Friday, August 8, 2014

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Recent Favourites.

Motives 10 Years Younger Makeup Setting Spray by Skindanavia, this has been amazing for banishing the cake face effect. The winter winds have completely thrown off the texture of my skin and nothing sits right unless I give it a quick spritz of this. For a flawless effect, spray after foundation and powder, using the same powder brush just pat over any wet areas to smooth out the skin. SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, a little bit of luxury I have added to my skin care to give that extra bit of moisture. Cold winds have caused a lot of dehydration around my eyes and tops of my cheeks and this has just helped maintain that moisture. Cargo Blu_Ray Powder #20, this isn't by any means an amazing powder but I have been choosing this over any other pressed powder in my collection. The colour matches me well for now and sits comfortably on the skin. Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush 'Exposed', an extremely versatile colour that matches every look and any occasion. I love neutral pink slightly brown blushes. Benefit Dallas and M.A.C Sunbasque are a few others in that similar colour range. Really great for a whole variety of skin tones. Motives Essentials Brow Palette, includes two shades a clear wax. I love this palette for my brows, since changing my hair colour my beloved Thunder Brow Cake was getting much too warm. This palette is the perfect shade and I love how versatile it is too. I did a brow make over and a beauty pageant over the weekend and this suited a whole variety of hair colours and skin colours. Hurraw! Early Grey Lip Balm, organic, vegan and smells quite nice too. I picked these up from iHerb along with another in Root Beer for my boyfriend. Root Beer smells much tastier but they both feel quite nice on the lips. A cute novelty I have been enjoying. Lancome Hypnose Mascara, I recieved this as a gift from my training in Melbourne. I can really understand the Lancome Mascara hype now. For years I was an avid user of the BiFacil and not much else but this has got to be one of the best mascaras I have tried. I have decently lengthened lashes but they lack a curl and most mascaras will make the lashes droop. This holds a wonderful curl and gives the right amount of volume and length.

For any other updates don't forget to follow me on Social Media!

Motives Cosmetics: thily
Instagram: thilytran
Facebook: thilytranmua
Email: thilymua [at]

Friday, May 23, 2014

IN MY KIT #3: Cheeks // Bronzer, Blush & High Light

It was hard for me to put this post together as cheek products are always changing in and out of my kit, depending on what the makeup look is and what the clients skin is like. Important things to remember when you choose cheek products are the texture and finish of the product.

Shimmer: Dry/dull skin
Satin: All skin types
Matte: All skin types, best for Oily skin.

Liquid: Dry/normal skin
Cream: All skin
Powder: All skin, esp oily

If a client has oily skin, I will use mainly matte and powder type products as anything overly shimmery can accentuate the appearance of pores making them look enlarged and anything too emollient will not adhere well to the skin - plus as the day goes on, natural oils will seep through which will break down any foundation/blush/contour if it isn't properly prepped.  For dry skin, shimmery products can give the skin a more luminous and glowing affect. Generally if the skin looks too dry or matte it can actually make the skin appear more aged and tired, so keeping glow levels up on dry dehydrated skin types are more ideal.

These are just the guidelines I like to follow as they help keep my kit nice and condensed. Ideally I don't need to and don't want to carry 10 blushers or bronzers. But don't be afraid to try mixing and matching finishes/products to achieve different effects. Experiment!

1. MAC Mineralise Skin Finish 'Comfort' (LE): Shimmering golden bronzer
2. Motives Shape & Sculpt Duo: A satin finish powder for contouring - cool toned
3. Benefit Hoola: Warm matte bronzer

Above are the brands I like to keep in my kit but I don't always keep all of them in my kit at the same time. When choosing blushes, keep in mind the undertone of the blush, is it warm or cool?

1. Illamasqua Naked Rose Blush: Matte cool pink
2. The Balm Cabana Boy Blush: Shimmering golden purple 
3. NARS Gilda Blush: Matte warm peach
4. Motives Naughty Blush: Shimmering peach

Highlights/illuminators are a super fun product, but they can be tricky. Too much and you could end up looking very oily/shinny. I keep both a liquid and powder in my kit for different reasons. A liquid is good for mixing with moisturiser or liquid foundation to give sallow/dull/dry skin the appearance of more hydration. Powders are good for all skin types, but are much easier to control when you need to add highlight to oily skin.

1. Benefit Sun Beam: Warm golden liquid shimmer.
2. Benefit High Beam: Cool pink liquid shimmer.
3. The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer: Champagne powder highlight. 

Motives Cosmetics: thily
Instagram: thilytran
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Email: thilymua [at]

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

IN MY KIT #2: Hygiene

I know there are so many wonderful and colourful posts that could have come after the Base Post, but I thought that this one is so important that it had to go next. Working as a MUA, you use a lot of makeup on numerous amounts of people and it isn't at all economical to purchase a new concealer, liner or what ever every single time... Which is why hygiene and the way you work is so important, especially as a pro. The worst thing that could happen is a client having an adverse effect because of unsanitary work methods! Yuck.

I'm huge on hygiene and it makes me cringe every time I see a 'professional' double dip or have dirty brushes. Working in retail for a while, I saw everything (fingers in jars, lipsticks straight on the lips, lip glosses put on from the wand, mascara too) and it just made me tighten up my own hygiene so much more, you really don't realise how unsanitary some testers can be. Which is why I carry all sorts of disposable tools and scrape everything in a pot out.

Below are my most basic rules when it comes to Professional Make Up Artits Hygiene.

1. Spatula, Plastic & Metal: I mainly use the metal spatula when I work, but I always carry plastic ones in my kit incase i've left the metal one at home or if a fellow mua needs one. It is so important that all creams and products in jars are properly taken out of the container because one double dip is all it takes for a product to be contaminated.
2.  Plastic Palette: This is the one I got during Tafe and i've just kept it. I don't know if there is a huge difference between this one and a stainless steel one but it's been fine so far. I always wipe it down with alcohol before and after use. This is also really handy for when i'm mixing lip colours or customising foundation colours.
3. Sharpener: Whilst some mua's ive seen have just wiped the tip of a pencil off on a tissue, I don't think it hurts at all to just give the pencil a quick sharpen before you use it again. This way you completely shave away the used layer. Remember to regularly clean out the blades of the sharpener, you can harbor bacteria in there too.
4. Disposable Mascara & Gloss Wands: Never put gloss or mascara straight from the tube onto a clients lips or lashes. Always take some out using one of these to ensure the contents of the products are left unsoiled. You really don't want a client to get herpes or a stye, you can get hundreds of disposable wands for a few dollars online so please don't be stingy.
5. Brush Cleanser: If you follow me on Instagram, you know that i'm actively vocal about cleaning your brushes! For a professional clean brushes are essential and if your artist isn't using clean brushes, I would ask he/she to stop! This green liquid is a brush cleanser I picked up from Scotty's in Broadway, its so cheap and works so well. A quick spritz will clean off any excess colour, kill most bacteria and the best part is that the brushes then dry so quickly! Once the alcohol evaporates it's good to go again. If your artist isn't deep cleaning, at least spot clean, please! Nothing gives me chills more than an artist reusing dirty brushes on multiple clients. I could go on about hygiene all day, I will probably do a brush cleansing post showing you everything from spot cleansing to deep cleansing.

So that was pretty hefty but it's really important that hygiene is kept to an extremely high standard. Always make sure your artist is using a spatula, using disposable mascara and gloss wands and that they are using clean brushes!

Motives Cosmetics: thily
Instagram: thilytran
Facebook: thilytranmua
Email: thilymua [at]

Monday, May 12, 2014


I think that the most important thing when it comes to Professional Photogenic makeup is the base, skin care aside, how you make the skin look in both real life and in photos is so important. Everything I have in my kit at the moment is tried and true, so I am confident that these products will give me the best finish and result.

*NOTE: I often mix and match my foundations to create different finishes and colours for different skin types and their needs. I also don't carry every single shade of foundation/concealer for space saving reasons. I will usually carry 2-3 shades of each and find that this is enough to cover a wide range of skin tones. Also, I usually cater to more yellow/golden undertone skins which is why my foundations run very yellow. I do have some pink tone foundations, but find that I rarely need to reach for them.*

1. MAC Strobe Cream (Travel Size): This is a multi-tasking illuminating cream that I love using mixed in with liquid foundation if the skin is a little dull. It gives a nice overall glow to the skin but isn't very greasy, so will work on most skin types.
2. Clarins Beauty Flash Balm: I often use this on dry dehydrated skin before a moisturising primer. I find it's really great at maintaining moisture on the skin without interrupting the makeup application.
3. Gorgeous Cosmetics First Base Foundation Primer: This is a lovely hydrating primer I use on almost everyone. It feels extremely comfortable and feels just like a light lotion.
4. Motives Cosmetics Perfecting Face Primer: This is a more silicone based primer which is good for filling in and smoothing out enlarged pores. I use this on normal-oily skin in the t-zone.

1. Make Up Forever HD Foundation: I find this one is slightly thicker and more creamy so I would use this on normal dry skin types. Nice med-full coverage.
2. Gorgeous Cosmetics Base Perfect Liquid Foundation: My favourite liquid foundation because the coverage and texture is impeccable. Perfect in both real life and photos, never cakey or heavy. Only down side is that the colour range is not very good, so I mix a little bit of a lighter shade in to customise.
3. Cinema Secrets Foundation Palette: I use this on all skin types and use this for contouring too. Great compact foundation, very pigmented product, can look very natural on the skin and gives med-full coverage. I have this palette in a yellow tone and a pink tone.

1. MAC Pro Longwear Concealer: Nice full coverage concealer, I keep three colours so I can use them to conceal and also highlight/contour.
2. Cinema Secrets Concealer Palette: A really good palette as it contains salmon tones and yellow tones to easily counteract any under eye darkness or skin pigmentation. Very similar to the foundation, but perhaps just slightly more creamy.

1. Ben Nye Banana Powder: Made famous by Kim K's MUA, I use this to set both the undereye and all over the face. A great affordable and versatile setting powder.
2. Ben Nye Neutral Set: I usually mix this in with the Banana Powder and rarely use it alone.
3. Motives Cosmetics 10 Years Younger Setting Spray: I find this really helps to eliminate any fine lines or wrinkles that the powder may accentuate and gives a really lovely glow to the skin that doesn't make the makeup slip or feel greasy. Made by Skindanavia who make their own + Urban Decay sprays which ensures quality but the Motives Sprays are a fraction of the cost.
4. Kiehls Lip Balm #1 Mint: I put this here because I usually slap on a thick layer after foundation to prep for lipstick. Putting it on 15-20 minutes before lipstick softens any dry patches on the lips and makes it really easy to scrub off for super smooth lips.

Motives Cosmetics: thily
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Email: thilymua [at]

Friday, May 2, 2014

FOTD: Iggy Azalea

I was watching some Iggy Azalea on YouTube and loved her classic liner and bold lip combos! So here is my version, I enhanced the mole next to my lip for a little more authenticity.

Gorgeous Cosmetics Base Perfect Liquid Foundation 1Y-BP
Cinema Secrets Cream Foundation Palette (concealing, highlight, contour)
Cargo Blu Ray Powder #30
Motives Cosmetics Shape & Sculpt Duo

Benefit Gimme Brow
Prestige Brow Gel

Illamasqua Lip Pencil Titivate
Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro 504

Motives Cosmetics: thily
Instagram: thilytran
Facebook: thilytranmua
Email: thilymua [at]

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

FOTD: Motives Cosmetics Formal Makeup


Gorgeous Cosmetics Base Perfect Liquid Foundation 1Y-BP
Cinema Secrets Cream Foundation Palette (concealing, highlight, contour)
Ben Nye Banana Powder + Neutral Set
Motives Cosmetics Shape & Sculpt Duo
Motives Cosmetics: thily
Instagram: thilytran
Facebook: thilytranmua
Email: thilymua [at]

MOTIVES COSMETICS: Naughty Blush Review & Swatches

So recently I signed up to become a Motives Cosmetics Rep - Don't worry, I won't be shoving their products down your throat. I'll tell you about my decision to join in another blog post, it's interesting I think! But anyway, I wanted to show you in this post the blush I received in my starter kit, Motives Cosmetics Blush in Naughty. The quality of this blush is incredible, the pigmentation and texture reminds me a lot of The Balm Blushes, but better!

PACKAGING: All the Motive Cosmetics compacts come in the same style, frosted plastic lid and a black base - not pretty, but not bad either. The basic packaging is functional and keeps the products nice and uniform and I can really appreciate that because it looks more professional in a makeup kit. The best thing about the packaging is that all the pans pop out with a tap, which is perfect for transfering them into larger palettes without hacking at the original packaging. One downside to the packaging is that when you take the pans out, they don't have name labels under the pans themselves which might lead to confusion later on when you go to put them back into their individual pots or even when you need to repurchase.

PRICE & AVAILABILITY: Price wise, these blushes are very affordable costing $17.95 AUD for 3grams of product; which is actually a lot more affordable than a lot of 'drugstore' brands here in Australia. Availability, it is only available online or if you have a local rep near you to show you some of the products.

QUALITY & FORMULATION: The texture of this blush is incredible, it applies smooth and the pigmentation is awesome. Naughty isn't powdery at all and feels very buttery. It applied onto the skin with ease, the texture is very similar to The Balm Powder blushes but much more smooth, there is no 'grit' to this blush at all. Whilst I was swatching it applied so easy, compared especially to my beloved Nars Blushes - Orgasm is the worst to swatch. This blush is made in the U.S.A which ensures top quality and production standard.

COLOUR COMPARISONS: So just looking at the swatches above, you can see that the Motives Blush in Naughty is a warm peach blush that ever so slightly leans pink, I was expecting it to look the most similar to MAC Blush in Style, but swatched Style didn't produce the same amount of pigmentation and had more golden shimmer. Pigmentation wise, it was most similar to The Balm Hot Mama, but Hot Mama swatches much more pink.

OVERALL: I am completely smitten with the blush formulation and can't wait to order more colours and with different finishes! The price point is perfect because it is affordable and offers a superior quality to other blushes of the same price and beyond. Definitely recommend the Motives Blushes & Shadows (saving this for another post) if you were thinking about trying out some of their products.

Any questions regarding any of their products, shoot me a message or email and i'll gladly try and help you as best as I can.


Motives Cosmetics: thily
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Facebook: thilytranmua
Email: thilymua [at]

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

HOW TO: Fresh and Bright Asian Make-up

Being a long time Korean drama addict and a fan of K-pop (my guilty pleasures), I've always loved the way actors and celebrities in Asia were able to maintain a glowing youthful complexion that makes you wonder if they're even wearing any base makeup. Now that Australia is coming into the cooler seasons, I am finding that my skin is looking more dull and more dry - so it's now more than ever that I want to emulate a youthful and glowing complexion. In Asia there is a huge importance placed on pale milky skin and skin care - that's why you'll find so many ladies wearing giant hats, face masks and gloves up to their arm pits. Growing up in a western society, I've always loved a good tan and an even better bronzer, so exploring Asian make-up styles has been really refreshing.

BASE: To do this look, you want to make sure the condition of your skin is at its best, so maybe give yourself a light exfoliation and heavily moisturise before hand. I found that by mixing my brightening primer into my foundation, it gave me a brighter effect compared to if I had just layered the two products on top of each other. To emulate that really glowing and bright skin, you should reach for a foundation that is about 1 shade lighter than your skin and concentrate the product in the center of the face and lightly feather it out. This will give you the most natural bright effect, without seeming like you've just matched yourself to the completely wrong colour. Also, to really achieve this healthy dewy complexion, avoid or powder as minimally as possible.
For this I chose to use my Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation and mixed it in with my Benefit That Gal Primer - you could also use something like M.A.C Strobe Cream or alternatively if your skin is oily you can use a highlight powder like The Balm Mary-Loumanizer or a natural cream product like Benefit Whats Up to spot highlight - remember it's a glow not an oily shine.

BROWS: You want to make sure you fill your brows in full and straight. This is supposed to give your face a very youthful and innocent look, arched brows aren't as popular in Asia and can sometimes make your face look aged or 'mean'. My brows are naturally arched so I wasn't able to get the brows to be as straight as I had wanted for this look, but by filling in the arch area a bit thicker, it definitely changed my brow shape and the way my face looked.
I mixed my trusty Illamasqua Brow Powder in Thunder with Illamasqua Eye Shadow in Heroine to give the brows a softer effect - I also brushed my hairs upwards with a brow gel to create a more lifted and full brow.

EYES: For this particular look, I went for very nude and innocent looking eye makeup to keep with the innocent and youthful image. All you need to do is apply a shimmering beige to the center of the lids and line your eyes down wards... Yes, down wards! By creating a very subtle line following the upper lid down (opposite of a winged cat eye, where you follow the bottom lash line up) it creates a droopy puppy eye effect, which is now very trendy and popular. It's supposed to make the eyes look more innocent, sweet and make the person look more approachable. You also really want to emphasize the lower lash line with a shiny shimmering product, this makes the eyes look like its watering and innocent.
I doubled The Balm Mary-Loumanizer highlight as a shadow for both the upper and lower lash line. To line my eyes I always use my trusty Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Liner, this always creates a fine line and is extremely easy to use. And never forget mascara, because that will seriously lift and open up the eyes.

LIPS: Gradient lips are a trend that Asian make-up artists really pioneered in my opinion. For so long i've seen K-pop idols and actors rocking a just bitten lip that looks so sexy, innocent and kissable all at the same time. It looks amazing in both matte and glossy finishes and today I went for the glossy finish to make the lips look extra supple and juicy. I find that by applying the lip balm/gloss on first then layering the lipstick or stain over the top makes the gradient more fluid and smooth.
I applied my YSL lip balm (maybe discontinued) all over the lips first, then took my Bourjois Colour Boost lip pencil dabbed and blended it into the center.

1. Prep skin with skin care (cleanse, tone, moisturise)
2. Mix liquid foundation and illuminating base together and apply in the center of the face
3. Lightly conceal any under eye circles and pigmentation if needed
4. Apply a shimmering blush to the apples of cheek and lightly blend back towards temples
5. Fill brows in create a nice full and straight shape
6. Apply a shimmering shadow to center of upper lids and all along the lower lash line
7. Using a liquid liner, thinly line the eyes down wards, following the upper lash line (down, not up)
8. Curl and apply mascara to both upper and lower lashes
9. Apply balm/gloss to lips first then dot a more pigmented lipstick/stain to the center of the lips
10. *Selfie*

In less than 10 steps you can easily achieve a clean, bright and polished makeup look. I'll definitely be rocking this kind of makeup look this winter. Give it a go, don't be shy and remember it is just makeup!


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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Gorgeous Cosmetics - Primer and Liquid Foundation First Impressions

Gorgeous Cosmetics recently had a 40% off sale on their website and I bit the bullet and purchased the Gorgeous Cosmetics First Base Primer and 3 shades of their Base Perfect Liquid Foundation, with the intention of keeping them in my kit as a liquid foundation alternative to the creams I usually use. I did a quick Google search, as you do and there weren't that many comprehensive reviews. I think that's for two reasons, they aren't widely stocked and they aren't widely popular either - Gorgeous Cosmetic is quite a niche brand created by an Australia MUA aimed at pros, kind of like MAC minus the wide spread popularity.

The above picture was the first day I wore this for the whole day, I teamed it up with the primer and set the under eye area with a bit of Ben Nye Banana Powder. The consistency of the primer is nice and smooth, it feels really comfortable and nourishing like a moisturiser - really similar to the Clarins Beauty Flash Balm but a little less 'glowing'. The primer is also really different to 'pore minimizing' primers too, it doesn't feel like a tube of silicone. I really enjoyed this primer, which is really rare because if you know me, you'd know I almost never use primers on myself.

The coverage of this foundation completely floored me and the finish was absolutely amazing. I wore the colour BY-01 and the colour matched me perfectly (i'm about an NC-30 atm) and it just looked like I had naturally amazing skin. I no longer needed to cover up the broken capillaries on my cheeks and and uneven skin tones around my nose and chin area were covered up effortlessly - it also didn't cling onto any dry patches. It wore nicely throughout the day without making my t-zone oily.

I will be posting a comprehensive before and after review of this Primer & Foundation soon. But at the moment, I am completely loving it and am already considering purchasing another bottle of both!

Gorgeous Cosmetics First Base Primer
Gorgeous Cometics Base Perfect Liquid Foundation (BY-01)
Cinema Secrets Corrector Palette
Ben Nye Banana Powder
Benefit Dallas Box Blusher
Benefit Hoola Box Bronzer
The Balm Mary-Loumanizer Highlighter
Urban Decay Primer Potion
Shu Uemura M Soft Brown 851
Shu Uemura M Dark Brown 895
Shu Uemura ME Medium Plum 761
Shu Uemura ME Medium Brown 856
M.A.C Brule Shadow
The Balm Mary-Loumanizer Highlighter 
Loreal Telescopic Mascara
Ardel #110 False Lashes
Rimmel Scandal Eyes Bronze Liner
Illamasqua Brow Cake 'Thunder'
Cinema Secrets Corrector Palette
Benefit Gimme Brow Light/Medium
Revlon Pink Pop Gloss

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

March Favourites 2014

March marks the month of my birth and the start of my favourite season autumn, so it's a fairly good month. I must admit that this month I haven't worn too much makeup and when I have the looks were quite simple, So picking out my favourites was a little bit of a struggle, but i've managed it.

My friend recently went on a trip to America and the sweetie picked up the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed for me. I had actually passed on this during my own trip to Hawaii in October, but reconsidered it when I had another chance at it and i'm so glad I got it this time. It has instantly become a favourite because it is so easy to use, extremely flattering (I would imagine on plently of different skin tones) and suits a whole host of different makeup looks. MAC MSF in Comfort is something I've had for years, I picked it up in Boston in 2010 and for so long questioned why on earth I bought it. But i've finally found love for it and i've been using is plenty. Since it has a soft shimmer running through it, I love using this as a golden peach blusher/bronzer - It adds so much warmth to the skin and its so lovely.

During Christmas I picked up a few lippies from Giorgio Armani and have been in absolute love. I can't understand why their lip products are so underrated because the formulation of the lip laquers are so comfortable, pigmented and beautiful. Pictured is the Giorgio Armani Lip Laquer in 504 and it is definitely my kind of lip colour - It is actually more of a pink/berry colour and I love wearing this with just mascara for a really fast and put together look. M.A.C Satin Lipstick in Rebel, is another one of those really good lipsticks that you can just slap on for an instand 'look'. This I can imagine would be on a lot of autumn/winter staple lists. I always feel so badass wearing this colour and whilst i'm not huge on M.A.C lipsticks, the formulation of this is so nice, pigmented and smooth - I also don't get any lip peeling with this one. Definite thumbs up.

Lastly, Clarins Beauty Flash Balm - this has quickly become a staple in my makeup routine and sometimes my skincare routine. My skin is an annoying combination of dry/normal with dehydration usually between my brows and sometimes around my mouth. I just smooth a thin layer of this on before my foundation and it instantly gives my skin a boost of radiance and an added layer of moisture. It's one of those products that the industry just loves and you don't really understand the hype about it until you buy it, use it, then stop using and once you stop using it, it hits you like 'ohhhhhh, that's what it did'. Really hard to explain but on my skin it works wonders. I use it here as a base in my Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk review.

So those were my March picks. My brother will be going to America in two weeks and I'll be doing a fairly large haul - buying products for my professional kit and killing some high end lemmings for my self.

So let me know below, what were your favourites for the month of March. I'd love to know and maybe try a few of them out too!

Thi Ly Tran xx
instagram: thilytran

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation Review

For almost a year now, my foundation of choice has been the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, it is quite a cult favourite winning beauty awards year after year and personally I can completely understand why. For reference my skin is dry/normal combination and I usually have dehydration around my nose and especially inbetween my brows.

PACKAGING: The foundation comes in a nice weighted frosted glass bottle with a built in pump for convenience. Whilst is it quite standard these days for foundation to have this feature, I can think of several foundations which still don't include this essential feature, so I thought that was definitely worth a mention. The design it self is very modest and minimal which I can really appreciate.

PRICE & AVAILABILITY: Giorgio Armani cosmetics are stocked in selected Myers and David Jones and can be purchased online from both department stores. This foundation in Australia retails for $90 (30ml), which is the most I have ever paid for a foundation. With such a hefty price tag this is definitely a luxury item, but if you can afford to splurge and it is suitable for your skin, it is well worth the price. Definitely ask for a sample first or try on in stores, again I don't recommend purchasing online unless you are sure of your colour match.

FORMULATION: A nice fluid formula that is oil free and spf free. Good for flash photography and bridal shoots as there won't be any white flash back. You might not enjoy this is you need to have spf in your everyday foundation but foundations generally only have spf 15 which really isn't enough anyway. Light weight on the skin and not heavy at all, it will eventually set and dry but if aren't used to or just don't like a more dewy wet touch then you may want to avoid this.

APPLICATION & WEAR: So comparing the before and after, my skin is actually in pretty good condition at the moment; no active breakouts and the skin is quite even in tone and texture - there is slight dryness around the nose area and little around the chin. Before applying the foundation I applied my moisturiser and a layer of Clarins Beauty Flash Balm as a primer - I really enjoy the boost of moisture and how it gives my skin an extra glow. I applied the foundation with an angled kabuki brush and set the t-zone with a tiny bit of Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder.

You can definitely see how the overall colour of my compexion has been evened out and how it leaves my dry/normal + dehydrated combination skin with a really healthy natural complexion, it doesn't look 'cakey' or feel heavy either. It doesn't accentuate any dry skin and doesn't make me look tired - I have found that some foundations make me look worse after I apply it. On my skin I get about 6-8 hours of wear, by the end of the day it will start breaking down on my forehead and around my nose, but all foundations do the same so I will need to touch up those areas. Some friends with oily skin don't like this at all as they complained it doesn't have any oil control properties.

OVERALL: I definitely recommend this if you have dry or normal or dry combination skin like mine and want something nice for both day time use and night time photography use. But with the hefty price tag, unless you're willing to splash out $90 on a bottle for everyday wear you may want to look else where and maybe reserve this for those special occasions. Definitely get a sample or even get a BA to apply it on your skin before committing to a purchase.

PRODUCT LIST: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation #6.0, M.A.C MSF Comfort, Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, Laura Mercier Undercover Pot, Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush Exposed, Illamasqua Brow Cake Thunder, Loreal Infallible Eyeshadow Hourglass Beige, Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Eyeshadow #5, Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Mascara (sample) + not pictured: Giorgio Armani Rouge Sheer Pink #500

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Shu Uemura Custom Quad

I can't believe that after so many years of makeup hoarding collecting, that these are my first ever Shu Uemura makeup items. Shu Uemura do have quite an extensive range of products but there weren't many products that stood out to me on this shopping trip but I was planning to buy some plum/purple colours suitable for bridal anyway, so that was my excuse.

PACKAGING: It's nice, sleek and very light weight which is excellent for travel or even for your pro kit as it won't add much weight - plastic. They've added a mirror which is convenient if you're in a pinch or need to touch up but personally I think that the mirror is too small. A feature I love is the sliding platform for the shadow pans which securely sit in the case, this is perfect for ensuring that the shadow pans never fall out of the palette. It also has a nice snap shut closure which is very secure. The case can hold 4 shadow pans, 2 shadows 1 blush or 2 blushes - nice if you have a few different blush and shadow shades to mix and match.

Shu Uemura is only available in select David Jones stores and via the David Jones online store; not easily accessible and I would only recommend you purchase these in store because online swatches will vary depending on your monitor/ display settings. Price wise, I picked up the entire quad for $103 - $22/shadow pan (1.4g of product) & $15 for the empty palette. I think that the price is very fair considering that M.A.C refills are $26/shadow pan (1.5g of product) online and in Pro stores only.

QUALITY & FORMULATION: Both the matte (M) shadows and the metalic (ME) are very impressive, they swatch and apply very evenly and smooth, they aren't dry or chalky at all; I believe there are about 12 matte shades, but the David Jones website only shows 4 which is extremely limiting. These swatch and apply true to pan and are definitely comparable to my M.A.C & Inglot shadows.

OVERALL: Looking forward to using these as bridal colours and smokey eye colours and I can't wait to pick up a few more. Definitely recommend these if you can access them and are looking to invest in a few excellent quality shadows that are a little cheaper and possibly even better than M.A.C.

Monday, January 27, 2014

FOTD #2. Black Smokey Eye

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation Punjab
Cinema Secrets Cream Foundation #301-63A (highlight)
Cinema Secrets Cream Foundation #202-20 (contour)
Ben Nye Banana Powder
Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo Lumos & Heliopolis
MAC Carbon Shadow
MAC Bronze Shadow
MAC Nylon Shadow
MAC Ricepaper Shadow
MAC Brule Shadow
Rimmel London Scandal Eyes Waterproof Liner Black
Benefit They're Real Mascara
Illamasqua Thunder Brow Powder
MAC Studio Finish NC30 Concealer
MAC Brule Shadow
MAC Lady Gaga 1 Lipstick
Essence Clear Lip Gloss

Friday, January 24, 2014

TECHNIQUE #1. Black Liner


I used to be deathly scared of lining the inner rim of my eyes because I always thought it made me look even more tired and I didn't need another 'hundred people telling me my eye bags were huge. 

But a day off playing with makeup has actually changed my mind about it.

With proper concealing methods, lining the inner rims actually makes the best kind of difference to the eyes. Giving it a deeper more sultry gaze whilst defining the eyes and making it 'pop'.
You always want to make sure you line the top too, this makes the top lashes look extremely full and thick.

Always dry the inner rims of the eyes with a cotton tip before you apply liner, this really helps the product stick to the actual skin (rim) and helps it last so much longer. 
Make sure the under eye (bag) area is properly set with powder, this ensures that the oils from the  face makeup don't cause the liner to smear and smudge - prevent the liner from running down.
Look for a long wearing waterproof formula that is soft, this way you don't have to rub and tug your eye area, causing it any irritation.

FOTD #1. Sultry Bronze

Giorgio Armarni Luminous Silk Foundation #6
Cinema Secrets Cream Foundation #301-63A (highlight)
Cinema Secrets Cream Foundation #202-20 (contour)
MAC Studio Fix Powder NC20
Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo Lumos & Heliopolis
Benefit Hoola Bronzer
The Balm Cabana Boy Blush

Illamasqua Heroine Shadow
MAC Cork Shadow
MAC Romp Shadow
MAC Goldmine Shadow
MAC Ricepaper Shadow
MAC Brule Shadow
Rimmel London Scandal Eyes Waterproof Liner
Benefit They're Real Mascara

Illamasqua Thunder Brow Powder
MAC Studio Finish NC30 Concealer
MAC Brule Shadow
Benefit Speed Brow Gel

Lucas Paw Paw Ointment
Illamasqua Fable Lipstick

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Before / After
A bold smokey cat eye look inspired by the 1950/1960's bombshell Bridget Bardot.




Before / After.
A beautiful and fresh bridal look.



Behind the scenes