30 June 2013

Product Review: Vani-T Brazilian Bronze Self Tan Mousse

I am (naturally) normally cautious spending too much time outside in the sun, but this summer, being pregnant, I have spent even less time outside, as the heat has simply made me feel uncomfortable. To make sure I didn’t look completely pasty, I have therefore been relying on self-tanners for a bit of a summer tan. Over the years I have tried numerous self-tanners, but I am still looking for the perfect one, so when I was asked to trial the *Vani-T Brazilian Bronze Self Tan Mousse by the lovely and talented makeup artist, Tammerly from Spoilt by Pink Diva, I naturally happily accepted. Here are my thoughts;


What They Say:
"Brazilian Bronze is the ultimate in self tanning for those wanting a rich, ultra dark tan with ease of application of a velvety mousse - a guaranteed flawless, streak free tan in as little as 1 hour!"

"The lightweight formula infused with Aloe Vera and Cehami (Australian botanical) will provide an even, natural looking tan, whilst hydrating the skin. The potent anti-aging and skin firming properties of Quandong, Australian Kakadu Plum Extract (Vitamin C) and Vitamins A & E mean you are one step closer to younger, healthier looking skin with each application."

RRP: $39.95 (125ml) – Available from Vani-T Online, and Select Beauty Salons.

What I Say:

The Vani-T Brazilian Bronze Self Tan Mousse comes in a small white pump bottle with a bright pink label, which makes it look so girly. The actual self-tanner is a liquid, but the pump nozzle on the bottle turns the liquid into a lightweight foam, in similar style as the new breed of hand soaps currently on the market.
The Brazilian Bronze is made from natural ingredients, and it is infused with Aloe Vera and Cehami, as well as it contains Quandong, Australian Kakadu Plum Extract, known to be extremely high in Vitamin C, as well as it contains Vitamins A & E, to provide the skin with hydrating, anti-ageing and skin firming properties.

As with all self-tanners you get the best result if the skin is well exfoliated first, and dry areas such as knees and elbows are moisturised first to avoid these areas absorbing too much of the self-tanner, and thereafter developing a darker tan than the rest of the body.

Vani-T does recommend using the special Vani-T's Bronzing Mitt, when applying the self-tanner for a more even result – but not having one of the mitts at hand, I have simply been using my hands, as I usually do when applying self-tanner.

The foam is easy to spread and blend into the skin, yet it absorbs extremely quickly, so you need to work very fast to ensure an even result.

Vani-T, recommends waiting just 60 seconds before getting dressed. The tan then develops – and according to Vani-T, you can then ‘customise’ the depth of the tan depending on how long you leave it on before washing it off. Washing if off after 1 hour will give you a dark tan, 2 hours a darker tan, and 3-4 hours will give you the darkest tan.

Again, not having been much outside this summer, I was a little pale, so consequently decided to wash it off after just an hour. And I was then left with a natural looking tan, which lasted for about 4 days before it starting fading evenly, so it continued to look natural.

I also tried to follow up with adding another ‘coat’ of the Brazilian Bronze a few days after the first application – and again, each time, only letting it stay on for an hour before rinsing it off, and thereby made it possible to not only build up the tan, but also extend the life of the tan before it started to fade.

As with all other self-tanners that I have used, the Vani-T Brazilian Bronze does develop a bit of a smell at the same time as the tan, although the smell is not as strong as other self-tanners I have used. I can’t say that I have ever really liked that smell – but as you do wash it off after a little while it does actually make this smell a little more tolerable.

At $39.95 for 125ml, the Vani-T Brazilian Bronze Self Tan Mousse is more expensive than other self-tanners on the market, however, as it is naturally based, I believe that it is worth paying a little extra for it. And it is very concentrated, so you will still get quite a few applications from a bottle – so it is certainly a lot cheaper (and not to mention more convenient) than going to a salon!

All in all this is a great self-tanner, and I like that it develops so fast that I can wash it off after an hour or so, and thereby avoid the ‘self-tan smell’ all day – and for that I give it bonus points! I will enjoy using the rest of the bottle and will look into purchasing it again in the future.
*This product was kindly provided for trial by Spoilt by Pink Diva, and it has been reviewed in accordance with my Disclosure Policy.

Have you ever tried any of the products from Vani-T? Do you use a self-tanner? Which one is your favourite?


29 June 2013

Product Review: Face of Australia Expert Finish Mousse Foundation

Having combination skin, with some pigmentation and scarring, it can be difficult to find a foundation that gives sufficient coverage, yet stays put all day. When I was asked to trial the *Face of Australia Expert Finish Mousse Foundation by the lovely and talented makeup artist, Tammerly from Spoilt by Pink Diva, I naturally happily accepted. Here are my thoughts;  

What They Say:
"Innovative lightweight formula gives you a 'barely there' feel whilst delivering medium coverage and a tone-perfecting matte finish. The mousse glides on smoothly and blends easily with buildable, long lasting coverage that covers imperfections for a professional, flawless finish."

RRP: $12.95 (15ml) – Available from Priceline, BigW, Kmart.

What I Say:
I have to admit that I have had some bad experiences with mousse foundations, finding that I could not get an even coverage, as well as the mousse often 'balled' up on my skin. So consequently I had given up on mousse foundations. Until I tried the Face of Australia Expert Finish Mousse Foundation.

The Face of Australia Expert Finish Mousse Foundation has an air-light texture, and is very easy to apply and blends evenly over the skin, giving you a medium coverage, easily covering imperfections and smaller blemishes, and yet it still has a nice 'barely there'  powder-like finish and feel. It is also buildable if you have areas where you want slightly more coverage.

The Expert Finish Mousse Foundation has a good staying power, although I still need to touch up by the afternoon, but that is very common on my combination skin, and even more with the hot and humid weather we’ve had recently. But using a primer first, and also a powder on top to set it, it lasts even longer before touch-ups are required. And throughout the day, the foundation on the skin looks fresh and evenly, and doesn’t change colour unlike other foundations.
Generally I do prefer to apply my foundation with a brush, but found that it was just easier to do with my fingers.
It has a slight chemical scent, which is however so faint that it doesn’t bother me, and besides it quickly disappears when absorbed into the skin. 

The Expert Finish Mousse Foundation comes in a jar, which is easy to use. But I must admit that would have preferred if it had come in a tube instead, being a little more hygienic than sticking your fingers into the jar. Also, having to dig out the foundation with your fingers, does mean that I tend to get foundation under my nails which is not the nicest feeling, as an alternative it would have been nice if it had come with a small spatula.

Due to the mousse formula of the Expert Finish Mousse Foundation, I found that I had to use more of the foundation mousse to completely cover my face than I had expected, in fact, I felt that I needed to use more than I normally would with my normal liquid foundation, and consequently I do not expect the 15ml jar to last as long as my normal bottles of foundations. This also means that although the Expert Finish Mousse Foundation is only $12.95, it is not an as bargain products as it may first appear.
*This product was kindly provided for trial by Spoilt by Pink Diva, and it has been reviewed in accordance with my Disclosure Policy.

Have you ever used a mousse foundation? And do you use any products from Face of Australia?

28 June 2013

Product Review: Kosmea Eighth Natural Wonder Revitalising Facial Serum

As I believe I have mentioned quite a few times lately, since being pregnant, I have taken an increasing interest in more natural beauty products, so when I was asked to trial the *Kosmea Eighth Natural Wonder Revitalising Facial Serum by the lovely and talented makeup artist, Tammerly from Spoilt by Pink Diva, I naturally happily accepted. Here are my thoughts;

What They Say:

"This revitalising facial serum that instantly ‘lifts’ dull and tired skin. Containing the unique hibiscus extract, this everyday facial serum has the effect of ‘freezing’ fine lines and wrinkles giving skin instant youthfulness and vitality. Combined with organic rose hip oil, this duo form nature’s answer to cosmetic surgery!"

RRP: $69.95 (50ml) – Available from Select Pharmacies

What I Say:

I have previously tried the Rosehip Oil from Kosmea, and as I absolutely loved it, I naturally also had very high hopes for the Eighth Natural Wonder Revitalising Facial Serum.

Kosmea is an Australian brand, and in fact the first company to bring Rosehip oil to Australia. How many other brands have since followed troop! All the Kosmea products are all free from mineral oils, artificial colours, petrochemicals, artificial fragrances, sodium lauryl sulphate, and animal ingredients. The products have not been tested on animals, and all products come in recyclable packaging. I love the sound of that!

Currently over 37 weeks pregnant and struggling getting a good night’s sleep, I cannot deny that I am often tired, and well that shows up on my skin too, making it look more dull than normal, and existing lines and wrinkles seem more pronounced.

Kosmea claims that the Eighth Natural Wonder Revitalising Facial Serum has “the effect of ‘freezing’ fine lines and wrinkles giving skin instant youthfulness and vitality. Combined with organic rose hip oil, this duo form nature’s answer to cosmetic surgery!” Sounds just what my skin needs!!

Being pregnant, I am naturally more conscious of the ingredients of the skincare products that I use, but I need not worry as the Eighth Natural Wonder Revitalising Facial Serum contains mainly natural ingredients. As well as organic rosehip oil, the serum also contains among others hibiscus extract, Pea Extract, Rose Geranium Oil, which combined are to be give the skin the anti-ageing benefits through the essential antioxidants and vitamins.

The Eighth Natural Wonder Revitalising Facial Serum does not contain artificial fragrance, but rather it has a very natural lovely scent, which is no doubt coming from the natural ingredients in the serum. The scent is quite subtle, although it does hang around a little, even after the serum has absorbed into the skin – but as I like the scent, it doesn’t bother me at all. And it is such a nice change from products with strong artificial scents.

Kosmea recommends using the serum morning and night, and to add extra daytime hydration during the day, while at night-time no extra moisturiser should be needed. To me, that sounds a little in reverse, as I find that my skin needs more moisture at night than during the day, when too much moisture can interfere and mean that my makeup won’t stay put for as long.

Unlike rosehip oil, the Eighth Natural Wonder Revitalising Facial Serum has a consistency and texture like a cream, and it is not as greasy either. In fact, it absorbs instantly into the skin leaving it soft and without feeling or looking greasy. Probably because it absorbs into the skin so quickly without leaving any residue at all, I feel I need to add my usual day cream on top, which I also decide to do as the serum unfortunately does not contain any SPF.

During the day, it my makeup stays nice throughout the day – in fact, nicer than normal, it as if the serum as a normalising effect on my skin, making it feel and look less greasy, and it seems to stop the makeup from settling into fine lines too.

At night time, I also decide to use my usual night cream on top, as again, I simply feel that my skin needs the extra moisture, and the next morning I wake with soft, and thoroughly moisturised skin, which again doesn’t feel or look greasy, which it often does if I use a too concentrated or heavy anti-ageing product.

After now having used the Eighth Natural Wonder Revitalising Facial Serum for several weeks, my skin looks and feels softer and is well hydrated, yet without making my skin congested or making it break outs, but rather it seems my skin’s oil production has normalized. And it is as if some of my age spots/pigmentation is slowly starting to fade so my skin tone seems a little brighter and more even and consequently also more radiant. Fine lines, in particularly around the eye area and on my forehead, seems to have minimised as well.

The actual Eighth Natural Wonder Revitalising Facial Serum is quite concentrated and it spreads easily, so just one pump is more than sufficient to cover my whole face, so although the serum is not the cheap at $69.95 for 50ml, the bottle will last you quite a while.

It comes in a simple slim bottle with a pump, which I really like, as it is not only easy to use and dispense exactly the amount needed, it is more hygienic than having to constantly dip your fingers into a jar. Although, at times it can be a little tricky to completely use up products that come in pump bottles, but only time will tell how the Eighth Natural Wonder Revitalising Facial Serum will fare.

My only negative about this serum, is a minor one - the fact that you cannot see how much product is left in the bottle, as I do prefer to be prepared and have a backup at hand before running out.

All in all, this really has made an improvement on the condition and look of my skin, and in such a short period of time, so you can truly call it a wonder product. I will enjoy using the rest of the serum, and consider purchasing again in the future.
*This product was kindly provided for trial by Spoilt by Pink Diva, and it has been reviewed in accordance with my Disclosure Policy.

Have you tried any of the products from Kosmea? Do you use a serum? Which one is your favourite?

26 June 2013

Product Review: Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Leave-In Treatment

Having very long hair, I rely on haircare products to maintain the health of my hair, as the right products really make a major difference. When I was asked to trial the *Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Leave-In Treatment by the lovely and talented makeup artist, Tammerly from Spoilt by Pink Diva, I naturally happily accepted. Here are my thoughts;

What They Say:

"Extreme strengthens and resurfaces chemically and mechanically distressed hair. Redken's exclusive Interbond Conditioning System delivers a unique 3D Repair Complex to fortify hair so it looks and feels healthier with increased manageability and shine. Leave-in treatment gently smooths the cuticle, reduces friction from brushing and helps fortify hair that's prone to breaking, splitting or snapping off."

RRP: $29.95 (250ml) – Available from HairHouseWarehouse, Catwalk, RY, and select hair salons.  

What I Say:
The Redken Extreme Anti-Snap is a leave-in treatment for distressed hair. And while I wouldn’t say that I have distressed hair, it is quite long, and consequently have been through countless of heat styling sessions, and chemical treatments, so needless to say that it is sometimes looking a little worse for wear with some brittle and split ends.

You use the leave-in treatment just like any other leave-in conditioner - wash your hair as usual, towel dry and then put the Anti-Snap in your hair.

The Redken Extreme Anti-Snap contains 18-MEA, which 'helps restore the lipid layer of protection and resurfaces the cuticle to help restore shine while amino acids and protein enter the cuticle for targeted structural repair. It also contains ceramide to structurally repair and support the hair strands, a Fortifying Complex to restore internal strength, rebuild surface protection and help prevent breakage as well as IPN, an Interlock Protein Network that provides progressive conditioning to strengthen the hair’s core.

The bottle has a pump, which is great as you can get just the right amount out at a time. The Extreme Anti-Snap is also very concentrated so you don't need very much of this product at all so it lasts a very long time.

I apply this all over my hair and brush through, focusing mid-shaft to ends and not forgetting the dry ends, and in the few weeks I have been using the Extreme Anti-Snap, I have already seen a big difference when it comes to the texture of my hair, and in particularly the ends. It has simply made my ends extremely soft as well as it helps minimise any tangles I have.

It doesn't weight the hair down and smooths the cuticle, and as it's designed to be used on those dry and brittle ends and works to fortify them, it makes the hair look healthy and shiny. I also found that helped smooth down frizz.

The other bonus to this product is that has an amazing floral scent, I just love it! However, if you're not one for very sweet scents then this might put you off. I can only imagine how nice my hair would smell if I used the Shampoo and Conditioner from this range, too. In saying that, the scent does fade a little once the treatment has been absorbed into the hair.

Overall, I think this is a fantastic leave-in treatment, perfect if your hair is dry and damaged, or if you are trying to grow your hair a little longer. I will definitely continue to use the Extreme Anti-Snap, as well as I will definitely purchase again in the future.
*This product was kindly provided for trial by Spoilt by Pink Diva, and it has been reviewed in accordance with my Disclosure Policy. 

Have you ever tried any of the products from Redken? Do you use a leave-in conditioner? Which one is your favourite?

21 June 2013

Going MIA – at the hospital…

As I write this, I am almost 36 weeks pregnant. As those who follow my blog would probably know, I do post a new blog post at least once per day – but I have realised that there will very soon come a time where I will be going to hospital for an expected four to five days to finally meet our little boy, and well, when we come home, I am sure I will have a few other priorities, at least for a while until we get settled into our new routine with our little boy.

So, I will over the next weeks, try to pre-prepare as many blog posts as I possibly can, so that I can at least keep posting a blog post every few days, and not go completely MIA.

So this all means that by the time you read this and some of my subsequent posts, I will probably already be in hospital, (and hopefully our little boy has arrived safely!).

But please continue to comment on my posts and send me emails, and I endeavour to reply to all as soon as I can, but please do bear with me, if I do take a little longer than usual!

I’m hopeful that I will be able to return posting regular posts soon again – but until then, thanks as always for supporting my blog!

19 June 2013

Product Review: Suigo Rose Affable Gentle Shampoo and Rose Energy Hair Treatment

To be very honest, I’m very fond of my long hair. Considering its length, and the amount of heat styling and hair colouring sessions it has been through over the years, it is in a fairly good condition. But I also do what I can to look after it. Being pregnant, I keep being told that my hair will take a turn for the worse, I have been very keen on trying anything to maintain the health of my tresses. Here are my thoughts on the *Suigo Rose Affable Gentle Shampoo and Rose Energy Hair Treatment;

What They Say:

"Also known as the "Resurrection plant", it awakens skins ability to capture and hold essential hydration while repairing damage from sun and the environment. This ancient species of everlasting plants can withstand almost total dehydration for decades and return to life unscathed when re-hydrated. We were able to apply that same strategy to our hair to repair the visible signs of aging."

RRP: Suigo Rose Affable Gentle Shampoo ($32.50/500ml), Suigo Rose Energy Hair Treatment, ($39.50/500ml) – Available from select hair salons.

What I Say: 
I recently tried the Suigo JoiShair Ultimate Control Shampoo, Conditioner, and Absolute Volume Keratin Volumizer, but I have to be honest and admit that before then, I have never ever heard of Suigo haircare before. But as I really loved the products, I was also very excited to be trying the Suigo Rose Affable Gentle Shampoo and Rose Energy Hair Treatment.

Suigo has the philosophy that their products needs to be naturally derived, clinically tested for their effectiveness with no inflated promises, pleasing to the sense, and reasonably priced to enable every day use. The Suigo products are developed using the finest raw materials from Japan to create a natural haircare range made from 100% natural ingredients.

According to Suigo, the all products incorporate an exclusive method, called High Affinity System (H.A.S), where the ingredients reach the centre of the hair fibre, and hence prepares the hair for optimum absorption of the active ingredients. This is done by using proteins identical to those found in the hair structure so that they can be assimilated as if they belonged to the hair itself. Small molecules-sized particles are also used to ensure penetration into the hair fibres, and finally particles with positive charge are generated, which adhere to the molecules with a negative charge found in hair damaged by the effects of the sun, pollution or dryness. All sounds pretty good to me! 

Suigo claims that the benefits of using Natural Infused HairSpa is; 

- A wonderful pleasurable experience.
- Strengthen the hair follicles, nourish the roots, and revitalise the scalp that leads to natural hair rebirth.
- Restores vital oils and moisture for a smooth, sensuous glow that begins at the roots and achieves a complete relax for your body and soul.

The Suigo Rose Affable Gentle Shampoo is thick and creamy, and easily turns into a thick creamy lather. It rinses out easily, and in spite of normally only washing my hair every second day, just one wash is more than sufficient to leave my hair feeling clean, and soft, and without if feeling dried out or too squeaky clean.

The shampoo contains among others sparkling lecithin and rose extract fragrance, which makes it smell absolutely amazing, and so natural, almost like old-fashioned rose potpourri.

I then follow with the Rose Energy Hair Treatment which is extremely thick and creamy, and contains among others keratin and collagen, and leaving it in for a recommended 10-15 minutes, it claims to leave hair looking and feeling healthier and shinier, instantly detangle, improve internal strength so hair resist breakage.

In spite of being so thick, the treatment instantly absorbs into my hair, and after about a few 10 minutes I rinse it out, which is easy, and not one of those treatments where you keep rinsing and rinsing and it feels like you just cannot get rid of the residue.

And afterwards my hair really is so easy to comb, and once left to dry naturally it is so silky soft and shiny that I cannot stop touching my hair. The ends of my hair feel thoroughly hydrated, yet without the rest of my hair feeling weighed down or heavy.

In regards to preventing hair breakage, I have to admit that I have not noticed any major change.

Like the shampoo, the Treatment has the most gorgeous rose sent, which is also very natural, and a nice chance from many other haircare products which seems to be artificially scented.

And once dry, my hair still has the lovely subtle rose scent, which remains in my hair until I wash it again! Even hubby commented that my hair smelt nice!

The shampoo and the treatment come in gorgeous pink sturdy plastic bottles. The shampoo comes with a pump, which I love as it is so handy and easy in the shower, and the treatment in the cutest little jar. The pink colour of the bottles is so feminine and the products just look amazing on the shelf in the shower.

The Suigo Rose Affable Gentle Shampoo and Rose Energy Hair Treatment truly are fantastic products, and at $32.50/$39.50 for large 500ml bottle, I feel that they are reasonably priced too for products of such high quality.

*Products were kindly provided for consideration, and have reviewed in accordance with my Disclosure Policy. 

Have you ever heard of Suigo haircare products? What’s your favourite shampoo and conditioner? And hair treatment? And how often do you give your hair an intensive treatment?

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18 June 2013

Event: Crabtree & Evelyn Opening of new Flagship Store, the Block Arcade, Melbourne

It was a typical cold, wet and rainy Melbourne evening, when Crabtree & Evelyn had the official launch party for the opening for their new store flagship in the Block Arcade, Melbourne. Yet that didn’t stop all the invited guests from staying away. Myself included. How could I miss it? I mean, who doesn’t love the iconic Crabtree & Evelyn hand creams? I for one am addicted.

Crabtree & Evelyn was founded in 1972, and has since evolved from a small, family-run business – specializing in fine soaps from around the world – to an international company, well known and respected for its original fragrances, luxurious toiletries, gourmet foods - and gifts for those who enjoy a sophisticated lifestyle. Today Crabtree & Evelyn is available in more than 65 countries, with over 200 wholly owned branded retail stores and available in 24 stores and online in Australia! Pretty impressive, isn’t it!
Lots of people at the opening..
The new flagship store was officially opened by
Crabtree & Evelyn Global CEO Julien Laporte..
For those of you not from Melbourne and not familiar with the Block Arcade, it is the most gorgeous of shopping arcades. When it was opened in 1892 – yes, that’s right, in 1892!!!, in the heart of Melbourne it was known as one of the finest shopping arcades with its tiled mosaic floors and large glass domed roof. Today the arcade has retained its Victorian elegance and is as elegant as ever.

The beautiful Crabtree & Evelyn store features heritage elements from the magnificently hand-painted ceiling dated back to 1907, and antique furniture.

As the Australian flagship store, the Block Arcade will feature new product launches and special offers also known to other Crabtree & Evelyn stores, but will also showcase limited edition products and host special events.

Being almost 39 weeks pregnant and due to give birth any day, I had my husband in tow as my chaperone, just in case our little bub should decide to arrive that night – but sadly there no pictures of him, rather he was acting as my photographer for the night.

The lovely Anthea, from Crabtree & Evelyn (left),
 and 39-week pregnant me (right)
As a gift from Crabtree & Evelyn, I was lucky to receive a little gift pack containing thee of their amazing hand creams, and let me tell you, they all smell divine… I’ve already put one in my hospital bag, which can hopefully cheer me up a little amongst all the chemically smelling hospital grade disinfectant!

And then there was also the cutest little box with a delicate looking shortbread with Crabtree & Evelyn crabtree logo in icing on top… Hubby quickly laid claim to that one as his chaperone fee for the night, and it was apparently very delicious!


But as if the gifted hand creams weren’t enough….remember a few months ago, when in my Mother’s day gift ideas post, I showed you a gorgeous collection containing twelve different Crabtree & Evelyn hand creams? Well, a similar pack was available for purchase for the reduced just $48, which I just couldn’t resist.. 

I’m yet to test all the different scents, but I know it will be a touch call saying which one is my favourite, as they all smell so fantastic! If you are lucky, and you hurry, you might be able to pick up one too in one of their stores, or through their online store.

Thanks again Crabtree & Evelyn for inviting me along to your event, it was truly a special night!

Do you use any Crabtree & Evelyn products? Which one is your favourite? And have you ever tried any of the amazing hand creams? Which scent do you prefer?


17 June 2013

Product Review: My Must-Have Skincare Products during Pregnancy

Being pregnant my skin has changed more than I had ever thought possible, and along with the long list of products which are a no-no to use while pregnant, it has been a little bit of a jungle having to venture into a for me, new area of skincare that I’d never previously had explored. Here is a run-down of some of the key skincare products that I've been using during my pregnancy;


That itchy skin...

I’ve never before suffered with dry skin and only ever used heavy body butters during winter – but suddenly my skin turned dry and itchy. They say that the itchiness is cause by a combination of the skin stretching and hormones.

When you suddenly gain a lot of weight – and when the majority of it sits on your tummy, no wonder the skin stretches so much that stretchmarks often appear. I don’t think that there are any 100% guaranteed preventions for stretchmarks, but making sure to keep the skin soft and hydrated is said to help reduce the risk.

To help with both the itchiness and to try to prevent stretchmarks - and at over 39 weeks pregnant I still haven’t got any – I have used a combination of products..

On my tummy...; 

*Gaia Belly Oil (RRP $17.95/95ml) and *Belly Butter (RRP $17.95/150g)

This Belly Oil and Belly Butter from Gaia is truly godsend. Both products have been made without Vitamin A, steroids, petrochemicals or mineral oils, making it very gentle and completely safe to use during pregnancy without any fears of harming the unborn baby. In fact, it is so gentle that it is also recommended for use to smooth caesarean scars. The products contain organic rosehip oil, organic jojoba oil, organic wheat germ oil, to help rehydrate and rejuvenate the skin on the belly, breasts, thighs and bottom areas stay soft and thoroughly moisturised during pregnancy and after to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks and avoid new ones from coming.

The Belly Oil is easy to use as it comes in a spray bottle, but it does take a little longer to absorb, so I’ve been using it at night time (to stop myself from scratching my tummy during the night!), or if I’ve been home and just wearing some of hubby’s old t-shirts where any staining hasn’t mattered so much. While if I’ve been going out, and dressed up in my nicer clothes, I’ve been using the Belly Butter as it absorbs into the skin instantly. These products deserve a medal, as I am convinced that the products are one of the main reasons I still haven’t got any stretchmarks!

Palmers Tummy Butter (RRP: $15.69/125g)

This Tummy Butter from Palmers is incredibly greasy, and it is so concentrated that you need to use the tiniest amount, and still it feels greasy! It takes a while to absorb into the skin, and consequently I have only been using this at night time when I’ve been relaxing in front of the telly, and my tummy has gotten very itchy, as it has helped calm it down. And besides, the little boy seems to really enjoy and respond to this massage, so it has become a nightly routine. It has a light cocoa butter scent, and is free from parabens and phthalates, intended for use during pregnancy. It also contains vitamin E, collagen, elastin and lavender to soothe the skin.

On my body, including thighs and bum...;

*Clarins Stretchmark control (RRP: $90/200ml)

I’ve never ever been as heavy as I am right now, and no longer being able to do any vigorous exercise, of course I have been worried about developing a severe case of stubborn cellulite on my thighs and bum.

The Clarins Body Lift Cellulite Smoother limits fat storage and activates fat destocking to reduce the most stubborn cellulite and block the formation of early cellulite at its origin. And it works to not only visibly reduce cellulite, Body Lift Cellulite Smoothers specific active ingredients reinforce the skin’s firmness, micro-circulation and hydration and has an immediate lifting and tightening effect.

I love how the Cellulite Smoother absorbs into the skin immediately, leaving my skin feel soft and smooth, and I love the slight tingling and warming sensation, as the cream works to tone and tighten the skin. And at 39 weeks pregnant, and the heaviest weight I’ve ever been, the little bit of cellulite I already had before I got pregnant, hasn’t gotten any worse, and I am yet to see any new cellulite appear, so to me this is an absolute wonder cream.

All over my body...;

*Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil (RRP: $69.95/100ml)

Although I have been lucky and most of my pregnancy weight gain is sitting on my tummy, and hasn’t ‘spilled’ out to the rest of my body, I have naturally a little weight all over, I don’t think that can be avoided. And to avoid stretch marks from creeping in and ensure that my otherwise normal skin – which suddenly during pregnancy has gotten a lot drier, - has remained moisturised, I have been using the Clarins Tonic Body Treatment.

The body oil has the most amazing and relaxing natural scent, which however quickly fades. The oil feels so luxurious to use, and it absorbs into the skin instantly, and unlike other body oils, it doesn’t leaving behind any greasy feeling. Rather it immediately gets rid of any dry skin, and leaves the skin feeling so soft, smooth and thoroughly moisturised, and after just a few days use, I can really telly that my skin both feels and looks nicer, and appears more toned. And it helps soothe any itchy skin immediately too. And again, I am yet to see any further stretch marks, so this is another miracle product.

*Lanolips Herbal Treatment Body Oil (RRP $18.95/60ml)

The Lanolips Herbal Treatment Body Oil is a Ultra Pure Grade Lanolin oil with pine and eucalyptus oils to create a specialist treatment oil for stretch marks, scars, dehydrated skin & rough skin. The rich, nourishing oil keeps the skin moist and supple, providing the ultimate level of skin elasticity, during times of rapid growth such as pregnancy. Also contains violet leaf, coriander & copaiba balsam – leaving skin soft, silky, fragrant & healthy, and it has an absolutely amazing and natural gentle scent from all the natural ingredients.

It comes in a small hard plastic bottle with a flip lid, which makes it easy dispense just a few drops at a time. The bottle may look small for a body oil, but it is so concentrated that just a few drops is more than sufficient, so the small bottle will last you forever. I’ve been using this body oil all over after my shower, and it absorbs quickly leaving the skin feel incredibly soft and deeply moisturised. This oil is fantastic value for money, and a great alternative to body lotion.

*Johnson’s Baby Lotion (RRP $5.49/200ml)

When I have been using a body lotion on my increasingly sensitive skin, I’ve been using the Johnson’s Baby Lotion. Yep, it is not just for baby skin, it also perfect for adult skin. This moisturiser is so super gentle that it is gentle enough to use on a newborn baby, leaving a thing protective film on the skin, while being soothing and moisturising.

The body lotion which comes in a cute pale pink bottle has a pleasant gentle scent. The moisturiser is light and very easy to rub over the skin, and it absorbs into the skin immediately, without leaving the skin feeling greasy. And it instantly leaves the skin feeling thoroughly hydrated, a feeling that lasts all day. And it is so gentle that it doesn’t irritate even the most sensitive of skin, but rather it has an instantaneous soothing effect. I’ve made sure to stock up on this for our little baby boy, and lucky it comes at such a bargain price, as I am enjoying using this myself too!!


Another thing many pregnant women often experience during pregnancy is an increase in pigmentation due to the change in hormones. I usually love being outdoors during summer, but this year, being pregnant I just couldn’t stand the hot weather we’ve been experiencing here in Melbourne, so consequently being less outside in the sun, than I otherwise would during summer has no doubt benefited my skin, as while I have seen a slight increase in the pigmentation, this is still not major. Sadly many of the conventional products targeting pigmentation are a big no-no during pregnancy, so I have been using

Kosmea Rosehip Oil (RRP $24.95/20ml)

The Kosmea Rosehip Oil has without a doubt helped me avoid me getting the 'mask of pregnancy'. In spite of thinking my combination skin wouldn’t like using a facial oil, my skin is loving it, and it is almost as if the oil production in my skin has normalised, and my skin is no longer as oily. In saying that, it is still too oily for my skin to use during the day, as it simply makes my makeup slide off, so I’ve only been using it at night time before bed. You can read my full review of the Kosmea Rosehip Oil here.

*Clarins White Plus Intensive Brightening Serum (RRP: $95/30ml)

The Clarins White Plus range is a relatively new skincare range from Clarins, targeting dull skin, and reduces dark spots and prevents their reappearance. It is super lightweight serum enriched with natural extracts of alchemilla, red sandspurry, gink-go biloba and white tea, and it has next to no scent. It absorbs instantly into the skin, making it feel incredibly soft and smooth and with a matte feel.

After just a few weeks of using the serum I started noticing larger pigmentation spots that I’d had for years, start to fade and give my skin a more even skin tone and a healthy glow – and that in spite of the up-hill battle with cream would have had in a period of likely pigmentation increase! This is truly amazing, and I look forward to seeing the results the serum will give after I’ve given birth and it has more favourable conditions to work its magic!!

Fragrance & Well-being

I always wear perfume. Always! And if I leave the house having forgotten to put some on, I feel as naked as not wearing my watch. It is simply a habit that I would not be without. Some girls have a signature perfume, - not me…there are simply too many great perfumes out there, to limit what I wear to just one, or even just a few. But I also have to be honest, and admit that while I’ve been pregnant, I have cut down dramatically on the perfume I use. In fact I have only been wearing it for very special occasions, simply because they say that perfumes generally are so loaded with chemicals, that I thought they surely wouldn’t be the greatest for our unborn baby boy either!

But on the few occasions where I have been wearing a perfume, I’ve wanted it to be special – and then I’ve turned to Clarins Eau Dynamisante..

*Clarins Eau Dynamisante Treatment Fragrance (RRP: $65/100ml)

You see, Eau Dynamisante is no ordinary fragrance, it is a treatment fragrance, that helps keep the skin soft, smooth and moisturised, and help tone and revitalise the skin, and of course at the same time, it has a lovely fresh feminine spicy yet citrusy scent – and if there’s something I love, its citrus scented products! It is such an uplifting and refreshing scent, and it lasts all day, while still being very subtle.

 Eau Dynamisante was launched in 1987…yeah, that right, how many fragrances are still going strong and are as popular after that many years on the market!! Shows that it really is a true classic.

* Products were kindly provided for consideration, and have reviewed in accordance with my Disclosure Policy. 

So there you have it, some of key products that I’ve been relying on to get me through my pregnancy. And I’ve loved them all so much that they are sure to stay on my favourites list!

What about you, have you tried any of these products? And if you are, or have been pregnant, which products did you rely on during your pregnancy?


16 June 2013

Product Review: Violet Box – Launch box

I think everyone addicted to beauty products are in love with the monthly subscription boxes, and are subscribed to at least one. Well, the good news is that now another Australian subscription Beauty Box has just been launched – *The Violet Box.

The Violet Box in the outer box..
The Violet Box’s main focus is luxury, promising to provide subscribers a unique and modern subscription and shopping experience for all things beauty.
Violet Box brands promises to every month include 4-6 premium beauty and lifestyle samples from well-known and trusted Australian beauty brands as well as exciting new International brands, one in particular is a revolutionary product currently trending in New York and has been featured in Vogue and on the Today Show!

Violet Box has decided to keep the brands they cooperate with a top secret until the first box is shipped and received by all subscribers in order not to ruin the element of surprise. Once all boxes have been sent off next week, all the brand partner logo’s will be made visible on the Violet Box’ website

Subscribers benefit from exciting new brand partners and enables Violet Box the ability to bring a unique opportunity for subscribers to try and experiment with new products/trends and brands from home and abroad to the market. And Violet Box promises to customise the boxes as much as possible based on the personal profile.

In addition to a rewards system, there is also a shop where you can purchase full sized products and use your rewards points. The shop will also be up and running by next week, as well as the rewards system will be launched, so make sure to check the Violet Box’website next week.
You can subscribe to Violet Box for

1 month – $22.95
3 months - $66.00
6 months - $130
12 months - $250

I am not actually sure if the first Violet Box was to a particular theme, but the goodies came in a simple, yet elegant matte black box with the purple Violet Box logo on the top. And inside, the samples were wrapped in violet tissue paper.

The actual Violet Box..

Everything wrapped in pretty violet tissue paper..

So what was in the first Violet Box…

Avene Gentle Gel Cleanser – 50ml sample (RRP $23.95/200ml)


I really like Avene products, but have not tried any of their cleansers, so I am looking forward to trying this one. It is supposedly aimed at combination sensitive skin – and ok, I do have combination skin, but although it is not sensitive, using a very gentle product sure doesn’t hurt!


CK One Color Cosmetics, Gloss Eyecolor – Full size (RRP $25.00)


As soon as I saw the stunning black and white CK One box I was excited. Since Calvin Klein launched their new makeup range, have been wanting to try some of their products. The product is a Eyeshadow in a crayon form, giving a soft sheen and transparent look. Unfortunately I got the colour 500 Pop, which is a bright green – and as I am very conservative with my eye makeup, almost always wearing nudes/browns, I doubt that I will be using this one!

It also included a card offering a free 20 minute makeover at a Calvin Klein counter

Calvin Klein Sheer Beauty - Eau de Toilette 1.2ml (RRP $80/50ml, $120/100ml)


I love Calvin Klein perfumes.  I have every single one of them, except for this one!! And I have repurchased several of them numerous times. And I wore Eternity when I got married!! And Sheer Beauty is just gorgeous as well, fresh and fruity. I love it, and have already put a full sized on my wish list!


John Plunkett Glyco Peel – Full size – (RRP $28.95/15ml)

I love the idea of being able to do a glycolic peel at home, so I’ve been wanting to try this 25% glycolic acid peel. It promises to reduce fine lines, and surface discolourations, keeping skin looking clear, younger and refreshed. Unfortunately glycolic acid is off limits for me right now being pregnant, but after I’ve given birth, I hopeful that it will give my skin a much needed boost.


LashControl Clear Coat Control Mascara & Brow Fix – Full Size (RRP $25.00/8.87ml)

This promises to tame wayward brows without the wet look, and also works as a top coat over mascara to seal in the pigment. The mascara has a so-called ‘squeeze control’ which allows you to control how much product is on the brush. I am not quite sure I understand the need to use a top coat over my mascara, as I have sensitive eyes, so I always make sure that the mascaras I use are of such high quality that they do not drop pigments. As for Brow Fix, I do have a couple of hairs that have a mind of their own, so this will no doubt come in handy.

It also includes a card a discount though the Violet Box Store..


Argania Hair Oil Travel Cuties – 5ml (RRP $34.99/100ml)

I have really taken to using hair oils, as they not only help tame frizz and flyaways, they also help give moisture to dry hair. I have tried quite a few different ones by now, and I’m look forward to also trying hair oil from Argania, which is made from certified organic Moroccan Argan oil rich in vitamins and antioxidants. And besides the small bottle is just so cute, and perfect for travelling!

Free Subscription...

In addition, there was also a card offering a one month free subscription to Charlotte Dodson TV for free. 
Charlotte is a celebrity yoga teacher to among others Miranda Kerr and Lara Bingle, and this subscription allows you to join in from your lounge room...
Offer ends 31st July 2013.
This sounds pretty cool for me, and I hope to be able to try this out after I've given birth..

Overall I am quite happy the contents and value of this box for $22.95, and I am impressed with the fact that there are six products in the box and of those three are full sized!! I have been very keen on trying the John Plunkett Glyco Peel, which on its own has a value of $28.95, so really everything else in the box is just a bonus!!

Again, I was a little disappointed with the colour of the Calvin Klein Eyeshadow, as I was very keen on trying that – but then I also need to remember that the box was sent to me for consideration, and the Violet Box did not have any of my personal preferences of details, so if subscribers get makeup products in the boxes in colours according to their preferences, I really have nothing to criticise.

If the Violet Box can maintain this quality of products in their monthly boxes, and furthermore manages to customise the products you are sent, then it is sure to be a success, and I for one, am very tempted to subscribe...

* Product was kindly provided for consideration, and has reviewed in accordance with my Disclosure Policy.


What do you think of the contents of this launch box from Violet Box? Would you consider subscribing? Do you subscribe to any other monthly beauty boxes? And if so, which one is your favourite?


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