What beauty rules?: a dark, moody FOTD

Because sometimes it’s nice to indulge your moody goth side…


– Shiro Cosmetics loose eye shadow ‘Gengar’ (swatches here ) in crease and bottom lash line.
-Shiro Cosmetics loose eye shadow ‘S.S. Anne’ (swatches here ) inner corner highlight, used wet.
– the gold side of MAC Mayhem mineralised duo on lid (limited edition, but any pigmented gold will do)
– MAC Omega e/s to blend out crease colour.
– Urban Decay 24/7 liner zero top lash line
-Stila Smudgepot ‘black’ on waterline

– MAC Gingerly


– Chanel Rouge Coco ‘Rouge Noir’
– MAC lip liner ‘burgundy’

Posted by on Mar 31st, 2011 in Uncategorized | 2comments

Cheeky Sephora Haul! Illamasqua, NARS, Korres, the Balm…

I’ve been gushing all afternoon about my package from Sephora on twitter, and a few of you asked to see some photos of what I ordered, so without further ado…
NARS Sheer Glow Fiji (I’m almost out of my bottle)
NARS Smudgeproof eye shadow primer
Illamasqua pigment in ‘Ore’
Illamasqua liquid metal in ‘Surge’
Illamasqua lipstick in ‘Ignite’
Korres lip butter ‘Mango’
Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Zero (almost out of my current one)
the Balm Time Balm undereye concealor

I’ve already had a play with a few things and I can already say with confidance that the Korres lip butter is going to be my new staple.

Posted by on Mar 30th, 2011 in Haul, Illamasqua, NARS | 3comments

Pretty Powerful: Bobbi Brown Event with Sebastien Tardif

Hi beautiful people! Just wanted to tell you about the awesome Bobbi Brown event that I went to a fortnight ago.
The event was a blogger exclusive masterclass which took place at Myer Sydney with makeup artist extraordinaire, Sebastien Tardif at the helm. We arrived at 9am (well okay, 9:15 in my case), stuffed our faces with delicious baby quiches, settled into our own beauty stations, and (grudgingly) took off a full face of makeup that we had perfected before arrival.

Sebastien demonstrated Bobbi Brown’s 10 steps to a fresh and glowy every day look, using the gorgeous Valerie (Ponikuta) as a model.
We learnt how to create a good base with skin care products from Bobbi Brown. We also took notes on how to create the perfect canvas with foundation, concealors, colour correctors, and bronzers. We finished off with my favourite part- creating a look with colour cosmetics!

Every few steps that Sebastien demonstrated we attempted to follow on our own faces, with the help of our own personal MUA assisting (spoilt much?)

The tough life of a beauty blogger….

I chose to use the Bobbi Brown Poweful Face Palette from their limited edition Pretty Powerful collection. 

The palette includes 4 versatile eye shadows (3 mattes and 1 shimmer), a gorgeous matte pinky plum blusher, 2 lip glosses, and 1 lipstick/lipstain.  


Having fun colouring in my face chart!

And if you want to experience the 10 step makeup for yourself, appointments are available at the Bobbi Brown counter.
The generous people at Bobbi Brown gave all the bloggers an incredible goodie bag including their famous Shimmer Brick, cleansing oil, eye liner brush, gel liner, lip balm SPF, makeup bag, and the Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual- I felt like Christmas had come early!!
I’ve already fallen in love with the gel eye liner, the eye liner brush, and the lip balm- expect reviews and more detailed photos very soon!

After the workshop I had a fab lunch with the lovely beauty bloggers  Akisa , Kimmi, Helen . Thanks for a great time ladies!

Posted by on Mar 29th, 2011 in Bobbi Brown | 2comments

DIY skinceuticals: 15% water soluble C , E, ferulic serum

I have well and truly caught the DIY bug, and it’s getting very difficult to resist buying every exotic carrier oil and hydrosol, and every cutting edge peptide out there during my lunch break.

DIY Vitamin C E ferulic serum with jasmine

Last friday I made another C serum, based on Kassy’s recipe from www.skincaretalk.com forum. This time I used the L-ascorbic acid (water soluble) form of vitamin C, which behaves very differently from the “tetra” C from my previous DIY serum.

Why bother with a different form of C, you ask? In a nutshell, the water soluble L’ascorbic acid and the oil soluble Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate penetrate the skin through different mechanisms and some people respond to one form much better than the other, so it’s worth having a play with both of them!

Unlike Tetra C, L-ascorbic acid is a very unstable antioxidant in the presence of water, air, and UV light and this is why we are adding the vitamin E and ferulic acid (they are both potent antioxidants in their own right but they also stabilise and work synergistically with the C). This power trio is the basis of Skinceuticals’ cult product C E ferulic, and I believe Skinceuticals still has a patent on that combination.

Even with the stabilising factors, using airless pumps, and other precautions,  L-ascorbic acid will inevitably start to oxidise within 3 months or so… which is why making small batches at home each month makes so much sense rather than spending $150 on a bottle that is probably half oxidised.

note: L-ascorbic acid serums need to have a pH of less than 3.5 to penetrate the skin.

The recipe:
(based on Kassy A’s 2010 recipe from www.skincaretalk.com, with some tweaks by moi)

–  3 tsp Distilled H20 (has to be distilled because metal ions from tap or bottled water will react with the L-ascorbic acid)

–  1 tsp L-Ascorbic Acid (15%)- I used the ultrafine crystals from Lotioncrafters
–  1 tsp Sea Kelp Bioferment (packed with skin nutrients, the active ingredient in La Mer products)

–  1/2 tsp Macadamia Nut Oil (this enhances penetration, and is an emollient) 

–   a few drops of jasmine essential oil (because I love the smell)

–  1/2 tsp Glycerin  (humectant)

–  1/4 tsp vitamin E oil (I used Covi-ox from lotioncrafters)

–  1/8 tsp Ferulic Acid (yellow-white powder)

–  1/2 tsp Vodka (this is to dissolve the ferulic acid)

–  0.6 ml/cc Polysorbate 80 (2%, this is the emulsifier)

–  3 drops of Optiphen (preservative)

–  1 pinch Xanthan Gum (to create a gel texture)

Glass #1: (water phase)

 Add L-AA to warmed water and stir till dissolved, when that is fully dissolved then stir in Optiphen, and finally the Xanthan Gum.

Adding exactly 15mL of distilled water to L-ascorbic acid powder in shotglass #1

L-ascorbic acid solution with Xanthan Gum and optiphen.

Glass #2 (oil + emulsifying phase)

Pour vodka on top of the Ferulic acid powder and stir well, then add the glycerin.

Ferulic Acid powder in shotglass #2
2.5mL of vodka to dissolive ferulic acid.

Add the Sea Kelp Bioferment (which I’ve warmed up by standing the measuring flask in hot water until liquid) , and stir well. Add the emulsifier then finally the vitamin E oil and the macadamia oil- stirring well the whole time.

Dizzy testing out the SKB 🙂

Glass/cup #3 (You will now mix the 2 phases together)

I mix the two phases in small amounts until I get a smooth emulsion with a gel texture. Then I tested the pH and added a few drops of jasmine essential oil.
I should tell you that it took me two tries to get this recipe to work for me. The first time I added too much oil and too little polysorbate 80 everything separated, and the ferulic acid totally did NOT dissolve. Also the serum was very very watery so I decided to pick up some Xanthan gum which thickened it up nicely and also stabilised the emulsion.  Yay!
DIY C E ferulic serum setup with shotglass #2 being warmed in hot water

TA DA!!! DIY 15% Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid), E, ferulic serum
note to self: must get digital pH meter, these paper strips suck ass.
TA DA!!! DIY 15% Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid), E, ferulic serum

Using the serum:

I’ve used it the last few nights and although there is some tingling (it is quite an acidic formula), I didn’t get full blown stinging that some people on the forum experienced with this concentration of C.

This serum on it’s own doesn’t moisturise my skin enough so I like to put a cream on top once the serum is absorbed. My skin is feeling a bit sensitive after use, but very soft in the morning. Will update you all on how things go.

Will play a little with the ingredients in my next batch. May put in some Idebenone (the active ingredient in Prevage), and hyaluronic acid… we shall see!

Posted by on Mar 28th, 2011 in DIY Skin Care, Skincare | 10comments

Saturday Skin Care: MuLondon Organic Rose Moisturiser

When Boris contacted me to review the Organic Rose Moisturiser, I was very excited (and may even have let out a little shriek) because I had just read Sarah’s rave review on this product and was dying to try it.

Product Description by MuLondon:

 Luxury 100% organic face moisturiser with Rose Otto oil, Rosehip Extract and Rosemary. This amazing trio will pamper, balance and nourish dry, irritated and sensitive skin.

These precious herbal extracts and oils are carefully balanced and hand-blended in a base of certified organic Shea butter, Coconut butter and Golden Jojoba oil. This creates a unique, rich, divinely fragranced and creamy balm that is packed full of nutrients for your skin. No water is added at any stage – so you get pure, undiluted herbal power that is to be used sparingly.

Price: 10 pounds for 30mL and 19 pounds for 60mL
Availability: on the MuLondon website http://www.mulondon.com/


The scent:
It smells like roses- REAL roses, not the synthetic sickly sweet fragrance that you might find in a cheap perfume (or Rosebud Salve, ick), and the scent develops and sweetens a little on your skin once it’s warmed. There is also a green, herbaceous note from the rosemary extract, which fades once you rub the product between your hands.
The MuLondon moisturiser is very different from every other moisturiser that I’ve tried in that it has no water content at all. It’s kind of a whipped balm, which is semi solid at room temperature but once you take a pea sized amount and rub it between your palms (as directed), it becomes liquid and at this point you massage it into your skin. 
It’s very rich, but when I use the recommended amount I find it readily absorbs into the skin and does not feel greasy (although on oilier skin types it may be a little heavy, in which case you might want to try the other moisturisers in their range).
Mulondon Organic Rose moisturise straight out of jar. note: This is ALOT of product, which is just to show you how it looks. I would only use a half of that on my face

MuLondon Organic Rose Moisturiser- warmed.
I’ve been using this product every second night or so on my face, and daily on my decollete- and it’s a great emollient moisturiser, especially when used on damp skin straight after a shower. My skin is loving the jojoba oil, shea butter and rose hip oil in this.- feeling so soft and nourished after each use. 
Like Sarah, I don’t expect this product to have dramatic anti-aging effects, I’m a big believer in having multiple skin care products that address specific issues so I would layer this on top of any serum that I decide to use.
A note on ingredients:
Boris really goes all out in sourcing great ingredients. The Rose Otto essential oil AKA Attar of Roses (used in this moisturiser) is one of the most expensive essential oils available because it takes approximately 4000kg of roses, to make 1kg of the essential oil via steam distillation.
The much cheaper Rose Absolute, used in other formulations, is extracted using a solvent, and the yield is much higher but the purity and potency is much lower. 
Because this formula is waterless, it actually gets away with not using a preservative (microbes cannot grow in a waterless environment) which is very clever!
Full ingredient list:
Vitellaria Paradoxa (Shea Butter)*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut Butter)*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Oil)*, Rosa Damascena (Rose Otto Essential Oil)*, Rosa Canina (Rosehip Extract)* , Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary Extract)*
note: this product was sent to me by Boris for consideration.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... Posted by on Mar 25th, 2011 in Skincare | 22comments

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