Thursday, October 23, 2014

Friday Funnies- My Best Beauty Hacks

Happy Friday Friends!

Wouldn't be Friday without my only-somewhat-funnies so I've got a joke all ready to go, and five beauty hacks, just so this post isn't completely useless.

These are a range of weird and wonderful tricks I've developed which I'm quite proud of. Some save you time, some save you money, some may not do anything, but at least you'll feel smug to be doing something differently to everyone else!

(source)

1. Redeemables

Yes, I know I just made that word up, but I promise this tip is worth mangling the English language for. Basically, a lot of makeup counters or stores offer makeup application for a price that is redeemable on product.

Therefore, if you're going to be buying the product anyway (ie need a new concealer, lipstick etc) why not schedule a makeup application if you have a big event coming up? That way, you get to try out a few new products, and have your makeup done by someone who can actually make sense of the Kevin Aucoin graphic above. Plus, it's money you were spending anyway. Win win!

(source)
2. Eyes

So you've come home from a big night, and your eyes are looking shocking. If you're anything like me, you'll get to them eventually but first you've got to get changed, have a shower etc etc.

To get things moving, I smear a few fingertips of a hydrating product across my eyes. Favourites are Coconut Oil, Body Shop Camomile Balm or any kind of eye moisturiser or oil (I've even been known to use my Ren Rose O12 even though thats a shameful waste of a beautiful product!)

I find that this starts to soften my eye makeup, and moisturise my eye area, if I hop into a steamy shower. Then, there's more movement and slip waiting for me, when I'm ready to take the eye makeup off. Think of it as a little head start on the war against panda eyes!


(Source)

3. Ingrowns

Oh the bane of my life! Nothing like spending a whole lot of money on waxing, only to wake up bumpy and uncomfortable.

Pro tip for these, use your exfoliating pads. Just like on your face, the acids will encourage the skin to renew and re-shed, plus it will remove any bacteria in your current ingrowns.

Also, it's easy to remember to swipe a pad after you've used it on your face, compared to other ingrown products which I often spend too much money on, then forget to use consistently.


(Source)

4. Sharing is Caring

Don't you hate it when a beauty item you need is only on special if you buy two, or spend over a certain amount?

I get around this problem with a well stocked present cupboard, so I can buy two of the same product, one for me, one for my friend's next birthday/Christmas. Not only does it save you money (and stop you from buying yourself things you don't needs just to push up the price) it's a really, really lovely thing to give your friend a product you absolutely adore.

Just be sure to keep all your products in a same place (I also have a list going in a note on my phone) so you don't double up for the same friend. Obviously ridiculous wrapping station optional (my 'cupboard' is currently just a shoe box in my normal cupboard).

(Source)

5. Night-Before-Spray
I am a lover of dry shampoo, but I do find it can be hard to disperse properly, without spending a lot of time massaging through, which makes you think it might have been just as worthwhile to wash your hair.

Luckily, I've managed to find an easier way to buy an extra day of clean hair. I wish I could take credit, but it was completely accidental, I knew I had to wash my hair, but I was just far too tired, so I figured I'd dry shampoo quickly before bed, just to get a head start. I woke up, and couldn't believe how well my sleep-movements had dispersed the shampoo through my hair, amazing!

If you think your hair is going to look bad in the morning, but you're just falling into bed cannot be bothered, spray it with dry shampoo before you go to sleep in the morning, the shampoo will have dispersed properly and you'll be giving a great impression of someone with clean hair!


That's almost all from me, would love to hear your best beauty hacks, but first, it wouldnt be a Friday Funny without a joke...


What's a cheese's favourite genre of music?

R'n'Brie! 


Happy weekend guys, see you Monday xxx

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I'm Back! Review of Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Facial Peel


Thanks for hanging in there with me guys, with the help of some beautiful flowers, antibiotics and my trusty Dimetapp, I'm feeling much better!

Given that I'm returning to the outside world, it was time to call on a heavy-hitter in the skin department, the Dr Dennis Gross Peel Pads. This isn't a daily product, or even a weekly one for me (sensitive skin) but the best thing when I need a really deep chemical exfoliation, after a week of heavy makeup, sunscreen or I just want to feel as fresh as I can be. 

In a nutshell
Pros: A deep, deep clean
Cons: Can be harsh, don't overuse it!
Price:  $124 for 30 uses
Purpose: Exfoliant
Packaging: Two white pots, or the smaller package, two compartments
Re- Purchase? Yes., I use them so sparingly that the price is justified. 


Firstly, yes they're expensive. I originally bought the 10 use only to see how I went, but I will be going back to buy the 30 when I run out. I use these so sparingly, (once per week at most, sometimes once per fortnight) that an initial splurge is justified, but these are not your daily peel. 

Another reason they're not your daily peel if you're in your 20s is the strength, I spoke in length about chemical exfoliation in this post, but basically, this product is designed for either mature skin, or very acned skin. For that reason, if you're down the more mild end of the spectrum (ie, younger and just a few spots) you don't need to go hard on this product. 


The package boasts 40 anti aging ingredients, they're not wrong. Basically, everything you want to strip your skin down and start it refreshing itself is in here, Acids, Retinols (the strongest and only medically proven anti-ager) all the good stuff. As I said, strong this is the closest you'll get to a proper facial peel at home. If you get any dryness or flaking you're overusing the Retinols, and you need to ease off. 

They come in great packaging, either two jars that sit on top of eachother, or the smaller size travel types, which has two compartments. Easy peasy, start with the first side, use the first side, then they say to wait 2 minutes before using the second one. I usually do the first, then brush my teeth, moisturise my arms and legs, then go back in for the second. 


Nice little cotton pad, nothing fancy, unfold it, swipe it all over your face neck and chest, then flip it and do the same. Keep going until it feels dry. Due to the strength of the product, I completly avoid my eyes and delicate areas, and focus more on areas I might have spots, or be prone to breaking out (jawline, nose and chin for me)

I do not obey the package, which says not to clean off. I've done this once, and my skin felt very brittle and dry. Instead I spritz my face, although this is probably reducing the efficacy of the peel, it's plenty for my young, sensitive skin. I would suggest doing this, at least when you first start, to see how your skin goes.

Even though I'm clearing off after, my skin still looks amazing soft, glowy and refreshed the next morning, a must the night before a big-do (although not if you've never used them before! too risky!)

Also, I tend not to follow up with serious anti-aging products, my skin frankly doesn't need a proper chemical peel once a week, it would just be excessive. If I'm having a very shocking skin day, I might use a serum with Retinols as well, but then a soothing moisturiser, but generally I use a nourishing serum, with lots of vitamin C, as my skin is primed and ready to soak up all the goodness. 

Overall, A really really good exfoliation, it's pricy, but if you use sparingly, I think a worthwhile investment. 



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Blog Break

Apologies guys, but I'm going to have to take a little break from blogging.

My cold has turned into bronchitis, and I'm struggling under the weight of work deadlines, and a body that just wants to sleep all day.

I'm giving myself a week off, hoping to be back to regular posting next Thursday (23 October)

(image source)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Eye Cream Chat and Review- Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment With Avocado

When I was younger, I always considered eye-creams the cornerstone of skincare. As I got older, I realised that, in reality, they're less important than I thought. 

A good chemical exfoliation, followed by a great serum will go a lot further than an eye-cream to enhance the condition of your skin. I know some very clever people who are content to just bring their moisturisers and serums up towards their eyes and be done with it. Plus, the best eye creams are crazy expensive and full of anti-aging ingredients, which is not that necessary at my age. 

However, I am a girl who likes an eye cream, for 3 reasons

1. I'm a contact lense wearer- so try as I might, I do pull and tug a tiny bit at my eyes from time to time, which means I want to strengthen the skin as much as I can.

2. In my performing days, I used to grab a makeup removal wipe, and scrub my eyes to get all my makeup and false eyelashes off. I still shudder at the memory. So now I feel like I'm just doing eye-pennance.

3. The skin around my eyes is a bit sensitive- so I can't use my general moisturisers on it.



With all this in mind.... presenting- Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado

In a nutshell
Pros: Gentle, great for sensitive skin, very hydrating. 
Cons: Not many active ingredients- purely a hydrator
Price:  $41 for 14mL
Purpose: Eye cream- apply on the eyes every evening 
Packaging: Little white pot, compact and transportable. 
Re- Purchase? Yes. A good price for an eye cream, and perfect for my purposes. 



Firstly, this is not a product that claims too much. It promises to hydrate and protect, and that it does. From my perspective, that's terrific. Plus, hydrated skin is less likely to get fine lines in the first place.

The hydration comes from avocado oil and shea butter, terrific natural moisturisers. 

If, like me, you're looking for a not-so-expensive, sensitive/gentle eyecream, that helps to hydrate and strengthen the skin around my eyes- this is for you. I found that my eye area wasn't so dry and fragile looking, and felt very healthy and a bit more resilient. 

If you want something with more heavy lifting- to reduce the appearance of lines or remove dark circles, this isn't going to work for you. It's more of a preventative cream than a treatment, so great for the 20 something age group.


The colour is very reminiscent of a ripe avocado, a lovely yellow-ish green. The product has no scent, and comes in an easy to use pot. I've been using my pot since February, and still have a little bit left, which is pretty good value for money! At $41 I think it stacks up well compared to other eye creams- as they do tend to be a big ticket item.

The best part of this product for me, is the fact that it doesn't migrate into eyes. This is something they play up in all advertising of this product, and I can tell you that in my experience, they're absolutely right. I didn't have any migration, irritation or teary moments from stray moisturiser which was a great feature of the product. 

It is a slightly thicker eye cream, which I think is associated with its ability to stay put. I put a bit on my index finger, and, using gentle pressure, slowly massage up and out, along the occipital bone. 

I've seen some practitioners using the middle finger, and gently dabbing, but I like to get a bit of massage going, to encourage blood-flow and discourage dark circles. 

As you can see from my very artistic drawing, I always move up and out, never down, to encourage the skin against the pull of gravity. I'm very light, only ever with one finger, and never dragging or pulling. 


All in all, if you, like me, would like a bit of extra hydration and love for your eye-area, I can thoroughly recommend the Kiehl's Creamy Eye treatment- I love a product that does exactly what it promises, and this is exactly that!



Thursday, October 9, 2014

Friday Funny- DIY Rose Face Mask

Last night I had a dream, I was the muffler on my car.

We kept on driving around and around

When I woke up, I was exhausted!

Welcome to Friday Funny, I couldn't resist starting with that one first, if only to make the rest of the post look good by comparison!

Last night, because I was knackered and looking for any way to get out of the enormous amount of work looming over me, I decided to try a DIY Facemask. I've seen these everywhere on Pinterest, but I wasn't sure which one to try. Fortunately, I remembered that the roses my Grandfather gave me from his garden were looking a little sad and sorry for themselves.

Ok so more than a little- but they were from my Grandpa! And they still smell amazing! With that in mind, I choose a Rose Face Mask figuring that at the very least, I'd find a use for my old flowers

Mmmmm, I love these big old-school roses. Big inhalation.

I keenly collected all my ingredients from the cupboard and fridge, soaked my rose petals (although the recipe didn't say how long for, this vagueness should have tipped me off, but it didn't. )


Things began to go further downhill when I cut up my petals and added the other ingredients. Although I followed the recipe exactly, things were looking a little.... runny. 

Perhaps I didn't use thick enough yoghurt? Although all the recipe asked for was natural yoghurt. Either way, things were looking pretty grim. 


Because I had nothing better to do, and I'd come this far already, I soldiered on.

Let me tell you now, you haven't lived until you've stood over your sink, covered in yoghurt, desperately trying to get rose petals to stick to your face. 

I ended up pouring the liquid over my face, then dabbing on the rose petals. By this stage, I couldn't stop giggling, DIY face-mask could not have gone much worse. 


After I'd washed it all off, I actually noticed that my skin was softer than usual, so all was not lost.

But then I became too .busy erasing all drips of yoghurt from my tiles, that stuff went everywhere, to appreciate my soft skin. 

Remains of the evening, a sink full of rose-petals, and a lingering smell. Looks like a proposal gone very wrong, but I had fun. Overall though, would not recommend. 







Acid? Chemical Exfoliant? What You Need to Know as a 20something feat OITNB.

It's been a while since I got around some good gifs and basic skincare tips, and this one is an absolute doozy, a skincare game-changer, plus I'm using gifs from one of my all-time favourite shows, Orange is the New Black

Hands up if you thought exfoliating was rubbing your face with plastic bead thingys?

Yeah. Nah. I was in that camp too, uuuunnntiiiiilllll.

You see, we exfoliate because as our skin gets older, it becomes worse and worse at replenishing itself. But it's not just as easy as physically scraping away at our skin. Skin is complex, and muti-layered, it's not just a matter of scrubbing skin like dirty dishes.

If your skin could talk, it would tell you....


So, what's the best way to exfoliate?

The thing that's just going to get rid of the old skin without scrubbing off the good stuff?

Chemicals!


I know, that sounds scary! But the truth is, they're not the type you clean your bathroom with. Chemical exfoliation is a process which uses naturally occurring acids, to exfoliate your face.

So really, they should have called it naturally-occurring-acid-exfoliation, but I suppose that doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

The most commonly used chemical exfoliants, are AHAs and BHAs. I suppose now I should tell you which is which, and what they do, but the lovely Zoe Foster Blake has already done that so brilliantly, you can just click here. 

The wonderful thing about acid/chemical exfoliation, is that it realllly works. Not only will your skin be less likely to break out* and receptive to any product you put on afterwards, it will look brighter, and so marvellously glowy that it becomes somewhat addictive.

Possibly you'll also develop a bit of a strut.


The only problem with strutting-around-all-glowy-skin is that at 20 something years old, your skin isn't too bad at exfoliating itself.  And a lot of these products are designed for 40-50 something skin, which needs more help to exfoliate.

If you've got 20 something skin, which is not too bad at exfoliating itself, with the exception of the odd pimple, if you go too hard on the acids, your skin will go from woohoo to boohoo pretty quickly.


Or in skin terms, you may find yourself red, aggravated, rashy dry or flaky. This will be particularly exacerbated if you're using other products with AHAs or BHAs on top of them (aka skin clearing products, or anti aging products)

Basically, if you go too hard, you'll overstrip yourself into a red hot mess.







So what to do? By all means get around some chemical exfoliation, it's great if you've got acne, any scars or marks, or just to prep your skin to get maximum efficacy from your serums.

Just don't go too hard.

I use a very gentle exfoliant 2-3 times per week. I love the Go-To Skincare Swipeys and would absolutely recommend them as a first-exfoliant for anyone interested. Not only are they easy to use, in a cute little coral jar, and delicious smelling, they're one of the gentlest acid exfoliants around, and very reasonably priced for such an active product.

 Now I've been exfoliating for a while, I've also invested in a more intense product  in case of emergency- Dr Dennis Gross Peel Pads are great, but super dooper strong.

I would also recommend that you be vigilant about re-neutralising your face after use. I know that not all products recommend it, Go To Skincare advises users to rinse off, while Dr Dennis Gross doesn't. In my experience, if I don't, my skin feels uncomfortable and fragile. Imagine that the acids have your face all fired up. That's fine for now, but if you don't tell your skin to slowly calm down again, those acids might keep working away over night. A spritz of some kind of toner, or even a quick run over with a hot cloth does me fine.

One of the best things about chemical exfoliants, is that they're easy peasy to use, because the majority come in cute little swipeys/pads/whatever you call those cotton discs.

So it's just a matter of swipey swiping with one side of the pad all the way over your face neck and chest until it feels dry, then flipping to do the same on the other side. Because I'm prone to hormonal pimples, I'm always sure to reach right to the edges of my face and jawline. Or, as Taystee says


That's all I've got on chemical exfoliants. I must say, I notice a huge difference in my skin when I use them, but you do need to get the balance just right in your routine.

Plus they've got a bunch of other weird uses, like clearing up ingrown hair areas, removing injury tape stickyness and disinfecting any open spots you might have.

I would recommend starting with a nice gentle one, before moving up to more significant peel-age. Also some sting is good, pain an tight face is not.

But two times a week, swipey swipe = happy days.


Monday, October 6, 2014

3 of the BEST... White Flower Candles

I am a candle lover, which means that while they're not strictly skincare relevant (ok, so not at all) I'm going to have to sneak a bit of candle-ing onto my blog, especially as they've been doing overtime this week, in my attempts to combat too much time in bed.

I think I've already mentioned my weird dislike of food-y scents in non-edible items. Basically, I don't like products that smell too much like food. Vanilla is borderline for me, and if there's chocolate, cookie or doughnut in the title of a bath or body product, I'm heading for the door.

So, I've amassed a great collection of candles which fall into one of two categories: dark spicy and woody, or crisp and floral. On any given day, my bedroom will either smell like your father's library, or your grandmother's greenhouse.

Now that springtime is peeping around the corner, I'm favouring the latter, and nothing does it for me quite like a crisp 'white flower' candle. Be it Gardenia, Magnolia Champaca, Tuberose or Neroli, I'm a fan of a good white flower. Don't be surprised if you see me lingering in a florists, or sniffing something over your fence, flowers are my love and hayfever is my kryptonite.

But alas! I digress! Given that I love the flowers themselves, I can be very harsh on people who try to recreate those moments in candle form, but I've found some winners, which I absolutely adore.





1. Voluspa Japonica Champaca Bloom & Fern

This is my current favourite. I love Voluspa candles because they don't smell like anything else on the market. Often I get candle fatigue in stores, because every single brand is doing the same four or five scents or claiming to do different scents but they all somehow smell like coconut.

Voluspa do great things. I love their Baltic Amber and Santiago Huckleberry, and now my obsession has continued to the Champaca Bloom & Fern candle, doesn't smell like any other candle on the market. Strong and very, very floral with a powdery finish.

I also love the Voluspa packaging. The embossed glass of their smaller candles is beautiful, and very different to a typical glass cylinder, which I really like. I'd never had a Voluspa candle in a tin before, and I've had mixed observations. Really like the cute patterned tin and the low profile, with the lid on it sits very inconspicuously which is brilliant if space on your desk is at a premium, you can just wack it in a drawer no problems.

Interestingly my boyfriend doesn't like this candle, as once it's burning, it quickly becomes a tin full of hot liquid, which terrifies him. Poor little thing. However, as the owner of the candle, I like the tin idea- the three wicks give a very even burn, and in liquified form it distributes scent beautifully.

Beware this is a strong floral scent, so try before you buy, and a safety watch when its liquified, things could get nasty if it topples over.





This candle and I go back a long way. I was housesitting a friend's house, and fell in love with it, not just the scent, but the classy frosted glass, and wide vessel. Then I went out and bought one for myself, in the large size, which I just adored. Track forward to my birthday, the same friend bought me the small one, which was brilliant timing, as my large one was nearly finished!

Long story short, I loved the big one so much it's sadly all finished (and now a very cute house for my whiteboard markers) so this skinny one is making do in the interim. 

This is no doubt a crowdpleaser scent, the vanilla is soft and gentle, while the neroli adds some spice. It's different without being arresting, and sweet without being sickly. Whenever I've burnt it, people have walked into my home and noticed it instantly, and wanted one themselves.

I love the nice thick frosted glass packaging here, it doesn't overheat, and feels the safest of all my candles. Also, the solid wooden-looking lid, which I conveniently left out of the photo, makes a great stand for your candle, which will prevent any marking from the bottom of the candle. I love a well designed packaging feature like that. 

These are a very decent price for a candle as well, around $29 for the big ones. To be honest, I don't love all the scents from Circa Home, and find some of them stray into the sickly sweet or overly coconutty, but this one is an absolute winner. 



First and foremost, let me tell you, if you're looking for a candle that smells exactly like a real gardenia, you're going to struggle. The real peppery-sharpness of a gardenia is almost impossible to mimic, or to my knowledge anyway (feel free to chime in with good gardenia candles).

However, I think this candle stands alone as a beautiful scent. It's a softer edge than a real gardenia, with an almost coconutty undertone. These candles spread a scent gorgeously, and I can often smell the gentle gardenia scent from a few rooms away.

Packaging wise, it's your typical glass candle. Simple, beautiful label and packaging, not going to clash with anything in your room, plus they come with a lovely white box of matches which looks far classier than the scraggly box of Redheads I keep in the drawer. 

If you're looking for an ecologically minded, Australian based candle company, Palm Beach Collection delivers. They don't do a huge range of scents, but each one is well crafted, and smells beautiful, a lovely gift or a great bedside-table candle for yourself! 


That's all from me folks, I think I've written far too much already, even though I could go on and on- love a good candle! What are your current favourites? And has anyone found the perfect gardenia yet? 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Rescue Me Aesop!



Today's lack of a post is brought to you by the return of my cold. 

Somehow this sneaky thing has found me just when I thought I'd kicked it, and I'm back home feeling sorry for myself

In lieu of a post today, the only savouir of my sick-day, Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm from Aesop. So beautifully fragrant and luxurious, that for a minute I imagine I'm somewhere like this

(Source)

Sadly I quickly remember that I'm actually still at home, feeling sorry for myself, I suppose a complete escape is asking too much of a hand-cream. Nonetheless, lovely product for a miserable day. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Friday Funnies- Nivea In-Shower Rich Body Lotion Review

Finally kicking that cold thanks to lots of herbal teas and some quality down time, I've found myself in some very deep corners of Youtube this week!

Onward and upward to Friday Funny, it's the much publicised Nivea In-Shower Body Lotion. I bought this initially when I was swimming a lot for exercise. Changing from normal gym to swimming, means I was constantly running late in the mornings, and I was desperate to streamline my routine.

While I was streamlining, I was also focussed on moisturising, because my poor skin was hating the regular chlorination, so Nivea's product seemed absolutely perfect. I bought the rich type, given I was applying it to cholorinated skin, I wanted as much moisture as possible. 


It's a think white lotion, with that typically 'Nivea smell'. It's a clean smell, not at all herbal or floral. 

Nice and easy to use, squeeze it out of the bottle, and apply like a moisturiser, I did arms and legs only, as I didn't think it was sensitive/gentle enough for my neck/face/chest area. 
I like that they call it a Skin Conditioner, because that's exactly the process and procedure for using it. You put it on like a conditioner, then step out of the shower so it can soak in a bit. 

When you rinse it off, it's the same kind of silky smooth feel your hair gets when you rinse off a conditioner, which is quite nice. When you step out and dry off, your skin does feel softer. 

That sensation doesn't last for long, so I wouldn't consider this  a great moisturiser. But if it's the difference between not having time to moisturise at all, and putting something on arms and legs, I think it's worthwhile.

Also I can absolutely second the warning that you need to watch for it on the ground. This product is slippery and if you drop some in the shower and don't notice, you'll be in strife. 




The ingredients are not for senstive skin, the chemicals which make it work in the shower are not particularly gentle, so I'd really recommend for arms and legs only, and only when you're in a big rush. 

Overall, it's probably worth buying if you've got dry skin and very little time, although most days (now I've stopped swimming) I will just get out of the shower and use a more high quality product. That said, it's not terribly expensive at $7.99 for 400ml and there are a few different scents/variations which have hit the market, so I'd say it's worth having on hand for frantic moments. 

Aaaaand now, the moment you've all been waiting for, today's joke! 

Q: What did the duck say when he bought a lipstick?

A: Put it on my bill!

Happy weekend! 




Wednesday, October 1, 2014

3 of the BEST Lipbalms! Mecca Lip De Luscious, Go to Skincare, Burts Bees


Oof. Somehow I’ve picked up a doozy of a cold in the first few days of Spring, and my mind is encased in a fuzzy grey cloud. So, a quick and fun roundup that won’t require too much thinking- my 3 favourite lip balms.

I’m a person who is prone to dry lips, which is extremely unfortunate given my love of lipstick. Since my pre-teen lipsmacker days, I’ve tried almost everything you can whack on your lips, and I’ve now got some solid favourites, and one rule of thumb when trying new things. 

My big rule is…..

Natural ingredients- I’ve learnt the hard way (those infamous red tubes) that products full of petroleum jelly will just give you a slick looking lip, then fade away to nothing.
To prevent a life with my fingers in my mouth re-applying, I’ve gotten good at looking at ingredient lists to make sure the key ingredients of my lipbalms are natural, and will do my lips some good. Basically, if I can’t recognize the ingredient names, I’m not so keen. My favourites are beeswax, lanolin (very natural- from sheep!) and the butters- shea butter, cocoa butter etc.
It’s more expensive to create a balm with proper, hydrating ingredients, so you might pay a little more, but the long term effects are worth it, when you use a product that actually hydrates your lips, instead of sliding around on top of them.

And now for my favourites!*

The high-achiever
Mecca Cosmetica Lip De- Luscious ($28 from here)




This is my holy grail of lip balms. It’s quite concentrated and a little bit sticky, which can be annoying when you’re swiping it out of the tub, but aside from that, pure perfection, not to mention they've just upgraded it to classy new packaging. 
-          Terrific pink colour, soft and natural looking, but with a gentle shine
-          SPF 25- important! Lips need sunscreen too!
-          Long lasting- this is the trade off for stickiness, I’d rather have a thicker, stickier balm             than one which disappears instantly. This balm does not budge, and I love that.
-          Yummy vanilla/marshmallow scent.

The pretty one with surprising substance
Go-To Skincare- Lips ($15 from here.)



A newcomer to my stash, but fast becoming a favourite, it’s thinner than the others, and doesn’t have quite the same staying power, but is extremely nourishing. This has the look of a gloss (which I really like) but actually hydrates and cares for your lips. A win-win!
-          Clear glossy consistency
-          Delicious fruity scent
-          Easy to apply (straight on your lips! No digging your grubby fingers in a pot)
-          Over time will actually improve your lips, instead of just sliding over them- unusual for such a slippery glossy product.

The go-everywhere-gal
Burts Bees Beeswax Balm   (around $7 at most chemists, supermarkets or online)


There are a lot of different Bees, I'm a fan of their tinted lip shimmers or balms, and they do some great treatments, but my go to is the classic Beeswax Balm.
I love this one for it’s tingly aromatheraputic feeling, there’s a great little peppermint oil buzz I get when I pop it on my lips, which feels quite medicinal, great for when my lips are in need of a bit of repair.
-          Beeswax base means it stays on for a long time, without getting sticky
-          Comes in two convenient packages-  I like the original vintage little pot by my bedside,             and a stick for on the go, in my car, pockets or handbag. 
-          No animal testing, and very natural ingredients
-          Will soften and improve the look and feeling of your lips, almost instantly.


To conclude, because it's been a long day, and I'm typing the last sniffly lines of this in bed, I can heartily endorse all three products, and I promise your lips will thank you (and me) 

Bon nuit xoxo


* All images from the linked sites. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Review- Lush, Angels On Bare Skin Facial Cleanser (plus how to use it without making an utter mess)

Ok so we played around a bit with make-up and nail polish towards the end of this week, but it's Monday now, back to business, back to skincare. 

If you're like me, you might like to use something every now and then that feels like it's physically cleaning your skin. You might also like to eat just guacamole for dinner, but that's another story. 

Once I realised what a microbead was, and why I shouldn't be scrubbing my face with balls of plastic, I was on the look-out for a reasonably priced scrubby cleanser, I heard such good things about the Lush facial scrubs, that I ventured back into their store, for the first time in about ten years, a very good decision. 

Blog, meet Angels on Bare Skin. 

In a nutshell
Pros: Feels scrubby, lovely aromatic ingredients, gently on skin. 
Cons: A bit of a process to use 
Price:  $42.37 for 250 grams
Purpose: Scrubby cleaner, use once a day, or once every couple of days. 
Packaging: Like the lush pot, easy to open and use. 
Re- Purchase? Yes. The gorgeous scent and skin feel is worth the extra effort.

This cleanser uses ground almonds to scrub your skin, so you'll get that lovely feeling of exfolliating, without damaging the environment, or stripping too much skin off your face. The almonds are in good company with kaolin clay, which will draw impurities out of your skin and soak up excess oils.

But my personal favourite part? The aromatics. There's a (gentle, soothing) party going on in that pot, with lavender, rose and blue chamomile, mmmmmmm. 




There is a drawback though, this isn't the easiest product you'll ever use. For me, the hassle is exceeded by the therapeutic scent and the softness of my skin after use, but it isn't a cleanser to use when you're in a rush. If this product was a boyfriend, it would be a handsome funny one, who is terribly messy. You love him anyway, but that doesn't mean you don't wish he was a little easier to live with! 

Luckily, after a few uses, I've managed to fine tune my technique a bit, and I'm much less likely to end up with almond meal in my hair. So, if you're going to buy this product, let me save you the mess. 


Firstly, Lush suggests you take a pinch off, I take a bit more than that, because I live large. 



The idea is to add a bit of water to make a cleansing milky substance, this is where I deviate a bit more from the Lush directions. I find if I get things too liquidy, it's hard to transfer the scrub from hands to face, and feel like you're getting product in the right areas. 

Instead, I make a very thick paste, like the one you can see below, using only a few drops of water. 

I can then smear that thicker paste over my cheeks, nose and forehead to make sure I'm getting product right around the areas that need to be clean (and avoiding my eyes as much as possible - because those little almond granules love to stick in my lashes!) 

Once I've done that, I massage and scrub a bit more with wet hands, which makes things more milky, but I think spreading the product as a paste first helps me have more control. 



Finally, I place a very hot cloth over my face, and inhale the lavender loveliness, before cleaning all the scrub off.

Low maintenance it is not, but for me, totally worth it, and your skin will feel lovely and baby-soft while you drift into gently scented dreams.


Friday, September 26, 2014

Spackle-Stuff- Tom Ford Lipstick

Hello hello and happy weekend,

A special hello to the people who've left lovely comments, emailed, connected with me on twitter or chased me down the street holding pitchforks. The last one might have been a dream, but the rest has been lovely- it's nice to get to know you all and be able to check out your blogs as well! (Plus I've got lots of new things to try now, so thanks, I think)

Given that I've got a few new-er readers I thought I should write a little more about myself, as that's what I'm always curious about when I read other people's blogs. But then I got extremely self conscious! 

So, instead of just throwing facts about myself at you, I'm going to start 'Spackle-Stuff' a series where I talk about one of my most favourite products/beauty items, and in doing so elaborate a bit more about who I am. 

It's not a review, or an 'about me' so to speak, but should be a bit of fun. And, if nothing else, you'll be able to see my face when it's not covered in facemask. 

Couldn't start with anything but the creme de la creme- Tom Ford Lipstick

These are so expensive I almost feel a bit guilty about the size of my collection, almost, but not really, because I truly love them. (L to R Casablanca, Flamingo, Cherry Lush, True Coral, Wild Ginger) 

Let me begin by saying, you will never use a better lipstick. Nothing is as pigmented and creamy, has the staying power but also the perfect finish. I painstakingly use a brush on these babies to preserve them, and, as you can see, a little has gone a very long way. 


My love affair with red lipstick actually began a while before I even met Mr Tom Ford, when I rocked a hardcore Anna Wintour bob, and liked posing on slides. 


I was a ballet dancer for most of my childhood/early teen life, until I was about 17. Starting at 3 meant I had some verrryyy early exposure to drag-queen levels of makeup, and developed a very steady hand with eyeliner, and a life long love affair with false eyelashes.

The first time I wore a red lipstick, I was five years old, and I wore it for my ballet concert. I clearly remember being absolutely enchanted with the way it looked, and the way my face looked. I used to beg my mum to let me wear it casually (looking back, so glad she said no) and idolise other people who did. 

Track forward 15 years, I was a 20 year old uni student, who spent most of my money on fake tan (urgh), ridiculous on-trend clothing and vinyl records. 

So, it was a miracle that I made my way to the Tom Ford counter, much less managed to purchase a quality, timeless classic, like the Cherry Lush lipstick. But I did, and my red-lipstick love rekindled. I had never used such a perfect lipstick, which completely changed my look and made me feel incredibly special and luxurious. 

I wore that lipstick everywhere, and it features in some of my most favourite moments.  This photo particularly is very close to my heart, as it was taken about a week after I started dating my boyfriend. Looking at this I can clearly remember getting ready, and thinking about him, and what he'd think of me all dolled up. Ah, youth. 




Over the years I've added to my collection, and moved away from my safety ned of reds to darker shades (Casablanca is just the most perfect flirty adult lipstick you'll ever have) and fun pinks (a present from a beloved friend) but I've never been disappointed, and always, always had a soft spot for Mr Tom Ford.