Hello 2015

31 December 2014

I was looking back at my "Hello 2014" blog post, and something that really struck me was how much I have changed since then. Exactly a year ago, I was writing about bidding farewell to 2013, and now another year has passed. This year has been the best year in my 19 years of existence. You know why? Because I told myself that I will grasp every opportunity and live to the fullest. I won't shy away from events, and things that scare me like I did before. Because of that, life has rewarded me through 2014.

2014 was the year I met my extended family after 8 years, it was the year I traveled to 3 different countries, the year I was nominated for the Kidspot Voices of 2014 Awards, it was the year this blog grew to something I would have never imagined. It was also the year I transferred universities, the year where I met some amazing people, including all of you (we may have never met, but I consider all of you to be family). Let's just say, 2014, you were pretty freaking awesome.

I don't want to make this sound too corny, but I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for going through this journey with me. For being patient when I don't exactly blog on time. This blog is like my own child, and to see it grow and evolve in the way it has really makes me appreciate all the opportunities that have been presented to me. From 1000 views last year, to over a 100,000 views. From 10 followers last year, to now nearly a 100! You all are amazing.
I don't have any resolutions for 2015, except probably getting my red P's (I know, so embarrassing), but I'm going to continue the mind set that I had in 2014. Grasp every opportunity, and work hard because life will reward you.

I'm spending this NYE by having a party at my place surrounded by all of those who have made this year so special. I hope you all have a happy and safe New Years Eve, and I shall see you in 2015 with even more blog posts, and some awesome content.

Thank you for reading, and let's end this year with a bang!

Why I'm Not a Fan of Sephora AU

19 December 2014

This post is a little different as you can tell from the title. No beauty review, no "Top 5 Mascaras" (though I do have something of the sort coming very soon!). You see, today I'm angry. Actually, I've been angry ever since the launch of Sephora Australia, which has been the very reason that as a Sydney-sider and a beauty lover, I still haven't visited the beauty mecca. Now, before I start this rant, I'm not saying that I won't ever go to Sephora, or that you shouldn't go to Sephora, because let's get real, this is just my opinion on the matter, and I most likely will go and check out their range sooner or later.

Christmas Gift Guide: Tech Geeks

16 December 2014

Another day, another gift guide. Since we're currently in the 21st Century, it's inevitable that you most likely have a friend who loves technology. Whether they're an Apple fan or a Samsung, there's something out there for all the tech geeks. Since tech geeks aren't the cheapest people to shop for, I decided to compile a list of "accessories" for gadgets they may already have. Or accessories that will help them in life, so every time they use it, they'll remember you!

Christmas Gift Guide: Organiser/Book Lover

15 December 2014

Yesterday we talked about gifts for the beauty enthusiast, and today we're talking about my personal favourite, the organiser/book lover. I'm a huge book fan, give me a good book and I will sit all day and all night until I finish it. There is just something about books that make me excited, perhaps it's the fact that you can escape from your own world temporarily, and live as your favourite character a little while. Not only do I love reading, but I also love organising, diaries, planners, clean rooms, etc. I'm the Monica Geller or the real world, just not that crazy. These gifts are perfect for the readers, the writers, the busy mums or the stressed school/university kids. They're also perfect for yourself! So keep reading to see what I picked out.

10 Piece Jessup Brushes - Sigma Dupe?

Sigma. You either love em' or you hate em', I'm not really sure what to think of them. I won't say I hate them, I'm just not a fan of the whole "let's give these to every beauty guru on the planet so they can rave about them". Don't get me wrong, they're not bad brushes, they're just overexposed. Anyway, Thanks to the lovely Nalini at The Made Up Maiden (you should check her out, her blog is a great read!), I discovered Jessup Brushes as she posted a photo of them. As soon as I laid eyes on them I knew I had to check them out and review them, so now that I've had them for a while, I thought I'd let you know what I think of them.

Christmas Gift Guide: Beauty Enthusiast

14 December 2014

Christmas is upon us, and I would have to say that this is my favourite time of the year. My family doesn't celebrate Christmas, but it's the feeling of festivity and excitement that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside — of course, the Australian heat could be contributing to that feeling, but I'm sure you all know exactly what I'm talking about. With only about a week left for last minute Christmas shopping, I thought it would be a good idea to create a gift guide compiled with ideas that are readily available and you don't have to purchase online and worry about it coming on time. Today is for all my beauty enthusiasts, and if you're like me and don't celebrate Christmas, maybe you can buy it for yourself!

Hair Styling Essentials

8 December 2014

Do you have a hair crush? Someone who's hair you envy and every time you style your own, you're always hopeful that it would end up looking somewhat like theirs? I know I do. I actually have a couple, which include Nina Dobrev, Victoria Justice, Sofia Vergara, Mila Kunis, and I could probably go on forever. While we do need to take into account that they have hair stylists at their beck and call, it is possible to achieve similar results from your bedroom if you have the right products.

Favourite Revlon Products

4 December 2014

If someone asked me "if you could only purchase one brand from the drugstore, which would it be?" then without a doubt, I would say Revlon. I'm sure many people will agree with me when I say that some of their products are on par with high end, luxury brands. If I look back on my life, then I remember my Mum using Revlon years ago, and still using it today, so that says something. While Revlon isn't the most affordable brand of makeup out there, which does irk me believe it or not, I love how they have a wide range of products, and huge array of lipstick shades. So to make your life a little bit easier, here are my favourite Revlon products in no particular order.

Sigma 3D HD Brushes

29 November 2014

Have you ever seen anything like it? I know I've never come across triangular shaped makeup brushes, so, not going to lie, I was curious. Sigma says the reason these brushes are shaped so oddly, is so they can reach into every crevice, every nook and cranny on your face when applying foundation or concealer. Now, this may sound harsh, but in my opinion, Sigma makes some gimmicky products (oven mitt anyone?), so I wanted to know if these really promised a flawless face or are they just overpriced brushes that look like miniature houses?

Rimmel Provocalips Review/Swatches

23 November 2014

If you're an avid beauty fan, or someone who reads beauty blogs left, right and center, then chances are, you've already read or heard about these products. Rimmel is really upping their game when it comes to their products, and most of you would know that I'm a huge fan of their Lasting Finish Lipsticks, so I was curious to know how these would work. Before I received these, I heard mixed reviews, as some were saying they loved it, and some said they didn't like it all because of how hard they were to remove, so it's only fitting that I try it out myself and let you all know what I think.

Affordable Red Lipsticks

20 November 2014

Gwyneth Paltrow once said: "beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick". Gwyneth, you smart woman. Ladies (or gents), never underestimate a rocking red lip, I'm telling you, it can stop wars if anyone bothered to try. Now, unfortunately, I'm not someone who looks good with red lipstick, either that, or I haven't found the perfect shade for myself. Regardless, I'm here to help you with your dilemma by recommending red lipsticks that are most likely in your preferred price range.

The Best Sunscreens

18 November 2014

As I sit here and eat mangoes, I've come to the realisation that summer is finally upon us (even though we're still in Spring). So, it's only fitting to dedicate a whole entire blog post to SPF's, because let's get real, we should all be using them, and Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world, so we need to stay protected. I used to be the type of person who never wore sunscreen because they always made me look greasy and gross, so if you're like old me, then keep reading because I have some recommendations that I'm sure you'll fall in love with. Oh, and by the way, anyone noticed something different about my blog? Yes, that's right, Lacee & Lattes has had a makeover! Make sure you let me know what you think of it!

October Favourites!

10 November 2014

Hooray for November! Even though we're already 10 days into November, I couldn't be more happy. You're probably wondering why I'm so excited, and to be honest, I'm not entirely too sure. I always love this time of the year, everyone is feeling festive, the shopping centers are decorated beautifully, and not to mention, MY HOLIDAYS START NEXT WEEK! Meaning, I will be back to blogging regularly, yay! I don't have too many favourites for the month of October, but the ones I do have, I pretty much used every day, so you know they're pretty darn good.


30 October 2014

If you love Australian beauty products, then chances are you have probably heard of the latest edition to enter our country. Australis just released a contouring and highlighting palette for a mere $16.95! Now, let me tell you how HARD it was to find this in store. I went to a million different stores, and finally spotted the last one in stock at my local Priceline. Good news is though, that if you can't find it right now, don't sweat, because this is part of Australis's permanent range, yay! I've mentioned before that I'm a total contouring noob, and I honestly envy those who can make bronzer seem natural and not as if you rolled around in dirt all day. I was originally looking into the Anastasia Beverly Hills contouring palette, but couldn't justify spending that much money, so when Australis released a more affordable version, I knew I had to try it!

NBN Brush Kit

26 October 2014

Brushes. They can make or break your entire makeup look. I honestly believe that if you have good quality brushes, then your entire makeup look will fall into place, but on the other hand, if you have bad quality makeup brushes, you can be using a $100 foundation and it still won't look immaculate. Now, good quality doesn't exactly mean extremely expensive, I mean, I LOVE Real Techniques as you all know, and their range of brushes are affordable and well priced. But while I was at Priceline I came across the new Nude By Nature "Brush With Success" collection, and I couldn't help but be intrigued, and I knew that you guys would love a review so I decided to pick it up and try it for myself.

Detangling Brushes

16 October 2014

I'm a huge fan of detangling brushes. No, seriously, when I mean a huge fan, I MEAN a huge fan. Before I discovered the all mighty detangling hair brush I used to brush my hair with extreme force, and probably ripped out a couple of million strands of hair (no exaggeration), not only will I be damaging my hair, but I'll also be in excruciating pain, as if someone was y'know, ripping my hair out. Now, I've tried a fair few, and I thought "why not do a comparison blog post?", so here I am, bringing you three different detangling brushes, and deciding once and for all which hair brush wins. Today's tournament is between three brushes: the highly popular Tangle Teezer, the really nifty Michel Mercier Detangling Brush, and the brand spankin' new Lady Jayne Tangleze.

RT Miracle Complexion Sponge

13 October 2014

You would probably know by now that I love Real Techniques, and I also love their founder, Sam and Nic Chapman (they once answered my question in their video and I freaked out), so it's only natural that I was curious to see how their Miracle Complexion Sponge would work. Now, I always wanted to try the Beauty Blender, but $26 for a sponge? It may be worth it but I can never get myself to spend so much on a pink egg, so when Real Techniques released their own version for a measly $6.87 (from iHerb.com), I knew I had to try it. I would like to apologise in advance, because my sponge is a little dirty with foundation, but I haven't really found a good product to clean it with, so if you know one, then please let me know!

Models Prefer Eyeshadow Palettes

10 October 2014

Let me start from the beginning. I walked into Priceline one nice sunny day, and right in front of me were the Urban Decay Naked Palette's. Wait, what!? Since when did Priceline sell Urban Decay? Then I happened to look closer and I realised that they were actually Models Prefer eyeshadow palettes that looked exactly like the Naked palettes, except they were a million times cheaper. Intrigued, and because I knew you all would be interested, I decided to buy two out of three palettes. The Nude palette, and the Day to Night palette, and road test it to see how I would like it.

September Favourites!

8 October 2014

I'm 8 days late, but better late than never right? September was a really great and busy month (all of my months have been busy lately). One of my friends got married, which was so exciting, I started watching Friends from season 1, episode 1 and now I'm really emotional that they aren't making any new episodes. September was a very makeup-y month for me, and as you will see, I had a lot of makeup favourites as opposed to skincare. The reason for this is, Spring is usually very minimalist for me, makeup wise. I like having natural, dewy foundation, a slick of mascara, and a nice coral lip and I'm out the door. I always found that while I knew how to do the "no-makeup-makeup look" it never looked just quite right, until I used all these products together and now they've become staple products!

The Spring Tag!

26 September 2014

I was tagged by the absolutely lovely Melanie from MELANIFACE  (her blog is amazing btw, so make sure you go have a read!) to do the Autumn Tag, but since us Aussie's in the southern hemisphere have long passed Autumn, I decided to change it a little and make this the Spring tag instead. Now, I'm not going to lie, I'm more of a winter gal', so spring and summer make me a little squeamish. Give me a list of things I don't like about the warmer months and we'll be here forever, but to throw a little positivity into the mix, today I'm going to talk about the things I err...love about spring and summer.

Favourite Drugstore/Highstreet Eyeshadows!

11 September 2014

We're back with my most popular series of "Drugstore/Highstreet" products! I say this all the time, but you can find the most incredible products at the drugstore, and these days, low prices does not equal low quality. Sure, as we live in Australia we still have to pay pretty large numbers for "affordable" makeup, but at least you know that the option is available to you! Today I'll be talking about eyeshadows. Most peoples makeup looks aren't complete without them, and while I love my Urban Decay and NARS, I still find myself reaching towards my more cheaper options every once in a while.

University Essentials!

9 September 2014

If I do a flashback to last week, then you would see me pulling my hair out of frustration because I was so stressed out. University can really take a toll on you, which is why it's important to stay organised, and under control so you're not doing things in the last minute (which can jeopardise your GPA, which, let's face it, none of us want). I decided to a do a university essentials post to help you out, if you're currently in the same situation I was last week.

August Favourites!

3 September 2014

August, why did you have to leave so soon? I'm actually really bummed that winter is over, because it is my favourite season, and now I have to wait till next year to experience hot chocolate, chunky scarves, and not to mention, staying cozy in big blankets all day. But I like to look on the bright side, so goodbye dehydrated skin, goodbye gross hands and feet, and goodbye to my eczema (which has caused me a lot of pain in these past few months). You may notice that there is a skincare theme going on in this months favourites, and that's because my skin really played up these past few months, but thanks to these products, it is now under control!

Artistry Youth Xtend Foundation

26 August 2014

We all love to talk about foundations am I right? They're the number 1 staple when it comes to getting flawless makeup, as most of us aren't blessed with perfect skin. Finding the perfect foundation usually leads to a life long hunt, some don't have enough coverage, some have too much coverage, some don't last long enough, while some don't have the right shades. Basically, the list is endless. Today I'm going to be reviewing the Artistry Youth Xtend Foundation and see if it actually lives up to its $70 price point.

Dermalogica mediBac Review!

5 August 2014

I think someone needs to whack me on my hands a couple of times, because I've been taking such HUGE breaks in between my posts! Apologies for the millionth time, I need to get into my routine again, and with university up and running, hopefully I can find a way to balance the two. Today's post is on  two products from the Dermalogica mediBac range. Now I'm sure I don't need to tell you all about Dermalogica, since it's such a well known skin care brand, but the mediBac range is specially targeted towards those who have problematic skin, so if you're someone who suffers from acne then you may enjoy this range.

Things I've Been Loving!

22 July 2014

You know, I always talk about what I'm loving beauty wise on this little blogging platform of mine, but I rarely talk about all the random things in my life that I'm really enjoying on a day to day basis. So today I decided to do something different, and include a little fashion, a little music, a little literature, and yes, how could I not include a little beauty. You see, ever since I started this blog, I've had a lot of people asking me to venture out of beauty and explore some other options, and while I always loved the idea, I never really knew how to go about it. Let's just say, this is the start to some more lifestyle posts, but don't worry! Because I will keep the beauty blogging constant, and you will get your fair fix of reviews and how-to's, just with the added bonus of some personal posts, and random shenanigans!

Best Homemade Hair Masks!

19 July 2014

I've been on the hunt to try and get my hair back into shape. For some reason, my hair has been very dry and straw like, and no matter what I do to it, or however I style it, something is always off. It would lack shine and moisture, and it was always a huge frizz-ball. Not to mention I cut my hair quite short recently (to my standards), and I want to keep it in great condition. So, for the past few weeks, I've been trying all sorts of home made hair masks, that you can make from the ingredients in your kitchen! I'm bringing to you the home remedies that helped my hair, and hopefully, you can have some great success out of these too!

REVIEW: SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

17 July 2014

Hello, hello! Today I'm back with a review of a skin care product that I've been using for the last few weeks. This product has been a cult favourite in the beauty world, and beauty editors seem to love it, so I thought I'll give it a whirl and see what I think of it. This product, as you may already know from the title, is the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, and right off the bat, I'll let you know that this is not cheap, so hopefully this review will help you decide if you want to shell out the big bucks for it! Is it worth the hype? Did I fall in love with it?

My Travel Diary #3 - Ferrari World

9 July 2014

We're back with another travel diary! So far I've received a positive response from you all about these travel posts, so thank you! I'm glad you're enjoying seeing small snippets of my trip! Today's post is all about living life in the fast lane. Yes, I'm talking about Ferrari World! If you don't know, Ferrari World is the largest indoor theme park, and it's home to the fastest roller coaster in the world (which believe it or not, I actually sat on).

June Favourites!

4 July 2014

Hooray for June! You shall be missed! June has to be my favourite month of the year. For one, it's my birth month, and number two, it's the start of winter, which is my favourite season ever. There's just something about the cold air, and the warm heater that makes my heart skip a beat. So, now that June has left us for another year, I'm actually kinda' sad, but also excited for what July brings to the table.

My Travel Diary #2 - Dubai Mall

30 June 2014

Is it strange that I'm really excited to write this blog post today? As you can guess from the title, I went to Dubai Mall, which is the worlds largest shopping mall, and they were not kidding when they said it was BIG. It has 1200 shops, and not to mention the worlds largest sweet shop, and it has an aquarium. So, to say that I was a little overwhelmed with my choices, would be an understatement.

Rediscovered Products!

26 June 2014

So ever since I came back from my trip, I decided that I need to clean everything out, from my closet, to my drawers, and the most dreaded...my makeup collection. You know when you're cleaning and you get distracted by all the amazing things you never even knew you had? Well, let's just say that happened to me when I was organising my makeup. I found makeup that I completely forgot about, some are even brand spankin' new! This called for a blog post, so here are my "rediscovered" products. 

My Travel Diary #1 - Dubai (Photo Heavy)

23 June 2014

WOAH! Has it been a long time or what? I know I said I'll try and update, but to be honest, I didn't have the time. Travelling from one country to another isn't as easy as I thought it would be, and considering I hopped on a plane for the first time in 8 years, it was actually quite nerve-wracking. While I have been back for a week, I needed to get my life sorted out. Oh, and not to mention, getting back into routine wasn't as easy as it seemed.

What's In My Travel Makeup Bag & Bon Voyage!

27 April 2014

Okay, I have an announcement to make. It's pretty freaking exciting, well...for me anyway. I'm heading off on a 7 week holiday to Dubai and my home country Pakistan, so it's fitting that I do a "what's in my travel bag" right? Right. So as a beauty lover, it is very hard to compact your makeup collection, and while I want to take every single thing with me (and I'm still taking a LOT), I decided to pack practically and only take what I know I'll actually use. Plus, I need space for when I shop at Sephora in Dubai!

REVIEW: Arbonne Perfecting Liquid Foundation

25 April 2014

Raise your hands if you have a, what I like to call, "foundation graveyard". Meaning, you have a collection of foundations that haven't worked in the past, they may not be long lasting, too thin, too thick, not enough coverage, etc. Finding the perfect foundation is hard work, and if you have found your holy grail, then kudos to you, because you're probably part of the 1%. I decided to try out the Arbonne Perfecting Liquid Foundation*, so have I found my holy grail?

VO5 Hair Products!

22 April 2014

Hope everyone had a happy and safe Easter long weekend! Now back to blogging. Today's blog post is going to be about VO5 hair products which were sent to me. After trying them out for over a month I should say, I think I can finally give you all a fair, accurate and honest review. Some of these I loved, and one of these didn't really work for me. So if you want to know how these affordable products work, then keep reading!

Back To Basics: Getting Your Skincare Right

17 April 2014

Today's post is probably my most requested yet. Everyone is always asking me "Basmah, what cleanser should I use?", "Basmah, how do I get rid of acne scars?" etc. So to answer everyone's questions, I decided to compile this long, lengthy blog post jam packed with information on how to find the right skin care products for you. From cleansers, to masks, hopefully by the end of this post, you'll find the answer to all your skin care needs.

Favourite Blog Reads!

8 April 2014

If you follow me on Twitter then you may remember me asking everyone to send me their blog links so I can check them out. Partially because I wanted some new content to dig my nose into, and the other, because I wanted to include them on my blog roll, which shall be coming veeeerrryyyy soon. But before I make my blog roll live on my blog, I thought it would be fitting to let you know what blogs I've been loving, and what blogs I classify as my favourite (how many times have I said blog?).

The Best Highlighters!

6 April 2014

Ahhh highlighters, where do I begin? To cut it short, I love highlighters. Oily skin and dewy foundations don't work too well, so when I still want to look like I've had plenty of sleep, drank the right amount of water, and I'm just healthy overall, I turn to highlighters. You see, you can still use a matte foundation, and apply highlighter on top to give you that gorgeous lit-from-within look. Some of these highlighters mentioned will work better with certain skin tones, but I've tried to include something for everyone. So without further ado, here are my favourite highlighters!

March Favourites!

1 April 2014

Happy first day of April! I seriously cannot be the only one that thinks this year is flying by, but while it may be going at a fast pace, it means that I get to write one of my most enjoyable posts, and that's my March Favourites! I discovered a bunch of great products this month, some new, and some that I had lying around but never got around to trying. Let's get started!

Budget Buy: Natural Instinct Daily Moisturiser

29 March 2014

Remember how I said I want to try more organic products? Well...let's just say I'm taking baby steps into the natural world. Today's budget buy is going to be on the Natural Instinct Daily Moisturiser, which is jam packed with natural and skin-helping ingredients. Oh, and not to mention it's cheap, hence the title. Curious? I won't keep you waiting any longer, keep reading to find out why this product is so great!

How To Keep Your Foundation Looking Flawless All Day

26 March 2014

There is honestly very few things in life that are more annoying than applying your foundation perfectly, only to see an oily t-zone an hour later. Throughout my years as an oily skin gal, I've gained some knowledge through personal experience on how to keep your foundation lasting all day, and what products really work. So keep reading to see how I keep the oily-ness at bay, and keep my foundation looking better for longer.

The Undomestic Goddess: Best Chocolate Cake Ever?

24 March 2014

If you read the title and are a teeny tiny bit confused, then please let me explain. I'm an undomestic goddess, meaning I have no idea how to work around a kitchen. I'm terrible at cooking, if I go near a stove I'll most likely blow the house up, and it's quite likely that I'll end up making a huge mess. So when I took a leap of faith and decided to bake, well, let's just say it was one small step for man, but one giant leap for mankind. Which is why I've started a new non-beauty related series on my blog called "The Undomestic Goddess", which will feature my crazy antics, mishaps, and even some successful kitchen stories.

Best Drugstore/Highstreet Lipglosses

22 March 2014

Lipglosses. You might love em', or you might not. To be honest, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with them, some lip glosses make your lips look amazing, and the formula is great; while others tend to be sticky, and make your lips look weird and washed out. Which is why I wanted to write a blog post about the top affordable lip glosses that are accessible to mostly everyone, so you won't have to worry about tacky lip glosses while you're searching for the "one". In this post I won't be focusing on the shades of lipgloss, but the formula instead, as I think that's the most important thing when searching for a good lipgloss.

Beauty Scenario Tag!

17 March 2014

First off, apologies for not uploading over the weekend, we've been having some pretty bad thunderstorms here in Sydney, and I was without electricity for a veeerrry long time. I thought I should do a tag post, even though no one tagged me (how sad does that sound?) because I was reading Lily Pebbles blog and she created the Beauty Scenario tag, and not one to do tag posts too often, I thought I'd give it a go!

REVIEW: Kosmea Skin Care

11 March 2014

When it comes to skin care products, I'm very specific. Not everything suits my skin, and layering unnecessary amounts of product tends to break me out. So when I was sent Kosmea skin care products, I decided to trial it for a few weeks so I can post a fair and honest review of what I actually thought of both these products.