Thursday, 19 February 2015

OPI Fifty Shades of Grey | Swatches and Chat

I'm afraid to say that I have not read the book, nor seen the movie, but the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon has certainly made its mark on me...or should I say...on my fingernails!

OPI have recently released their Fifty Shades of Grey inspired set of nail polishes in moody, sensual hues of grey, silver and red. The collection consists of four gorgeous cream formulas, one metallic, and one glitter. 

This mini set was graciously sent to me for review, and I believe I had the first shade on my nails within minutes of it being in my hot little hands. I adore them all, but have a particular fondness for the luscious cream formulas in the set. All six of the shades are sophisticated, glowing, vibrant, and utterly "grown up".

There will be full size purchases made in the near future my loves, I'll give you the tip!

I believe I have mentioned in other nail related posts, that I am a nail polish enthusiast, not a nail blogger. I photograph my mani's in natural light, and enjoy mixing up my shades. If you would like straight swatches, there are a plethera available just a click away on google.

OPI Fifty Shades of Grey - Dark Side of the Mood and My Silk Tie

Dark Side of the Mood is a stunning deep, rich, charcoal grey, which takes on an almost blueish hue in some lights. I was surprised to find the first coat to be quite sheer and a little patchy, however the second coat glides on and evens out perfectly. It is one of the those dark, mysterious, almost black polishes that just looks so sophisticated. I am sure the application would be improved with the wide curved brush that the full size polishes have, as opposed to the thiner, straight edge of the mini bottles. This shade is certainly unique in my collection...I think it is just beautiful.

A few days after wearing this as a straight mani, I thought I would try my hand at a free hand french tip using My Silk Tie. My effort is a little pedestrian, but I liked the overall effect. Definitely more practice is in order!

OPI Fifty Shades of Grey - Embrace the Grey

Embrace the Grey is the mid-toned grey of the collection, and again, another favourite. It is just so classy, particularly when paired with gold accessories in my humble opinion. This shade can lean a little warm and has a subtle olive tone to it in artificial light. I found it to dry a little darker on the nail than what you see in the bottle. Very pretty. 

OPI Fifty Shades Of Grey - Romantically Involved

Oh Romantically Involved suprised me! I am typically drawn to cool, blue based red polishes because I feel like they suit my skintone a little better than the warmer reds. Romantically Involved is quite a warm, passionate red, and I loved it. In my opinion, this formula was the most pigmented, and smooth going on the nail out of the whole collection. Two easy coats. Like butter. Glorious.

OPI Fifty Shades Of Grey - Cement the Deal, My Silk Tie and Shine for Me

In the final mani above, I had decided to use a fishtail method on my ring finger using My Silk Tie. A beautiful glowing metallic silver polish, that does unfortunately show vertical brush marks on the nail. I mentioned on Instagram that I had previously seen this fishtail technique used with a single shade of polish that has the tendency to look a little streaky on the nail, and the effect is stunning! Though terribly hard to photograph due to the reflective finish of this polish in particular, my attempt ended up looking a little more like brushed metal...which I loved. I'll have to do a full mani with this shade I think!

Cement the Deal  is a stunning, light blue/grey and is just beautiful. I have seen this shade on many different skin tones, and it is flattering on everyone! I adore it. Again, the first coat was a little patchy, but evened out perfectly with the second. Love.

Shine for Me is a gorgoeus silver and blue microglitter in a clear base that complements the other shades in the collection perfectly. It is not a loud, attention seeking glitter, just a really pretty one. 

So friends... do tell... is the book good? Is the movie good? Am I missing out loves?
Have you got your eye on any of these beautiful shades of polish? Which one is your favourite?

Please feel free to leave a comment below!

Mr Grey will see you now...

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Lou xo

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Summer Skin Survival with Ingrid Seaburn

Apart from being a rather glorious way to waste time, Instagram can also offer the beauty lover the chance to win little giveaways...or sometimes big ones depending on whom you follow!

Some months ago now,  I happened to be scrolling away in between loads of washing and picking toys up off the floor that no one else seams to see or even notice, and happened upon Ingrid Seaburn's recently posted picture of her very own targeted skincare line HYDRATE. The caption below asked the follower to name the star ingredient in her serum, and the first one to answer correctly would win a bottle! Pffft....easy peasy... as quick as my fingers could tap out Hyaluronic Acid they did, and guess what chickens? I won myself the prize!

I have been following Ingrid on Instagram for some time now, and always had Hydrate on my list of serums to try. Ingrid has been working her magic as a very highly regarded skincare therapist in LA for over 13 years, and has an impressive list of Hollywood clientele including Teri Hatcher ( Ingrid was her personal skincare therapist for 5 years whilst she was staring in Desperate Housewives ) and our very own beautiful Rachel Griffiths, just to name a select few. Ingrid's skills were in demand from high profile actors, celebrities and musicians alike.

I am delighted and thrilled to have Ingrid as my guest on The Beauty Vine today! Ingrid will be sharing some post party season Summer Survival skincare tips today, to help us get back the glow that the late nights, party food and the odd cocktail may have dulled.

To kick off the post, I will be sharing my thoughts on Hydrate, Ingrid's own hydrating serum. My bottle is sadly all but empty... its a good one.

Hydrate is an oil free, gel based serum that can be easily  incorporated into any part of your skincare routine. Hydrate boasts pure hyaluronic acid in a soothing base of Aloe Vera that is perfect for all skin types.

Naturally occurring in our bodies, hyaluronic acid levels unfortunately deplete as we age. Often described as the "moisture magnet" for the skin, it aides in the skins ability to maintain its moisture levels, which, in turn, also boosts the effects of your existing serums and moisturisers. Manufactured in Australia, Ingrid has created a product that can be used in many different ways, depending on your skins needs. 

Hydrate is an extremely lightweight hydrating serum ( no pun intended!) that I have been thoroughly enjoying. In fact, she travelled all the way to New York with me last October, and I feel was in part responsible for my skin not totally freaking out from the horrendously long flights, and travel in general.

I did have a little bag packed, all prepared in my carry on luggage for my "Long Haul" inflight skincare routine, which I will have to share with you about in another post. Can I just say, You Tube makes it all looks so glamorous and relaxing....I just laugh when I look back and remember my experience. It was something I was looking forward to doing so much, and was a complete anti-climax!! Anyway...I digress!

Hydrate has a thin, gel consistency that feels beautiful on the skin, absorbing quickly without leaving any tacky residue (unlike some other hyaluronic acid based serums on the market). I do give it about a minute to absorb completely. My skin feels and looks refreshed, plump and happy. 

In the summer months, I have often used this on it's own in the mornings, skipping the moisturiser,  and continuing on with my SPF, and then either mineral makeup or a lightweight CC cream. It makes a lovely base for your makeup. My oily/combo skin does appreciate lighter textures in the warmer months, particularly of a morning. Ingrid recommends that women with drier skin types may like follow Hydrate with a moisturiser, or add a pump of the serum in with your moisturiser. Too easy.
In the evenings, I have simply used it in the serum stage of my evening routine, after hydrating mist, and before my moisturiser or facial oil.

I have also enjoyed using Hydrate as a simple, effective layer of hydration on my skin on the nights when I use my chemical exfoliants. Depending on how my skin feels, I don't always like to leave my skin bare after using AHA's or BHA's...a nice lightweight serum really does the trick for me.

I have been using Hydrate with Natural Grapefruit essence, which to me is extremely subtle, and just gives the serum a hint of freshness. It is also available in fragrance free, and a formula just for the man in your life, Hydrate for Men.

As I mentioned earlier, my bottle is just about empty, and I will certainly be looking to purchase another! Head over to Ingrid's webiste here to learn a little more about her, and to purchase some lovely Hydrate for yourself.

I'll hand over to Ingrid now to share her wonderful Summer Skin rescue beauty tips, including not only some product recommendations, but some dietary suggestions as well. Thank you Ingrid!

1. Once the xmas and new year festivities are over, start to think about cleaning your diet up, eliminating sugar and salty foods where possible , sticking to basic salads , lots of protien and of course gallons of water . Although we have heard this advice many times before, the truth is that there is a direct link between sugar and the rate at which you age and the health of your skin . The breakdown of sugar in your body, called glycation, directly affects your bodies ability to produce fresh collagen. That overload of chocolate and ice cream you indulged in the last few weeks it is in fact actually ageing you!! My advice... an avocado a day and ginger water by the gallon. The ginger has amazing metabolic and cleansing properties for a sluggish system . 

2. Although we feel like summer skin after a day at the beach needs moisture, your skin in fact requires less moisturiser in the summer months due to the higher level of humidity in the air . Be sure to change up your moisturiser to a more lightweight formula to avoid clogging of pores with all that sweat and dirt that occurs on a hot day ( Something like Hydrate is perfect because of it lightweight hyaluronic acid gel base ). 

3. Avoid chemically based sunscreen and stick to the zinc base only. Zinc won't clog pores and will give you a physical barrier against the sun that no chemically based sunscreen no matter how hightech SPF will do . I am very strict on this rule as the sun is not your friend if you want truly beautiful skin, thats a fact !! My favourite is Invisible Zinc.

4. Vitamin C is making a comeback in the skincare routine arena and summer time is when its really needed . Vitamin C in your serum or delivered in crystal form mixed in with your serum nightly gives you powerful anti-oxidant protection from UV rays, and at the same time will stimulate collagen production !! As an added bonus, it brightens your skin , yay !! Enquire at your local skincare therapist  for something medical grade like Rationale or Ultraceuticals , don't waste your money on cheap supermarket brands. They will do little to deliver proper amounts of  Vitamin C to make a difference.

5. Pick an enzyme based exfoliant for summer glow like lactic acid or pumpkin or papaya enzyme to give your skin a beautiful summer glow without harsh scrubbing .... In my books , scrubs and granules are a no no as they are too agressive and cause more harm than good !  My favourite is Polish by American brand Osmosis.

Thank you so much Ingrid for sharing your experience and knowledge!

If you would like to share any of your tips for Summer Skin do leave them below! I'd love to hear from you if you have tried Hydrate before?

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Lou xo ( and Ingrid! xo )

Friday, 6 February 2015

Laura Mercier Flawless Expressions For Eyes, Cheeks and Lips

Hello Beauties! 

I purchased the Laura Mercier Flawless Expressions for Eyes, Cheeks and Lips prior to Christmas last year, and have only really started playing with it in the last few weeks. The problem with having too much makeup!

I believe it was a Christmas 2014 release, and is limited edition.

So you may be wondering why I am showing you this today, but I have discovered that this set is available on Adore Beauty at 30% of the recommended retail of $90.00 AU, and is now down to $63.00 AU!

I have some swatches and thoughts to share with you today, in case you might like to take advantage of the discounted price!

Laura Mercier Flawless Expressions Eye and Cheek Palette - Eyeshadows L-R Buff Pearl ( Luster ),
Fresco ( Matte ), Cherrywood ( Luster ), Guava ( Sateen ),  Stone Sable ( Sateen ), Deep Night ( Matte ).

These eyeshadows are absolutely beautiful. They are smooth, creamy and blend beautifully on the eyes. I only own one other Laura Mercier eyeshadow, and that is the single eyeshadow in Amethyst, which I love to bits. The only shade in this palette that has a little less colour pay-off is Guava, however all of the other shades are exceptional. The two matte shades, Fresco and Deep Night are just stunning. The swatches you see above are just one swipe of colour. I love how there is both mid-tone and deep toned matte shades in the palette. I have Fresco as my crease/transition shade today, and I have used Deep Night as my liner. Buff Pearl is on my eyelid, which is so lovely and brightening. Cherrywood is a stunning warm plum that looks just beautiful in the outer corner. Stone Sable makes a perfect one-shadow look, patted onto the lid and blended up into the crease. Can you tell I love them?
The palette itself is quite small and compact, and I like that the colours are grouped into warm and cool options.

Laura Mercier Flawless Expressions Second Skin Blushes in Lush Nectarine and Rose Petal.
Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Rose Gold. Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Gilded Rose.

I already own two of Laura Mercier's Second Skin Cheek Colour Blushes, Lotus Pink, and City Pink. They were the first two higher-end blushes that I purchased, thanks to the glowing recommendation from Jodi ( GooRoo Beauty ) a few years ago. There is something very unique about the Second Skin blushes, they give your cheeks the most beautiful glow, and I know this term is overused, but it is very much a lit-from-within glow. I find that they are buildable, and last really well on my skin. I was very exited to see the shade Lush Nectarine in the palette! It has been a lemming of mine ever since Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup sang its praises about 2 years ago! Both of these shades are just gorgeous. Love.

I have 4 of the Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Sticks, and absolutely love them. They certainly deserve their own blog post! I'll put it on my list! I already own the full size of Rose Gold, and although I have always felt it could be a little bit pinker and warmer, I still love it. These cream eyeshadows work equally as well one their own, or as a base for your powder eyeshadows. Love. This one is a smaller size, though they do last for ages!

I have not previously tried a Laura Mercier Mascara or Lip Glace, both of which come as full size products in this set. The mascara in this set is the Full Blown Volume Supreme Lash Building Mascara and so far I like it. It always takes me a couple of weeks to really suss out a mascara and gather my thoughts, but this one is nice and black, not too wet, and builds volume and length very nicely. The Lip Glace in Gilded Rose is just beautiful, smells like vanilla cake, feels nice on the lips, and lasts really well without being heavy or sticky. On the lips it is essentially a clear gloss with a little bit of fine gold shimmer through it. I have never "felt" the glitter on my lips, and I think whist this shade is pretty on its own, it would be perfect to layer over almost any shade of lipstick. I think I might need to try some more shades, the formula is right up my alley...

I really love these type of makeup sets. You have everything you need to create either a natural look, or something more dramatic, bar your base products. I think it would be perfect for travel, and it would make a such beautiful gift. Aside from the fact that it is on a really great special, I think it is still definitely worth the original $90 price tag. And if it is something you think you might like, then Happy Valentine's day to you?

You will find this palette on Adore Beauty here. Adore Beauty also ship internationally, you will just need to check the site to see if they ship to your country. I am quite a regular customer to Adore Beauty ( shhh...don't tell my husband).  Their customer service cannot be faulted, shipping is extremely prompt, everything is packaged safely and securely, and you also get a free Tim Tam with every order. Need I say more?

Do you already own this lovely palette? What are your favourite Laura Mercier products?
Do leave a comment below, I'd love to hear from you!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Lou xo

Disclaimer: This is not sponsored, nor are there any affiliates links, I just wanted to share a great bargain! Cheers, xo

Thursday, 5 February 2015


I must confess, I have been a little remiss in posting about these gorgeous lippies, as they have been available for some months now. I have noticed Joanna ( founder of Shanghai Suzy ) posting a few sneak peaks of the new Autumn/Winter '15 collection on Instagram over the last few weeks, and it has spurred me on to get these swatches up for you! I do believe that a full re-stock of the these shades occurred in mid January, and seeing as these shades are all limited edition, it is certainly time to think about grabbing your favourites before they disappear forever! ( Forgive me, limited edition products always have an associated drama... ).

My first blog post on Shanghai Suzy lipsticks is here... click through to this link to find out all about Shanghai Suzy, and their founder Joanna Wheaton. You will also find more information about the two formulas that these lipsticks come in, Nourish, and Matte. They are still, hands down one of my favourite lipstick formulas, in particular the Matte formula, which is the most comfortable, least drying matte lipstick formula I have come across in my 20 odd years of lipstick wearing ( more drama... )

The last six months has seen a phenomenal increase in the amount of stockists for this gorgeous brand, in both bricks and mortar, and online. Not only exciting for the brand and its growth, but for us customers as well!

I have 7 of the 8 shades available to show you today.....I had originally purchased three of the shades, and then shortly after ordered two more that I just had to have! In that package, were a couple of extra shades that Joanna had so generously added to my order! Thank you Jo! The only shade I am missing from this collection is Miss Ally, a deep, bright cool toned purple.

LEFT TO RIGHT - Miss Leah BABY COCOA ( Nourish )  Miss Olivia APRICOT ( Nourish )  
Miss Nicole BURGANDY BROWN ( Matte )   Miss Bree PINK BLUSH ( Matte )  
Miss Christina NEON GUAVA ( Matte )
Miss Mia FOXY HIBISCUS ( Matte )   Miss Courtney ELECTRIC FLAMINGO ( Matte )



Aren't they BEYOOTIFUL? 

I do have a couple of favourites. I love them all, but there are a couple of shades I  find myself reaching for more often.  Miss Leah ( Baby Cocoa ) is a stunning nude, which has the perfect amount of pink undertones. Beige or peach undertones in nudes just don't suit my colouring, and tend to give me the walking corpse look.  I LOVE that this is a nourish formula, it has a lovely sheen which makes it so wearable, and so comfortable. Shanghai Suzy's Nourish formulas are enriched with Jojoba and Vitamin E, and just feel good on your lips. I believe Miss Leah has been one of the best sellers in this collection, so grab her now before she's gone!

Miss Nicole ( Burgandy Brown ) is another fave, and described by Shanghai Suzy as a deep, rich chocolate brown with a burgandy hue. This one takes me back to the nineties for sure! Not only was I actually alive in the nineties, I was in my teens/early 20's, so I can tell you from first hand experience, everyone was rocking the rich chocolate lip! I love it! Though stunning applied as a bold, matte lip, she is also very pretty, and a little softer if you blot her down a little. I have also just tapped this shade into my lips with my finger, and you end up with a beautiful burgandy stain. Gorgeousness.

Miss Mia ( Foxy Hibiscus ) I'm not sure if there are enough adjectives in the world for me to adequately describe how much I bloody love this shade. Second from the right in my swatches, she is STUNNING in every sense of the word. She is a matte formula, but imagine a creamy, luminous matte that glides onto your lips like butter. A cool toned, pink based hibiscus red that just glows. I'm obsessed. I am wearing Miss Mia in my profile picture for the blog. The perfect summer red, or anytime red really...she certainly is foxy, and I must admit, I feel a bit foxy when I wear her...

You can find Shanghai Suzy's website here,  with full list of Australian stockists, and the option to shop online straight from the website. The packaging of the lids has changed recently to a clear plastic, instead of black. I am sorry to say that International lippy lovers are left salivating, hopefully shipping options will become available soon, and i will certainly update you when that happens.

Which shades tickle your fancy? Do you have a shade of lipstick that makes you feel foxy? It doesn't matter how old you are, there is enough foxy to go around! You rock it girl!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Lou xo

Wednesday, 4 February 2015


Beauty friends, I have a new hair love...may I introduce EVY. 

Yes, we are on a first name basis. I know. It's only been a few months, but I think I can safely say that she might just be my favourite. She is also well loved and respected among my friends, who can't say enough good things about her. In terms of a good hair day, she will never let you down. She's got your back...and your sides...and your fringe. 
She is EVY Professional's iQ-OneGlide Styler.

EVY Professional is a new range of professional quality hair styling tools, created by Australian hair straightening expert Tracey Bazzano Laurette. The EVY iQ-OneGlide Styler is part of Tracey's range of hair tools that boast Mineral Infused Technology, designed to provide unrivalled smoothing and hydration to the hair as you style.

 The last decade has seen many new hair styling tools emerging onto the market that are utilising 
Ionic Technology
Ionic Technology is the generation of negative ions to counteract positive ions. These hair tools use minerals, which are crushed and infused into the heating plates, to emit negative ions as you style. It is these negative ions which counteract the positive ions which are present in dry, damaged hair. 

The minerals work to seal in moisture and counteract frizz, resulting in smooth, shiny hair. One of the first minerals to be used in hair styling tools was Tourmaline, I remember a time when everything seemed to be Tourmaline charged! 
( I may be showing my age here...).

After owning her own hair salon in Melbourne for 25 years, and training in both the US and Japan, Tracey has brought the new generation Japanese mineral technology to her very own brand EVY Professional. Not just one, but 32 hair loving minerals are infused into the plates of the iQ-OneGlide Styler, and the addition of 24 carat gold to the metal/ceramic plate is said to bring even deeper hydration to the hair.


The sturdy quilted storage bag unzips to become your heat-resistant surface

I have been colouring, and predominantly lightening my hair for the better part of 20 years. My hair has been long, mid-length, in a short bob, in a long bob, boy-short and everything in between in that time. Apart from the odd sway to the dark side, I have favoured blonde highlights for the majority of that time. 

I have been using/testing/loving my EVY for several months now. Apart from its efficacy, and beautiful results, I find that my style, whether it is perfectly straight or loose curls, seems to last exceptionally well. In the past, I have found that the day after I have straightened my hair, things are looking a bit on the shabby side. Some areas will be frizzy, sometimes my ends have kicked out, or I'll have kinks in my hair from sleeping on it. I have not noticed any of these second day hair blues with EVY. 

In the past, my hair would normally look a little dull and lacking in shine after using a straightening iron. I would normally have felt the need to add extra oils or serums, and probably a spritz of shine spray to make things look a little more alive again! I certainly notice a difference in how shiny my hair looks after use, compared to other brands that I have used over the years ( both expensive and inexpensive ). EVY certainly does glide really nicely through the whole length of my hair, no skipping or dragging, and works beautifully with just one pass over each section of hair.

It comes beautifully boxed, with a quilted storage pouch which unzips and folds out to become your heat-proof mat. Perfect not only for home, but also for travel. 

The iQ-OneGlide is matte black and has a smooth, rubberised feel ( think NARS packaging ), which makes it lovely to hold and easy to maneouver.

A digital LED display, very prompt heat-up time, a 3m long swivel cord ( yay ) and automatic shut off after 60 minutes are all brilliant features, and I particularly love that the on/off and temperature controls are on the inside of the barrel...thank you Tracey!!

I have a couple of photographs below of my hair after having a play, doing the both the sleek and straight look, and some relaxed curls, that I finger combed and roughed up a little. 

The EVY Professional iQ-OneGlide Styler retails for a recommended retail price of $299 AU. She's not cheap, but you absolutely get what you pay for, and this is, in my humble opinion, a very high quality straightener, and to my knowledge is in a similar pricing category to what we are asked to pay for the likes of GHD and Cloud Nine. I warmly and wholeheartedly recommend it.

You can find the EVY Professional products on the AquaBaci website here. You will also find a list of stockists.

If you fancy an idea for a luxury Valentines day gift, EVY are offering to engrave your straightener, with either a name or a message for that someone special ( or just for yourself! ). Just mention that you would like your straightener engraved when you purchase your EVY from your local stockist, or online, and they will take care of it for you! Genius! Don't leave it to the last minute though beauties!

I'd love to know if you have heard of EVY Professional?! Are you a hair dryer or straightener gal? Or do you sometimes go to bed with wet hair in a bun like me? ( shhh...that's our little secret) Do leave a comment or question below, I'd love to hear from you!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Lou xo

Disclaimer: My EVY was a PR gift, and for that I am extremely grateful. I pride myself on thorough testing and thoughtful reviews, and would not recommend a product that I didn't absolutely love, or be willing to spend my own hard earned money on. I am not a professional hair stylist, I am just a consumer like you! Cheers xo

P.S. I'm not 40, I am 18 with 22 years experience...

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