FOTD – MAC Lovin’

Today’s FOTD is brought to you by MAC! Well, mostly by MAC, there are a few rogue brands hiding out in there too. My step mother went to Japan recently and offered to pick up some stuff for me from the MAC store, for a fraction of the price it is in NZ. It was only a few items so not quite enough for a haul – what constitutes a haul anyway? – but the delivery of the new products reignited my love for MAC so much I decided to use a whole lot of MAC products for an almost one brand look. It’s another neutral eye perfect for daytime – I promise I’ll do a bolder night look soon!

Mac Products

Primer – Benefit’s Porefessional, yet again! I’m about to use this up and for some reason I have an obsession with finishing things, as soon as a product nears empty I use it obsessively until it’s done. Anyone else do this? Just me? Anyway I really like Porefessional, it’s nice and silky beneath my foundation.

Foundation – MAC Mineralize Moisture SPF 15 Foundation in NC35. I love this foundation! I had the old formula for years, but as I use foundation so slowly I decided it was time to upgrade. I’m so happy to have it again, it’s my perfect colour, quite yellow and nice and sheer which I like! Strangely I’ve never heard any beauty bloggers or vloggers mention it, have any of you tried it? For me it’s perfect!

archies girlsPowder – MAC Select Sheer Pressed Powder in NC30. Love the finish of this powder, I always apply it with a big kabuki brush and press it into the skin. This step makes my foundation last all day!

Bronzer – MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Deep. I used this as a contour around the edges of my face and under my cheekbones, just to give my face a little more dimension and warmth.

Blush – MAC Pearlmatte Face Powder in Veronica’s Blush. This blush is so cute! It’s from the MAC Archie’s Girls range, I love the packaging, it’s so cute and nostalgic. And look at those colours! I swirled my brush across the hearts and the pink to get an even colour and swept it over my cheekbones for a pretty pink flush.

Eyes openBrows – Jordana Brow/Eye Shadow Powder in 02 Light Ash Brown. This is my bargain brow option, I found these powders at Coinsave for a ridiculous $4! I bought a few different colours and use them when I do friends’ makeup for events. I use this with a teeny angled brush to fill out my brows. It takes a bit longer than Gimme Brow but I prefer the result with powder, it’s a little more defined. Then I sprayed a clean spoolie with good old hairspray and ran that through my brows to set them in place.

eyes closedEyeshadow – Calvin Klein Tempting Glance Intense Eyeshadow in 122 Copper Sun. This eyeshadow actually came free with an order from StrawberryNet, and is probably one of my favourite eyeshadows ever! It’s a gorgeous warm toned sandy brown with a little hint of shimmer, perfect to create just a little more depth on a daytime look. I used this on a big eyeshadow brush all over the lid then blended out the edges.

eyes halfIn the outer half of my eye I used The Body Shop Eye Colour Matte in 05, a nice matte dark brown. I made sure to blend this colour well, taking it up into the crease too. For a browbone and inner corner highlight I used the top white colour from my new MAC Smokeluxe Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow palette (pictured top right, a closer photo is below too) and patted it on with my little finger.

This Smokeluxe palette is beautiful! I had a play around a few nights ago and created a sparkly party look using only shadows from this palette – tutorial coming soon! To finish the eye look I ran a really skinny line of Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in Black along the top lash line. Mine is a mini version, so cute and perfect for a travel makeup bag! It was another sample free with an order from BeautyBay. I love the clean, polished look of black liquid liner against a neutral eyeshadow.

MAC SmokeluxeYou may be detecting a pretty matte theme here. Because my eyes are a little hooded I tend to stay away from glittery eyeshadows, especially during the day.

Mascara – A few light coats of Collection’s 5 in 1 mascara. No spider legs here!

Lips – Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in Rosy Nude. This is my ‘my lips but better’ shade. It’s my go-to lippy if I’m not sure what to wear or am just running out the door! To liven the look up I went over this with a little of my MAC Dazzleglass lip gloss in Smile, a glittery coral nude. The Dazzleglass is like industrial lipgloss, it stays on forever! I always take it when I’m heading out for a night on the town, because it stays on while drinking and eating and the glitter looks great. Also it’s almost all used up so I figure I won’t be too sad if I lose it!

selfie fail So here are a few selfies – I thought I would chuck in a classic fail shot just to further demonstrate my inability for them!

I hope you liked this makeup, it’s pretty much my go-to everyday look, I think the brown shadows and the black eyeliner go together perfectly and flatter almost every skintone. Let me know what you think below, and stay tuned for a full coverage night look soon!




eyes selfiepout selfie



Review – Bondi Sands Tan

Hello again my friends! Today the focus is on something I have only recently discovered – tanning!

I guess really it was semi-recently, it was in February that I was first introduced to the magnificence that is fake tan! Myself and six of my friends dressed as Wonderwoman for the Wellington Rugby Sevens. The night before we were all treated to a Sugarbaby tanning tutorial by my very experienced friend. I was dubious and more than a little terrified of ending up with streaky orange legs in front of thousands of drunken people, even with her repeated reassurance.

But when I woke up the next day and shoved my legs out from under the covers to discover gorgeously brown limbs akin to those just back from a week in Jamaica, I was like a kid on Christmas morning. Right then and there I was converted – the next day (after my hangover had subsided slightly) I went out and bought my very own bottle of Sugarbaby Spray Tan. So yes, I was late to the party, but now I have well and truly arrived!

Tools of the Trade

Sugarbaby is the only tan I’ve tried before this, it works really well for me, it’s not too orange, it’s easy to apply and the developed colour is beautiful. But then I saw Karissa Pukas’ tanning video and had to try out Bondi Sands! It retails for $24.50 in NZ whereas Sugarbaby is $29.99. Not a huge saving, but worth a try! Bondi Sands is green based instead of orange based, which is great for olive skin tones and I think gives a more natural look all round. I purchased both the foam in Dark and the spray (oh Karissa what are you doing to my wallet!?) and applied them with my Pure Tan tanning mitt.  Sugarbaby

The first thing I noticed was how dark the guide colour is. This was great and made for easier application, but also was a little daunting when I applied a bit too much! I did the majority of my body with the foam. One thing that I did notice when applying the foam was that it didn’t seem to like being pushed over already tanned areas, for example when you do your calf and then move onto your thigh, when pushing the tan down towards the calf it would kind of bunch up and then it was quite hard to blend out, leaving scary looking patches.

Once my body was done I applied the spray on my feet and hands and face. I had thought the spray would apply like a fine mist without the need to blend out, but it actually came out in big blotchy droplets. Maybe I didn’t shake it enough, because it didn’t look like it did that in the video! But I just used my hands to blend the drops out and wiped my palms with a makeup wipe. No harm done!

My face, however, had a mini-meltdown when I sprayed the tan onto it. My skin got all red and angry for a few minutes, like an allergic reaction. This might have been because I’ve been using nothing except for World Organics skincare (stay tuned, review coming soon!) for a couple of weeks now and the chemicals may have been a little harsh for my coddled skin. Anyway, the redness went away within a couple of minutes, but maybe the reaction could be worse for someone with sensitive skin. Or maybe you won’t get one at all!

So the application procedure was all a little stressful! When I was done I wore a bathrobe for about an hour, then threw on some really sexual loose pajamas to sleep in.

In the morning the tan looked gorgeous! A little darker than the Sugarbaby is on me and the finish looked really flawless. Interestingly none of the patches that looked so terrifying the night before actually showed up on the finished tan, so I was worried for nothing. I only had a few telltale streaks around my wrists and on my hands and ankles, from where I hadn’t blended the spray in properly, but I think this would get better with practice. I wiped the smell and the guide colour off with a little soap in the shower, then followed up with some Lush Dream Cream to moisturise my skin. This I happened to already own, I didn’t buy everything that Karissa had in the video! Well, ahem, maybe I bought the Frank body scrub too.

So now I am nice and brown, fresh back from my week in the tropics! I put a quick snap of the developed tan on my legs below, sorry for the awkward foot photo! All in all I would repurchase as the Bondi Sands is darker than Sugarbaby, I think I just need a little more practice to refine my application technique.

What do you think? Have you used Bondi Sands or Sugarbaby? Any dreadful tanning stories? I’d love to hear your thoughts!



Brown legs!

FOTD – Easy Naked 2 Eyes

Today’s FOTD was an easy everyday look using the Naked 2 palette. I kept it simple with light coverage on my skin and neutral eyes. I really like the way this look turned out!

FOTD - Naked 2

Primer – Benefit’s Porefessional to smooth everything out. I love using the Porefessional under powder foundations as it adds a little bit of extra coverage and actually does hide my pores, just like it says it does!

Foundation – Revlon’s Nearly Naked loose powder foundation in 030 Medium. I love the silky finish of this powder, it covers most imperfections and doesn’t look cakey on the skin. I like wearing Nearly Naked when my skin is having a few problems – which it is right now! – so it can still breathe and improve during the day.

Blush – Benefit’s Coralista. This coral blush shade is really flattering on most skin tones, and quite shimmery too so it doubles as a highlight which is a good time saver! I pulled mine out of my TropiCoral box set – that’s why it looks a bit whack!

Bronzer – MAC Skinfinish Natural in Medium Deep. Skinfinish Natural is actually a foundation shade that I was given, but as it’s far too dark for me I use it as bronzer and contour shade around the edges of my face. It gives a really natural amount of colour to my complexion and isn’t too orange like some other bronzers.

Brows – Benefit’s Gimme Brow in Medium/Dark. Quickly becoming a Holy Grail product, this stuff! The better I get at using it the more I love it. It’s a quick way to fill in your brows and the tiny fibers in the product are great for bulking out thin brows.

Eyes – The Naked 2 palette by Urban Decay. I used Chopper (shades pictured below) across the lid to add a little sparkle and bring my eyes forward, then put Tease through the socket with a big blending brush. With a smaller brush I ran Busted along the outer third of the lash line to make my lashes appear fuller, and finished it off with Bootycall on the brow bone and in the inner corners to highlight those areas and pull my eyes apart. Then I went in with Tease in the socket again, just to pull the look together. I love this eye look for daytime, it’s just the right amount of shimmer and definition without looking too overdone.

I do like the Naked 2 palette, but the one I have is a fake! I bought it off TradeMe (NZ’s version of Ebay) thinking that I had scored a bargain but realised as soon as it arrived that it was fake, the packaging felt pretty tinny and the mirror was all warped. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a refund so I just started using it! The shadows themselves are actually okay, they have a pretty good colour pay off and are not too chalky, but they’re not fantastic like the real Naked palettes are said to be. For the price I paid for this fake one I wish I had just shelled out the money for the real Naked 2, but at least I can get an idea of the shades! Maybe one of these days I’ll upgrade and pick up one of the other real Naked palettes. Any recommendations?

Naked 2 Shades Naked 2 Shade 4Mascara – Collection’s Does It All 5-in-1 mascara. This Collection mascara is amazing for the price! Collection cosmetics have just arrived in NZ (apparently the third biggest brand in the UK? Any UK girls please let me know what you think of it!) and I am loving this mascara. It’s about $18NZD (which believe it or not is cheap here) and it’s a perfect dupe for Benefit’s They’re Real, which retails for $52! It doesn’t make my lashes too spidery or clumpy, just coats them each individually for a really fresh and clean look.

Lips – Clinique’s Chubby Stick in 04 Mega Melon. I love Clinique Chubby Sticks! They are moisturising on my lips and the colours are nice and sheer. This melon colour has an almost golden sheen to it which I really like wearing when my skin is tanned (which it is right now thanks to Bondi Sands – stay tuned, review coming soon!).

And voila! Here’s the finished product! The photo didn’t pick up much of the eyeshadow colour, but it was a beautifully warm-toned neutral eye. I really need to get a better camera than the front one on my iPhone – I promise it actually looks like I have makeup on in real life! Hope you all like it – let me know what you think, and what you think of the Naked palettes too!



FOTD 2 Finished

Lady in Red

I wrote this post a few years ago on my other blog thoughtsandrainstorms, happily that favourite lipstick (Clinique Berry Freeze) is still going strong! I still love this piece and every now and then if I’m feeling down I’ll go back and read over it for a bit of a pep talk before swiping on something shamelessly bright. I hope you enjoy it!

I lost my favourite lipstick three weeks ago and it surprised me how upset I was. It is an unusual, warm brown, like cinnamon. My mother, always complimentary, says it makes me look like a South American beauty when I wear it. When I finally found it yesterday – in my glasses case for which reason, I have no idea –I was euphoric. I swiped it on immediately, and spent the afternoon happily smacking my lips together and smiling at random at different objects around the room.

I love the gleeful brazenness of lipstick. A bold slash of red shining through a sea of pretty pinks and beiges. The perfect brown lusciously swiped across smooth lips, making velvety tanned skin all the more confident. Shocking Barbie pink worn with a short white skirt and doe like eyes.

I even love the stamp it leaves on everything it touches, hated by some but happily accepted by lipstick wearers. An affectionate kiss on a postcard, an accidental smear on a man’s crisp white shirt collar, the perfect curve of colour left on the lip of a coffee mug. As Napoleon Perdis said in his Forever Flawless (a beautiful book full of amazing make up tips and even more amazing inspiration and reasons to love your age) – a lipstick mark is the make up equivalent of shouting ‘I am woman’.

Maybe you are a lipstick veteran like my aunty Jenni, who has all kinds of purples, corals, browns and even a few frosty white ones in her arsenal (I think the frosty ones might be left over from the early nineties), or maybe you’ve never strayed further than salmon pink or slightly lavender hued lip glosses. It might be time to rethink your abilities, along with your self-created boundaries on how far you can go, how much you can change. Who cares?

Be someone else for a day, you may just find that someone else is just the you who has been waiting to shine. When I wear lipstick I stand a little straighter, walk a little taller. I become the lady in red – and I never wear red. It may feel like your lips are a beacon, attracting attention from all directions. That’s because they are. But it’s not just the jaw-dropping colour. It’s you. It’s the way you wear it, the fact that you chose to stand out, and what that says about your badass sense of self.

You are fabulous – don’t you ever forget it, not for one second.

View the original here

FOTD – Dewytastic Skin!

No better way to start than to just throw something out there right? Here is today’s Face of the Day (FOTD) using a few old staples, a few products I’ve been loving lately and one that is completely new!

I started off with “that gal” primer by Benefit (be warned, I freaking love Benefit), which gives the skin a gorgeous pinky sheen and really makes you glow. Over that I put a brand new product, Rimmel’s 9 in 1 Matte BB Cream.

I was really impressed with this BB cream! I bought the shade Medium/Dark – I’m an NC35 in MAC, not usually dark but the Medium looked waaaay too light when I swatched it in store – and the colour was gorgeous. I applied it with an XO Beauty flat top kabuki brush and it gave a beautiful finish with great coverage, I give it a massive thumbs up.

There was only one thing I would say about it – it’s not matte at all! I don’t know if it was the “that gal” primer but the BB cream seemed to highlight all of the bumps and lumps on my skin when it hit the light, so next time I would probably set it with a translucent powder to tone down the shine.

photo 1

Next up – in keeping with the liquids before powders theme – was Benefit’s Posie Tint. I’m a huge fan of Benefit’s tint family, I think they are incredibly long lasting and give you a beautiful pop of colour. I used this on my cheeks and on my lips, I just use the applicator brush to draw a Nike style tick starting at the apples of my cheeks up along my cheekbone. Just make sure you work fast with these tints, they set pretty quickly and no one wants to go out for the day with a Nike tick on their face!

For concealer I used MAC ProLongwear in NW25 under my eyes and for a little highlighting along my T-zone, then made sure to blend blend blend! After that I carved out my cheekbones with some Hoola (the best bronzer ever, cool-toned and perfect for contouring) in the hollow between my mouth and my ear, and some Smashbox blush in Bare over the Posie Tint. I love this Smashbox blush, it’s a beautiful dusty desert rose pink, perfect for bronze looks or summertime. To add a little more shimmer in the right places I used Stila’s Kitten highlight along my cheekbones, brow bones, in the inner corners of my eyes and also on my cupid’s bow. Dewytastic!

I filled in my brows with Rimmel’s Brow Pencil in Hazel and set them in place with yet another Benefit product, Gimme Brow in Medium/Deep. I love Gimme Brow, if I’m in a hurry I’ll usually just use that on its own. For my eyes I tried something a little different today, a gorgeous cream shadow by Benefit (sippin’ n dippin’, pictured on the bottom left) which is a peachy shade with a champagne shimmer to it. I applied this with my fingers just across the eyelid, then took some more Hoola on a big fat blending brush and ran it through the crease to deepen the look up. Then I used a matte brown shadow from The Body Shop (number 05, great name huh, pictured bottom right) in the outer V to add a little more dimension. Then lashings of Jordana Best Lash Extreme mascara, and the eyes are done! This look was really simple and quick to do, and it worked really well with my green eyes. I think I’ll be wearing it again!

For lippy I used one of my favourite shades, Revlon Super Lustrous in 674 Coralberry. This lipstick is gorgeous! A shimmering coral, it makes everyone who wears it look fantastic, and it really works with my olive skintone. You could put it on a bulldog and he’d be red-carpet ready. This look is great for you ladies enjoying summer in the Northern Hemisphere, here in New Zealand it’s freaking freezing but that doesn’t stop me playing with coral lipstick! I’ve put a couple of snaps of the finished product below, go easy on me – selfies really aren’t my thing!

What do you think? Do you prefer dewy or matte skin?




Dewytastic! Trout pout!Oh hey there!

Welcome Friends!

Hello everyone! Welcome to Holly Belle Beauty! On this blog I plan to unleash my powers (read: obsession) of all things beauty and cosmetics upon you all! I plan on posting swatches and reviews, dupes, hauls, skincare reviews, top fives, general tips, quick and easy tutorials, hard and long tutorials, and plenty of general musings about makeup and life malarkey too.

If this sounds good to you please click follow and throw a few comments and likes around, I’d love you to come along for the ride! Thanks for stopping by!

P.S. On Googling Holly Belle Beauty I found that Holly Belle is also the name of a fairly prolific pornstar. I thought I would just clear this up now and let you know that we are not one and the same, I have never been and am not planning on being a pornstar in the near future.* I am just too stubborn to change my blog name. Holly Belle smacks too much of a modern day Belle from Beauty and the Beast for me to let it go.

* Although on thinking about this I would quite like to do her makeup. Think of the long-wearing challenges!


Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful