NYX Professional Makeup – new product review

Saturday, September 2nd 2017 Beauty, Makeup

NYX Professional makeup review by Lena talks beauty

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.

5 Favourite Pink Lipsticks

Monday, October 5th 2015 Beauty

Someone asked me the other day what my favourite pink lipsticks are. This was a seriously hard decision for me.I have so many pink lipsticks, it felt like I was trying to choose my favourite child – if I had 20 children. I ended up choosing lipsticks from Bourjois, NYX, MAC, Rimmel, and Karen Murrell. Read on to see which ones they are, and why they’re my favourite.

My favourite pink lipsticks - Bourjois, NYX, MAC, Rimmel, Karen Murrell. Lena Talks Beauty

Fearless Style – makeup edition

Monday, February 23rd 2015 Makeup

A few weeks ago my friend Meagan who blogs over at This Is Meagan Kerr, put a call out for plus size women to be photographed for her body positive fashion project. It’s called Fat Girls Shouldn’t Wear Stripes – Fearless Style, and she wanted women to pick out their favourite outfit, and to step in front of her camera being our fat fabulous selves. In a rush of confidence, I volunteered to do it, and before I knew it I was pretending to be a supermodel for Meagan. I was really nervous – publicly putting my name and face and body out there as a fat woman was a big deal. Nevertheless, one Sunday morning I got up and got ready for it – despite the fact that I was at the peak of my Glandular Fever, not that I knew it yet. In this post, I’m going to show what makeup I chose to represent my fearless style.

this is meagan kerr

Makeup Obsessives meet up

Friday, January 30th 2015 Makeup

In 2013, I joined a Facebook group that would change my life. That sounds slightly dramatic, but really, it’s true. I joined Makeup Obsessives, and went from someone with a mild interest in makeup, to a full on obsessive. The group started small, but now it has 30 000 members which is incredible – but it still feels like a cosy family that is super supportive and amazing. People say sometimes that women who are interested in typically girly things, especially makeup, are vapid, and bitchy, but I haven’t found that to be the case with MUO.

Of course, I’ve had the odd clash with someone but that’s bound to happen with so many people – but the admins manage to keep things running smoothly. Recently a meet up for the group was held in Auckland, and I headed along. This was my fourth meet up, and as always it was great. Even at my first meet up when I had never met anyone else, I felt really welcomed and like part of the group. Today’s post is a bit of a long one, but it’s a goodie – all about the great event, and of course, the makeup that I wore.

Meagan Kerr and I

Meagan and I (Photo by Nicola May)

NYX dewy finish setting spray

Wednesday, November 5th 2014 Makeup

Typically people use powder to set their foundation, however as my skin tends towards dry, I find it can leave me look a bit powdery or cakey. So, when I heard about NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray I was quite excited to buy it so it would keep my makeup looking dewy and fresh all day long. I looked for it when I was in Australia earlier in the year, but they were out of stock in stores, so I resigned myself to living a life without it. HOWEVER, at a recent meet up I got a discount code for Beauty Bliss and I saw they had this, so I bought it. It arrived very promptly, with a free eyeshadow brush and 2 mini chocolate bars – how awesome is that! I am thrilled with this purchase, it works incredibly well

NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray

Left Handed Makeup Challenge

Sunday, September 21st 2014 Makeup

Sometimes, I like to have a bit of silliness on the blog, and today that’s what’s in store. I was thinking about doing a fun challenge, and so I thought ‘why don’t I do my makeup with my left hand’, and I did! It turned out to be less difficult than expected, which was interesting.

Applying my foundation was a bit tricky, I had to go slowly rather than hurriedly smear it all over my face. At first my bronzer and blush looked very stripey but some blending rectified that situation. Where it got difficult was doing my eyebrows! The gel I use requires a gentle hand, and this wasn’t easy. My first eyebrow, which is the right in this picture, ended up being a bit of a mess and looked too heavy for my liking. I wasn’t terribly precise with the eyeshadow but the shades I chose meant that I could just blend it and it looked okayish. The biggest struggle was the liquid eyeliner. I could have made things easier for myself and chosen a pencil or even gel eyeliner but that would be less interesting. I’ll let you judge my efforts for yourself.

Naked 3 eyeshadow and the balm schwing eyeliner

Here’s the complete look

full face0

For both eyeliner and eyebrows, the ones on the right of this photo (my left) were the worst/messiest. I would have thought the left side would be easier, without having my nose in the way but it seems not. I suppose that both of them were the first attempt doing that, so it seems I got better with time.

I’m surprised that it doesn’t look horrendous, I was expecting a huge mess but I could almost go out in public like this! It took me a fair bit longer than it would take doing makeup with my right hand, because I was being very cautious. I’m sure it’d be a huge mess if I had worked at a quicker pace.

Naked 3, ELF brow kit, nyx soft matte lip cream milan

Products used:
Phoenix Foundation – custom blend
Sephora Bronzer – 3 Los Cabos
Sigma Creme de Couture blush – Cherry Apple
ELF Brow Kit – Light
Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette – shades Liar and Factory
The Balm Schwing liquid eyeliner
Napoleon Perdis Mascara
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream – 11 Milan

What do you think of my left handed makeup look? I challenge you all to try it – if you do, link it to me in the comments, or tag me on social media – I’m @lenatalksbeauty on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

NYX Love in Paris 02 Madeleines and Macaroons

Monday, September 15th 2014 Makeup

NYX Lip 02 Madeleines and Macaroons palette closed

Lucky me – I won another baking-themed palette! This is the NYX Love In Paris 02 – Madeleines and Macaroons palette which I won in a competition on Beauty Bliss’s Facebook Page. I’ve swatched them all and will also be showing how it looks on my face!

Inside my travel makeup bag

Wednesday, August 20th 2014 Makeup

By the time you read this post I will be on holiday in Australia, for a girly holiday with my friend Laura and staying with my mum, yay! I always like looking at peoples’ travel makeup bag posts, so I’ll share mine with you now. It was hard to whittle down my collection, but I managed to fit it all into a reasonable sized bag!

Clinique Super City Block, NYX Anti redness primer, Clinique CC Cream, MAC Studio Sculpt, Rimmel Stay Matte, ELF Blush, ELF Under eye concealer and highlighterThe base products I chose were Clinique Super City Block, NYX Photo-loving primer, Clinique CC Cream light, MAC Studio Sculpt NW20, Rimmel Stay Matte primer, ELF blush Peachy Keen, and ELF Under Eye concealer and highlighter in light. I wanted to have the option to do a full coverage base, as well as just swipe on some of the CC cream. I haven’t featured the CC cream on here before – here’s a swatch.

Clinique CC cream light vs MAc Studio Sculpt.

Maybelline Big Eyes, NYX wonder pencil, Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner, Maybelline Color Tattoo, Benefit they're real eyeliner, Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer

Eye makeup was another set of difficult decisions! The mascara was a no-brainer, I chose Maybelline The Falsies Big Eyes which I’ve been using for a little while now and loving. The Sephora eyeliner pencil is handy because it’s got brown and black, and the NYX wonder pencil is perfect for the inner rims of my eyes. Then there’s Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner in Espresso Ink, Chi Chi Rock With You baked eyeshadow, Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze and Maybelline Color Tattoo Pure Pigment in Potent Purple. I’ve got my ELF brow kit of course, and Urban Decay eyeshadow primer potion, as they’re essentials for me. I’ve also packed my Benefit They’re Real eyeliner sample so I can continue to experiment with it.

NYX soft matte lip cream, NYX butter gloss, art deco lipstick, Milani gloss stain, revlon sugar plum

I whittled down my lip product choices to only five! NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Milan, NYX Butter Gloss in Strawberry Parfait, Art Deco lipstick #23 Sandal, Milani Power Lip gloss stain 07 Mango Tango and Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Sugar Plum. Although to be realistic, more might be chucked in my handbag at the last minute!

XO Beauty, EcoTools, Sephora brushes

Brushes are always an essential for me. I’ve got here my Ecotools concealer brush, XO Beauty flat top foundation brush, a random angled brush I use for my brows, Sephora blush, eyeshadow and eyeliner brushes, and my Ecotools travel kabuki brush. I love ectools brushes so much – I get mine from iherb.com because they are so cheap there.

I was terribly slack and didn’t take photos of my skincare, but I’ll tell you what I’ve got with me! For a previous trip I decanted my Cetaphil cleanser into a bottle from the $2 shop, so I’ll be taking that along with me. I’ll also take some Simple makeup remover wipes, and a mini Simple eye makeup remover, for stubborn mascara. For acne treatments I’ll take my usual Differin and Benzac. Of course I’ll take my Paula’s Choice Vitamin C serum which I have previously raved about. I’m taking Dove SPF 15 moisturiser as well as a mini Trilogy Rosehip oil, and the Linden Leave eyes treatment which I received in last month’s Goodie Box.

I’m meeting up with Sarah from BowsandPleats for some shopping, so keep an eye out on my instagram and other social media for pics of all the makeup I’m certain to buy!

Lena x

Instagram roundup

Sunday, August 17th 2014 Nails

Even before I was a blogger, I liked to share my nails and makeup with the world on instagram. I’ve done a bit of a round up of some of my favourite beauty-related pictures from my personal instagram account from back in the day, and I hope you enjoy!

In this picture from September 2012 we have my collection after 6 months of frantic buying, because I was no longer working in a job where I couldn’t paint my nails!
OPI, China Glaze, Orly, Revlon and more.

This is some pretty basic nail art from Valentine’s Day 2013 – Orly White Out over Nicole by OPI’s Kourt is Red-y for a Pedi from their Kardashian Kollection

Nicole by OPI Kourt is Red-y for a Pedi


My attempt at stamping wasn’t  a great success and I haven’t repeated the experiment. Not sure what colour that polish is, I didn’t have it in the caption.


I invested in some french tip stickers and did this. The lighter pink is China Glaze Temptation Carnation and the darker pink is Orly Basket Case.

China Glaze Temptation Carnation and Orly Basket Case

My long-suffering boyfriend assisted with this, and I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. I only wrote that the pink was China Glaze and I haven’t narrowed it down because I have so many pink CG polishes. September 2013.

sept 2013 pink and white

This is December 2013, when I started to get more into makeup. The eyeshadows are from Urban Decay’s Fun Palette, and the polish is China Glaze Tantalize Me.
purple! dec 2013

More matching! The eyeshadow is a NYX Glam Shadow Stick in Enchanting Jade, and the polish is Rimmel 045 Misty Jade

matching makeup to nails jan 2014

If you want to see more along the lines of this follow me on instagram @lenatalksbeauty. For random bits and pieces from my life it’s @lenabethnz

Lena x

Should blue eyeshadow stay in the 80s?

Sunday, July 20th 2014 Makeup

Blue eyeshadow has a bit of a bad reputation, after its heyday in the 1980s. Even Paula Begoun, my skincare goddess, wrote a book called ‘Blue Eyeshadow Should Be Illegal’. Controversially though, I like it. I think that there are ways you can wear it that looks great, and not at all like Mimi from the Drew Carey show.

Mimi Drew Carey Show 2

According to some experts, people with blue eyes like me should stay far away from blue eyeshadow, but I don’t care for their rules. So, I’m going to show you a look that I did the other day that features blue eyeshadow without looking like an 80s throwback.

Maybelline and Models Prefer blue eyeshadowAs usual, I started with Urban Decay eyeshadow primer potion, something I’ve been raving about on here ever since my very first post. I applied the lighter, silvery-blue shadow all over my lid -it doesn’t have a shade name, but it’s from my Models Prefer ‘Ice Queen’ mineral eyeshadow duo, which you can see in the featured image at the top of this post. I really like Models Prefer products, but I’ve only seen them for sale in Australia, never in NZ, but I digress. The darker shadow is a Maybelline Color Tattoo Pure Pigment, in the shade 10 – Brash Blue. The colour is very bold, and when I initially received it to review for a post, I was hesitant about using it, but because it’s a loose pigment it does blend out nicely to a slightly more subtle colour. Then I (shakily) applied The Balm Schwing, which is the black liquid eyeliner. I am still learning how to use liquid eyeliner, so this isn’t exactly amazing looking but at least it’s not smeared all over my eyeshadow so I’m improving! The mascara I’ve used is Napoleon Perdis lashes to lashes black mascara that I got free with a magazine last year.

Both eyes Maybelline Models Prefer

That’s how it looks when my eyes are open – you can’t see much of the lid, especially on the right eye (left on the photo). I’ve used the ELF brow kit in light on my brows, which I really love.

Blue eyeshadow whole face

On the rest of my face I’ve used the following products:
NYX anti-redness primer
MAC Pro longwear concealer, NW20.
Phoenix custom blend foundation
Tarte Amazonian clay Matte bronzer –  Park Ave princess
Silk Naturals sheer blush – Lychee
Rimmel Vinyl Gloss – Snog

I didn’t actually wear this out anywhere, I just put it on one evening for the purpose of this post, but I would wear it out to a bar or a party. I think by wearing a neutral lip and letting my eyes make a statement, the blue looks good. Potentially some people will look at this and think it’s awful, but that doesn’t bother me – makeup is about expressing myself and being creative, not just trying to look good for other people.

Readers – what do you think? Should blue eyeshadow stay back in the 80s or does it have its place in 2014?


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