Sunday, 26 August 2012

A Little Update

Over the past couple of weeks I have been woefully absent from my poor blog, so I thought I'd just do a quick post to let you know that I'm not gone, and I don't intend to be gone for too long.

A couple of weeks ago I found out I was being made redundant at work due to financial difficulties. After a lot of emotion (I loved my job), panicking over finding a new job and some serious soul searching, I'm taking a huge leap and starting up my own business. Unfortunately, between finalizing things for my old job, and going through the process of opening my business and getting it up and running, I haven't had much time for blogging (or anything for that matter). The foreseeable future is looking just as busy, but I absolutely love blogging and beauty, and I'm looking forward to when things settle down to the point where I can go back to semi-regular posting.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Lust Have It July

Time for my (very) belated Lust Have It July post. This came probably 2 weeks ago, so I'm incredibly behind the 8 ball at the moment. I thought I would share it anyway, because I was pretty happy with it this month.

In total I received 6 samples this month in a bright orange makeup bag.

First is the Pure Fiji Hydrating Body Lotion. At first glance this one looked like one of those cheap lotion samples they have in hotels, but according to the Lust Have It card, it retails at $29.95 for 350ml, which is fairly pricey for a body lotion. I'll be giving it a go, but I'm not a big fan of the orange scent.

Next are the Avene Gentle Purifying Scrub and Gentle Eye Makeup Remover. I have really liked most of the Avene products I've tried in the past, so I was excited to see these. I haven't tried the scrub yet, but I gave the eye makeup remover a whirl and have to admit I was less than impressed. It didn't seem to budge any of my eye makeup at all. I may have to give it a few more chances.

Then there is the Bed Head Tigi Shine Junkie Lip Gloss in beige. Before this arrived I didn't know that Bed Head did makeup. I've tried the lipgloss out and it is so not the colour for me. It makes my lips look invisible, except for the metallic shine of the lipgloss. It almost looks like a pale liquid gold, which would be very hard for most skin tones to pull off. The lipgloss itself is very opaque, but quite thick and tacky.

Lastly I received the Matrix Biolage Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner. I used to use Biolage products on my hair yonks ago, and have since sort of moved on for whatever reason. I'll be interested in seeing how these go.

Although there wasn't anything overly exciting in this months box, I'm still pretty happy with it. With the exception of the lipgloss, they are all items that have a chance of making into my regular beauty routine if I like them, which is nice. Compared to the Bellabox I also received in July, this one has a heap less samples, but the samples included are much more high end with a higher price point than those in Bellabox. For that reason it's difficult to say which I'd rank higher this month.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Bellabox July

For those who haven't heard of Bellabox, it is another monthly beauty subscription service available here in Australia. For $15 a month, Bellabox promises 5 luxury beauty samples delivered to your door. I've been rather enjoying my Lust Have It subscription, and had heard some really positive things about Bellabox, so earlier this month I decided to jump in and subscribe to them as well (greedy? Who me?).

Since then I've been waiting, not so patiently, for the box to arrive. And when it did, I certainly wasn't disappointed. Inside the pretty aqua shipping box were 9 samples. A whole 5 of these were full size. For a beauty box to include that many samples in a month is very impressive. The samples were also a good mix, and I am excited to try pretty much all of them.

First up is the Le Tan Flawless Legs Wash Off Leg Makeup. The sample I received is in deep bronze, which I'm thinking will probably be too dark for me. I will try it out anyway, and even if it is too dark it will give me a chance to see if I like it enough to go out and buy a lighter version for spring. I'm naturally very pale, and while I tan fairly easily with some time in the sun, I also burn very easily and much prefer to go faux, so I'm always looking for new and better ways to look sunkissed. 

The You, Me & Everybody Shady Lady Daily Face Milk (full size) was something I've never heard of before. It contains a broad spectrum sun protection with an SPF 30+, which I very much like the sound of. It's quite thin in formula, and I'm not sure how hydrating it is, but might be another good one to set aside for spring and summer.

I also got an Innoxia Nail Polish in Plush Velvet (full size). I've never tried Innoxia polishes before, but I love a good nail polish, especially if it's purple.

Next was the Neutrogena Anti-Wrinkle Deep Eye Cream (full size). Eye cream is a part of my skin routine that I have neglected in recent years, mostly using the excuse that I'm only 23. The appearance of this product this month reminded me that I should probably start some preventative measures, and I will definitely be trying this one out.

A neat little 15ml sample of the Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Scrub was also a welcome inclusion for me, as I'm about out of my previous face scrub, and really want to find a new and less course scrub to use. 

Then we have a little sachet sample of the Givenchy Pi Neo mens fragrance. I'm not a fan of perfume samples in sachet's at all, but I do enjoy smelling them. The scent of this one was so manly it made me melt. I'm keeping it in the back of my mind for when I need present ideas for the fiance. I think he would love it for the woodsy smell, but mostly because it's named after a mathematical concept (he's a maths nerd) and was inspired by the Matrix movies.

The Carmex Moisture Plus Ultra Hydrating Lip Balm (full size) was another great addition for me this week. I've had a bad head cold which always means dry and chapped lips, so I've been using chapsticks non-stop.

Next is the Almay Get Up & Grow Mascara (full size). It claims to nourish lashes to help them grow strong and long. I'm more excited about the fact that it has one of my loved wire and bristle mascara brushes, so I'll give this one a whirl, regardless of if it does or doesn't improve my lashes.

Last, but not lease are the Terax Crema Conditioner and Miele Shampoo samples. I have heard of Terax before, but never tried any of their products. I'm always happy to try new shampoo and conditioner samples, as I really I like to flit between brands anyway.

Overall, I'm really really happy with my first Bellabox. I seem to have signed up in the right month, to receive so many samples. The brands and products aren't at all high end, but Bellabox definitely made up for that in quantity. I'm also excited because every sample I received (excepts obviously the fragrance) I will get some use out of and am keen to try.

Friday, 20 July 2012

My Favourite Frizz Fighter: John Frieda Frizz-Ease Thermal Protection Hair Serum Review

I don't usually do many hair product reviews, because, to be completely honest, my hair routine is fairly simple and rarely changes. Today, however, I wanted to share with you all one of my all time favourite hair care products, the John Frieda Frizz-Ease Thermal Protection Serum.

When I first started buying this serum, I had intended to use for it's heat protecting properties. What has made me stay almost unfaltering in my love for it since then, however, is how well it helps to tame frizz. I have very thick hair, that sits somewhere between straight and wavy. For as long as I can remember, I have had problems with frizz, especially after blow drying. Over the years I have spent a fortune on products to try to avoid the fuzz, but most did little, or only weighed my hair down, making it look and feel oily. The John Freida Frizz-Ease Thermal Protection Serum is the only serum I have come across that truly works, while still being light weight and non-greasy.

This lightly oily textured serum is a great little multi-tasker. It can be used to protect against heat, prevent and smooth frizz, and add shine. It works just as well used on wet or dry hair, and before or after styling. I have tried it each and every which way, and it works well regardless. I find it works best for my needs as a finishing product, once my hair is styled and dried. I simply rub a 5c piece size squirt between my hands well, and work it from the ends up.

After using it, my hair feels like silk and has a whole heap more shine to it. Most importantly, though, my hair is instantly more sleek, without losing any movement or volume.

I will say, that although this product adds shine and makes hair feel healthier and more moisturised, it does not do a lot to add or retain moisture in the the hair. If you suffer from frizz too, you may have a similar issue to myself in that the mid-lengths and ends of the hair can be very dry. To prevent and lessen future frizz, I would recommend using a light leave-in conditioner, or moisturising hair oil (I use argan oil) on towel dried hair, especially if you are going to be heat styling. It also should go without saying that if you use this after styling, you will need to use another heat protecting product before you use any kind of heat.

Overall Score: 8/10

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Australis Ready 2 Mingle Review and Swatches

Ready 2 Mingle is a set of 5 mini versions of some of Australis' best selling products. Included are two Colour Inject Lipglosses (Lambada and Burlesque), a Conceal Correct in Tan and a loose powder eyeshadow and cream eyeshadow, both from the Double Deckey Eye Duo in Cosmic Rays. All in little mini tubes, housed in a purse friendly box.

On the far left, the lipgloss in Lambada is a gorgeous pale warm pink lipgloss. It is slightly more pigmented than it is showing up in the swatch. It has good lasting power for a gloss, but this is most likely because it is very sticky and thick. I am very impressed with the colour, as it's hard to find a pale pink that has a warm enough tone not to wash me out.

Next is the lipgloss in Burlesque, a muted raspberry shade. This one looks mega shimmery in the bottle, but it doesn't translate on application. It is a lot less sticky than Lambada, while still maintaining a good 3+ hours of wear time. Out of the two lipglosses, I lean more toward this one, because the colour is so pretty and the texture is much, much nicer.

In the middle we have the Conceal Correct in Tan. This is a very yellow toned concealer which is way to dark for me. On the back of the box, it does say that it comes with the concealer in Light, but all of the ones I could find had the same shade of concealer. I'm not too sad about it not matching my skin tone, because it really hasn't impressed me much. In the swatches above, you can see that even on the relatively smooth skin of my forearm it seems to settle into even minute lines and make them much more visible.

Second from the right is the powder eyeshadow from the Double Decker Eye Duo in Cosmic Rays. It is an intensely shimmery beige shadow, that looks much more pink than in the swatch above. I'm a big fan of this shadow, as it looks gorgeous on. My only complaint is the packaging. It comes in the same tube as the rest of the minis with the same doe foot applicator, which makes for very messy application and a lot of waste. Pulling the applicator out of the tube never fails to result in a cloud of shimmer dust and you really can't get away with using it to apply the shadow.

Last we have the other component from the Cosmic Rays Double Decker Eye Duo, a dark brown cream eyeshadow with a semi-satin finish. I was very hesitant about this one when I first swatched it, because the colour is intense. I've since played around with it, and found that it has a fairly nice texture that is easy to blend and sheer out. It dries slowly, giving you plenty of time to work with it, and once it is dry it stays in place well. I would still recommend using it over a good eyeshadow primer if you are someone who suffers from oilier eye lids, like myself. 

At around $14.95, this set is pretty reasonable and overall good quality. Australis have included some really great colours, with the exception of the concealer, and I have been getting some good use out of it.

Overall Score: 7/10
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