Saturday, 30 June 2012

Lacura Renovage Review

Lacura Renovage premium skin care range is part of Aldi's affordable skin care products.  Their Renovage range contains anti ageing PhytoCellTec complex based on apple stem cells from a rare Swiss apple tree.  Now what that means is these apple stems stells help protect our skin from UV and pollution as well as helping our own aged stem cells form new skin cells, producing younger looking skin.  Sounds great to me but does it work?

I purchased the complete range about three months ago and have been using them ever since and the following is my thoughts on each product.
There are four products, Intensive Serum 30ml, Protective Day cream 50ml, Rejuvenating Night cream 50ml and the Protective Eye cream 15ml.

The Intensive Serum is in a vacuum pump bottle which you apply to your face and neck area morning and night after cleansing and before you moisturise.  It is a light lotion which absorbs easily into your skin, one pump is all you need for your face and neck area.  Aldi on their website describe this as a light serum formulated with Vitamin E and Provitamin B5 and they claim it helps regenerate, firm and improve skin complexion.  The also say it is an ideal base to wear under makeup due to its light formula.

This is my favourite of the four.  One pump certainly is enough to do your whole face and neck area, my skin does feel softer, firmer and small lines are minimised.  I like how this lotion quickly absorbs into my skin with no greasy after feel.  Not enough of a moisturiser for me that I would use it as a base for my makeup without applying day moisturiser first but I do like it and feel it is a great boost to my skin routine.  Even if I changed moisturisers I would continue to use this serum.

The Protective Day cream is also applied to your face and neck area, it can be used in conjunction with the serum or on its own.   Aldi claims that this cream filters UV and helps protect your skin as well as prevent fine lines and wrinkles from appearing.  Well um..... its a bit too late for that, they are already here and they ain't leaving.  I really like my wrinkles and I am very accepting of them, I like a face that moves and if you keep smiling they look good :o)

This cream is absorbed easily into my skin and I don't need a lot especially after I have used the serum.  There is no greasy after feel and it leaves my skin feeling lovely, well hydrated and ready for foundation.

The Rejuvenating Night cream is very much like the day cream but contains the extra benefits of grape seed oil and shea butter for a healthy boost of moisture to help replenish what your skin has lost during the day. 

This cream feels very much like the day cream to me, it certainly is hydrating and my skin benefits from the extra ingredients but with the application of Intensive serum beforehand I think you could probably just use the day cream at night as well.

The Protective Eye cream, contains parts of the avocado (I don't know which ones).  Aldi claims this cream helps strengthen the skin barrier around the delicate eye area and helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles.  You can use this cream day and night.

I like this eye cream, you only need a tiny amount,  I dot it around my entire eye area and pat it in.  Again this cream absorbs easily and leaves no residue I can honestly say it has helped with my eye puffiness which is completely gone now and has certainly firmed the skin around my eyes.  The skin around my lids and undereye are plumper, eyeshadow application is easier and smoother, not so much crepey eye. 

This range has worked for me, I have noticed a marked improvement in my skin, it is firmer and more youthful looking. My makeup applies and looks better and I have received many compliments about how well I am looking, how beautiful my skin is and I couldn't possibly be 46 years old.

Overall I like these products, they do what they say they will and I like that they are entirely absorbed into my skin with no greasy heaviness, my skin looks and feels great, I will certainly continue to use them.  They sell for $19.99 each in Australia and I have only used about half of what is in the containers in 12 weeks so they will last a good 6 months, I think that's great value. 

I was reticent at first trying skincare from Aldi and I am really surprised and pleased with how well they have worked. I have gone back now and tried other Aldi  products and I am quite impressed with the whole Lacura range.  It's good to know that you don't have to spend a fortune for excellent skin care.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Macro Natural Vitamin E Cream Review

Macro Natural Vitamin E Cream is a product I have been using for years.

My skin is naturally dry and just soaks up this lovely thick cream, it is the only cream which makes me feel as if my skin is truly moisturised.

I use it all over my face and neck area and around my eyes. I love what it does for my skin, it was a real lifesaver for me.

I have Systemic Lupus and about 8 years ago my skin started to flake on my face and no matter what I did, what I used, I could not stop the flaking and whenever I wore foundation it exacerbated the problem and made my skin look like I had a bad case of sunburn and was peeling. I was so embarrassed I had to stop wearing foundation and because my skin was patchy people would stare at me and I just didn't want to show my face in public anymore.

I then started to use this cream day and night and all my flaky skin cleared up, the patchiness went away, the redness was calmed and I could start using foundation again. Today my skin looks really healthy and I have been told I look great for my age and how lovely my skin is.

This cream contains Natural Vitamin E, Vitamin A and Avocado oil. It is a really thick cream but absorbs easily and leaves your skin feeling very soft and supple.

I have never had any reaction, it cleared up all my blemishes, dry skin spots and it is fantastic in summer as a salve for sunburn if I am silly enough to get too much sun, with Lupus it is really easy to get sunburnt even with a hat.

It is also great as a salve for dry lips and as a hand cream.

This would have to be my most repurchased item and I have never found anything else that compares. It comes in 100g jars, the cream is unscented and it lasts a long time as a little goes a long way. Great value for money.

I take this cream everywhere, it is the first thing I pack whenever I travel, I love this cream and I hope they never stop making it.

LUSH Ultrabalm review

I purchased this balm a couple of weeks ago when I went into the LUSH store to pick up my favourite soap (more on that later).

Basically this is a very natural product with only three ingredients, Jojoba oil, Candelilla wax and Rose wax.

I was surprised when I first opened this balm because it is really hard, like candle wax hard, I was expecting to be able to swipe and apply like most other balms.

Has no fragrance, for some reason I thought Rose because of the Rose wax but it just smells like wax.

With this you need to rub your finger across the surface until the friction melts some of the balm to oil and then you can apply it to your skin.

It is oily but not overly greasy. It applies well and you can use it on just about anything.

The label says "for bits that chap and chafe", so far I have used it as a balm for lines on my face, round my eyes, my lips, dry spots on my skin, scars, cuticles and massaged into the ends of my hair.

I like that the oil absorbs easily into my skin and there is no greasy after feel. Leaves my skin feeling soft, moisturised and helps plump out those pesky frown lines.

I don't particularly like it as a lip balm, I find it too thin and it doesn't stay on your lips but I like to smooth it around my lip area because it is a great moisturiser and then I add lip balm.

You get 45g of balm in a tin with a screw on lid, which is a great bonus as anyone who has wrestled with a lip balm lid which just won't come off will testify.

Great value as a little goes a long way and one tin should last you a long time.

Anyone who loves the idea of an all purpose natural product will love this balm, I do.

e.l.f. haul - first impressions

This blog is just my first impressions on my recent e.l.f. cosmetics purchase. I do not review products until I have used them for a while to get a real honest idea how they perform.

I recently purchased some items from the e.l.f. cosmetics Australia website because they had a 25% off celebration for reaching 1500 likes on their FB page.

Ok, I was really excited to receive these, I thought it was a pretty good deal, not only was it 25% off but if you spend over $30 you get free registered post. I received emails all the way about the status of my order, tracking advice and from order to delivery it took two working days, got to be happy with that.

I am opening these as I write so you get my first impressions.

What was in my order?

e.l.f. Studio Beauty-On-The-Go 3-Palette Storage Case

This storage palette holds up to three of their single Beauty-On-The-Go palettes, included is a single compact if you just want to carry one palette with you. Comes with a good size mirror in the lid, the entire compact measures 12.5cm by 17.5cm so its a handy size to travel with and have a good collection of shadows, blushes, highlighters and lipgloss. Has a great high end look about it and the quality is good considering the price, I don't think it will break easily like some cheaper compacts are liable to do.

The single compact that is included is just a smaller version, has a great full length mirror, measures 13cm x 4cm so will slip easily into your make up or hand bag.

I purchased this one more out of curiousity for the speckled shades.

Definitely darker shades for a dramatic night time look.

The left side of this palette is neutral browns with some variety on the right.

Each palette contains 10 eyeshadows, two lipglosses and one blush/bronzer/highlighter. Overall there is a good selection of shades, the three I purchased all contained blushes. I believe in the US you can purchase a selection of ten palettes but there are only four available on the aussie site, I didn't purchase 'Date Night' because it was all grey shades and one white. My first impression of the eyeshadow and blush is that they are highly pigmented and creamy to the touch, a good mix of matte, shimmer and glitter. The lipglosses are great, some very pigmented shades that go on more like lip stain and the 'party perfect' are more gloss and shine. I think you could have great fun with these palettes and all are very wearable from day to night looks. I like how everything is in one place, very handy for travel, the only thing that is missing is there is nowhere to put your brushes.

Studio Eye Transformer

I love the idea of this palette. Contains 4 opalescent eyeshadows in pastel shades of green, nude beige, pink and lavender. You can use them on their own or mix them with your other eye makeup to create new shades or just lighten a look that is too dark. This speaks to the artist inside me who just loves to dabble with colour. My first impression when I opened this is how sturdy the compact is, looks great, large mirror in the lid, contains four generous sized pans and has an eye shadow brush which is a miniature of their "C" brush. The pastel shades themselves are definitely opalescent, creamy and highly pigmented.

Studio Bronzers

I purchased these based on some youtube reviews I viewed and was really curious to try them myself. They are a mix of highlighter, blush and bronzer, so you can use each shade seperately or swirl you brush over the entire pan for an all over shade. The Cool Bronzer is matte for a more natural look and contains a highlighter, two bronzers and a blush. The Warm Bronzer contains 4 shimmering shades to make you glow, great for summer. My first impression again was how great these compacts look, contains a full sized mirror in the lid but no brush. A great variety of shades so you can mix and match, creamy and highly pigmented.

Essential Lips - Hypershine Collections Limited Edition

This is a pack of 5 of their Hypershine Lipglosses, you can purchase these separately. The shades are (from the top) Au Naturale, Pageant Princess, Berry Cherry, Ruby Kiss and Raspberry. Nice collection of shades, the lighter are sheer but good pigmentation in the last three. Brush applicator and the gloss is twisted up from the bottom of the pen, go slow with the twisting otherwise you end up with a glut of gloss. My first impression is I don't like the twisting action, gloss went everywhere but now I know what I am doing I will twist slowly. The brush applies well, the gloss is thick and stays put, didn't feather and bleed into my skin and appears glass like. I really love the 'Ruby Kiss' shade, its a beautiful highly pigmented red with a blue undertone (white teeth) which made my lips look extremey full and luscious, very kissable. Yes I like these lip pens, lid stays on tight so it won't come off in your bag and so far (2hr) long wearing.

Essentials Eyelid Primer - Sheer

I have heard good reviews about this primer and look forward to trying it. My first impression is it looks like a pretty standard container, I don't like reusable sponge tips anywhere near my eyes. I will apply this via a clean brush.

Essentials Blending Eye Brush

I needed a new blending brush so thought I would give this one a go, I have the eye shadow brush and I really like that so I hope this will be the same. Good value for budget brushes.

Overall I am pretty happy with my first purchase from the Aussie e.l.f. site. I know that we pay more here for the same products in the US but we seem to pay more for everything in Australia. I still think it was a pretty good deal with the 25% off and free postage and would look at purchasing from them again when they have a sale. They didn't have a couple of products that I wanted but that's OK they have gone on my wishlist for next time.

Again this is a haul review and once I have given all the products a good go I will be writing reviews for the ones I really like, so stay tuned.

Thanks for visiting.

Pandora Clip Bracelet

My husband is a "Pandora boy", every Christmas, Birthday, Mother's Day, Wedding Anniversary or "just because he loves me", he gives me Pandora jewellry.

His latest purchase was for our wedding anniversary he bought me a Pandora clip bracelet with beads and I love it!!

Here it is....................Isn't it beautiful!

(Just discovered how hard it is to get a good photo of something shiny)

This is a solid sterling silver hand made bracelet with 5 anchor points that you can attach clip beads too. It comes in 7 different lengths 15cm - 23cm.

Mine has a flowery theme to it. The hanging clip is a Purple enamel dogwood (type of flower) clip with a lavender CZ in the middle. Purple is my favourite colour.

The remaining four clip beads are all engraved with flower patterns.

From the top they are, Midnight Bloom, DaVinci, Nouveau Lace and Lazy Daisy. There are many clips to choose from but this is the flower theme my hubby went with. You can get different shapes, patterns and clips set with semi precious stones and gold.

I really love this bracelet, it has a more delicate feel compared to their original bracelet but it is just as strong. I think it would look really nice if you wore two bracelets of differing lengths together.

I just love Pandora, you can see the quality, I have quite a few pieces and not one has ever broken or had stones fall out, they are extremely well made.

I am so spoilt, I can't wait to see what I get next.

Australian Beauty Boxes

Beauty boxes is something I am relatively new too but with what I have received so far, I don't think it is something I will be doing for much longer.

Why? I don't think the Australian equivalent is up to the standard of the boxes I have seen from overseas.

Take the latest Lust Have It box for June, I received 5 items and two of them were perfume samples, there was a dry shampoo spray 30g, single use face mask and eye mask plus a full sized glitter eyeliner. That was it. Repetitive and boring, there was no need for two perfumes and two masks, customers want variety in their samples, or so they have been commenting on Lust Have It's FB page.

Now compare that to what was in the Bellabox from Singapore. I watched this 'opening' on youtube channel '2jasdream' and I was blown away by what she received.

1. Ralph Lauren perfume sample 'Romance' 1.5ml + a voucher for a free shower gel if purchasing full size perfume

2. Biotherm White D-Tox Tick BB cream 5ml

3. Biotherm Late Corpe Body Moisturiser 30mls + a voucher for 10% off full size purchases for any Biotherm products.

4. Shu uemura fresh pore clarifying gentle cleansing oil 20ml + 10% off discount voucher.

5. Lancome Blanc Expert Derm-Crystal 5ml sample size

6. Lancome Genifique Youth Activator 5ml + a voucher for a free moisturiser with any lancome purchase.

7. Kiehl's Calendula Herbal Extract Toner 40ml travel size

8. Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate 4ml

Wow, I mean really, whats with that? She received 8 generous sized products from 5 different beauty companies plus discount coupons to purchase full sized products.

Why isn't Bellabox Australia offering their customers the same value as their Singapore company? I think Australian beauty boxes really need to lift their game.

As for Lust Have It, I don't know what is going on with them this month, I know not everyone received a box because they sold out. I think with the take over of Glossy box they found themselves with more customers than samples to go around, which made June's collection really thin for those of us who did receive. I hope that they can get their act together because beauty boxes are a great idea.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

bellabox June review Australia 2012

June's bellabox was a nice surprise, full of terrific goodies :)

What did I receive?

1. Benefit POREfessional pro balm. I generally love Benefit products and use quite a few. Unfortunately this is one I don't like, it actually accentuates my pores instead of reducing them, its not pretty. This is a very generous sample size 7.5ml and I know lots of people are going to be happy to have received this. Just not for me, but I will happily pass this on to someone who loves it :)

2. Benefit Total Moisture Facial cream. Wow how lucky can you get two Benefit products this month. A 3.5g sample and it's a pretty good general facial moisturiser. The only thing I didn't like about this product was the fragrance, it's really strong.

3. Pure Fiji body butter. I love love love body butters and was very happy to receive this generous sample, I think its about 20g. I love the company Pure Fiji, I like their commitment to the enviroment, local communities, and their use of natural wild crafted ingredients. I received this in Pineapple, while it had a sweet floral scent I was hard pressed to smell pineapples. Still a very good product.

4. Sally Hansen Colour Quick Chrome Fast Dry Nail Colour pens. Very interested to try this, it is a full sized product with a value of $16.95.

5. Be In Awe Vimala Cleanser and Codayati Renewal System. I received two 3ml cleanser sachets and a 5ml renewal pump. I am looking forward to trying these products as I prefer to use natural creams with no added nasties on my skin. They use only natural concentrated ingredients based on Ayurveda holistic medicine. They are an Australian owned company and they make all their products here and they have a wonderfully informative website at

6. Fan di Fendi fragrance sample. I found it interesting that they advertise this as a new feminine fragrance because I found it to be quite masculine and more suited to aftershave, too strong for me.

7. Olea Olive Leaf Drops. This is an interesting product that claims to have 400% more antioxidant power than Vitamin C. Unfortunately I couldn't test these as they contain sugar and I am a diabetic but I gave them to my husband who conveniently had a cold at the time and he said they were pleasant tasting and the menthol helped clear his nose. As for the antioxidant claim I think you would need to take them for a lot longer than the sample size allows to see any benefit. These have a RRP of $6 for 12 drops.

Overall I was very impressed with this months bellabox, there was certainly a lot to look at and try and I think something for everyone there! Good one :)

If you would like to try BB for yourself go here.

Lust Have It Beauty Box Review Australia June 2012

This is only my second box from Lust have it.

I was disappointed with this months selection as there was not much variety or products that interested me personally.

I don't expect to love everything that comes in the box, they have to cater for the wider community so understandably you aren't going to like everything. But when it arrives and there is absolutely nothing in there that peaks your interest, it is very disappointing.

So what did I receive?

1.   Two tiny perfume vials, Marc Jacobs - Daisy and Roberto Cavalli - Eau de Parfum. These are OK, I personally don't like to receive perfume samples because I can go into any big department store and ask for free samples. To be fair, others do like to receive them and there is enough in the sample for two or three uses so its not too bad. This also counted as one item so two samples is pretty generous.

2.   Bloom Glitter eyeliner. I don't like Bloom products and was not impressed with this eyeliner. I refuse to put anything near my eyes that contains glitter, I applied glitter eyeliner only once and the glitter scratched my eyeball and I suffered a  really bad eye infection from it. Again others will disagree and love that this is a full sized product with a value of $14.95 so already they have got their money back this month. Just not for me.

3.   Batiste - Blush dry shampoo. Again another product I am not impressed with. I have waist length, dry hair and would never use a dry shampoo, I just have no need for it. I also wasn't impressed that this was included in the box because it is hardly a premium or boutique product. This was a 30g sample, great for travelling, some will love this, I don't.

4 & 5.   Lon Vitalite 24K Active Golden Yulan Oil Facial Mask and Full Eye Mask. I was very disappointed with these samples. They were included as two separate products when they should have been included as one, bit of a rip off.  I used the Face Mask, it was freezing, it gets really cold and I could barely stand to have it on for the 20 minutes.  To be honest I saw NO difference.  I am still not really sure what it was suppose to do but there was no change to my face at all.

What do I think?

Not enough variety this month. Two perfumes and two masks. Should have been one of each and another product or the Lust Have It team could have been a bit more generous and included all those samples plus another product.

After all these are free samples provided by the companies who use Lust Have It to advertise and reach a wider market. What is our $14.95 a month really for?   I think they could be more generous with what they provide in the box each month.

I have seen what other beauty boxes overseas include in their boxes including discounts for purchasing full sized products, why isn't that done here in Australia?