29 June 2016

BRAND FOCUS: ABEECO BEE VENOM

During the many many months last year I was at the Royal Children's Hospital with our little baby, I continued to receive countless of deliveries with new product launches - and while I had the best of intentions of writing about them all, reality was just that I simply didn't have the time as well as my mind was simply elsewhere! Since our little boy came home late last year things have been extremely hectic with continued trips to the hospital three times a week, along with looking after his 3 year old brother. While we still have a long road ahead, lucikly, our little man is now doing so well that checkups at the hospital are getting at least a little further apart - so finally, also giving me a chance to catch up...


One of those beautiful deliveries I received, was a selection of products from Abeeco.

In case you're unfamiliar with Abeeco, it is a New Zealand brand that believes in the beauty benefits provided by bees. All the products are made from high quality, local ingredients, where possible, and are environmentally friendly, and free from parabens and fragrances.

The Abeeco products that I put to the test were the Beevenom Mask, Beevenom Mask Whitening, Beevenom Skin Perfecting Serum, Revitalising Eye Serum and the Beevenom Lip Plumper.

These products containing bee venom has been dubbed as a natural alternative to botox, as the bee venom in the products tricks the skin into thinking that it as been stung, which in turn stimulates the production of naturally occurring chemical collagen and elastin, creating a tightening and smoothing effect, diminishing fine lines and wrinkles.


The Abeeco Beevenom Mask can either be used twice a day, morning and night, leaving it on for 20 minutes before it is washed off, or it can be left on the skin over night. Already struggling to find time to do face masks, I've only been trying it on overnight. The mask is thick and white, although, it does absorb clear into the skin, leaving it feel soft and smooth - however, it is also very rich and unfortunately too rich for me probably thanks to also containing manuka honey, jojoba oil, shea butter and cocoa butter- so I feel it is not quite suitable for daily use on my combination blemish prone skin - but maybe as we now head to the cooler months and my sin getting a little drier, it will be more suitable. That said, once absorbed into the skin it leaves it soft and smooth, with no greasy residue. It also has a slight cooling and stinging sensation thanks to the bee venom, but it quickly disappears, and it is far from uncomfortable.

After using the mask, I wake in the morning and my skin is looking nice and refreshed, and fine lines definitely seems to have plumped out, and my skin in general looks healthy and glowing. And that is when just using a few times during the week - then imaging daily use!!

Next is the Abeeco Beevenom Whitening Mask, which as well as also working to reduce lines and wrinkles, this mask also claims to help lighten skin tone, reduce blemishes and brighten and illuminate the overall complexion. It also contains niacinamide, a natural derivative of vitamin B3, as well as retinol, to improve skin's barrier function as well as the appearance of photo-aged skin, hyperpigmentation, redness, fine lines and wrinkles - and it is used in the same way as the 'general' Beevenom mask, either twice a day washed off after 20 minutes, or overnight. It has a thick rich consistency, so again, I've just been using it a few nights a week to ensure it doesn't make my skin congested - and while I enjoy the other mask, this one is definitely more suited to my skin, and my skin concerns with increasing pigmentation and sun damage, and being prone to breakouts. While I am yet to see a major difference in my skin tone or that it reduces the amount of breakouts that I get, I do feel that my pores, especially in the t-zone area appears to be smaller, and after each use, my skin is definitely looking so refreshed and radiant.


Then there's the Abeeco Beevenom Skin Perfecting Serum which is made from among others vitamin E and avocado, rosehip, evening primrose, jojoba, macadamia, meadow foam and kukui nut oils, as well as of course bee venom and consequently I would actually classify it as a face oil. The oil is very concentrated, so you just need a few drops onto cleansed skin morning and/or night, before your usual moisturiser. It promises to help dry and dehydrated skin, and again stimulate the collagen and elastin production to leave the skin more hydrated and radiant. It feels very hydrating on the skin, so it is also great for adding an extra boost of moisture to the skin.

The Abeeco Revitalising Eye Serum lightweight serum that targets the signs of ageing around the eye area. It contains 100 per cent botanical including vitamin E as well as avocado, rosehip, evening primrose, jojoba, macadamia, echium and argan oils, and promises to hydrate and firm the skin and smoothe fine lines. Unlike the rest of the products I've put to the test, this eye serum doesn't seem to contain the bee venom, which is probably a good thing, as while I find the slight tingling sensation minor and certainly tolerable, I am not sure that I would enjoy that feeling around my very sensitive eyes. Again, the serum is very oil like, and very concentrated too, so you just need one drop for the whole eye area, and you can use it both morning and night. Immediately after use I can both see and feel that it is very hydrating, and after using for a few weeks I can definitely see that my eye area has benefitted from the increased moisture as fine lines and wrinkles do appear minimised.

Finally, the Abeeco Bee Venom Lip Plumper is a lip balm that promises to leave the lips plumper as well as minimise fine lines on and around the lips, leaving them smoother and healthier. When you apply it, it leaves the cooling and tingling sensation, but again, it doesn't last long, and it really does leave the lips looking plumber, although it is a subtle effect - but then again, I didn't expect more. It also leaves my lips hydrated, soft and smooth, just like a 'normal' lip balm.

The balm comes in a little jar that makes it easy to pop into the handbag, and as it goes on clear and without any sticiness, it is great to use during the day under your usual lipstick or lipgloss for added benefit!


So there you have it, a selection of products from Abeeco - I've really enjoyed using all of the products, - and love incorporating especially the Whitening Mask, the Eye Serum and the Lip Plumper, the into my routine. I probably wouldn't go as far as to say that they deliver results comparable with Botox (not that I've ever had it, and I'm certainly no prepared to at this point), but considering these are reasonably priced products, you cannot complain about the results! Definitely worth a try!


Abeeco Beevenom Mask - $72 / 50g
Abeeco Beevenom Mask Whitening - $78 / 50g
Abeeco Beevenom Skin Perfecting Serum - $65 / 15
Abeeco Revitalising Eye Serum - $46.50 / 5g
Abeeco Beevenom Lip Plumper - $29.50 / 9g


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


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28 June 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: VS SASSOON WET AND DRY STRAIGHTENING BRUSH

Today I'd like to talk about a new launch from VS Sassoon, the Wet & Dry Straightening Brush... Everyone loves a good multi-tasking products, especially if you like me have two little ones running around your feet all the time, so its exciting to hear that VS Sassoon claims that this is a 3 in 1 product, being both a hair dryer and a straightener at the same time as it volumises the hair, in one easy movement!  

According to VS Sassoon, the Wet & Dry Straightening Brush is "the simplest styling tool for your busy lifestyle. It will straighten, volumise and dry your hair in minutes. It can tackle the trickiest of manes, no problem. And, with its ionic conditioning technology and advanced ceramic plates, it will leave your hair looking and feeling fabulous. Dry, volumise and style in one Step"

The Wet & Dry brush features a tension control system with four straightening settings for different hair types, and also has an in-built detangling comb to make styling easy.



It also features ceramic plates and has an internal ionic generator to condition the hair to reduce stadic, and lave the hair smooth, shiny and free from frizz. It also has 3 heat/speed settings including a cool setting, and has 800W of drying power to make styling your hair quick and easy.

Using the Wet & Dry Brush is simple - you simply wash your hair, comb and detangle it, and apply any treatment products as you normally would. And here after you start using the Wet & Dry Brush, running it through small sections of your hair at a time until all of you hair is completely dry and straight. You can of course give it a quick blow dry prior to using the Brush to speed up the styling time. How simple is that. And because it blows as it straightens, it also adds volume to the hair at the same time, which is perfect for someone like me with long and heavy, and hence very flat hair. 




Because my hair is so thick and long (just a few inches off my waist at this point, but with a hair appointment booked for a trim....), it does take some time to work through all my hair, and I'd say that it takes a good 20-25 minutes before it is completely dry and straight.

Overall, I am quite impressed with the VS Sassoon Wet & Dry Brush as it is cutting out a step in styling my hair - compared to straightening my hair when it is already dry, styling it from wet with the Wet & Dry Brush does naturally take longer, as it needs to be dried in the process too - but when comparing to how much time it would take to first blow dry it, and then straighten it, it is definitely saving time, and the result is great too. My hair is looking shiny and healthy too!

My only comment would be that the brush part could be a bit longer, and it would an even higher heat setting too, which would further speed up the styling of my long thick hair, but overall, I think this is a great hair styler and at just $62.95 it is very affordable too!


VS Sassoon Wet & Dry Straightening Brush - RRP: $62.95

Available from Priceline, Department Stores, Electrical Retailers, and select other outlets



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


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27 June 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: MEDIK8 PORE REFINING TONER HYDRATING SKIN BALANCER

I admit to being guilty of not always using a toner. A toner is a product that is intended to be used after cleaning to ensure that every last bit of cleanser and makeup is removed from your skin, and help soothe and moisturise the skin - but lately toners have increasingly got added benefits as well - and that includes this new Pore Refining Toner from Medik8.
 


The Medik8 Pore Refining Toner is a gentle alcohol-free toner that soothes and hydrates the skin - but in addition it also contains a unique prebiotic to help promote the healthy bacteria on the skin, to help balance and prepare the skin to better absorb the active ingredients of subsequent skincare.

Medik8 Pore Refining Toner contains a unique prebiotic to promote the growth of healthy bacteria, which helps balance and prepare the skin. It has antibacterial and astringent properties thanks to witch hazel extract helping to reduce pore size and remove excess oil, dirt and dead skin cells, while aloe vera soothes and calms the skin. Suitable for all skin types, even sensitive.

Furthermore, it also contains allantoin to soothe the skin and improve the skin's condition, niacinamide, an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that helps improve the skin barrier and reduce fine lines, beta-glucan to add moisture to the skin to improve its overall condition.

As most toners, the Medik8 Pore Refining Toner is best used morning and evening after cleansing, but putting a little on a cotton pad and swiping it across the face, neck and décolleté.

With my combination skin prone to breakouts, I have really enjoyed using this toner, especially because it is not containing alcohol which most toners for this skin type usually do, and hence are very drying and harsh on the skin. This toner, on the other hand, is very gentle (so also suitable for sensitive skin types) clearly gives my pores and extra good clean, helping to combat breakouts with its antibacterial properties that works to eliminate any remaining excess oils etc. from my pores.

Whilst using it, I can clearly feel that my skin is less greasy, and especially when used during the day, my skin seems less greasy during the day, and consequently my makeup also stays looking nice for longer, so overall, definitely a welcome addition to my skincare regimen.

Medik8 Pore Refining Toner - RRP: $39 / 200ml Available from among others
Active Skin, Adore Beauty and RY 

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


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26 June 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: MESOESTETIC STEM CELL BODY SERUM

For as long as I can remember I have been using anti-ageing products on my face, but for some reason, when it comes to body care, I have kept that more simple with more basic products, well knowing it was time to step up the game. So when the Stem Cell Body Serum from Mesoestetic landed on my desk, needless to say that I was very excited. 


Starting with the name of this body serum 'stem cell' The Mesoestetic Stem Cell Body Serum sounds pretty high tech - and it is. It is a body treatment hat has been designed to help protect existing skin cells by stimulating the skin's natural self-repair process: stem Cell.

The serum has been made with nano-encapsulated plant stem cells extract to help combat advanced signs of photo-ageing and repair skin damage caused by intrinsic factors, skin stress, or environmental exposure. That the plant stem cell extract are nano-encapsulated, means that they have been encapsulated in liposomes to enhance ingredient penetration into the skin and thereby achieve more optimal results.

The Body Serum also contains Chronosmart peptide to detect what the skin needs at all times and of providing it with exactly what it needs acting on the cellular biorythms - in short this means that during the day, stem Cell body serum protects skin structures for younger, firmer looking skin, and night it activates skin rejuvenation, heeling and renewal and provides the skin with intensive nourishment, boosting its energy reserves - speak of being high tech!!

In addition, it also contains Retinol to help stimulate cell renewal and Rosemary extract to improve micro circulation, promoting drainage and a consequent anti-cellulite effect.

All in all, the Stem Cell Body Serum promises to moisturise, firm, and help redefine the figure, providing a complete anti-ageing treatment by helping to increase body metabolism, stimulate cells and tone tissues. Phew!!

I've been using the Body Serum for just over a month, every morning after my shower, and also most nights, now and I am nothing short of amazed at the results.

The light cream comes in a white tube, and absorbs fairly quickly into the skin, without leaving the skin feeling greasy or sticky, but rather it feels incredibly velvety soft and smooth, and the skin stays feeling like that for hours after applying it. In spite of being so light, you can however tell that it provides intense moisture, and even dry patches of skin immediately feels so soft again with just one application. It is also worth mentioning that the Body Serum has the most divine floral scent that lingers on the skin for long after it has been absorbed, -if you're sensitive to strong scents you may not like this, but personally I absolutely adore this scent and can't stop smelling my skin.

So how did it perform... Well, after two pregnancies, where I gained 15-16kgs each time (which I've luckily all gotten rid off again), needless to say that the firmness and elasticity of my skin is no longer what it has been. And at my age, neither is the tone of my skin, which is clearly uneven and sun-damaged. But I am impressed to say that i feel my skin feels both softer ad smoother and without a doubt more firm too - Where I can see it the most, is on my arms and décolleté, which is also where I've been most meticulous in applying the serum - the skin here simply feels so much softer and smoother, and in particularly the skin on my décolleté, where I've also got a fair bit of pigmentation as well as the skin has started to age, seems to be both softer and smoother, with fine lines appearing minimised, but also the skin also feels firmer as well as the skin seems to be more even in tone.

At $120 this is not a cheap body treatment, but if you're if you're serious about looking giving your face the best of anti-ageing care, really you should do the same to your body. Personally I am hooked, and do regret not using more 'intense' body products sooner, but better late than never - and here honestly admit to only using this beautiful and luxurious body serum on my upper body to make it last that little bit longer! Definitely highly recommended.


Mesoestetic Stem Cell body Serum - RRP: RRP $120 / 200ml

Mesoestetic is available from Advanced Cosmeceuticals and select stockists
* Some products may have been kindly provided for consideration, and have reviewed in accordance with my Disclosure Policy.

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24 June 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: LUST HAVE IT JUNE 2016

The June Lust Have It Box arrived yesterday, well and truly on time, which is fantastic. Here's what was inside and my thoughts...

As per the last many many months, this month's contents arrived in a pink mesh bag, and as I've said a few times now, - and with the fear of sounding a little repetitive, please think of a new solution Lust Have It - these bags are great, until you have so many that they are starting to pile up and eventually they are thrown away - at this point I'd rather the products come plainly wrapped in bubble wrap, and receive an additional sample in lieu of the bag!!

Well, now on to the contents..

Edgy Tempting Cosmetics Eyeliner Pen - Full Size (RRP: $15)

Never heard of this brand, so that's exciting for starters - especially seeing it, like me come from Denmark! Must be a new brand seeing I've not seen it when I've been there. I'll definitely be checking out the rest of their range. Anyway, at $15 this is a mid-priced eyeliner, so I do expect the quality to be high, but unfortunately I got the shade Gold, which I am not really sure I'd ever wear...Bummer!

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Wipes - Deluxe Sample/7 wipes (RRP: $12.99)

I am one of those preferring to splash my face with water so much preferring a face wash over wipes, so I very rarely use them - unless I am travelling in which case I always have a pack in my hand luggage, but sadly not planning any trips overseas in the near future. Guess they will also be handy when swatching products for the blog!


Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Scrub - 15ml (RRP: $12.99/125ml)

I have actually already previously purchased a full sized tube of this one and really liked it - it is a scrub which also contains beta hydroxy to give the skin a good clean deep down every pore.


Sasy N Savy Peppermint N Rosemary Revive Bath & Shower Gel, 30ml ($35/250ml)

This peppermint and rosemary shower gel smells so refreshing, so it will be perfect to use in the shower in the mornings for a good kick start. I've previously tried some products from Sasy N Savy, and enjoyed them, so look forward to trying this one out too.


Paula's Choice Intensive Wrinkle Repair Retinol Serum - Deluxe sample, 7ml

This item is classified as a mystery item - and yet is the one I am the most excited about - I have actually received the same item in a previous month, but really like it, so don't mind a backup! The serum contains retinol and claims to help repair wrinkles and sun damage, firm the skin and reduce dark spots, so its right up my alley!


So there you go, this month's contents! Unfortunately I am just not wow'ed this month. Nothing really jumps out of the bag in any way. The Neutrogena products, while I love the brand, are 'basic'' and known to me, so no new discovery there and the Paula's Choice is a repeat. I am grateful for discovering a new Danish brand, although sadly not the right shade for me, and yes, the shower gel from Sasy N Savy smells beautiful, and I do look forward to using it. So all in all, while most products will get used, so as such, there is nothing wasted, unfortunately I just don't feel that this month's box offers value for money.
 

About Lust Have It - Lust Have It boxes regularly contains products worth $60+ for only $19.95/month! Monthly box filled with 5 to 6 premium beauty samples. Delivered to your home or work each month for you to try.

Lust Have It Box (monthly) RRP: $19.95, Eco Box (quarterly) RRP: $29.95 – but if you use my unique code LIFESTYLE at the checkout on the Lush Have It website, you are eligible for $10 off your first box from Lust Have It, - so you essentially will be able to get your first box for just $9.95! Bargain. When using this code, you’ll also be supporting Beauty & Lifestyle Hunter, as I will get a few dollars too if someone subscribes using this code.

Available from
Lust Have It

* Some products may have been kindly provided for consideration, and have reviewed in accordance with my Disclosure Policy.
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PRODUCT REVIEW: DR HAUSCHKA SPECTACULAR COMEBACK MAKEUP COLLECTION AUTUMN/WINTER 2016

Dr. Hauschka is one of those brands that I remember from growing up in Denmark, which I guess, considering the brand is from neighboring Germany, is not surprising. Yet when I arrived in Australia, I didn't really see it around, until now.. I actually thought the brand was only about skincare made without alcohol or preservatives but rather make use of medical plants, which were possible are certified organic, and without chemical or synthetic fragrances, dyes or preservatives - I had no idea that the brand also had a makeup range, so needless to say that when the newest, and limited edition Spectacular Comeback Makeup Collection Autumn/Winter 2016, landed on my desk, it totally made my day!!


The makeup from the Dr. Hauschka collection is 100% certified natural and organic make-up, made with mineral pigments, nourishing plant extracts, oils and waxes help the skin retain moisture and protect against external influences. The delicate formulations provide a reflective mirror for the light, resulting in unique shades of colour that perfectly match your individual skin tone. Naturally free from synthetic chemical fragrances, colours and preservatives, mineral oils, parabens, silicones and PEGs. I'm impressed already! 
 
The Spectacular Comeback Collection brings favourites from past years’ limited editions back into the spotlight. 
 
The collection includes; 
 
  • Spectacular Comeback Eyeshadow Trio
  • Spectacular Comeback Kajal Eyeliner in 08 Taupe
  • Spectacular Comeback Balancing Teint Powder
  • Spectacular Comeback Rouge Powder Duo
  • Spectacular Comeback Lipstick Novum 08 in Maple Glow
 
As well as I also put the newly launched Foundation in shade 01 Macadamia to the test.  

 
Let me start with the foundation which claims to conceal conceals minor blemishes, shadows and areas of redness, with a medium coverage, making the skin look more even and radiant, yet while still looking very natural.
 
The foundation itself is very light, and is to apply to the skin, and it quickly absorbs and dries to the point you'd barely know its there, leaving the skin with a nice sheen, and a healthy radiant glow.
 
It doesn't quite cover my increasing bags under my eyes (thanks to two teething little ones!), or larger areas of pigmentation, so I do need to reach for a concealer, - but that said, it also doesn't claim to be a full coverage foundation.
 
I generally prefer a fuller coverage, but I do love how it makes my skin look so glowing, and it is the perfect foundation for days when you don't want to be too made up.
 
I also love that it is a moisturising formula that treats and cares for the skin thanks to plant oils, waxes and medicinal plant extracts including pomegranate essence, macadamia nut oil and coconut oil - yet it, yet it still wears well on my combination skin, only needing a touch-up mid day.
 
The foundation does have a strong floral scent, which does take a little while to fade - and while I would prefer that it didn't contain this added fragrance, I personally I do like this scent.
 
The foundation is available in 5 shades, and I tried the lightest shade 01 Macadamia which is a neutral shade for a light skin tone , and while I do have a medium shade skin tone, it is actually not a bad match for my winter skin tone, but come spring and summer I can imagine it would be too pale.
 
 
 
Next up is the Spectacular Comeback Eyeshadow Trio, which contains two shimery shades, a cream and a dusty rose, as well as a matte dark brown.
 
The eyeshadows contain fine Silk Powder and extracts of Anthyllis, Witch Hazel and Black Tea to care for the delicate skin around the eyes. The eyeshadows are all very pigmented and are easy to apply and blend, and they wear well too throughout the day without fading or setting into fine lines, and without using a primer first!
 
I love the flattering and harmonious combination of shades, which are perfect for everyday use, but as they are so pigmented you can still build up the shades and create a smoky look using the dark chocolate shade. I also really like the combination of the shimmery and matte shades, and the fact that the shimmery shades are still subtle and not over the top glittery, which is never a good look on ageing eyes!
 
It is also very clever that the lightest shade doubles as a highlighter for the cheekbones and cupids bow
  
Unlike the powder and the blush, the eye shadow comes in a divine rose-gold compact with a mirror and a doubled ended sponge-tip applicator, so that you can easily touch up on the go!  

 
Next is the Spectacular Comeback Kajal Eyeliner in 08 Taupe - which is a little misleading, as I really looks more like a dark grey than a mid-brown taupe - but regardless it offers a softer alternative to black. I usually wear black, but admit that I've really fallen for this shade, it is such a nice alternative, and it really is a less 'harsh' alternative for an everyday look! The Kajal Eyeliner has soft formula made from a combination of botanical oils and waxes, as well as Marula Oil to moisturise and protect the area around the eye. IT is very pigmented so you can draw a solid line, and because it is soft, it is gentle and easy to apply without dragging the sensitive eye area, and you can also easily smudge it with the integrated smudge applicator for a softer look if desired.  
 
 
Then we have the Spectacular Comeback Balancing Teint Powder, which is used immediately after applying foundation to help set it, and create a smoother and more velvety appearance, thanks to containing silk powder.
  
The powder comes in a black round compact with an inbuilt mirror, and it contains three different shades, a cream, a pale pastel pink and a dark brown, and this combination means that it is suitable for all skin tones, as used with a large powder brush, it picks up all three colours and blends evenly across your face. The powder is very fine milled and only gives your skin an ever so light coverage, but does help balance out the complexion making it more even and also make you foundation last longer too.   
 
 
The Spectacular Comeback Rouge Powder Duo comes in a long rectangular black compact, with a mirror, and a small and very cute angled brush that makes it perfect for when you're on the go. It contains two shades of pink with a beautiful flower design, and the two shade mean that you can create various looks, or even combine the two.
  
Again, the blush is very fine milled and it is very pigmented, so you can apply anything from a delicate rosy glow to your cheeks to an intense pink cheek, and yet again I am very impressed with the longevity
   
Then there's the Spectacular Comeback Lipstick Novum 08 Maple Glow which is a dark neutral mauve shade, perfect for everyday wear, and actually one of my preferred shades. The lipstick feels soft and lovely on the lips thanks to its moisturising formula that is also containing a combination of argan oil, and beeswax along with mineral pigments and medicinal plant extracts, so it really does care and nuture your lips while you wear it, so it's perfect to keep your lips protected too during the cold winter months.
 
As with the other products, this lipstick has a good wear of several hours, and when it does fade, it does so evenly leaving a flush of colour behind. A gorgeous everyday shade that should be in all lipstick collections!
 
 
So there you have it, all the newest releases from Dr. Hauschka, every single product is amazing, and I know they will be on high rotation over the coming months. Personally, the eye shadow was probably the standout, as the shades are stunning and so wearable, and the beautiful rose-gold compact certainly adds to this too. But the stunning Rouge Powder Duo and the Balancing Teint Powder have certainly also won me over!
 
 
 
Dr. Hauschka Spectacular Comeback Eyeshadow Trio - RRP: $64 
Dr. Hauschka Spectacular Comeback Balancing Teint Powder - RRP: $54 
Dr. HauschkaSpectacular Comeback Rouge Powder Duo - RRP: $50 
Dr. Hauschka Spectacular Comeback Lipstick Novum 08 in Maple Glow - RRP: $36
Dr. Hauschka Spectacular Comeback Kajal Eyeliner in 08 Taupe - RRP: $30 
Dr. Hauschka Foundation - RRP: $60.01 / 30ml
 
 
Dr. Hauschka is available from David Jones, Active Skin, Adore Beauty, Facial Co, and Dr Hauscha Online
 
 
* Some products may have been kindly provided for consideration, and have reviewed in accordance with my Disclosure Policy.
 
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23 June 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: L'OCCITANE EN PROVENCE DELIGHTFUL ROSE SHEA BUTTER HAND CREAM

Several months ago L'Occitane en Provence celebrated 40 years since the company was founded. Since then over 3000 shops and boutiques have opened around the world, proving that the brand, its products and its beliefs are nothing short of incredible. And I for one is a huge fan - if you've missed any of my many reviews of the L'Occitane products, make sure to check them out, via my product directory!


Over those past 40 years the company has made commitments to help fight avoidable blindness, encouraged the emancipation of women in Burkina Faso, and set up a support fund for lavender in Provence.

One of the most popular L'Occitane products has been the L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream which also now celebrates 20 years since launched. This cream contains 20% shea butter and is in fact so popular that today around the world, every 3 seconds a tube of Shea Butter Hand Cream is sold. WOW, a true cult product - but no wonder as it is just incredible!

This special edition rose shea butter hand cream still features the high 20% shea butter along with coconut oil making it thick and creamy. Yet it still absorbs super quick into the skin making them feel nourished and soft without any greasiness or stickiness. The cream is also very concentrated so you only need to use a little, and it keeps your hands soft for hours, so unlike other hand creams, you don't actually have to keep applying over and over throughout the day.

The hand cream has also been fragranced with rose extract making from the freshes of rose petals, giving the hand cream the most beautiful and natural rose scent that keeps lingering on your hands for a long time.

I have always been a huge fan of the original shea butter hand cream, but have to admit that I am in love with this rose version, as it is smells absolutely divine, and it is so girly too, that I know my husband won't be touching it either (like he does with the original one), so I get to keep it for myself, which is a bonus!

Huge congrats L'Occitane on the 40 years, and here's to at least another 40 with
many many new incredible cult products!


L'Occitane En Provence Delightful Rose Shea Butter Hand Cream - RRP: $42 / 150ml

Available from L'Occitane En Provence

* Some products may have been kindly provided for consideration, and have reviewed in accordance with my Disclosure Policy.
 
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22 June 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: ELIZABETH ARDEN SUPERSTART SKIN RENEWAL BOOSTER

Once upon of time looking after your skin was quick and easy as it was sufficient to use a moisturiser morning and night, then serums were introduced, and now boosters which are applied before serums have also seen the light of day. One such booster is the Elizabeth Arden Superstart Skin Renewal Booster.  
 
 
The Elizabeth Arden Superstart Skin Renewal Booster is to be applied before your serum or moisturiser, to boost the effectiveness of your skincare products to allow each product to absorb better into the skin.
 
The Superstart Booster also helps repair and renew the skin, and in contains among others;
  • Sea Fennel and Flaxeed to help reinforce the skin moisture barrier
  • Glasswort extract to boost he skins natural moisturisation by reducing water loss in the surface of the skin
  • Probiotic Complex to optimise the skin's microflora to strengthen its natural defense

After having used the Booster for over a month now, both morning and night, I am really impressed with this additional step in my skincare routine, as it I can honestly say that I feel my skin is looking and feeling so much healthier and feeling so much smoother. My skin also looks more plump and moisturised, and consequently some finer lines seems to have minimised in size. My skin simply looks more radiant and glowing. It does claim to also improve the effectiveness of subsequent skincare products, but I have to say that is tricky to measure. But as I am as I am so enjoying using this booster and the can clearly see how it is benefitting and improving the look of my skin, who's to argue!

The Booster comes in a futuristic looking silver pump bottle and the booster itself has a light gel-like consistency that absorbs quickly and easily into the skin without any greasiness or stickiness, and because it absorbs so rapidly, you can move on to the next step in your skincare routine. Also worth mentioning is that it smells so lovely, although this scent quickly fades, unfortunately.

Overall, I am really loving this Elizabeth Arden Superstart Skin Renewal Booster, and if you can afford the splurge of an extra step in your skincare regimen, then I highly recommend that you give it a go too!


Elizabeth Arden Superstart Skin Renewal Booster - RRP: $85 / 30ml

Available from Elizabeth Arden

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

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21 June 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: SO...? EAU DE TOILETTE

As a fragrance collector I'm always excited to get to try new scents, so I was naturally excited when a bottle of So…? Landed at my doorstep.


So is really marketed as a teenage range of fragrances, not least due to their very purse friendly prices. There are heaps of different varieties available, although I think there are currently more different ones available overseas than here in Australia.

One of the key ones, I believe, is the So...? This scent contains;

Top Notes: Fresh orange, pomegranate, passion fruit
Heart Notes: freesia, heliatrope and lily of the valley
Base Notes: almond, cedarwood and musk

Now, I've mentioned this before but I am not the biggest fan of musky and woody scents, so this probably wouldn't have been my first choice, had a purchased it myself. That said, the woody and musky notes are quite mild, and hence, for someone like me who is not a huge fan, it is still quite 'bearable', not least because the orange, pomegranate and passion fruit and the freesia gives it a lighter and more feminine touch.

Unfortunately it doesn't have the greatest of staying power, so you do have to reapply mid-day for the scent to last, but considering that this is 'just' an eau de toilette and it is very budget friendly, it is still very reasonable. It comes in a tall glass bottle that is very simplistic, yet still very elegant.

Overall, this is a lovely scent, although, due to the musky notes, I probably wouldn't think its suitable for a young teenager, but rather for a slightly old woman, but then again, everyone is different.

For the low price I am pleasantly surprised by this scent, and will certainly check out the rest of the range, in the hope to find a fresh fruity and citrusy scent..


So...? Eau de Toilette - RRP: $14.95 / 20ml, $24.95 / 100ml


Available from Priceline, variety stores, and selected pharmacies


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


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20 June 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: L'OREAL PARIS NUDE MAGIQUE CUSHION FOUNDATION

Today I'd like to talk about the new Nude Magique Cushion Foundation from L'Oreal Paris. The Asian countries were the first ones to introduce these new types of sponge foundation, followed by the luxe western brands, so it is nice to now see a more affordable brand launch theirs too.


The Nude Magique Cushion Foundation promises to be a weightless foundation that gives a buildable light to medium coverage with a natural healthy glow.

Firstly, I love the round compact with the pinky-purple lid, as it is not only very girly, it is also very practical as it has an internal lid that holds the foundation sponge, which makes it perfect for touch-ups on the go

It is very simply to use, you simply push the included applicator puff into the cushion sponge, and then glide over the skin to build up the desired coverage.

 
The actual foundation is very light, and hence you can also almost not feel that you are wearing it. It is easy to blend and gives the skin a very natural and radiant and dewy look, yet still with a decent light to medium coverage, easily covering smaller imperfection, redness, and bags under my eyes.

On my combination skin, this Nude Magique Cushion Foundation from L'Oreal has a quite good wear, and actually I was surprised to see it last 7-8 hours before it started to settle into lines and look shiny. And that's without any primer, as I feel that's the best way to initially test out a foundation. But when used with a primer first, and set with a translucent powder the wear is extended considerably.


So overall I am really enjoying using this foundation as it gives my skin a good natural coverage with a nice glow. It is quick and easy to apply and stays put throughout the day which is really all you can ask for!


L'Oreal Paris Nude Magique Cushion Foundation - RRP: $29.95

Available from Priceline, department stores, variety stores and select pharmacies.

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


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16 June 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: PONI COSMETICS CONTOURING KIT AND THE WHITE KNIGHT MASCARA FROM RY

Today I'd like to share with you some products from a brand that is new to me, PONi Cosmetics, which is now available for purchase from the online store RY..




The PONi Contouring Kit has very quickly become a favourite as it contains everything you need in one kit - a bronzer, two blushes and a highlighter.

The bronzer called 'Contour that PONi' has a medium bronze shade with a shimmer - generally I do prefer bronzers with less or no shimmer, and hence that is what I've got in my makeup collection, so it is actually nice with something different. It is easy to apply all over the face and blends easily, and because of or the shimmery shade, I have actually also enjoyed using it as an eyeshadow!

The kit also contains a highlighter 'Highlight That PONi), which is an off-white shade with a golden shimmer. And finally, there are also two blushes, 'Pretty Pink PONi' and 'Playful Peach PONi', which are both pretty shades. Of the two, the pink shade seems to have slightly less shimmer than the peach shade, but they are still both pretty and very usable shades, and I find it hard to pick a favourite.



 
All four powders are fairly good in terms of pigmentation, and you can easily build up the intensity of the colours if wanted.

The Contouring Kit comes in a square slim cardboard style magnetic box, the type that seems to be widely used these days. It is simple and effective, but personally I would have preferred a sturdier plastic compact.


Next is the PONi The White Knight Mascara which is a tubular mascara which is water resistant, and claims never to smudge, run or transfer, even in humid weather, yet it easily washes off with just warm water! It contains growth ingredients to help enhance your own natural lashes with every application.



The mascara has a unique two in one brush, with literally two brushes, one for a smaller one for creating length, and a larger one for creating volume. And it really does provide both, giving my lashes both considerable length and volume, which can also easily be built up by adding a few coats, yet still nicely separating the lashes At the same time it is also very gentle on the eyes, so doesn't irritate my otherwise sensitive eyes.




Overall I am really enjoying using these products from PONi Cosmetics. The Contouring Kit is so convenient and easy to use, containing everything you need in one kit, and as for the The White Knight Mascara, it really is the ultimate mascara that comes to the rescue, providing both volume and length, while caring for your lashes and help them grow as you wear it. What more could you ask for. Both products are reasonably priced too, so I'll definitely be checking out the rest of the range, particularly keen on trying some of the many brow products! 


PONi Contouring Kit - RRP: $49
PONi The White Knight Mascara - RRP: $30

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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14 June 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: SMITH & CULT NAILED LACQUER

Today I'd like to chat about a new, well new to me... nail lacquer brand, Smith & Cult. Smith & Cult's Nailed Lacquer, as they are also called, have been designed for premium performance in mind...
 



The Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquers are indeed of a very high quality - and you don't even have to try them on your nails before you just know - that unique heavy short round glass bottle with the hammered gold top, is simply stunning and screams luxury. I don't normally keep my nail polishes out on display, but with these, I feel very tempted to!

And getting back to those hammered lids, they actually sit extremely well in the hand, with the indentation perfect for where you'd hold the lid with your thumb, very clever!!

Now onto the actual formula, - and I really love that they are a non-toxic formula, free from all the chemical nasties including Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Dibutyl Phthalate, Toluene and Camphor, all of which don't exactly have the best of rumoured effects on your health!

The polishes are very pigmented, though two coats are necessary for the perfect look of the pale one, but surprisingly, just a single coat of Lovers Creep gives a very nice finish that you can get away with on its own, while of course, an additional coat never hurts. The brush and the handle both seem a little shorter than in most other nail polishes that usually come in taller bottles, but I actually really liked that, and not being a pro at applying nail polish, I actually found that I have more 'control' over this shorter brush, which in turn helped me get a more professional look. And the polish really does apply streak-free finish and with a high gloss. They also wear very well, - to really test the nail polish, I tried them without base or top coat, to get a true feeling for the polishes, and it wasn't until day 5 that it started chipping at the edges, which I think is a really good result.

I tried the shades 'Regret the Moon' which is a pale pastel pink, and one of those shades you just have to have in your collection, as well as the shade 'Lovers Creep', a classic dark rich red shade, that is perfect for the winter wardrobe! However, there are heaps of other shades in the range, 35 in total, so there's sure to be the perfect shade for everyone! 


I'm really enjoying these Smith & Cult nail polishes, with everything from the luxurious packaging to the quality of the polishes, so I certainly wouldn't mind adding a few more to my collection, and I highly recommend you try them out too!


Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer - RRP: $28 / 14ml
Smith & Cult are available from select salons, please call 1300 725 122 to enquire about locations

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


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DEMETER PICK-ME-UP COLOGNES FROM MU AUSTRALIA + WIN A DEMETER FRAGRANCE LIBRARY

I admit it, I am a fragrance addict. I have a larger collection than I will ever be able to use, but years of frequent overseas travelling, and having the habit of buying at least one new fragrance on the way out and another one when flying home again, and suddenly it adds up to a few.

Some people believe in having a signature scent - I don't - there as simply too many beautiful scents out there to be explored, so why limit yourself to only one! One of the brands I particularly love is Demeter, which was launched in 1996, and now available here in Australia from MU Australia
 
 
Unlike other fragrances, The Demeter Pick-Me-Up scents are single note scents, which means that you can personalise and customise any scent by layering the colognes directly on the skin, and with a huge, and I mean huge selection of different scents in the fragrance library, you can easily create a multitude of unique scents to suit your mood and tastes.

You can go for classics such Jasmine, Freesia, Lavender and Cherry Blossom, but also go for some of the strange scents in the Demeter fragrance library such as Dirt, Dust, Play-Doh , Sushi or Pizza.

If you're a little scared of experimenting, Demeter has created a 'Foolproof Blending Catalogue' with different scents that can be blended in any combination, - you simply pick any three and wear alone or in any combination.
But regardless of what types of scents you prefer, fact is that there are so many different to chose from, and with just a few, you can create your own Fragrance Library and keep mixing, the opportunities are simply endless!

While Demeter does give suggestions on how to mix and match and even has trio packs available, I've decided to go all out, and select three scents that appealed to me; Salt Air, Hawaiian Vanilla, and Ocean.

Demeter Salt Air - Imagine a perfect sea breeze on the perfect beach at your favorite tropical island. Now you have the perfect description of Demeter's Salt Air. There's just no denying it... Demeter's Salt Air will have you thinking of that last vacation and much needed new one. Take off to the land of tranquility where the scent of the sea breeze wakes you up each day and sends you off to dreamland at night. But don't forget to book your airfare early!

Demeter Hawaiian Vanilla - Cultivated on the Hamakua Coast on Big Island of Hawaii this unique orchid grows in the wealthiest soil on earth. Hawaiian heat, sweet rains and mild breezes transform Hawaiian Vanilla blossoms into the richest most aromatic vanilla beans in the world. Demeter's Hawaiian Vanilla is rich in the aromatic scent of the vanilla bean. Warm and wonderful...without it, life would just be "plain vanilla".

Demeter Ocean - Ah, this fragrance is no more or less than "the breath of the sea". Simple: sun, salt, sand............lovely. Oceans cover 65% of the earth so the next time your near one......do a comparison for us. Meanwhile, take our Ocean with you wherever you, as a small reminder every day how invigorating the ocean can be. 


These three scents that individually reminds me of summer, so the perfect scents to use in the midst of winter to reminisce over warm sunny days and the oceans salty breeze.. 

Of these three, Salt Air is by far my favourite, and also the strongest scent and freshest scent, Ocean seems to be the weaker, but mixed with Salt Air it gives a beautiful scent with more depth. Hawaiian Vanilla is my least favourite, and probably not one I would have picked if I had sniffed it first, and that's mainly because, while its supposed to be a vanilla scent, it does remind me of coconut, a scent that I am just not that fond off in too big doses!


Demeter Pick-Me-Up Cologne Spray - RRP: each $29.95 / 30ml
Available from MU Australia 
 



WIN

 

Now on to the good news - thanks to my friends at MU Australia, one lucky BLH reader can win their own set of Demeter Pick-Me-Up Cologne Sprays, consisting of Salt Air, Hawaiian Vanilla, and Ocean, and hence create the start of their very own Fragrance Library. These three scents have a combined value of $89.85. 

So what do you have to do win... Simple, just head over to my Instagram page for all the details...

  
About MU Australia - MU Australia was established in 2003, and is an Australian-based company that distributes independent niche products within the bath, body, home fragrance and stationery arenas. These products are classical and contemporary in design, are of outstanding quality, and offer the ultimate experience in terms of both quality and price. At MU Australia, they carefully select all products, to ensure that not only is every product beautifully presented, but that it is also of outstanding quality.


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

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12 June 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: RIMMEL LONDON VOLUME COLOURIST MASCARA AND COLOUR PRECISE LINER

Rimmel London has really been on the ball lately with new releases, including the newly launched contouring kit, which I continue to enjoy. And today, I'd like to share with you some further launches, The Volume Colourist Mascara and the Colour Precise Liners.


Starting with my favourite of these new launches is the Rimmel Volume Colourist Mascara. Mascaras are being launched faster than you can keep up these days, and they have more and more features and benefits included. But as a first, I believe, this new Volume Colourist Mascara not only provide instant volume and of course tint to the lashes, it also has an inbuilt lash tint that slowly tints lashes over time, so that your lashes will appear darker, even when you're not wearing mascara! It simply contains a semi-permanent lash tint that gradually and progressively blackens the bare lashes every single time you wear the mascara with the promise that with daily wear, after two weeks the lashes will look darker from root to tip! How brilliant!

Now already have quite dark lashes, although I do have the odd few lighter ones that must have been bleached by the sun, but it does mean that it is not that easy to see any permanent change from using this mascara, or at least not as easy as for those with very light or blonde lashes, who might notice a permanent change very quickly. Also, as I don't wear makeup every single day, any permanent change is also difficult to determine.

That said, I really like how this mascara quickly and easily builds up both extreme volume and length with just a few coats, leaving the lashes long and feathery as it is very separating too. No clumping in sight. And it lasts well throughout the day too without running or flaking which is great for my sensitive eyes too. So even if you disregard the permanent tint that it can give your lashes, I am really enjoying using this mascara so will definitely recommend that you check it out!



Next up are the Rimmel Colour Precise Liners. These liners are available in Black, Blue and White, and I have tried the Blue one, which definitely has taken me a little out of my comfort zone, not usually one for wearing coloured eye makeup!

These eyeliners have a very fine felt tip that makes it so quick and easy to create that perfect winged eye with a very crisp line from everything from a very fine line to a thick bold line, that is intensely saturated with colour. And it stays put all day too without fading. While the blue shade has really been trending on the catwalks lately, I am still a little conservative and prefer either a very dark brown or a black liner, so I will definitely make sure to get hold of one of those! 



Rimmel London Volume Colourist Mascara - RRP: $18.95
Rimmel Colour Precise Liners - RRP: $13.95

Available from Priceline, variety stores and select pharmacies, and supermarkets

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


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11 June 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: LOTTIE LONDON MAKEUP BRUSHES

Today I'd like to chat about a new brand called Lottie London. Well, it's new to me, but actually launched in, well you guess it, London back a while ago... And the brand is now available here in Australia, online at Lottie London but also from Target.


The products from Lottie London are bright and bold, and aspire to create 'insta-worthy Selfie Ready Beauty Products'.

I've tried the Lottie London Conceal It Brush which is a brush for concealer. It has a pastel green colour and the actual brush is slightly pointed making it easy to get into small areas such as under the eyes and around the nose.

I also tried the Lottie London Studio Star Stippling Brush is turquoise in colour and is made for applying liquid and cream foundation. You use it by dipping the very tip of the brush into the foundation and then dotting it onto the face before it is swiped over the face.

All the Lottie London brushes come in bright pastel colours, and have 100% nylon bristles with a coloured tip - and I really love the unique look of them as they are so cute and girly, and really stand out from any other makeup brush in my collection. More inportantly, the brushes feel incredibly soft, so they ae so lovely when brushed over the face. And you can't fault the quality either, as I am yet to see any of these shed any hairs, so I also find them very reasonably priced

So overall I am really enjoying using these brushes, and wouldn't mind adding a few more to my collection - there is among others a 5-piece brush set I wouldn't mind as well as I could do with a new contour brush, blush brush and some new eye shadow brushes too..

 
Lottie London Conceal It Brush - RRP: $12
Lottie London Studio Star Stippling Brush - RRP: $22

Lottie London is available exclusively from Target and Lottie London

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