Smashbox Shock me Pink lipstick

Tuesday, December 8th 2015 Makeup

Smashbox Cosmetics Shock me Pink lipstick - Lena Talks Beauty

I was sent this beautiful lipstick from Smashbox a while ago, but I have been crazily busy with both work and personal stuff, so it has taken me a while to get around to actually writing about it. On the plus side, that means I can really give a thorough review of it, as opposed to if I might have only used something for a couple of weeks – although I always try to be thorough! This is from the original line of Smashbox Be Legendary lipsticks which are a cream formula, but they now have a range of matte lipsticks which I want to try too. The shade is Shock Me Pink, and it definitely is a shockingly bright pink.*

Smashbox Shock Me Pink Lipstick - Lena Talks Beauty

Getting ready for a date

Monday, November 9th 2015 Nails

Date Makeup - Lena Talks Beauty

As most of you know, I’m single and dating at the moment. As a ‘typical girl’ it takes me  forever, and a million products to get ready for a date. So, in his post I’m going to give you a behind the scenes look into the process of me getting ready for a date! I can do it in a rush, if need be, but I really would rather not. I enjoy the process – I always have music playing and usually have a pre-drink. A fair few of these products I’m using I’ve blogged about before since I like to use my tried-and-trued products, so I’ll link to the reviews where I can. I hope you enjoy this peek into my life…and if you’re the guy I’m dating, stop reading now, it’ll ruin the illusion.

date preparation

And so we begin…

Smashbox On the Rocks Palette

Monday, September 14th 2015 Makeup

Smashbox On The Rocks Photo Op Eyeshadow Palette - Lena Talks Beauty

Smashbox is a brand that I have never really used much of – I have a couple of deluxe sample size products but nothing full sized….until now! Last weekend I was at NZ Fashion Weekend and visited the Smashbox stall. The helpful staff member showed me through their range, since I said I wasn’t very familiar with it. She showed me the Smashbox On The Rocks Photo Op Eyeshadow Palette and I gasped since it was so beautiful. I hesitantly asked the price, since I was expecting that it would be more than I could afford…and it was only $30!!! Naturally, I snapped it up – and naturally I’ll be showing it to you in this post today. Some online research informs me it was from their Holiday collection in 2014, but I’m going to show it anyway, because I’m very excited by it, and it won’t be long before 2015 holiday collections are coming out, and it’s good to know what to expect.

Smashbox On The Rocks Photo Op Eyeshadow Palette - Lena Talks Beauty

Give Me Some Lip – Sephora Favorites

Tuesday, January 27th 2015 Makeup

In December, I did a bit of a post-breakup ‘treat yo self’ haul from Sephora, and by far my favourite thing that I purchased was the Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Lip limited edition set. It’s a set of 6 different lip products, mainly mini sized, and has a good variety between brands and types of products; including Bite Beauty, Urban Decay, Marc Jacobs, NARS, Buxom and Smashbox. I thought it was a good opportunity to try products from different brands since only Smashbox is available in New Zealand. It feels a bit silly to be reviewing a set that is no longer available, however, all the products are available in full sizes so hopefully this will be a useful post, rather than just showing off something I bought.

Sephora Give Me Some Lip favorites

XYNZ Beauty Blogging and Makeup Essentials workshop

Saturday, December 13th 2014 Uncategorised

There have been so many great bloggers events in Auckland lately! One I went to recently was held by XYNZ, an online magazine with a focus on fashion, beauty, lifestyle and music. The event description said “Ever wondered how to get into beauty blogging but not known where to start? Or perhaps you’d like to give your blog a little spicing up? Spend the afternoon developing your beauty blogging skills, learning essential make-up skills and meeting other bloggers”. To that, I said yes!

xynz workshop

Quick, easy make up for work

Wednesday, May 21st 2014 Makeup

I’m going to be honest with you, dear readers. Despite being quite vain, I’m also incredibly lazy. This causes a bit of a conundrum for me on weekdays – I have to leave the house by 7:30am, and I also love to sleep in and eat breakfast while staring blearily at my twitter feed. A lot of the time I do just go to work barefaced, but sometimes I like to make the effort to get made up. In this post I’m going to demonstrate two of my go-to lazy girl’s work make up looks, for days where I want to wear make up but have minimal time. I apologise in advance for the photos, the lighting situation is not ideal at that time of day!

Both of them start with me doing my usual base routine as seen here. Sometimes I use a BB cream instead but currently I’m too dark for my garnier one and too light for my Maybelline one, so foundation it is! I also always fill in my brows, using one of the techniques I outlined in my previous post on eyebrows.

Look number one is almost no-make up make up, with the exception of the shimmer in the eyeshadow. One of my favourite products is this Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Eyeshadow, in the shade Bad to the bronze. It’s very easy to apply, I just use my index finger to rub it all over lid. Maybelline advertises that it will have 24 hour wear without creasing or fading. I haven’t tested it for 24 hours, but I’ve worn it for about 15 hours and it still looked great, even without eye primer which I find isn’t actually necessary with it.


If I have a bit more time I will use my Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner, but mostly I just use a brown eyeliner pencil  to line against my lashes – no time for laboring over winged eyeliner when I’m rushing out the door. Then I’ll apply a couple of coats of mascara – lately it has been a deluxe sample from Smashbox – and a fairly neutral lipstick like Natio lipstick in Sugar or Revlon Lip Butter in sugar plum, both of which live in my handbag. This look is really simple and easy, while making me look much more put together on a busy morning.

Quick and easy make up

The finished look

One of my other lazy make up looks has been developed more recently, as I got more brave with my make up choices. The goal of this look is to distract people from the absence of much eye make up with VERY BRIGHT LIPS. It happened purely by accident the other morning – I’d spent too long perfectly buffing my foundation and then realised I only had a couple of minutes left. I quickly put on some mascara, and grabbed the nearest lipstick that had been left out. It was my Kardashian Beauty En-Joystick in Rose Parade, – I briefly thought it might be a bit much, but then I figured YOLO and rolled with it. I put it on and off I went to catch the bus.



Fairly early in the day a male coworker, older than my dad and definitely not a fashionista, came over to my desk and jumped back in mock-shock at how bright my lipstick was. He said it was very nice though, which was a relief. The girls in the office complimented it too, and it lasted surprisingly well. I was left with a faded red lip colour after a cup of coffe, numerous glasses of water and a pizza lunch – not too bad. I reapplied my lipstick after lunch which lasted okay until I got home. In my book, if a lipstick is still visible by lunch time, then it’s done it’s job. I don’t expect all day wear, as anything which is able to do so is typically quite drying.

So readers, do you have any lazy girl make up tips for me? What sort of make up do you typically wear on work day? Tell me in the comments section, or on Facebook or Twitter.

Lena x


My base routine

Saturday, May 3rd 2014 Makeup

To me, one of the most important parts of a make up look is the base. It doesn’t matter how fabulous your eyeshadow looks if your foundation doesn’t match your skin, or you have way too much powder on. It’s taken me a while to find products that work for me, and now I’m really happy with my usual base routine.

If my skin is dry, I’ll apply moisturiser, and then usually brush my teeth or something while it absorbs. The next step is applying primer, at the moment I’m using NYX anti-redness primer – you can see how it compares to other primers here. After that comes concealer, and I want to take a moment to rave about how great MAC Pro-longwear concealer is. I only need to use a tiny amount, and it covers all my pimples really well. I’ve tried a fair few other concealers and most of them did a rubbish job compared to this. I put a bit on my finger and pat it on any blemishes, and then blend it in with my Ecotools Airbrush concealer brush.

The small amount of concealer that you need to apply

The small amount of concealer that you need to apply

After applying MAC pro longwear concealer

After applying concealer – pimples, what pimples?

Once my concealer is on, foundation is the next step. I am really in love with MAC Studio Sculpt foundation – it’s quite a thick formula but I don’t think that it makes me look cakey. I used to use Face and Body, but I like that this gives me more coverage and it lasts better during the day. I buff it in with my XO Beauty flat top foundation brush as I think it gives a better finish than a normal paintbrush type, or using my hands. I’m interesting in trying a Beauty Blender but they’re not cheap.

How I apply my foundationfoundationon

Lately I’ve been quite into a cream blush from Napoleon Perdis that I got free with a magazine last year – it gives a really nice colour to my cheeks. I apply it to the apples of my cheeks with my fingers. Once that’s on, I use my Ecotools kabuki brush and put on my Rimmel Stay Matte powder in transparent. It prevents me from looking greasy, but doesn’t look cakey or chalky at all – some matte powders can just look awful, especially if you have dry skin.

Ecotools concealer brush, XO Beauty foundation Brush, Ecotools kabuki brush

The tools

NYX primer, MAC pro longwear concealer, MAC studio sculpt foundation, Napoleon Perdis blush, Rimmel Powder

The necessary make up

Here’s what the finished product looked like, once I had also put my eye make up and trusty Revlon Lip Butter in Sugar Plum on. I used my ELF brow kit, and the shadows are Urban Decay Buzz, Factory and Dust from the Naked 3 palette, finished off with Smashbox mascara. All ready to go shopping with a friend, and then to a comedy show with my BF in the evening!

.Face routine

I’m always interested to know more about what products other people use – have any of you tried the Beauty Blender? Do you think it’s worth investing in? Do you have any burning questions for me?

Lena x


follow along @lenatalks