Social Networking Update

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I Read Therefore I Am is now on Pinterest and Google+! In the age of connectivity, it seems like there are a myriad of social mediums we can use to be connected to one another. Unfortunately, WordPress hasn’t added a Pinterest Widget yet so for now I have to add the button to each post by hand (tedious!). Hopefully this is in the pipeworks as we speak…

What is Pinterest? It’s a virtual pinboard – a way of organising ideas, inspiration and interests, and sharing information with others. If you want to add a Pin It button to your page, go to Pinterest/Goodies and scroll down till you find the appropriate section. If you like one of my posts, click the ‘Pin It’ button at the bottom of the post to add it to your Pinboard.

My new Google+ page can be seen here. I’m still pretty new to the whole platform, so there may be some bumps along the way while I get the hang of it. But I’m finally joining two of the biggest social networking sites around! The only thing left really is Twitter, and I can’t bring myself to get that…

xx

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Lip Loving

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Just like the LBD, there are certain items in your makeup wardrobe that are just essentials – if you don’t already have them, you must be looking for them. In the lip department, I’d say that includes a nude and a classic red.

Now there are lots of different reds (and I will have a more detailed post just on reds, I promise!) but you should always have at least one! When it comes to nudes, its even worse! Everyone has different coloured lips, and therefore different nude shades that will work for them. Another factor to consider is your skin tone – if you’re tanned and pick a nude shade that’s too light, you may give yourself ‘jizz lips’ which are completely horrendous and a crime against makeup.

On to the products:

L-R: Laura Mercier Lip Colour in Truly Red (AUD 45.00), YSL Rouge Volupte in No. 3 Ultimate Beige (AUD 55.00)

I have been a long time admirer of YSL’s lipstick range. They have quite a few lip product lines, but Rouge Volupte is definitely the best. The colour is creamy, opaque and long lasting. It can go a bit dry on me after 3 or so hours and tends to bleed a little because of the creaminess, but I still love it! Loooooooooove! If I could, I’d buy all the Rouge Voluptes, but I’m slowly adding them to my collection.

This is my first product from Laura Mercier. I originally wanted YSL Rouge Volupte in No. 18 Red Taboo, but it wasn’t in stock so I decided to try a new brand instead. Laura Mercier has been in Australia for quite a while, but isn’t as popular as other international brands. It is available at Myer and DJs in the city, and Bella Hart in Subiaco. The price range is similar to NARS.

I’m loving this lipstick – its a bright, true red (ie. not excessively blue or yellow-based) which makes it very versatile. As with all reds, it should be worn with lipliner and applied carefully to prevent feathering. The wear time is excellent. I am definitely excited to try more Laura Mercier stuff.

I’m very pleased with my purchases. Buying an unfamiliar product is always a bit of a risk, but the payoff is usually greater too. I also love the luxe look of both the lipstick bullets, especially the Rouge Volupte’s gold casing. If you’re spending $55 on a product, you don’t want it to look like you got it from Priceline. I would certainly recommend both these products to anyone as a great investment.

xx

The quickest animal-print manicure ever

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This is just a quick and easy mani that you can do when you want something fun on your nails!

All I did was apply a black crackle topcoat above some orange polish and voila! Tiger nails!

Ok obviously these are pretty basic, but they’ll work in a pinch. I loved the effect of the black on orange. For this look, I used Maybelline Rapid Xpress polish in Sunset Prism and  The Face Shop’s black crackle topcoat.

Happy Monday! x

3 Easy, Natural Steps to Shiny Hair

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A post I’ve been meaning to write for ages! Now, I have to state a disclaimer up front – nothing I’m saying is based on peer-reviewed clinical trials or evidence based guidelines. This is just my personal haircare experience, and I have tried a lot of stuff over the years! Everything I’m suggesting will certainly not harm your hair, so don’t be afraid to give it a try even if you’re unsure if it will give you the same results as me.

Step 1


What to use: 1 part apple cider vinegar + 8 parts water, a plastic cup

How to do it: dilute the apple cider vinegar before or while you’re in the shower. Wash your hair with shampoo first, then carefully pour the vinegar solution over your hair (including the scalp). Wait for 2 minutes, then rinse well with water (no conditioner required). Your hair will still smell vinegar-y until it dries and the vinegar evaporates off. Repeat every 4th or 5th wash.

Why you should do it: the sulfur-based ingredients in hair products are alkaline and raise the pH of the scalp, which can cause dandruff and greasy, heavy hair. Ever noticed that a great hair product seems to get less effective with time? Apple cider vinegar helps return the pH of the scalp to normal and also removes the build-up of products which makes hair lank and greasy. Do this once, and you’ll notice your hair is lighter and much shinier.

ps. if you have acne, use the leftover apple cider vinegar solution to wash your face! its great for getting rid of blemishes. just don’t get any in your eyes!

Step 2

What to use: cold, cold water

How to do it: after shampooing and conditioning, flip your hair over and hold your head underneath the faucet while running the water as cold as possible. This is sometimes called the ‘Arctic Rinse’. While under the faucet, run your fingers downwards along your hair to smooth it. I recommend waiting until you’ve finished your shower so you can hop out and get some clothes on asap to avoid hypothermia.

Why you should do it: heat makes hair rough. The same is true for hot water, just as it is for using a straightener or curling tong. The hot water can help conditioner penetrate your hair strands, but it leaves hair looking frayed. The cold water helps smooth down the protein coating hair strands to make them look smoother and shinier.

Step 3

What to use: oil (not the type in the picture!) – argan, coconut, hibiscus, macadamia, grapeseed, olive, gooseberry….

How to do it: pour out a small bit of oil (the amount depends on the length and volume of your hair) into your palm, and rub your hands together. Gently work the oil through your hair, starting at the ends. The majority of the oil should be deposited at the ends. If you have long hair, don’t apply further up than your shoulders. If you have short hair,  apply it to the tips only. For deeper penetration, wrap your hair in a warm towel for 30 minutes. This can be done to dry or damp hair.

Why you should do it: why do guidos oil their bodies and lie on the Jersey Shore? ‘Cos it makes them shiny! Just don’t overdo it (again, guidos should tell you why this is a bad idea) because your hair will go from shiny to greasy to gross very quickly. Using oil is like putting waterproof moisturiser in your hair, and it usually makes it smell nicer too! Warning: do not apply oil and immediately use a heated tool on your hair! It will fry like Canadian bacon. Mmm…crispy.

I would really encourage you guys to try these 3 steps out. They’re easy and super cheap, and they’ve made a huge difference in the quality of my hair. You can get expensive branded clarifying shampoos (eg. bumble and bumble Sunday shampoo) or oil serums (eg. Moroccan oil) but honestly, the stuff from the supermarket works just as well and sometimes even better!

Good luck on your hair journeys, dear readers!

xx

Makeup Look: Easter Garden

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Happy Chocolate Day! Actually, Easter Sunday is tomorrow but its never too early for chocolate. I haven’t put up a makeup look for a while but I did this one about two months ago and forgot to put it up!

This look is fun and cute – its a good way of experimenting with colour without going crazy. Hope you enjoy it!

1: After applying primer, use a flat shader brush to apply a shimmery pale pink colour to the lid.

2: Apply a shimmering lilac shadow to the crease and sweep it into the middle 1/3 of the  eye. If you wish to add more shape, use a medium brown with a pencil brush in the outer corner. Blend out the colours so no harsh edges remain.

3: Use a pencil brush to sweep a peach-gold colour over the inner 2/3 of the lower lashline. Use the same lilac colour used in the crease on the outer 1/3 of the lower lashline. Highlight the inner tearduct area with a white-gold colour.

4: Use an emerald green eye pencil to line the waterline and the top lashline (hint: warm it up by rubbing it on the back of your hand before application). Use a clean eyeliner brush to gently soften the line. Then, curl lashes and apply mascara.

5: Finish up with a light dusting of bronzer and a sweet pink blush. Apply a peach lip colour and add some clear lip gloss for some extra shine.

Hope you enjoyed this one! As I did it so long ago, I can’t remember the products I used, but you don’t need to use the same as me anyway! Hope everyone is having a happy and relaxing Easter long weekend. I’ll be at the hospital on Easter Sunday night for my very first delivery shift – perhaps I might even deliver a baby! Exciting!

x

 

Mini-MAC shopping spree!

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The last 18 months of MAC collections haven’t been too impressive, and honestly I wasn’t very taken with the Shop MAC, Cook MAC collection either. But I saw this palette online and loved all the colours, so….

The Call Me Bubbles eyeshadow palette contains 4 full-size MAC eyeshadows in their new packaging. It has a clear top with a magnetic lock, which is a huge improvement on their previous ones which fell open all the time!

The cardboard slip cover is the only real collection-only feature, otherwise the palette looks just like a standard MAC quad.

L-R: Call Me Bubbles (satin), Fresh Daily (frost), Full of Flavour (matte), Brash (Velux Pearl)

I love the colour combination but I’m not that impressed with the quality of the shadows, in particular with Full of Flavour. Unfortunately MAC’s matte colours are a bit of hit and miss, and this one is definitely a miss unless you are willing to spend time packing on the colour. The standout shade is clearly Brash, which is unsurprising as Veluxe Pearls are generally regarded as MAC’s best eyeshadow formula. The colour is incredibly rich and buttery soft copper, and can be worn alone on the lid. The Call Me Bubbles palette is available from MAC for AUD 75.00.

The other goodies I picked up were two Pro Longwear eyeshadows – One to Watch and Carefree – and a Cranberry eyeshadow pan. Pro Longwear eyeshadows were added last year into MAC’s US permanent line, and they are meant to wear for 8-10 hours. I haven’t tested this out yet.

L-R: One to Watch, Carefree

The Pro Longwears are quite a bit larger than a normal MAC eyeshadow, and give more than double the amount of product. They aren’t available in Australia anymore 😦 I love both these colours. One to Watch isn’t showing up that well in the photo, but in real life is is a reddish-plum brown with soft bronze shimmer that would be great for everyday looks. Carefree is a butter colour with gold shimmer, which would look amazing used in the inner eye and as a highlight. It could even be used as a face highlight to give a nice candlelit glow.

Normal MAC eyeshadow (1.3g) vs MAC Pro Longwear (3.4g)

 Cranberry is one of those colours that all MAC-lovers either have or want! Its a universally flattering ‘reddish plum with pink shimmer‘ that can be worn a hundred different ways. I’ve been admiring it for years, and I’m glad that I can finally cross it off my shopping list! It has amazing colour payoff and I can’t wait to wear it!

Hope you enjoyed this little post! Happy weekend!

x

New Haircut!

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On Wednesday, I went for my annual haircut. If you know me personally, you know my hair is totally boring – its long and straight and stubbornly refuses to be anything else. I’ve had a fringe before, and it turned out to be very high maintenance. But I was dying to try something new, so I opted to go for a long side fringe that would frame my face but could easily be pinned back when I couldn’t deal with it.

(Please ignore messy kitchen background)

As you can see, I kept most of my length (got it evened out) and added some bangs at the front. I really like having something to frame my face, because straight hair tends to  lie flat against the scalp in a very unattractive way. I still need to train the new fringe to come across my forehead, which is why it’s not very visible in the photos.

One more bonus pic:

“WHYYYY is straight hair so hard to style!!?”

Getting a new chop is the perfect way to feel good about yourself in an instant! Thank you, brother, for taking these photos.

x

Makeup Haul: NYX Cosmetics

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In case you didn’t know, glitter is BIG right now! If I had unlimited resources, I would be online buying out the whole range of Lit Cosmetics glitters right now…but unfortunately, better sense has prevailed. 😦

To satisfy my glitter fix, I turned to NYX Cosmetics. This is a popular budget makeup line available in the USA, which a lot of great products (including a huge eyeshadow colour range!). I got my stash from eBay, but you can also find them online at Crush Cosmetics.

L-R: Crystal, Hot Gold, Disco Ball, Purple, Apple, Blue

Normal Light

With Flash

Blurred to show the holographic effect

So pretty! If only I’d had these babies for my New Year’s Resolution look!The only problem is that I still haven’t found a decent glitter adhesive since the glitter craze hasn’t really broken upon Aussie shores yet. 😦 So far I’ve tried using water (crazy fallout), clear lipgloss (smeared everywhere) and lash glue (….eyelid got stuck in the open position).

The one thing I don’t like about these glitters are that apart from Blue, they are all quite chunky and gritty. Blue is fine milled like I would expect from cosmetic glitter. I’m a bit worried I might scratch my skin or eye applying or removing these.

I also got some NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils:

Normal light

Blended out

So far I am loving these! Especially Milk and Mocha. I’m using Milk almost on a daily basis for my brow highlight base, and Mocha is great for on the lid. I haven’t tried to wear these without a powder eyeshadow over the top, so I can’t comment on wear time, but as I use them they seem to last all day. The packaging is great as well – no sharpening required, just wind up the pencil at the base!

I also picked up some Soft Matte Lip Creams, which I have been eyeing forever! A matte red lip colour is kind of like a LBD for your beauty wardrobe so I’m really glad I finally have one.

I did take some photos with these on my lips but they turned out so gross that I couldn’t bear to use them! Don’t worry, they’ll be featured in future looks for sure! Monte Carlo is a gorgeous deep blue-red, and San Paulo is a brightened pastel yellow-cream. I love them both (although I was surprised how bright San Paulo is in real life). They go on creamy but then dry down to a matte finish. I had some application issues with both though, as it is quite hard to get an even application. With all matte lippies, these ones show up any dryness or flakiness on your lips.

Finally, since I bought so much stuff, the seller threw in a freebie:

I was really excited when I saw this because the colour looked beautiful in the tube. Unfortunately, when applied, it gives me undead grey-white lips. Ew.

It was great to experience a new brand, and I’m impressed with the quality of NYX given its cost. I hope I find a good glitter adhesive soon so I can start using them!

x

Tropical Marbled Nails

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Hi everyone, I know I have been the worst when it comes to continuity! The sudden decrease in spare time and increase in energy expenditure caught me completely off guard BUT I do love blogging and I promise to be more punctual with posts from now on!

Here’s some photographic evidence of my attempt to try nail marbling. I chose tropical colours to help me stay in the summer mood.

If you have tried marbling before, you’ll know how time consuming it is! This process took me a good 80 mins, which is why this is my first and only attempt so far. Clearly, its far from perfect – the white base is still peeking through and there is some smudging from when I applied a top coat.

To do this manicure, I used:

  • Essie Blanc (base coat)
  • NYC Sunshine
  • Essie Vermillionnaire 
  • Skin Food Vita Nail Hot Pink

This technique does use up a lot of polish so I wouldn’t use my favourite treasured limited edition colours for this. Also, the thinner the polish, the easier it is to manipulate so keep that in mind when you’re selecting colours. I didn’t bother to film/photograph this attempt, but if you just can’t wait for me to try then check out cutepolish‘s video below:

(If you love quirky and cute manis then subscribe to cutepolish on Youtube!)

It’s good to be back! Stay tuned for much more fun stuff, dear readers!

xx

Revlon’s New Leading Ladies

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Hotties Emma Stone (left) and Olivia Wilde (right) are the new faces of Revlon. Frankly, I’m thrilled with the choices. Halle Berry, Jessica Biel and Jessica Alba have been excellent brand ambassadors but it is definitely time for a change.

Emma Stone is my new style icon – I know that she and I look completely different but every time I see her I am completely blown away by her effortless, classic style. LOVE! So I guess it’s no surprise that I also love Ms. Stone’s new print ads. She looks amazing!

Hopefully this inspires all you redheads to embrace peach and coral – they are your friends!

Olivia has a very beautiful face with nice, high cheekbones and an angular jaw. Unfortunately, her print ad for the Revlon ColorStay eyeshadow quads makes her look a tad…tranny. I don’t know how else to put it! The harsh eyebrows with the 80s-style shimmery blue shadow and the pouty lips do not make a pretty picture! Hopefully Revlon will be able to capture Olivia’s true beauty in their next campaign.

And speaking of new, have you heard of Revlon’s newest cult product? ColorStay Lip Butters are a ‘buttery balm with beautiful shiny color to give you baby soft, healthy glowing lips’. Beauty insiders all over the world have been raving about these babies…except down in Australia because they haven’t been released here yet! Don’t jump to despair though! The official word is that they will be here by April! I have a feeling my wallet is going to take a beating…

xo

 

Images sourced from Celebuzz.