, by Cassandra Thompson
|Background Image Credit | Kayla Newell|
The end of month only means one thing - let's talk empties! At the start of the month I always think I am going to have nothing to share but I actually end up with lots of empty things. This month was a mix of hair, skincare and makeup that is making it's way to the rubbish bin.
Over the past two weeks or so I have bought a handful of polishes, so I've lumped them together into one collective haul. I purchased them at various places and all for such cheap prices [always a bonus!]
New releases from brands are always so exciting and this particular one from MUA has been much anticipated by me! I have a lot of love for the recent Luxe line of products that they released late last year, and these Velvet Lip Lacquers are up there with some of my favourite lip products. I have the first drop of shades they made (which you can see here) and a couple of months ago they announced four new shades that would be added to the line, and I was pretty darn excited!
my giveaway (shameless plug) is blowing me away! Although right now as I type this, I am surrounded by tissues and have a flaming red nose, that is not going to get me down and I shall solider on and round up the week that was!
Sunday's are always reserved for The Weekly Post Collective (which will be posted later) but I just couldn't wait to write this post! Yesterday I did an end of month review for the June box which was an all-round good one, but I think I can predict that this one is going to be pretty stand out! Violet Box is a monthly subscription service for NZ and Australia too, where you pay $25 a month, plus $4.50 postage.
The July Violet Box just got delivered by the courier, so it only means one thing - an end of month review of the June box! I swear I only got this like a week ago and the past four weeks have really flown by but I have used all of the products [bar one, apologies]. If you are new here, Violet Box is a monthly subscription where you pay $25 plus $4.50 for postage and get a box with samples, and often full sized products to try out. The June box had a total value of about $92, and overall the products were pretty good!
Now first off I have to give a thanks to my sister Emily, who gave me this palette for my birthday in April - she definitely knows me well! I have the beautiful (but battered) In The Light palette [which you can see the review with swatches right here]; the shadows are incredible quality and I knew that this one would be no different.
I've had an obsession with walls filled with images for a very long. When I was younger my walls were covered in posters (many of them featuring Orlando Bloom, swoon), and then that progressed into this entire walls covered in photos that I would change up all the time. Each flat I moved into throughout university had huge photo walls as well (much to the landlord's dismay). Over the past year, browsing on Pinterest installed a love for the gallery wall aesthetic, so much so I have an entire board dedicated to them and after accumulating some beautiful prints and other bits and pieces I decided to curate one of my own.
The beauty behind a gallery wall, I think, is having an eclectic mix of prints, from the old and new, the bright and the monochrome, the large and the small. Contrast works well here and it really should be a mix of things that make you smile every time you look at it. Most of the frames are from The Warehouse; they're super cheap and do the job perfectly. I went with black and white frames and mats, to tie it all together and make the prints do all the talking.
For a very long time I was terrified of cream blushes, I didn't know what would be the best way to apply them so they would look natural and lumping a bunch of cream product onto my cheeks seemed like a daunting task, so I just stuck to good old powders. But after a bit of trial and area [and cheeks that were worthy of clown status] I feel much more confident when it comes to cream blushes and they have fast become my favourite way to blush - they provide a more natural appearance and last a bit longer than the powder counterparts.
So who would have thought that a whole year later my little blog would be one year old!? It is crazy to think that one year ago today I pushed publish on my first ever post and 315 posts later, here I am! I'm immensely proud (and so surprised!) how much my blog has grown and the reception it gets puts a big ol' smile on my face on the daily. I remember getting my first comment from Charley and being over the moon that someone all the way over in the UK had read my little blog. Even now I get excited by every single comment I get and aim to reply to all of them! Creativity wise, it's been an amazing outlet for me; the photography, the editing and the writing giving me a break from writing essays and doing university work. I've also just about doubled my makeup and nail polish collection, my bank account hates me and the local courier knows my house pretty darn well.
So as a HUGE thank you to all you wonderful people out there I wanted to put together a few items to give away to one of you!
By now you must know that I love shopping online, and more than that I love shopping online via. US sites. Now with having the services of YouShop it makes it a lot easier to shop overseas and get a lot of different products to NZ that we would otherwise never be able to get here. I'd come across Drugstore.com and Beauty.com a while back but finally took the plunge to make an order after reading Laura's haul she did from the site.
Both sites are connected by one checkout cart, so you can shop across them both with Beauty.com having higher end products (Smashbox, NARS, Urban Decay etc) and Drugstore.com with the cheaper 'drugstore' items (Maybelline, Wet N Wild, Revlon etc). They have got everything so I really had to restrain myself from not buying all the things and I whittled it down to some items I have had my eye on for a while.
If you're a reader of CM, you would have already seen this in my latest (and rather large) iHerb haul (here) where I promised a review with swatches of this e.l.f. Studio Beauty Book in Natural Look. I am a big fan of e.l.f. products and use many on a regular basis and considering how cheap they are, the quality is generally really good.
Pamplona Purple from OPI was actually one of the very first OPI nail polishes I bought and it definitely fueled an addiction to the brand soon after. I decided to give it a whirl on the nails again but had to add a bit of glitter just to spruce up the colour a bit.
If you've been a regular reader of CM, you would have heard me on a number of occasions exclaim my dislike for lip gloss - well now I think I need to eat my words as I am finally getting into gloss. To be honest I was not expecting those words to come out of my mouth (or from my brain to my fingers typing this), but yes it is true; I've been dabbling in some lip gloss action and really enjoying it.
Benefit have got to be the makeup brand that do the best mini products, in the cutest kits. I am a huge fan of these things, as it is a great way to try out decent sized samples of the products to see if you actually like them. This particular set, named Primping With The Stars, says that it is the All-Time Greatest 'Fake-Its' Kit and it comes with six deluxe sample products (including two of my faves - POREfessional and They're Real). I have included links to the US Benefit website with the US prices, as well as the NZ prices if you want to purchase the products at Smith & Caugheys.
As a nail polish-a-holic, my nails and surrounding nail beds get pretty dry and damaged, so I need a hand cream that is super nourishing and moisturising as soon as I rub it into my hands and I think I have found a new favourite in the Linden Leaves Herbalist Hand & Nail Treatment*.
You probably know by now I can't resist a cheap bargain, so when I saw The Warehouse had $6 Revlon polishes, you know I had to grab a few! I really like the Revlon polishes and they make up quite a large chunk of my nail polish collection, they have a great colour range and have pretty good formulas - generally on the thin side and usually need two coats for them to be opaque.
If you are a regular reader of CM you will know that I love a good beauty box, and when I was contacted by Lust Have It to try out their Women's Beauty Box* service I jumped right on board as I am a sucker for these things. I had a heard a bit about Lust Have It after watching Chloe Morello talk about her own box that you can buy one off from the site, but I was totally unaware that they shipped outside Australia, so us NZ girls can enjoy this service as well!
If you are in NZ and are a beauty lover, you need to sign up to be apart of Beauty Review*, it is a great online community where you can read and review products, chat to other like-minded people in the forums and also get the chance to get product to trial and then review. I've talked about it a bit more in depth on my past Rewards Vault haul here. BR opened up the Rewards Vault for the second time around in May where they had a whole bunch of various products you could get using the points you accumulate for participating on the site.
Max Factor is a brand that I have really not tried much of at all, and only recently did I discover that actually Max Factor and Covergirl are basically just the same thing, where Max Factor is UK based and Covergirl is America/Canada based - hands up who knew that! So actually I have technically tried a lot of Max Factor as I really like Covergirl products (especially their mascaras!)
We can get both brand here in NZ (how very spoilt of us), and when this foundation got released a few months ago Farmers had it on offer for $20, down from its original price of $30. I've been using it a lot, so much so that I only have about a quarter of it left, so it is about time I actually shared some thoughts and opinions on this foundation.
This is just a quick PSA to share with you a guest post I wrote for an amazing blog - Laura Laura. When Laura contacted me and asked me to do a What's In My Bag post I was over the moon and so excited to even be included on her blog, as it's pretty darn amazing. She is a fellow New Zealand gal and blogs about all things lifestyle related with recipes, DIYs, cafe reviews and the odd beauty bits as well - she's got it all!
So if you'd like a squizz inside my day to day bag click on the link right here to have a read and go give it some love!
Art Deco is a fairly new brand to me. Last month I blogged about their eyeshadows and (pretty amazing) magnetic beauty boxes and since then I have been browsing the Art Deco stand everytime I am in Farmers. One particular thing that really caught my eye was this gorgeous Bronzing Glow Blusher and I won't lie, the packaging had me sold!
It is no secret, I love e.l.f. products and one place I love to shop from is iHerb, as they have great prices and cheap shipping worldwide. Their e.l.f. selection has just grown and you can get pretty much everything from the brand via. iHerb, so in this particular order I went a little crazy and brought quite a bit of stuff...
So these Take A Peek posts are becoming a bit of a tradition on CM, with installment numero four coming at you today. This was the makeup I packed when I traveled up to Auckland late in May (blogged about it here) and naturally it was hard to narrow the makeup choices down, so I ended up with a rather hefty makeup bag. I was away for five days, so surely it's justified right...?
First off, this nail polish just screams Autumn/Winter to me. I love these polishes that are so dark they look almost black and deep plums are so on point for the colder months.
So it seems like MAC have been churning out the limited editions collections over the past few months, and it is safe to say they have got me sucked right in. My MAC obsession is in full force right now and I find it hard to tear myself away from the website (and to not spend all of my money). I am not a huge fan of the Osbournes, although I do love Kelly on Fashion Police, but when I saw what this collection looked like I knew I was going to need to buy at least one thing. I felt quite restraint when the collection was released in the US and only added three items into my cart and got them to me via. YouShop.
To finish up my monthly wrap up for June, here are all the products that I emptied out in June. The majority of it is skincare as I seem to churn through that stuff and only a couple makeup items, but seeing as I mostly talk makeup and nails on CM, it is nice to chat skincare for a change! Also note, most of these products have been used over a course of months, not just in June; that'd just be bonkers to get through all this in 30 days!