Brand Spotlight: Vani-T Cosmetics

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Hello world!

After being exposed to a number of new brands at the Bloggers United AU event (read up on my recap here ). I was blown away by a relatively small eco-glamour cosmetics and tanning company, ‘Vani-T’. Their presentation was fantastic, and they demonstrated their products well. Their products ranged from makeup brushes (absolutely stunning by the way), to cosmetics, to all things tanning (including preparation and aftercare). Vani-T pride themselves on delivering what they call ‘eco-glamour’: their company is a fusion of ethics, luxury and performance. Their products are housed within absolutely stunning recyclable packaging, they are rich in natural and organic ingredients, they DO NOT conduct animal testing, and they do not contain sulfates, parabens, talc, bismuth or clay.

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The gorgeous pack included in our Bloggers United AU bag, including the tanning products

We were gifted with a generous package including a mineral colour lipstick, a mineral lip glaze, mineral colour crystals, a tanning mit, bronzing custard and self-tanner. After the event, we were also given the luxury of choosing another product from their range. I was lucky enough to be colour matched for their mineral powder foundation so I chose this.

This post will focus on the makeup from the company. I haven’t tried the tanning products yet, because lucky for me I’m still naturally bronzed from the Summer (thanks for giving me your European skin tone Mum & Dad) and I don’t need to use them. But I may use them in the Winter so stay tuned for a possible tanning post!

 Products:

Mineral Powder Foundation

I’ve always struggled to find a good mineral powder and recently gave up hope on them. They oxidise pretty bad on my skin, and they always gave me an itch on my face whenever wearing them. So when I was exposed to this brand and their mineral powder foundation, I saw it did not contain bismuth oxychloride. Also known as ‘synthetic pearl’ it is the main ingredient for most ‘mineral makeup’. This is because it gives a distinct shimmery, pearlescent finish and hides imperfections well. However, some people (like me) find bismuth oxychloride irritating. This is mostly due to the crystalline structure of the compound. These ‘crystals’ can poke at the skin, and can get stuck in the pores, where these pokes are sharper and can irritate the skin. So, when I heard that this powder did not contain bismuth oxychloride, I was immediately interested in trying it out. I was colour matched to ‘Almondine’, which I found to be the absolute perfect match for me. This was the product I asked to receive after the event and I was so happy with my choice!

This foundation is by far the best mineral powder foundation I’ve ever tried. Honestly, move over Nude By Nature. It blended it so well, and didn’t look patchy like some others I’ve tried. The coverage with this powder was awesome, yet the finish was so beautiful and natural; it really gave a nice glow to my skin. It does contain micro shimmer particles however so I know it’s not for everyone. I did not feel any irritation at all from using this mineral powder, which was a massive plus. This quickly became my favourite product from their range, it really exceeded my expectations and I’ll be so sad when I run out. I absolutely loved it.

 Mineral Lip Colour

*SQUEAL* Oh my, just look at that gorgeous packaging. Seriously. It looks more like an accessory than a lipstick. How beautiful is it!?

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Still in awe of the packaging, it’s enough to put a smile on any woman’s face

Okay, once I settled down from the excitement over the packaging, I tried out the lipstick and really liked it. I received the shade ‘La Femme”, which means ‘The Woman’ or ‘Wife’. It’s a really beautiful and natural muted pink/rose nude shade. It’s right on trend at the moment and hits the spot for me.

The lipstick is really creamy and feels nourishing and hydrating on the lips. It is infused with coconut oil, Vitamin E and aloe extract to kick in some intense hydration. After I ate some food, I found it left a really subtle pink stain on my lips which I actually really liked. This product is definitely going to become one of everyday staples in my makeup routine.

 Mineral Lip Glaze

Once again, I received a pink/rose lip gloss at the event that complimented the shade of the lipstick. This shade is called ‘Goddess’. This one has some fine gold shimmer through it to add a bit of sparkle and glamour. It has an organic base, with some coconut oil and castor oil for some added hydration. It is on the thicker side of lip gloss consistency, but it didn’t feel sticky on my lips which is one of my pet peeves! I can’t stand sticky lipgloss.

I love the applicator on this. You can twist open or close the applicator, keeping the lipgloss packaging clean. You can also use this to adjust the amount of product that comes out so that you are not wasting any either. Very clever Vani-T. However, I’m not a huge lipgloss wearer, and when I do wear them, they are mostly natural finishes with no shimmer. I think I will have to use this a little more to get comfortable again with wearing a lipgloss with such a high shine.

 Mineral Colour Crystals

This item is another new favourite of mine already! They are pretty much similar to MAC pigments. They are ultra fine velvety minerals and are 100% pigment (this definitely shows). You can get three finishes; Pearl, Shimmer or Matte. I received the colour ‘Swiss Chocolate’ which is a pearl pigment although most others received Bronze Fine (another beautiful colour).

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I absolutely love my pigment. It’s a rich, dark chocolate shade with some subtle hints of gold shimmer. Unfortunately I couldn’t capture the sparkle of this pigment, and the picture does not justify the finish. It’s so pretty! Being 100% pigment, you really don’t need a lot of product to get a really opaque finish; a little goes a looooooong way. It blends really well, and doesn’t give me a lot of fall out either. One thing I’ve read is that you can add water (or a setting spray) to your brush to use it as eyeliner. I’m going to give it a go with a bronze smokey eye I think. It’s a phenomenal product and I just want to purchase all of them!

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Vani-T cosmetics have really impressed me and exceeded my expectations. My absolute favourite product though was definitely the mineral powder, I absolutely loved it. Because we want to share the love with you all, Vani-T is offering my readers $20 off your online order AND free delivery when you spend $75 or more. If you’d like to take advantage of this offer, use the code:

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This code expires in 4 weeks time, so if you’d like to try them out head on over to their website and use my code for a discount!

Fel x

 

*I have received the products from a blogging event goody bag and have received no payment in return for my views
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Bloggers United AU Adelaide Event

Warning: This post will be very long and may evoke feelings of envy

We arrive at the Seawall Apartments overlooking Glenelg Beach. Sipping on some bubbles, I try to converse with as many Adelaide bloggers as I can, and we all await eagerly for the start of what is to be a day full of new insights, learning and socialising. Founders Nikita and Jasmine introduce Bloggers United AU and the values of their organisation. Basically, Australia is at a disadvantage when it comes to blogging events that bring together and cement it’s blogging community, and Bloggers United AU aims to fill that void. They organise events across Australia, with the help of State reps, to  bring together bloggers across many categories, and to demonstrate the incredible Aussie brands making a name for themselves in the Beauty/Lifestyle industry.

Next, Adelaide reps Kate and Nici from Seduced By Beauty and Beauty and Food explain what the day entails and let me tell you, everyone’s face light right up after the talk! We then got a celebratory group photo of all the bloggers, presenters and Bloggers United girls.

The day offered demonstrations from 12 brands! Most of them showcased the incredible talent right here in South Australia, but companies outside SA were also featured. We were split randomly by taking a beautiful tote bag before walking in, which included our timetable, a notebook and pen and snacks. Bloggers with the same timetable were put into groups. I loved this format, it meant that we were able to shuffle out of our comfort zones and socialise with people we hadn’t met yet.

Firstly, everyone was given the absolute pleasure of hearing a talk given by the talented Heidi from Heidi Who Photos, who was our professional photographer for the day. All professional photos were taken by her, and her photos I used in this post are appropriately watermarked. Naturally, the day was so crazy and jam packed that I barely had time for any photos, so I’ll be using most of hers. She demonstrated the exact art of photography, and gave us all tips and tricks on how to take quality photos for our blogs. We then began our journey through the 12 amazing brand stalls.

There was a strong focus on cruelty-free and ethical brands from South Australia, which I absolutely appreciated!

The brands we were lucky to see demonstrations from were:

  • Weleda

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One of the first organic skincare companies founded in 1921 by Rudolf Steiner who developed the principles of biodynamic farming and anthroposophy, they are heavily focused on sustainable and ethical ways to achieve the skin you want. They create products from skin care, baby care, and perfume. I loved the values of Weleda and was so happy to pick up their famous Skin Food!

  • Kismet Jardin

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A relatively new company in the beauty industry, South Australian brand Kismet Jardin aim to provide consumers with effective luxury products that are built from natural ingredients. Their inspiration comes from a time before the industrial revolution where pure, precious and rare natural ingredients were pursued for the purpose of beauty. Their products range from primers, skin care and natural perfumery.

 

  • Davroe

I’ve heard many great things about Davroe so was really excited to see they were demonstrating their product range. They specialise in cruelty- free vegan hair care that is sulfate and paraben free. They cater for a whole range of hair types from dry, damaged to oily. They also gave a demonstration on how to use their styling products as well. I really enjoyed this display.

  • Shanghai Lil and the Scarlet Fez

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This company produces natural, vegan and palm-oil free personal care products. They are produced in small batches and hand made and must I say, absolutely beautifully packaged! Mark, the presenter and creator exuded his passion for his products and it was so easy to love the items he presented to us. Products ranged from absolutely delicious lip balms, skin care and cold pressed soaps.

  • The Runway Room

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The Runway Room is an Australian owned company of cosmetics founded by makeup artist Alex Fevola. They aim to provide consumers with affordable but luxury products of high quality. Products on display ranged from lipsticks, highlighters and foundations. I wasn’t really sold on the quality and pigmentation of the products, but my pick of the range was their highlighter!

 

  • Enbacci

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Enbacci skin care is making the rounds lately and I’ve heard really good things about the products. They are a unisex skincare company with the focus on sensitive skin types, but products are suitable for all skin types. Cruelty-free and manufactured in Australia, they use their botanical knowledge of plant-based ingredients to bring you luxury and effective skin care.

  • Natralus

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Natralus are another Australian, cruelty-free and natural beauty and health product company. They are mostly well known for their paw paw ointment. One thing I was super impressed with was that the Paw Paw Ointment contained over 80% of the active paw paw extract, much higher than the Lucas Paw Paw Ointment at 5%!

  • Yo-Get-It

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Yo-Get-It are an Australian frozen yoghurt company in Adelaide with a self-serve format. On display this day, was their new Acai Berry bowl. Now I absolutely love Acai Berry bowls so was so excited to try it! Acai berries have a huge health benefit, boasting one of the highest sources of antioxidants around, and are appropriately named a super food.

  • Vani-T

Vani-T is a South Australian make-up and tanning company that is now sold in 10 countries and has made a huge success on an international scale. The packaging for the make-up products was jaw dropping, looking like accessories more than cosmetics. They have a big focus on eco-glamour and have a huge range of mineral make-up. Their products are such high quality with amazing pigmentation. I can’t wait to get out and try their mineral powder foundation!

  • Dr Hauschka

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This is a German-based brand that have been around for about 50 years. Another brand that focuses on sustainable, cruelty-free products, they make an interesting approach to skin care. They believe that we shouldn’t be using products on our skin at night, as that is when the skin is most active in it’s regeneration cycle and would just be wasting cellular energy by breaking down the products. The demonstrator gave us an information-heavy booklet about their products which I have found a really interesting read.

  • REB Cosmetics

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REB Cosmetics is a relatively small South Australian company with another focus on vegan make-up but with a large range of products. I really enjoyed the presentation and loved exploring the products. I picked up a really beautiful warm, burnt red eyeshadow and LOVE it!

  • L’Oreal Professional

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No need for an introduction here, this company is very well known! We were shown a range of hair care products across some of their daughter brands. I’m really interested to use the diamond oil from Redken and the Pureology treatment spray. Nikita also talked to us about what L’Oreal looks for in bloggers they’d like to collaborate with, so there were some good tips for us all.

 

Catering

We were very lucky to be supplied with Cold Pressed Juices and Ovi Hydration drinks throughout the day. On top of that, Oporto’s new menu was given to us before it’s release and it’s safe to say that their new menu is absolutely delicious!

Special Guest Appearances

This was actually my absolute favourite part of my day. We were graced with the presence of successful bloggers Jenni from Styling Curvy blog, and Hayley & Lauren from Adelady. Jenni talked about the reasons why she started blogging, sharing with us her emotional and personal battles that have shaped who she now is, and what a great woman that is. She taught us about the need to love yourself completely, and in doing so the need to stay true to your personality by being honest and writing blogs with integrity. She also made the important point that nothing is free in the blogging world, and that the products we are gifted by brands are for our hard work we put into our blogs and social media.

The girls from Adelady also touched on the importance of personal identity and how to maintain that in the blogging community. The spoke about their journey to their success and how to work with brands successfully whilst being true to yourself.

Goodie Bags

I cannot express how absolutely spoiled we were with gifts from the day. Almost all the products I was excited about in the demonstrations were included in our gifts. They were absolutely filled to the brim, and I have never, EVER struggled so hard with walking and carrying bags of products. People literally stared at me like I was a shopaholic gone mad, because of course they had no idea where or how I accrued that bags hanging off just about every limb and joint of my body. I planned to take the bus home, but once I walked about 200 metres I realised the only way I was getting home in one piece was by getting a taxi. It was so hard to get a good photo of everything we received so here is my best.

I’ll also give a breakdown of what we received and from what brands

Here is some of the massive amounts of skin care I received from Enbacci, Elucent Skin Care, Kosmea, Dr Hauschka, Nuxe, Weleda, Kismet Jardin, RosehipPLUS, Uriage, Rituelle, Bitchinskin.

A range of make-up and tanning products from brands such as Vani-T, Manicare, Glam by Manicare, NYX, Shanghai Lil and the Scarlet Fez, Furless, Poni Cosmetics, Nude by Nature.

Various hair care products from Redken, Matrix, Pureology, Davroe, and bhave.

Dental and miscellaneous products. I was gifted the TANDA candle, Blinc mascara and nail polish at the pre-event brunch. I would have had more food and drink to photograph but I.. ahhh… something happened to them. I love the notebook, seeds and the two bath bombs and I can’t wait to use them.

Well, my mammoth post is now over. I’m sorry it’s so long, but it was so hard to keep it short while having so much to talk about. I am so blessed that I got an invitation to this event. I met so many beautiful and interesting women, I gained a tonne of product knowledge, and I got to meet some of the people behind awesome Aussie brands. I absolutely loved my day and I cannot thank Nikita, Jasmine, Kate or Nici enough in words.

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If you’d like to know more about Bloggers United AU, you can follow them on Instagram, but I’m sure you do already.

Love Fel x

 

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Everything you need to know about Beauty Heaven and the reasons why I am hooked!

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Logo from www.beautyheaven.com.au

Those of you who follow my Instagram page would notice me from time to time raving about Beauty Heaven and being a part of their trial team. Since then I’ve had many people ask me, “What is Beauty Heaven and how does it work?” So, the aim of this post is for me to answer all the questions you may have on Beauty Heaven, and to give you new insight into how it all works.

What is this ‘Beauty Heaven’ I always speak of?

 THE number one question! Beauty Heaven (herein referred to as ‘BH’) is a website that you all should be a member of right now! It’s absolutely free to join, so you have absolutely nothing to lose and so much to gain!

 Here is the ‘About Us’ blurb written by the BH team:

“beautyheaven is more than just a beauty website; it’s a go-to destination where you can find all the advice, news and insider knowledge you could ever need. It’s a community where like-minded (read: beauty-obsessed) individuals come together to celebrate and share their love for all things make-up, skin care, hair, health, lifestyle, and so much more. It’s Australia’s most extensive beauty review database, and the place to visit to get your beauty fix.”

 Pretty much spot on, but I don’t believe the blurb does the website justice. It’s way more exciting than that! BH has a HUGE membership, and thousands of women contribute to the site daily by submitting product reviews, commenting on articles, entering competitions, participating in trials, and interacting with the staff and other members through their forums. It has an absolutely awesome loyalty program where members can earn points by interacting with the website and other members, and can then swap their points for free products in their famous “Beautorium” which is now happening 3 times a year! You can earn 220 points just by signing up, confirming your email address and creating your ‘Beauty Profile’. I do use the term ‘free’ very loosely though, because it’s not entirely free, we are being rewarded for the hard work we put into making BH as amazing as it is, and that’s worth a lot. In this blog post, I want to speak about all the aspects of BH, so that more women have the knowledge of all the things they can do with BH. I also want to hone in on the things I love most about BH (and there are a few).

 Reviews

 BH presents the biggest online database of product reviews in Australia, almost every product you can think of will be able to be viewed and reviewed by members of the Australian public.

How it works, is that brands will approach BH and ask them to be involved in the product reviewing site. Not all brands are a part of BH though, some high end brands like Urban Decay and Stila etc do not participate in BH. Product pages will then be uploaded to their website, and women like you and me find these products on the website and review them to describe our experience with them. Products that can be reviewed are from various brands across all beauty and lifestyle categories. The best part about it is that the reviews are written by everyday women like you and me! There is no bias from reviews written by the companies and representatives themselves and no one is paid to submit a review, so you can be sure all the testimonies are as impartial as can be, meaning you can fully trust in them! You can earn 5 points for each review that is accepted by the website, and brands can even respond to your review to talk to you more about your experience and understand why you loved – or didn’t love- a certain product. The reviewing aspect of BH is so valuable in my experience, there have been many products I was considering to buy but then didn’t purchase, after reading reviews by other women detailing their experience with the product. So it’s essentially saved me money and saved me from the horrors of buying a product and then hating it!

 Each month, there are a selection of products that are a part of the ‘Bonus Points’ round. Meaning that each review you write for those specified products will earn you double the points of a regular review, allowing you to build up your points balance even more.

 Trial Teams

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Image from www.beautyheaven.com.au

 My absolute, most favourite part of BH is their trial team program. It’s a fantastic way to try products you’ve never used before, or to try products that have not even been released in Australia yet! However, you can’t just sign up to BH and then be on the trial team the next day, you have to reach Silver status (350+ points) to be considered and there are some criteria you need to meet. You can earn your spot on the Trial Teams by submitting numerous, high quality reviews. The BH staff are interested in members who write the most valuable reviews, so if you’re wanting to become a part of it, you really need to up your game by submitting ones that really stand out! After you’ve written at least 5 reviews, you can send in 3 reviews that you think are your best. A member of the BH staff – usually Vanessa (Hi Vanessa!!) – will analyse your reviews and determine whether you’re a good candidate for the trial teams. If you’re successful, you’ll be listed onto the database and be invited to trial teams for products that suit you’re beauty profile. Your profile is really important! It includes information such as your age, skin type, what sort of products you usually use etc. This is essential so that you’re the best fit the products that need to be trialed.

 The trial teams are a hugely popular function of BH, and as such it is really competitive! Places usually fill up within 30 minutes – you have to respond to email invitation – and hundreds of women are essentially competing for a place on the trial teams. Products that are included range from simple every day items like a lip balm, sunscreen or hair ties, to luxury items from brands such as Lancome and GHD.

 Not really apart of the trial teams, but another way for members to try out products is the monthly Discovery Bag. Every month there is a selection of new products that 10 members get to try. Once again, you have to be selected to receive these.

 Some of the most notable products I’ve been invited to review are:

  1. Philips Moisture Protect Hair Straightener
  2. Veet Spawax Stripless Wax System
  3. Covergirl Outlast Stay Luminous Foundation and Primer
  4. Babyliss Pro Duo Flex Epilator
  5. Essano Rosehip Body Oil (OMG absolutely loved this!)
  6. Abeeco Platinum Pure Perfection Cream
  7. Neutrogena HydroBoost Range

 Competitions

 Let’s face it, everybody loves a good competition. BH host a number of weekly competitions that are seriously squeal-worthy. Unbelievably generous, and frequent, it’s one of the most used features of BH. They also run special competitions for their voting events, where members vote their favourite products to win their categories. I have won a few competitions over the 5 years of being a member, but the most exciting one I ever won was last year for voting in their annual ‘Best in Beauty’ awards. Members voted for the best products in specified categories, and if they wrote a cracking 25 words-or-less answer to their question, they were one of the lucky 10 members to receive a prize pack of over $1000 full of products which have won in their categories. Mine included brands such as Estee Lauder, MAC, MUK, Jurlique, Lancome, Michael Kors and Benefit. I also won a Goldwell Kerasilk Keratin Treatment which I just recently redeemed, valued at over $400. I was truly spoiled!

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My Best in Beauty Prize Pack

 Beautorium

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Image from www.beautyheaven.com.au

 The Beautorium is one the most exciting times on BH, everyone gets a buzz when they hear a new Beautorium is opening up. It’s basically an online shop where you can swap your points that you’ve earned for your participation in the website, for free products. Beautorium is open to BH members who have reached Silver status or above. Most of the time, its products that were hugely popular on trial teams or featured in articles. Products are spent with your points, but there are postage costs involved, and they are totally reasonable.

 Articles, and How-to’s.

 The BH team write really awesome articles that are super informative and appeal to everyone. Topics can span from skin care issues, new products on the market, verdicts from trial team members, how to find your right shade of red lipstick, to really serious issues like mental illness and how to watch out for really scary diseases like breast cancer and endometriosis. I really enjoy reading their articles, there are many new ones each week to read which are entertaining and informative, and you can also earn points by commenting on them as well.

 There are also tonnes of tutorials on makeup and hair, which are also really awesome to watch and learn.

 Forums

 My other favourite part of BH is their forums. They have thousands of forum threads which are created by the BH staff, but most are created from the members. It’s pretty much there for the members to ask questions to get help and advice about all things beauty – and not beauty! A few categories include Skincare, Talkback and Health and Well-being. I participate daily on the forums because I absolutely love the community on BH. Everyone is so warm, welcoming and truly supportive. Lots of members look to the forums daily to find a little love, light and support from fellow members. Sometimes you find out that something that you’ve said to someone has really made a difference in the way think or feel (in a positive way), and that is the most rewarding part. You really get to know the members who make up the heart of BH, and it’s so easy to make friends and network and communicate. The BH staff also jump in on forum threads whenever they feel like a chat too, and it’s so nice to get a bit more personal with them. The forum is also a great place to find new ways to participate in BH. The monthly Discovery Bags applications open up on the forums, and sometimes there are special trials and events happening that are shared throughout the forums as well.

Well, there you have it; these are my favourite parts about BH. I hope it was informative, and gave you more insight into how the website works and all the ways you can participate. BH has become a part of my daily lifestyle now, I truly feel that something is off if I haven’t gotten my daily fix.

 Thanks BH for everything that you do, you are truly fantastic!

 Fel x

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About me, and why I am here!

 

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Here’s a bad quality selfie just for you! 🙂

My name is Felicia Anastasia Bardan, I am an Australian-Romanian, a Forensic Biologist and certified nerd! I am a full-time PhD student at The Australian Centre for Ancient DNA in Adelaide helping to identify missing Australian WWII soldiers. I love reading, exploring new places or new ideas, and I am totally bird-obsessed! I have an incredibly supportive partner, and a Lovebird named Honey who will most likely feature in some of my blog posts, keep an eye for the little pecker!

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Isn’t she just a big ray of sunshine?

To start with, my blog will be about all my personal experiences with beauty products and services. I want you to join me on my journey through the beauty world. I want to you be here with me through every step, whether it be opening a product for the first time, finishing products I would literally die for, or lamenting with me when I experience something I don’t like. I want you guys to see it all!

Growing up, I was one of those ratty, endlessly dirty girls (my Dad’s nickname for me literally means ‘line of dirt’ in Romanian). I was always either outside messing around, being adventurous, or was inside reading – I love reading, it’s one of my big passions. It took me a while to really start exploring and using makeup, and when I did I was totally hooked straight away. As I started establishing myself in my studies and work, I quickly found that the world of beauty was my little slice of secluded Heaven on Earth, where I could escape the daily pressures and commitments of my scientific nerd life. As a scientist, experimenting came naturally to me, and I began to love the science behind the cosmetics industry. But behind all the ‘geekiness’, I’m a woman just like you. To put it simply, someone who just loves hair and makeup, and loves upping the glam factor to make my confidence levels spike.

I’ve recently just started to do a little modelling on the side too, I really enjoy it and it makes me feel empowered!

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Hair & Makeup by Utopia of London salon, shot by Ann-Marie Ashley Photography

A big part of me also believes that beauty isn’t always superficial. It’s also about the way we think, and how we treat ourselves and others around us. I’ve grown up in a pretty competitive environment, girls always bringing other girls down for reasons that do not substantiate the effects of their judgment and criticism. I know this type of mentality can never be fully erased, but we can help to prevent other girls from falling into this trap. Beauty also isn’t all about a perfect brow game, full lashes, strong winged eyeliner or a poreless face. It’s not always so easy, some of us females deal with issues that can get in the way of our confidence, and I want to speak about them too!

“What’s in this blog for me”, you say? Well, I want to use this platform to deliver a delicate balance of sarcasm, reality, sass and beauty. I always aim for authenticity, integrity and honesty in my reviews and my experiences of products. I want to provide a place of service to you, with good intent and even better content! Mostly, I just want to inspire the every day woman to broaden their horizons in the world of beauty and help them to love themselves.

If this blog sounds like a bus you want a seat on, then get your ticket by following me, I’d love you along for the ride.

Fel x

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