Saturday, May 3, 2014

April Favourites

With April done and dusted, we're edging closer to the middle of the year. I feel that in no time at all, Christmas music will be playing over the speakers in shopping centres once again. As the Game of Thrones saying goes, winter is coming, a particularly apt premonition on this gloomily overcast day as icy wind howls outside and I'm rugged up in a hoodie and very unhip men's polar fleece jacket from Kmart. April was chugging along nicely (and more leisurely than normal, with two consecutive long weekends thanks to public holidays), my respiratory issues seemed to be clearing up after I was prescribed an inhaler, I was still trying to eat better, avoid junk food and move more, until we received some unexpected family news. Now and then, something abruptly awakens you from the autopilot of daily life, and forces you to take a step back and reassess what's important. Sudden loss can be a potent reminder of everything we take for granted and have to be grateful for.

Lucas' Papaw Ointment
I know I once described this as "upgraded Vaseline", but I have a much kinder take on it now. My interest was rekindled after I saw a large tub of this on the coffee table of my friend's place when I was visiting. She loves the stuff and always carries a smaller tube around in her handbag. I do find it provides relief to dry, chapped lips better than other petroleum-based lip balms like Nivea Lip Butter. One unconventional use I have for it is smoothing a generous layer over my lips after applying my foundation in the mornings, waiting a minute or so, then wiping it all off with a tissue. I always find remnant foundation gets on my lips as I'm applying and blending it all over my face, leaving them looking pale and chalky. The Lucas' Papaw Ointment, with its clear, slightly thick but smooth texture, sinks into my lips, manages to take away all traces of foundation after I remove it with a tissue, but also leaves my lips soft and hydrated after.

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in 02 Apricot Shimmer
I could've easily included this in my recent Shop My Stash, since it's a product I neglected for no apparent reason. I have written a full review, and while it is probably a little overhyped for what it is (though mainly due to its elevated price tag and my existing excess of lip products), it's still a beautifully made lip gloss/balm that I enjoy using. I've been making a conscious effort to include it in my bag if I'm going out so I reach for it more. The elegant, feminine packaging is visually pleasing, the caramel/cupcake scent is delicious, and it feels luxuriously plush and comfortable on the lips. My only complaint is the colour (or lack of) — it's fairly pale and milky, and lighter than my natural lip colour, so not the most flattering look.

Essie Shine of the Times over Revlon Gumdrop

Essie Shine of the Times
I just raved about this, so at the risk of repeating myself, I could hardly take this off my nails the whole month. The only glitter top coat I'd rate as on par with Shine of the Times is China Glaze Snow Globe. Everything else can't quite compare.

Sukin Cream Cleanser
I finally used this 125ml pump bottle up after purchasing it during Priceline's 40% off skin care sale in late July last year. My skin has been acting up for inexplicable reasons, so I ditched my more drying, foaming Antipodes Juliet Skin-Brightening Gel Cleanser for something gentler. Apart from some mild paranoia about the shea butter in this potentially exacerbating my spots, I figured it's only going on temporarily and being washed off immediately after, so there shouldn't be any major issues. (Not to mention the actual moisturisers I use containing shea butter, which I don't seem to be as concerned about.) This feels really nourishing and nurturing on the skin and never leaves it feeling tight or craving moisture afterwards. I would say it's very comparable to more expensive cream cleansers from the likes of Trilogy or Antipodes, but at a much more affordable price point. I would repurchase, though preferably during another of Priceline's 40% off sales.

Archipelago Botanicals Caramel Soy Candle
My favourite discovery of April. I was casually browsing David Jones after a doctor's appointment and feeling prepared to treat myself to something. I was contemplating the new Glasshouse Birds of a Feather Pink Lemonade candle, or splurging on a Gascoigne & King Paddington candle, but then I turned around and saw the Archipelago stand. Not expecting anything, I gave their candles a cursory whiff and found myself pleasantly surprised. These were big, prominent scents that you could really smell. None of that subtle, faded, barely-there stuff. I was tempted by the unusual Wasabi Mint and the gloriously floral Peony, but in the end, it had to be Caramel. It hooked me instantly. Warm, inviting, full-bodied but not sickly. And there was a toastiness and slight popcorn note in there that made all the difference. It had the most significant throw of any candle I've tried and the scent lingered in my room the next day.

Inglot Freedom System Eyeshadow Pearl 402

l-r: L'Oréal Tender Caramel, Inglot 402, Maybelline Bad to the Bronze

Inglot Freedom System Eyeshadow Pearl 402
When Michelle of Eat Paint Sniff Glue declares she could be faithful to this one eyeshadow for the rest of her days, I pay attention. Naturally, when I stumbled across an Inglot counter on a rare trip to Bondi Junction Westfield, I couldn't leave without snapping Pearl 402 up. A single eyeshadow pan was $10, so I opted not to purchase the case it comes in for an additional $9. It makes storage a bit tricky, but until I get my hands on a Z Palette, I'm keeping it the right way up in its original box.

As for the shadow itself, it's one of those effortless, throw on, all-over lid neutrals, of which I have plenty, but another one in the mix never hurts. Especially not when it's as well-executed as this one is. My first experience with Inglot shadows doesn't disappoint — all the typical adjectives apply: smooth, buttery, highly pigmented. Minimal fallout. L'Oréal Infallible eyeshadow in Tender Caramel is more frosty and aggressively shimmery, cooler, with a lilac undertone. Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze is darker, more taupey and metallic in finish. 402 has more of a subdued satin finish and subtle rosy/mauve tones that give it extra warmth, though on my lids it still leans relatively grey/cool. It's probably everything I was hoping MAC Satin Taupe would be.


  1. I'm sorry to hear about the rough month you've had. I hope you're doing okay! On a lighter note - that nail polish looks freaking incredible.

    Sarah | More Than Adored

  2. I recently dropped my MAC's Satin Taupe in the bathroom and it is now completely shattered - I have a case of the butter fingers, I guess. This Inglot eyeshadow looks lovely! I've never tried any Inglot products before, but I might give them a go. :)

    I'm very sorry for the bad news, I hope your doing okay!
    Sending some love to down under,

    Nina xx

    Nina in the Spring | Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

  3. That candle sounds like it smells absolutely delicious, I haven't smelt any of their candles yet. That eyeshadow looks absolutely gorgeous! I hope you and your family are feeling better after the bad news.

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

  4. Sorry to hear about all You've going through. Hopefully May wll be kinder for You :) Sukin cream cleanser got my interest. It sounds like a really good cleanser.

  5. Sorry to hear about your loss, hope you're okay.
    The Caramel candle sounds gorgeous! And that Essie polish is absolutely stunning.

    Jess xo

  6. I want that eyeshadow *__* I have 7 empty spots to fill in my 10 pan inglot palette (which has been neglected, but I'm thinking about getting more colours like the one shown here...inglot eyeshadows are so nice! a really affordable alternative to MAC)
    And I'm curious about that cream cleanser :3 I've truly converted to cream and oil cleansers.
    I hope that may gets to be an awesome month for you!
    Take care*

  7. Your writing is so beautiful, a real joy to read. I love the look of that Inglot shadow, knowing me it is already inside one of my many neglected palettes that I need to show more love to!

  8. My condolences, hope you are feeling okay.
    I have ditched my Lucas Papaw in favour of Lanolip's Golden Ointment which I find hydrates my lips much more better! The Essie nail polish is absolutely gorgeous, definitely a stunning way to spruce up a plain coloured nail polish! Inglot 402 looks so pretty, definitely a shade I would love and reach for everyday- love how you still leave it in its original packaging!

  9. Sorry to hear about the loss in your family. I've suffered a similar one this year so I understand how you feel. <3

    I'm still trying to figure out my feelings for the Clarins Lip Perfector - it's lovely but definitely overhyped. I always seem to get BB cream/foundation on the top of my lip as well, I just rub it away afterwards, haha. x

  10. I quoted Winter Is Coming in my draft!! Today we got a cold snap and it's hitting single digits tonight. Almost unheard of during Brisbane autumn. I've been loving Lucas' Papaw too- little bit goes a looong way and it's better than Nivea chapstick by a mile. I'm trying a Yankee 'Happy Birthday' Vanilla Cupcake candle at the moment and it's alright but I think Glasshouse have better throw. I've looked for an Inglot stand in Brisbane but we don't have any. :(

    So sorry to hear about family tragedy. Hope you're coping.

  11. Noooo Christmas music! On the upside, that polish looks great.

    Check out my website for 4 FREE things for clearer skin, what's on my beauty shelf, one trick to grow healthy long hair and more!



  12. The nail polish combination is lovely and those inglot eyeshadows are beautiful!


  13. Such a good mix of products! I have recently gotten my hands on the Pai Camellia and rose hydrating cleanser! quite enjoying it inspite of the heat!

  14. I've been scouring ebay for Shine of the Times since I read your review. It's so magical on your nails! The inglot shadow looks gorgeous. I haven't tried anything from Inglot yet, but I hear good things!

  15. Such lovely products! I especially love the Essie shine of times polish and antipodes skin brightening cleanser :) I have been using mine lots and really notice a difference in my skin! I also need to get that Essie polish its gorgeous! xx
    Real Techniques Core Collection Giveaway

  16. I want more Inglot eyeshadows in my life!


  17. Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector also ended up among my faves last month. :)

  18. April was gone in a flash light for me as well.. sorry for the bad news, hope you're doing okay! :)
    I love INGLOT eye shadows as they are very good and affordable ( not in Germany though as they cost €9 each. But I always get it in Poland , one single eye shadow costs €2,40 !! ).

    I feel the same about the Clarins lip perfector! it is a good product,very hydrating and smells so yummy, only the color is not the most flattering. that's why I usually apply it at night.

  19. Hey gorgeous, I was just browsing through and stumbled upon your blog - You have a lovely blog with interesting posts! I followed you via gfc - keep in touch :) xoxo

  20. I've always wanted to try Lucas Pawpaw Ointment! I'm sorry to hear about the loss in your family -- fingers crossed that May brings lots of happy things :)

  21. Inglot 402 is absolutely gorgeous! I still have yet to try Inglot eyeshadows but when I do, I know 402 will be part of my palette. xx
    Celina | The Celution | Bloglovin’

  22. Sorry to hear of the loss in your family. I like the sound of that candle, I will have to search David Jones for it.

    Laura | Breton & Blush

  23. Hope you and your family are doing ok!
    I love how gentle Sukin's cleansers are, glad you're enjoying that one. That Essie polish is so gorgeous! That INGLOT shadow looks very nice too, although I do love me a good taupe-y brown like L'oreals Tender Caramel.

    Sheri | Behind The Frames

  24. Ahah upgraded vaseline. That's exactly how I see Paw Paw cream ointment. I really don't like the smell of it!

    I was standing there umm-ing and ahh-ing over the Sukin cleanser yesterday but I didn't pick it up, thinking that I don't need another cleanser! But it sounds pretty good - I might give it a go.

  25. That Papaw ointment tube looks so cute haha. I wanted it so bad but I don't know where to get it so I went for Homeoplasmine instead (maybe the French version of Papaw, idk honestly). All your nail photographs are so beautiful and that's quite a pro skill you have there on painting nails. And Oh My God you have a caramel candle! I can't imagine how heavenly that smells. You're making me jealous haha :)

  26. I am sorry to hear about the loss in your family. These events always remind us to be appreciative and to love more.
    I can't get over the beautiful finish of Essie polish. If I end up snagging a bottle, I will publicly blame you (and Liz). LOL.
    Have a wonderful week! :)

  27. I hope that May brings you lots of happiness, sending lots of well wishes your way <3

    Shine of the times is incredibly beautiful, I can absolutely see why you love it so much!

    Jennie xo |

  28. Sorry to hear of your loss, hope things look up for you in May!
    I actually don't mind the Nivea Lip Butters, though I agree that they leave a white caste and don't quite sink in. I mainly use it before bed (and overlook the flaws due to its scrumptious scent).
    I think I need that candle! I almost wish you hadn't planted that seed, but I'm already imagining how lovely my room is going to smell... Ugh, so torn!

    Chloe x | Resolution6

  29. Sorry for your loss, hope you and your family are OK xxx
    I do want to go and find a soy caramel candle now - why don't we have such things in the UK?!

    Evelyn @ We Were Raised By Wolves

  30. OMG! LOVE the combination of Essie and Revlon nail polishes on your nails!! So pretty!!

  31. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I hope you are okay. *hugs and kisses*

  32. Sorry to hear about the unfortunate family news, I hope you're alright. *hug*
    I adore your favourites, though. That manicure is stunning!

  33. I'm sorry to hear of you loss! I hope you're alright, be strong.
    This post is amazing, and the products are lovely. And literally, I can't take my eyes off that brilliant nail polish! Your nails are so perfect, and with that nail polish, they look simply stunning!
    I posted a nail review on my blog, if you want to check that out.
    Kisses and hugs,

  34. Inglot shadows are incredible. They sometimes work out cheaper than local highstreet eyeshadows which is cray zee.

    Sorry to hear of sad news
    With love from England

    AmBlog | Life, Beauty & Anything In Between.

  35. I'm sorry to hear about your loss, I hope you are doing better.
    I've neglected my Clarins Natural Lip Perfector for no apparent reason too, so thanks for reminding me! ;)

  36. So sorry to hear you're having a rough month! Hope you are well now!
    Unrelated note... Shine of the Times is my favourite :) x


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