Monday, 23 July 2012

Lust Have It July 2012

I was very happy with what I received in this month's pack.  I am pretty excited about every product, I can use everything and there is some new stuff that I am curious to try like this first product.

1.   Baby Foot - this is a foot pack/socks 1 pair,  which gently exfoliates the hard cracked skin from your feet.  You wear the socks which are impregnated with a "all natural plant extracts" gel for 2 hours and they gently start to dry out the skin and within 7 days all the hard skin has peeled off and disappeared.  I love walking around barefoot and my skin is always hard, I look forward to giving these a go and will let you know what I think.  If the skin is going to peel for a week I might have to think about doing this when I am not wearing sandals.  This product also came with a 20% discount voucher off your first order.  This is a full size product RRP $29.95.

2.   Matrix Mix In Shine 4.4ml x 2 samples - this is a silicone based shine serum that you can mix into your other hair products or use on its own to promote soft shiny hair. I have used silcone products before so I think this will pretty much be the same, nothing new here but I am still happy to have received these instead of the shampoo and conditioner other members received.  RRR $20.95 for 89ml.

3.   Mirenesse Velvet Lip Lift Moisture Shine No 31. 1.5g sample  - I am not sure what the shade is called it only had a number but it is a gorgeous matte baby pink and I think it is divine.  I applied this gloss well over an hour ago and the colour is still vibrant and making my lips look gorgeous.  This gloss is described as "All in one self-renewing glossy colour, micro collagen instant lip plumper and long term lip treatment.  Extremely long wearing plus anti feathering high intensity colour."  This would be the first lip gloss description that I actually agree with.  This stuff is fantastic.  4.5g full size RRP $39.95

4.   Avene Eluage Firming cream 3ml sample size - Helps visibly reduce the appearance of deep furrows and wrinkles.  Instructions say that you only need to tap a small amount onto the deep lines but doesn't say how long you have to use it before you see results, I think probably longer than 3mls will last.  I am curious to try Avene as I have heard good things.  RRP $30.00 for 15ml.

5.  Avene Rich Compensating Cream 5ml sample size - "Extremely nourishing and easily absorbed daily moisturiser for very dry and sensitive skin".  I am not sure if you use this is for your face or body as the instructions say nothing, but I do have some dry patches to try this out on.  RRP $57.95 for 50ml.

6.   Avene Cold Cream 10ml sample - This is a daily body lotion, "nourishing and softening with long lasting moisture".  I use a lot of body moisturiser as I have very dry skin, I don't think 10mls will give me much of an idea how this works but I was very pleased to get these three Avene samples.  RRP $34.95 for 400mls.

All this came in a gorgeous Tangerine makeup bag and I have to say overall I am very happy with the Lust Have It team and the collection they have put together this month.  I really would have liked to have received a full sized lip gloss like some other members received but hey it is a vast improvement on June's box.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

July Bellabox 2012

Well I have to say I was pleasantly surprised when I opened my Bellabox this month and all these wonderful goodies literally fell out.  I don't think they could have squeezed in another thing.  Everybody should be very happy with the assortment of products they have received.  I was certainly very happy with mine.

I am really looking forward to pampering myself this weekend!

This is a first impressions for each product I received.  I don't review products until I have used them for a while, so I have a good idea what they are like.

This month's box was called "Essential Beauty Buys",  Bellabox box describe it as a back to basics box with everything you need right now.  I think they are pretty spot on with that description too.

YOU ME AND EVERY BODY SHADY LADY FACE MILK - This is a full sized product, which you can purchase from the chemist.  It's the first time I have heard of this brand and it comes in a 75ml sealed tube with a flip top lid.   I was wary when I attempted to open it because milk is generally runny but I was quite surprised to find it was thick and creamy. At first I thought this was just a sunscreen but I tested it on my hand and it is definitely moisturising. On the box it is described as a rich moisturiser with sun protection, it has that sunscreen smell but nothing too obtrusive, I can live with it.  SPF 30 broad spectrum, I look forward to trying this product, I am having chemotherapy and my skin is very sensitive even in winter, this was definitely a welcome product for me this month.  RRP $9.99

CARMEX MOISTURE PLUS ULTRA HYDRATING LIP BALM - I swear I am the lip balm queen I never have enough lip balms and can never find one when I need it.  I think most people are familiar with Carmex lip products, I certainly have been using them for years.  This one comes in a swish modern wind up lipstick applicator, the same great Carmex formula with added SPF 15. Another full size product, RRP $8.99

NEUTROGENA AGELESS INTENSIVES DEEP WRINKLE EYE CREAM - Just this morning when I was applying my makeup I was thinking I needed to find a good eye cream, so another product I am really happy to receive.  The description says it takes about two weeks to start seeing results, so I will be happy to add this to my skincare routine and I will let you know what I think.  Comes in a huge box and when you open it there is this tiny 14g tube, I don't get it with all the extra packaging, eye creams always come in small containers no need to bulk it out.  This is also a full size product, RRP $29.99.  UPDATE:  I am loving this eyecream, it has done a wonderful job of firming up my eye area, this is a great cream and had now become a staple of my beauty regime.

PALMERS COCOA BUTTER FORMULA NIGHT RENEWAL CREAM - I have used Palmers for years, through all my pregnancies (stretch marks) and after sun care.  I think most people will be familiar with the brand if not this particular product, I have tried this cream and it isn't one of my favourites.  Still it has that lovely cocoa aroma and I will find a use for it.  This is a generous 15g sample tube, the regular size is 75g and RRP $12.99  UPDATE:  I have changed my mind, I don't know if they have changed the formula but it works a wonder on my mature dry skin, I loved it so much I have already purchased the full-sized jar.  This product is available in most chemists and Big W, I am recommending it to everyone I know.

ULTA3 NAIL POLISH IN MULBERRY - This shade is divine purple and one of my favourite colours, it almost matches the cushion that I photographed above.  I don't normally wear nail polish but my toes are going to get a treat this weekend.  Never tried Ulta before, the test I did on my thumb nail was runny and took a little time to dry but the shade is beautiful and I reckon two coats should do it.  RRP $2

ALMAY GET UP AND GROW MASCARA - I already use this mascara and I have to say it is one of my favourites.  Lengthens and separates a treat, is a black black shade, I love what it does for the length of my lashes, leaves them flexible, no itch and there is no flaking or panda eyes all day.  Really happy to have received a spare this month.  RRP $19.95

PRIMARIA NOURISHING SILK MASK & BATH OF LIFE SHAMPOO - Two 15ml samples specifically for dry damaged hair.  I would be very interested to try these but as I have waist length hair, one sachet of each just won't cover it.  RRP $24.95 for 150ml bottle of the mask and $21.95 for 250ml bottle of the shampoo.

GIVENCHY PI NEO - sample of aftershave which is to celebrate the launch of the new Bellabox for Men.  Also comes with a code for a 20% discount on all purchases on the Givenchy website until 31st August.

I also recieved a sample size 15ml NEUTROGENA GENTLE FACE SCRUB, this wasn't on the items list included with the box but I have never tried it before and use a scrub once a week, so look forward to this one

This month's box came with a dinky little make up bag which I am going to save for summer, it's just the right size for a few beauty necessaries at the beach.

Overall I am really happy with this month's Bellabox, an amazing variety of products, I will get good use out of the majority of these products, certainly great value for money and I think the team did a fantastic job to put all this together, well done!

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

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Urban Rituelle Soothing Body Balm Review

This a review for the Urban Rituelle Soothing Body Balm from the 'Beachcomber' range in the fragrances, Coconut and Honey, Mango Milk and Frangipani.

Urban Rituelle is an Australian company which make some of the yummiest smelling products ever!  I can't think of anything better in the long winter months than slathering your body in thick creamy balms reminiscent of summer. 

They smell delicious and I can't pick a favourite because I love them all. 

Extremely creamy and moisturising, they contain ingredients such as Jojoba oil, Shea butter, Cocoa butter, Avocado oil, Chamomile, Cucumber extract, Liquorice extract and Vitamins AC&E.

Leaves my skin feeling oh so soft and silky smooth and the fragrance is just a sensory overload of tropical island bliss.

Coconut and Honey - smells warm and sweet like golden honey with just a hint of creamy coconut, which develops into a deep musky sensual aroma.  This reminds me of warm skin kissed by the summer sun, makes me long for the beach.

Mango Milk - sweet, fruity and oh so creamy.  Reminds me of Weiss Mango bars.  I don't think there is anything more delicious on a hot summer afternoon then sweet juicy chilled mangoes. 

Frangipani - whisk me away to a tropical island, NOW!  Well I might not be able to go there in person but I can dream can't I?  I like to wear this balm when I go out because you don't need to wear perfume, it leaves a subtle lingering fragrance of heaven wherever you go.

Urban Rituelle describe these balms as 'the spirit of summer' and they are absolutely right, if you can't escape winter with a holiday this is the next best thing.

All overflowing poetic words aside, these are my favourite balms, full of yummy ingredients that make your skin feel and smell wonderful and really do remind you of summer.

These balms are available in handy 45g and 200g tubes.  There is also a balm in the collection called Island Citrus, I haven't purchased that, Yet...........

Urban Rituelle is a great aussie company selling a whole range of bath and body products and they really are worth checking out.

Now, come on Summer!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

e.l.f. Hypershine Gloss Review

This review is for the Hypershine Collection Limited Edition.

(from the top) Au Naturale, Pageant Princess, Berry Cherry, Ruby Kiss and  Raspberry.
This collection includes a great selection of shades which would suit just about everyone.

I have a draw full of lip glosses and I am pretty fussy when it comes to gloss.  I like thick glosses that are a little bit tacky, I think they stay on longer and I am all for staying power.  Also my expectation is if the gloss comes in a certain shade it should appears as that colour on your lips, so many lipglosses look pretty in the tube but there is no payoff  on the lips.

I didn't have high hopes when I purchased this collection, I have only just started using e.l.f. products as they aren't readily available in Australia and we pay 3 times the price of our US sisters.  Being a budget product I don't usually find cheaper lip gloss to be much good.

Boy was I wrong!!

This formula delivers everything I look for, little or no fragrance and taste, it is thick, stays on the lips, doesn't feather and the colours are beautiful and glossy.  Makes my lips look very full and luscious, lasts a long time for a gloss and my lips feel moisturised.

This is a great pen to throw in your handbag, the brush applies smoothly, touch ups are a cinch because there is usually enough product left in the bristles to reapply, so no wastage.   The only problem I am having is getting used to how many twists I need because sometimes too much product comes out, if you hold the brush up to the light you can see the gloss, one or two twists is usually enough.

I have included a couple of photos of swatches, one in natural light and one with the flash.  I apologise for the quality, my camera isn't that good.  I swatched my 15 year old son's arm and while he was very interested in the process I don't think it is something he will readily admit to his friends.



(from left to right)  Au Naturale, Pageant Princess, Berry Cherry, Ruby Kiss and Raspberry.

I know that colours vary on different people so I can only comment how they appear on me.  As you can see from the photos the shades do change in the light.

Au Naturale - A frosty nude with an iridescent glow and some sparkle. 

Pageant Princess - Very pretty light pink with a mother of pearl sheen, fills your lips and make them look naturally very full.

Berry Cherry - This is very close to my own lip colour, appears very natural and slightly more pink on me than represented in the photo. 

Ruby Kiss - I am very pale and not usually one for highly pigmented shades but this shade is divine.  I love what this does for my lips, very luscious and full and just screams kiss me!

Raspberry - Another pigmented shade with glossy shimmer.  This is more a deep pink on me which I love.

I love all these shades, they are described as sheer on the e.l.f. site but I think they have just the right amount of pigment, the quality is fantastic and I feel they are very wearable for a multitude of looks day and night.

The only problem is deciding which one to wear, mmmmm.............

Monday, 2 July 2012

How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

When brushes become dirty they stiffen, lose their softness and don't perform as well.  Dirty makeup brushes can harbour bacteria which can cause acne, eye infections and spread skin infections through open sores.  Each time you buff makeup into your skin you are working in bacteria, old skin cells, dust, dirt and oil that has collected on your brushes, yucky!

Clean brushes ensure smooth, even application of makeup and won't mix old makeup with new and effect the colour and tone you are trying to achieve.

Makeup brushes should be washed once a week.   I have a collection of brushes and when I have used a few for a week I transfer them to my 'dirty brush holder' and start using another clean set until I have enough brushes to do a big wash.   I like to use clean eye brushes daily for hygiene and product transfer as old shadow can change the new colour your working with.

I like to use a pump anti-bacterial hand soap to wash my brushes but you can purchase specialised brush cleaner or use baby shampoo, ordinary liquid hand soap, or any gentle 'soap free' cleanser.

What you will need:   Cleanser, a large bowl and a thick absorbent towel.

1.  Place a 3/4 rolled towel onto the draining board of a clean sink.

2.  Fill bowl with tepid water.  (hot water will cause the glue in your brush to melt and the bristles will start to fall out eventually)

3.  Pump a small amount of soap into the palm of your hand.  Just enough to form a lather.

4.  Holding the brush downwards, try to dip only the bristles into the bowl of water.

5.  Roll the bristles around your soapy palm forming a lather, gently use your fingers to work the soap in.

6.  Rinse soapy brush under the cold tap until the water runs clear.

7.  Gently squeeze bristles and flick brush downwards to remove any excess water.

8.   Smooth bristles to reshape brush and place on rolled towel, bristles facing diagonally downwards so any excess water can drain away.

9.  Repeat step 3 to 8 for remaining brushes.

10.  Leave brushes in a warm place to dry, rotate occasionally and smooth down any errant bristles, leave overnight or until completely dry before storing away.

Washing your brushes regularly ensures that they stay soft and in good condition, if you look after your brushes you should get many years out of them.  After all good brushes are expensive and you need to look after your investment.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

My facial skincare routine

My skincare routine is pretty simple.

I do like a clean face and I do like to wash with soap and water.  Unfortunately soap being too harsh on my skin I had to find an alternative.

Recently I discovered a product from an Australian company MooGoo Milky Wash.

Comes in a great big 500ml pump bottle,  I apply one or two pumps depending on how much makeup I have on.  It has a thick creamy consistency which I  massage into my skin, including around my eyes to remove mascara (no tears) and then I rinse it off with water.   No dryness, doesn't leave my skin feeling tight, just super clean, every spot of makeup removed and feeling incredibly soft.  This stuff contains capric glucoside (sugar) which was originally developed for baby and face wipes.  I love it, I use it at night in the shower.  You can also use it as an all over bodywash, it is great for sensitive skin, totally soap free.

In the morning I generally just swipe my face with a face wipe, I am amazed by just how dirty my face can get sleeping.  At the moment I am trying Lacura 3-in-1 cleansing face wipes and they do a pretty good job.  I also use them to remove makeup when I arrive home too late and don't feel like washing my face, they leave my face fresh and clean without any dryness and they remove mascara without stinging my eyes.

Next I moisturise.  I have been using the Lacura Renovage System with good results.  It consists of an Intensive serum, Day cream, Night Cream and Eye Cream.  I have written a review about them previously so I won't go into too much detail but I am really happy with the results I am seeing, my skin definitely has improved and I am seeing less wrinkles and plumper skin.

Another repairing moisturiser I apply before I go to bed without fail is Macro Natural Vitamin E cream, this has been a lifesaver for me and has done wonders for my skin.  I have Systemic Lupus and the skin on my face started to peel making it impossible for me to wear foundation, this cream cured the peeling and I have been using it ever since.  I have also written a review about this product as it certainly deserves its own page.

Every now and then I like to do an Oil Cleanse.  I know there are a lot of oil cleansers on the market but I prefer to make my own with Organic Castor and Jojoba oil, I use a ratio of 10% Castor oil to 90% Jojoba oil, for dry skin,  I mix it up and keep it in a pump bottle.  Two pumps of oil in my hand and I massage the oil into my face for approx 30 seconds, then apply a warm face washer, leave it on my face until it cools and then wash off the oil.   I also use this for my boys who are teenagers and have acne, I use a stronger ratio of 30% Castor oil to 70% Jojoba oil.  After massaging in the oil for 30 seconds, I steam with a warm face washer until cool and repeat steaming three times.  Oil cleansing helps to deep cleanse your face and remove impurities, whilst leaving your skin moisturised.  With acne skin, castor and jojoba oil mimic the natural oils in your skin, reducing the skin's own oil production and thus reducing acne.  With the boys I do this once a fortnight as part of their cleansing regime, I think it is very important to teach boys about good skincare habits.

I have also been loving LUSH Ultrabalm which I wrote a review for here.  It's a great all-purpose natural balm for dry skin, lips, scars, cuticles, split ends and wrinkles.

So that's my skincare routine, please click here for the Renovage System and here for the Macro Natural Vitamin E cream reviews.