Second blogging anniversary and giveaway!

Monday, April 18th 2016 Makeup

Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette

Last Friday was the second anniversary of Lena Talks Beauty. I published my first post on 15/04/2014 and wow, have the two years been exciting! I never quite expected to have developed such a great audience, and have so many awesome people reading my posts. I feel really lucky that people want to read what I have to say, and even brands want to send me things to review. I really appreciate all of the support over the last two years. To say thanks, I bought the Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette to give away!

MUA for a day with Laura

Tuesday, January 26th 2016 Makeup

Something that I like to do from time to time is to take turns with a friend to play makeup artist on each other’s faces. It means we get to hang out, try different makeup products, and have the experience of doing someone else’s makeup which is actually so hard! This time my canvas was the lovely Laura of Laura Laura Blog. We met through the #brunchclub bloggers meet ups that she is an organiser for and now we are really close friends and talk pretty much every day. I loved having the opportunity to use some different makeup products like the Colourpop eyeshadows and her Urban Decay Naked 2 palette.

laura laura blog makeup - lena talks beauty

Doesn’t Laura look beautiful? (the only acceptable answer is yes).

Let’s have a closer look at her makeup

laura laura blog makeup - lena talks beauty

I used a mixture of my makeup and her makeup, depending on what I thought would work best/my curiousity. We ended up with quite the makeup carnage on my bed and makeup table

makeup with laura laura blog

The products that I ended up using were the following:

  • Dermalogica HydraBlur Primer
  • Clinique CC cream
  • Rimmel stay matte powder – transparent
  • Collection concealer*
  • Nars Orgasm blush
  • Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette – Busted and Booty call eyeshadows
  • Colourpop eyeshadow –  High tide and Truth
  • Colourpop Lippie Stix – Tootsi
  • Collection Does It All Mascara*
  • Billion Dollar Brows taupe powder*

urban decay naked 2, nars orgasm, dermalogica hydrablur, colourpop eyeshadow, colourpop lippiestix - lena talks beauty

For her base, I started with Dermalogica HydroBlur Primer – it has the classic smooth primer base to it, but I didn’t see much of a blur effect, probably because Laura’s skin is smooth and wrinkle-free. She was a bit in between with foundation colours so I actually used my Clinique CC Cream and a wee bit of Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer to even out her skin tone. I set it all with my trust Rimmel Stay Matte powder, before finishing off with NARS Orgasm blush on the cheeks. I can see why Orgasm is a super popular blush, I love the shimmer and colour to it.

colourpop supershock shadow high tide and truth - lena talks beauty

Colourpop High Tide (left) and Truth (right)

I didn’t have a specific plan of what I was going to do with her eye makeup, I just sort of went with the flow. I started by applying two different Colourpop Supershock eyeshadows to her eyelids, with High Tide closer to her lashline and Truth back towards the crease. I found them to be hard to blend with my fingers, and I was scared of poking her eye out with my long nails. So I used some eyeshadows from her Naked 2 palette since those were easier to use with brushes.

colourpop hightide eyeshadow and colourpop truth eyeshadow - lena talks beauty

Here’s how the look came together – the two Naked 2 eyeshadows Busted and Booty Call were quite similar to the Colourpop ones so it blended together nicely. On her eyebrows I used Billion Dollar Brows Taupe powder. I always use the Taupe powder in my Billion Dollar Brows All About Brows kit, it’s an almost universal colour that is really flattering, and handy that they sell it separately too. On her lips I used Colourpop Lippie Stix in the shade Tootsi – the name is pretty ridiculous but the colour is nice. When I did Jordanne‘s makeup a while ago I used Colourpop lippie stix too and they were really nice.

real techniques and bdellium tools brushes - lena talks beauty

L-R Billion Dollar Brows Brow Brush, Bdellium Tools 766 Blending Brush, Urban Decay brush from Naked 2, Real Techniques Buffing Brush, Real Techniques Multi Task Brush, and Diane #4350 Professional Powder Brush.

I mainly used Laura’s brushes, and it was nice getting to try some other brushes. They aren’t usually something you can try before buying. The Billion Dollar Brows brush & spoolie comes with the powder which is great, very useful for filling in brows. The Real Techniques brushes were great as expected, they can always be relied on for great brushes.

laura laura blog and lena talks beauty makeup

To read about the makeup Laura did on me, and see some closeups, visit Laura Laura Blog.

What do you think – should I quit my day job? (Kidding!). Let me know in the comments what you think, and don’t forget to pop over to Laura Laura Blog to see my makeup!


*PR samples for review/use.

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…

April empties part one

Monday, May 4th 2015 Makeup

The beauty of being on a no-buy is that I’ve been using up lots of products! I’ve been making a concerted effort to finish as many things as possible, and it’s been working well. During April I finished two full size products, a deluxe sample, as well as a few samples, which I was very impressed by. Especially the fact I finished a lipstick – that has NEVER happened to me before! Here’s what I finished, and I’m going to be splitting this post into two, since otherwise it’d be ridiculously long. I’ll link the second post once it’s up, later in the week.

frank body scrub, revlon lip butter, urban decay eyeshadow primer potion, hyaluronic acid sheet mask,schwarzkopf essence ultima shampoo

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

My most important beauty products

Friday, November 14th 2014 Makeup

Today my friend Laura from Laura Loves Beauty Blog and I are sharing our five most important beauty products – our absolute favourites that we just couldn’t be without. It was really hard for me to narrow this down, but I eventually managed to get it done, and here they all are. Keep reading to find out why these products are my favourites.

MAC syrup, urban decay naked 3, paulas choice bha, oasis rhino repair, trilogy everything balm

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.

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 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

Dressed up nudes competition entry

Thursday, July 24th 2014 Makeup

Recently the PANZ (Polish Addicts of NZ) and NZ Makeup Junkies blog had a Dressed up Nudes competition – now don’t get excited/offended, this isn’t R18! The challenge that they set out for us was as follows

Nude makeup is always a win in our book and we’re here to prove it doesn’t have to be boring. With this challenge, dress up your nude makeup look with a subtle pop of colour, add some sparkle or even a gem or two.

Here’s my entry:

Lena Dressed up nudes submission 1

Lena Dressed up nudes submission 2

I chose to do quite a subtle look – it’s not the most ‘dressed up’, I didn’t add any glitter or different colours, as I wanted it to be a daytime look, but still more interesting than a matte brown or taupe. I was really happy with how it looked, and my friend who arrived just as I was getting ready to take photos, and kindly took these for me, said it looked great – yay!

A full product list will be at the end of this post, but I’ll describe what I did for the eyes as they’re the interesting part. Of course, I began with Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer potion as these cream eyeshadows have been known to smear a bit on me at the past when I unwisely used them without it.

Maybelline Eye Studio 25 Nude Attitude

Maybelline Eye Studio cream eyeshadow trio 25 – Nude attitude (perfect for this challenge!)

From the Maybelline Eye Studio cream eyeshadow trio, I used the shade I’ve labelled ‘lid’ and applied it all over my lid area with my finger. Next, I used a synthetic brush to apply the ‘crease’ shade to my crease – I used a brush for a more precise application. I may have blended a bit much as you can’t really see the darker shade very clearly, but I felt that it did define my crease.

Urban Decay Naked 3 - Mugshot

Part of my Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette

Next, I got out my beloved Urban Decay Naked 3 palette – using one end of the brush that came with it, I applied the shade Mugshot near my lashline, to add a bit of shimmer. I then used Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner 7 – Espresso Ink, using a small angled brush – I like this eyeliner as it’s less severe than a line of black liquid eyeliner. I finished the eye makeup with Maybelline The Falsies Big Eyes mascara, which you’re probably bored of hearing about but I just really love it.

The products I used are:

  • Dove SPF 15 moisturiser
  • NYX Anti-redness primer
  • Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting concealer
  • MAC Pro Longwear concealer NW20
  • MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation NW20
  • MAC Satin Powder blush – Easy Manner
  • Bobbi Brown Grey eyeshadow – in my brows
  • Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
  • Maybelline Eye Studio cream eyeshadow trio 25 – Nude attitude 
  • Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette – shade Mugshot
  • Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner 7 – Espresso Ink
  • Maybelline the Falsies Big eyes mascara
  • Natio Flutter lipstick

I’d love to win one of the prizes, but it was fun just doing the makeup!

The other entries are up now – have a look: PANZ and NZ Makeup Junkies Blog

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?


follow along @lenatalks