’s Fourth Birthday Giveaway's Fourth Birthday Giveaway’s Fourth Birthday Giveaway

A few days ago turned four years old. I’m inordinately proud of that, as it’s a testament to my stubbornness: four years is a hell of a commitment. Most blogs last only a few weeks and after that most blogs only keep going a few months before fizzling out. Four years feels like a heroic accomplishment in the face of such statistics, you know?

And, yet, this site feels so young to me. I’m still in love with blogging, and, and the consistent production of three posts a week come hell or high water (video game distractions permitting). I still love talking about beauty products, how they work, the good points and bad points. I still love talking about makeup as the icing on the cake that is yourself, an all-gender all-encompassing palette of glorious pigment and lacquer that adorns and pays homage to you, the most perfect canvas. Thank you for reading, and I hope you’ll still be reading this blog in another four years.

And now to the fun bit! In the spirit of being the result of many, many, many words dedicated to lipstick, I sat down and made a list of my absolute favourite products. My desert island collection, my holy grails, my bury me with my cleanser all-time greatest hits. Then, once I carefully narrowed it down to the ultimate of ultimates, I went and bought them all. What’s the fun in not sharing? I want you to try my favourites as well.

This, my friends, is my all-time must-have favourite box, just in time for’s Fourth Birthday Giveaway.

  • Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel
  • Uriage Gommage Integral Gentle Exfoliating Gel
  • Origins Make A Difference moisturiser
  • Bioderma Crealine H2o mini
  • Benefit They’re Real! mascara
  • TheBalm Balm Shelter lip gloss in Valley Girl
  • MAC Cosmetics Shroom eyeshadow
  • NARS bronzer mini in Laguna
  • Original & Mineral Frizzy Logic Shine Serum
  • Face of Australia Colour Pro nail enamel in Scream
  • Kit Cosmetics nail polish in Move Up
  • Kit Cosmetics Tool Kit

Leave a comment below with your name, email address and a short comment about your favourite fast beauty trick.

I can’t wait for you try all my beauty favourites! All you need to do is leave a comment below with your name, a valid email address (only I can see this) and a short comment about your favourite fast beauty trick. Whether it’s an old school nanna remedy (cold teabags under your eyes!) or the latest space age high tech wonder serum that fakes eight hours of sleep and a glass of champagne, tell me all about it! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

The details:

  • This giveaway is open from Monday 05/05/14 7:30AM to Sunday 11/05/14 10PM.
  • Total prize value is AUD$320.
  • This is a game of skill. Entries will be judged by me on the basis of authorial enthusiasm, sheer novelty or what makes me laugh the most. Be creative, basically.
  • Due to the nature of some items in this pack it can only be shipped within Australia. Sorry!


There are 31 comments

  1. Mrs B

    When I am in a hurry I put hot rollers in my hair, and while they are working I wash my face, and pop on some moisturiser and eye cream, then apply and blend in a BB or CC cream, this masks all the flaws, pop on a little concealer, powder/ blush, lippie and a little eye makeup and you look wonderful.

  2. Lady Tiffany

    fine lines around the mouth can be softened by using an eye cream around them as well as your eyes…eye cream is more absorbing and targets the area applied to…

  3. Pia

    Cleaning make-up brushes! I cannot stress this enough! It’s so fast and inexpensive. It really does affect your skin. So, just soak your brushes for around 20 minutes in a white vinegar and hot water solution. Let them dry afterwards! This time, your pores won’t be ‘seeping’ the rewards. If your skin could thank you, they’d make guacamole! Deliciouso!

  4. Soni

    A bit of toothpaste over a zit at night really soothes it down and turns it from a glowing red to a more sedate light pink.

  5. Katy Brown

    If you REALLY have to pick that zit, do it the night before and then pop (pardon the pun when talking zits….) some toothpaste on it. The toothpaste draws out the redness and impurities. If all else fails, at least you will come up smelling fresh with that ring of confidence!

  6. Nell Hamilton

    Eyeliner on teh top lid only and a little blusher, for aging skin. Just takes the tired look away

  7. karina l

    Glide some lip gloss on your lips – it makes you look more alive when you have not had time to put on make up.

  8. Clinton M

    DEET (the hardcore insect repellent required in the tropics) dissolves self-tan; amazing with any unsightly mistakes where you can’t blame anyone but yourself! Be careful if you’ve had a spray tan before travelling though as I learnt this the hard way on my first stop in India…

  9. Courtney

    Keep up the great work Lara, I wouldn’t be using my fav products without your reviews!
    I can’t do a red lip well without my lip brush and when I go out I always take my travel brush loaded up with lippy with me!!! Great for when I only have my purse or jean pocket to carry things in!!!

  10. Jennifer B.


    ~S~peckled, wrinkled?
    ~U~ndesirable! DEPART!
    ~N~eed a long term plan that’s
    ~S~ensible and smart.
    ~C~an’t face melanoma
    ~R~ipping me apart. So
    ~E~asily applied prevention in an
    ~E~ssential makeup potion. Kept me
    ~N~aturally youthful looking… Use SUNSCREEN SPF30+ LOTION!

  11. Jemma Hansen

    My fav beauty trick is apply white or beige eyeliner pencil to the inner rims of the lower lash line. Instantly make eyes look so much brighter and bigger. Great for an instant pick me up when tired.

    Happy’s Fourth Birthday Lara

  12. TJ

    Make a simple day and night routine and stick to it! I was chopping and changing and not getting the benefits of my products! Much better to properly use products and give them a really good test.

  13. Mardi

    Happy fourth birthday! What a great selection of products. My skin, nails and hair have been amazing since I started taking a supplement called SOD (Superoxide Dismuthase). Not readily available in Australia but as always, eBay to the rescue!

  14. Rachel

    My best fast make up trick is to make a make up menu! If I know I’ll be rushed or stressed, I plan ahead lay everything out the night before so I don’t have to go searching for that elusive eyeshadow or brush. It helps me to know what I have and what I know will work for my skin at the time. However, I do inevitably turn into that restaurant-goer who demands the most complex thing on the menu with without the three main ingredients and with five extra additions! Now, mister fluffy, flat, small but not dense eyeshadow brush… where did you go?

  15. Sharon Fawcett

    When I’m looking for a quick and easy way to make my hair look shinier I apply a small amount of babby oil to my hair and comb through it makes it look shiny and smooth and lasts all day, just don’t use too much!

  16. M

    Love the giveaway idea!
    For me, it’s a toss-up between the sensible: wearing sunscreen every day, rain, hail, or shine so help my very pasty skin, or the fun: a crazy bright lipstick in a colour that suits your skin tone. Who’s going to notice those pores on your nose if your lips are neon purple, right? :p

  17. Katrina

    Congratulations on four years of blogging.

    My best quick beauty trick is to use a good peachy cream blush as my blush, eyeshadow and lip colour. Brightens the face and is super quick when your in a rush.

  18. sine farquharson

    Floreat Swatchgirl!A Box of Delights , a Peacock’s Tail, an Orchidaceous Zap, a Mass Migration of Monarch Butterflies.Artifice!feu d’artifice!Swatchgirl’s Blog is the piece of Turkish Delight in the bottom drawer saved for a midnight moment .Shroom, Champagne Aqua Eyes, Bronze Aqua Eyes, Punta Flores..Artifice!How we love you.
    My Fave and Fast beauty trick is Dior’s Capture totale Multi Perfection Instant Rescue Eye Treatment with Ultra Refreshing Palladium Coated massage Applicator.Whoa!!
    And a single glass of Champagne which “imparts a feeling of exhilaration, Braces the nerves, stirs the imagination ,the wits becoming more nimble” (Churchill)

  19. Lucinda

    Happy Birthday Swatchgirl! I’ve been in love with your blog since mid last year, and have been reading it every day! A fellow Australian embracing her pale skin with a love for salted caramel and video games? Um, yes please….

    As a student, I’m not allowed to wear make up to school, although sometimes I need that little bit of pretty to combat late night cramming (By cramming I mean marathoning Parks and Recreation). I curl my lashes and then use the tip of my liquid liner to tint my lashes – and not breaking the rules or bank? Works for me!

  20. Jenny

    Happy Birthday!! 4 years!! That translates to persistence and passion for what you do! I still remember the first article that draws me here, the Clarisonic mia review and what a nice surprise when I discover it has a secret partner: Mario Badescu Enzyme gel :) And since then, has became my secret-to-go-place for all things beauty related…

    Your all-time must-have favourite box sound awesome as ever! Can’t wait to try them all! Alright here’s my beauty tip, an old one but effective, green tea bag. After having a nice cuppa, don’t throw the good old tea bag away, it’s great for: sooth tired eyes (when bag still warm), reduce puffiness(work best with fridge-cold bag) and I also use it after my makeup-remove oil/cream, not only it gets rid off the greasy feeling also trace of left over makeup, the green tea seems to condition the skin as well, i just spritz with some Avene water and follow with my usual moisturizer. It’s great during cold winter nights when I’m just too lazy and too cold to wash my face… :P

  21. Sabrina

    My favourite fast beauty tip would be using PVC glue as a base coat, making nail polish removal super fast and easy! All you need to do is peel it off, and then get straight onto painting your new nails :D Great for glitters which can be a pain to remove.

    Congratulations on a fabulous four years, Lara!

  22. Lauren

    My old school beauty trick was to use talcum powder in the roots of my hair to freshen it up between washes. Now, new school dry shampoo had solved that somewhat messy trick and I still use talc if I’m out of dry shampoo!

    Congrats on four years Lara! Massive effort!

  23. Gladys Deleon

    My favourite fast beauty trick is when doing my “5 minute face” (aka I hit snooze too often in the morning) is to multi use my bronzer/blush. A quick sweep over the eyelids, mascara, blush and a powder foundation and I am out the door while applying lip balm and then throwing it into my handbag. I swear I’ve done it in two minutes flat one particularly hectic morning!

  24. Caroline

    Happy birthday !! I love this giveaway idea!

    My favourite quick easy beauty tip is smiling and laughing everyday! Not only does it make my skin glow but it also works anywhere, any day and every time.

    When I don’t put on makeup, I just walk out of the house smiling and laughing, and I feel great!

  25. Sara-May

    Holy Dooley! Has it really been 4 years. Happy bloggy birthday lady. My trick these days is to fake my makeup with an offensively bold lip and hope no one notices the rest of my face.
    (Don’t include me in your amazing giveaway, just wanted to say hi and holy crap, 4 years!)
    Sara-May recently posted…M|U asks you – week 18 2014My Profile

  26. Erin

    Wahey! 4 years! :)

    My favourite beauty trick is coconut oil! I use it to take of my makeup (it removes the heaviest of makeups and waterproof mascara that won’t budge with anything else), a pre-wash treatment for my hair and a super moisture injection whenever my face/elbows/where ever else needs it. Also amazing for when you’ve stupidly gotten sunburnt and your skin is bone dry (after the heat is gone from the burn of course.)

    Fab blog Lara, can’t wait to read it for another 4 years!

  27. redambition

    Happy birthday swatchgirl! xo And thank you for the amazing giveaway!

    I call my quick beauty tip the secret weapon. Because it can make me look fresh-faced and well rested when my skin is seriously dry and stressed out or I’ve had a few too many vodka-lime-sodas.

    It’s Invite Vitamin E cream and costs a pittance at the chemist. It’s super rich, so I only bring it out when I know my skin needs a massive boost (like after a hen’s night where you end up in various places that aren’t really appropriate to mention in such polite company, and THEN the casino where the bride got her face painted like a sugar skull. Great night, actually.)

    Best applied when you get home before bed, it can also be used the next morning if you err… forget. My skin drinks it up and looks soothed, plump and glowing, even though all I want is berocca and hash browns.

    The best bit is the secret weapon doubles as a cream for any pesky dry spots on my hands and body – it’s great for soothing my delicate snoeflayk winter skin issues too. Win win!

  28. Malinda @mybrownpaperpackages

    What a fabulous idea! I would love this basket of goodies. All of my beauty is quick these days. With two little girls running about they tend to take all of the focus. Though they do watch and copy everything I do in the bathroom! When I’m heading out and need to look decent but have no time, I apply a quick swish of mascara. I caught Miss 4 in her bedroom with an iceblock stick she had decorated with sequins pretending to put mascara on and make herself pretty!!!
    Malinda @mybrownpaperpackages recently posted…CADA coconut almonds date appleMy Profile

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