Archive for the ‘The ABBW’ Category

The ABBW – Part 4

Phew! Up to the second and final day of the ABBW. We had a breakfast event bright and early hosted by Alpha-H.

Breakfast event by Alpha-H*

Quiches, muesli, oats, fruit, orange juice and coffee. Unforuntately, I didn’t eat anything because I had already gotten myself a Maccas’ brekkie on my way into the city lol.

Following breakfast, with everyone ready for some more brand knowledge, Alpha-H held an information seminar focused mainly on their Liquid Gold Skin Perfecting System (aka the 90 day fix!).

Personally, I never really had any interest in the brand. I mean I’ve seen it advertised and reviewed etc but the brand’s products never really made it onto my wishlist!

Alpha-H’s ambassodor was none other than Karen Ledbury (from TVSN). Karen doesn’t get paid to be the ambassador for Alpha-H; she volunteers to do so partly because she’s bum chums with Michelle Doherty and partly because she loves Alpha-H! Karen was just oozing with sophistication. She just *looked* the part of a TV personality lol.

Karen Ledbury

What I took away from the Alpha-H information seminar:

Karen has had only 4 facials in her whole life and has not dabbled into plastic surgery.

Liquid Gold is on Karen’s list of products should she find herself in the desert 😛

Every minute of every hour, a Liquid Gold is sold.

From Michelle Doherty (the brand’s owner and director), I learnt that Liquid Gold is made to work undiluted so don’t go putting other additional skincare products if you’re using the Liquid Gold.

Michelle Doherty

The brand’s trainer, Bianca Georgiou, then spoke and gave us information on how we should incorporate the Liquid Gold Skin Perfecting System into our current routine.

Bianca Georgiou

Liquid Gold has been around for 10 years.

The ABBW attendees were also lucky enoough to receive the Liquid Gold Skin Perfecting System to trial. I haven’t had the chance to trial it yet but will do soon!

After the Alpha-H seminar was the Face of Australia Masterclass. How exciting :) Tina, a fellow beauty blogger, also happens to be the brand manager for Face of Australia. She was a bit nervous presenting the Masterclass to us but I think she did a fantastic job 😉

Tina - who is even more stunning in real life!

The masterclass also featured Kirsty Dolores, a makeup artist, who did demonstrations based on Face of Australia’s new look book and gave us some wonderful tips!

Kirsty Dolores

Face of Australia Masterclass

The layout was fab – we each had everything needed to replicate the looks and mirrors.

Tools we need for the Face of Australia Masterclass

We also learnt some great tips especially about contouring! I’ve got a round face so I try and contour as much as I can so I can have some faux cheekbones 😉 Clare also gave me some great contouring tips – thanks lovely xx

Tip for applying liquid liner:

– First, apply with a pencil liner and then go over it with liquid liner.

When doing a winged liner, the flick should be on point with the line from the nose to eye to eyelid.

I sat next to Norlin who won a black polish from Face of Australia – lucky duck!

Happy beauty blogger!

The ABBW attendees also learnt about the upcoming product launches from Face of Australia – exciting news!

There will be 3 new eyeshadow quads: gold, grey and pink/purple colour schemes. One for every occasion. Each quad contains 4 shadows, each with various textures. On the nail front, there will be 3 new nail polish shades: a non-streaky white that dries to a shine finish, a black (see above) and a purple.

Prepare your lips for 8 new lip products. There’s 2 lipglosses: a nude and a pink shade and 6 lip quenches with a variety of beiges (3), pinks (2) and a red. The lip quenches contain SPF30+ which is fantastic and due to this, the lip quenches do tend to have a bit of a blue undertone. The shades are: Iced Almond (light brown beige), Lychee Crush (pinky beige), Nude Satin (browny beige apricot), Pink Champagne (baby doll pink), Malibu Barbie (bright hot pink), Power Surge (orange red) and Forbidden Fruit (blue-based red).*

After the Masterclass from Face of Australia, we had a bit of a controversial talk from Bahar Etiman from Rescu Beauty. I didn’t take a any pictures as I was too distracted by the varying opinions. My Twitter timeline was exploding!

From my perspective, I started blogging as a hobby. I’ve been blogging for over 8 years now and only in the last few years have I focused the majority of my blog content on beauty. Whether or not PR companies view me differently as I am a “hobbyist” and not a “professional” does not phase me one bit – I did not start out aiming at being viewed the same as beauty editors from magazines and whatnot. I write for me. I have enough beauty products to last me 2 lifetimes and so many untried/unreviewed products! I love hobbyist beauty bloggers because I can relate to them and find their opinions much more trusting and honest than those in magazines!

BUT ANYWAYS, an interesting talk nonetheless!

Thank you to Face of Australia, P&G and Alpha-H for the goodie bags we received on the final day of the ABBW :) xx

And so this post is the final post in the ABBW series and with that, I’d like to say a HUGE thank you to Jacie and Kimmi for being the amazing brains behind such a wonderful and informative weekend.

Jacie and Kimmi - wonderwomen!

I’d also like to thank all the sponsors of the ABBW – so generous and who knew beauty bloggers in Australia received such a warm reception especially to PR companies?? I drove home from the weekend with a car boot FULL of goodie bags!

* These notes are from what I quickly scribbled down at the Masterclass. I hold no responsibility for their inaccuracies 😛

Images taken by Liz Giacco for The ABBW, and are not to be reproduced, republished or reused without inclusion of this credit. Images remain the property of The ABBW.

The ABBW – Part 3

Welcome ladies to the event of the year (!!) The Maxted Thomas PR dinner gala was an amazing affair.

Where: Establishment

Who: Maxted Thomas PR with clients such as Orly, Burt’s Bees, Nivea, Coty, Remington, Sebastian

Let me take you through what we lucky bloggers were faced with…

As you enter the room, you’re offered some beverages. Take your pick.


Ooh, look! A Burt’s Bees table. Let’s go have a look and chat to the PR representative who tells you all you can ever learn about Burt’s Bees.

Buzzing Burt's Bees products

Once your head’s buzzing with Burt’s Bees info, let’s see what Coty has.

Well, now. New perfumes! I spy Marc Jacobs, CK and Balenciaga. Nice!

Moving on, we’re invited to receive a 60 second skin consulation from the lovely ladies at Nivea on their spiffy iPads! Skin consultation in 60 seconds? Well, I never. I had a wonderful lady who was so interested in the blogging community and she was SO generous!  She happily offered so many different Nivea products but I felt *so* bad so I politely declined lol. It was also good to see a brand that I’ve used religiously since I was about 13 and knowing that I’m using the correct products :)


One of the highlights – photobooth courtesy of Nivea!

Anita and I being silly :)

Orly was also present and they were giving complimentary manicures of their new product (?) – Gel FX. It’s going to become the new “in” thing! It’s packed with vitamins that help promote healthy nail growth and protects the nail’s natural structure. It dries via a special UV light. Sounds amazing doesn’t it? Unfortunately, I didn’t get to try it out as I had already had mah nailz did earlier at IMATS. But check out these ladies who did take advantage of the complimentary manicures :)

Getting their Orly FX manicure*


Now, let’s head on out into the entrance again. Ooh. A pop-up hair salon is set up by Sebastian Professional and Remington so any beauty blogger who wants a quick hair appointment, head on over!

Ladies waiting to get their hair done.

Remington was also showcasing a great new curlign tong that’s due to be released soon. It’s got a heatproof conical barrel over the actual heating barrel with these cutouts and you just twirl you hair through the cut outs and taadah! Awesome curls. She demonstrated on my hair and the curls (well it was only one curl) looked great.


Oh wait..what’s that? A voice booms from somewhere telling us that mingling is now over and we should head over to the dinner gala. Excitement is in the air! I also sense some nerves seeing as it’s allocated seating.

Find your name and your table number, ladies!

My table was table 5 and I had the pleasure of sitting with Carina, Norlin, Stephanie, Jacie, another blogger I cannot remember now but we both thought we recognised each other LOL and 2 lovely ladies from Orly.

We got special name tags with our blog on it. It felt soo weird to see my blog written out like that.

Lookie. It's my blog!

This dinner = super fancy schmancy. Look at all that cutlery.

Whilst waiting for everyone to settle in and find their seats, why not have some bread?

Someone grabs the microphone and its Ian himself addressing the room!

He introduces himself and gives us some information about the company’s clients etc.

Maxted Thomas definitely wanted to spoil us. 3 course dinner with bottomless drinks? Hel-lo!

Let’s look at what you’ll be munching on:

Entree (this had blue cheese and apple slices)

Main (beef cheeks! This was soo tender. Loved it.)

And of course, dessert to end the night.

Dessert (passionfruit custard? with white chocolate mousse, scrumptious raspberries and biscuit)

I would like to say a HUGE thank you to Maxted Thomas PR and its clients (Burt’s Bees, Nivea, Coty, Orly, Sebastian Professional, Remington) for allowing us beauty bloggers to connect and get to know the brands!

Images taken by Liz Giacco for The ABBW, and are not to be reproduced, republished or reused without inclusion of this credit. Images remain the property of The ABBW.

The ABBW – Part 2

The first official day of the ABBW started off bright and early with registration at 8am til 8.30am. Seeing as many of my friends and I had already registered the night before, this gave us some extra sleep in time.

The first event? IMATS. What a better way than to start off your Saturday morning with some makeup shopping! Read about my IMATS haulage here.

Royal and Langnickel were nice enough to be part of the ABBW and they had a secluded area above where all the madness was so us beauties can relax, unwind and re-energise for the weekend ahead. There was free OPI manicures, refreshements and even makeup artists on standby should anyone require a quick touch up :)

Our very own Royal & Langnickel private suite at IMATS

I took advantage of the free OPI manicures as I didn’t get the chance to paint my nails *shock horror* I regret this decision horribly :( The manicurist filed my nails to the point where it cut into my cuticles. Just painful. It was stinging all weekend! However, the red she painted was my go-to red – OPI Big Apple Red. I can’t remember which OPI top coat she used but it rocked. It had minimal tip wear after one week. I was amazed.

Royal & Langnickel also gave us a very generous gift – a SILK brush set. I know right?

Another great sponsor, Serge Louis Alvarez, were holding a “lucky dip” for all ABBW attendees so we headed on over and tried our luck! :)

After doing some damage at IMATS, the girls and I headed back to their hotel room with some Hungry Jack’s in had to relax before the Beauty Directory event which was back at Novotel.

The Beauty Directory seminar was invaluable. It was lead by Beauty Directory founder Jackie Maxted and we were also introduced to some brands:

La Purete – Its selling point is that it has an ingredient that’s a natural alternative to botox. Peter Ray gave us some background information about this miracle ingredient known as Okuru – grown in the Nigerian region. Scientists found that this Okuru plant contained a combination of peptides which minimise expression lines (similar to that of Botox) but unlike botox, it can be applied topically thus no need for invasive injections. Sounds good, doesn’t it? I was given their night cream to trial but I think I’ll give it to my mother who would appreciate its results much more than I will lol.

Trishave – I learnt that the Trishave 3in1 range was originally created to cater to both men and women but as Trishave found, women are reluctant to use “masculine” looking products – in this case, it was the blue packaging. To combat this, Trishave decided to design two different ranges for men and women.

The 3in1 range deals with and solves the problem without stinging. It’s a great range for people who have sensitive or acne-prone skin. It contains the highest grade of oils to provide a soothing experience as well as preventing shaving rash and skin irritations.

Trishave relies heavily on word of mouth recommendations, as we learnt that they don’t have a massive advertising budget.

They provided more than 500,000 samples to dermatologists to make sure that their 3in1 range was suited for their target market.

The Purist Company – The Purist Company includes brands such as A’kin and Alchemy.

Iona Young introduced us to their newest range, Pure Therapy, which is specially formulated for those with dry skin or eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.

The range consists of a hair care and bnody range. The main benefits are:

– Specially formulated

– Natural mix of ingredients

– 10 years in the making

Beauty Directory seminar

This was followed by a discussion panel where we could ask and learn about PR, blogs etc Our own Kimmi was on the panel and she was fab :) Jackie Maxted was also on the panel and gaves us some wonderful tips when it comes to establishing and maintaining relationships with PR companies.

After the fun of the discussion panel, we had a round table discussion about blogging etc Each table had various topics and mine was based on social media and connecting. Michelle from Beauty Directory was on my table and she was genuinely interested about how we, as bloggers, connect with our audiences. She was also surprised at the fact that most of us have a clear separation between blogging and the real world.

We had some free time after the Beauty Directory seminar and the girls and I used this time to relax and get ready for our next event.

Stay tuned for my next post – the event of all events – the Maxted Thomas PR Dinner Gala.

(Special thanks to Beauty Directory, Tri Shave, La Purete, Alpha-H, Ulta 3, BYS, Sukin, Taut, Neutrogena, L’Oreal, KMS, Goldwell, Carmex, KZ Sugar Art, Shoe Mistress, Pureau, Ocean Spray, Bio Oil, Tan-Off, Vidal Sassoon, Kevin Murphy, Mirenesse and Lust Have It for the goodie bags we received on this day. Thanks IMATS, Royal and Langnickel and Serge Louis Alvarez for a great time at IMATS.)

Hello goodie bags.

The ABBW – Part 1

If you’re following me on Twitter, then you will know that I attended the first ever Australian Beauty Bloggers Weekend (ABBW)!

I’ll be blogging about the event in 3 parts as it’ll just be too wordy and picture heavy if I did it all in one go.

So for me, like a lot of other beauty bloggers, it all began on Friday :) I made me way to the Benefit Brow Bar in Paddington to get a complimentary brow wax and tint. Whilst I was there, I bumped into Tara and we had a mini catch up. The brow tint got me all nervous as it was my first time getting a tint. The Benefit lady didn’t make the tint too dark or too light so as not to make me go into shock when I see my brows lol! She then filled in my brows – another first. I wasn’t used to having such dark and prominent brows but later that night, the girls said my brows looked good. I hope they’re not just saying that 😛

Benefit goodie bag

I left with a gorgeous Benefit goodie bag which included a cute hand held mirror and the brand new Watt’s Up, due to be released on October 8th. It’s a brand new highlighting product from Benefit and we all know I love my highlighters :)

Benefit goodie bag

After Benefit, I visited mum at work to show off my new brows lol and then headed to Alexandria for the Rae Morris event.

Rae's studio

Sweaty Betty PR organised a fantastic event – they had freaking macarons (macaroons?) which tasted lovely.

The spread at the Rae Morris brush collection launch courtesy of Sweaty Betty PR

We sat down for about an hour of learning about Rae’s new brush set and she also shared some great tips for make up application.

Rae demonstrating how soft her brushes are

What I learnt from Rae:

– Few select make up artists purchase their brushes from a man in Japan.

– These brushes cost a minimum of $400USD each. They’re all handmade.

– Rae used to purchase hers from this man but found herself still making adjustments to the brushes to suit her needs. When she was approached by Crown Brushes to make a brush set, she set out to make the best brushes in the world. Rae aimed to have her brushes to be as good and even better. As for the price tag, well, they can’t be more than $400USD! The brushes in the Rae Morris collection average around $35USD each.

– All her brushes have the PETA tick of approval.

– The brushes are made from blue squirrel – most expensive animal hair besides mink. The handles are made from recycled bamboo and for every brush set sold, a new tree is planted!

– THEY’RE MAGNETIC. This amazed me. Rae’s reasoning for this is when you’re a make up artists working shows, photoshoots etc, brushes just seem to go walkabouts. Having them magnetic means you can find them easily in a short period of time. She’s coming out soon with a magnetic tray which you can use to place the brushes.

– For every brush in the collection, there is a corresponding handmade (hand drawn?) face chart showing you what each brush does.

Rae’s brush launch includes a set of 26 brushes for $899.00 which may be out of reach for many of us. I reckon they’re an investment though and if I had the moolah, I’d so purchase it. If you break it down, it works out to be about $35 for a brush which really – is about the same or even cheaper than MAC brushes here in Australia for much better quality! Unfortunately, the brushes are only available as a set so for the mean time, I shall just dream about the brushes.

Rae Morris brushes (Image taken from the Sweaty Betty PR Facebook page)

Rae Morris brush collection launch

I was blown away. I left the event feeling very pleased :) Rae was generous enough to gift each of us with either a radiance brush or a deluxe precision shader brush.

Generous gift from Rae

After all that excitement, I still had to get myself to Darling Harbour to register for the ABBW!

I was about 10 minutes late for registration but luckily Jacie and Kimmi stayed open for registration for a bit longer!

I was so glad to finally meet Jacie, who is so witty and has perfect nails and Kimmi, who is a professional at what she does.


At registration, we were given our passes (this was what I was looking forward to) but what I didn’t count on were the goodie bags from LeTan, Australis, Dove and Garnier. These sponsors were so generous!

The generous goodie bags from Garnier, Le Tan, Australis and Dove

After registration, some of the Sydney bloggers grabbed dinber at Hurricanes. I love Hurricanes – it never disappoints which is why there is always such a long freaking line.

My dinner at Hurricanes

Dinner was lovely. It was good to grab a bite, have a drink (well some did) and share a few laughs (sweet and salty, anyone?)

After all that fun, it was time to head home and get ready for the first official day of the ABBW.


IMATS haul

(Sorry for the various lightings throughout the pictures. The sun was playing hide and seek.)

I attended IMATS this year as part of the Australian Beauty Bloggers Weekend. It was my first time attending IMATS and despite the amazingness of the show, I am undecided as to whether I will attend next year. I am not a big fan of crowds and IMATS was just PACKED with people. Hands were flying, trying to grab onto anything and everything.


My first purchase was at the Inglot stand which was INSANE.

Inglot madness

Inglot haul

It was so overcrowded and Inglot didn’t have a very organised system. I was lucky I had my wonderful friends (Michelle, Anita, Tara, Angela and Angie) to help me decide on which shadows to get.

Swatching at Inglot

Seeing as I have never tried Inglot before, I thought it be best I stick with the 4 pan palette and just get 4 shadows to try. I made it my mission not to get any neutrals as I’ve got a truckload of neutrals to play with at home. It didn’t help with Anita grabbing some of the most gorgeous neutrals I’ve ever laid eyes on! After 15 minutes or so of swatching, I decided on: DS 504, AMC Shine 15, Pearl 452 and Pearl 446. I paid $28 for the 4 shadows (works out to be $7 each) and then $6 for the 4 pan.

This was handy. A pull-back sticker type for the shadows. Easy to remove the shadow from the packaging.

Top: (L) Pearl 452, (R) Pearl 446/ Bottom: (L) D.S 504, (R) AMC Shine 15

After I had made my first purchase from Inglot, I went to the neighbouring stall and got two pairs of false lashes whilst waiting for the other ladies to finish their palettes :)

Girlee Cosmetics stand

I got these from Girlee Cosmetics – 2 for $10.

Girlee Cosmetics haul

Whilst we were waiting for some of the girls to get served, which felt like FOREVER, some other ABBW attendees came past and informed us of the bargains at Illamasqua so that was our next stop.

Chaos at the Illamasqua stand

There was a very limited range available and a lot of the good stuff were already sold out. However, me being me, did not want to walk away empty handed from Illamasqua because the prices were amazing.

Illamasqua haul

I got Libido cream blush for $15!! and Petulant intense lipgloss for $10. Bargain or what? I’ve got 2 other Illamasqua cream blushes so I know I won’t be disappointed. They’re amazing – blendable, pigmented without being overbearing and long lasting staying power.

Libido cream blush and Petulant intense lipgloss

I also got my hands on a Make Up For Ever aqua cream ($25).

Make Up For Ever stand

Make Up For Ever HD foundations

We were at PM Studio and found that the prices were a bit more wallet friendly than the actual Make Up For Ever stand and there wasn’t such a huge crowd :)

Make Up For Ever haul

After some ooh-ing and aah-ing, I settled on #18, a lilac mauve shade. I’ve never tried them before so I’m looking forward to having a play.

Make Up For Ever aqua cream #18

Whilst we were walking around IMATS, I made sure to keep an eye out for traincases. I’ve been looking at train cases for a while now but the freight costs made me avoid purchasing them online. I found a lovely one at The Make-up Foundation. It was selling for a ‘special show price’ of $75 so I grabbed one. It was so heavy lugging it from the convention centre to my car which was like a 5 minute walk LOL Big thanks to Angie for helping me lug it :)

The Make-up Foundation train case 02

It comes with six trays in total, three on each side. It’s also got a deep bottom section. Comes with 2 keys and a strap in case you (or .. I) want to carry it around :)

The Make-up Foundation train case 02

My two last stops were for BRUSHES! That’s what I really came to IMATS for 😛 Made my first stop at Royal and Lagnickel.

Royal and Langnickel - organised chaos


Royal and Langnickle haul

– Small stippler c255 $7
– Angle fluff c505 $5
– Taklon pointed lip c656 $3
– Large smudger c445 $5
– Foundation c200 $10

Just wanted to say how much I LOVED Royal and Langnickel’s system. You grabbed the baskets at one end and make your way to the other then pay! So simple and effective.

My last stop was of course at Crown Brush which was packed even more than Inglot was! So many people. I did manage to get some brushes after some pushing and shoving (it helps to be small sometimes).

Crown Brushes haul

At Crown Brush, I got:

– Pro spoolie c115
– Oval shadow ib108
– Tapered blush ib105
– Round crease ib116
– Round angle blender ib111

The disposable sponge tip applicators and other spoolie are for my mother :)

And now, as if this post isn’t ridiculously picture heavy already, I’ll be leaving you with some more pictures! :)

SFX makeup

More SFX makeup