Sunday, 29 June 2014

So, it's been a while...

Source: what jess does next // a few shots from instagram 
I decided to take a few days away from blogging to get over a nasty virus and get ready for exams and before I knew it nearly a month had passed without a post appearing here on What Jess Does Next. It was never intentional but out of nowhere my life 'to-do' list spiralled out of control. A busy period of assessments then illness then exams and then training at my new jobs (more on that later!) meant that I didn't have time to sit down to write and photograph a post let alone enjoy the mid year sales! But thankfully all of that has settled down and I am getting back into the blogging groove. 

When I last blogged I had returned from a trip to Melbourne and filled you in on what I had bought down there and let you know that I had eaten up a storm. The food-filled travelogue post will be coming soon! Just looking through the photos and remembering what we gobbled up has made my mouth water! 

And while I haven't been enjoying the end of financial year sales too much I did pick up a few bits and bobs while out and about recently, as well as a fabulous online purchase so you can expect my reviews and raves to come very soon. Hint: they are all things beauty! 

Mid year holidays also mean that for a few short weeks I don't have to worry about uni work and endless textbook readings but get to enjoy reading for pleasure again. I was a mega-bookworm growing up and really hate that my uni workload has got in the way of reading over the past few years. I was one of those people who was late to jump on the bandwagon for TFIOS, despite constant protests from friends, and after seeing the film which I loved I finally got my nose stuck into the book. One day later and it was all read! A bunch of book recommendations will also be coming at you soon! I would love to hear if you have any as well. 

So besides getting over a very nasty virus, studying my butt off for exams and reading never ending uni articles I have managed to land myself two jobs. One in retail and one in an office setting, similar to what I was doing previously. It is such a relief to be employed again after months of not being able to find a job that was able to fit in around my uni commitments. Job opportunities in Sydney are few and far between so I am very lucky to be working again. All my pennies are going straight towards replenishing my holiday account. 

I also caught up with a few friends who I first met in the UK who were visiting Sydney, checked out a cafe or two, have been enjoying the winter fashion and cooking up a storm. I farewelled my sister who jetted off to Mexico for a holiday, packed my room into boxes to start renovations and today I ate my way throughout the good food and wine show!  Lots of posts coming your way, thanks for sticking around! Catch you all soon! 

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Rollup, Rollup! The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Comes To Town!

Source: what jess does next // Look what has taken up a place in my makeup collection 
The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes have been a thing of beauty that I have admired from afar for months. When they launched in the UK and received rave reviews from beauty bloggers and makeup lovers I was instantly hooked. They seemed to offer light and colour and shading in a natural way and I thought they would make a great replacement for my much loved MAC Star Wonder MSF blush which does much of the same and I have raved about before. They even made my wish list a few months ago as my one sided love affair with them continued! 

Well, I am very excited to announce that after all this time an Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush now holds a very prized place in my makeup collection! On my trip to Melbourne I bit the bullet and visited the Hourglass stand at Mecca in Myer on Bourke Street and had a bit of a drool over the amazing shades before getting a bit of a pamper from the sales assistant (who, again, I have naughtily forgotten the name of but she rocked an amazing red eyeshadow look right around the eyes and we again bonded over our love of UK beauty bloggers) and picking up one of my own. 
When I reviewed swatches and read some commentaries it was the shades Mood Infusion and Diffused Heat that caught all of my attention and lusting. They seemed to offer a pop of colour that was similar to the MAC Star Wonder, and I loved their plummy and pink shades. But after the assistant applied Dim Infusion to my cheeks everything I thought I knew and wanted changed and it was the warm apricot shade that made it home with me. 

The packaging is gorgeous, with a rosy gold plastic compact that offers a very satisfying click when closed. Though it is plastic it feels solid and secure, not at all cheap, and I have no fear of it getting crushed in my makeup bag. There is a god sized, and great quality, mirror in the lid which is rather handy. Even the packaging and luxury of its presentation makes it worth the $50 price tag and the product inside just adds to the value!

The blush itself has a lovely swirl of the bright apricot pigment (which does lean slightly pinkish but not in a bad way) with the dim light powder. The box it comes in says that it offers a 'truly multidimensional blush that enhances cheeks with seamless soft-focus colour, and a natural radiant finish', and I have to say that I totally agree. It feels soft and luxurious when applied to the cheeks and a light swirl picks up a great amount of colour. The colour is natural but you can still tell that there is a little sumin' sumin' going on, and it is easily built up for added brightness without going too chalky or messy. It is also free of paragons, talc, fragrance, nano particles and interestingly, gluten. 

I have been loving this blush and am glad to report that all of the rave reviews are spot on which is good, because my one sided love affair with this blush is now justified! 

Have you got any of these blushes? What makeup item are you lusting after? 

Tuesday, 27 May 2014


Source: what jess does next // MUJI makes its debut on my dresser...
Muji is a word that has instant associations with the cult status clear acrylic makeup storage containers that grace the bench tops of beauty bloggers and makeup mavens worldwide so you can imagine my surprise when I walked into the store in Melbourne Emporium, the only one in Australia, and was faced with everything from clothing to stationary, travel sized products and luggage. 

Over the past year or so my makeup collection has grown considerably and my drawer in the bathroom has quickly been filled to the brim. I have also paid more attention to sales and as soon as there is something on offer in Priceline I will be rushing in to stock up on spares and try stuff them into my sock drawer for storage. Well those problems will be no more! 

The brilliance of these beauties is that they seem to have something for everyone. Their various sizes and shapes mean that they can be adapted to each persons individual collection and needs, holding everything you need in endless combinations. I had previously picked up a small lipstick holder from Howards Storage World for over $30 - pretty steep! - but it has quickly been filled! Heading in I was keen to get a draw system and another larger lipstick holder and kept my eyes peeled as I made a beeline for the shelf. 

Sadly the lipstick holders were out of stock due the incredible demand, so I will have to hold out on that one. I did manage to get a wide two drawer system with a liftable lid. I chose the wider size as I can pile more in which is always a bonus. But it also means that my beauty products won't be shoved in or overcrowded and I can actually see what I want to get. 

As I couldn't get the lipstick holder I went for this tiered system which actually holds a fair amount! I thought that this would be a good option to hold some of my taller and longer lip products like my Clarins Instant Light and Rimmel Apocolips. It has been a great substitute for the lipstick holder I was hoping to pick up and is a great fit on my dresser. 

I found the prices to be rather reasonable. The wide drawer system was about $30 and the smaller tiered system was roughly $16, which is great value to me especially when they have a great reputation and other similar products can retail for higher prices. The products are incredible quality and I can see that not only will they stand up to all the use I will be putting them through but will look classic and nice on my dresser at the same time. 
The staff also gave me the heads up that a Muji store should be opening in Sydney some time next year which is fantastic news as they don't currently ship to Australia and the Melbourne store doesn't do online orders due to uncontrollable demand. 

I guess now I have these my beauty loving status is secured? Have you got any MUJI or what do you use to store your makeup? 

The print in the background is from EruptPrints on Etsy, purchased with my own money. It is great quality and they have lots of beautiful prints available! 

Monday, 26 May 2014

The Body Shop Beauties

Source: what jess does next // some of the beauties I picked up from TBS
A few weeks ago I enjoyed a bit of a trip down to Melbourne and tweaked the budget a bit to ensure I could go on a shopping rampage, and at the top of my 'Must Do List' was The Body Shop. There are stores in Sydney and even though I enjoy browsing I rarely buy anything. Whilst their products are not hugely expensive I can often find cheaper options but being on holiday is a great excuse to treat yourself and I knew exactly what beauties I wanted to get.

I went to the store on Collins Street and was blown away with the great service of the two staff members (whose names I have naughtily forgotten, but I think one was Nicola?) who gave me advice, information and assistance without being too pushy or overbearing. I got some great advice about the different skincare ranges and their targeted skin types, a sample to try of the Tea Tree Face Wash to know if I wanted to invest in it and we bonded over our love of British beauty bloggers and the limited edition raspberry body scrub which is yet to launch in Australia. It was such a pleasant experience! 

Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil // I have seen wonderful things about this product from Kate from gh0stparties and knew that it was something I wanted to give a go. The girls in the store explained that this is a makeup remover rather than just a normal face cleanser and is suitable for all skin types, which after trying myself I totally agree upon. I think that 'silky' is a brilliant way to describe this cleansing oil, as it is not too thick, heavy or sticky and spreads beautifully over the skin and feels soft and silky when applied. You shake the bottle before pressing the pump once to get just the right amount of product, and then rub it over the face to remove makeup and impurities. I can feel the makeup melt away under my fingertips when I use this and my skin feels not only clean but fresh. I follow up with a little bit of water to make it milky and make sure it has removed all my makeup before wiping away with a flannel. I love that it has a pump, preventing any mess, and the light scent is very pretty and feels a bit luxurious. This has become a staple in my skin care regime and I follow up with my ordinary cleaner in the shower, topping off with the rest of my usual lineup. 

Warming Mineral Mask // This is a repurchase for me and rightly so! I sampled this a few years ago at an 'at home body shop' party and loved it, and have since used up two tubes! The girls in the shop loved this as much as me, and like the Camomile Cleansing Oil it is suitable for all skin types. It is a self-warming deep cleansing kaolin clay treatment that warms when rubbed over damp skin. I love the warmth it imparts and unlike other clay treatments it doesn't set hard but stays wet. It contains ginger and cinnamon oils to invigorate the skin and algae to purify and condition the skin. The tube says to leave for 5 minutes but I am a bit of a rule breaker when it comes to face masks and leave them on for longer and I leave this on for about 40 minutes. I remove with a warm wet flannel and follow up with a moisturiser. I find that this really does settle redness, cleanse pores and sort of mattifies my skin in a really nice way. It is a must have! 

Moringa Body Mist // The Body Shop does some beautiful body mists in a range of gorgeous and fresh scents. I have been using the same perfumes for a while so wanted to introduce something new into the mix and settled on Moringa. It is a fresh floral scent that isn't too sickly sweet and adds a bit of a pick me up and whilst it is floral and spring-like I find that it doesn't feel out of place as we come into Winter here in Australia. It is a mist so doesn't last as long as a perfume but as it has a glass bottle it isn't something that I would carry around in my bag with me. I have the matching body wash and have used the scrub in the same scent before so knew that I would get along well with this scent and I was right! 

What is your favourite Body Shop product?

Thursday, 22 May 2014

NYX Butter Glosses

Source: what jess does next // the NYX Butter Glosses are quickly rising in the ranks

Estee from Essie Button raves about her love of these products and after picking up one myself I can totally understand why! NYX Butter Glosses have totally changed my mind about lip glosses and have been a constant in my makeup bag ever since.

The usual gripes about glosses have always seen me lean more towards balms and lipsticks - too sticky, too sweetly scented, not long wearing enough and a magnet for hair and fluff. I spotted a NYX stand at Target which was a surprise as I had never seen them before and after swatching the entire line settled on Vanilla Cream Pie. 

The colour is a gorgeous pink that isn't too pale or too bright and sits somewhere between, giving a natural and lovely flush of colour. The applicator sees just the right amount of product dispensed and it is easily and softly spread across your entire lips. The gloss is lightly scented like sweets but it is nothing off-putting or overpowering and soon fades - which is a shame because I actually like the smell! 

The name of these rings very true, and the smooth lusciousness of the gloss really does feel like butter on the lips. They are smooth and creamy, not drying and importantly, not sticky. Unlike other glosses that really do feel like you're adding a layer of foreign grubbiness to your lips, these settle in nicely and feel light and at ease. 

I picked this up on special for just $6, though they normally retail for about $9-10. For me the price is amazing and something that I would pay again. There are a few other colours I want to try, starting with Peach Cobbler so I might be revisiting the stand soon! 

Have you tried these before? What is your gloss of choice?