31 December 2016

HAPPY NEW YEAR - FEATURING PARTY FAVOURITES

Happy New Year everyone. Thanks to everyone for all the support throughout 2016, I really appreciate how you've all stuck by me in a time where I had other things on my mind. 2016 has been a tough year for our little family, and one that has been dominated with hospital visits for our little boy, and stressing about how he would recover. While our boy is a tough little cooking, and is doing really well, the battle isn't over yet, and the next year will also be dominated by speaking to lots of doctors, I am so looking forward to the start a new year and what can only be better and happier year for our little family. 




With two little toddlers, there are no huge New Year's party in sight for me, but regardless, here are a couple of my ultimate party essentials, some of which are also some of my fave products from 2016…

This Cool Clutch is simply so beautiful that it has to be the clutch of choice for the last and first party of the year. It is hand sown with hundreds of pearls and diamantes, and is sure to dress up any outfit and be the statement of the party. It also has an insulated so your makeup won't melt in the heat of the night.

On my eyes, I just can't get enough of the Lancome Grandiose Mascara. Applying it takes a little getting used to, but once you've mastered the different comb angles, it gives the best fluttering lashes, as close to fakes as you can possibly come.

On my lips, I just cannot get enough of the Sisley Paris Phyto Lip Gloss in the shade Rouge as it simply has the most beautiful intense red shade with a nice glossy look and it stay put for hours. Perfect for a night out.

And of course, what's a party without a bit of glow, and for that, I have to reach for the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick, which just gives the most yet natural glow.

Then on to a spritz of perfume, and just cannot go past one of this years great releases, the CK ONE GOLD from Calvin Klein. It has the most beautiful fresh fruity scent that makes it great for a hot summer night, and just cannot get enough of that beautiful golden bottle.

Finally, cannot neglect the nails, so a couple of coats of the Attitude Attitude, a beautiful red shade from Essie, and all is set.

The drink of choice would have to be the Prosecco Ice, as it has such a refreshing fruity taste. It is a very fragrant Spumante that is great with ice and a slice or lime or a couple of mint leaves, or go the classic way and add a strawberry of two.



Wishing everyone a very happy, healthy and safe New Year.

Karina x



Lancome Grandiose Mascara - RRP: $54
Available from Lancome Counters

Sisley Paris Phyto Lip Gloss in Rouge - $65
Available from Sisley Paris

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick - RRP: $75
Available from Bobbi Brown

Calvin Klein CK ONE GOLD Edt - RRP: $69 / 100ml
Available from select pharmacies and department stores.

Essie Nail Polish - RRP: $16.95
Available from Priceline and department stores

Cool Clutch Pearl Cool Clutch - RRP: $129.99, but currently on sale for $100
Available from Cool Clutch

Prosecco Ice - RRP: $14.99/ 750ml
Available from Dan Murphy's and BWS

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

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PRODUCT REVIEW: REFERENCE OF SWEDEN REF 551 SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER, REF 230 HEAT PROTECTION SPRAY

Today I am very excited to be sharing with you a new haircare brand that has just come to my attention, Reference of Sweden, including the Shampoo and Conditioner REF 551 and the REF Heat Protection Spray REF 230.

 

First up I love that the products from Reference of Sweden are Paraben and Sulfate free, and made using natural extracts of omega-rich linseed oil and ultra emollient Tamanu oil, which have healing and repairing properties.
I also love that the products as they are also called are using a very simple reference system, hence why they also go under the name REF., where the REF on each product simply describes the unique characteristics of the product with numbers, so you can always get the product tailored to your hair's personal requirements, according to Hold/Care, Shine, or Volume. Each is simply rated from 0 through to 5, with 5 naturally being the highest strength - so the Shampoo and Conditioner I'm putting to the test here, both have the reference 551, meaning that they provide maximum Care, Shine and minimal Volume, whereas the Heat protection Spray REF 230, has medium Hold and Shine and offers no Volume. How brilliant is that!

Let's start with the Reference of Sweden REF Shampoo 551, which is a sulphate and paraben free shampoo intended for dry, damaged or chemically treated hair. It features extracts of neem, lingonberry seed and walnut, Tamanu and Argan oil, and aims to reconstruct and renew the hair for optimal health and shine. It also repairs hair that is dry and damaged from chemical services and thermal styling, while calming and nourishing the hair and scalp.

What I notice first is that the pearlescent shampoo has the most divine fruity scent, which reminds me a little of green apples. It gently cleans my hair, without drying it out or making it feel squaky clean, and you can clearly feel that the botanical extracts are caring for the hair. Following with the Reference of Sweden REF Conditioner 551, which is an intensive reconstructor for hair damaged by chemical services and thermal styling, and it is also sulphate free. The conditioner has a light consistency, and absorbs quickly into my hair, which did initially make me feel the need to use a little more, but don't be fooled as it really does add intense moisture to the hair. It is easy to rinse out without leaving behind a greasy residue, and afterwards the hair is left soft and smooth and easy to comb out without knots. And once dry, the hair looks very healthy and shiny, without being weighed down. The conditioner has the same gorgeous scent as the shampoo, although unfortunately not quite as strong.

I don’t heat style my hair everyday, but when I do, I've enjoyed using the Reference of Sweden REF 230 Heat protection Spray. This light light spray that can be used in both damp and dry hair before heat styling to help form a protective barrier and prevent the hair being damaged from the heat styling. The spray is easy to apply to the hair, and I love that it has the same fresh fruity scent, as the shampoo and conditioner, although the first few moments it is a little chemically and alcohol-like, but luckily that does quickly evaporate, leaving the nice scent behind. After styling my hair, it is left soft and smooth, and looking healthy and shiny, and I like that it also gives my hair a touch of hold, without making it feel stiff, as that means that flyways are also under control.


Overall I've really enjoyed using these products from Reference of Sweden, as continued use has left my hair feeling soft and smooth, and looking shiny and healthy, so I will definitely consider repurchasing these again, and also look into other products from the brand including Leave-In Treatments, Hair Masques and Shine Spray..


REF Repair Shampoo 551 - RRP: $8 / 75ml, $29 / 300ml, $58 / 750ml
REF Repair Conditioner 551 - RRP: $8 / 50ml, $29 / 250ml, $58 / 750ml
REF 230 Heat protection Spray - $32 / 200ml

Available from select salons, contact Luxury Beauty Concepts to enquire

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

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30 December 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: KORA ORGANICS BY MIRANDA KERR FROM RY

I have to be completely honest here and admit that I am no Miranda Kerr fan. Yeah, she is a very pretty girl with those huge dimples, but that doesn’t do much for me. Maybe it's a tad of jealousy 'cause she scored Orlando Bloom, hmmmm, not sure… but regardless, I've always been very curious about here skincare range, Kora Organics. So thanks to the online beauty store RY, here I'm putting the Kora Organics, 3-Step System for Oily / Combination Skin to the test…



The 3-Step System includes; 
  • Kora Organics Foaming Cleanser, 90ml
  • Kora Organics Energising Citrus Mist, 100ml
  • Kora Organics Purifying Day and Night Cream, 50ml
I have always struggled with my combination skin, prone to breakouts, so I was excited to put this kit to the test.
  
I love the fact that Kora Organics are Australian owned and made, and the products made without Sulfates, Parabens, Synthetic fragrance, Synthetic colours, T.E.A., D.E.A., Glycols, Silicones, PEGS. Ethoxylate and Formaldehyde, not tested on animals, and made from organic ingredients where possible.
  
The Kora Organics Foaming Cleanser is a gentle, soap free, that helps clean the skin from impurities. It claims to be foaming, but I have to admit that I have been struggling a little getting it to foam up - I think this is due to it being soap-free, and I totally don't mind, you just have to get used to it so you don't end up using more product than you need in an attempt to make it foam up!
The cleanser is formulated with Aloe Vera, Green Tea and Sandalwood to protect the skin from free radical damage while leaving the skin feeling fresh, invigorated and clean. All of that said, unfortunately I didn't feel that this cleanser gave my skin the deep clean I would expect for a cleanser formulated for combination and oily skin types, - I felt it struggled removing my makeup, so I have been removing that first and then using the cleanser as a second cleanse in an attempt to clean my pores deep down - but unfortunately I felt it left my skin a little 'sticky". I also found that the cleanser has a slightly odd scent, which, I however can get used to, knowing that it is does not contain any artificial fragrances.
  
The next step is the Kora Organics Energising Citrus Mist, which is a toner made from bergamot, orange, mandarin, aloe vera, sandalwood and noni extract, with the aim of refreshing and balancing the skin, and revitalise the senses at the same time. The toner is to be used morning and evening, after cleansing, and before moisturising, by simply spritzing a few quirts onto the clean skin, but it can also be used during the day to rejuvenate the skin and freshen up your makeup.
  
Often toners are loaded with alcohol that dries out the skin, so I love that this one is so gentle on the skin, and unlike many other face mists, I love that this one sprays so evenly in a fine mist. The scent is also slightly odd, but I actually like this one, probably due the citrus ingredients, as generally I love zesty citrus scents.
  
The final step is the Kora Organics Purifying Day and Night Cream, which is a very light moisturiser that has been made with extracts from grapefruit, mandarin and green tea, to help control excess oil, while still keeping the skin moisturised. It also contains vitamins A, C and E as well as licorice and noni extracts to add vitamins and antioxidants to the skin.
  
This moisturiser has a very light consistency, almost gel-like, which I really like as it makes it easy to spread across the skin. Unfortunately it does take a while for it to absorb into the skin, and if you use too much, it does leave the skin feeling a little tacky - but guess you can turn it around and say that it's a good thing, as that does make you use very little. Once it has absorbed into the skin, it does leave the skin with a matte finish, which I really like, and worn without makeup on top, it does tend to stay that way, so clearly it does absorb excess oil. That said, I am not sure if it really does add sufficient moisture to my skin, - during the warmer months where my skin is a little greasier, I think its fine as a day cream, but I doubt it would be during winter when my skin tends to become a little drier.
  
Overall I've enjoyed putting these product from Kora to the test - the highlights for me were definitely the Citrus Mist, which I have enjoyed using, both as a toner, but also to freshen up my skin and makeup throughout the day. I am not overly fond of the cleaner, and as for the Moisturiser, I do enjoy using it during the day now that it is summer, as it does seem to normalise the oil production, and for that reason I would consider re-purchasing again.
Kora Organics, 3-Step System for Oily / Combination Skin - RRP: $139.95

Available from RY

* Some products may have been kindly provided for editorial consideration, and have been reviewed in accordance with my Disclosure Policy, and reviews are 100% honest and based on personal opinion and experience. Note that The Beauty & Lifestyle Hunter is not a professional or expert, so please do not substitute these opinions as professional advice. Also note, this post may contain affiliate links, which means you pay no extra, but I get a small commission fee if you click through and buy something. And if so, thank you much for your supporting the running costs of my blog. xx


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29 December 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: SCHWARZKOPF BC BONACURE COLOR FREEZE SHAMPOO, CONDITIONER AND TREATMENT MASQUE

How much money do most of us girls spend on having our hair coloured!? I know mine isn't cheap, and not to mention all the hours spent in the hairdressers chair. Personally I find getting it done the most boring thing ever, so for that reason I tend to stretch my time between appointments, which means that I'll also do anything to make my hair colour last as long as possible.




The Schwarzkopf BC Bonacure Color Freeze haircare range has be developed with Lactic Acid & Calcium Hydroxide, to tighten and stabilise the matrix at its optimal pH of 4.5 to deeply freeze colour pigments inside the hair follicle for ultimate colour perfection and anti-fade effect. Sounds pretty impressive to me!

The Schwarzkopf BC Bonacure Color Freeze Rich Shampoo is a rich and nourishing shampoo that gently cleanses dull and over-processed and treated hair and scalp, while bringing it back to its natural PH level by neutralising chemical residues from the hair colouring, and thereby helping to adjust the hair structure. The shampoo lathers up easily, and after use, you can already feel that your hair is clean, yet without being squeaky clean or stripped for essential moisture.

Following by massaging a dollop of the Schwarzkopf BC Bonacure Color Freeze Conditioner into especially the mid-lengths of my long hair, and leaving it for a few minutes. It immediately soaks into my dry ends, and hereafter it is easy to rinse out without. The conditioner helps add shine to the hair, while reducing frizz and smoothing the surface of the hair, for healthier looking hair.

On the days, I've got a little extra time, or simply feel my hair needs a little extra TLC, I use the Schwarzkopf BC Bonacure Color Freeze Treatment Masque instead. This hair masque is an intensely restoring treatment for the hair, providing in-depth nourishment to the hair. It is best left in for 5-10 minutes to properly do its magic, but the wait is worth it, as once rinsed out, my hair is incredibly soft and smooth, and looks so healthy and shiny. My dry ends seem to be restored, and frizz significantly reduced too.

All the products come in gorgeous white bottles and jars with bright pink lids, which does make them look gorgeous on the shower shelf, and add to that the slightly pink tinged products. Also worth mentioning is that they have the most divine fresh floral scent that lingers in the hair for long after it has been washed and dried.

Overall, I really like these products, - it is naturally difficult to say if they have making any significant difference to the longevity of my coloured hair, but regardless, I love how they make my hair feel and look (and smell!), and for that reason I'd definitely consider purchasing again. And considering the high quality of these salon products, I also feel that they are very reasonably priced to.


Schwarzkopf Bonacure Color Freeze Rich Shampoo - RRP: $26.95 / 250ml
Schwarzkopf Bonacure Color Freeze Conditioner - RRP: $26.95 / 200ml
Schwarzkopf Bonacure Color Freeze Treatment Masque - RRP: $26.95 / 200ml

Available from Facial Co, Price Attack and RY

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


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PRODUCT REVIEW: KAMBROOK BLITZ 2 GO ACTIVE BLENDER

With Christmas done and dusted, I am sure I am not the only one who has a mission for the new year to pick up their game a little and eat a little healthier... and you simply cannot go past this little Blitz 2 Go Active Blender from Kambrook.


This little personal blender quickly and easily blends and smoothies, juices and protein shakes in the same bottle as you'd use to drink it from, how cool is that! So you can simply blend, and then go - super easy to take with you to work, or the gym thanks to the included closeable drinking caps. And as you blend and drink from the same bottle, there's less to clean up afterwards too.

The blender has stainless steel blades so it gives you a consistent blending result, without any big lumps, even when crushing ice.

The blender also comes with 2 x 600ml and 1 x 300ml BPA fee tritan plastic bottles, so you always have backups (but you can also purchase additional lose bottles if needed).

This little gem is great value for money, and I love how quick and easy it blends my drinks, including frozen bananas and berries. I also love that it is so small and compact that it doesn’t dominate my kitchen bench or cupboard space, and that it is easy to keep clean. And if you’re stuck for delicious recipes, then simply go to the Kambrook Facebook page, and you an download a free ebook with over 200 recipes.

 
Kambrook Blitz 2 Go Active Blender - RRP: $49.95
Available from BigW, The Good Guys, Harvey Norman, and select Woolworths and Coles.

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

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28 December 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: MAYBELLINE NEW YORK BRICK BRONZER

Today I'd like to share with you a brand new product launch from Maybelline NY - the Brick Bronzer...well, actually, this bronzer has not yet launched, as Maybelline is testing the waters first, and I've been one of the lucky ones to put it to the test. This Brick Bronzer is an all-in-one bronzing palette combining shimmering bricks of highlighter with a matte bronzer.


Maybelline NY Brick Bronzer, Real Techniques Buffing Brush, Cool Clutch,
Nuxe Prodigieux Le Parfum and Sisley Hydrating Long Lasting Lipstick
 
The combination of the matte bronzer and the shimmering highlighter, allows you to create just the look you want, matte or glowing. The bronzer can be used all over the face to give a warmer sun-tanned complexion, but it can also be used in specific areas to define, such as under the cheek bones to sculpt and define the face.

Here after you can finish with the a touch of the shimmery bricks in the areas where the light would naturally hit your face, such as top of the cheek bones, brow bones etc, to give the skin a natural glow.




The shade Blondes, which I tried, is a perfect match for my medium beige skin tone, with the bronzer not too dark or pale, and the highlighter sufficient amount of sheen without being too glittery or shimmery, and overall gives the skin a nice bronzed and glowing complexion.

Two thirds of the palette is made up of the matte bronzer, while the last third is the brick detailed highlighter, with pale pink, rose gold pink and bronzy shaded highlighters. You can of course use the bronzer or the highlighter individually, or alternatively combined by swirling a large brush over the whole compact for an overall sheen.

Overall I think this is a great bronzer and highlighter palette. Some may argue that it lacks a mirror, but personally I really don't care, as I wouldn't apply this on the go any way, and as always with Maybelline, you get a substantial amount of product for will, knowing Maybelline, be a bargain price.

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



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27 December 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: RIMMEL LONDON FRESHER SKIN FOUNDATION AND MAGNIF'EYES EYESHADOW PALETTE

Rimmel London has really smashed it with new product releases in 2016, there has been so many great ones, including the Kate Moss anniversary lipsticks, and the contour kit to mention a few of my favourites. And now it seems Rimmel has done it again with the Fresher Skin Foundation and the Magnif'Eyes Eyeshadow Palettes..




The Rimmel Fresher Skin Foundation is said to be a foundation that offers a breathable, light coverage for a natural-looking, fresh finish that stays shine-free all day. Now that's a big claim, especially for someone with combination skin.

The foundation has a light texture and contains natural mineral powders to absorb excess oil, as well as aloe, chamomile and sea algae extracts to help to reduce the appearance of redness and even out skin tone. It also has SPF 15 to help protect the skin from the sun.




The foundation has a lovely scent, and I do like how it is very light, yet does manage to even out my skin tone, but while you can build up coverage a bit by adding an extra layer or two, I still feel the need to reach for a concealer to cover bags under my eyes, blemishes etc. and it does leave my skin with a lovely dewy look, and with a nice healthy glow too.

Unfortunately it doesn't quite stay looking shine-free all day as claimed, and by lunch-time on a humid day I do feel my skin needs a touch up. But that said, it does not leave my skin as shiny or greasy looking as many other foundations, but a quick powder dusting mid day does quickly fix that.

And as for the coverage, - I do prefer a foundation with a tad more coverage, simply because I feel my skin needs that to cover a multitude of imperfections from acne scars, blemishes and increasing pigmentation, but for those days where I feel like a 'barely there, no-makeup look', this is a great foundation.





And then there's the Rimmel Magnif'Eyes Eyeshadow Palettes. They come in two colour combinations, including Keep Calm & Wear Gold and Grunge Glamour. I put the Keep Calm & Wear Gold to the test. This palette contains has an inbuilt mirror and comes with a double ended sponge applicator, and it has 8 shades in a mix of gold and copper hues with pale taupes and coffee colours, in a combination of high-shimmer and matte shades.

The shades are easy to blend, and considering the low price tag, they are soft and surprisingly pigmented, in particularly the darkest shades, where as the lightest shades, are a little less intense in colour. However, overall they all blend well. I love all the shades in the palette, as it is generally the type of shades that I'd reach for every day, so I will actually use every single colour, which makes it extra good value too, as you wont end up with several untouched shades. I also like the combination between matte and shimmery, and the fact that the shimmery shades are still subtle, and not over the top glittery. And the fact that there are both pale nude shades ranging up to golden and dark chocolate shades also means that there are shades suitable for highlighting and defining the eyes, as well as it is suitable for both simple understated everyday wear, to an intense smoky eye for a night out.

The shades claim to be non-crease, non-fade formula offers long-lasting staying power, and surprisingly I did find that they wore quite well, even on my greasy eye lids, although on a hot day, they do tend to crease up a bit (but then again, I think most eye shadows do!), so using an eyeshadow primer first is always a good idea.

However, all in all I do find that this is a great nude palette, it has a nice range of colours, and is very well priced too, so great if you're on a budget too.


Rimmel London Fresher Skin Foundation - RRP: $18.95 / 25ml
Rimmel London Magnif'Eyes Eyeshadow Palette
Available from Priceline, Target, Kmart, Big W, select pharmacies and supermarkets

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

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PRODUCT REVIEW: BURT'S BEES LIPS

Today I'm going to talk about a selection of natural lip products from the brand Burt's Bees, including lip balms, tinted lip balms and lipsticks..



If you're not familiar with Burt's Bees, do yourself a favour and get acquainted, as the brand makes truly lovely and natural products, that you're sure to love.


The Burt's Bees Squeezable Beeswax Lip Balm is 100 per cent natural formula containing beeswax, vitamin E, coconut oil and lanolin to protect lips, as well as a hint peppermint oil to refresh, which I really love as it means it has a lovely cooling sensation on the lips. The balm is easy to apply thanks to the slanted tip, and it goes on clear and leaves a nice glossy sheen on the lips, that it not sticky or tacky. And you can immediately tell how moisturising and caring it is for the lips, as they are left soft and smooth, for long after the lip balm has vanished from your lips. The small tube is handy to pop into your handbag, but personally I like to keep it on my bedside table and use it just before I go to sleep, so I can wake with soft and smooth lips.

Then there's the Vanilla Bean Lip Balm, which is made with natural vanilla bean and natural shea butter and vitamin E to help keep the lips hydrated and soft. It - naturally - has the most gorgeous natural vanilla scent that you can only adore, and I love that so buttery soft and smooth and goes on without feeling greasy or sticky on the lip. It leaves the lips with just a touch of sheen, that is very subtle, which again I like - although, my hubby one day couldn't find his own (other brand) lip balm, so he borrowed it, and I think I may now have lost it for good…




…But that's ok, as while I liked it, I've been enjoying the Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balms even more. These lip balms not only add moisture to the lips thanks to the shea butter, vitamin E and soft flower waxes, but they also gives the lips just a touch of tint. They do have a slightly odd scent that I can't quite describe, but it’s the fact that they feel lovely and non sticky on the lips that matters. There are six gorgeous shades available, and I've been testing the four shades, the pale Pink Blossom, the apricot shaded Zinna, the fuchsia shaded Hibiscus and the red shade called Rose

Again they only add a touch of tint on the lips, but they are perfect for casual days where you don't feel like being too made up. And because of the balm contents, it also means that the colours don't have the longest wear on the lips, so make sure to take it with you. Personally I'm particularly loving the darker shades Hibiscus and Rose.


L-R: Iced Iris, Fuchsia Flood, Scarlet Soaked

Finally, there's the Burt's Bees 100% Natural Lipsticks, which are made with beeswax, moringa oil and raspberry seed oil to soften and condition the lips, and it really does feel soft and moistursing on the lips.

These lipsticks come in the gorgeous matte brown square plastic case, and I love that the have a honeycomb/beehive style cut-out design on the lid of the lipstick, which underneath shows the actual shade of the lipstick so you can easily identify the shade.

The lipsticks are available in 14 different shades, and I've put three of those to the test, including Iced Iris, Fuchsia Flood and Scarlet Soaked. The Iced Iris is the pales of these three, and is a medium cool pink shade, while Fuchsia Flood is a typical slightly purple tinted fuchsia pink shade. Finally, the Scarlet Soaked a blue tinged dark scarlet red shade. I'm personally no very good with very pale, or even nude lip shades for that matter, so needless to say that the Iced Iris is not for me, but I have been loving the darker Fuchsia Flood and the Scarlet Soaked.

Common for all shades is that they are very soft and creamy and very easy to apply thanks to the slanted format, and it applies sheer, but can be built up for a more solid look by adding a few more coats, all while still feeling soft and smooth on the lips, without any sticky or drying feeling. The actual wear isn't the greatest, lasting a good 3 hours without eating or drinking.

My only negative on these lipsticks is that they do not appear to contain any SPF, but even so, I really like these lipsticks and the fact that they not only 100% natural, but it is also super moisturising on the lips, and that the colour is buildable so you can customise the look depending on your mood and the situation.

Burt's Bees Squeezable Beeswax Lip Balm - RRP: $8.95 / 9.95g
Burt's Bees Vanilla Bean Moisturising Lip Balm - RRP: $6.95 / 4.25g
Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm - RRP: $14.95 / 4.25g
Burt's Bees 100% Natural Lipstick - RRP: $19.95 / 3.4g

Available from David Jones, Myer, Priceline, selected pharmacies and Burt's Bees Online

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

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26 December 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: RANY SEEDS JEWELLERY FROM TEMPLES AND MARKETS

Today I'm going to talk about jewellery.. Those who know me, know that, apart from beauty products, one of my other interests is jewellery, and I've been an avid collector for years. I generally prefer things to be classic, but also love something that is a little different, and you won't see on anyone you pass in the street.




So when I was gifted these incredible pieces from Temples & Markets, I was naturally excited. Temples & Markets is an online store featuring curated items within Home Decor, Jewellery and Fashion Accessories from South East Asia, with all products hand picked directly from the designers and artisans who make them, and over 95% of the things sold in the store are handmade, making them very unique.

And how gorgeous are these Cambodian handmade red pieces made from seeds from the Siem Reap trees. The tiny seeds are picked as they fall of the trees, and the stunning red colour, is, believe it or not the actual colour of the seeds. (The jewellery also come in brown and white which is equally stunning).

This "6 Level" bracelet is a spiral style multi-band bracelet, and it is super stretchy, so it is still easy to get onto your arm, regardless of the size. The spiral makes it look like you're wearing several bracelets, so it makes quite a statement. And even more so if you pair it with the matching ring on your finger. This ring is a one sized elasticated band, so it stretches to fit (most finger) sizes, and it certainly fits my small fingers very well. The seeds on the ring have been drilled with tiny holes by hands, before put onto the ring it in its beautiful flower-like design.


 

This bracelet and the ring are both so stunning, and combined, they make such a statement, easily dressing up a dull outfit, or making a big impact on a night out. I've only worn them a few times, and already had so many compliments, and with red being one of my favourite colours, I know I'll continue to reach for these jewellery pieces again and again.

But there are so many other amazing things on Temples & Markets, including other stunning jewellery pieces, and also some pretty nice looking handbags, so make sure to check them out!


Rany Seeds 6 level bracelet - RRP: $25
Rany Seeds Ring - RRP: $20

Available from Temples & Markets

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

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24 December 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: PHILIPS SONICARE DIAMONDCLEAN ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH ROSE GOLD EDITION

Isn't anything Rose Gold just all the rave at the moment. And I certainly don't deny that I'm in love too. And now you can add a touch of girlie glam to your dental hygiene routine too, as Philips has just launched a new Sonicare DiamondClean Electric Toothbrush Rose Gold edition. 



I have used an electric toothbrush for as long as I can remember, but I have to say that this is the best one I've ever used. And not just because of the pretty rose gold. 

The toothbrush has a sleek and stylish design, and is perfect for a small female hand. I also love that it has a funky , funky digital display that only illuminates once the power button is turned on.
 




The actual toothbrush uses sonic technology to produce a powerful dynamic cleaning action with five brushing modes to offer a unique full mouth clean.

The brushing modes include; 

  • Clean – the standard mode for a whole mouth clean
  • White – removes surface stains to whiten teeth
  • Polish – brightens and polishes teeth to bring out their natural brilliance
  • Gum Care – gently stimulates and massages gums
  • Sensitive – an extra-gentle mode for sensitive teeth
 
I have been enjoying using all the modes, except for the sensitive one, but that is only because I do not have sensitive teeth, but otherwise it is certainly a great addition which makes it so much more user-friendly, and suitable for the whole family to use too should you decided to 'share' it. And the combination of brush modes really does mean that your teeth will feel cleaner than ever before, yet while giving the teeth the gentlest brush ever too.
 
Unlike other electric toothbrushes, the Sonicare DiamondClean Electric Toothbrush charges by being placed in the stylish heavy-duty charging glass. The glass is placed on the rose gold holder which you plug in to the power switch, and it's charging. How cool is that. 
 
 
 
 
And no, Philips has obviously also considered that it is not convenient taking a heavy glass with you if you're travelling, so they have also included a stylish pastel pink travel case that stores the toothbrush holder and actual brush - and this travel case also doubles as a charger, as it also comes with a USB cable and plug, so you can simply plug it into your laptop to charge it up. Not that you really need to, as fully charged, the toothbrush will last up to three weeks between charges!!
  
 
 
 
I also love that the toothbrush has a set timer so it will stop when the 2 minute recommended brush time is up, and it has a convenient short ‘buzz’ every 30 seconds so you know that it is now time to move on to the next quadrant of your teeth, to ensure that all your teeth get an equally good clean.
 
The toothbrush is not only extremely stylish looking, but compared to other electric toothbrushes that I've used over the years, it is also very silent too. And it also features some very advanced settings.
 
 
 
 
Philips claims that the toothbrush removes 7x more plaque than a manual toothbrush and that it helps improve gum health in just 2 weeks. And it comes with unique diamond shaped brushes and help remove and reduce stains 2x better for whiter and brighter teeth.  
 
At just under $300 this toothbrush is not cheap, and possibly one of the more expensive ones on the market, I love that it gives my teeth a better clean than any other electric toothbrush I’ve ever used. It difficult to measure if my teeth are writer and brighter, but the key thing is that they are cleaner and healthier – and if using this toothbrush means that it can maintain the health of my teeth better it will long-term help cut down on my dentist bills, making it totally worth every cent!
 
 
 
 
Highly recommended - but if you're still not convinced, then you can take advantage of Philips 60-day trial offer, where you can claim your money back if you are not satisfied.
 
 
 Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Electric Toothbrush Rose Gold edition - RRP: $389.95 (but keep your eyes out for Philips cash back deals!)
 
Available from The Shaver Shop, Harvey Norman, Myer, David Jones and selected national retailers
  
*Product was kindly provided for consideration, and has reviewed in accordance with my Disclosure Policy.
 
    
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VTECH TOOT-TOOT SPLASH

These Vtech Toot-Toot Splash Sailboats, Tugboats, Speed Boats, Clown Fish, Sea Lion and Crabs are so adorable, each with lots of different music, sing-along songs, phrases and sounds which is activated by pushing the light-up button which is also the windscreen or face. And what I really like about these is that they are also suitable to join your little ones in their bath for hours and hours of fun. 



The Little Sail Boat among others says 'Hi, I'm a smart sailboat' and 'let's sail with the wind', and the Speed Boat says 'Hi, I'm a super cool speed boat' and 'I have a powerful engine', while the Clown Fish says 'I'm a carefree clownfish, and 'swimming is fun'. 

These features helps teach your little one animal names, sounds and concepts, and hence encourages language development, But they also help with motor skills and imaginative role play.

These animals are suitable for 1-5 year olds, and they are also fitted with the unique Vtech SmartPoint Technology, which means that they respond to the SmartPoints in the Toot-Toot Splash playsets, which are sold individually. 
My little boys highly recommend these and have announced that they'd love to get the remaining animals too!


Vtech Toot-Toot Splash - RRP: $16.95 each
Available from Kmart, Bit W, Target, Toys r Us, Myer, David Jones, Toy World and Baby Bunting


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

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21 December 2016

VTECH SAFARI SOUNDS PIANO

My boys absolutely love music, and when a good song comes on the radio, they love to dance, but they also love being able to clown around and play their own music, and both of our boys (1.5 and 3.5yo), are so excited about this Vtech Safari Sounds Piano. 



The piano is shaped like the cutest zebra, and it features an animal band and you can compose your own songs, and even choose an instrument. The piano teaches little ones to play at their own pace by lighting up the buttons, and they can sing alone or sing along with the Zebra and friends to one of 13 songs or 8 melodies, or they can use the voice-amplifying microphone.




It also has a very cool scratch disk, whammy effect tail, and kids can also use one of the tree switches to adjust the tempo, and volume and turn on the microphone to make everything even more fun and interactive. The piano also features four instrument modes, so you can choose between piano, violin, xylophone or saxophone.




All in all this piano features more than 100 songs, melodies, sounds and phrases, so kids won't get tired of it in a hurry (and neither with parents as there are no repetitive sounds and songs) 




This Safari Sounds Piano is intended for the 2-5 year olds, and it is so cool and will give your little one fun hours after hours, and I really love that a being able to sing, create music and dance will help introduce them to a variety of instrument and sounds, while also helping music creativity and creative and imaginative play as they create their own music and sing into the microphone like a real musician.

Vtech Safari Sounds Piano - RRP: $44.95
Available from Kmart, Bit W, Target, Toys r Us, Myer, David Jones, Toy World and Baby Bunting

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


 
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KMART - THE ULTIMATE BLOGGING SUPPLIER - KMART SYLVANIA

If you're a blogger, I'm sure that you are as addicted Kmart as I am - if not, you really need to check them out.
 

Featuring Kmart White and Black Star Metal Trays - $3 ea,
Silver placemat - $2, Red Plate - $2, Single Stem Flower - $3

Kmart has really lifted its game over the last year or two, - they've always been pretty good in the toy department, having a huge selection at good prices, and also clothes for the whole family at good prices - but where I feel that Kmart has really hit the nail on the head, is with its homewares. These are always on trend - if white marble is in, Kmart has got it, if concrete is in, Kmart has got it, and if rose gold is in, Kmart has got it - and with new items arriving all the time, so there's always some new to discover and pick up - and with Kmart, you can afford to, as all prices are incredibly low. 



Featuring Kmart Timber Star Tray - $5 ea,
Gold placemat - $2, Gold Plate - $2, Single Stem Flower - $3

I also love how it has become a trend to shop for these things at Kmart, and pretty much every one these days have things in their house from the store, all mixed up with designer pieces - which I really love, and again, I love that you can very cheaply add a few of the season's current trend, and simply replace them the next, as in the end of the day you've haven’t broken the bank getting them.
 

Featuring Kmart Black Marble Tray - $9,
Black Placemat - $2, SIlver Plate - $2, Single Stem Flower - $3ea,
Single Stem Leaf - $3


So what's the deal with bloggers - well it doesn't matter who you follow, small-timers, or those with 10s of thousands followers on their social media sites, if you look through their feed, you'll spot items from Kmart everywhere. A vase here, a placemat there, or maybe a concrete or marble tray, or perhaps some of the artificial flowers, or maybe even the cute miniature shopping trolley you can find in the stationary department…. And yup, if you look through my feed, I am one of those bloggers too. And in the pictures in this post, you'll see but a few examples of Kmart props that I have, as well as new ones which you'll see a lot more of in the months to come.


Kmart Southgate Shopping Centre, Sylvania, NSW, like many other Kmart stores are now open 24hours to give you more time to get ready for the festive season. 

*I was provided with a voucher for Kmart, for which I purchased some of these homewares. Products have reviewed in accordance with my Disclosure Policy.

 
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XMAS GIFT IDEAS: ELECTRICAL GIFT IDEAS FOR HER

There's something about Electrical Gadgets, and I think we can all agree, that they make life a lot easier these days, so today I have a selection of different electrical Xmas gift ideas for her.. 




Let's start with the teeth, as you just won't be able to resist this new Rose Gold electrical toothbrush from Philips.





The sonic toothbrush has five cleaning modes, including clean, whitening, polish, gumcare and sensitive, so you can get that custumised clean. It also has unique brushes, to help remove surface stains and keep your teeth brighter and whiter. The toothbrush as a digital display, that lights up when in use, and it gives a quick buzz when it is time to move on to the next quadrant of the teeth, to ensure that all teeth get a good clean, and none are neglected. It is super easy to charge, you simply pop the toothbrush into the included glass, which sits on a rose gold holder, which you can plug into the wall outlet, and when not charging, you can store the toothbrush in the glass. Or you can of course store it in the gorgeous pink travel case, that also doubles as a charger when you're on holidays, as then you simply connect it to your laptop, although you don't really need to, as when fully charged, it has a battery life of up to three weeks! This is a super efficient and sleek toothbrush that is nothing short of amazing - but if you don't like it, no harm done, as it comes with a 60 day money back guarantee!
 



For the body, what about this Silk-epil 9 SkinSpa from Braun. It's no secret that using an epilator is my all time preferred hair removal, and this new model tops anything I've ever used. The Silk Epil 9 is a 4-in-1 model that works both wet and dry, and it has pulsating active vibrations to stimulate the skin for a more gentle epilation. It also has 40 micro-grip tweezers to catch even more hair, even very short hair as short as 0.5mm, while the head of the shaver rotates to adapt to the body's contours. It also comes with two exfoliation brushes, a blue one for deep exfoliation to help avoid those dreaded ingrown hairs, and a purple exfoliation head for more sensitive areas, and for a more refined and silky soft skin. But that's not all - there's also a standard shaver head, a trimmer cap, a high frequency cap and a sensitive skin contact cap included, a total of 6 extras. The shaver has two speed settings for your personal preference (if you're new to using an epilator, the lower setting may be a little less 'painful", and it takes only 1 hour o fully charge, and then it has up to 40 minutes of battery life, which is more than sufficient to shave both legs. Compare to other epilators I've used over the past decades, I really love that this one is a wet/dry one, as I find it even quicker and easier to use in the shower, not only can I easily wash away all the small hairs, but I also find that the warm shower helps open the pores in my skin, so it is not only quicker to shave, but also less painful. This really is the ultimate shaver for super-soft hair free skin!

 



For the hair, what about this new Diamond Luxe Straightening Brush from VS Sassoon. This heated ceramic straightening brush straightens your hair as you brush it, all while it detangles it too, and keeps it super smooth and free from frizz thanks to the negative ions that are released as it is used. The bristles in the brush are made from heat activated silicone for additional shine. It also has three heat settings, 180 degrees suitable for fine or short hair, 190 degrees suitable for medium hair types, and 200 degrees for thick, curly or frizzy hair. I like that I can also use this on damp hair, so it saves time first having to dry it, and then straighten it afterwards. And the result is really great, not only is my hair left straight and looking healthy, but brushing it from underneath, it also creates some much needed volume at the same time.
 



Finally, if she is more into luscious curls, what about the Curl Revolution Styling Tong from Remington. This styler has an automatic rotating ceramic tong to make creating anything from a full head of tight curls to loose waves super quick and simple. You simply rotate it one way to roll up the hair, leave for a few moments to 'heat through' before unwinding it. I like to put a little styling mousse in my hair prior to styling it, both to protect my hair from damage, but also to make the waves last longer in my long and heavy hair. Once the hair has cooled down, I gently toussle it, and then give it a light mist with a flexible hairspray, and you're set to go. The ceramic technology helps ensure that it heats up evenly, with variable heat settings between 120C and 200C to cater for various hair types and styles. It heats up super fast, in just 90 seconds, and I really like that it also automatically shuts off, so no need to worry that you forget to do it.

 
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Electric Toothbrush Rose Gold edition - RRP: $389.95 (but keep your eyes out for Philips cashback deals!
Available from The Shaver Shop, Harvey Norman, Myer, David Jones and selected national retailers

Braun Silk-epil 9 SKinSpa - RRP: $299
Available from The Shaver Shop, Harvey Norman, Myer, David Jones and selected national retailers

VS Sassoon Diamond Luxe Straightening Brush - RRP: $79.95
Available from Myer, David Jones, Priceline, Harvey Norman, The Shaver Shop, and the Good Guys.

Remington Curl Revolution - RRP: $69.95
Available from Myer, David Jones, Priceline, Harvey Norman, The Shaver Shop, and the Good Guys

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


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19 December 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: JNAILS FROM JELLYSTONE DESIGNS

Today I am very excited to be sharing with you a new nail polish brand that I've just come across, the Jnails from Jellystone Designs…




So, just another nail polish brand you're probably thinking, with new ones popping up all the time. But the nail polishes from Jnails are different. Very different, you see, these polishes are water-based!! Yup, you read it correctly, they are water-based, and completely non-toxic, odourless, you seriously don't have any smell at all, no more chemical smell as you do your nails - so they are perfect for kids too - and also ideal for pregnant and breastfeeding women concerned with all the chemicals.

The Australian nail polishes are thus ‘7-free’ meaning they do not include seven of the chemical nasties which are used traditional nail polishes including toluene, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), TSF resin, camphor, xylene and triphenyl phosphate.

And the fact that they are water based, also means that they are less damaging and drying to the nails than traditional polishes, as no chemicals, but only water penetrates into nails.

The polishes are available in 8 gorgeous shades, and are super easy to apply thanks to a wide brush, and a single layer gives you full coverage, although you an even better result.

As I've mentioned countless times before, I wash my hands a lot, and I mean a lot, with two toddlers in nappies, so the naturally has an effect on the longevity of nail polishes, but I managed to get just over 3 days wear from the polish, which I think I reasonable. You can obviously extend the wear by using a top coat on top, but as that is likely to be loaded with chemicals, it kind of defeats the purpose.

When I was pregnant, I hardly ever wore nail polish, due to the chemicals, and I know that I would happily have sacrificed the 'wear' for a this cleaner and healthier alternative, so I so wish that I'd come across these earlier. And even now, I do love the fact that they are healthier and safer for you too.

I put three shades to the test, including Starfish, a gorgeous fuchsia shade, Marine, a beautiful teal shade, and Wrasse, a pale grey shade.

I also love that for each bottle of Jnails Nail Polish sold, Jellystone Designs will donate 50 cents to the Australian Marine Conservation, an environmental charity that is working to protect the Great Barrier Reef.


Jellystone Designs Jnails Nail Polish - RRP: $17.95 / 11ml
Available from Jellystone Designs

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


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