Mark by Avon Gel Nail Enamel header

Mark Gel Shine Nail Enamel – new from Avon

Meet Mark – no, I’m not talking about a boy – it’s a new cosmetics range. Brought to you by Avon, Mark is a capsule collection for beauty lovers who enjoy bold colors and creative looks. It’s a bit of a different path for Avon, which has been around for over 100 years and has usually resided at a more classic end of the market. I was sent a few different items from the range, and it was the nail polishes that drew my eye first. The Mark Gel Shine Nail Enamel promises gel-like results without a UV lamp, or even a top coat. Time to put it to the test… Comments comments

Lena Talks Beauty Empties - August and September

Empties: August & September

Time has got away on me – my formerly monthly empties posts have now seemed to become every second month! This post is a bit of a long one, so I better get cracking. I finished 15 products, 12 of them full size (including 2 single-use masks), and 3 mini/sample sized. The products range across haircare, skincare, body products, makeup, and nails. Hair Batiste Dry Shampoo – Eden (honeysuckle & sugarmelon) I don’t remember the last time I wrote an empties post and it didn’t include a can of Batiste dry shampoo. This fragrance was amazing, my favourite of them all. Repurchase? Already have Olaplex Hair Perfector I’ve been using Olaplex for about the last year, and it was great at rehabbing my damaged hair. Since I’ve got my hair to a good condition and started just being Ombre blonde rather than full highlights, I haven’t used it as much. Doesn’t seem really neccessary at the moment, especially not at $50 for a bottle I get maybe 5 uses from. Repurchase? Maybe sometime in the future Body Weleda Pomegranate Creamy Body Wash* I loved the way this smelled, and it made my skin feel amazing – but there’s a but. […]

Lena Talks Beauty - lash lift by Rachel Mackwood

Lash Lift with Rachel Mackwood

The eyes are the window to the soul, so the eyelashes must be the curtains. Over the years I’ve experimented with a few different things for my lashes – tints, extensions, falsies, and occasional curler use. One thing I’d heard about and never tried until recently was the lash lift! This is where Rachel Mackwood comes in – she’s a makeup artist and beautician who offered to lift up my lashes for me. I visited her salon for a complimentary lash lift and tint, and have been absolutely blown away by the results. Comments comments

NYX Professional makeup review by Lena talks beauty

NYX Professional Makeup – new product review

NYX Professional Makeup is a brand I have been loving for years and writing about since the early days of this blog. A NYX primer featured in my very first blog post back in April 2014! That’s why I was super stoked to be invited to an event held by NYX recently where we got glammed up, learned a bit more about the new releases, and left with some goodies to try. I’ve given them a road test, and today I have a review to share about these new products from NYX Professional Makeup. Comments comments

Lena Talks Beauty skincare routine - neutrogena, goodness, la roche-posay, seed and soul, clinique, garnier, instanatural, avene, and dermalogica

My current skincare routine – winter 2017

It has been FOREVER since I’ve written what my daily skincare routine is. This year I have tried really hard to stick to a consistent routine, of using 1 product until I finish it up. When I first started being sent products to try for my blog, I’d be using new things every week. My skin did not enjoy chopping and changing so much, especially considering so many of the products weren’t right for my skin type. Since sticking to a consistent routine, my skin has really looked so much better. People often say that you need to stick to one brand of skincare which I don’t believe in. I use products from La Roche-Posay, Neutrogena, Garnier, Clinique, Dermalogica, Avene, Goodness, Seed + Soul, and InstaNatural. Now, onto my skincare routine: I typically do not cleanse in the morning as my skin is dry, so I try to reduce opportunities to dry my skin out. I just rinse with water in the shower and move on to moisturiser. Some people say you should wear sunscreen every day but I am honestly outside for about 15 minutes on weekdays and that’s at like 8:30am and 5pm so not exactly peak sun exposure […]

Mecca Max Lip product review - new range from Mecca Maxima - by Lena Talks Beauty

Mecca Max – new from Mecca Maxima

It’s an exciting time for beauty addicts down under, as Mecca Maxima has released their own brand – Mecca Max. They have products in just about every category – foundation, nail polish, brushes & other tools, false lashes. You can do your entire face from this range! For overseas readers, Mecca Maxima is our answer to Sephora. They have stands where you can try products, lots of fun minis, and helpful staff. There is a sister store Mecca Cosmetica which is more expensive products, skincare, and fine fragrance. My taste is more aligned with Mecca Maxima so I’m very excited that they are opening a store here in Auckland! “A collection of 25 ‘MAXimiser’ products that hero the range, with stand-outs including eye and skin primers, a strobing stick, an artistry palette and a double-ended mascara. Plus the entry-level price point means items range from just $5 to $45, making MECCA MAX accessible to beauty novices and devotees alike.” I was extremely lucky to be sent a very generous package of products from the Mecca Max range, which I have been putting to the test over the last couple of weeks. I also put them all on my face to show […]

Lena talks beauty empties post - hair, skin & cuticles

May, June, and July empties – bumper edition!

This post is long overdue – and I can tell this because my empties box is quite literally overflowing. With moving house and changing jobs, this poor wee blog has been sorely neglected but now I feel like I’ve got life under control so I’m back baby! Over the last 3 months I have finished 12 products, with most of those being full size so I’m pretty proud of myself. I’ve made a real point of sticking to a consistent skincare routine which means I’m behind in trying new products but my skin is loving it, and I’ve actually managed to finish a few things. This post features hair, skin, body, and nail care products, so let’s jump into it. Comments comments

L'Oreal makeup by Lena Talks Beauty

Face of the day with L’Oréal Paris makeup

L’Oréal is a brand that I cut my makeup teeth on, so to speak. I remember I always used to try on L’Oréal products while waiting for prescriptions at the pharmacy, or at department stores. Then I got a bit older, and began to buy my own makeup and primarily bought  “drugstore” brands with a lot from L’Oréal.  Then I got even older and started earning more, spending more, and became a blogger and before long I stopped frequenting the self select makeup stands. So it has been fun for me to try these products and revisit what I liked about L’Oréal. A little while ago I attended an event hosted by L’Oréal for bloggers and other beauty media to try some of their latest releases. You may have seen previews of this on my Instagram, and now I’ve finally written a blog post about the products I received at that event. Comments comments

May Mint and Gold and Flowers

Life update – where have I been?!

Hello friends! It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, and I’ve missed it so much. The last couple of months have been incredibly busy for me, and blogging has fallen by the wayside. During May, I started a new job and moved house within a couple of days. It has been a big upheaval but things have settled down now, so time for a bit of a catch up! Comments comments

wearing Lady Voluptuous Flamingo

Model for a day with Bonnie Hu Nails and Makeup

My friend Bonnie recently opened a makeup and nails studio here in Auckland, and invited me to come along to try out her services. I also have a friend who is a starting out as a  photographer, and she wanted me to model for her. I combined the two, added a couple of new dresses I had bought for my birthday and celebrating my new job, respectively, and here we have this shoot! Comments comments