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

Saturday, 14 July 2012

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream Review

Today's review is on the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams in Antwerp and Milan. They are applied like a lipgloss, pigmented like a lipstick and dry completely matte. They are difficult to define, to say the least, but are great for us matte look lovers.

Antwerp is a bright coral pink. Milan is a bright mauve toned pink.

Both are very creamy in texture and glide onto the lips. After application they dry to a velvet looking matte finish. Once dry, they retain no moisture, similar to a lip stain. This can take up to ten minutes, but once dry they are tough to move and will not transfer. They are incredibly long lasting, with around 4 hours wear time before needing touching up.

One thing to note before wearing them is they will accentuate any dryness, so exfoliating and moisturising the lips with balm before applying is advisable. Dry spots on the lips also tends to cause flaking and cracking after a couple of hours.

Overall Score: 7/10

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

July Lust List

Another month, another wishlist. I am sad to report that I didn't end up buying anything from my June Lust List post. Very good for the budget but a little bit sad for me. Oh well. This month's post may well suffer the same fate, but this month I'm lusting over some much more budget friendly bits and bobs.

July Lust List 2012
Clockwise from left they are:

  • Real Techniques Starter Kit - I bought the Core Collection a couple of months ago and love them more than it is appropriate to love a set of brushes. I really want to get the Starter Kit because I've been hearing great things about them to, and am pretty sure I would love them too.
  • Revlon Lip Butters in Candy Apple and Creamsicle - I basically want the whole line, but these two look so gorgeous.
  • NARS Larger Than Life eye liners in Via Veneto and Rue Bonaparte - I'm in the market for pencil liners that will stay well on my water line, and these have pretty great reviews.
  • Bourjois Bronzing Powder - aside from the fact that it won me over because it was shaped like chocolate, I am sick of looking like a ghost and think this could be my remedy.
  • Maybelline Color Tattoos in Tenacious Teal and Bad To The Bronze - I already own Tough As Taupe and Bold Gold and love them (you can see my review and swatches here) so am keen to acquire some more. As well as these two shades, I will be keeping my eye out for Pomegranate Punk also.
Be sure to let me know what's on your wishlist this month!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Maybelline Color Tattoo Review | Tough As Taupe and Bold Gold

Maybelline Color Tattoos are cream eyeshadows, similar in concept to the MAC Paint Pots. The collection includes a range of bright and eye catching colours to be used as an eyeshadow base, or for stand alone wear. They have been generating quite a bit of hype since their release in the US and UK earlier this year. Originally they weren't rumoured to make their Aussie debut until the end of this year, but thankfully Maybelline released them here at the beginning of the month.

The Target I got them from stocked five shades. I picked up Tough As Taupe and Bold Gold. The other shades available were Tenacious Teal (a bright shimmery blue), Painted Purple (a bright purple with subtle shimmer) and Audacious Asphalt (a shimmery black). I'm not sure how many of the 10 shades are available here, but I know that there are more than the five I tracked down.

Tough As Taupe is a highly pigmented grey taupe colour. When applied it is much darker and grey than it appears in the pot, but can be sheered out in to a beautiful and wearable taupe.

Bold Gold is much, much brighter than it appears here, with a very true yellow gold appearance. It is very shimmery, both in the pot and when applied, and catches the light beautifully. This one is definitely not for the faint of heart or those looking for a subtle gold shimmer.

Their formula is quite thick and somewhat on the dry side. That said, they can be sheered out and blended fairly easily, as long as you work quickly. On the lid, once they are dry, they are impossible to budge, even with vigorous rubbing. 

The biggest drawing point of the Color Tattoos is the wear time. I have very oily lids and watery eyes that can crease any eyeshadow within a couple of hours. These, however, I can wear for more than 8-9 hours without primer and have absolutely no creasing or fading. No other eye product I have tried has lasted as well as these do on me.

The one draw back to the Color Tattoos is the lack of everyday wearable colours. For me, Tough As Taupe is the only colour I can realistically wear to work. I understand that their aim in developing the current line was to create daring and bold colours (and boy did they do it well), but I hope that once seeing how popular they have been, they might consider releasing some more shades.

I haven't been able to find a full list of stockists, but I know that they are available at Target and Priceline for around $11.95. I was shocked to see how reasonable the pricing on these was compared to the US and UK, where they sell for the equivalent of about $7 (don't get me started on the triple priced Revlon Lip Butters). Next I'm hoping to hunt down Pomegranate Punk and Bad To The Bronze.

Overall Score: 9/10

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Question Wednesday: Hair

It's Hump Day! Most Wednesdays I'm busy at work, but I was a very lucky girl today and had the day off. It's been a very relaxing day and the weather has been absolutely stellar, so I'm in a really good mood. Wednesday means that it's time again for the lovely Nykki from Nykki's Mane Blog's Question Wednesday. I've been participating in Question Wednesday on and off for a while now, and I have to say that I really enjoy it. The questions are fun to answer, but I what I'm really loving is finding great blogs and getting to know the other girls who join in regularly a little bit better each week. They are really lovely girls, who I find so entertaining and witty, not to mention knowledgeable. If you are interested in joining in this week, just click here.

This week is all about hair. I have to admit, when it comes to beauty products, hair care is the area that I know least about. I've never been as experimental with my hair as I have with my skincare and makeup, and I have been blessed it satisfactorily manageable locks. Anywho, here goes:

- What is your natural hair color? Are you happy with it?

It is dark brown, and I do quite like it. In Winter I'm very happy with it. In Summer I always want to go lighter and usually regret any attempts to. I think it suits me well. 

- Do you dye your hair? If yes then do you do it yourself or go to a salon?

I occasionally dye my hair and usually do it myself, as it's usually an easy all over dye that is at most a couple of shades different from my natural hair. I used to go to the salon when I was a teenager and had highlights and things, but they never really suited me. Maybe that's turned me off getting colour at salons now.

- What is your must have hair care product? 

Moroccan Oil. I know it's been over-raved about, but swear by this stuff. I get a lot of fly-aways and this stuff helps to decrease them if I put it through my hair when it's damp. It also improved the texture of my hair, making it smoother and shinier.

- What is the worst hair care product that you have ever used?

I'm not sure what brand it was, but my Dad's ex girlfriend used to buy this industrial sized can of hairspray that she used everyday. When I was a teenager she did my hair a few times and used it, and it turned my hair into a helmet. It was horrible. My hair would look matted and dull for days after, and even after washing and conditioning it was hard to put a brush through. I still don't fully trust hair sprays.

- Do you have any good tips or homemade recipes for long and pretty hair?

My best tip for clarifying hair, is to use apple cider vinegar. It works wonders at getting rid of all the product build up, is very gentle on the hair, and I believe it actually adds moisture to the hair (rather than stripping, as I find a lot of clarifying shampoos do). Either pour or spray it all over the hair, after shampooing, and leave for a little bit, and your hair will will be the smoother and shinier than you would believe.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Ulta3 Mini Haul and Swatches

Today was a good day for me shopping wise. Not only did I pick up some lovely products that I am excited to try out and review for, I also managed to stumble upon these Ulta3 polishes in Coles for 50 cents. Ulta3 are my favourite cheap nail polish brand by far, so I went rummaging through the bin like a mad person. They  are incredibly well priced usually, at around the $2 mark, but I was so excited to see them for even cheaper.

As you can see from the picture, all of the colours I got are in the red/pink/purple family, because they were really the only colours they had left. That was fine by me, as I have very few reds in my collection.
In person, these colours probably look closer to how they look in the top photo of the bottles than the one I have swatched for you above. The top three are definitely much darker than this picture shows. All of these were opaque and streak free with only 2 coats. 

  • Pepper Pot - In the bottle looks like a very dark brown burgundy colour. On the nail the burgundy doesn't translate, and it looks mostly like a dark red.
  • Flashback Fuchsia - A deep very red toned purple
  • Sunset Pink - Not remotely pink. A red toned purple, similar to Flashback Fuchsia but a couple of shades lighter. This reminds me a bit of OPI's Miami Beet, except it dries to a demi-matte finish without a top coat.
  • Pink Colada - This is a pretty, almost raspberry shade of dark pink and my favourite so far.
  • Tangelo - A fluorescent pinky orange. This looks very close to the Ulta3 polish I showed in a post a while back called Carrot Top (you can check it and my other Ulta3 polishes out here).
If anyone knows of any other good cheap nail polish brands, please please please let me know!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...