Tuesday, November 26, 2013

ADL Beauty Conference 2013 - Beauty with a Conscience

Hi all! Another year of assessments and exams is over and now I can finally put my feet up and blog 'til my heart is content. Which is what I'll be doing this week before I jet off overseas on Sunday for 3 weeks. I know right, I just made my blogging comeback after about a month and now I'll be gone again! I'll have blog posts scheduled to be published during my trip so the blog will get updated even while I'm away :)

Exactly one month ago, the annual Adelaide Beauty Conference was held and this year's theme was 'Beauty with a Conscience', to support cruelty-free brands and organic brands, and to highlight and emphasise the fact that animal testing is not necessary. We, as makeup and skincare enthusiasts love finding products that are perfect to suit our needs and some, if not the majority of us, may not give much thought on how the product was made and the ingredients in the products (besides the main, beneficial ones that are clearly mentioned on the packaging). There are many cosmetic and skincare brands out there which do test on animals. I won't list any here but you can find a list of them if you search it up on Google.

 Group shot of the attendees! Can you spot me?

I didn't have the chance to take a proper outfit shot so I shall use the ones that I took in the toilets that day lol :(

 Dress: ASOS (thanks to Marie's voucher giveaway, aka completely free! )
Also wearing my cat ears headband for the first time

Kept my makeup very simple

My bow name tag, moved to the middle

The lovely founder of ABC, Celeste, welcoming us to the event

This year's ABC was unlike the previous ones in terms of the duration of the event. The first one in 2011 was an evening event, last year's was an afternoon event and this year's... well, it was 9 to 5 event haha, so pretty much all day. I ain't complaining though, I was happy for it to be much longer than the previous ones! I enjoy attending these beauty conferences ^^

Oh and a big hello to those who were new to ABBM/ABC! I didn't get the chance to personally meet you all but hopefully I can in the future meet-ups. I noticed that there were quite a number of new faces :)

First on the agenda was a presentation of the brand, Guinot Institut Paris, by Laura Pritchard, director and national trainer for Guinot Australia.

In case you aren't aware, 'Guinot' is pronounced as 'gee-no' with the 'gee' being pronounced like the word 'geek'. Many of us had trouble pronouncing it but after a little guidance we nailed it!

This presentation was followed by a live facial using Guinot products on one of our lucky attendees, Christine.

 One of the products used

This is the aromatic mask and wow, it covers everything except for the nostrils! Looks quite freaky but cool at the same time. I wonder what it feels like to have that mask on...

 And voila, it came off in one piece! I was so amazed. Not a single piece broke off.

At the end of the presentation, Robyn Hollands, the national public relations manager of Guinot Australia gave us each a goodie bag filled with samples of the products used for the facial, a full-sized one-step cleansing product (similar to Bioderma!) and a pair of flip-flops. They were the perfect size for me (37), I wonder if they were all the same size or varied?

 Robyn in the midst of handing out the goodie bags.
She was so lovely and she complimented my dress and shoes :)

Oh yeah, I haven't showed a picture of my shoes yet. Luckily I snapped a picture randomly while sitting down:

My nude wedges

It was then time for a 20-minute morning tea break. Not very relevant to mention in this post but I snapped a picture of the food so I might as well share it. Don't we all like food pictures?

Then it was time for the next presentation - Couleur Caramel and Love Organics by the gorgeous Jaala Dyer, founder of Love Organic Beauty who has worked with the French organic and natural makeup brand Couleur Caramel for a number of years.

Love Organic Beauty was created to inspire Australian women to look at natural beauty products that are ethically produced and environmentally sustainable without toxic or harmful ingredients.

 Many Couleur Caramel products for us to try out and swatch

 How gorgeous are these?? Sorry I had trouble focusing it! (I was still a noob with using my compact SLR)

 The blue liquid eyeliner swatch looks incredible
The focus looks much better here because I manually did it with my phone's camera

Afterwards there was a competition where makeup looks were judged based on categories such as "most creative"

Winners received Couleur Caramel goodie bags

This was followed by a vegan lunch sponsored by Two-Bit Villains. It was my first time trying a vegan burger. It was pretty good :)

Vegan burger, creamy vanilla soda and a bag of lollies

Next presentation - Davroe Haircare presented by the director of Davroe Hair Wellness, Mary Centofanti:

I hadn't heard of Davroe and I couldn't believe that it was established right here in my home state of South Australia! What I admire about the range is that the products are natural, gentle on the hair and scalp and kind to the environment. Plus I love the packaging!

It was hair demo time and one lucky blogger was to be chosen randomly as the candidate and it happened to be... Ant! Look at the hold on that mohawk!

The most interesting and important piece of information that I gained from this presentation was about the use of anti-dandruff shampoos. I have a bit of noticeable dandruff and for the longest time I've felt that it was my biggest issue, hence I stuck to using anti-dandruff shampoos. I learnt that anti-dandruff shampoos shouldn't be used often and should only be used once and put away for future use if needed. Anti-dandruff shampoo is meant to get rid of the dandruff and for it to not appear again for at least a couple of weeks or for it to never appear again if you're lucky. Afterwards you'd just use regular shampoo and if the dandruff re-appears, just use it again.

You could think of it like medicine, for example, if you have a persistent cough you'd take cough syrup until you stop coughing. You wouldn't continue taking it if you're cured. Same with anti-dandruff shampoos - use it once and it should get rid of your dandruff. If not then it's just not doing it for you so you should switch to a different brand. If it works then yay, put it away and start using regular shampoo again :) If it wasn't for this piece of information, I'd still be using my anti-dandruff shampoo without stopping!

 Large, colourful range of Davroe hair products to cater to individuals

We each had the chance to have a short 'consultation' with Mary to select the right Davroe hair care range and I was offered the Colour Senses range due to my dyed my hair:

A box of 4 full-sized products! And omg this range is pink and white *_* Perfection!

I've switched from my regular shampoo to the Davroe range and I am dead-set loving it and I wish that I had discovered this brand earlier. I also love the smell of it all, ahhhh.

Social break time with scrumptious cupcakes sponsored by The Cupcake Table. Yay to the amazing food sponsors, thanks so much!

 Left: Gluten-free Orange and Almond
Top to bottom: Choc Guiness, Banana Caramel and Caramel Popcorn

I immediately had my eyes set on the Caramel Popcorn cupcake 'cause I love all things caramel and DAYYYUM it was delicious!

After the break it was time to get serious with the legalities of blogging with a presentation by Paul the barrister on blogging without getting sued. Such an interesting presentation with loads of questions from our bloggers fired away at him. I was too amused that I didn't take a single photo. The main points were that you should never defame someone (especially someone who could sue you) and if someone takes a photo of you, that photo belongs to them, not you. Also the copyright symbol doesn't mean as much as we may think and all in all, NEVER plagiarise!! Of course laws and legislations differ from state to state and country to country so the best advice would be to do just stick to the rules and do the right thing - common sense really :)

Last but definitely not least was a photography workshop presented by Christina from The Hungry Australian. I found this to be very informative and helpful, especially as I had only just purchased my compact SLR before attending this event. I was still getting used to using it and Christina shared many great tips on camera usage, the use of props and suitable lighting techniques.

 Through a slide show, Christina showed us how her photography has improved over the years

 Her food shots are so appetising!

 This was my favourite shot that she showed

We went out on our own to take photos for a while, utilising the new tips that we learnt from Christina's presentation. I took my pictures outside because it was such a nice spring day:

More goodies for us to take home with People for Plants items :) Thank you sponsors!

Overall it was a very enjoyable beauty conference and it wouldn't have been possible without the awesome committee who dedicated hours and hours of their time to organise the event - thanks so much Celeste, Kate, Steph, Sherry and Monnie. I cannot wait for next year's!

Also big thanks to Susannah who was able to give me a lift home that day. If it weren't for her, I would've had to catch public transport. And I had no idea that we lived so close to each other :)

Leaving you now with some pictures with these amazing blogger girls - Sherry (left) and Kitty (right):

I wish I could have included some candid shots from the photographers and such but since the event went on much longer than previous years, there's just too much footage for them to sort out and hence have not uploaded any stills yet. Once they do get released though, I'll most likely tweet through my favourite pictures (not as spam tweeting, don't worry!)

Questjen of the week:

How much does 'cruelty-free' mean to you?

My thoughts: After attending this beauty blogger conference, it's made me think twice about purchasing makeup from brands which are not cruelty-free. Being more knowledgeable and aware about this issue has changed my perspective for the better. There will always be alternatives out there which won't cause harm to our environment and to our little furry friends. I don't want to come across as preachy or anything... but I strongly believe that animal testing is completely unnecessary for cosmetics. I'd be happy to put my hand up and test makeup products before they go out onto the market.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Bringing back the '60s for spring

Hi! I know that the majority of my readers are experiencing cooler weather right now but in Australia, it's sunny with some cool and warm days which could only mean one thing... it's spring! We all tend to dress and style based on the weather and today I'll be showing you a spring makeup look inspired by the '60s.

Here is my take on the 'Sixties Vibe' look created by ELES Mineral Makeup and this look is all about vibrant, youthful yet strong eyes paired with nude lips for modern Bardot style beauty.

 Using products provided by ELES to create the look

ELES Products featured:
Also used the Lush Mascara in Black (not pictured)

The soft velvety shades of Aubergine and Purple make the eyes pop and the coral cheeks complement the overall look well. You may remember the Coral Sun blush that I used in the ELES 'A touch of blush' winter look and it's one that I really like. I'm glad that it was used again for the Spring Look, it's simply beautiful!

I just want to give some quick comments about the ELES products featured in this look. As seen above, the eyeshadows are nicely pigmented with only minor inconsistencies with finger swatches. The application is much smoother and consistent with a brush and the colours show up very well.

The Dimensional Cake Liner in Plum Crazy is a rather intriguing product - it needs to be applied with a wet brush to 'activate' the eyeliner duo with one being matte (to define) and the other being shimmery (to dramatise). I guess you could say that this type of eyeliner is between a liquid, gel and pencil liner. It's nothing like I've used before!

The BrowBlender Pencil in Dark Taupe could almost be mistaken as an eyeliner pencil due to its pigmentation. I found that this was the most pigmented eyebrow pencil that I've ever come across and it took some time getting used to. Even with a light hand I felt that the brown came on too strongly for my brows. It might only be like this because it is new and the end is still sharp. Maybe after more use when it becomes almost blunt it'll be fine. The spoolie on the end works great and I have no issues with it :)

I've reviewed the Mineral Blush in Coral Sun and also the Micro Bubble lipstick in previous posts. My words stay the same but I can add something about the Micro Nude shade lipstick. I've owned a few nude lippies and although they're not my favourites in terms of colour, I ended up really liking this one. It doesn't make me appear washed-out and the creaminess of the lipstick doesn't make my lips feel dry like others.

From what I know about the sixties and their makeup looks, the ladies had very defined eyebrows and winged eyeliner with nude lips was a very popular trend. Think of Twiggy, the '60s supermodel with her big bold eyes and long lashes.

Twiggy, sixties icon.

Dark colours such as purple are not as common as other, typically brighter colours for spring however it's definitely suitable for a sixties-inspired look. I love smokey eyes and dark eyeliner so I don't think it's too much for daytime wear, though I'd normally wear it for special occasions since my everyday look is plain and simple.

Once you've got the boho sunnies on with the headband garland, people will know for sure that you're channeling and embracing that glam '60s look!

I had a lot of fun with the look :3

If you aren't brave enough to sport bold eyes during the day, wearing it at night would be just as perfect :) Another feature of '60s makeup - long, feathery lashes which can be achieved by using a pair of false lashes.

I also added some bottom lashes and lined my waterline and lash line with white eyeliner pencil. Everything else can stay the same!

The lashes I'm wearing are for evening wear, as stated on the box and are from the brand Eylure:

USD $6.71 @ KKCenterHK

They're super light (no heavy feeling on the lashes!) and the band is soft and flexible. I've seen this brand in stores but over here it's much more pricey. They're very comfortable to have on, and the ends don't poke my eyes. Because of the flexibility of the band, these lashes will stay on longer than regular, stiff-banded lashes as they will adhere and hold a lot better. The lashes themselves are made from 100% human hair  so they don't have that plastic feeling like synthetic lashes do. It's no wonder that they're the #1 brand in the UK.

Although they say that 'evening wear', you could wear these during the day as well as they're also ideal for regular wear. The design is pretty and can really help to glam-up your look. They're reusable as well - no need to chuck them out after using them once!

I definitely recommend these lashes and for under $7 for a pair, they're so worth it! You can use my code QUESTJEN at KKCenterHK and receive 10% off your order :)

You may have noticed the different quality of my images - I'm starting to use my Sony camera (mentioned in my previous post) which I absolutely adore and wished that I had purchased it earlier! I love being able to change the exposure/brightness which I wasn't able to do with my point-and-shoot.

I've also changed my background a bit by using pages out of Japanese magazines and sticking them up on my wall. Sometimes a plain wall can seem a bit boring so a colourful/pastel background can be a nice touch to my photos/selcas hehe.

I have an unclaimed prize of my 'token of appreciation' giveaway and the new winner of this prize is...

Eyra Yakob! Congratulations :) I've sent you an email - please reply so that I can send out your prize.

Speaking of giveaways, I'm going to host a mini giveaway of an ELES product. This is not sponsored by ELES and I am not affiliated with them. I was sent a Mineral Blush in Coral Sun for the winter ELES Look which I also used for this look and was sent a new one along with the featured products for the spring ELES Look. This new one hasn't been swatched or used and all it's going to do is sit in my cupboard as a back-up.

I rarely hit pan on blushes, so really there's not much point in keeping this blush as a back-up. Seeing as I mention ELES on quite a  few blog posts, this can now be my chance to share a product from their range to a reader who may have not tried an ELES product before.

Proof that I have two Mineral Blushes in Coral Sun with one being completely unused:

The new one is on the left and it can be yours. Prize valued at AUD $39.50!

Again this is just to show my appreciation for my readers and to give one of you the chance to try... maybe before you buy :) People in Australia and elsewhere can enter this giveaway.

To enter, simply comment below with your name, email address, where you're from (country) - optional and answer this questjen:

What do you like the most about spring?

or you can ask me a questjen again, I don't mind haha :)

This giveaway will be open until November 22 (my last exam for the year) and I will draw a winner randomly. You don't necessarily need to follow/subscribe to my blog but as always, it would be great if you could.

I'll be back as soon as my 3-week hiatus is over, I promise :) Take care guys!

Jen xx

Disclaimer: Products shown were provided for consideration. This is not a sponsored post, nor am I affiliated with any brands mentioned. Opinions are 100% honest and are my own. 

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