31 October 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: DERMACEUTIC DERMA LIFT 5.0, HYAL CEUTIC INTENSE MOISTURISER AND OC EI8HT MATTIFYING GEL

As a beauty addict, I always get excited when I come across new brands, so when some products from Dermaceutic landed on my desk, I was naturally very happy. Here I put the Dermaceutic Derma Lift 5.0, the Hyal Ceutic Intense Moistururiser and the OC Ei8ht Mattifying Gel to the test…




Let's begin with the Dermaceutic Derma Lift 5.0 Lifting Power Serum, which is to be used morning and night before moisturiser. It promises to immediately lift the skin, targeting sagging skin, expression lines and fine wrinkles, while long term helping to boost younger looking skin.

It contains among others pullulan, an agent that immediately tenses the skin, as well as a 5% lifting peptide complex, along with antioxidans, bakuchiol, vitamins C and E and minerals, to energise the skin and restore ceramides all while adding moisturising and replenishing the skin.

It has a super light consistency, and absorbs into the skin immediately, and without any greasiness or stickiness at all, so its perfect for my combination skin. The cream has no added fragrance, and just have a faint natural plant scent.

After having used this for a several weeks, I am really in love with this Derma Lift 5.0 as I can both feel and see my skin benefiting from it, as my skin is lifted and fine lines looking clearly minimised, and my skin fresher and brighter. Often intense anti-ageing products are very heavy, causing my skin to get congested and break out, so I also love that it is so light and doesn’t add extra greasiness to my skin, and in fact, I do feel that is contributing to making my skin more refined and less oily! I also love that it is so gentle that is suitable for use around the sensitive eye area.


Then there's the Dermaceutic Hyal Ceutic Intense Moisturiser, which is an intense moisturiser that works it magic around the clock to provide essential nutrients to the skin and keep it hydrated, and hence it is specifically designed for dehydrated and prematurely aged skin. In short, it helps target those changes in the skin caused by lack of moisture, and it contains among others 5.5% hyaluronic acid solution to help repair the skin and replenish lipids. But it also contains aloe vera to help reduce inflammation and soothe the skin, jojoba oil to protect from UV damage, and vitamin E and shea butter to help enhance the smoothing and repairing action and add essential moisture.

I don't have dry skin, in fact, it is combination prone to breakout, so I was a little concerned putting this intense moisturiser to the test, but I needn't worry as this moisturiser is still incredibly light, so light in fact that you'd find it hard believing that it is so nourishing on the skin. It also absorbs into the skin instantly, and again, without any greasiness what so ever - so again, it is a perfect moisturiser for my combination skin, and whilst using it, I have not experienced any congestion or breakouts.

The cream can be used as both day and night cream, and like the Lifting Power Serum, it is also so gentle that it is perfectly find to use around the eye area. And because it is so light, it is naturally also perfect for use under makeup too.

Frankly, I did not expect like this cream, as I thought that surely my combination skin couldn’t benefit for this, but how wrong I've been. My skin is clearly thriving, looking soft and supple, an with a nice healthy glow. Unfortunately it doesn't contain any SPF, which would have been ideal, but that said, on the days I know I'll be indoors all day (which sadly does happen!), I do prefer to give my skin a break from SPF as I do suspect it causing my skin to break out, - so on the other hand, I don't mind adding the SPF on top when I need it.

Finally, there's the OC Ei8ht Mattifying Gel, which claims to be a breakthrough in skincare that puts you in control of facial shine. With my combination skin, I am naturally always struggling with excess sebum and facial shine - AND making my makeup stay put. This Ei8gh Mattifying Gel contains an ingredient called Acrysorb®, which are micro-particles trap facial oils to reduce shine and redness for up to eight hours. So it not only helps reduce shine, but it also helps improve the appearance and wear of your makeup.

The Ei8gh is to be used after cleansing and moisturising your skin, and before applying makeup - but what does make it unique, is that the light gel also can be used on top of makeup during the day if required to extend the wear.

The light gel has a slightly odd scent that I'm sadly not too fond of. But it is easy to apply, and absorbs easily into the skin, but I did struggle a little with power foundations 'balling' up afterwards, so was only using it with a liquid foundation or BB Cream.

I've read some find that this gel leaves a slight white cast on the skin, even when worn under foundation, but I have to say that I haven't found that to be an issue. But I have to say that I am impressed, as the gel does indeed help my makeup stay put all day as well as control shine, to the point that it looks so matte that no touch ups were required throughout the day. If you have an oilier skin type, you'll love this, and I know that I'll be reaching for it more and more as we head towards the warmer months where sadly my skin also tends to become greasier.


Overall I am really impressed with these products and I will be very sad when they come to an end. I especially love the Power Serum because of its light texture and how it has made my skin feel and look so much better in such a short period of time, as well as the Ei8gh Mattifying Gel will be so convenient having at hand for those times you really want your makeup to look its best throughout the day. These brands were all new to me, and but as they are available from beauty salons only, it probably (and sadly), explains why I've sadly never come across them before, as unfortunately with a very sick child the past year and a bit, I've had bigger priorities than beauty treatments - but as I've been so impressed with this selection, I'm keen to explore more from the extensive product ranges.


Dermaceutic Derma Lift 5.0 Lifting Power Serum - RRP: 103 $ / 30ml
Dermaceutic Hyal Ceutic Intense Moisturiser - RRP: $85 / 40ml
OC Ei8ht Mattifying Gel - RRP: $59.80 / 45g

All products are available from select beauty salons

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



 
 
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30 October 2016

BRAND FOCUS: COVERGIRL MAKEUP

Today I'd like to share with you some Covergirl products that I particularly have been enjoying lately.

 
I've loved Covergirl for longer than I can remember, and actually did a huge semester project about their advertising and branding strategy decades ago, way back in 1997 when I was doing an exchange semester at a Uni in London. This was the year the brand launched the now famous and still widely used Easy Breezy Beautiful slogan. And fast track many years, and the brand remains one of my favourite drugstore brands.


Lately I've been trying a few newly launched products, including the Plumpify blastPRO Mascara. This mascara comes with some pretty hefty claims of giving the lashes 50x more volume, and I have to admit that I am not quite sure about that, as that would be pretty extreme if you ask me. But that said, it does quickly and easily lengthen and define the lashes, giving the a nice lift and curl at the same time, all without clumping the lashes together. Although this is not the waterproof formula, it stays put all day long without smudging, yet is easy to remove with makeup remover. I particularly love the brush which is a little larger than usual (and a funky red shade), made from a soft rubbery material. It also has a different twisted design, as well as a round ball tip that makes it easier to reach those tiny lashes at the corner of the eyes.


 

Next is the Eye Shadow Quad is an eyeshadow quad, which I've tried in the shade Notice Me Nudes, which as the name suggests contains nude shades including very pale nude/baby pink, a glittery mauve, a shimmery mauve as well as a shimmery dark brown, and they have just the right amount of shimmer and glitter without being over the top. These eye shadows have a nice buttery soft formula, and considering their drugstore-low price, they are surprisingly pigmented, and you can easily build up the intensity. With a bit of primer first, do stay put all day. The Nude palette is perfect for everyday use, and the shades are perfect together, and can be used both individually or in any combination. Personally I particularly love the two lightest shades for a simple and natural 'barely there' everyday look, and I also like that the lightest shade also works perfectly as a highlighter just under the brow. The quad is available in five different colour combinations, which would definitely be worth checking out.




The TruNaked Eyeliner Duo is a dual-ended eyeliner that is super versatile. The eyeliner has two complementary colours that allows you to create various looks very easily, from a naked barely there look to an intense smoky eye. The eyeliner has a super soft and creamy formula that is easy to apply without dragging at the sensitive eye area, and it is equally easy to blend with your finger so you can create a smoked line along the lash line. The eyeliner is also very pigmented, so one swipe gives your line full colour payoff, and as it is a waterproof formula, it stays put all day. It comes in two colour combinations, Cashmere/Espresso which contains a shimmery nude as well as a very dark brown, and Mocha/Ebony, which is a dark chocolate shade and a black. I particularly love the Cashmere/Espresso combination as I don't find the dark brown shade quite as harsh as a black one, plus the Cashmere shade is like nothing else I have in my collection, so I've really been enjoying using that one, in particularly at the inner corners of my eyes to brighten them up a little.

 



Finally, the Covergirl Colourlicious Jumbo Gloss Balm is a lip stick that comes packaged in a jumbo twist up pen, which makes it super easy to apply to the lips. The lipstick has been formulated with shea and mango butter to hydrate the lips, and it has a lovely soft creamy formula. And although it claims to give a sheer colour payoff, I actually find that a how much colour it gives, and it can easily be built up too to a medium coverage, which in spite of the 'gloss balm' claim, I find actually have more of a satin finish. The Gloss Balm lasts about 4 or so hours on the lips, less if you eat or drink, but I find that quite reasonable. Overall I find that it feels very lovely on the lips, and as I generally am hooked on crayon style lipsticks, I can definitely see myself getting a few more shades from the range. 


Covergirl Plumpify blastPRO Mascara - RRP: $21.95 / 13.1ml
Covergirl Eye Shadow Quad - RRP: $14.95
Covergirl TruNaked Eyeliner Duo - RRP: $13.95
Covergirl Colourlicious Jumbo Gloss Balm - RRP: $12.95

Available from Target, Kmart, Big W, Priceline, Woolworths, Coles and selected pharmacies

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

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29 October 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: NATIO SUNLIT MINERAL BRONZER AND RADIANT MINERAL BLUSH

Today I'd like to share with you two limited edition products from Natio, which have been brought back due to popular consumer demand, the Sunlit Mineral Bronzer and the Radiant Mineral Blush.




These palettes have the most stunning mosaic patterns of matching shades, and are both enriched with vitamin E and rosehip oil to care for the skin along with absorbent kaolin and light reflecting mica to help blur imperfections and give a bronzed look w and rosy cheeks.

The Natio Sunlit Mineral Bronzer is a palette contains five complementary shades including light mocha, apricot, golden tan and cocoa brown hues, and give the skin a gorgeous healthy glow, without making it look orange, or unnatural. I generally prefer matte bronzers, as often I find that bronzers have way too much shimmer and sheen (which often makes my combination skin look oily and greasy on warm days!), but this bronzer actually has just the right amount of sheen, and consequently gives the skin a radiant glow at the same. The shades are obviously intended to be use in combination by swirling around a large brush, but if using a smaller brush, individual shades can also be used for contouring.

The Natio Radiant Mineral Blush, is also a mosaic palette, containing five different shades, including light peach, dusty rose, a warmer rose and a slightly bright rose, and again and combined, these shades applied to the apples of your cheeks, or applied on along the cheekbones, gives your skin a beautiful and natural flushed look. Again, shades can of course be used individually if desired.

Both palettes are made from finely milled powders that are easy to apply and blend, and they are both quite pigmented too, so you can apply just a little, or easily build up the intensity.

The round palettes have a clear lid so you can easily distiquish the two, and while the bronzer has standard size for a bronzer, the same sized blush, is consequently larger than most blushes, which makes it good value too.

What I also like is that they are made free from sulphates and parabens, and also that they are free from fragrances, - yet still smell lovely, no doubt from the added rosehip oil.

Overall I am really enjoying using these palettes, and thanks to the combination of shades in each of the palettes, they are perfect for a range of skin colours, and if you do have a lighter or darker skin tone, or simply prefer a darker shaded blush, you can simply apply more of the darker shades of the palettes to tailor your needs. 


Natio Sunlit Mineral Bronzer - RRP: $19.95
Natio Radiant Mineral Blush - RRP: $19.95

Available from Myer, David Jones and Select Pharmacies from 7th November 2016

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

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28 October 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: FLIPAZOO ANIMAL PILLOW

Today I get the help of our 17 month boy to put the adorable animal pillow from FlipaZoo to the test. FlipaZoo is not just an animal pillow, it is actually two, as you can flip the cover on the back of the animal back and forth so you get two different characters.




Essentially the FlipaZoo has a head in each end, and as you flip the cover it turns into one animal covering the head in the other end and so forth. It is so cute and adorable, and as there six different versions available (which really makes it 12 different animals, it will be hard to pick between;

  • Unicorn to Dragon
  • Giraffe to Hippo
  • Tiger to Elephant
  • Hedgehog to Turtle
  • Bee to Ladybug
  • Husky to Polar Bear

Our little boy has been loving snuggling up to the Husky to Polar Bear it is so adorable, soft and huggable. Personally I prefer the all white polar bear, which is also named Poppi, while it is very clear that our little boy prefers the slighly softer and shaggier Husky, named Asher.




The FlipaZoo is supposed to be for all ages, and I do like that flipping the characters over is so quick and easy, our little boy can even do it himself!! If I have to be negative, I would have preferred if it had stitched eyes, as opposed to the glued on ones, which can pose a choking hazard for the very little ones if they should manage to pull them off.




That said, while our little boy again loves cuddling and snuggling the animals, personally I wouldn't let him play with it unsupervised, or let him sleep with it, that would be better for older kids who are not prone to putting things in their mouths.

The 'teddy' is rather large, measuring 40cm in length, and it is made from soft high quality plush. I also love that it can be easily washed if needed.




Only problem is that all the characters are so adorable, that picking one is the had task - and going by how much our little boy loves the polar bear and the husky, we might just have to give him an additional friend or two (or should I say four!!)


FlipaZoo Animals - RRP: $29.95
Available from Big W
Or vising FlipaZoo for more information

* Products have been kindly provided for consideration, and have reviewed in accordance with my Disclosure Policy.
 
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PRODUCT REVIEW: AUSTRALIS COSMETICS AC ON TOUR CONTOURING AND HIGHLIGHTING CREAM KIT

Contouring is still gets all the hype, and one of those products that's had a lot of talk is the Australis Cosmetics AC on Tour Contouring & Highlighting Cream Kit.





The kit comes in a large black flat palette, with a large mirror, and it contains three highlighting shades and three contouring shades. It is also available in 4 different shades (Lighter than Light, Light, Medium and Dark), and I've put the Light shade to the test.

I am not very good at the whole contouring thing, but one of the things I noticed first and really liked about this palette is that it has a step-by-step guide on the back, on how to both contour and highlight, making it a tad easier for people like me.

The shades are all very pigmented and can easily be built up, although being a little cautious as applying too much, does make it look a little cakey. I find that I get the best and most natural result when I blend it with a damp beauty blender.

As always with palettes, there are shades that you like and that suit you, and others that don’t, and so, from the six shades in the palette, I've probably been using four of them, and in particularly the darkest shade, I find too dark - but then it may mean that I should have gone for the Lighter than Light palette shade in stead. But that said, I have been particularly enjoying the lightest shade as a concealer under my eyes, for which it is the perfect shade.

The creams last until about mid-day on my combination skin, and then starts to fade, but with the use of a primer first, and set with a translucent powder and followed by a setting spray, I can make these last most of the day.

At just $16.95 this palette is great drug store option, and great quality for the low prince. You can naturally get better quality products, but then you also generally have to pay 4-5 times the price. So this is also a great option if you (like me!), are wanting to experiment and learn how to highlight and contour. 


Australia AC On Tour Contouring & Highlighting Cream Kit - RRP: $16.95
Available from Priceline, Big W, Kmart and selected pharmacies

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

 
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27 October 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: NATURAL INSTINCT SHAMPOO, CONDITIONER, BODY WASH, BODY LOTION AND HAND AND NAIL CREAM

Today I'm going to talk about a whole heap of products from the brand Natural Instinct. I have seen the brand around heaps of times, but never actually tried, so naturally excited when these newly launched products landed on my desk..

 



These products from Natural Instinct are not only made in Australia, but they are also made from natural plant ingredients and free from all the chemical nasties including petrochemicals, PEGs, mineral oils, sulphates, silicones, parabens, PABA, and artificial fragrances and colours, as well as they of course have not been tested on animals.

But lets start with the Natural Instinct Protect and Revive Shampoo and Conditioner for Colour Treated Hair. Common for both is that they've been made with among others jewelweed extract to help protect the hair from harmful UVA and UVB rays to help preserve the colour of your hair, as well as organic coconut oil to help add shine, volume and a healthy hair growth.

Because the shampoo is sulphate free it doesn't foam up as easily and as much as many other shampoos, which does take a little getting used to, but don't be fooled and be tempted to use too much shampoo, because it still cleans your hair, leaving it soft and looking healthy. And following with the thick and creamy conditioner, which also has been formulated with soybean biolipid complex due to its super conditioning formula that also adds a film on the hair cuticle to help smooth cuticle scales, seal split ends and reduce fly away hairs. And you can immediately feel how nourishing this conditioner is, and my hair drinks it up immediately, and is left easy to comb after wards. Once dry, my hair is left looking soft, shiny and healthy, and it has a gorgeous natural scent lingering behind no doubt thanks to the natural ingredients including lemon myrtle leaf oil, jojoba seed oil, sweet almond oil, rosemary leaf oil, tangerine peel oil, which have also been used in the products. I also love that the conditioner can either be used as a standard conditioner left in the hair for a few minutes, or that it also doubles as a more intense treatment left in for about 5 minutes before rinsed out.

It has been a while since I've had my hair coloured so its difficult to say how the products perform in maintaining and preserving hair colour, but regardless I do like how healthy these products make my hair look.

Next there's the Natural Instinct Uplifting Body Wash with Lemongrass and Ginseng, which is an invigorating shower gel. The added ginko is chock full of antioxidants which help regenerate the skin and stimulate circulation breaking down lipids commonly associated with cellulite, while the Vitamin C helps smooth and even the skin tone with antioxidant properties leaving skin feeling soft, supple & youthful, and finally energising lemon grass which stimulates and helps tone the skin leaving it feeling smooth & revitalised.

This body wash is so gentle on the skin, leaving it clean without drying out the skin or making it itchy, and it has the most beautiful fresh and zesty scent thanks to the ginseng and the lemon grass, and it is hence the perfect soap to use in the morning when you need a bit of a kick start, and I love that this scent lingers in my bathroom after use, making it smell like a spa!

I follow with the Natural Instinct Silky Hydrating Body Lotion which contains a triple nourishing complex boosted by among others sweet almond, rosehip and jojoba oils to add intense moisture and nourishment to the skin, leaving it so silky soft and supple. But the ingredients natural also have other purposes, and so the sweet almond oil also helps improve the skin's barrier function, the rosehip oil rich in fatty acids and vitamin c helps heal and has anti-ageing properties, while the jojoba oil has moisturising and protecting properties. In addition it also contains other nourishing ingredients including avocado oil and mango seed butter, as well as lavender oil and chamomile flower extract, which is likely contributing to its slightly floral scent.

The body lotion has a thick consistency and does take a moment or two to absorb into the skin, but you can feel its intense moisturising properties, and once it has, the skin is left truly silky soft and so smooth. Because the body wash is so gentle, and the body lotion so intensely moisturising this combo would also be the perfect pair for sensitive dry skin types!

Finally, there's the Natural Instinct Softening Hand & Nail Cream, which is a nourishing treatment to help store skin smoothness while strengthening and repairing cuticles and fingernails. This rich hand cream is loaded with among others shea butter to restore dry skin and sweet almond oil to deeply moisture and improve the skin's barrier function. Again, this rich hand cream does take a few moments to absorb, but once it has, your hands feels incredibly soft and smooth. Even super dry and cracked hands are quickly restored, and my winter-dry nails and cuticles are clearly thriving with this intense treatment too.


Overall these are fantastic products from Natural Instinct, and I love that they are free from all the chemical nasties, and that they also do not contain artificial fragrances but are scented with the natural ingredients.

The products come in huge bottles, and are also exceptional good value. I would not hesitate purchasing either of them again, although particularly love the body wash and body lotion and the hand cream. 


Natural Instinct Protect and Revive Shampoo - RRP: $9.95 / 250ml
Natural Instinct Protect and Revive Conditioner - RRP: 9.95 / 250ml
Natural Instinct Uplifting Body Wash - RRP: $11.95 / 500ml
Natural Instinct Silky Hydrating Body Lotion - RRP: $15.95 / 500ml
Natural Instinct Softening Hand & Nail Cream - RRP: $9.95 / 125ml

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

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26 October 2016

XMAS GIFT IDEA: DESIGNER BRANDS COLOUR KISSES LIPSTICK GIFT SET

Do you know that there's now less than two months until Xmas… Yikes! Last year I did not have time or energy to do anything special for Xmas at all - we had almost just come home from hospital after spending over 4.5 months there with our baby boy, and still had to go in for checkups every second day, and between caring for him, and giving him countless of medicine 6 times throughout the day, and spending some much needed time with our then 2.5 year old, I simply didn't have energy for anything else. Even cancelled giving presents to my family, even my husband lost out, and the only ones who got something were our two little boys. This year is going to be different, and we're determined to give our boys the best Xmas ever. So planning needs to start soon…

 



And if you're one of those who like to get a head start, the I will from now on, start posing about great gift ideas of all different types and in all price groups.. And even if you're not quite ready to start buying pressies - then maybe you're like me who always gets sooooo tempted by all the great beauty gift sets that are always on the shelves this time of year..

So let's get the ball rolling and start talking about the Designer Brands Colour Kisses Book

This cute little gift set comes shaped like a little book, and inside you'll find five small lipsticks in a gorgeous golden design. The lipsticks are surprisingly super pigmented, and it takes just one swipe for a full colour pay off. And at the same time, they are soft and creamy and feels very lovely on the lips. The lipsticks leaves slight sheen on the lips, and because they are so pigmented, they are also fairly long-wearing and you'll get about 4 hours wear from the darker (and more pigmented shades), while the two lighter shades wear off a little quicker.

The five shades includes; 
 
  • Nude - a brownish nude 
  • Blush - a medium pale pink 
  • Hibiscus- a coral pink
  • Hot Pink - a fuchsia pink
  • Deep Red - a warm dark red 
  
L-R: Nude, Blush, Hibiscus, Hot Pink and Deep Red
 
 
Personally I am not so fond of very pale lip shades, but I love the three darker shades, Hibiscus, Hot Pink and Deep Red which are all gorgeous shades. Also worth mentioning is that these lipsticks have a great size to pop into the clutch for a night out, and they smell beautiful too. This is a great gift set with a lipstick shade for every occasion and preference, and at just $19.99 it is great value too!
 
  
Designer Brands Colour Kisses - RRP: $19.99
 
Available from Select Pharmacies, Price Attack and Designer Brands Online
 
* Products have been kindly provided for consideration, and have reviewed in accordance with my Disclosure Policy. 


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25 October 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: MAYBELLINE NEW YORK EXPRESS REMOVER AND COLOR SHOW NAIL POLISH

A few week ago I received a beautiful delivery from Maybelline New York containing among others Vivid Matte Liquid Lipsticks, but also some Color Show Nail Polishes and an Express Remover, - all to celebrate Maybelline's partnership with this season of the Bachelorette.




I am already a fan of the Maybelline Color Show Nail Polishes (which you can read more about here). But in short, these polishes are exceptionally good value at just $5.95 each (and very often on special on top of that), and the colour range huge, so at the low price you can afford to build up a colour collection. I like the short wide brush that helps give an even look, and two coats give a nice solid look, and they dry super fast too. Wear is a couple of days, but can naturally be extended with a base and top coat.
 
 
The shades I put to the test this time was: 
  • Sugar Crystals - a peach shade with micro glitters. Goes on clear-ish, so it can also be used to add a bit of sparkle to any other shade
  • Coral Craze - a dark coral shade
  • Power Red - a bright red shade
  • Candy Apple - a rich dark red shade
 
These shade are all gorgeous, in particular the 'solid' shades - the red are such classics and should be in all nail polish collections, and the coral shade, I know I'll be reaching for come the warmer sunnier days.
 
 
Now, let's get on to the Maybelline Express Remover. This is a pot that contains a fitted foam insert that is soaked with an acetone-free formula to instantly lift and remove nail polish, all while also caring for the skin and nails.
 
This pot is claimed to be an instant dip-in nail polish remover and it really works! It has a whole in the top of the foam where you insert your finger, then twist a couple of times, before pulling your finger out. And in most cases, the nail is now completely free from nail polish. It does struggle with glitter polishes, but then again, I think all nail polishes do!
  
The pot contains a foam sponge soaking in nail polish remover. The sponge is cut into two and in the middle, there’s an opening for you to dip your finger into the sponge. It’s at this stage that your turn/twist your finger or the bottle around, with the nail making contact with the sponge and therefore, effectively removing the nail polish.
  
This is actually so much quicker and easier than the 'old fashioned' method of a cotton pad soaked in nail polish remover, and it is certainly less messy too. And it is also perfect for those situation where you completely stuff it up when applying nail polish - where removing nail polish from one finger (leaving all the others intact) is near impossible, but with this jar it can now be done.
 
I do feel that I have to wash my hands afterwards, but then again, I always do anyway regardless of how I remove my nail polish.
 
I was surprised to learn that this is actually not a new product launch, but that it has been available for years - how on earth have I missed this. I love it and will without a doubt repurchase again and again.
 
 
Maybelline New York Color Show Nail Polish - RRP: $5.95 / 7ml each
Maybelline New York Express Remover - RRP: $9.95 / 75ml
  
Maybelline New York is available from Priceline, Variety Stores and select supermarkets and pharmacies
  
* Products have been kindly provided for consideration, and have reviewed in accordance with my Disclosure Policy.
 
  
 
 
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24 October 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: ARBONNE SMOOTHED OVER LIPSTICKS IN LOTUS, FLORA, ASTER AND CURRANT

As you probably know by now, I've developed quite the love affair with Arbonne, simply because every single product that I've put to the test has been amazing. So today I'm going to talk a little more about the Arbonne Smoothed Over Lipsticks… 



The Arbonne Smoothed Over Lipstick is a moisturising long-wearing lipstick that contains among others botanicals such as edelweiss plant to soothe and moisturise dehydrated lips, and mix of watermelon fruit, lentil and apple extracts to give the lips a volumising effect.

I've put four different shades of red to the test; 

  • Lotus
  • Flora
  • Aster
  • Currant

It is a little difficult to describe these shades, because a few of them are somewhat similar, only slightly darker/lighter, but I’ll give it a shot…

The shade Lotus is the lightest shade in the lineup, and it is a slightly pinkish shaded mauve, while the shade Flora is also a mauve shade, only it is slightly darker and has a slightly berry tone. Then there's the Aster, which is in the same kind of shade, but is slightly darker again a slightly purple-ish berry tone. Finally, the Currant shade stands out a little is this line up, as it is a brighter red shade. 


L-R: Lotus, Flora, Aster, Currant

Common for all shades is that they are extremely pigmented, and just one swipe gives you full colour payoff, with a nice satin-glossy finish and they really does feel lovely and soft on the lips.

Because they are so pigmented, it also means that wear is slightly longer than most other moisturising formulas, and I manage to get about 4-5 hours wear, without eating or drinking - as the lipsticks do transfer onto glasses and mugs and hence when you drink.

The shades do fade nice and evenly, and even when they are just about gone, they still leave behind a touch of stain on the lips, and all along leaves the lips feeling soft and nourished.

I can be a little picky with the lipstick shades I like to wear, but I am absolutely loving all of these shades, and finding it hard to pick a favourite. And there are a massive 16 shades in the range, so there is a shade for every taste and occasion too.

My only negative is that these lipsticks are only available online, so you cannot just go to a shop and swatch them on your hand before buying, which I can imagine might be a deterrent for many - but trust me, these lipsticks are so beautiful to wear that you just won't be disappointed!


Arbonne Smoothed Over Lipstick (available in 16 shades) - RRP $41
Available from Arbonne

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


 
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23 October 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: BURT'S BEES CLEANSING OIL

I am always looking for an efficient cleanser to remove my makeup, so today I'm going to put the Burt's Bees Cleansing Oil to the test..
 



The Cleansing oil is enriched with coconut that acts as a natural moisturiser to help keep the skin soft and smooth, as well as argan oil which is rich in antioxidants to nourish the skin.

The cleanser is used on dry ands and massaged into the dry face, and once you've massaged it in to dissolve the makeup, you can add a little water to emulsify before rinsing off. As promised it quickly and easily a 'normal' eye makeup remover, but gently removes my long-wearing makeup, and without irritating my skin. I admit to not using it on my eyes, where I prefer to use a specific eye makeup remover, but I do like that it can be used on the eyes too. And as for the rest of the makeup on my face, it gently removes absolutely everything - and without leaving my skin feeling sticky or tacky, something that I with my combination skin prone to breakouts always worry about when using cleansing oils.

But the cleansing oil leaves my skin feeling very clean, soft and smooth, and in fact so hydrated that you could be tempted to skip applying moisturiser afterwards.

As it is so gentle and moisturising on the skin, it is obviously perfect for those with normal to dry skin types, although I still feel that it is great for my combination skin, although, I also admit that I prefer to double cleanse as I feel that doing so helps keep my breakout prone skin, more blemish free - and experience from other cleansing oils when I've used those on their own, and not double cleansed, my skin has very quickly become congested - however, this Burt's Bees Cleansing Oil definitely serves as a great first cleanse.

It is very concentrated and its thin formula means it spreads easily over the face, so you only need one small pump to cleanse your face, and when doing a tissue test afterwards I can see how efficient it is, as there is no makeup left behind on the skin at all.

I also love that it is made from 100% natural ingredients, which means it also doesn't contain any chemical nasties including parabens, phthalates, petrolatum or SLS, and the only the only fragrance comes from the natural ingredients. So all in all a great cleanser that does what it says.


Burt's Bees Cleansing Oil - RRP: $34.95 / 177ml

Available from Priceline, David Jones, RY, select pharmacies and Burt's Bees Online

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

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22 October 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: NYX LIPS

Today I'd like to feature a selection of NYX lipsticks and glosses. Not long ago, NYX was only available here in Australia, on poorly stocked stands, so everyone was excited when the brand was also made available in Priceline. And as a matter of fact, Priceline now stocks some products exclusively!




Now onto the lipsticks…

Everyone has been raving about the NYX Butter Lipsticks, which feel so (buttery!) soft and light on the lips and have a good colour payoff and leaves a nice sheen on the lips too. They are easy to apply,and just one swipe gives a decent colour, while another layer or two, gives even more colour. They last about 4 or so hours on the lips, all while they feel very comfortable to wear, almost like a lip balm.

I tried the shades Snow Cap, which is a nude shade and Lollies, a pale peachy-apricot shade, I am not personally that fond of nude or pale lips, so these shades are ideal for me, but as I really like the formula, and there are a massive 22 colours in the range, I'm definitely going to get my hands on a few of the darker shades.

Then there's the NYX Butter Gloss, which has a lovely soft and lightweight formula, that also feels so lovely on the lips, and unlike many other lipglosses, this one isn't sticky! And for a lipgloss, it has a surprisingly good pigmentation and colour payoff with a nice glossy sheen too. I tried the shade Strawberry Parfait which is a lovely fuchsia pink shade.




The next in line is the NYX Lip Cream in Simply Pink, which is a chubby style over sized lip crayon - and always loving lip crayons, I immediately fell in love with this one too. The pointed tip makes it easy to apply on the go, and it has a very pigmented look with just one swipe. It is soft and creamy (as the name suggests!), but the wear could be a little better, although I suspect that darker shades might be. The shade Simply Pink is a medium cool pink shade.

Then there's the NYX Lip Smacking Fun Colours, which is gives light to medium coverage with a frosty sheen. It is very soft and goes on smoothly on the lips, but sadly doesn't stay put for long. The shade Castle is a pale purple, which is not really a shade that I'd pick myself, but it is surprisingly wearable. It is a lovely lipstick, also considering the low price point, but personally I prefer the look, feel and wear of the Lip Butter.

Finally, there's the NYX High Voltage Lipstick, which comes in a skinny twist up tube. Another soft and smooth, and also with a full pigmentation in a single swipe. It leaves the lips feeling soft and moisturised, and with a nice sheen, and if you leave it for a few moments to dry, it lasts on the lips for a few hours, while still leaving the lips feeling comfortable. The shade 'Sweet' is a slightly dusty pink colour, that's very wearable.



Butter Lipstick in Snowcap, Butter Lipstick in Lollies,
Lip Smacking Fun Colour in Castle,
Lip Cream in Simply Pink, High Voltage Lipstick in Sweet, 
and Butter Gloss in Strawberry Parfait

So there you go, a selection of lipsticks and glosses from NYX, and I dare say something for every taste. Apart from the purple Lip Smacking Fun Colours (which may just be the due to the shade), I really find it difficult to pick favourites amongst these, as seriously, they are all lovely in their own right, and especially considering they are so budget friendly too - so I will certainly be checking out the ranges and look to add a few darker shades to my collection.

NYX Butter Lipstick - RRP: $11.95
NYX Butter Gloss - RRP: $11.95
NYX Lip Cream - RRP: $11.95
NYX Lip Smacking Fun Colours - RRP: $12.95
NYX High Voltage Lipstick - RRP: $12.95

Available from Priceline and Target

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

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21 October 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: VASELINE BODY CARE

It doesn’t matter how much in a hurry I am after my morning shower, I always coat my skin in moisturiser afterwards. I don't really suffer with dry skin, but I know that if I don't take a few minutes to do this, my skin does become itchy, and eventually dry, so well worth the time. One of those brands I've always reached for is Vaseline, as the products are not only super efficient but also super affordable. Today I'd like to share with you three different favourites..




Let's start with one of the newest launches, the Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Soother. This moisturser contains a unique wonder jelly with micro droplets in an aloe vera soothing lotion designed to moisturise and restore the appearance of dry, irritated skin, all while calming the skin at the same time. The moisturiser does take a moment or two to absorb into the skin, but when it has, it leaves the skin soft and supple, and without any greasiness. And what I really like is that it has the most gorgeous fresh green scent lingering on the skin for a while. Because of the aloe contents in this moisturiser , it is also to be perfect for soothing skin that has been burnt in the sun (not that I'm planning on that to happen this summer!)

Then there's the Vaseline Healthy Radiance Ultimate 10 Anti-Ageing Lotion. With my ageing skin, in terms of skin benefits, I have to admit that this body moisturiser is my favourite. It boasts a massive 10 anti-ageing benefits including reduced wrinkles, firmer feeling skin, even skin tone, hydration, reduction of dark marks, refining skin texture, and simply a more radiant, soft and younger looking skin. It contains among others vitamins B3, AHA and Pro-Retinol and, and it really leaves my skin soft, and I feel that continued use does make it look softer and more even - dry knees and elbows are gone, and the skin on my chest seems to be healthier - but as an added benefit, I actually also feel that I seem to be getting less small pimples on my shoulders, no doubt thanks to the added AHA which would give my skin gently exfoliation to keep my pores open and clear. It also has a gorgeous scent, though this one a more gentle floral scent.

Finally, there's the fragrance free Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Strength Lotion body moisturiser, which is slightly different in that it comes in a spray can. This formula is specifically designed for very dry and sensitive skin types, and it is very moisturising, containing 2x more moisturisers than other Vaseline body moisturisers.

In spite of being so moisturising, it is surprisingly light, and is sprayed onto the skin, almost like a foam, which is easy to spread and absorbs very quickly and without any greasy residue. The spray obviously does make it easy to reach hard to reach areas on the body, although you still have to massage the cream into the skin!

Personally I do prefer the standard bottles of body moisturisers, but do have to say that I like this super moisturising formula, which has done wonders on especially my dry shins. And while I do love a nice smelling cream, I also enjoy a fragrance free version that doesn't clash with my perfumes.

So there you go, three different body moisturisers from Vaseline. As I started out saying, these are all favourites, simply because I find it to difficult to pick a favourite as individually they all have merits… I love the fresh green scent of the Aloe Soothe, the Advanced Strength Spray moisturiser is perfect if you feel your skin is getting a little dry or you want to go fragrance free, and finally, the Ultimate 10, has some great anti-ageing benefits and does make my skin super smooth thanks to the added AHA.


Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Soother - RRP: $7.99 / 225ml
Vaseline Healthy Radiance Ultimate 10 Anti-Ageing Lotion - RRP: $7.99 / 225ml
Vaseline Intensive Care Spray Moisturiser Advanced Strength - RRP: $9.99 / 190g

Available from Priceline, Variety Stores, and selected pharmacies and selected supermarkets

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


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20 October 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: BOON INC FROG POD BATH ORGANISER

With two little boys, who are luckily now so old they can share their bath in the evening, - and prefer doing so needless to say that the amount bath toys is increasing by the day. I don't really mind, they are having fun, but tidying up is another story! Enter the adorable Boon Frog Pod Bath Organiser...




This adorable frog has a wall-mountable base that attaches to the wall (or as we've done it, to the bath), and it can easily be removed again without damaging the wall or bath. And it has a large removable scoop which makes it super fast and easy to collect all the toy - my boys now loves to help tidy up after their bath. And because it is huge, it holds so many toys, so it stores everything.

And what is so unique about this frog, apart from it being so cute and looking cool in the kids bathroom too with its bright lime green shade, - is that it has holes in the scoop that allows water and bath bubbles to easily drain out, as well as it allows the toys to air dry naturally - which essentially helps reduce the chance of mold and mildew build-up in the bath toys. 





The frog is made from BPA and PVC and is phthalate free, and again is easy to remove to clean. It is rather large - 31cm wide x 44 cm high x 19cm deep, so it does take up some room - and if you attach it to the bath, like we have, it does require a larger bath, especially if you like us, have two kiddies in the bath. But it is all worth it, and it not only makes tidying up quick and easy, makes a place to store all the toys for a more clutter free bathroom, keep the toys clean and healthier for longer - it is also an additional toy in the bath that the kids have so much fun with. WIN-Win - or should I say 'ribbit'!!


Boon Inc Frog Pod Bath Organiser - RRP: $59.95
Available from Toys r Us, Baby Bunting and select other baby and toy stores

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


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PRODUCT REVIEW: ARBONNE PURE VIBRANCE COLORLAST SERUM AND HAIR SPRAY

You may know that I am quite the fan of Arbonne. Over the years I've had the pleasure of trying out quite an array of different products from their ranges (you can find links to all via my product directory), but today it is the first time I put some of their hair care products to the test. Here I've been trying the Arbonne Pure Vibrance ColorLast Hair Serum and Hair Spray. 



These products were sent to me by the lovely Natalie Xylas, an independent Arbonne Consultant (see below for her contact details) very long time ago - but then before I knew it, my little boy ended up in hospital for almost five months, - and the day he came home from we moved into our new house. Talk about chaos. And with me being at the hospital all the time with our little boy, also meant that my husband had been packing all the boxes, and I had no idea where to find anything. And for months after our little boy came home from hospital, life was still so hectic, getting settled into our new house, taking our boy to the hospital 3+ times a week for checkup, and spending some much needed time with our then 2.5 year old that I had spent way too little time with during the months in hospital. Needless to say that blogging was not priority, and it has taken me months to catch up.. But I'm now almost there!


Anyway, enough babbling, let's start talking about the Arbonne Pure Vibrance ColorLast Hair Serum. I have long thick hair which I was every few days, and I rely on hair serums to help keep my hair looking good. This serum has a built-in colour fade technology to protect your hair colour from fading, at the same time as it helps control frizz, protect from heat styling damage and adds shine to the hair.

The Hair Serum comes in a convenient pump bottle and just a few small pumps is sufficient for my long hair. The serum is very light for an oil, and it absorbs into the hair immediately, leaving it incredibly soft and shiny. It also makes my dry ends look healthier and controls frizz and those annoying flyaways too.

The serum contains among others argan oil, orange and mandarin peel oil and lavender oil to add extra moisture to the hair, abyssinian oil to condition, add shine and prevent hair breakage. It also contains rice extract to help protect and enhance hair colour 
while providing protection against hair breakage and add strength to hair, while Hawaiian white ginger root repairs and strengthens damaged hair and Horsetail extract helps fortify hair and prevents hair breakage.

This hair serum is so beautiful and I love how it makes my hair look and feel, and I love that it can be used in both wet and dry hair. And as an added bonus it also has the divine floral fragrance that luckily keeps lingering in my hair for long after I've applied it. 



Then there's the Arbonne Pure Vibrance ColorLast Hair Spray, which is a non-flaky, alcohol free hair spray that can create tousled, touchable soft hair, with a lasting flexible hold. It also contains the ColorLast technology to protect colour treated hair, keeping it looking vibrant.

The Hair Spray contains among others panthenol to add moisture to the hair and keep hair from breaking, linseed extract to preserve hair colour
and vicia faba seed extract to promote fuller looking hair. It also contains artichoke leaf extract to protect the integrity of the hair and promote shine, and like the serum, it also contains rice extract, orange and mandarin peel oil, Hawaiian white ginger and horsetail extract to protect hair colour and prevents hair breakage, repair, strengthen hair and fortify the hair.

I like that this hair spray, unlike most other hair sprays, come in an aerosol can. And as promised, it really does give my hair hold and keeps those flyaways controlled too, while not making my hair feel stiff - it is simply soft and flexible - and it still lasts all day. Like the serum, the hair spray, also smells amazing, although the fragrance unfortunately is not quite as strong as the serum.


Both products come in beautiful purple bottles, that are ever so girlie and look stunning in the bathroom too.

So there you go, - my first time trying Arbonne haircare products, and needless to say that I am not disappointed, Arbonne really doesn't fail to impress me - I love these products, and will be so sad the day I finish these products.


Arbonne Pure Vibrance ColorLast Hair Spray - RRP: $30 / 148ml

Arbonne Pure Vibrance Color Last Hair Serum - RRP: $30 / 50ml

Available from Natalie Xylas, Independent Arbonne Consultant
- Ph: 0414 465 944 / Email: nataliexylas@y7mail.com /
Facebook

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



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19 October 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: LIQUID EYELINERS FROM DESIGNER BRANDS, MAYBELLINE AND L'OREAL

I have been using liquid eyeliners for as long as I can remember, but finding the right one, can be a tricky task. Today I'm putting three different ones from different brands and at different price points to the test..




Let's start with the cheapest one in the line up, the Designer Brands Crème Gel Liner. This little beauty comes in a little jar, that has a built in brush applicator. I am not used to this type of eye liners, so I did struggle the first couple of times used it, I simply got a tad messy, simply as I had way too much product on the brush! The angled design of the brush does make it possible to draw both thin and bold lines, but again, I especially struggle with the thin ones. Apart from that, it is extremely pigmented! Just one swipe gives you a solid colour,- and in actual act, the most pigmented one of the three I'm talking about today. And if its for a few moments to dry, it is also smudge proof, lasting you all day.




Next in line (pun intended), is the medium priced Maybelline NY Master Precise Curvy Eyeliner, which from the outside looks a little bit like a 'sharpie pen' with its thick design. On the inside, the felt tip, has a unique hourglass design, that is to make it easier to draw a curved line along the lashes, from corner to corner, giving a bold look, while if its tipped up on its edge, the design also make it possible to draw finer lines. This liner is also very pigmented, but if drawing a thick line, I do find that you may need to go over the line again for an intense look, but other than that, it does last all day without budging.




Finally there's the L'Oreal Paris Superliner Superstar Eyeliner, which has a unique flexible, almost tear drop style tip, that allows the eyeliner to follow the shape of the eyes for a more natural look. The tip is also super fine, and while it can make a bolder line by adding an addition line, or two, it does draw super fine lines, which is essentially what I prefer. It is also very pigmented, and with just one stroke leaves a deep black impression with a nice shiny finish.




So there you go, three different liquid eyeliners. I admit to liking each and everyone of them, but it does take some getting used to the pot and separate brush, but once you do, I'm sure the result is fabulous. The Maybelline Curvy liner is fantastic especially for those occasions where you prefer a bolder look, while the L'Oreal Superliner Superstar Eyeliner, with its ability to draw superfine lines, perfect for an everyday casual look where a more minimalistic look is preferred.


Designer Brands Crème Gel Liner - RRP: $8.95
Maybelline New York Master Precise Curvy Eyeliner - RRP: $16.95
L'Oreal Paris Superliner Superstar Eyeliner - RRP: $24.95


Designer Brands is available from Designer Brands Online, Price Attack, and select pharmacies 
Maybelline and L'Oreal are available from Priceline, Variety Stores, Department Stores, and select supermarkets and pharmacies

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


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