31 August 2016

LACTATION COOKIES

I don’t normally share recipes on my blog, not that I don’t want to, I actually always had the intention to, and hence the inclusion of ‘lifestyle’ in my blog name – but  now having two little boys, I simply feel that I haven’t got as much time to play and experiment in the kitchen as I once did, so the things that I do bake and cook are the old trusted favourites, which are also, sadly often somewhat boring, and I feel too boring to share. But the other day, as I was tidying up after moving house, I came across a recipe that I have made use of a several times after giving birth to our little boys old boys to assist with the breast feeding and milk production..
 
 
With both our boys I initially had plenty of milk, in fact so much they joked at the hospital that I had sufficient for the whole ward, but then the first one ended up at the children’s hospital for an overnight stay when he was just a week old with a skin infection. He was very tried, and consequently didn’t eat well, for quite a while after as he got better, and I quickly felt that it affected my milk supply which was only just establishing – so on recommendation from the nurses at the hospital where he was born, I tried baking some lactation cookies - and I recently made a large batch of these again - in the lead up to his bone marrow transplant last year, our little boy had intense chemotherapy, which meant that he completely stopped taking any food apart from what he had through his nasogastric tube - for a whole 6 weeks. During this time I did express to maintain supply, but it was dropping dramatically, and towards the end there was very little - so when he slowly started taking food again, I once again successfully reached for the lactation cookies - and hence why I thought that I'd share this, also because personally I preferred this more natural approach, and certainly thought that it was well worth a try, before more drastic measures such as medication.

So in short, these lactation cookies are intended for mothers who want to maintain their breast milk supply or for boosting breast milk supply.

The recipe makes a huge, and I mean huge batch, so I always divide it into quarters, bake one quarter and freeze the remaining three quarters, which makes it quick and easy next time you want to make them – you simply just defrost the dough, before rolling them into the preferred size and bake them. Besides, I actually prefer to bake them in smaller batches anyway, as they are always nicer when they are fresh!



Anyway, enough of the babbling, here's the ingredients needed;

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons linseed meal / flax meal  
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups of thick cut oats
  • 2-4 tablespoons of brewers yeast (note, this cannot be substituted for another type of yeast, as this is the magic ingredient! – you can normally buy this from health stores)
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips/dried fruit/nuts – whatever you like – personally I prefer raisins and nuts, as with the brown sugar I find they are plenty sweet, and that they are too sweet with the addition of chocolate as well, but that is just personal preference.

How to:
Preheat oven to 160C fan-forced, or 180C normal oven.

Mix linseed meal with water and set aside for a few minutes. Beat butter and sugar and add one egg at a time, mixing well. Add linseed meal and vanilla, and hereafter the dry ingredients, finishing with the fruit/nuts.
The mix is quite sticky, so it is easiest to scoop it in small, teaspoon sized lumps onto a lined baking tray. The cookies doesn’t spread out, but remains in their shape, so can be fairly close together while baking. Depending on the size of the cookies, they need to cook for 8-12 minutes

Enjoy!!

Note that it is also recommend to eat some of the raw dough as well as the cookies, with the claim that the dough is even more effective than the cooked cookies, but of course keep in mind that you'd then be eating raw egg, which may bother some!

I have had great success with these cookies, and actually quite like them too, although they do have a special and unique taste (and smell) due to the brewers yeast!
If you are breastfeeding and decide to try these in an attempt to boost your milk supply, do let me know how you get on, I’d love to hear…


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FATHER'S DAY GIFT IDEA: SILVER BULLET CERAMIC PRO 240 PROFESSIONAL HAIR CLIPPER

Today on the blog I've got another amazing Father's Day gift suggestion for you, the Ceramic Pro 240 Professional Hair Clipper from Silver Bullet..



I personally have a Silver Bullet Hair Straightener, and while I am lucky as a beauty blogger to have tested out several different brands of hair straighteners, the Silver Bullet without a doubt still rates at the top of my list as the quality is simply second to none (you can read all about it here). And the same goes for this Hair Clipper, the moment you hold it in your hands, you can tell that it is premium quality, where attention has been paid to every detail.

 



The Ceramic Pro 240 Hair Clipper has the ability to be used both with and without the cord, making it even easier to use, and once fully charged it has a massive 240 minutes of cutting time thanks to the long life lithium battery.

The Hair Clipper is also super powerful and fast making cutting the hair even quicker and easier, and it features a cool LCD display that tells about the RPM, the tension cutting pressure and the amount of time remaining before it needs to be recharged. It also has adjustable blade speed to suit any thickness of hair. It also comes with four different attachment combs in 12mm, 9mm, 6mm and 3mm, so it also allows for a large variety of hair styles and lengths, as well as it also includes lubricating oil and cleaning brush so you can maintain the high performance of the clipper.

 


My husband has not allowed me to cut his hair with the clipper, but watching him do it, just looks so quick and easy. My husband likes to keep his hair short and neat, but sometimes between work commitments and having two young boys, finding the time isn't always easy - so that's where being able to do it yourself makes sense.

Attachment combs in 12mm, 9mm, 6mm and 3mm

At $169.95 this Silver Bullet Ceramic Pro 240 Hair Clipper is amongst one of the pricier ones on the market, but compared to the cheap ones my husband has previously had (and he has had a few as the quality of them is generally so poor they don't tend to last long), this is by far the best quality one he has had, and again, you can tell from the moment that you hold it in your hand - so can definitely agree with the 'Professional' in the name of the clipper, as it is the sort of quality you'd expect a hair dresser to have and use.


Silver Bullet Ceramic Pro 240 Professional Hair Clipper - RRP: $169.95
Available from
I-Glamour

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


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30 August 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: PHILIPS SATINELLE ADVANCED WET AND DRY EPILATOR BRE640

I have been using an epilator as my preferred method of hair removal for years, for the one reason that I simply hate the stubble you always get a mere few days after using a blade. So I was excited when I was asked to try a new model from Philips, the Satinelle Advanced Wet & Dry Epilator BRE 640.


This new Philips Satinelle Advanced Wet & Dry Epilator BRE640 is a very advanced in that it is both a dry and a wet epilator, with all of my previous epilators (and I've had a few over few decades I've been doing this), none of them have been able to be used as a wet shaver.

Some may think that using an epilator hurts, and yes, the first few times it is a little uncomfortable, but if you ask me, no where near as uncomfortable as having a wax at a salon, and bonus is that you can do it from the comfort of your home, at a time it suits you.

I have never in the years of using an epilator experienced any irritation, but for some reason while I was pregnant with our youngest, my skin got really irritated in general, and since then, I have started developing some smaller red dots where the hairs are being pulled out - however, these do disappear after a few hours, so I just need to keep this in mind and not shave my legs just before heading out the door.

All the accessories 

But I have, however, discovered that using the shaver in the shower, when my skin is warm and the pores open does minimise this irritation a lot, so I am very impressed.

The epilator head

The Philips Satinelle Shaver has a unique ergonomic S-shaped design, which makes it super easy to hold, even with a small female hand, and it makes it easier to reach difficult areas such as under arms, the back of the legs etc. too. It is suitable to be used on the legs, body and face.

It comes with a massive 8 different accessories including: 
  • Trimming head
  • Bikini comb
  • Shaving head
  • Trimming comb
  • Facial area cap
  • Massage cap
  • Skin stretcher
  • Body care head

Combined all these accessories make it possible to give a close shave, remove unwanted facial hairs, remove hair from underarm and bikini areas, and trip and shape delicate areas including the bikini line. I don't have unwanted hair on my face, so have not tried that accessory, and admit to finding the epilator a tad uncomfortable using under my arm pits, where I usually just use a normal shaver - but one day I'll have to bite the bullet and try, and love the fact that t does come with a delicate cap to help make it a little more bearable. But you can also decide between two speed settings, depending on personal preference.

Shaving head with trimming comb

The Satinelle also features micro-ridged discs to help grip hairs easier and more firmly, so even the finest and smallest hairs won't be missed, and it also has a wide 30mm epilator head to remove hairs from a larger area in just one stroke, and it also have a small light that makes it easy to see the fine hairs as you are shaving.

Epilator with massage cap

The shaver also features a massage cap to help ease any irritation while epilating the skin, along with a skin stretcher cap that tightens skin during epilation to stop it from 'grabbing the skin' (one of my previous epilators did that, and let me tell you it hurt!), as well as the stretched out skin makes it quicker and easier for the epilator to grab the hairs. And you can also decide on two speed

Epilator with skin stretcher cap

I also love that this Satinelle shaver charges up quickly, in just 1.5 hours, and that it then has up to 40 minutes of usage, so you can finish without it running flat.

Epilator with facial cap

Epilator with delicate area cap


Overall, using an epilator, has, and I think, always will be my preferred method of shaving my legs - there is no denying that it does take longer to do than using i.e. a standard shaver, as generally I find that I can shave both my legs and bikini line in about 30 minutes - but then you also remain hair-free for the next 2-3 weeks, and without that annoying stubble that comes after just a few days of using a normal shaver.


Trimming head with comb trimmer

You do inevitably miss a few hairs here and there, so at least during summer when I'm wearing skirts and dresses, I like to give my legs a quick shave weekly, which grabs all those few hairs I've previously missed, making shaving quicker and quicker each time.

This is also by far the best and most advanced epilator that I've used. Both in terms of the accessories that it comes with, but also how easily it grabs the hairs, making it so much easier and quicker to use. And the fact that it can also be used while in the shower is a massive bonus for me.


At $199.95 this is not a cheap device, but if you compare to how much money you'd spend on having frequent wax treatments at the salon, or even buying shaving gel and blades, over the years this epilator will last you, you will without a doubt be saving money!


Philips Satinelle Advanced Wet & Dry Epilator BRE640 - RRP: $199.95
Available at leading electronics retailers and department stores

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

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29 August 2016

BRAND FOCUS: SUKIN

Today I'd like to share with you some great Australian, natural skincare products from Sukin, that are very budget friendly too. 


The Sukin Foaming Facial Cleanser is a very gentle cleanser that chamomile, aloe vera, witch hazel and green tea combined with macadamia and evening primrose oils. The cleanser has a lovely fresh natural scent, and it is a good basic cleanser and it really is gentle, leaving my sin soft after use, and without any tightness or dryness. However, I do feel that it struggles a little with long-wearing makeup, so I like to use it as a second cleanser, or as the only cleanser on the days I'm not wearing any makeup. Alternatively, I love using it with my Clairsonic brush, as I feel it is perfectly suited for that.

I admit to not using a toner as often as I should, but I do actually love the feeling on my skin after using one. The Sukin Hydrating Toner contains among others chamomile and rosewater, and used on a cotton pad swiped over the skin after cleansing, to not only helps ensures that every last bit of makeup is removed, it also helps to refresh and hydrate the skin. This particular one also comes with a handy spray nozzle, so you can also use it throughout the day to instantly add extra moisture to the skin, as well as cool and tone the skin. It is also perfect to help set your makeup to make it look less cakey and more natural and dewy.



Finally, there's the Sukin Hydrating Facial Masque. I admit to rarely using a hydrating facial masque, as I have combination skin which has been a bit bonkers lately, so I do tend to use more deep cleansing masques. However, what better time to use a hydrating mask than during winter when the skin generally does need a little extra TLC. The Sukin Hydrating Facial Masque contains among others mango seed butter, avocado oil and olive fruit extract, to provide intense hydration and protect the skin’s moisture barrier. And the enzymes found in papaya and pineapple help nourish the complexion and impart vitamins and fruit acids for a smooth skin with a healthy glow.

Unlike other moisture masks that I've used, which absorbs fully into the skin, or the remainder needing to be tissued off, this one actually dries up a bit like a mud mask. To use, it simply apply a layer to the skin, avoiding the sensitive eye area, and then leave it on for about 15 minutes or so, before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. And afterwards my skin is really left so silky soft and smooth, and as promised, it does have a lovely healthy glow too.

What I do like about the Sukin products too, is that they are free from all the chemical nasties such as SLS, SLES, synthetic fragrances, mineral oils, artificial colours, parabens etc, and the fact that the products are Australian made and owned too, just gives them extra bonus points.

Overall, I am really surprised at the value for money with these products from Sukin. The cleanser works great with a Clairsonic Brush, the toner will also be good come summer and you'd like to cool your skin during the day, but what I, surprisingly, love most is the moisture mask, as it really does give my feel so soft and smooth and give it a nice glow too.

Sukin Foaming Facial Cleanser - RRP: $9.95 / 125ml
Sukin Hydrating Toner - RRP: $9.95 / 125ml
Sukin Hydrating Facial Masque - RRP: $15.95 / 100ml

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


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28 August 2016

FATHER'S DAY GIFT IDEA: RITUALS SAMURAI MEN'S SKINCARE COLLECTION


Today I've got a few more great Father's Day gift ideas to share with you, these ones from Ritual... 



My husband is luckily not afraid to use grooming products (lucky when he's married to an obsessed beauty blogger!), and I have caught him over the years using my products, until I realised that it was worthwhile making sure he had his own so he would leave mine alone!

That said, he does enjoy a quick routine, although he still frequently use a face wash and scrub. The Rituals Samurai Face Scrub & Wash, is a foaming 2-in-1 wash and scrub that has been enriched with purifying properties of Japanese Wakame, Bamboo as well as exfoliating scrubbing particles to remove dead skin cells and excess oil, dirt and grime from the skin.

Sometimes my husband complains that facial scrubs seem to do little for his skin (usually when he has pinched a squirt one of my gentle ones) , but he has said that he is impressed with this one, as it grainy but without being to harsh on the skin, and it clearly makes his face feel so much softer, smoother and brighter when he has used it. While he is blessed with really good skin, he does suffer with some blackheads on his nose, but since starting to use this scrub a few times a week, these have clearly reduced in appearance and quantity. He also loves that it has a nice masculine scent.

He has also really enjoyed using the Rituals Samurai Refreshing After Shave Gel with Basil and Tiger Grass, as shaving his face ever morning seems to have a drying effect on his face, and he found that this After Shave Gel has helped add moisture back into the skin, and relieve any dryness and irritation from shaving.

He also really likes the scent, which is totally different to anything else he has in his (growing) aftershave collection, as it does not appear to be a man-made scent, but rather a natural, fresh, and spicy masculine scent, that lingers on the skin for the day. 

The Face Scrub & Wash come in grey tube, while the After Shave Gel comes in grey glass bottle with a timber lid, making both look very stunning with their simple, yet masculine design.

Overall my hubby is really impressed with these products from Ritual, so can definitely recommend that you check them out, and they're the perfect gift for Father's Day too!


Rituals Samurai After Shave Gel - RRP: $37 / 100ml
Rituals Samurai Face Scrub & Wash - RRP: $22 / 125ml

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

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27 August 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: LUST HAVE IT - AUGUST 2016

Today, the 26th August the August Lust Have It Box arrived, so nice to see it arrive in the relevant month, and this is what was inside and my thoughts... 
 


Not surprising, this months contents again arrived in a pink mesh bag - ask me and it is now time or a change..

 
Baimeni Eye & Face Serum With Hyaluronic Acid
- Sample Size ($25 / 30ml)

This is serum claims to help control the excess oil that causes acne, so it is absolutely perfect for my skin at the moment as I've had a larger number of bad breakouts than usual, so I look forward to putting this one to the test. I am also excited about trying a new brand as I've never heard of Baimeni before. I also love the fact that it is an Australian brand with products made locally. Unfortunately it was claimed on the card that the enclosed sample was full size with a value of $25, but sadly not quite true as according to the brands website, you can purchase a 30ml bottle for $25! But should still be able to try a few times with the small sample.

 
Mystery Item picked by Lust Have It - The Cosmetic Kitchen Peppermint Foot Mask - Full Size (RRP: ?)
I have received a few products from the Cosmetic Kitchen in previous subscription boxes, but those being mainly facemasks. I do like the idea of this peppermint mask, and must try to find the needed time to try it out, as it will sure do my neglected feet a world of good.

 
OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick - Full Size (RRP: $27)

I've tried a few items from OFRA previously and liked them all, so happy to see this liquid lipstick included, and particularly as I got a shade that I really like, a dark taupe shade Mocha. It claims to moisturise the lips and give full colour that is long lasting, which all sounds pretty good to me.

 
GOSH! Mineral Colour Pigments - Full Size ($14 / 4ml)

Last month I was excited receiving an eye shadow quad from a brand that comes from my home country of Denmark, but sad that it was in shades that were out of my comfort zone - so I am happy that this months lose colour pigments from GOSH! Are in a shade called Pink Melon, a pink shade that will be perfect to use with a taupe, brown or grey shade. And while lose pigments are not usually preference as I do find them a little messy, I do look forward to trying this one out.

 
Manna Kadar Radiance Split Pan Bronzer & Highlighter Duo - Full Size (RRP: $28)

I have previously tried Manna Kadar from a previous subscription box, but again, as I was impressed with the quality, I am happy to receive this Bronzer and Highlighter. The little round compact features a shimmery bronzer and highlighter, in a shade that is just right for my skin. I generally do prefer non-shimmery bronzers, but as I really have nothing but matte ones, this makes for a refreshing change. I look forward to trying this one out.

 
So there you go, the August edition of Lust Have It. Overall I am quite impressed with the contents this month, and as I am actually going to use every single product this month, it is really good value for money too, - a very nice change from the previous month where being so conservative as to the makeup colours that I wear, has meant that there has been several of the items that I've not been able to use. But this month I am really happy to have received in particular the OFRA lipstick, the Manna Kadar Bronzer and Highlighter and the GOSH! Pigments, so well done Lust Have It

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 

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


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26 August 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: VTECH PUSH AND PLAY SPINNING TOP

Today I have enlisted the help of our little boy Jake for his thoughts on the Push & Play Spinning Top from Vtech.


This toy is intended from babies from 6 months, and features four different animals, an elephant, dog, frog and bear, as well as the shapes, circle, star, triangle and square, and numbers one through to four.

When you push the different animals or shapes, it introduces the animals, shapes and numbers, as well as it plays phrases, sounds and melodies, while the animals introduce themselves, their sounds and also sing, all to further encourage discovery and exploration. And of course, when you push down the plunger, the spinning top spins around to help the baby discover cause and effect.


Spin and discover animals, sounds, shapes and numbers with the Push & Play Spinning Top! The press down plunger spins the animals round and round and helps your baby discover cause and effect relationships. The four brightly coloured animals introduce themselves, their sounds, colours and sing song. When pressing the shape buttons, they light up and introduces shapes and numbers, and play fun phrases, sounds and melodies encourage discovery and exploration. 

And when pushing the shape buttons, there is also a quiz game where it asks questions such as where is the dog, and then baby can answer by pushing down the dog.
 


 This Push and Play Spinning Top has a massive 70+ songs, melodies, phrases and sounds, and it helps baby with:  
  • Auditory stimulation - from listening to the sing-along songs, songs and phrases
  • Sensory development - from the bright colours and flashing lights to enhance visual awareness and attract attention
  • Motor skills - from pushing the plunger to strengthen motor skills and hand-eye coordination
  • Language Development - introducing colours, shapes, numbers and animals to promote early language skills
Our little boy in particular is enjoying playing with this spinning top, and it seems that every time he pushes something we still hear new sounds, songs and phases, simply because of the huge variety it holds, so this really does give hours and hours of fun and learning. But that said, our 3 year old is also having heaps of fun playing with the Spinning Top and showing little brother how it all works!
  
It is colourful and fun to look at, and it is in a sturdy quality design so it doesn't break from so a drop to the floor, which inevitably does happen when you've got toddlers in the house. I also like that it has an on-off button, and two volume levels, so it is not too loud, unlike other toys.
 
 
Vtech Push & Play Spinning Top, RRP $29.95 
Available from Department stores, some variety stores and major toy retailers
 
* Products have been kindly provided for consideration, and have reviewed in accordance with my Disclosure Policy.
 
 
 
 
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25 August 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: DR ROEBUCK'S POLISH, EYE REGENERATION CREAM AND BODY AND HAND WASH

I love it when I across new brands, so today I'm excited to share with you some products from Dr. Roebuck's. The brand was started way back in 1978 when Dr. Roebuck created his original formula PURE to treat the eczema of his newborn twin daughters. These creams were pure, as he understood the importance of excluding unnecessary fillers, colours, scents and chemicals, but only use the absolute necessary ingredients.


Today the twin daughters, Zoe and Kim have taken over, and developed Dr Roebuck's, which is now available around the globe, but still with the same great philosophy, to keep the products free from petrochemicals, sulphates, no TEA/ DEA, Glycols, Silicas, PEGS, and synthetic fragrances and colours. And I love that it is still Australian owned and products made in Sydney.

I have tried one of their bestsellers, the Dr. Roebuck's Polish, the Body & Hand Wash, as well as the newly launched Eye Regeneration Cream. 


Let's start with the Dr. Roebuck's Polish, which is a unique two-in-one formula that combines a face mask with an exfoliant. It is a deep cleansing and purifying, non-abrasive facial scrub and mask gently removes dead skin cells leaving the skin revitalised and beautifully radiant.

It contains among others natural jojoba beads, peppermint and grapefruit to exfoliate and deep cleanse, as well as kaolin clay to draw out impurities, excess sebum and toxins from the skin. It also contains vitamin E to regenerate and create a healthier skin, as well as White Tea extracts and Macadamia Oil to neutralise any nasty free radicals.

To use, you simply apply a generous layer to the face and leave for a few minutes to allow the kaolin to draw out impurities, before you start to massage it into the skin, before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. It doesn't harden up like many clay masks, but it does dry a little, but without leaving the skin with that tight feeling. The Polish has a lovely cooling feeling on the skin thanks to containing peppermint, which also makes it smell divine. And afterwards my skin is so soft and smooth, and without any dryness or irritation, but rather with a lovely radiant glow. The actual scrub has a nice light texture, and just the right amount of grains, gentle, yet still very effective.


Then there's the just launched Dr. Roebuck's Eye Regeneration Cream, which has been designed to prevent premature ageing and rejuvenating vitalise damaged skin around the eye area. The cream contains; 
  • Coconut Oil to deeply moisturise and hydrate to prevent premature ageing and the formation of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Caffeine to reduce dark circles and bags around the eyes
  • Rosehip Seed Oil to regenerate skin to diminish wrinkles while soothing and softening the skin
  • Arnica Montana Flower to aid reducing dark rings around the eye area
  • Vitamin E Oil an antioxidant that works deep in the dermis to repair damaged skin
  • Lecithin to naturally moisturise while allowing active ingredient to penetrate the dermis
  • Sodium PCA, an effective natural amino acid that retains moisture in the skin to enhance skin elasticity
This eye cream is a rather thick and rich cream, and hence it does take a bit to absorb fully into the skin, so unless you've got time to wait, I do suggest using it as a night eye cream only, which is what I've been doing, also because I feel it leaves the skin feeling slightly sticky afterwards. But that said, I really don't mind as it is so concentrated and intensely moisturising, which my eye area is clearly enjoying. After just a few weeks use (again, night only), I do feel that my eye area looks slightly smoother and the skin more plump, and consequently, some fine lines seem to have diminished in size too. The skin also feels very soft, but I am sadly yet to see any major difference in the size and appearance of dark circles and bags under my eyes, but with two small kids, who seem to take turns waking me several times throughout the night, and I am consequently slightly sleep-deprived, the cream is also fighting an almost impossible battle at the moment. But apart from that, I am really enjoying this cream, and the effects from using it.

In the jar it looks like the cream has some tiny grains throughout it, but interestingly, it hasn't got a grainy fee at all. It has a slightly odd scent, but knowing that it doesn't contain unnecessary added fragrance, I really don't mind at all.

Both the Polish and the Eye Cream comes in gorgeous orangy-red see-through plastic jars with silver writing, which are unique and just stunning.

Finally, the Dr. Roebuck's Hand & Body Wash, which has been made specifically for sensitive skin, free from petrochemicals, sulfates and parabens. It has been infused with neroli petitgrain from France as well as thyme and basil to soothe and calm irritated sensitive skin, as well as they have a soothing effect on the nervous system and assist in relieving anxiety and tension.

This soap is extremely gentle, and leaves the skin clean without drying it out, and has a beautiful natural herbal scent that you can only love.

It comes in an old-school brown plastic bottle with a convenient pump, which I personally really like, so I have to admit that I have predominantly used it as a hand wash in our powder room, as I simply find the bottle too nice to stash away in our ensuite shower for nobody to see.


I've really enjoyed using both products, the Polish has quickly become a favourite, that I can see myself purchasing again and again, and the Eye Cream is really perfect as a more intensive night eye cream. And finally, I really like the Body & Hand Wash for its gentle properties and clean natural herbal scent, so I can see that one becoming a regular hand wash in our house too.

If you are serious about skincare without all the chemical nasties, then I can highly recommend that you check out the Dr. Roebuck's range.


Dr. Roebuck's Polish - RRP: $39.95 / 50ml
Dr. Roebuck's Eye Regeneration Cream - RRP: $39.95 / 15ml
Dr. Roebuck's Body & Handwash - RRP: $18.95 / 250ml

Available from Dr. Roebuck's, SkincareStore, as well as select outlets worldwide!

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

 
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24 August 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: QV KIDS SKINCARE - WASH, BALM AND MOISTURISING CREAM

Having two little blonde and very fair boys, both with sensitive and skin border-lining dry, caring for their skin is important to me. So when I was asked to try some of the QV Kids skincare products, I happily accepted.


The QV Kids Wash is a soap-free cleanser, that helps gently cleanse even the most dry and sensitive skim, without irritating it or drying it out any further by removing natural protective oils on the skin. The soap contains among others glycerin to moisturise the skin and a combination of gentle surfactants to cleanse the skin. I love that it also contains vitamin A and E to care for the skin, and especially our 3 year old loves that these come as blue microbeads, as it is a new level of fun when getting washed. I also find that the Wash is perfect to use as a bubble bath, as it froths up to a nice soft foam the boys love in the bath, although it can naturally also be used as a body wash in the shower, or even by the skin as a hand wash.

Then there's the QV Kids Balm which is an extremely emollient so it is perfect for kids (or adults) with extremely dry skin. The Balm contains no water, which is known to cause stinging when applied to inflamed skin, but rather it contains liquid paraffin and petroleum jelly to make it a gentle, yet every moisturising and soothing balm suitable also for those with sensitive skin, or even eczema. Because of its consistency, and the ingredients used, it does mean that it is a little greasy, and takes a while to absorb fully into the skin, but if you have extremely dry skin, it is well worth it. And I can here also say that especially my winter-dry nails and cuticles are also enjoying a little treatment as I am massaging this into our little boys dry skin. A little goes a very long way, so the tube will last you forever.


Finally, there's the QV Kids Cream, which is a thick and very concentrated cream, also suitable for very dry skin, including also those with sensitive, and itchy skin, as well as eczema. It also contains vitamin A and E to care for the skin, in the form of the tiny blue micro beads, which magically disappear on the skin, which our 3 year old finds hilarious (which does mean that I have to put it out of his reach, or he would otherwise help himself until the tube was empty ;-)

The cream does take a little while to absorb, but no where near as long as the Balm, and when it has, it leaves the skin soft and smooth and without any greasiness or stickiness. And I like that it keeps the skin soft and moisturised, and I don't have to keep moisturising my boys skin, with other moisturisers I've used on them, I've had to reapply, at least twice a day, sometimes more on their faces, but when using this, that is simply not necessary.


I also love that these products are free from both colours and fragrances, which means they do not have any scent, as I really don't find that necessary for kids products.

Overall, I am really enjoy using these QV Kids products on my boys skin, in particularly the Wash and the Cream, and can see myself purchasing them again and again. And as a bonus, they look rather cute in the kids bathroom with the adorable green octopus on the bottles, which my boys also like!


QV Kids Wash - RRP: $9.20 / 200ml, $15.30 / 375ml
QV Kids Balm - RRP: $8.15 / 100g, $25.45 / 450g
QV Kids Cream - RRP: $8.99 / 100g

Available from Priceline and Pharmacies


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

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23 August 2016

FATHER'S DAY GIFT IDEAS: FRAGRANCE EDITION

With Father's Day getting closer, today I've got a few more great gift ideas to share, and today its all about fragrances.

L-R: Ralph Lauren Polo Blue, Calvin Klein CK2, Davidoff Horizon,
Calvin Klein Obsession Summer -
 oh, and my 3yo's spaceman that he insisted was included in the photo :-)
 

Let's start with the New Ralph Lauren Polo Blue Eau de Parfum. My husband has been a huge fan of the original Polo Blue, so this newer and stronger version was immediately a hit with him. The fragrance has the spirit of a heroic adventurer and the seductive power of a Regatta champion in mind, as he leads his comrades to a glorious victory, while taking the classic Polo scent to a 'deeper, more sophisticated intensity.”


The new Polo Blue contains;

Top Notes: Bergamot, Cardamom, Marine accord
Middle Notes: Blue Orris Accord, Basil Verbena, Clary Sage
Base Notes: Vetiver, Suede Accord, Patchouli, Vibrant Woods

The fragrance has a sparkling freshness thanks to the marine accords, yet also has an intense woodiness due to the vibrant woods and vetiver. The fragrance comes in a simplistic and sleek cobalt-blue, flask-shaped glass bottle, with chrome edging. My husband is saying that he likes that it is more intense than the original, and it has longer staying power so it lasts lasting all day. He also likes the fresh fruitiness that is not overbearing, perfect timing in the lead up to summer. A newfound favourite.



Next is the Calvin Klein CK2 Eau de Toilette, which is actually a unisex scent, so giving this to your other half, means that you can pinch a squirt here and there, which is huge bonus, LOL.

This fragrance contains;

Top Notes; Wasabi, mandarin, pear and violet leaf.
Middle Notes: Pebbles, orris root, rose absolue, peony, and hedione
Base Notes: Vevetier, sandalwood, incense, and white musk

This is a much lighter scent, and it is a fresh and citrusy aqua scent, and it is a simple, yet lovely scent. It comes in unique minimalistic cylinder glass bottle that can sit on the square cap to keep the bottle upside down. Because it is light, the wear is not as long, but it is perfect for those casual days where you just want a light scent.



Then there's Calvin Klein Obsession Summer Eau de Toilette. Both my husband and I have always been huge fans of Calvin Klein fragrances, including the original Obsession, which however is a very heavy scent and best kept for winter - and it is no secret that I personally am a fan of lighter scents, so excited about the newly launched Obsession Summer. This scent has been described as evocative, fluid and pure, where “Passion is awakened at the height of the summer heat. Sensuality becomes fluid like the cool breeze of azure waters". It contains artemisia, blue sage and cedar and it is a fresh airy aqua scent, which again is perfect for a hot summers day. My husband has really taken to this one too, saying it is a refreshing change to the heavy original Obsession, and he likes the lightness, yet that it is still masculine and slightly woody too.

Because of the freshness of this scent, it also means that it does seem to fade a little quicker, although still lasting through the day, only it is quite faint on the skin by the end of the day.

The Obsession Summer comes in a stunning clear aqua blue bottle with a darker turquoise lid, which instantly reminds you of an azure blue ocean.




Finally, the Davidoff Horizon Eau de Toilette, which is a new fragrance that symbolises the connection between earth and air and draws inspiration from the forces of nature, representing freedom, adventure and exploration. "Here he is, far from the beaten track. Before him mountains stretch out in an endless landscape that touches the sky".

It contains among others:

Top Notes: Grapefruit, rosemary, mandarin, ginger
Middle Notes: Patchouli, cedar, nutmeg, pepper, sesame,
Base Notes: Vevetier, cacao pod

This is a warm woody, spicy and aromatic scent thanks to the cedar, pepper, and spices, so it is very "manly' yet it also has a touch of an energetic freshness thanks to the grapefruit and mandarin, which also means that it doesn't come across as being too heavy or overpowering. It also has a very good wear, lasting from early morning until bedtime, without the need to reapply.


So there you go, a selection of scents perfect as Father's Day gift, and there's something for every taste, light or heavy, woody, spicy or fresh, or even one you can use too!


Ralph Lauren Polo Blue Eau de Parfum - RRP: $139 / 125ml, $109 / 75ml
Calvin Klein CK2 Eau de Toilette - RRP: $99 / 100ml, $79 / 50ml
Calvin Klein Obsession Summer Eau de Toilette - RRP: $49 / 125ml
Davidoff Horizon EDT - RRP: $80 / 75ml

All available from Myer, David Jones and select pharmacies

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


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22 August 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: RIMMEL LONDON GOOD TO GLOW AND BROW THIS WAY HIGHLIGHTING PEN

Rimmel London has really launched some incredible products lately, just remember the contouring kit and those Moisture Renew Sheer and Shine Lipsticks - and now a further few products are being added, the Good to Glow and Brow This Way Highlighting Pen..

 
The Rimmel Good to Glow Highlighter is an instant, buildable liquid illuminator and highlighter, which is available in two different shades, of which I have tried the Soho Glow.

The light cream can be used on its own to give the skin a nice glow and emphasise the high points of the face, or alternatively, it can be mixed with foundation for an all over glow.

The Soho glow has a light beigey-pink shade and is perfect for my winter-pale medium beige skin tone.

The Good to Glow contains tiny light reflecting pigments to give the skin that radiant luminous look, that looks natural without being too overly shimmery. With my combination skin I don't like things too shimmery as I find it makes my skin look even greasier, plus, I am at the age where I feel it highlights lines and wrinkles too, but this does give the skin a very subtle glow. Still, personally I like to just apply this to select areas of my face for that radiant glow.

The Brow This Way Highlighter Pencil is available on either a matte finish or a shimmery finish, where I tried the ladder, the shimmery one. The pen comes in a jumbo pen design, which means that it is super quick and simply to use, you simply apply it under the brow arch, and quickly blend it out with your finger to illuminate and lift the area.

Of these two products, for me the Brow This Way Shimmering Highlighter Pencil is the winner, and I have quickly fallen in love with it as it really does help lift and brighten the eye area, and always short on time, I love that it is so quick and easy to use, so I've found myself often adding it to my makeup routine, so I will most definitely make sure to get my fingers on the matte one too. I do also enjoy using the Good to Glow, and can only imagine that come spring and summer, I will enjoy it even more.


Rimmel London Good to Glow Highlighter - RRP: $12.95 / 25ml
Rimmel London Brow This Way Highlighter Pencil - RRP: $9.95 / 1.41g

Available from Priceline, Chemist Warehouse, Variety Stores, and Selected pharmacies, Coles and Woolworths

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


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18 August 2016

BRAND FOCUS: NATIO MAKEUP

Natio has long been one of my favourite Australian brands, so today I like to share a few favourites with you.. 


First up is the Natio Cream to Powder Foundation, which is enriched with argan, jojoba, vitamin E, beeswax and bamboo stem extract to care and condition the skin, and as promised it is easy to apply evenly, and can be built up to a good full coverage, while still looking natural and not caked on, and still feels nice and light on the skin. It easily covers all redness, pigmentation and uneven skin tone, and surprisingly manages to stay put and looking matte all day on my combination skin, and without the need to apply powder on top. It comes in a stylish black compact with a mirror inside the lid, as well as sponge, so you can apply on the go if needed. At a very reasonable $19.95, it is easy to see why this foundation has just won the award for the 'Best Make-Up Product (Steal)' for 2016 in the Australian Prix de Marie Claire Awards - It is a really lovely foundation and I can see myself purchasing it again. My only negative about this foundation is that it is only available in three shades, Light, Light Honey and Medium - I've normally got a medium beige skin tone, and tried the middle shade, Light Honey, which sadly is a tad on the dark side for me, so in other words, if I need to use the lightest shade, then those with a very pale skin tone would find difficult to find a match! 


The Naturally You Eyeshadow Palette in Bloom. This palette features 12 beautiful earthy toned shades ranging from a nude, through to pale pink, dusty rosy, plum, browns, mochas, copper and deep chocolate. In short, anything you'd need to create anything from a simply everyday look, through to a more elaborate earthy smoky eye. And personally I find this selection perfect, as it contains jus the shades I need, so I will get full use of every single shade in the compact.


The shadows range between shimmery satin and matte textures, and are all quite pigmented, so you can quite easily build up the colours to be quite intense, as well as they are all fairly long wearing, although the darker colours seem to be both more intense both with pigments as well as longevity.

The palette comes in a sturdy clear compact, that is simple, yet stunning, and it comes with a double-ended sponge and brush applicator. It doesn't have a mirror, but I honestly don't mind as I never apply eyeshadow on the go anyway.

Next up is the Natio Moisturising Lip Gloss in the shade Magical, which is a gorgeous dusty rose shade wit a nice sheen, perfect for everyday use. The actual lip gloss is infused with jojoba, shea and vitamin E to ensure that lips are kept moisturised and smooth, and to prevent premature ageing. And it does feel so lovely and soft on the lips without being sticky or tacky. Being a lip gloss it naturally doesn't have the longest of wear, but it does stay put for a few hours (or less if you eat or drink), but that is quite reasonable too. And even when it has worn off, your lips remain soft as if you've just applied a nourishing lip balm. It comes in a clear tube with a pointed foot-doe applicator that makes it super easy to apply, and it has a lovely sweet vanilla scent. 



The Natio Nail Colour in in Natural is pale beige, shade that is the perfect nude shade for an understated look, the sort of shade that I wear most often on my nails, especially during summer as it simply looks stunning on tanned hands. The nail polish features a large flat brush that makes it quick to apply evenly and streak-free in just a few strokes, and it dries very quickly too. As with most pale nail polishes, you do require two coats, but then you also get a wear of 4-5 days before it starts to chip at the edges, although you can of course extend with the use of a base and top coat. I also love that the Natio nail polishes are 3-free and hence free from the harsh chemicals such as Formaldehyde, Toluene and DBP.


So there you go, some great from Natio, all of which are absolutely stunningly beautiful products and worth a try, and I know I'll be reaching for these in the coming months, and certainly wouldn't mind getting hold of a few more shades of lip glosses and nail colours!


Natio Naturally You Eyeshadow Palette in Bloom - RRP: $19.95
Natio Moisturising Lip Gloss - RRP
Natio Nail Colour - RRP: $9.95
Natio is available at David Jones, Myer and selected Pharmacies


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


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