Sunday, 20 April 2014

Sunday Stuff #2: Getting in to Lipstick






Confession time. I'm not particularly brave when it comes to lips. I'll pop on a layer of gloss every now and again but lipstick? I can't help but think I look like an old granny (anyone else get that?). I've decided to face my colour fears head on and plunge myself in to the world of lipsticks. Priceline had a perfectly timed 3 for 2 on Revlon so my lipstick quest began..

Revlon Colourburst Matte Balm Elusive: Now not strictly a lipstick but with all the hype surrounding these things how could I not pick up at least one? Although mattes are arguably harder to work with I thought it would work really well simply patted in to the lips to add a smidgen of colour to get me started. I've only worn it a few times (yes, I've braved it outside the house!) but I'm already a fan. Nicely pigmented but can easily be toned down, not at all drying and lasts really well on the lips. Plus, if you get sick of the matte finish you can always pop a layer of gloss over the top, perfect. 

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick Pink Incognito: One of Revlon's shine finish lipsticks, this is like the bridge between a gloss and a full on lipstick. Super shiny, fairly sheer and nice and hydrating it's hard to go wrong, even a lipstick newbie like myself can apply sans mirror. Perfect for adding a little somethin' somethin' to your lips without having to worry. I've been throwing this in my handbag and actually wanting to reapply through out the day, it must be a miracle!

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick Coralberry: I'm not going to lie, I am yet to rock this in it's full on glory and have been instead been resorting to the good ol' subtle pat in and enjoying the results. Whilst it may not be the brightest or boldest colour out there for me it's pretty intimidating! I really like the creme formula so think I'll have to return to the Revlon stand at my local Priceline.

I'm determined to become a full on lipstick convert. I'll keep you updated!

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Budget Buy: Essence Just the Nude of Us



I'm a sucker for a budget beauty buy. Give me a high street offering that trumps it's high end counter parts any day and I'll gladly part with my pennies. I'm always on the hunt for beauty products that will get the job done without breaking the bank hence I've birthed the 'Budget Buy' category here on AB. A place for me to share with you the best of the best budget wise and today we are starting off with a gem.

From a brand well known for it's super low price tags I was surprised to find something of such high quality from Essence. I picked up this dual ended Colour3 Nail Polish in Just the Nude of Us for $1. That's right, just $1! Similar to Revlon's Moon Candy range it comes with two polishes, one pale pink based nude and one holographic silver-blue glitter, all bundled together in one sleek package.

It was the nude colour that made me pop this straight into my basket. It's the perfect nude with just a hint of pink to stop things looking too mannequin like. It's such a chic shade, perfect for the office. Whilst the shade had me at first glance I was rather dubious about how the formula would perform but I was actually pleasantly surprised. The polish itself is quite runny however well pigmented, shown in the above photo with just two coats. For such a pale colour I was shocked at how well it applied, you could probably even get away with just one slightly thicker coat. Application? ✓ Longevity? It lasted a good 3 days on me sans top coat which for me is pretty good.

As for the glitter effect colour, it's nothing to write home about. Nice to add a slight shimmery iridescence and not as difficult to remove as other glitters but not really all that special. Barely detectable in the above photo, I've actually got a thin coat over my ring finger.

It's the nude shade that steals the show here. Definitely worth the $1 price tag ;)


Thursday, 17 April 2014

Pink Cheeks



With my recent foray in to the world of bronzer I've been keeping things on my cheeks rather bronzed and au naturel. But for days when I've needed a slight perk up and bronzer alone just won't cut it I've been opting for a pink blush. Usually I'm a coral blush kinda girl through and through but there's just something about bronzed cheeks with pale pink apples that has really been floating my metaphorical boat recently. With both a highstreet and high end offering making their way in to my daily rotation there's something for all budgets.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Soft Colour Blush Santa Rose: First up the cheaper but by no means lesser offering from Rimmel. A gorgeous natural pale pink, I'd actually say this is more pigmented than it's high end counter part down below. It's got the slightest hint of shimmer but nothing that transfers to the cheeks making it perfect to add a really natural hint of colour. My daily choice for simply dabbing right on the apples of my cheeks. Soft, pigmented and long lasting, packaging aside this really could be a high end blush. Perfect for anyone just getting in to makeup or those with a blush phobia thanks to it's super forgiving formula and shade.

Clarins Blush Prodige Illuminating Cheek Colour Soft Peach: Wowee what a name. And what amazing packaging. Clarins really know how to make a girl feel luxe and this blush really is no exception. The silver packaging and cute red pouch are gorgeous, an absolute nightmare for fingerprints though. Packaging aside let's talk blush. The inclusion of two shades gives you a bit of flexibility between the dark and light. The lighter of the two isn't particularly pigmented but is rather shimmery and glowy so more of a highlighter- blush hybrid than blush alone for me. The darker shade packs a bit more of a punch colour wise so a mix of the two works well. It doesn't offer anything amazing though considering the large dent it left in my purse so not one I'd really recommend. Lovely for adding a pink glow but is it something you could easily achieve with a cheaper alternative? Definitely.


What's your favourite pale pink blush? I feel an obsession coming on.





Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Antipodes Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream


Once an absolute oil convert (Pai BioRegenerate Rosehip Oil was like my baby) I've finally ventured back in to the world of moisturisers. Being an oily skinned gal I'm always cautious when it comes to hydration, I want something nourishing but nothing too heavy that will clog my pores. Believe it or not, it's actually harder than it seems! On my hunt to find a moisturiser for morning use I stumbled across a fair few rave reviews on this little Antipodes number and decided to give it a go. All you beauty addicts raving about this have not led me wrong, I'm impressed.

I've actually been reaching for this both morning and night (I know, a day cream at night time? Naughty) for that much needed kick of hydration. Being a day cream it's designed for use under makeup so it's not too heavy but provides enough hydration to satisfy my dehydrated skin. A light layer in the morning and a little bit more for the evening routine works really well for me. I've actually noticed a real improvement in my skins texture since using this, it provides a really great base for makeup. My foundations have been applying so much more evenly, no dreaded cakey mess to be seen here. A hydrated base stops foundation being soaked right up and allows me to create a much more even base.

I've been using this fairly religiously for about two months now and I'm only about a third of the way through so it's definitely reasonable for the money. It's worth noting that it does have shea butter, a known pore-clogger, rather high up on the ingredients list so if you know you don't get on too well with it, maybe this is one to avoid. Although like I said, I do have relatively sensitive acne prone skin and I've had no problems at all.

I'd love to hear what moisturiser your loving at the moment? A night cream purchase may be on the cards. 



Tuesday, 15 April 2014

AB Bakes #1: Apple Crumble Slice

The recipe for this delicious slice was adapted from Cookies, Muffins and Cakes. A really lovely book.



Some of you may not know that I'm actually quite an avid baker. I'm rather partial to a sweet treat here and there and even more so if I've knocked it up myself. There's something oh so satisfying about munching away on something you've prepared yourself, especially when you see people going in for seconds. It's so rewarding.

Last weekend I whipped up this sweet slice for the boy. He's an apple dessert lover so I thought I'd try something a little different to match his tastes. An apple pie, bread and crumble hybrid it's oh so healthy (not...) but super yummy and easy. The book I got this recipe from is absolutely lovely, highly recommend to any other home bakers out there!

You will need..

2 teaspoons dried yeast
2 tablespoons lukewarm water
125ml milk
60g caster sugar
50g unsalted butter
340g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
160g apricot jam
2 tablespoons water
800g tinned pie apples

For the crumble topping..

95g brown sugar
40g plain flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
60g unsalted butter, cubed

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside until frothy. Combine milk, sugar and butter in a saucepan, stirring over medium heat until melted.

2. Sift 310g of flour and salt into mixing bowl, make well in centre and add yeast and milk mixture and egg. Beat until well combined and add enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. Rest in a lightly oiled bowl covered with lightly oiled plastic wrap in a warm place for an hour (may take longer to rise if not very warm). 

3. Lightly grease a 30x35cm (or there abouts) baking tin. Knead the dough for another minute before dividing in to two, making one half slightly bigger than the other. Roll out the larger section to fit the base of your prepared tin. 

4. While you wait you can prepare the crumble. Simply combine all ingredients and using your fingertips rub the butter in until it resembles coarse bread crumbs. 

5. Combine the jam and water in a small pan and stir over low heat until jam is slightly liquefied. Spread half over the dough before topping with apple and remaining jam. Roll out remaining dough to make a lid and place on the apple mixture. Scatter crumble thickly on top, cover and leave to rest for 1 hour.

6. Preheat oven to 210° and bake for 5 minutes. Reduce to 180° and bake for 30-40 minutes until the dough is cooked and golden.


Best served warm with ice cream but is just as delicious cold the next day. That's if it lasts that long ;)

Monday, 14 April 2014

Embracing Bronzer


Recently I've been reaching for the fluffy brush and bronzing powder on basically a daily basis in an attempt to embrace a golden glow. With my fairly pale skin tone it's taken a bit of experimenting to find a bronzer that adds a hint of colour without crossing over in to Oompa Loompa territory, but, without getting too ahead of myself, I think I may have found the one...

I wanted something matte to keep things natural and nothing too dark so I could get away with dusting all over. After a quick root through my drawers I surfaced with The Body Shop's Honey Bronzer (Shade 02 Fair Matte) in tow. Matte? Check. Light brown? Check. The perfect shade to bronze things up without looking tangoed? Fast forward two weeks and I can happily say yes, yes it is. Pale skinned gals, listen up.

Now you've probably heard me mention this around these parts before but it's not until recently that I've really learnt to embrace that bronze glow. I've simply been swirling my Ecotools Powder Brush in the pan and applied following that traditional '3' shape. Temples, cheeks, jaw. My fav application trick is to take the bronzer just below your cheek bones for a not quite contoured buy nicely sculpted look. With barely any blending required here, it's hard to mess up. They've got a 4 shade strong range so hopefully you can all find your perfect shade.

Bronzed, glowy and sculpted. I think bronzer's here to stay. Just don't forget to dust over your neck, you don't want anyone to notice that your gorgeous glow is faux now, do you?

Sunday, 13 April 2014

The Sunday Notes #1: The 10 Minute Pamper


Welcome to a new little segment over here on Anna Blush; The Sunday Stuff. Every Sunday I'll be popping up a little post about primping, preening and indulging in some well deserved pampering. There will also be the odd bit of lifestyle and yummy food thrown in there, you know, the usual Sunday Stuff. I'm starting off the new series by sharing my top tips for a 10 minute pamper for times when your Sunday just doesn't fit the 'day of rest' bill.

I like to start things off in the shower, ain't nobody got time for a bath. To kick off the pampering I reach for Soap and Glory's Breakfast Scrub and get to work on any dry patches. Elbows, knees, heels... you know the drill. It helps buff away any dryness and leave things feeling nourished and smooth. If time permits I'll also give my hair a quick wash (slightly cheating the 10 minute rule already, oops). I'm not too fussy when it comes to hair but recently I've been trialling VO5's Nourish My Shine shampoo and conditioner combo and it's been doing well. Not too heavy for my fine hair but nourishing enough for those dry ends.

Post shower I spritz on Caudalie's Divine Oil all over to pump up the moisture levels. I also like to give my limbs a mini massage as it always makes me feel so pampered, especially when using such a luxurious oil. Body care covered it's time to deal with the face. What's a pamper without a little skincare TLC, eh? My top tip for skin pampering in a hurry would be to reach for a clay based cleanser post makeup removal and leave it on for a few minutes. I love Ren's ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser for this and I'll usually leave it on while I brush my teeth (oh, the glam). Don't worry if it appears to disappear into the skin, simply use wet hands to give a quick massage before wiping away with a warm flannel. It feels like you've given your skin a good deep cleanse and it's only taken a few minutes, perfect for the 10 minute pamper. Post cleanser-mask hybrid complete your usual skincare routine and your skin will thank you next morning, trust me. Finish off with a layer of your favourite lip balm, mine's Reve De Miel from Nuxe, and you're all done.


Pampered, preened and ready for the week ahead in under 10 minutes. Roll on Monday...


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