31 January 2014

Product Review: Estée Lauder - Illuminating Powder Gelée in Heat Wave

Estée Lauder recently launched the limited edition Bronze Goddess Collection here in Australia (check out the full collection here), and here are my thoughts on the Estée Lauder Illuminating Powder Gelée in Heat Wave;





What They Say:

"Utilizing True Vision Technology - an innovative "tribrid" technology that creates a unique sensorial texture as well as true color finish – Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelée in Heat Wave illuminates complexion and leaves skin with a sexy polished glow. With blendable and buildable coverage for a finish that goes from subtle and soft to highly pearlized, this ultra-luxurious gelée also features a delicate pattern to celebrate the sand and sun of Summer."

RRP: $75.00 – Available from Estée Lauder counters and Estée Lauder Online from 2nd February 2014

What I Say:

The Bronze Goddess Summer Collection embodies the golden sands, flourishing palm trees and exotic elements of a remote tropical Caribbean paradise. The Bronze Goddess Colour Collection features hot and sultry shades born from bold and vibrant colour mixes. An array of sunset hues with vivid bursts of colour surprise and awaken the senses, while a captivating spectrum of bronze and metallic tones provide a rich and daring makeup look. Eyes seduce with shimmering aquatic hues and glistening golden tones, defined by deep, dramatic colour. Lips entice through brightly pigmented pinks and corals with a reflective affect and skin glistens with a bronzed, sun-kissed glow.
 
 

This Illuminating Powder Gelée from Estée Lauder comes in a luxurious looking gold compact with the Estée Lauder logo printed on top. Inside there is a full sized mirror and a small sponge brush. The golden compact is so nice that it is a shame to hide it away in a drawer, but it does close tightly so you can safely pop it into your handbag without fearing it will pop open. In actual fact, I always seem to struggle opening it, so in my opinion it almost closes a little too tightly.

The actual illuminating powder in Heat Wave is a luminous pale gold colour, and it swatches pretty close to the colour you see in the compact. The actual illuminating doesn’t contain any glitter, rather it is extremely fine shimmer particles that results in a subtle glow and radiance.
 
 

The illuminating powder is very versatile as you can use it to create a glow all over your face and not to mention décolleté, as well as it can be used to highlight certain features of your face such as on as on top of your cheek bones, under your brows, or on the cupids bow, even as an eye shadow.
 
R: Built up colour, L: Blended
 
The illuminating powder is extremely pigmented, so it is easy to build up extra coverage and sheen and it only takes the tiniest of sweep to get an illuminated glow – and on my ageing, as well as combination skin I really feel I have to be careful not to overdo it, as it not only highlights fine line and wrinkles, but too much sheen sadly also make my skin look even greasier and make it look like a disco ball. I actually find that it is very difficult to apply using the included sponge applicator as I feel I instantly add too much, while I find it much easier to control and blend with a large powder brush. I don’t know if it is my age, or many my combination skin that seems exceptionally greasy at the moment (as a second heatwave in two weeks is hitting Melbourne with clove to 40 degrees), but still I do find it a little too shimmery to use all over my skin to use as on a daily basis, for me it is more of a look I’d wear for a night out. I much prefer using it as a highlighter for both cheeks and eyes and as an eye shadow.



L: Built up colour, R: Blended


The illuminating powder and has a soft and smooth texture, but once it comes into contact with the skin it becomes powdery, and hence why I probably find it is easier to apply and blend with a powder brush or fan brush, and because of the special formula, there is absolutely no fallout. It has a nice staying powder, lasting the majority of the day without settling into fine lines or wrinkles, fading or needing a touch-up.

What I Like:
  • It gives the skin a nice radiance and glow
  • It has a good staying power
  • It is very versatile, and can be used all over the face, and the body as well
  • It is very pigmented and concentrated so it only takes a little – so you will have this forever!
  • It has a good staying power

What I Don’t Like:
  • It is a little difficult to open the compact
  • Because it is so pigmented and concentrated it is easy to over-use it
  • It is a little expensive

Overall this Illuminating Powder from Estée Lauder is such a lovely and versatile product. When used sparingly, it gives your skin such a nice glow and radiance - as if you have just been away on a tropical holiday. That is sadly the case for me as we are in the process of moving house – so if nothing else, it will give my stressed and sleep-deprived looks so much needed glow making me look a little more awake.
*This product was kindly provided for consideration, and it has been reviewed in accordance with my Disclosure Policy.

 
What do you think of this illuminating powder from Estée Lauder? Do you use illuminisers? What’s your favourite multi-tasking product?
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29 January 2014

Product Review: Mary Kay Thinking of You Perfume Pendant

Just before Christmas I received a lovely gift from Mary Kay, a gorgeous perfume pendant in the scent Thinking of You, here are my thoughts;



 
What They Say:
"Thinking of You with a feel-good fruity floriental fragrance is all about relationships and celebrating them with a gift that turns a moment into a memory."

 
What I Say:
There is no denying it. I love jewellery. I collect it, and have been for years. Especially simple and elegant designs that never go out of fashion. And I love perfume. I have more different perfumes than I dare to admit, and I never leave the house without wearing perfume. Mary Kay must have known, as this Thinking of You Perfume Pendant is simply gorgeous in both design and scent.

The silver disc has a lid that can be pushed to the side, revealing the cream perfume. The lid has a modern black heart in two halves – no doubt representing the two persons in the relationship – embossed into the lid. The necklace has a black cord that can easily be adjusted to the desired length to fit various outfits as well.


 

The necklace comes in a cute pale turquoise velour pouch with a little note card that you can write a short message if you are giving this away as a gift.

The actual cream perfume has a nice floral scent, which is subtle enough to wear during the day, yet also strong enough for a night out.

The cream perfume leaves a nice sheen on your skin where you’ve applied it, yet without being too glittery or shimmery.
 



This is the first time I’ve ever tried a cream perfume, so I didn’t really know what to expect, but thinking it surely wouldn’t last long – but I was wrong, as just the tiniest smear of this Thinking of You cream perfume will leave you smelling nice most of the day – and should you need to refresh a little – you only have to reach as far as your neck where the perfume pendant serves as the perfect accessory.

Thanks so much Mary Kay, I’ll be sure to be thinking of you each time I wear this!
*Product was kindly provided for consideration, and has reviewed in accordance with my Disclosure Policy.

 
Have you ever tried any of the fragrances from Mary Kay? What do you think of a perfume pendant?



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28 January 2014

Product Review: Premium Spa SOS Hand Cream with Ginger & Orange

With two large dogs and a baby and consequently washing my hands more frequently than most during the average day, my hands are often feeling rather dry. So I go through hand cream like never before, and have them stashed everywhere, from my car, my handbag (read the nappy bag!), next to the computer, in the bathroom, by the kitchen sink, next to the couch…basically you’ll find a hand cream within a few steps in our house!! And always on the search for a good one, I happily accepted when I was asked to trial the *Premium Spa SOS Hand Cream with Ginger & Orange;

 



What They Say:

A handy purse sized cream formulated with pigment correcting licorice extract and the natural moisturisers of organic rosehip, cocoa butter & Australian honey cream smoothes and nourishes hands whilst maintaining nail health.


RRP: $9.95/250ml, $6.95/50ml – Available from Priceline, Big W and selected pharmacies


What I Say:

I have only just come across the newly launched Premium Spa brand (check out my review of the SOS Foot products here), and have been very impressed with the quality of these budget products.

All the products from Premium Spa all made in Australia from natural, locally grown ingredients, and contain NO nasties such as: SLS, mineral oils, detergents, artificial colours, synthetic fillers, or polybeads. Huge bonus points! And what’s more, the packaging is recyclable, and none of the products have been tested on animals!

The SOS Hand Cream comes in a small narrow tube, which makes it perfect for the handbag, which is exactly where it will be going, but it is also available in a huge 250ml pump bottle, which would be perfect keeping next to the kitchen sink for use after doing the dishes etc.

The hand cream contains the interesting combination of ginger and orange. In addition it also has liquorice extract and glycolic exfoliating agent to help visible reduce skin discolourations and pigmentation. Finally, it also contains certified organic rosehip to help restore skin cell regeneration, refine skin texture and aid the healing of scars.


The cream absorbs into the skin instantly, leaving the skin feeling soft and smooth, and unlike other intensive hand creams, it doesn’t leave behind a sticky or greasy feeling. And after continued use, my hands – and not to mention my cuticles, are more hydrated than they have been for a very long. As for the claim of reducing skin discolourations and pigmentation, I am yet to see any results, but as this is long time skin damage from being exposed to the sun over decades, you also cannot expect any significant improvement overnight. Also the cream claims to aid the healing of scars, and I had a rather nasty cut on a finger from cutting myself with a sharp knife (blame my baby boy, I was trying to cut up a greasy chicken in too big a hurry as he started crying), and the cut healed surprisingly quickly.


The cream has a strong and slightly spicy scent, no doubt coming from the ginger and the liquorice, and I have to be honest and admit that it is somewhat stronger and different to scents that I usually go for. Had it only smelt predominantly of the orange, then I would have been sold from the word go.


On the negative, I would have loved to also see some SPF included in this hand cream, especially seeing it contains glycolic exfoliating agent, and as it is simply a necessity here in Australia, and consequently I feel that the cream is better suited for night time use, or at least when you are not planning on being outside in the sun.


What I Like: 

 

  • Contains natural ingredients and no harsh or nasty chemicals 
  • Absorbs quickly leaving hands soft and subtle, and without any greasy residue
  • Includes anti-ageing ingredients
  • Australian owned and made products 
  • Not tested on animals
  • Modern packaging, which is recyclable
  • Great budget price 
 
What I Don’t Like:
 
  • Has a strong spicy scent, and I would prefer less dominating or it smelt more of orange
 
 Overall I am again very impressed with the quality and performance of the products from Premium Spa. At the low price of $5.95 this hand cream, you really cannot go wrong, - and although I am not loving the spicy scent, I love how soft it makes my hands feel, that I can certainly put up with the scent. If you are on a budget and on the look out for an efficient hand cream, free from all the chemical nasties, then I highly recommend that you try this out. You won’t be disappointed.
 
* Product was kindly provided for consideration, and has reviewed in accordance with my Disclosure Policy.
 
   
Have you tried any of the products from Premium Spa? Do you use an anti-ageing hand cream? Which products do you recommend?
 
 

 
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25 January 2014

Industry News: Estée Lauder Launches Exclusive Derek Lam Minaudiere Collection

To celebrate the ten year collaboration between Tom Pecheux, Creative Makeup Director, and Derek Lam, Designer, Estée Lauder introduces an exclusive Estée Lauder Derek Lam Collection. Derek’s vision of "Luxury without Formality" meets Tom Pecheux’s makeup expertise in a glamorous designer clutch containing a five-piece limited edition makeup collection.

The chic navy satin hard-case clutch with Derek Lam’s signature clasp encases five perfectly packaged makeup essentials for the season. Striking a new balance of refinement and sensuality, the collection creates a look that is modern, fresh and straight from the runway. At New York Fashion Week, Tom Pecheux created a stunning makeup to debut the collection at Derek Lam’s Spring 2014 show.





"Estee Lauder and Tom Pecheux both understand the creative expression of a modern woman through beauty, which is the perfect complement to my designs." – Derek Lam

The Derek Lam Minaudiere collection combines the signature style of Derek Lam with the iconic navy blue of Estée Lauder.  "I designed the clutch to be a chic yet very adaptable accessory in a woman’s wardrobe" comments Derek Lam, "Every woman seeks that perfect small bag."  The interior of the clutch features the five products perfectly secured in a satin pocket, a credit card holder and space for a few additional evening essentials. The Derek Lam Minaudiere is a perfect way to finish an ensemble, whether paring it with a simple sweater and trouser for a dinner out, or with a fantastic dress for a special evening event.

The Estée Lauder Derek Lam Minaudiere Collection features five customised special edition pieces created by Tom Pecheux, inspired by the fabrics, textures and tones of Derek Lam’s Spring/Summer 2014 Collection. "The products are subtle and wearable yet can also be used to build a strong, sexy look" says Tom Pecheux. "It’s the perfect mix for creating a sophisticated day look that can be turned into a sensual evening look."  
The burnished gold creamy shade of The EyeShadow provides a modern gleam to eyes, while The Mascara features a new bold lifting formula for lashes that demand attention. The Kajal Crayon in a deep navy blue pumps up the drama with an intense, smudgy finish perfect for a night out. For the lips, the creamy, full coverage formula of The LipColor offers the perfect nude lip look, while The Gloss adds a touch of sheer rose gold shimmer to complete this runway look.
Estée Lauder Derek Lam Minaudiere Collection includes:

  • The Derek Lam Clutch
  • The Kajal Crayon in Near Night
  • The Mascara in Black Black
  • The EyeShadow in Smoked Gold
  • The LipColor in Smoked Blush
  • The Gloss in Barely Gold

The Estée Lauder Derek Lam Minaudiere Collection will be available exclusively at Estée Lauder Online for a limited time from 1st February 2014, and will have an RRP of $130.00

 

Doesn't this just look like the perfect kit? And how gorgeous is that clutch!

What do you think of this collection? Keen to get your hands on it?


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24 January 2014

Product Review: Colgate ProClinical A1500 Electric Toothbrush

I have always been fond of my teeth. Growing up in Denmark, you automatically start seeing a dentist when you are very young, and from then on you always get check-ups every 6 months. And the best part of this is that it is free – completely free until you turn 18 years old, and even after that it is subsidised by the government. So I’ve grown up caring for my teeth every day. And pretty much as soon as the electric toothbrushes hit the market, I just had to have one. And now, years – sorry decades on, I have lost count of how many electric toothbrushes I’ve owned. They simply get better and better and more and more advanced, and as my teeth are so important to me, I always strive to have the latest and greatest brush, so when I was asked to review the *Colgate ProClinical A1500 Electric Toothbrush, I naturally happily accepted. Here are my thoughts;

 
 
 
What They Say:
"Colgate® ProClinical® A1500 is an electric toothbrush that automatically adjusts to the different tooth surfaces at the push of a button*. With unique smart sensors, the Colgate® ProClinical® provides targeted cleaning action based on the position it is held in the mouth. Its ergonomic handle and angled neck also allow users to reach caries-prone areas."
 
RRP: A1500 Toothbrush: $199.95, Toothbrush refills: $16.95/2pack, $29.95/4pack – Available from leading retailers including the Shaver Shop, Big W and Chemist Warehouse 

What I Say:

For the past month I’ve been using the Colgate ProClinical A1500 Electric Toothbrush, and I have noticed a big difference in how clean my teeth have been feeling in that period. And the other day I went to the dentist for a check-up, and he commented too on how clean my teeth were, and that I appeared to have significantly less plaque than I usually do! Instant bonus points to Colgate!

And here I was thinking that my current electrical toothbrush was amazing, being top of the range and less than a year old! How wrong was I!
 
Everything included with the brush; toothbrush, charger,
stand, brush heads, travel case and instruction manual
 

The Colgate ProClinical A1500 toothbrush I a partnership between Colgate and OMRON, a worldwide leader in innovative sensing and control technology. This unique partnership combines OMRON technology, with the oral care expertise of Colgate, this new toothbrush claims to be able to provide five times more plaque removal along the gumline – and going by the comment from my dentist, this claim seems to hold true!
 
The toothbrush features a distinct sonic wave cleaning action that delivers up to 32,500 strokes per minute to effectively remove plaque – 32,500 strokes per minute – that’s massive isn’t it – try doing that with a manual brush!!!

Other features of the A1500 toothbrush includes:
  • Smart Sensors to automatically adjust the speed and cleaning action of the electric toothbrush head depending on how the brush is held in the mouth, switching between between sensitive side-to-side strokes, mid-speed in-out strokes, fast up-down strokes
 
 
  • Manual Mode Selection
 
 
  • LED Display
  • 2 Minute Timer for optimal cleansing time
  • 30 Second Pacer to indicate when to move onto the next quadrant or section of the mouth
  • Polished teeth
  • Interdental Clean
  • Also includes 2 x Triple Clean brush heads, which cleans in 3 ways, and Sensitive brush head, for gentle and deep cleaning, and a travel case
 
 
  • Comes with a 2 year warranty

The A1500 toothbrush charges up fast – oh, and don’t forget to let me mention that it already comes pre-charged so you can start to use it straight away. Thanks Colgate, you must have listened – as how frustrating is it to get a new toy, only to have to wait 24 hours while it charges! And the battery life is long too, so you don’t have to re-charge very often.

This toothbrush is so different to all other electrical toothbrushes that I’ve used over the past few decades, as these have always only had rotating brush movements, and this A1500 brush cleans in three ways, side-to-side strokes, mid-speed in-out strokes, fast up-down, - and I really like that it automatically adjust the speed and cleaning mode to ensure my teeth get the best possible clean.
 
The travel case with enough room for
the toothbrush and two brushes
 
And in spite of all the action and movement, the toothbrush is incredibly sensitive, at no point irritating my mouth of my gums.

Compared to other electric toothbrushes that I’ve used, the brush head is a little different – usually they are round, but this one is more like a mini version of a manual toothbrush – and I like that, as it makes it easier to get to the back of the mouth that is otherwise hard to reach.
 
The ergonomically slimline design of the brush
 

And speaking of making it easy to reach, I love the lightweight slimline ergonomic design of the A1500 toothbrush, it is so slender and sits perfectly in my little hand, and the angled toothbrush part, does help make it so much easier to reach into the back of your mouth.
 
Comes with three brush heads, 2 x Triple Clean Brush Heads,
and 1 x Sensitive Brush Head
 

On the negative, I do feel that the A1500 toothbrush is a little noisy, as it has a rather loud high-pitch buzzing sound, and do wish that it would be a little quieter.

And while I am aware that the auto-shut off is designed so you don’t over-brush your teeth, I at times feel that I am not quite finished and just need a few extra seconds, so I would prefer to be able to turn it off manually myself.

Packaged neatly in the box


Finally, in regards to the on-off button, this is a little too sensitive for my clumsy fingers, and I really have to be careful not to turn it off in the middle of a brush.

What I Like:
  • Cleans my teeth so extremely well – to the point of my dentist noticing it
  • Is very gentle in spite of the speed and cleaning actions
  • Nice ergonomic design that sits nicely in my small hand and is easy to use
  • Multiple cleaning functions to suit need and personal preference

What I Don’t Like
  • A little noisy due to a high-pitch sound
  • Easy to accidentally turn it off during use
  • The toothbrush holder has little 'spikes' to hold two brushes, but I would prefer if brushes there was a little compartment where they could be stored, out of the 'elements'
  • A little expensive

Phew, that was a long post - thanks for keep reading - there were just so many fantastic features about this toothbrush that I wanted to share!
And overall, I think it is needless to say that my old toothbrush has now been packed away and replaced with the Colgate A1500 toothbrush, as I simply feel it is doing my teeth a world of good. It may be a little expensive at $199, but when you consider the cost of getting your teeth repaired (if you can!) if you don’t look after them, or even getting them cleaned professionally by a hygienist, then it is in my opinion, money very well spent, and in fact, it will end up not only saving you money long term, but it will also keep your teeth looking nicer and being healthier for longer! If you are on the lookout for a new toothbrush, or simply want to start looking after your teeth a little better, then I highly recommend that you try it, you won’t be disappointed.

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


Do you use an electrical toothbrush? What do you think of this new toothbrush from Colgate? How often do you get your teeth checked at the dentist?



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Product Review: Violet Box – January 2014

It is that time of month again – where the monthly beauty box subscription boxes start to arrive, and this morning I received the first beauty box for the year, so here are my thoughts on the *January edition of the Violet Box;

What They Say:
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!


RRP: You can subscribe to Violet Box for:
1 month – $22.95

3 months - $66.00
6 months - $130

12 months - $250
http://www.violetbox.com.au/

What I Say:

This month’s Violet Box arrived in the now standard narrower sized black matte box, which closes with a magnetic closure and a purple ribbon, and this is what was in the December Violet Box…

Do you remember my review of the December Violet Box….well if not, you can see it here…

Anyway, in last month’s box there was a note with an apology saying that unfortunately the planned Jelly Pong Pong Wide Awake Palette that was supposed to have been included on the box, and which was mentioned on the product card, unfortunately had been damaged during the transit. Violet Box instead included two Sweetpea & Fay eyeshadows as a replacement in the December Box, and made a promise that the Jelly Pong Pong palette would be included in the January box.
And as promised, this box did indeed include the Jelly Pong Pong palette!

Jelly Pong Pong Wide Awake Palette – Full Size (RRP: $32.00)
The palette is not mentioned at all on the card with all the product descriptions, so you can truly call this a bonus product, and at $32.00 how amazing value is that! This month’s box has more than paid for itself there and then! The palette contains a highlighter and a concealer along with three brow sculpting shades, and a small brush, all presented in a pale pastel pink palette with a large mirror. This looks interesting, so I can’t wait to test this out!

So Susan Water-Based Pure Luminizer – Full Size (RRP: $49.00)
I have never before heard of this UK brand, but I love it when I read that the products contains no sulfates, mineral oils, phthalates, triclosan or animal by-products.
It is a water-based liquid illuminiser with micronized pearlescent pigments to add sheen to cheekbones, or brow bones . As this is a new brand to me, I cannot wait to trial this luminiser ,and even more so knowing that it doesn’t contain any chemical nasties. This is another full sized products with a massive value of $49 – Wow, this box is starting out well..

So Susan Nail Lacquer – Full Size (RRP:$10.00)
Another product from So Susan, and this nail polish is also free from all the chemical nasties, as well as it contains rosehip fruit oil to strengthen the nail and the skin around it.
I got the colour Pink Guava, which is a lovely cerise pink, absolutely perfect for tanned summer hands and feet, so this definitely won’t go to waste.

Lush Gorgeous Facial Moisturiser – Sample Size 10g (RRP: $74.95/45g)
This cream moistures, softens and nourishes, which provided it is not too rich for my combination skin sounds perfect. Truth is that I have only ever tried the bath products from Lush, and so long wanted to try the skincare products from Lush, but just never gotten around to it, so can’t wait to put this one to the test. It comes in a cute little tin – and the first challenge will be to work out how to open it, maybe it is me, or perhaps my clumsy little fingers, but I will need to enlist the help of my husband to open it up for me to I can put it to the test!

The box also included a card where if you spend $40 or more on Lush products online, you get free postage. Tempting…

MOR Essential Collection Hand Cream – 2 x sample sachets, 3ml each (RRP: 14.95/80ml)
I am very happy to receive not one, but two sachet samples of these hand creams. I got Basil & Grape, as well as Black Currant Iris. I am already familiar with the MOR hand creams, and love them, and as I don’t know these two scent, I am quite happy to be able to test them out too. The hand creams always smell gorgeous, - although sometimes so nice that I cannot stop smelling my hands, LOL!

Villainess Soaps in Dulces en Fuego – Sample – (RRP: $8.50/90g)

Another brand that I have never heard of before. This one contains black pepper and cinnamon sprinkled throughout, and consequently has a slightly spicy scent. It smells nice, and the spicy scent is a refreshing change from the always floral varieties. However, I must admit that I generally prefer to use liquid hand soap as I find them less messy in the bathroom, but still, I will definitely put it to the test, and actually, I could imagine that it would be right up my hubby’s alley, not being sweet and girly scented.

Acorelle Eau de Parfum – Sample vial 1.5ml (RRP: $$69.95/50ml)

I love perfumes, and I have more than I can count, and there is always room for another one. In my opinion there are simply too many gorgeous perfumes around to limit yourself to just one signature scent, so I like to swap and change every day depending on my mood, outfit and occasion. I have never heard of this brand before, so I am always excited to trial out a new one. And especially when I read that it contains mandarin and jasmine – and citrus scented products are on the absolute top of my favourite scents.

Overall I am extremely impressed with the contents of this months Violet Box, including the Jelly Pong Pong palette, it contains a whole three full sized products, with a combined value of $91 – how good is that when you only pay a maximum of $22.95 for the box –that is over four times the value. I am obviously aware that the Jelly Pong Pong Palette is bonus, but to quite honest, although Violet Box had promised that it would be included in this month’s box, I didn’t expect to be a bonus product, but that it would a part of the regularly included products! Very impressive and generous of Violet Box!

And in addition the box also contains a full five samples in the form of the soap, a facial cream, two hand creams and a perfume. Of course, it is only value for money if you intend to use every single one of the included products, and I definitely will, and am quite excited about them all.

If I have to be negative, it would be that there are two products included from the So Susan brand, and while I love discovering unknown brands, I would personally have preferred just one So Susan product and have the second product replaced with another brand that is new to me, if that makes sense. But really, that is just me nit-picking, as with the value of the contents of the box, Violet Box could easily have simply omitted say the nail polish from the box, and it would still have been extremely good value.

So all in all, I am very impressed with this month’s box – what a fantastic start to the New Year, well done Violet Box!!

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

What do you think of the products of the January Violet Box? Did you get this months’ box too? What did you think? And if not, would you consider subscribing?

And of course, as always, if you’d like to see an in-depth review of any of products in the box, leave me a comment below..

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23 January 2014

Product Review: Royal Moroccan Hair Mask Treatment

I love summer. I love being outside and feeling the sun kiss my cheeks. But sadly my hair is not always enjoying it, as my hair – in spite of not swimming in pools of going to the beach (which is sadly not ideal with a 7 month old baby!) always seems to get drier and more frizzy, and even though I always look after my hair with frequent trims and treatments. Here are my thoughts on the Royal Moroccan Hair Mask Treatment;


 
 
What They Say:
"An intensive hair repair for damaged and coloured hair. Designed to combat the stresses that can leave your hair dry and brittle and your scalp irritated and itchy, the Royal Moroccan Hair Mask Treatment contains both Argan Oil and Keratin to soothe and repair. As well as nourishing follicle and scalp it protects your colour leaving your hair vibrant and touchably soft."


RRP: $29.95 (250ml) – Available from Priceline or Royal Moroccan Online 

What I Say:
Having previously trialled the Royal Moroccan Serum Treatment, which I really like, I was excited to be trialling the Hair Mask Treatment as well. My one negative about the Serum Treatment was that there was no pump to make it easier to dispense, and Royal Moroccan kindly responded to my post that a pump applicator would be added in the near future, so it is fantastic to see that this is a company that listens and takes on board any criticism as well.

This Hair Mask Treatment from Royal Moroccan is a thick creamy mask, that you would think would be difficult to spread through the hair, but surprisingly once rubbed into the hands, it softens up and is so easy to massage into the hair. And because it is so thick, it is also extremely concentrated so only a little is needed.




With a baby and no longer having as much time on my hands, I like that this hair treatment works in just 5-7minutes – and yet, the results are there. I never get around to using all those hair treatments that need to work for 20-30 minutes as I simply don’t have that sort of time on my hands anymore – and if I do use them, I rinse them out after a few minutes, and no doubt don’t get the full benefit from the product and hence somewhat wasting both the product and my money. The treatments that work in the 5 or so minutes on the other hand, are a different story, as that is about the time it takes me to use the body scrub in the shower, and followed by a quick clean of the shower before the treatment needs to be rinsed out – two birds with one stone! Me like!

Sometimes thick hair treatments are difficult to rinse out and it is as if residue remains in the hair weighing it down, but this treatment from Royal Moroccan is fairly easy and quick to rinse out.
After each use my hair less tangled after it has been washed, and consequently it is so much easier to comb out, and therefore I am not putting as much stress on my hair tugging and pulling it.

I mostly let me hair dry naturally, and once dry, it is noticeably feeling a lot silkier, and the dry ends look so much healthier and the frizz has reduced. And after using the hair treatment weekly, I can really tell the difference. My hair simply looks and feels so much healthier.

At just $29.95 this is well priced for such a large tub, also considering how high quality the treatment is and how concentrated it is. It has a nice subtle floral scent, which lingers behind, even after the hair is dry, but as this is a lovely scent, I find it quite nice.



The hair treatment comes in a large plastic tub with the gorgeous red label and a silver screw lid, and the packaging looks nice and modern. Sadly my only negative about this hair treatment is the fact that it comes in a tub, as I find it a little cumbersome and difficult to unscrew the lid in the shower with wet hands, as well as I always find that water gets into the treatment diluting it. I would much prefer it came in a simple tube with a screw lid.

What I Like:
  • Concentrated and efficient
  • Easy to rinse out
  • Leaves hair soft and healthy looking
  • Nice packaging and lovely scent
  • Well priced

What I Don’t Like:
  • That it comes in a tub, I would prefer if it came in a tube

Overall, I really enjoy using this Hair Treatment as I can feel that a weekly treatment does wonders to my hair, it is simply looking and feeling so much healthier, that I highly recommend this Hair Mask Treatment from Royal Moroccan.
*This product was kindly provided for consideration, and has been reviewed in accordance with my Disclosure Policy.

 
Have you ever tried any of the products from Royal Moroccan? How often do you give your hair a treatment mask? Any recommendations?

 
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22 January 2014

Focus On: Blemish Fighting Products - Keeping My Skin Clear

I have always struggled with my skin breaking out. Started when I was a teenager, and now decades on, in spite of now needing anti-ageing products, I am sadly still finding that my skin breaks out more frequently than I like. Over the years I have tried more products than I can remember and spent more money on useless products than I care to think about. Here’s a rundown on some of the products that I am currently reaching for when I’m facing a breakout..

 


 
La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel
 
 
 
This purifying foaming gel is soap free as well as it is free from added colours, alcohol and parabens, and is so gentle on the skin yet it helps purify the skin deep down every single pore. The clear gel is very concentrated and turns into a soft foam, and it easily and gently removes all my makeup, with the exception of my water proof mascara, but I always use a specific eye makeup remover so I don’t mind that at all. And afterwards my skin is left so soft and clean, and my pores seem refined, yet without my skin feeling tight or dried out.

RRP: $19.95 (200ml) – Available from Priceline and selected pharmacies

 
Biore Blemish Clearing Scrub*
 
 
This Scrub is oil free and contains Salicylic Acid which helps to gently exfoliate the skin deep down every single pore, and release built up dirty, oil and grime from the pores, which can potentially cause blemishes. It is very effective leaving the skin feeling soft and smooth, and visibly less greasy, yet very gentle so it can be used every couple of days. And over time I have noticed that I have less breakouts, especially in the t-zone area. And as a bonus it has a gorgeous fruity scent of mandarin.

$10.99 (130ml) – Available from Priceline, supermarkets and select pharmacies

 
Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips*
 
 

There’s nothing worse than the blackheads that always gather especially on the nose. And squeezing them is not a great idea (although I think most of us is guilty of doing it), as it can damage the skin and make the problem even worse. And that’s where the Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips come in handy. The strips have been designed to fit the nose perfectly, even into the crease on the sides of the nose. And it is so easy to use simply wet the nose area and stick on the strip, leaving it on for about 10 to 15minutes to work, after which you can slowly and gently peel it off. The strip works kind of like a magnet drawing out the blackheads and gunk from the pores so used frequently, you can really tell that you have less and less clogged pores.

RRP: $5.69 (6 strips) – Available from Priceline, supermarkets and select pharmacies


La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo
 
 
This cream is designed to act on the two main symptoms of skin with imperfections: Severe localised imperfections and pores clogged with sebum. It contains among others LHA and Linoleic Acid to unclog pores while eliminating the accumulated dead cells responsible for blockage, and Niacinamide and Piroctone Olamine to fight against bacterial proliferation and eliminate imperfections, along with La Roche-Posay thermal spring water to reduce redness.
The cream is a very light oil-free gel that is suitable for use both morning and night, and it works perfectly under makeup as well. I don’t use it all over my face, just in those areas always prone to breakouts, such as the nose and chin area, and in no time it helps clear my skin, even those stubborn pimples that otherwise take forever to go away. And all without drying out my skin or making it irritated or red.


RRP: $25.95 (40ml) – Available from Priceline and selected pharmacies

 
Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Spot Treatment Gel




I always have one of these gels handy. Whenever I feel a pimple is on its way, I pop a little of this clear gel on, and the next morning, I can already see and feel that it has worked its magic. And as it goes on clear, it works perfectly under makeup as well. At $ it is not cheap, but it is very concentrated so you only need the tiniest amount so the 15ml bottle will last you forever!

RRP: $32 (15ml) – Available from Clinique

 
Maybelline New York Dream Pure BB Cream*




This new BB Cream from Maybelline is specifically targeted for oily and blemish prone skin as it is water based and contains 2% salicylic acid. This means that it not only leaves skin with a nice even finish concealing imperfections, it also works over time to reduce blemishes and minimise pores. It is easy to apply and blend, and feels very comfortable on the skin. And in spite of being formulated for oily skin, it still leaves the skin feeling soft and moisturised and without drying it out. It has a nice long wear, leaving my skin looking matte well into the afternoon before I need a touch up.

$15.95 (30ml) – Available from Priceline, department stores, supermarkets and select pharmacies

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


So there you go, some of my go to products when my skin is playing up and breaking out..
What do you think of these products? Have you tried any of these? What do you use when your skin is breaking out?
  
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