Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Inglot Custom Palette - 5 Neutral Mattes

Meet my 5 new best friends from Inglot.  Mattes are so important in any makeup artist's kit, as they absorb the light and therefore won't highlight unfavourable things (like wrinkles) or can create contours where contours don't exist (like a socket on an Asian eye).

Case - black palette, magnetised cover. STRONG magnet - don't bother trying to pull it straight off, slide to the side to open.

Colours - From left to right - 390, 360, 363, 348, 376.

What do I think?
The colour payoff is amazing even with the lightest touch.  The shadows are soft which means easy to blend, and these tricky palettes use magnets to not only keep the cover on but are strong enough so the palettes can stack on top of each other.  Great for kit or bathroom/vanity organisation.  If mattes aren't your thing check out the amazing range of colours they stock - incredible!

Price - only $40 (includes a 20% makeup artist discount - full price $50)! SOLD!

A massive THANK YOU to the gorgeous girls in the Chermside store - they were so sweet as I ummed and ahhed over my choices and asked all sorts of stupid questions.

Have you tried Inglot?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Counter Obsession's Travel Karma

  1. If you have an important meeting that you have to fly to - no matter how much time you allow, you will be delayed enough to be late.
  2. If you're in a hurry, your bag will be last off the carousel.
  3. Similarly, all the hot, good-looking people get their baggage first, leaving you with no eye candy.
  4. You will arrive at the train station mere moments after a train just departed.  You will have to wait 27 minutes for the next one.  And you only need to travel two stops.
  5. Catching the first flight of the day means there are no cafes open.  No food.  No coffee.  Not good.
  6. There will be dead people on your train.  Specifically zombies.  Watch they don't drip blood on your luggage.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Leaving on a jet plane!

I'm sorry I've been slack on this blog, this last couple of weeks have been mental! I think I need some time off from my day job just to get my life in order. I still love you all, I promise!

So this weekend Counter Obsession leaves BrisVegas behind for the splendour of Sydney! I'm going for some artist workshops, but I'm using the quiet nights alone to catch up on blogging and test some products from the Primped goody bag! Since I've got so many travel-size products and samples I may as well leave more room in my bag for shoes :)

I've certainly got a lot to catch up on! The Kosmea skincare is coming with me, along with the Endota hand cream and the Kora body lotion. I'll take all the lip glosses too (I never have enough!). Oh, and the hair care products. That should keep me busy!

On top of that, I'm treating myself to an eyebrow shape at the Benefit Brow Bar in Paddington. Eek! No more disgusting, furry caterpillars in my EOTD posts! Growing out eyebrows is so annoying, but they are so much thicker and already my natural shape is coming back. A quick wax and tint and I'll be chic and polished!

I've only really got Monday to explore, so if you've got any recommendations as to where I should go let me know!

Monday, March 22, 2010

EOTD - A Pop Of Colour

Well today was Monday and I felt a little blue - so I decided to show it!  This was a really fun look and I got a lot of compliments!  A pop of colour on the lower lashline is a great way to modernise your corporate style and have some fun with your look.

This was all created with my 88 matte palette - it's such a godsend on a busy morning.  You grab one product and it's your entire eye look.  Just add mascara and you're ready to go!

Base:  Neutral - first colour in second row
Top liner:  Black - last colour in last row
Bottom liner:  Blue - fifth colour in last row

What do you think?!?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Exciting News!!

Those of you who follow me on Twitter (@counterobsess) would know that I haven been appointed as the new beauty blogger for Beyond the Bride!  I am so incredibly excited about this opportunity and can't wait to get started!  The blog is just in the design stages, so I've got a few weeks to get organised :)

I'm not sure what will happen with this blog, I'd dearly love to keep doing both but I'll see - as the new blog isn't solely focused on bridal beauty many of the posts will double up, and I've only got a limited number of hours in a day!  But I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

I'll keep you posted as it develops :)

Update: PRIMPED Goodies!

This is dedicated to @hollyjcurtis - look at what you can look forward to in Melbourne!!

The contents of the PRIMPED Look Book session goody bags - drool, my pretties!
And look out for reviews when I can get through them all  :)

Kora, Kosmea, A'kin, Sally Hansen, Rimmel, Natio, Ultraceuticals, Living Nature, OPI, YSL, Hissy Fit, Burt's Bees, Napoleon Perdis, St Tropez, Dr Hauschka, Ojin...

... Abahna, more Rimmel, Bare Minerals, ModelCo, Revlon, Priori, Antipodes, Terax, Gucci, Endota Spa, YSL again... is that it?  Phew!!

What a haul!!

Oradess Lash Confidence Mascara

As karma would have it I found my camera charger - 24hrs after ordering a new one from Ebay.  Humpf.  But it means that you no longer have to wait for new blogs, so... YAY!!

One benefit of a lengthy blog hiatus is a chance to really test out new products, and my latest was the Lash Confidence mascara from Oradess.  Umm... who??  Oradess is a gorgeous makeup brand created by Brisbane makeup artist Julia Dickenson.  The beauty of this range is that it doesn't focus just on products - there is a heavy emphasis on educating women how to actually use the products.  Isn't that clever?!?  She runs workshops all over Brisbane working with small groups of women and teaching them the tricks to applying makeup to suit their individual features.  And she's made sure that her products are very user-friendly as well - I've had a quick play with the eyeshadows and they're SO soft and blendable, but still with great colour payoff!  But that's for another blog...

As luck would have it I met Julia when she needed an assistant for a bridal party.  We hit it off from the start and she was kind enough to give me this mascara as a thank you.  Yes ladies, I didn't pay for this.  But for the record that doesn't change my review of the product.

Personally - I love this mascara.  I have long but sparse lashes, and I find anything that is a creamy or thick formula just makes them clump together.  Which makes it look like I have three lashes in total.  Being a more liquid formula this mascara could give me spidery lashes which is what I want.  And after two coats I gave an extra wiggle at the base for added definition - and it worked a treat.  Plus it's a true 'black' - another benefit of more liquid formulas.

No mascara, then after two coats (with no combing):

The only downside is the liquid formulation - if you don't know how to make it work.  If you don't like Maybelline Great Lash then this probably isn't for you.  But as long as you wipe the wand of excess product and comb after application I don't see how they can't work for almost everyone.

Check out the line at - and as I'm going to an Oradess makeup party on Saturday hopefully I can show you more of the range!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Still here!

Hey everyone!  I'm still here... just cameraless :( so hence the no-new-postness!  Just ordered a new charger from eBay so *hopefully* I'll be back in business by the weekend.  Which means I have to keep my paws off all the goodies I got from the PRIMPED Look Book session on Friday night!!

After meeting the oh-so-delightful Zoe Foster (who is just a bundle of fun and knowledge wrapped up in amazing shoes - I was in awe!  *girl crush*) our group got a summary of the hot trends for Winter 2010 and a tour of the David Jones' cosmetic floor.  We were introduced to some new brands as well as old favourites.  Endota Spa really stuck out to me since I'm looking for new skincare, and their hand cream is AMAZING - with a lavendar and alpine pepper fragrance.  Loved!  Another standout was Kora, which we all know as Miranda Kerr's new organic line.  Her bestie and brother were there as ambassadors, and I think the line shows a lot of promise.

So, what's the trends for winter 2010?  Natural and easy.  Fall in love with brown again.  Zoe rocked a taupe eyeshadow which was a simple colour wash - no contouring, no liner.  With just the shadow and mascara her blue eyes popped and she looked fresh and youthful.  Foundation is semi-matte with a luminous glow that brings health and life into your face.  Hair goes back to its natural state - embrace your waves and love your 'original' natural colour.  Skincare focuses on organic products and anything natural.

The goody bag was just AMAZING - I promise I will post pics as soon as I get my camera working - but it was chock-full of samples and FULL SIZE products from most of the brands that we looked at and many that we didn't.  It will take me some time to test them all... what a shame  :)

A massive THANK YOU to Zoe Foster and the PRIMPED team for an amazing night!  See you next season!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

40 Questions!

Since I have misplaced my camera battery charger (*WAIL*) I thought I'd give this a try.  It's really just a ploy to buy myself more time.  I have SO many things I want to show you all... but I want pretty pictures first!

And somehow it has become 42 questions... it's like the Chinese Whispers of the internet :)

1) How many times do you wash your face daily?
Twice.  Once in the morning with a foaming cleanser in the shower, and once at night with a facial wipe.  I find if I use water twice a day my skin gets very dehydrated.  Which then makes me sad.

2) What skin type do you have?
Mainly oily and prone to breakouts, with dryness on the outer cheeks.  It's a bit beyond combination, so I usually choose products suitable for oily skin.  I can also be sensitive, but I've never figured out the trigger.

3) What is your current facial wash?
Garnier Anti-Dullness Foaming Gel.  I really love this, and not just because I can get it at the supermarket.  It takes off all my makeup without stripping the skin too much.  But I think it's been discontinued, so the hunt will be on for a replacement.

4) Do you exfoliate?
Absolutely.  I love it.  Although this is where the sensitivity comes in - anything grainy or rough and my face will start to burn.  I only exfoliate when I feel the need (again, the sensitivity) but my skin feels like magic after.

5) What brand do you use?
My current favourite is Dermalogica Microexfoliant. I've had mine for YEARS and it's still going.

6) What moisturiser do you use?
Garnier Nutritionist Moisturiser with SPF15+.  This was on special and thought I would give it a try.  It's nice, but god forbid you get the tiniest amount in your eyes - sting city.

7) Do you have freckles?
No, not really.  And if I did they're hidden underneath the redness on my nose and cheeks.

8) Do you use eye cream?
No.  And that is really bad.  But I've tried them, and I just don't see any benefit.  But at the ripe old age of 27 I really should start.  *adds it to the already-extensive wishlist*

9) Do you or did you have acne prone skin?
My skin was easily the worst in my group at high school.  It wasn't full-blown acne (thank god) but there was ALWAYS serious breakouts happening.  I think it was a mix of oily skin, youthful hormones and trying to remedy it with strong face products that just made it worse (Clean & Clear - I'm looking at you!).  Now I still get the occasional breakout and blackheads are still an issue, but it's much better than it used to be.

10) Did you ever have to use Pro-Activ?
My sister used it for a while and I gave it a test run - ouch!  BURNING!!!

~ Make-up ~

11) What foundation do you use?
Graftobian HD cream foundation in Vixen, which is becoming way too dark for me as I'm not in the sun so much anymore.  It's an oil-based foundation, but as it is 'good' oil (like lanolin) it's actually moisturising for me.  I was just noticing this morning how clear my skin was.  Can be a pain to apply (hint: Beuaty Blender) but it has the coverage I want and with a good powder it stays all day.  And it's only $20 a pop!

12) How about concealer?
I use my Graftobian foundation as a concealer, but just apply it with my fingers for heavier coverage.  I'm big on streamlining.

13) Do you know your undertone colour?
I think I'm fairly neutral, probably leaning towards a slight yellow undertone.  Put anything pink-based on my face and I just look horrid.  And it accentuates the redness in my skin.  Ick.

14) What do you think of fake eyelashes?
ADORE.  My natural lashes are long but very sparse, so I use falsies on special occasions to create fullness.  Every woman should learn to wear false lashes.  And I do say learn, because it's not just the application that's tricky - it's getting used to having something weighing down your eyes.  Sounds strange, but you know what I mean.  Then again I wear the lovely thick ones, so maybe it's just me with that problem!!

15) Did you know you were supposed to change your mascara every 3 months?
Yes I do know that.  I am religious about changing the mascara in my kit, but on myself - not so much.  If it doesn't smell weird and it still works, I'm holding onto it until a magazine comes out with a free mascara :)

16) What brand of mascara do you use?
I'm a mascara tart, I have no loyalty whatsoever.  Favourites for myself include Maybelline Colossal Volume and Oradess Lash Confidence (review coming soon).  For my kit I use Maybelline Great Lash - I know I know, everyone says how terrible it is, but when you consider that I'm using disposable wands and I only brush a small amount of product on, it's actually a great formulation.  Very buildable, and a nice dark black.

17) Sephora or Mac?
Australia doesn't have Sephora, and I only buy MAC after I've been to a Masterclass and have redeemable product.  So... I suppose MAC by default?

18) Do you have a Mac Pro card?
Yes, but only for access to Masterclasses.  My kit has all sorts of brands so I can usually find what I want at a cheaper price in another brand.  Sorry MAC, but you're very expensive in Australia!

19) What makeup tools do you use in makeup application?
On myself - Beauty Blender for foundation, fingers for concealer, brushes for pretty much everything else.
On clients - Beauty Blender, disposable mascara wands, and brushes.  No fingers if I can help it.

20) Do you use makeup base/primer for the eyes?
On myself no, since I'm lazy and usually I'm just going to sit in an office where nobody cares how I look.  On clients I use Gorgeous Cosmetics iPrime, but only because it came in my kit.  Looking into MAC Paint Pots or Fluidline (yes, Fluidline!) as my next experiment - I like how they already add the base colour, rather than something like UDPP which is clear and you need to add colour onto that.  Sounds silly, but time is everything.

21) For the face?
Again - for myself no, but I'm lazy and haven't found a primer that I adore.  On clients I use Graftobian Anti-Shine.

22) What is your favourite eyeshadow colour or shade?
Just one?  Really?  I have to say that the Yaby Neutrals palette has every colour I would ever want (for myself).

23) Do you use pencil or liquid liner?
Both, and gel as well.  Pencil is quick, but when I wear liquid I usually wear no eyeshadow and just let the liner do the talking.  Gel is amazing on clients, as it is more versatile and can give a pencil OR a liquid look in the one product

24) How often do you poke your eyes with an eyeliner pencil?
Not often... actually I can't remember ever doing this! It's usually the mascara wand that gets me :S

25) What do you think of pigment eyeshadows?
Sorry, not a fan.  Too messy for me, lots of cleanup not just on the face but in my kit as well.  Pressed shadows keep things cleaner and easier.

26) Do you use mineral makeup?
No.  Tried it, hated it.  Just doesn't give me the coverage.  And it photographs terribly!

27) What is your favourite lipstick?
I'm only wearing lip balm at the moment, but if I break out lip colour it's usually liner and a gloss.  I do love the texture of the one MAC lipstick that I own though.

28) How about lipgloss?
I've got Napoleon Lip Lacquer in my kit which is great for a wet look but it's super sticky, and the Gorgeous Cosmetics glosses are nothing to rave about.  But I've recently ordered some that a local MUA stocks, so I'll let you know how they go :)

29) What is your favourite blush to use?
Benefit Coralista is a go-to if my redness is really blocked out, otherwise I use the light peach tones in the Yaby palette.

30) Do you buy your makeup on Ebay?
I have, yes!  But never a 'brand' item as there are too many fakes.  I got my 88 palette (original matte one) and my black gel liner, both of which are great

31) Do you like drugstore makeup?
Absolutely!  It's all about what works for you.  And I don't want to pay top dollar for certain items that have a short shelf-life or you can't tell the difference anyway.  Maybelline mascaras are great, Prestige liquid liners are awesome and I have a Rimmel lip gloss that I adore.

32) Do you go to CCO's?Cosmetic Company Outlet?
No, but I only know of one in Brisbane and you have to donate a kidney to get in.  But I'm not fussed by the brands stocked there anyway, so it's no big loss.

33) Did you ever consider taking makeup classes?
Does a five month Certificate IV in Makeup count?  No?  Ok, well I've also taken two MAC Masterclasses and one Makeup and Glow workshop as well as hairstyling training.

34) Are you clumsy in putting on makeup?
YES!  On myself anyway.  Unless I have a makeup gig or I'm going out I just don't put the effort in - bad I know!

35) Name a makeup crime that you hate?
Just one?  Well, at the moment I have 'brandists' - people who judge me as a MUA based on the brands I stock.  Usually it's the fact I don't have a lot of MAC.  It really bothers me that consumers believe that one single brand is superior over all.  Product is only part of the equation - application tools and technique play an equal part.
My other pet hate is people who wear eye makeup but no mascara - WHY would you do that??

36) Do you like colourful shades of makeup (lipstick or eyeshadow) or neutral ones?
With eyeshadow I play with both.  Neutrals are easy to do, but brights add a sense of fun to your look.  It's rare that I wear anything other than lip balm because I'm a messy person in general and can't maintain a gorgeous red lip without getting it on my chin or forgetting to touch it up.

37) Which celebrity always has great makeup?
Wow, this is hard since many celebrities have hit-or-miss moments.  In general I think Anne Hathaway always looks stunning and Kate Hudson does casual like nobody else.  But the ultimate perfection in makeup has to go to Dita Von Teese - she's just incredible.  She even wears a full face of makeup to work out - that's my kinda gal!!

38) If you could leave the house using just ONE makeup item, what would you use?
Some type of skin coverage, either foundation or concealer.  Nobody needs to see my skin bare!

39) Could you leave the house without any makeup on?
I've done it but I feel really uncomfortable.  My boyfriend gets frustrated with it, but the redness in my skin seriously looks like I've just had a bad reaction to something.  And my eyes look lost without something to define them.  So even if it's just foundation and mascara I'm happy.

40) Do you think you look good even without any makeup on?
No way, I think I look really plain.  And like I've had a reaction to something.

41) In your opinion what is the BEST makeup line?
I hate this question... I'm going to exclude foundation from this since I believe that it is the one thing that is SO personal that you can't hold yourself to one brand for that.  For the rest I love Yaby - I have all three eyeshadow palettes, two blush palettes and some cake liners and I love them all.

42) What do you think of makeup?
Aside from the fact that it's my career, I think makeup is powerful.  It can change your overall look, your attitude to the day ahead and even your attitude to yourself.  It's also a chance to show your individuality and have a little bit of fun.  Don't take it too seriously - it washes off!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Mecca Cosmetica, you disappoint me :( ** Warning: rant post! **

I was very excited to get an email regarding a Stila makeup event happening instore at Mecca Cosmeticas across the country. I'm a Stila virgin and thought this was a great way to learn about some of their amazing products from one of their top makeup artists. And $50 booking fee (redeemable) was very reasonable.

When I called to make the booking, I was excited. When I hung up the phone, I felt (and still feel) insecure and embarassed.

I spoke to someone on the phone whom I believe is new to the company, as she kept referring to her supervisor. This is no problem at all, she was quite sweet and endearing. Then her supervisor gets on the phone, and the conversation changes. Suddenly I'm getting fed 'lines' from a script. The supervisor gets my name, all my details and we confirm a booking time. And then the one line that stumbled the conversation was 'So you're ready to invest in a new makeup look?'

My answer to this was to explain that while I was looking for a new look I was also a makeup artist, and I wanted to learn about Stilas products. You would think this was a good thing, but I got a sigh. A loud sigh. She went on to explain that the makeup artists come to Australia for only nine days. And in these nine days they go to many different Mecca stores. And so the appointments with these artists are in high demand. And they are 'designed' for people who want to 'invest in a new makeup look'. At this point she pauses.... and so do I. I didn't understand what part of this speech was a question. So she sighs again and says 'so it's designed for people who are prepared to spend a lot of money on the day'. Ahh, I get it now. She was trying to discourage me from booking.  She doesn't know me from a bar of soap, she has no idea what my income is or what I am prepared to spend, but she somehow got the impression I was cheap. And therefore, I was not up to the standards of Mecca.

Her final line was 'So do you put yourself into this category?' By now I am so embarassed, but I've already given her all my details so I feel like I can't back out. I was being bullied, and even though I didn't like it I said 'yes'. I paid the deposit. And I hung up the phone. Feeling like Kmart in a sea of couture.

I will admit, I've never bought from Mecca before. But that's because I buy most of the brands that they sell from online retailers (and for better prices). So does being a new customer equate to being unworthy? To not having the money to shop there? Maybe it's because the attitude of your employees leaves me feeling like I've been hit by a bus - did you ever think of that?

And even if I don't have a high disposable income, it shouldn't matter. If I want to save up and have a one-off splurge on Stila products, you should make me feel as special as the customers who buy every week. The experience should be the same.

I'll go to my appointment. I won't make a fuss. I will buy whatever products I actually like, but I may only buy enough to redeem my booking fee. And you can't stop me from doing that. But it will take a pretty amazing experience to make me step back into that store. I'll either buy when I'm interstate or just go back to my online stores that have the stock I want, at a better price, and don't make judgements based on the tone of my voice.

You disappoint me Mecca :(

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Academy Awards - Hair and Makeup

Well now that we've seen the fashion, let's dissect the hair and makeup.  Most of the hair was up in a bun or some form or updo, which makes sense with all the bare shoulders.  Hair up is sexy for showing off great backs and gorgeous earrings.  If it wasn't up, it was blowdried and pushed over one shoulder, which is my favourite.  Most lips were nude, with the occasional shock of colour to keep it interesting.

And here come the stars:

Rachel McAdams looks polished to perfection.  The hair isn't too tight, the lashes add a bit of drama but the soft colour choices mean she's let her dress do the talking.  Although those earrings need to be in my collection.

Sandra goes for a pink lip!  Red is usually the colour-pop-of-choice but this rocks.  Much more modern.  Eyes don't overpower yet the liner and lashes add definition.  The sleek blowdry and side part are classic and so flattering - I love sideswept looks.  This will look great when she accepts her award...

Nicole misses the mark for me here.  I get the whole 60's vibe is her MO, but this looks too harsh and unblended.  At least the nude lips and soft cheeks don't compete - she chose one feature to play up, which is the way it should be.  The high bun lifts her face and lengthens her whole look.

Kate Winslet has the most amazing hair and makeup artists.  Look at that hair!  Oh my god, it's perfection.  The eyeliner on top gives a sexy shape and makes the eyes pop out, and adds the strength to the look so she's not fading into obscurity.  And the best brows in the business.

Holy hairpiece Batman!  This is BIG!  But you know what - I LOVE big hair!  This is statement hair, this is standout hair.  Wallflowers need not apply.  Eyes are heavy which makes her eyes look tiny, but it's becoming her go-to look for big events.

All looking a bit neat for your tastes?  Bring on Jennifer Lopez's messed-up updo.  I like it!  'Messy on purpose' can be hard to pull off but this is how to do it.  The 'mess' stays in the bun, while the front is soft but not messy.  It's controlled chaos.  Makeup is her standard, although reports say her bronzing was messy.  I don't have HD so it looked fine to me!

I may not have liked the dress, but I love the updo.  There wasn't much detail in the hair this year, so this really stands out.  And the jewel in the hair - love.  Her eyes are soft and the lips are almost bare, I would have liked more on one or the other but in general it's a winner.

I get the feeling that a lot of these pics will be brought to me by formal girls throughout the year, and with good reason.  Who were your favourites?

**  All pictures are courtesy of the delightful **

Academy Awards - Fashion

As you all have been warned I'm tweeting the Oscars live.  So far we've had the red carpet and three awards presented, and I'm EXHAUSTED.  So I'm taking a break during the minor awards to bring you some fashion!

In general it was similar silhouettes and safe choices.  One-shoulder, off-shoulder and strapless dominated.  So start looking after your decolletage, it's THE accessory of the season!  Nobody took any major risks, and some even took steps back.  Maybe they're all afraid to be on the Worst Dressed List, but it's a bit dull for us watching!

I've already been slammed by some of my Twitter followers for my opinions, but it's just my personal opinion.

Carey Mulligan, I knew you could do it.  Fun and age appropriate, love the beading and the new blonde hair!  Minimal jewellery doesn't overpower, but I don't know about the crossover strap on the shoes.  It makes you look shorter.

Charlize Theron with scrolls on her boobs.  And the soft purple tones just look... cheap.  Why would a beautiful girl do this to herself??  Love the strong lip though.

Rachel McAdams is my girl crush.  As one Tweeter put it 'THIS is how you wear print on a red carpet'.  The updo and simple jewellery keep the dress in focus.  And she's just gorgeous.

Sandra I'm not loving this on you.  The lace on the top doesn't blend well with the fabric below, and it's just a bit drab.  She's looked much better this season.

Maggie G is just adorable.  There isn't the drama of the Lanvin leopard-print dress, but I do love a print.  Blue really suits her.

Nicole needs to try a different style of dress.  It looks like everything else she's stepped out in.  And the makeup... I'll deal with that on another post.  Sorry Nicole, but you're getting predictable.

I hope JLo and Amanda Seyfried aren't sitting together.  This was almost a serious malfunction!!  But who did it better?  My vote is JLo - Amanda looks washed out, and the hair is a bit too tight.

Diane Kruger in Chanel Couture - I'm going to be controversial and say I don't like this.  The black looks too harsh against the nude, and it's *almost* trying to overpower it.  If there was less black it would have been more 'framing', if there was more it would have been more of a feature.  And the straight-ruffle-straight pattern of the nude panels means it just ends up looking too much.  But this is one of the opinions I got in trouble for, so I know others adore!

And another controversial one - theinfamous SJP in Chanel Couture.  I'm bordering on dislike, I'm afraid.  I like the idea, I like the old-school hair, I like the makeup (it's what she always has though).  I think it's the silver (?) roses around the neckline that throw me.  But I love the unexpected design compared to all the strapless gowns that was out there.

Miley - for crying out loud, you're on the Oscars red carpet!  STAND UP STRAIGHT!  Apart from that this is a nice dress, but all the maturity and style she exudes here is dispelled as soon as she opens her mouth.  That girl sounds like a 12 year old.  And her mother kept jumping into her interviews, showing off her tattoos and generally being trailer trash.  Miley in 15 years???

That's just a sampling of the red carpet fashions!  Who did you love?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

NOTD - China Glaze 'Seduce Me'

I LOVE this colour.  This will be on my toenails ALL WINTER.  Divine.

When I saw this bottle I thought it was a purple-red colour, but when I photographed it the purple disappeared! It's much darker in daylight, but I can't get a good photo because of (yet another) overcast day.  I need some sunlight!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

NOTD - China Glaze 'Black Diamond'

As soon as the weather cools more than 4 degrees I bring out my dark polishes. This was a new addition that caught my eye.

Grey is apparently the 'It' colour for winter, and I love this gun-metal grey version. The shimmer keeps the colour from falling too flat, and I think it's also really versatile to complement winter wardrobes. I was surprised with the watery consistency of the polish though, and you need a good three coats for an opaque look.

Excuse the dodgy paint job! I usually keep dark polish to the toes because of my dodgy skills, but I'm trying to get better!

What's your verdict on grey nails?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

MAC 'Naked Liner' lipliner, 'Myself' lipstick and a Lip Tar experiment

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As soon as I saw the Too Fabulous collection from MAC I knew this was a collection calling my name. Gorgeous creamy textures, soft colours and a very girly feel. That being said, I'm trying to behave myself and not spend so much on makeup, so I limited myself to the one product that immediately drew me in.

'Naked Liner' seemed to be the nude I have been looking for - so often a 'nude' lipliner is too dark, especially for people who have naturally lighter lips. This looked perfect!

This is my natural lip, then with Naked Liner applied:


Yeah - it's REALLY nude.  As in skin-colour nude, not lip-colour nude.  This freaked me out at the counter, but now I see so many uses for this.  Not only is it great for cancelling out your lip colour altogether, but it's great to totally block out your natural lip shape so you can then redraw it!  The touch of pink works really well to avoid looking deathly.

To prove this I did a little experiment.  I lined half my lips with Naked Liner:

Then I added RX Lip Tar:

Can you see how much smoother the texture is?  The colour more vibrant?  And it was so easy to get the intensity with the liner, in comparison to the non-lined side which took a lot more blending and layering.  And added bonus is that the liner gets rid of any redness or discolouration around the lip, so your lipstick line looks really crisp.

And just for fun, I added Anime Lip Tar to the bottom lip:

It constantly amazes me how versatile Lip Tars are.  The colours blend well whether you're mixing them first or just applying straight on the lip (like I did here).  I've got ten colours, but there are new ones coming out - I'll see if I can swatch them for you!

Anyway, back to MAC...

While I was at the counter I looked for a nude lipstick (I don't own one - what's with that??) and I picked up 'Myself' lustre lipstick from the All Ages, All Races, All Sexes collection.


I really like this colour!  It's nude, but it's more on the mauve-side so it's still interesting to wear.  The tiniest amount of shimmer keeps it from looking too flat.  Really like!

Here is Naked Liner with Myself lipstick:

I'm really glad I got these two colours.  Naked Liner is probably a little too 'nude' on it's own for me, but it makes other colours so vibrant and your lip line so clear.  Myself will now live in my handbag as my go-to lipstick, as it's so versatile.

MAC can be purchased all over the place, and the Lip Tars were from the lovely Rachael at Makeup and Glow -

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

It's almost my favourite day of the year!!

It's not my birthday... it's not Christmas...

It's OSCARS DAY!!  *happy dance*
Monday is the day, Australia!!  The 82nd Annual Academy Awards are on!!

I love the awards season with an unhealthy passion.  Everything about them intrigues me - the fashion, the trends, the politics between winners and losers (Hurt Locker vs Avatar anyone?), the crocodile tears during speeches - I love it all.  I love it so much that I take the day off work to watch the live red carpet and awards ceremony on Foxtel. I sit in my living room, live blogs on the laptop, E! red carpet coverage and a brand new pedicure in progress.  And this year, like I did with the Golden Globes, I'll be tweeting up a storm!

If you want to be kept up to date with everything that is happening, add me on Twitter!  @counterobsess
If you have a proper grown up job that you can't watch all the action or follow the feeds, then I'll post a wrap up of all the fashion and beauty looks from the stars.

You can always count on certain celebrities to turn on the glamour and look amazing, while others can be a bit hit-and-miss.  Kate Winslet is yet to let me down this season, sticking to the failsafe old-school Hollywood glamour and polished perfection.  I'll be keen to see what she wears, along with Drew Barrymore - who is a bit more unpredictable, but I love the risks that she takes.  Carey Mulligan is part of the young, up-and-coming starlets who continually looks fresh and amazing - I wonder if her new boyf Shia LaBeouf will be her arm candy?

Who are you looking forward to seeing on Monday??