010 at 12:48 pm (Beauty) (, , , , , , )

I subscribe to a number of blogs that review beauty products. I love knowing what the beauty trends are, which products are getting a lot of unwarranted attention and which products are secret gems.

So, I have a come up with a new type of post for Dream. Delight. Inspire. which is T & T (Tried and Tested). These posts will feature products that I have bought or been given as gifts, with no correspondence with the company. This ensures that I can express my opinions honestly rather than posting elaborate sales pitches to you all.

Bobbi Brown’s Cabana Coral Palette

What is it?
 The palette consists of 6 eyeshadows, 4 lip shades and two mini brushes. The colours are corals, browns and neutrals – perfect for summer months (Eyes: Ivory, Bermuda Pink, Seashell Pink, Bonfire, Tan and Burnt Sugar. Lips: Cabo Coral, Salmon, Shell and Coral Reef).

Things that make you go mmmm!

  • I love the gold eyeshadow and the lip colours. They’re shades that really work with any colouring. 
  • It’s a great way to test out your favourite shades of coral and what works best for you.
  • It’s compact and has a variety of colours and tones to suit your mood.

Things that make you go hmmm..

  • The price for one. This palette costs $130 and when you see the size of each portion, you may inhale slightly.
  • The lip colours don’t seem to last very long either. This may be because it is winter here and my lips dry out fairly quickly, but they don’t go the distance in my opinion.
  • Doesn’t ship to Australia online yet (David Jones and Myer counters can help you out though).

Verdict:   In hindsight, I’d ask the price of it before I reached the counter credit card in hand. I’d also ask to test out their range of coral lipsticks (which is really what I bought the palette for) to find a rich, creamy shade that stayed put throughout the day. Think about the reasons behind why you’re investing in an entire palette before you buy!

Hissy Fit Lip Service

What is it? A light, moisturising lip balm with SPF 50+ broad spectrum protection which comes in a small 7g package.

Things that make you go mmmm!

  • With shea butter, jojoba oil and vitamin E, this lip balm glides on without being sticky and keeps the lips nourished for hours.
  • These ingredients also aid in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • SPF 50+ is perfect for sun protection all year round and higher than a lot of lip balms I’ve seen.
  • Australian made!

Things that make you go hmmm..

  • $20 for 7g seems like a lot but due to the nature of the product, you actually don’t need to use much on each application.

Verdict: I love this product and carry it around everywhere with me. I like that it doesn’t have a strong ‘flavour’ or scent and just gives a light glossy sheen. Natural and not overwhelming.

Benefit Instant Brow Pencil

What is it? A creamy brow pencil complete with blending brush which comes in 3 shades.

Things that make you go mmmm!

  • Not being a huge fan of makeup pencils myself (as they often drag the skin and take numerous applications to get the right look), I was pleasantly surprised at the creamy, smooth texture and how easy it is to apply.
  • The blending tip is a great extra feature.
  • Having 3 shades means that you’ll always get the right colour for your brows (keeping in mind that they should be about 2 shades darker than your hair).

Things that make you go hmmm..

  • Is it just me or are cosmetics becoming unnecessarily pricey? This pencil will set you back $39AUD. I was going to try their Brows A-Go-Go Kit which comes with wax, powders, brushes and tweezers but at $68, it was a little out of my price range. I’ve heard great reviews though.
  • Constant sharpening required.

Verdict: For someone who has previously not done anything with her brows – this is a great, no fuss product that glides on comfortably and doesn’t take up much space in your handbag.

What products have you tried and tested that you’ve fallen in love with?

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Maintenance Cycles

June 24, 2010 at 12:14 pm (Beauty, Travel) (, )

Zoe Foster from PRIMPED (my beauty guru – you should see this girl in person.. immaculate!) has just published a blog post called “Oh God I’m already at the end of my Maintenance Cycle“. She is over in Europe to write her next book (lucky thing). 

Now, I’ve always been proud of the fact that I am well groomed MOST of the time. I tend not to worry about beauty trends or new products that promise to lengthen, thicken and strengthen, but I do love exploring the make up counters and going to get my hair done. Why oh why have I not even heard of a Maintenance Cycle then?

Zoe’s Maintenance Cyle is described as:
Hair colouring (8 weeks)
Haircuts (6 weeks)
Eyebrow waxing (4-5 weeks)
Nail polish (2 weeks)
Waxing (3 weeks)
Tan (1 week)
DIY facial (1-2 weeks)

Here comes that female guilt again…

If I were to outline mine, it would probably look a little something like this:
Hair colouring (8 – 10 weeks, depends on how long I can get away with wearing hats for )
Haircuts (2 – 3 months)
Eyebrow waxing (never
– shock horror! )
Nail polish (non-existent fingernails)
Waxing (never –
I’m a shaving girl )
Tan (never)
DIY facial (once a month maybe)

Am I horribly in need of personal grooming lessons or is it a good thing to be low maintenance? I am thinking about trialling a high maintenance lifestyle starting the week before I head to Europe (why not live the life of luxury while I’m on holiday?). Yep, expect the unexpected over here at Dream. Delight. Inspire!

Now, Zoe said she would never put herself in the hands of European beauticians she doesn’t know, but since I am such a low maintenance and free-spirited Sagittarian – why not?! I’d have to get manicures, tans and waxes – everything else I can do before I leave and not worry about getting it done until I come back.

What will this achieve Kim, you may be asking. Well, as long as my nails have grown, I will tick off one of my 25 Things to do Before 25 (get a manicure). I will pamper myself for 6 weeks straight (after working 7 day weeks for over a month) – what’s not to love. And I will have come to a conclusion about whether a low maintenance lifestyle suits me better than a high one. Plus I am sure it will be highly entertaining for you to see me come out orange in a tanning salon in Spain.

What I need your help with lovely readers, is if you have any recommendations of beauty therapists in London, Paris, Rome, Barcelona or Prague. Or if you have any friends that live there that could suggest any.

Do you have a Maintenance Cycle? What does your look like?
Do you think I’m crazy with a beauty challenge like this?

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Things I Love Friday / Beauty Lusts

April 16, 2010 at 6:36 pm (Beauty, Things I Love)

I apologise for Things I Love Thursday being pushed out to Friday but I have been sick for the past few days and to be honest, it’s hard to think of things you are loving when you are stuck in bed with a throat infection and a stuffed up head cold.

ANYWAY, leaving that behind me, I have gathered together a quick list of weekly loves and topped it off with a Beauty Lusts post (to sweeten the deal). I hope you have fabulous weekend plans – let me know!


My new camera. I finally got my Nikon D90 today and am so excited to get home and play with it!

Table of Plenty muesli. Half toasted and half untoasted. The delicious honey flavour with 50% less guilt. Got to love it.

Gossip Girl. This show kept me sane for two whole days in bed while I was sick. That and eating blueberry pie and icecream for breakfast.

Eating blueberry pie and icecream for breakfast.  : )

Two of my friends are engaged. Congratulations Hayley and Stu – very excited for you both!

Being taken care of. Thank you to my wonderful boyfriend for looking after me while I was sick.

Other:   Winning competitions, that my parents might be in Europe at the same time as we are, magazines in the mail, new hats and stockings.


NARS Blush and Bronzing Duo in Orgasm/Laguna

Currently I am using a two in one blush/bronzer which is great but also doesn’t allow me to separate each powder. Unfortunately I am not a confident creme blush user either, so NARS duo compact seems like a fabulous option.

Ellis Faas Milky Lips in Ellis Red L201

I have been on the lookout for ‘my perfect shade of red’ for a number of months now. Every time I get a red lippie tested on me at the counter, I look in the mirror and gasp as I see The Joker from ‘The Dark Knight’ staring back at me. The staff always think I look fantastic, but to me I look horrifying. Aparently Ellie Faas has developed THE red that looks good on everyone. I’m willing to try anything at this point.

Endota Spa Organic Australian Rosehip Oil

I have heard countless beauty experts rant on about the benefits of Rosehip Oil (balances the skin, helps combats premature aging and uneven skin tone, helps to heal scarring and is a fanastic moisturiser), but I have yet to try it. Australian made and organic? Yes please!

Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Primer

Napoleon has a saying ‘not to prime is a crime’ and whenever I run out of primer and don’t buy another, my skin seems to agree. I have tried numerous skin primers and I have to say that the NP one is my favourite. It glides on easily and feels very fresh and smooth on my skin.

Balenciaga’s Paris fragrance

It smells gorgeous, what more information does one need about a fragrance? ;) Available in Australia at David Jones.


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