My MAC lipstick collection

mac lipstick collection swatches
mac lipstick collection swatches
From l to r: Viva Glam (L), Shanghai Spice (C), Runway Hit (RM), Velvet Teddy (M), Cosmo (A), Twig (S), Craving (A), Positively Dashing (PLL), Dozen Carnations (C)

I’ve become quite the makeup junkie as of late, and while I try to whittle down my wardrobe – as much as humanly possible! – my makeup collection just seems to keep growing; apparently my love of lipsticks knows no bounds.

I think we can all agree, my love affair with anything beauty-related has been short and sweet so far, but my foray into the real world of makeup began years ago when I picked up my first lipstick ever, from MAC (a Viva Glam nude, if you were wondering). While it’s no longer a lipstick that I reach for, I’ve definitely fallen down the MAC rabbit hole and picked up more than my fair share in the last couple of years.

It’s a pretty tightly edited collection – for now – of nude, mauve, and berry tones; the perfect year-round lipstick wardrobe if you ask me. Ultimately, it’s the quality and the shade selection that keeps me coming back, and while I have plans to add a few more shades to my collection (the entire Charlotte Olympia collaboration included), I thought I’d give you a quick peek into which MAC lipsticks are currently sitting pride of place on my vanity.

mac lipstick collection swatches Viva Glam Shanghai Spice Runway Hit Velvet Teddy Cosmo Twig Craving Positively Dashing Dozen Carnations
From l to r: Viva Glam (L), Shanghai Spice (C), Runway Hit (RM), Velvet Teddy (M), Cosmo (A), Twig (S), Craving (A), Positively Dashing (PLL), Dozen Carnations (C)

Starting from lightest to darkest….

VIVA GLAM | Lustre
Viva Glam is one of the first makeup products I ever purchased, and for that reason alone I just can’t bear to part with it. I’d best describe it as a ‘no-lipstick’ lipstick; it’s very subtle, adds a slight shimmery sheen to the lips, and can be applied without a mirror (the best kind of lipstick if you ask me…!).

SHANGHAI SPICE | Cremesheen
My first cremesheen purchase and one of my absolute favourite shades. It’s a pretty peach colour with tiny gold flecks that don’t seem to translate on the lips. Incredibly easy to wear and a moisturizing formula that is a dream to wear on the lips.

RUNWAY HIT | Retro Matte
While I’m not afraid to admit that the retro matte formulas are my least favourite (they come off chalky on me and are difficult to apply), I l-o-v-e the shade of this. It’s a subtle peach toned pink; I like it best applied over a thin layer of the Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm for a creamy finish.

VELVET TEDDY | Matte
Perfect if you’re after a brown-toned nude matte lipstick; although admittedly I was completely drawn in by the hype surrounding this shade. MAC’s matte formula is pretty comfortable on the lips, and has a creamy texture which dries down over time.

COSMO | Amplified
Of all the reviews I’ve read online, Cosmo is pretty much always referred to as a my-lips-but-better shade, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s slightly brown toned, with a pink base, making it a perfect go-to every day shade. Not to mention the fact that the amplified formula is beautifully creamy and rich, and opaque when applied.

TWIG | Satin
Twig is definitely a firm favourite for me, and sits dangerously close in shade to Cosmo, albeit leans a little more mauve on me. If you’re yet to try one of the lipsticks with a satin finish, it applies creamy and dries down to matte, and has pretty good lasting power too.

CRAVING | Amplified
I picked up Craving in October last year, and having been waiting for it to cool down so I can start wearing this one. It’s a plummy toned pink which looks absolutely gorgeous on, fitting nicely at the lower spectrum of the berry family.

POSITIVELY DASHING | Pro Longwear Lipcreme
A muted raspberry pink with cool undertones, this is a winter staple for me. While I find that the pro longwear lipcreme formula doesn’t have the best lasting power if you’re drinking tea all day like I tend to do, it does stain the lips and makes re-applying throughout the day really easy.

DOZEN CARNATIONS | Cremesheen
The latest addition to my collection, and one of my current go-tos, this to me is the perfect Spring/Summer shade. It’s a punchy orange-toned red, with a gold shimmer running through it, that can be layered up for a glossy, bold lip, or worn as

If you’re keen to get a peek at what these look like on the lips, I recently collaborated with Doris from LookMazing, to share our MAC Collection’s on YouTube. You can check out my full collection and swatch video here.

We might be well into autumn here in Australia, I’ve been reaching for Shanghai Spice and Dozen Carnations, as the cremesheen formula is so light on the lips, and I love that that they add a subtle wash of colour (not to mention are easy to maintain!). And as far as I’m concerned, a good nude and a punchy red are all the lipstick essentials a girl really needs… What are your MAC lipstick must-haves?

Beauty Lessons I’ve learnt

beauty lessons ive learned diptyque marc jacobs lulu guinness
beauty lessons ive learned diptyque marc jacobs lulu guinness

This time two years ago, if you’d asked me what my beauty routine was, you would have been presented with a very minimal series of products. A contour kit used as an all-over bronzer, a liquid eyeliner (which two years on is still my holy grail), and any mascara from Lancome.

I’ve come a long way since then, or at least I’d like to think so. My vanity is close to bursting with beauty products, and while I don’t always reach for the foundation every morning, I’ve learnt the virtues of how to apply bronzer correctly.

Since I figured I can’t be the only one who made some completely basic beauty blunders, I thought I’d share some of the beauty lessons that I’ve learnt over the last year and a half.

Powder is e-s-s-e-n-t-i-al.
I never understood the importance of powder until I experienced my first Australian summer. Humidity and makeup do not make for fast friends, and having some powder on hand, or at the very least brushing a very good mattifying powder across your t-zone in the morning, is essential. Not to mention that it helps to set down your base and any concealer – just don’t go overboard; it can end up looking a little cake-y otherwise.

Have a strong brow game.
Online, I’ve often seen the following question posed; would you leave the house without your brows done or eyeliner on? Up until about a year ago, I was definitely in the latter camp, but after discovering the Brow Wiz, I’m not quite so sure. I don’t like to go overboard (nobody wants to look like Helga from Hey Arnold!), but filling them in just a little really does make a world of difference, and balances out any heavy eyeliner that you may have going on.

A bronzer is not a base.
I’ve been committing a cardinal beauty sin for so many years – bronzer liberally powdered over my entire face. Granted, I was using it primarily as a base (sans blush or highlighter though; I know!), but that’s not really much of an excuse. These days, I’ve cottoned on to the face that bronzer should be dusted over the points over your face where the sun is most like to hit; think, your temples, nose, jawline, and the outer frame of your face.

Foundation is the secret to a flawless complexion.
It wasn’t until I found the right foundation for me, that I realized what a game changer it was. I’d always thought that I had a pretty even complexion naturally, but a great base goes a long way in attaining that picture perfect and flawless complexion.

All red lipsticks are not created equal.
To me, it always seemed that a red was a red; and for the longest time, I always thought that this was something that only a blonde could wear without looking (or feeling) like a Jessica Rabbit caricature. Now, I seem to collect red lippies like they’re going out of fashion. I’m partial to an orange-based red as it really warms up the skin, but a blue-based red can really make your smile pop as it gives the illusion of even brighter ‘pearly’ whites.

There are no rules.
Perhaps the most important thing that I’ve learnt, is that there are no rules. Fancy a little bit of lilac eyeshadow on a Wednesday? Go for it. Want to wear a red lip every day, even though it’s not party season? Why not. The key is to enhance your natural attributes, and feel comfortable in the skin you’re in.

Given it was just a casual couple of YouTube videos that even got me into makeup, my makeup collection – and makeup skills – have certainly improved (not to mention I’ve picked up the odd beauty trick!). What beauty lessons have you picked up?

Rimmel The Only 1 Lipsticks

rimmel the only 1 lipstick review swatches
rimmel the only 1 lipstick review swatches

If there’s one thing I know by now, it’s that I have a bit of a soft spot for Rimmel. There aren’t many ‘drugstore’ or budget beauty brands that have continued to impress with each new product I’ve tried, which was why I was really excited to receive a selection of Rimmel’s latest lipstick release, the Only 1 Lipstick.

I’ve been wearing these on and off over the last few weeks, and overall, I’ve really been enjoying them. They apply incredibly smoothly, with medium pigment that can be built up for a full on injection of colour. The formula is one of the more moisturizing that I’ve tried, probably best described as an oil-based cream, which dries down to a semi matte finish on the lips. Once the lipstick has dried down, it pretty much doesn’t budge, even after a few cups of coffee and a veggie packed sandwich for lunch. I still like to carry the bullet in my purse for the odd touch up, and to slick an extra layer across my lips when they’re in need of some additional moisture. Wear time is also really good; you’ll get six hours wear at least out of your morning application, which is pretty long lasting for any lipstick in my books.

Perhaps what I love the most, aside from the slippery moisturizing formula is the scent; these smell just like grape flavoured candy, and give me nostalgia for the lipsmacker addict in me from my early teenage days.

The collection launched with 12 shades, ranging from everyday nudes, to deep plums and vibrant reds.

rimmel the only 1 lipstick review swatches

From l to r: #620 Call me Crazy, #810 One of a Kind, #710 Easy Does It, #700 Naughty Nude, #200 It’s a Keeper

One thing that struck me was the presence of shimmer particles in the nude lipsticks, which translates to a slight frost finish when glossed over the lips. It feels a little nineties, but it’s subtle enough to work for every day. Personally and perhaps unsurprisingly, I’ve find the more nude-toned pinks the easiest to wear – the brights can get a little intense, although they’re great for those days when you really want to go for a bold (and bright!) lip.

Just one thing to note, the ‘nudes’ in the collection are much more mauve toned, so you aren’t going to find a your lips but better shade in this range. I’ve had shade #700 Naughty Nude floating around in my handbag for the last couple of weeks (along with my Kate for Rimmel Nude lipstick in 45), and it’s been such an easy go-to option.

is a gorgeous bright red with orange undertones, #810 One of a Kind is a deep brown toned burgundy, #710 Easy Does It is a brown toned mauve with a subtle shimmer running through it, #700 Naughty Nude is a mauve toned medium nude and #200 It’s a Keeper is a petal pink toned nude.

I have to admit, I’m pretty picky when it comes to lipsticks. My lips are incredibly sensitive and the wrong formula can set off a wave of eczema which can often take a week to heal up. These new lipsticks from Rimmel however, were gentle on my lips, and have been a dream to wear. I’ve been impressed with the quality of the formula and the wear time, that rivals many high end brands. These have definitely earned their keep when it comes to fighting for space in my vanity, and I’m looking forward to branching out and trying out some of the additional shades in the range.

Everyday beauty

every day beauty routine makeup

With most days seeing the barometer hit the low thirties (which is nothing to scoff at – trust me!) I’ve taken to stripping my daily beauty routine back a notch.

Tropical weather and humidity aren’t exactly kind, and aside from wondering what a good hair day actually looks like, I’ve been dialing down the number of cream and liquid-based products I use. Any kind of base has gone out the window – I opt for a more fresh-faced look, as my foundations are unlikely to last past morning tea. Instead, I’ve been starting with a small amount of bronzer brushed around the frame of my face, focusing on the temples just to give me a bit of glow. I’m yet to find a new matte bronzer that I like so I mainly switch it up between the Essence Matte Bronzing Powder (in brunette) and the contour shade from Charlotte Tilbury’s Filmstar Bronze and Glow. Occasionally, I’ll tap a little of the highlight shade on the tops of my cheekbones to add a bit of glow and dimension – too many mattifying products on the skin can make you look a little bit flat!

For the cheeks, I’m loving a subtle pink flush, and have been reaching for Clinique’s Cheek Pop in ‘Pink Pop’ most days. It’s a sheer formula that needs to be built up, making it perfect for beginners, or those who are trying to avoid going overboard.

My go to eyeshadow palette has been the Tarte Tartelette palette. Twelve matte shadows ranging from peach to beige to plum to chocolate, it’s an all-rounder that can take you from day to night. The shadows are quite pigmented, and build up really nicely on the skin – my favourite way to wear it is with Supermom dusted all over the lid, and Natural Beauty and Best Friend in the outer corner to create a bit of shadow and definition to the socket.

I’ve been switching between liquid and pencil liner, although my favourite is still hands down the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner. This stuff does not budge, and is a cinch to apply. For lashes, I’ve been trying out a deluxe sample from Chantecaille, and have been loving it so much that I’m probably going to nab the full size once it runs out. It’s the Faux Cils mascara; it really lengthens and separates your lashes (no clumping, at all!) and dries down incredibly quickly. I’m usually a one coat kind of girl but I put on a second coat of the Faux Cils, to add a little bit of extra length.

I am still yet to pick up a new Brow Wiz from Anastasia Beverley Hills, so I’ve been making do with either my Eye Pencil from MAC in ‘Coffee’ to fill them in lightly, or Rimmel’s Brow This Way in ‘Medium Brown’ for a more subtle take.

Lipstick hasn’t been one of my top priorities, to tell the truth, instead I’ve been opting for a swipe of Nuxe Reve De Miel before I head out the door. On the days where I’ve decided to make a little bit of extra effort, I’ll throw Charlotte Tilbury in ‘Penelope Pink’ or Stoned Rose in my bag to apply on the go.

January Beauty & Fashion Favourites 2016

january beauty and fashion favourites

Seeing the last month flash by has felt a little bittersweet; how is it February already? Without going so far as to impose a full on shopping ban, there haven’t been many new purchases passing through the doors of my closet or the drawers of my vanity, instead, I’ve been ‘shopping’ my stash.

For make up, I’ve been absolutely loving Tarte’s ‘Tartelette’ palette this past month. It’s completely matte which makes it perfect for every day, it has a great selection of 12 shades ranging from light to dark, and the shadows themselves are quite pigmented (if not a little powdery). Brush wise, I’m completely smitten with Karen Walker’s first foray into beauty; her collaboration with Sephora. I was lucky enough to nab my brush set from the Wellington boutique, although there’s still a few going on the Sephora website, and at a discount too! These are extremely soft to the touch, pick up product really well, and not to mention they look extremely luxurious on your vanity. For those wondering, I haven’t really had any issues with shedding yet.

Then when it comes to lips, I’ve been l-o-v-i-n-g NARS’s lip gloss in the shade ‘priscilla’, dabbed onto the lips to add a subtle flash rather than a full on neon bright as the tube would suggest. This is so moisturizing and comfortable on the lips, and doesn’t have that sticky tackiness that lip glosses often have. My other favourite has been Charlotte Tilbury’s K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipstick in the shade Penelope Pink – it’s a really lovely blush nude with brown undertones, and the formula is as creamy as anything.

When it comes to fashion, I’ve been starting to get a lot of wear out of my ryan muscle tank from Everlane, which I’d long relegated to the back of my closet for being too sheer. I tend to wear this with a nude bralette underneath and find that it isn’t too noticeable. It’s ended up being the perfect antidote to Sydney’s balmy hot weather which is what has had me reaching for it when I’m at a loss for what to wear. I’ve also been throwing on my merchant shorts from Karen Walker at least once a week (as worn here); I love a good high waisted short, and the frayed edges and slightly bell bottom legs has made these a winner for me. Finally, I’ve been keeping it pretty minimal with my accessories this past month, wearing a simple pair of earrings, my engagement ring, and more often than not, my chrysanthemum necklace from Karen Walker. This was a gift from my uncle for my 21st and I love it just as much now, as when he gave it to me.

I’d love to know, what have your favourites been in January?