29 January 2017

PRODUCT REVIEW: RACINNE LADY M AND ULTIMATE YOUTH POWER

Today I'm going to be talking about Racinne, a brand I've long been aware of, but not had a chance to try, not until now.. 



The item that got me the most excited was the Racinne Lady M Massaging Ion Applicator, which is a new beauty tool that uses massage and galvanic current to boost the absorption of serums and creams into the eye area. The positive and negative ions help the active ingredients in the skincare products absorb better, and thereby improving their functionality. The Lady M also has a micro-vibrating feature that helps promote a firmer skin that is more revitalised.
 
 
The Lady M is super easy to use, you simply turn it on, and start moving it across your eye area immediately after applying your eye care products, for just 5 minutes a day. It can be used in several different ways including;
Massaging around the eyes in outwards motions to help lift and smooth fine lines
Gently pressing on pressure points around the eyebrow and eye area to reduce anti-puffiness
Gently massaging the temples in circular motions for a relaxing sensation 
 
 
 
 
I used the Racinne Lady M in connection with a selection of Racinne skincare products including; 
 
  • Racinne Ultimate Youth Power Eye Serum
  • Racinne Ultimate Youth Power Cream
  • Racinne Ultimate Youth Power Neck Emulsion
  • Racinne Ultimate Youth Power Mask
 
Common for the products, are that they contain Korean Ginseng Callus Extract, "Advanced SH-DP-9 Synthesis, Adenosine and active anti-oxidants to help reduce the sings of ageing, while helping to activate collagen and elastin production to reduce the look of fine lines and large pores.
 
The Racinne Ultimate Youth Power Eye Serum is an eye serum that is targeting fine lines and appearance of dark spots around the eye area. It come a cute and stylish little golden pump bottle. The serum is super light and absorbs into the skin immediately, which is fantastic, although you have to be cautious not to use more than necessary. Once absorbed it leaves the skin feeling silky soft and smooth, and without any greasiness at all, which I really like, as eye creams can often be a tad greasy, and hence make my eye makeup slide off later in the day. For use during the day, I find that this is sufficient, but do like to use an eye cream on top for use during the night for extra care (Racinne also has an eye cream available from the same range). I also like the floral fragrance, which is still so subtle that I can still use it around my sensitive eyes without causing any irritation.
  
Then there's the Racinne Ultimate Youth Power Cream, which is a thicker cream that can be used both morning and evening on top of a serum (Racinne has one available from this range too!). It has a thick-ish consistency, and consequently does take a little bit to absorb, but once it has, it does leave the skin feeling velvety soft, and clearly very nourished. It doesn't contain any SPF, which is why you can also use it at night, but if used during the day, of course, make sure to add a SPF on top if outside in the sun. Some may find it a negative, but personally I don't mind the lack of the SPF, as I feel it often makes my skin break out, so I prefer to add a specific SPF on top on the days where I am outside. However, that said, unfortunately I find that this cream is a little too rich for my combination skin for use during the day, especially during the warmer months where my skin generally is even greasier, and for that reason I've been using it nightly, when I feel my skin can tolerate a richer cream. And I have to say that I do love how it makes my skin feel and look the next morning, intensely nourished with lines clearly minimised, and my skin in general soft and smooth, well-rested and looking bright and healthy.   
 
 
 
 
Next up is the Racinne Ultimate Youth Power Neck Emulsion, which is cream intended to use on the next and décolleté area. It has much the same consistency as the Youth Power Cream, and take a few moments to absorb, but unlike my face, I find that it is ok and actually like it is a bit richer as my skin in those areas can tolerate it without feeling congested, perhaps also because I don’t wear makeup on top there. I admit to having neglected these areas in the past, so I am so enjoying using a good cream especially on my décolleté, and it only took a few applications before I started to notice a significant improvement in both tone and texture but also the overall look and feel on my skin, making my skin look more plump, less lined, and generally just healthier and younger too, so I cannot wait to see what long-term use will do for my skin.
  
 
 
 
Finally, there's the Racinne Ultimate Youth Power Mask, is also called botox in a tube by Racinne and it contains among others Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, and hyaluronic acid to help improve the texture of the skin and to reduce the look of fine lines and dark spots, boost collagen, moisturise and revitalise the skin, while also refining its texture and minimising pores.
  
The mask is suitable for all skin types and is to be used on cleansed skin once or twice a week, leaving it on for 15 minutes to absorb into the skin, before rinsing it off. I am absolutely addicted to this mask, as immediately after the first use, my dull skin was glowing and radiant, and simply looked so much healthier too.
 
 
All in all I have to say that I am very impressed with these products from Racinne, the golden jar not only look luxurious, but the products are also beautiful to use. And I can clearly see and feel they benefit my skin, making it look overall brighter, more glowing and radiant, and hence younger too. Having used them in combination with the Racinne Lady M, I guess it is difficult to say exactly how much of an added benefit the Lady M has had, over using the products on their own applying them with their fingers.
 
It does take a little extra time in your beauty regimen to use it, time I have haven’t always got with two toddlers running around my legs - so I admit to some nights only using it for a few minutes before going to bed. But that said, I do enjoy the immediate relaxing effect using the Lady M has, when used on my temples, and the clearly reduced puffiness when used around my eye area, so for that that reason, do my very best to continue finding the time to use it at least once daily. And as for the skincare products, I really love the Mask as well as the Neck Cream and Eye Serum, and will be sad the day they come to an end.
  
 
Racinne Lady M - RRP: $59
Racinne Ultimate Youth Power Eye Serum - RRP: $41 / 10ml 
Racinne Ultimate Youth Power Cream - RRP: $79 / 50ml 
Racinne Ultimate Youth Power Neck Emulsion - RRP: $63 / 30g 
Racinne Ultimate Youth Power Mask - RRP: $59 / 75ml
  
Available from Racinne Online and select stockists
 
* Products have been kindly provided for consideration, and have reviewed in accordance with my Disclosure Policy.

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PRODUCT REVIEW: BOON INC CAST FISHING ROD

Out two little boys absolutely love their nightly bath - and all the toys that they bring in the bath. Sometimes so many that they've hardly got room to move in the bath. Luckily they are still loving their adorable Boon Frog Pod Bath Organiser, which also makes it super quick and easy to tidy up all the toys. (You can read more about it here). But lately, they have also been having so much fun with the Boon Inc Cast Fishing Rod..
 




The Boon Cast Fishing Rod has a functional reel that helps children develop their hand-eye coordination as well as fine motor skills as they use the weighted hook to catch the included sea creatures. The actual hook is weighted, and you can reel it in and out, as you try to catch the octopus, fish or crab. 
If I have to be negative, it is that water does go inside the actual fishing rod, so you have to make sure that you reel it out and leave it upside down to drain after each use, to make sure that it doesn't get mouldy on the inside.

 



The whole thing (apart from the strong) is made of bright and colourful high quality plastic, and my boys absolutely love it. It is making bath time so much fun, and challenging too as they develop their skills.
If you have a little ones who likes to have fun in the bath, this fishing rod is highly recommended.


Boon Inc Cast Fishing Rod - RRP: $14.95
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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28 January 2017

PRODUCT REVIEW: THE ORGANIC SKIN CO

Today I’d like to talk about The Organic Skin Co, which is a makeup line produced for World Organic, a family run company from New Zealand. And what I really love about this range, is that the products are made using natural ingredients where possible. Today I am putting a selection of products to the test… 



The Organic Skin Co Sun Kissed Bronzer is a BB Bronzing cream that gives the skin a light, natural suntanned look with a nice healthy glow. The actual cream is like a bronze glittery cream and it is full of light-reflecting mica and mineral pearls that give the skin the glowing radiance. On its own it doesn’t give the skin much coverage, so I find it is best used on top of your usual foundation on certain areas of the face and décolleté, as if used all over, I find that it can be a little too much. It is also very concentrated, so again, you only need to use the tiniest amount, but thanks to the nifty pump bottle, it is easy to dispense even a very small amount. It has a beautiful scent of orange. It is made from 71.43% organic ingredients.




Then there's The Organic Skin Co Botanical Loose Mineral Foundation, which is a loose mineral powder foundation has been infused with botanicals including calendula and pomegranate to help regenerate and nourish the skin, as well as it includes kaolin clay that helps draw out impurities and absorb surface oils. The foundation is best applied with a large brush such as a kabuki brush. It only gives the skin a very light coverage, although you can build it up slightly where needed, while still looking very natural and soft look, and far from cakey or powdery like many other powder foundations. And it really does stay put all day, without settling into my fine lines and without the dreaded mid-afternoon, so no doubt the added kaolin clay does prove beneficial. In saying that, I would have loved it to have a slightly better coverage to cover my increasing pigmentation, and old acne scarring, so consequently I have instead been enjoying using it on top of the Luminous Foundation, which works wonders, and when applied first thing in the morning, it makes the foundation stay shine free all day too. Made from pure minerals and botanicals.
The Organic Skin Co Cream Blush, is a soft cream that is so quick and easy to use. You simply dab your finger tip into the jar and blend it into the apples of your cheeks for a natural flushed look, but while being cautious not to apply too much as it is quite pigmented. The cream blush help give your cheeks a natural radiant finish at the same time. I tried the shade Lotus, which is a rich berry shade, that in the pot looks quite large, but once blended onto the cheeks, it gives a natural pink look. The cream blush wears quite well during the day, without sliding or fading too much. I also found that the cream blush worked quite well as a lip stain, so you can simply wipe off any excess from your fingers onto your lips. And it feels quite comfortable to wear on the lips too, although the wear is naturally shorter. Made with 73% organic ingredients.



The Organic Skin Co Rose Gold Luminizer is a buildable organic luminizer and sheer highlighter with a translucent, satin-pearl finish of flattering rose-gold tones, that has just the right amount of sheen without being over the top or too glittery. The soft cream is easy to apply, and I find it easiest when using my fingers. It can be used on the top of your cheeks, under the eye brows or even top of the cupids bow to highlight and add sheen. Or you can even use it a an eye shadow, either as a base, or on its own. It has been made with 73.8% Organic Ingredients.



Next up is The Organic Skin Co Pressed Eye Shadow is a 100% natural eye shadow made from pure minerals and extracts. I tried the shade Sable, which is a matte chocolate brown shade, which is quite stunning, especially when paired with a lighter shade. The eye shadow has a soft and smooth consistency, and is easy to apply with an eyeshadow brush, with minimal fallout, and it is quite pigmented so that you can build up the colour to be quite intense, especially if you apply it with a slightly damp brush, and used with a primer first, it do have a good wear too, without fading or settling into fine lines. 





Finally, The Organic Skin Co Lipsticks are 100% natural lipsticks which have been made with 70% organic ingredients, including carnauba wax to help protect the lips. The lipsticks are soft and creamy, and feel very nourishing and moisturising on the lips. I've got the shades Summer Sands, soft pale pink, with a touch of shimmery sheen, that leaves a barely there nude shade, as well as the shade Sahara, a warm red shade, again with a touch of subtle shimmer. Of the two, I prefer Sahara, simply because I'm just more into slightly bolder lips, feeling a tad washed out when I wear very pale lipsticks. The Sahara has the longest wear of the two, thanks to being a little darker and hence more pigmented. 



All the Organic Skin Co makeup products come in stunning packaging featuring dark brown plastic bottles and jars that are so heavy duty that you could mistake them for being made of glass. But what’s even more unique is that they are all featuring bamboo lids, which make then look absolutely stunning – and very appropriate for the natural and organic products.

Overall, I am really enjoying using all the products that I’ve tried as they are all lovely, but if I had to select a few favourites, it would have to be the Botanical Loose Mineral Foundation, the Cream blush, the Eyeshadow Palette and the Lipstick. – But in saying that I wouldn’t hesitate purchasing either of the products again or try some of the other products from the range, which also includes a lip gloss, individual eye shadows, and a liquid eyeliner.


The Organic Skin Co Sun Kissed Bronzer - $56 / 30ml
The Organic Skin Co Botanical Loose Mineral Foundation - $46 / 6.5g
The Organic Skin Co Cream Blush - RRP: $35 / 3ml
The Organic Skin Co Rose Gold Luminizer - $28 / 5ml
The Organic Skin Co Pressed Eye Shadow - RRP: $34 / 4g
The Organic Skin Co Lipstick - RRP: $31 / 4.3g


Available from 
World Organic

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


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27 January 2017

PRODUCT REVIEW: WEIGHT WATCHERS BODY BALANCE BLUETOOTH DIAGNOSTIC SCALES WW910A

I never really make any new years resolutions, because frankly, I rarely keep them. But to be honest, after two kids, and spending months in a hospital with our little boy, and following being more or less under house arrest for another year, as he had no immune system, so too dangerous exposing him to the world - this year I do have a mission to be a little more active, and while I've been very fortunate and lost more or less all of my pregnancy weight, I still wouldn’t mind shifting the body balance a bit and toning up. And that's where the Weight Watchers Body Balance Bluetooth Diagnostic Scales comes in.



The Weight Watchers scales are so different from any other bathroom scales that you have ever come across, as it has so many incredible features. The scales are so easy to use and it can help you reach your health and fitness goals.

You see, you can hook your Weight Watchers Body Balance Bluetooth Diagnostic Scales up to the free Weight Watchers Scales by Conair app, and connect it via bluetooth, and is in that way able to keep track of your health and fitness goals and hence keep you on the right track.




The app gives you in-depth charts and graphs that are easy to understand, and includes all the information you want, including;

  • Body Fat - the percentage of body fat your body contains compares to your lean body mass - a too high fat percentage increases the risk of health related issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes
  • Body Water - the total amount of water in the body - a good hydration helps regulate body temperature, eliminate waste and improves overall health and feeling of well-being
  • Bone Mass - the amount of bone mineral in bone tissue - as you get older, a decrease in bone mass could result in weak bones more prone to braking, so monitoring is essential
  • Muscle Mass - total weight percentage of muscle in your body - healthy muscle mass is important for reducing body fat levels, increasing metabolic rate and accelerating the output of energy/calories
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) - provides general indication of one's health factoring in both the height and weight of an individual - being within a healthy BMI range reduces the risk of health-related problems such as high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes

And the app doesn't just show you everything at a glance, it also gives you small badges along the way as you reach your goals, as a way of encouragement, and you can also share the data to other apps including Apple Health, Google Fit and Weight Watchers app, and similar apps too, to make tracing even easier and more fun too.

I also love that the scales can be used by the family, as it has a 10 person memory, remembering the height and gender for each use with automatic use recognition how amazing is that. It also weights up to 182kgs, and in increments of 0.05kg, so it will automatically track even the tiniest of weight change. Below are some pics of my hubby's weigh-in stats;






And again, the scales are so easy to use. You simply give them a light tap to 'activate', and then jump on, while also opening up the app on your smart phone. And then you wait for a few moments as all the results are sent to the app, and immediately analysed for you.

What's more, the Weight Watchers Body Balance Bluetooth Diagnostic Scales are also so sleek and stylish that they'll look incredible in any bathroom. The top features a Premium Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) coated glass platform that has an elegant lit up blue shade when in use, and it has a large 4.8cm LCD digital backlit display that makes it easy to see the results. And it also comes with a 10 year warranty for peace of mind.




Again, I am, as such not out to lose masses of weight, but rather shift it around a little, get a little fitter and build a bit more muscle mass - but also attempt to drink more water to hydrate my body a little more, and these Weight Watchers Body Balance Bluetooth Diagnostic Scales will help me do that, while giving me a better perspective of what is happing with my body along the way, and not to mention will keep me motivated as I achieve my goals.

So all in all, I am really super impressed with these Weight Watchers Body Balance Bluetooth Diagnostic Scales, and I just love how I can now be better informed about what's happening within my body.

If you're on a mission to be a little healthier, lose a little weight, or simply want to get to know your body a little better, then I highly recommend that you check out these Weight Watchers Body Balance Bluetooth Diagnostic Scales.


Weight Watchers Body Balance Bluetooth Diagnostic Scales, model WW910A - RRP: $129.95

Available from Myer, Harvey Normal and Bing Lee
Or visit www.conairaustralia.com.au or www.btscalesbyconair.com.au for more information

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

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26 January 2017

AUSTRALIAN SKINCARE FAVOURITES




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PRODUCT REVIEW: DR. BRONNER'S PUMP SOAP, PURE-CASTILE SOAP AND SOAP BAR

Today I am going to introduce you to Dr. Bronner's. I have to be honest and admit that I'd never heard of the brand before, yet it has been around for over 150 years, since 1858 in Germany, although it didn't take it's current form and name, Dr. Bronner's until 1948 in America. Still, where have I been.



The brand is still family owned and run, by the old-world time-honored simplicity tradition dating back to the family’s German-Jewish soap-making tradition.

Dr. Bronner's, to this day helps promote and social change, and also pioneered USDA certified organic personal care products, to creating Fair Trade projects across the world that ensure fair and just treatment of farmers and workers, to creating a socially responsible workplace in the U.S., all while devoting profits to worthwhile causes and charities worldwide.

I have put a selection of products to the test, including the Dr. Bronner's 4-in-1 Sugar Lemongrass Lime Organic Pump Soap, which is suitable for anything from washing hands, face, body & hair. The soap is contains no synthetic detergents or preservatives, but is made with organic shikakai, which comes from the seed pods of the small South Asian tree Acadia Concinna, which is then extracted in organic sugar and organic grape juice and combined with pure-castile liquid soap base. The soap also contains lover oil, help oil jojoba oil along with lemon grass oil, lemon oil and lime oil, and it is smooth and soft, and while I've not tried it as a shampoo, I have used it as both hand wash and body lotion, and I love how gently it cleans my skin. I also love the scent from the lemon grass and lime, which is so refreshing and uplifting, as well as the gorgeous bright lime green pump bottle looks great by the sink or in the shower.

Then there's the Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Pure-Castile Soaps, which is nothing short of the ultimate multi-tasking product. This Pure-Castile Soap can be used for just about any cleaning task from face, body, hair, to dishes, laundry, mopping your floor, even washing your pet!! Yup, how incredible is that. You could literally just have this in the house, and it would do everything for you, well perhaps except for the actual mopping of the floors or doing the dishes. The soap doesn't contain a single drop of synthetic preservatives, detergents or foaming agents, and as it is extremely concentrated and in fact claims to be 2-3x more concentrated than other soaps, you simply have to dilute, with anything from a few drops, a teaspoon-full, half a cupful, all depending on what you use it for. All the details and suggestions or use, clearly on the bottle. Personally love using this to clean my house, my sinks, my floors, and the Citrus version makes my house smell so clean and fresh, especially in the bathrooms and floors, but the Peppermint is great in bathrooms too. However, there are a massive 11 different varieties, so there is something for every taste and occasion.

Finally, there's the Dr. Bronner’s Bar Soaps, which are made with certified fair trade ingredients and organic hemp oil for a soft, smooth lather that won’t dry your skin. 100% biodegradable in a 100% post-consumer recycled wrapper. I admit that I am not usually fond of bar soaps, for the one reason that I find that they very quickly become messy by the sink or in the shower, and hence preferring a liquid soap, but that said, these are divine. The soaps also go under the name All-One, as they are a true versatile multi-tasker too that can be used for anything from washing the body, face and hair. The soap bars contain no added organic oils and there are 11 varieties available so again, there's something for everyone. I've put the Cherry Blossom to the test, which has a gorgeous floral scent, but admit to only having used it on my hands and body, and not as a shampoo. We've also tested the Unscented Baby version, which suitable for sensitive skin as well as babies (although it doesn’t claim to be tear free, so be careful if using it your baby's hair), - and regardless of the type, the bar soap creates a lovely soft lather that leaves your skin clean without drying it out.

I love that the products come in a large variety of different scents, the product come in gorgeous brightly coloured bottles, which look beautiful out on display - although if I have to be negative, I do find that there is a tad too much writing on the bottles - yes, it is an interesting read, all about what the products can be used for, tips and tricks, what benefits the added ingredients have, company history, fair trade information etc etc etc, there is not a corner of the labels, wrapping around the whole bottle that is not covered with text, and it is all in such a very tiny writing, and to be honest, I struggle reading it all, and quickly give up. For me, while I love that the information is readily available, I % would have preferred if 75% of this writing had been omitted and instead to be found on the company website. But again, that's just my opinion.

And overall, I have really enjoyed putting these products from Dr. Bronner's to the test, with my favourites being the Pump Soap, but also loving the Pure-Castile soap for cleaning my house, without all the chemicals. But there are so many other products in the product range including lotions, hair care and lip and body balms, that I am also very keen on putting to the test.


Dr. Bronner's 4-in-1 Sugar Lemongrass Lime Organic Pump Soaps - RRP: $17.95 / 355ml
Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Pure-Castile Soaps - RRP: $5.95 / 59ml, $12.95 / 237ml
Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Bar Soaps - $7.95 / 140g

Available from Dr. Bronner's online, David Jones, select pharmacies and health food stores, as well as select online stores

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

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25 January 2017

WE ARE HANDSOME X VAALIA SUPPORTING LOOK GOOD FEEL BETTER

After my latest pregnancy, and not long after, spending almost 5 months at the Children's Hospital with our little sick boy, and then the following year being dominated by way too frequent full-day trips to the hospital for checkups and giving medicine to our little boy - this year I can hopefully relax a little more and start focusing a little on myself again - and with that, start to get fit again!

And what better encouragement than a new pair of active-wear leggings, and what better option than these limited edition pair of leggings designed by active-wear brand We are Handsome in collaboration with Vaalia. 





The leggings have been designed to help women of all types express their vitality, inspired by the fresh vibrancy of Vaalia. The leggings are inspired by the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, which were once the focal point of the largest and most vibrant city in the world. Fresh, floral, vibrant and dynamic were the key design themes captured with Babylon. And isn't the design just stunning.

But what's even better is that all proceeds from selling these leggings (excluding the postage & handling fee) will be donated to Look Good Feel Better, a free national community service program which supports women with cancer.

Look Good Feel Better - LGFB is dedicated to teaching cancer patients how to manage the appearance-related side-effects caused by cancer treatment. Women participate in a practical workshop leaving them more empowered and ready to face their cancer diagnosis with confidence.

We are Handsome and Vaalia have cooperated on these stunning leggings, supporting LGFB, as Vaalia is all about feeling good on the inside and the outside especially with their yoghurts, which contains a unique trio of probiotics that help maintain gut health - while Australian We are Handsome are known for their beautifully designed active wear and swim wear designs and synonymous with of vitality - together the two brands wanted to inspire woman to express their vitality. 

The leggings feature the bespoke We are Handsome FlexiCool performance fabric, with a construction that has been built for performance and designed to move with you, regardless if you use them for yoga, plates, running or simply lounging around at home. The full length leggings, also have a very comfortable and flattering fit that stay put, without falling down.

For Miss Universe Laura Dundovic, who has helped launch the leggings and campaign, it is not just about keeping fit and eating well, but also feeling strong physically and mentally, but when it does come to food, she says that 'it’s easy to forget that when you’re feeling not so good on the outside it comes down to what’s happening on the inside. She is thus a big believer of probiotics such as those in Vaalia to maintain a healthy gut.

To keep fit, Laura try to go to the gym at least 3 times a week and I train with Base Body

Babes, and during summer she likes to go soft sand running. Her fitness secrets are to "enjoy working out! I don’t make myself do it or feel bad if I’ve been too busy to go. I simply keep active, socially too, power walking or running with friends. I’m not too hard on myself, which helps me enjoy it!

When it comes to food, Laura likes to "eat as clean as I can, but with a varied diet making sure to include the different food groups and foods that are good for my gut too like probiotics". And while she treats herself, she likes to make homemade treats so she knows what's in her food, and her little trick is to "start every day with a glass of lemon water, apple cider vinegar, ginger and honey". 


We are Handsome x Vaalia Babylon Leggings - RRP: $129

Available from We are Handsome until the end of February 2017 or while stocks last. 

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


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24 January 2017

PRODUCT REVIEW: MARY KAY PATRICIA BONALDI INTO THE GARDEN COLOUR COMPACT

Today I'd like to share with you this gorgeous makeup palette from Mary Kay called Into the Garden Colour Compact.




The compact has been made in collaboration with Patricia Bonaldi, who is a Brazilian born fashion designer, who with the palette has tried to capture fashion's current fascination with florals.

Between its signature packaging and day-to-night colour palette, Into the Garden™ approaches beauty from a runway-ready point of view. And the limited-time availability only makes it more attractive. 

The all-in-one compact has the most gorgeous pink floral design on the outside, and inside it reveals absolutely everything you need for a fresh spring and summer makeup look. Including;

  • 4 eye shadows, in violet, taupe, pink and plum
  • Three lip glosses in nude, pink and coral
  • Double ended brush with sponge applicator in one end for the eye shadows, and brush applicator in the other end for the lipglosses



The eye shadows all apply with a subtle, but beautiful sheen, and the shades are all very pigmented so you can really build up the intensity, and even more so if you apply them with a damp applicator. I am personally probably a little to conservative for the violet shade, but that said, if applied very lightly, it is lovely and refreshing. The three remaining shades are all lovely, and shades I'd reach for on a daily basis, and the dark plum shade is also so dark that it borderlines a dark chocolate brown. They also have a good wear, and especially if you use a primer first, they will stay put all day without fading or settling into fine lines.

Then three's the lipglosses, and they are all very lovely, though I personally prefer the pink shade, which is also the brightest shade. The other two shades are very light, but do give a subtle tint on the lips with a lovely sheen, all while being non sticky. Personally I have also successful used the lipglosses as a blush, by dabbing a tiny amount onto the apples of my cheeks.


All in all this is a lovely compact, and the shades are a refreshing change from the nude and brownish shades that I usually select.


Mary Kay Into The Garden Colour Compact Palette - RRP: $60
Available from Mary Kay

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

 
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23 January 2017

PRODUCT REVIEW: CLICKnCURL BLOWOUT BRUSH SET

Today I'd like to share with you a new way of adding volume and giving your hair curls, thanks to the Click n Curl Blowout Brush Set.




The Click n Curl is a new way of getting the perfect blow dry of your hair at home. The system features detachable round brush styling tools that made from aluminium, with the barrel coated with ceramic, so they quickly heats up to help create lovely loose curls and lots of volume.

To use, you simply click the handle onto one of the barrels, and I your hair is wet, use the barrel to create volume, while drying the hair. Once dry (of if using in dry hair), wrap the hair around the barrel. Once you've rolled all your hair, I personally like to give my hair a blast of hot air with my hair dryer to give them a little more heat (my hair is long and heavy, so I find this helps create even more curls and volume). And when all the barrels have cooled down, you can carefully remove them to unveil the curls and volume. I then use my fingers to gently tousle my hair, and then give it a light spray of a flexible hairspray to set the style and make it last.

I do have to admit I struggled a little putting these into my hair, but the main reason is that my hair is very very long and thick, so I probably should have tried the larger barrels in stead, and secondly, I have a very sore shoulder following a shoulder surgery years ago, so having my arms over my head for prolonged periods of time, is simply very painful.




But that said, once I got the hang of it, it was surprisingly easy, and again, I think it would be a lot easier if you haven't got as long or as thick hair to work through. And I actually really like that I can leave the barrels in my hair (kind of like an old-fashioned curler!) to cool down while I do other things such as my makeup. And the results speak for themselves, as my otherwise flat and limp hair got a lot of bouncy volume and natural looking curls.

ClicknCurl have several different sets available to cater for different hair lengths, and you can also purchase expansion packs with additional barrels if the 5 barrels in the pack is not sufficient.


ClicknCurl Blowout Brush Set, Medium Full Set - RRP: $110
Available from Clickncurl Online

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

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22 January 2017

PRODUCT REVIEW: COOL CLUTCH PEARL CLUTCH

Today I've got something amazing to share with you… just look at this stunning pearl and diamante encrusted clutch. Isn't it just incredibly gorgeous? But it is more than just a stunning clutch that will be the talk of any party - you see, it is actually a cooler bag!! Yup, that's right, it’s a cool bag!!




All the clutches and handbags from Cool Clutch have the unique feature that they have a waterproof insulated lining that will help keep whatever you keep in your bag cool (or warm!). Some of the larger bags can hold a bottle of wine or even milk bottles for your baby - how brilliant is that! The Pearl Cool Clutch is a little too small for a bottle of wine or baby bottle, but probably could hold a hip flask if you should be so inclined… but personally I love that it simply helps prevent my makeup from melting when I'm out.

The clutch is hand stitched with hundreds of pearls and strips of diamantes’, and it is the perfect little clutch for a special event, such as the races, as it will simply complete any outfit. It would even be perfect for your wedding - I personally would have grabbed this up in an instant when I got married years ago, if I had come across it, as it is simply beautiful.

The box clutch comes with a gorgeous golden locking clasp and golden trim, and it also has a removable golden metal shoulder chain.

I am so in love with this clutch and cannot recommend it enough - so if you're looking for a special clutch for a special event, make sure to check it out - Personally I wouldn't mind a larger one for everyday use, so I can keep baby bottles and even my own water bottle cooler when I'm out and about.


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

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

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21 January 2017

PRODUCT REVIEW: NATURALIZER WEDGES

Once upon a time I was always wearing heels. I didn't bother me wearing them 10+ hours throughout a long working day, printing from my office up and down stairs and in and out of the warehouse all day long, even though many of my shoes were towering high. Then I stopped working and had kids - and now more or less live in flats. It is simply more practical when you constantly chase after two active toddlers. So now, whenever do wear heels, I am no longer able to wear them for long. It simply pains my feet, and my back gets sore. But then I tried the Naturalizer shoes…


Brealyn Wedges from Naturalizer
Nailsinc Victoria Beckham Nail Polish in Judo Red

Naturalizer has been around for a long time, a very long time actually, founded way back in 1927, and are now available in over 60 countries around the world. The brand had the philosophy that women should have stylish shoes that were still comfortable, and allow women to move 'as energetically through their day and live life to the fullest. Naturalizer remains committed to designing beautiful shoes that feel as good at the end of the day as they do at the beginning".

To make this happen, the Naturalizer shoes feature an exclusive N5 comfort system with is five essential features that all help provide all day comfort, including;

  • Extra cushioning
  • Breathable linings
  • Heel-to-toe balance
  • Flexible soles
  • Lightweight material

Lately I have literally been living in the Brealyn Wedges from Naturalizer. The wedge shoes have a stunning cut out design on the heel sling strap, and a gorgeous snake print detail on the front, while the heel is 'plain' leather. And they are just as perfect used with a casual outfit of jeans, as they are with a little black dress for a night out.

And as the shoes have a very comfortable heel height of 9cm (9cm (3 1/2'), and thanks to the extra cushioning and the flexible sole, these are so comfortable to wear all day long.

I am so impressed with these that I highly recommend that you check out the large Naturalizer range, which also includes among others flats, so there's something for every taste too. I've personally already got my eyes on several other pairs…


Naturalizer Brealyn Wedges - RRP: $159.95 - but currently on sale for $120
Available from Naturalizer Online or select stockists
 
* Products have been kindly provided for consideration, and have reviewed in accordance with my Disclosure Policy.
 
 
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20 January 2017

PRODUCT REVIEW: BRIO WORLD FAMILY HOUSE 33941 FROM CHILDSMART

It is once again time to call upon my two little boys assist with reviewing new toys, and today its all about the Brio World Family House.
 



My boys have already put a few other Brio toys to the test, including a Plane, Train Station and also Fire Station, and common for all the toys are that my boys love playing with these toys. So needless to say that they couldn't contain their excitement when they got the Brio World Family House..

The Brio World Family House differs a little from the Fire Station and the Train Station in that you can actually design the layout of the house yourself. You can make the house a single story throughout, or maybe just have the balcony on top, or perhaps two rooms downstairs, and two on top - as the not only the rooms, but even the walls are removable, you can build the house just like you want it. 




The play set comes with a massive 46 pieces, including two males and two female characters, but also lots of house accessories such as table, chairs, couch, bed, kitchen, book case, even a toilet!! And in addition there are walls, pillars, doors and windows, as well a ladder, made in a combination of timber, and white, green and red plastic which can be snapped together to design just the style of house you've always dreamt off. The rooms can be anything you want them to be, from family room, kitchen or bedrooms, and the rooms are open to one side, so it is easier for the kids to play inside the house with the characters. 




Initially I had put the house together for the boys to avoid chaos, and the loved it, but it didn’t take Mr. 3.5yo very long to realise that he could move things around, and not long after that, that things could be pulled apart and re-built. "I am a builder, building our new house" he declared.  





As with all other Brio toys, it is made from quality sturdy materials that you can trust will last, even through children's rough play, also surviving drops to the floor. I also love that it is it is gender-neutral in the colours, so perfect for both boys and girls. 

Overall my boys LOVE this Brio Family House. Even the 1.5yo is into it, and together they move characters in and out and decide what rooms are, clearly sparking their imaginative role play - and again, as they can build it just how they want it, it will take a very long time before they get tired of it.
 





And then, Brio has already thought about the next step, as there are extension kits available, as well as heaps of other play sets that matches up, such as ice cream shop, and playground etc.

So overall this Brio World Family Home is such a winner with both our boys, keeping them entertained and excited, and making them play longer at a time with this toy than any of their other toys, and they both continue to go back to playing with it again and again throughout the day, so we definitely highly recommend this. Yet another winner from Brio!

 



Brio World Family Home 33941 - RRP: $119.95
Available from
leading toy retailers and online stores
or visit Childsmart 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: RETINOL TREATMENTS - MEDIK8 10TR SERUM, MESOESTETIC POST-PEEL 1% RETINOL AND SKINMEDICA AGE DEFENSE RETINOL COMPLEX 1.0

I admit that I am no specialist, but one thing I do know, and that is that Retinol, also called Vitamin A has been proven to have amazing benefits or the skin, and is hence a very popular anti-ageing ingredient.
 




The research has shown that it can help visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, make the skin firmer, give the skin a smoother look and improve uneven skin tone.

The use of retinol does come with some limitations, including that you shouldn't use it while you're pregnant or lactating, and that it can make the skin become very sensitive, and hence the daily use of a SPF is necessary, plus besides, what's the point of fighting the signs of ageing if you don't protect your skin from the sun's damaging rays.

It is also recommended that you start gentle, with a milder strength, and perhaps just a few times a week, before increasing frequency and eventually the strength, as going too strong and too frequently can make the skin extremely sensitive, red or make it peel.

Now, I am currently breastfeeding, so it has been a while since I have actually used these, and I keep wanting to use them, but know that I best not use them again yet. And so I have had this feature in the pipeline for so long, but thought it was time now..

So here's a selection of retinol products which I cannot wait to get slather on my skin yet again..


The Medik8 Retinol 10TR Advanced Night Serum is a very light and slightly runny serum, which is, as the name suggests is to be used nightly after cleansing and before moisturiser. With 1% retinol it is the highest strength available in the Medik8 range, so if you're new to retinol, they suggest trying one of the lower strength products first to get you skin used to it. This particular formula also has added vitamin E, to help counter any dryness and keep the skin moisturised and soft. 

It helps stimulate the production of collagen, while improving the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and reducing dark spots and pigmentation at the same time, making the skin softer and look brighter and more glowing. I also found that it helped make my skin less greasy, and reduced the amount of breakouts, and their sizes considerably - and as I am currently experiencing some breakouts, I am really wanting to start using again, as it is one of the anti-ageing products that does not actually cause breakouts, but rather minimise them while fighting the signs of ageing at the same time. It comes in a small bottle with a dropper applicator that makes it easy to dispense the few drops needed at a time.

Then there's the SkinMedica Age Defense Retinol Complex 1.0, which is also the strongest strength retinol available from SkinMedica, and is also intended for use at night. This treatment has more of a light lotion feel, but still absorbs quickly into the skin. It has been made with an encapsulated antioxidant complex which helps preserve the retinol until it has absorbed into the skin as well as target the delivery, while helping to enhance the skin texture and minimise any irritation. The serum promises to help fight the signs of ageing, including coarse and dull skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, reduce congestion and breakouts making the skin clearer and feeling matte, enhance skin texture and improving hyperpigmentation. And already after using for a few days, I can tell the difference when I am using this. The oil production in my skin really is normalised and my skin is less greasy, but it also generally makes my skin look healthier and brighter, which is impressive after just a few days.

Finally, the Mesoestetic Post-Peel 1% Retinol Concentrate, which comes the largest size, and is also the most expensive in the line up. It has a thicker lotion consistency, which does means that you will be using a bit more than with the thinner serums, but still, it will naturally last you the longest, but alas also comes at the higher cost.

It has been made with rosemary extract, aloe vera, lactic acid, vitamin E, and is intended to be used as to prolong and boost the renewing effect of mesopeel, by helping to improve the appearance of wrinkles and skin elasticity, while stimulating collagen in the skin and keeping the skin moisturised.

It is slightly different in that it is supposed to be massaging into the skin, avoiding the eye area, following a peel, to help neutralise the peel, then left on the skin for 2 hours, before being rinsed off with water.

I really enjoyed using all three of these, and thus find it difficult to pick a favourite - the Mesoestetic is very different from the first two, making it difficult to compare as it is more 'mask like', which is also nice as an extra treatment for an extra peeling effect. And as for the Medik8 and the SkinMedica, which the retinol concentration is the same, they are different in formula and consistency. But one thing I certain, I love treating my skin with retinol as again, I really feels it makes a difference to how my skin looks, making it look more glowing and younger too, and as a bonus it also helps treat and keep breakouts at bay.


But again, it is important to stress that there can be some serious side effects when using retinol, so make sure you consult an expert before use!
 


The Medik8 Retinol 10TR - $99 / 15ml
Available from
Medik8, RY, Active Skin and Adore Beauty
Or for further information please visit
Advanced Cosmeceuticals 

SkinMedica Age Defense Retinol Complex 1.0 - RRP: $148.50 / 29.6ml
Available from Soho Skincare and select salons
Or for further information visit Advanced Skin Technology 


 Mesoestetic Post-Peel 1%n Retinol Concentrate - RRP: $198 / 100ml
Available from Active Skin, Adore Beauty, RY, Skincare Store
Or for further information please visit
Advanced Cosmeceuticals

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

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19 January 2017

PRODUCT REVIEW: MARY KAY LIPS

I am very lucky that I do not suffer with dry lips. Usually a touch of lip balm before going to bed is sufficient for my lips. But that doesn't mean that they cannot benefit from a little extra TLC, and the Mary Kay Satin Lips Shea Sugar Scrub and Butter Balm are the perfect treat.




The Mary Kay Satin Lips Shea Sugar Scrub is small tube filled with sugar scrub enriched with shea butter, white tea as well as citrus. And you need is a tiny bit massaged into the lips, and then rinse it off with a bit of water, and you're left with the softest lips. And don't fear that this will scratch or dry out your lips, it is super gentle, and actually, thanks to the shea butter, leaves the lips feeling moistursed too. This is the first time I've tried a specific lip scrub, and I am so addicted to this, and cannot imagine being without out it now.

You can then follow with the Mary Kay Satin Lips Shea Butter Balm, which is a rich lip balm that is so nourishing and moisturing on the lips, repairing any signs of dry or chapped lips in no time. Both have a gorgeous, and refreshing scent from the added white tea and citrus.


L-R: Mauve Moment and Powerful Pink

Making sure that your lips are in top shape, is always the best way to ensure your lipsticks look their best. Lately I've also been loving the Mary Kay Gel Semi-Matte Lipstick.

These lipsticks are very pigmented and offers a full-coverage at the very first swipe, and with a formula that stays put for hours.

I manage to get about 4-5 hours wear from these lipsticks, which I personally find very reasonable. And unlike other long-wearing lipsticks that often dries out the lips and end up looking horrible, thanks to a gel microsphere technology, these actually feels soft and smooth on the lips, and hence are so comfortable to wear.

The lipsticks have a semi-matte finish, not completely flat and matte, but rather they have a velvety feel with just a tiny touch of sheen, which I actually really like.

I put the shades Mauve Moment and Powerful Pink to the test. Mauve Moment is a typical warm beigey-toned pink that is perfect for everyday casual wear, whereas Powerful Pink is a brighter and bolder fuchsia pink shade that really pops. I really love both, and ask me a few years ago, and I would have picked the Mauve any day, but today I am more for a bolder lips, so really love the Powerful Pink as it so brightens up the face.

The lipsticks come in stylish black bullet looking packaging, and they have a divine sweet fruity scent.

Overall I've yet again really enjoyed these products from Mary Kay. I really love the lip scrub, and it has quickly become a part of my Sunday pampering routine, and the lip balm is a great way to give the lips a treat afterwards. And the lipsticks are so lovely to wear that I wouldn't mind getting my hands on a few more in the darker red shades.


Mary Kay Satin Lips Shea Sugar Scrub - RRP: $28 / 8g
Mary Kay Satin Lips Shea Butter Balm - RRP: $28 / 8g
Mary Kay Gel Semi-Matte Lipstick - $25 / 3.6g
Available from Mary Kay 

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



 
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