Friday, December 24, 2010

Thank You

Christmas and year end has always been for me, a time for family and reflection; a time to be thankful for all that I have - my family, loved ones, and my health.

I know this all sounds very clich├ęd but it really is a case of you don't know how blessed you are until you lose something you love dearly, as it has been the case for me. It was only then that I truly appreciated and realised I have up until recently lived in a happy existence, albeit with the random challenges thrown my way to make life more interesting.

So with this upcoming festive season, I'd like to take a moment to say thanks to those who have help made 2010 a tremendous year for me.

To my family and wonderful friends - you have helped me out by just being there for me to listen to my thoughts. You are there for emotional support. And even though I don't always acknowledge and tell you so, I am, from the bottom of my heart grateful to those times you stuck by me, gave me strength and encouraged me to follow my dreams.

I started beauty blogging less than 6 months ago. And before long I met such a wonderful group of beauties who are as beautiful to be with as they are beautiful on the outside. The girls of MBBE is a wonderful friendship group that I'm truly very lucky to part of.

And to my twitter friends and wonderful readers, you are the ones who kept me passionate and motivated, gave me inspirations on blogging topics and took me on a journey of new product discoveries. I love all your invaluable advice and ideas. This blog has been an amazing platform for me to connect with you and to share with you my love of all things beauty and beautiful.

So as we draw an end to 2010, I want to thank you for making this a defining year for me. I look forward to 2011 being a more fabulous, fun and amazing with bigger and better things to come.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays! May your days be filled with love and joy and laughter throughout.

Image courtesy of my lovely friend Chi-Sze taken at Uemeda Osaka, Japan.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

$50 MBH Voucher Winner

Apologies with the delay in announcing the winner and lack of posts this week - it's been a hectic one due to my brother's wedding and my pet dog falling very sick this week and a whole heap of other things in my life going on at this time of the year.


So without further ado I'd like to announce that the lucky winner of the $50 voucher for Melbourne Health & Beauty Clinic is none other than....



Emmabovary!

Congratulations! Please email me on lilpil.blog@gmail.com with your mailing address and I will send the voucher out to you ASAP.

Friday, December 17, 2010

NYX The Runway Collection: Jazz Night

In the last Cherry Culture 20% off sale, I hauled a swag full of NYX products; mainly the 3 pan eye shadow palettes, 10 color Runway collection eyeshadow palettes, some cream blushes and a translucent powder.

The first one I want to share with you is from The Runway Collection, the 10 Color Eyeshadow Palette in Jazz Night.

The colours are a combination of blues, mauves, purple with browns and greys for contouring.
The top row is a matte black, a satin royal blue, a shimmer silver grey, a frosted yellow that looks more beige on my skin, and a satin mauve/purple.
The bottom row sports glitter silver white, an olive brown with gold flecks, a matte deep purple with purple flecks, a satin chocolate brown and a frosted lilac mauve.
NC30 skin in natural light

I find the matte colours slightly harder to apply/blend than the frosted ones. The frosted/metallic varieties are buttery soft, highly pigmented, effortless to work with and you can more easily get colours true to pan. You can make the matte colours work for you too, just that it take a bit more effort as the brush doesn't pick up the colour well and a sponge applicator, I find, do a better job.

There was a bit more fallout for the matte colours whilst the frosted ones held up pretty well.

Staying power wise, without primer on a mild summer day, they lasted on me for under 2 hours, so definitely needs touch up if you wanted a polished look during the afternoon.
N30 skin in indoor white light

I love the colour in this palette, it can be toned down by using the lighter shades for a light mauvy/grey look or dramatised by adding more darker colours for sultry looks. The royal blue just adds more variety to the looks that can be achieved with this palette alone.

RRP US$8 at Cherry Culture. They are currently having a 20% holiday sale till the 20th December.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Review: Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lift Age-Correcting Creme Rich

As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure, so one thing that is never too early to start is protecting your skin with products like sunscreen whenever you are going to be exposed to the sun.

The question then is when is a good time to start with anti-aging treatments and creams?
I think the answer is dependent on individual skin conditions and lifestyle habits. Now my skin is probably a little worse than my age(am heading down the big 3-0 in a few months time) as I was not diligent with sunscreen and skincare during my teens and early adult years. The price I'm now paying are fine lines under the eyes, acne scarring, uneven skin tone and texture with my skin elasticity going down the sliding slope.

When I was recently given the opportunity to try the newest ultimate anti-aging cream, I jumped at the opportunity in my quest to turn back time and undo some of my skin damage.

Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lift Age-Correcting Creme Rich


Proclaimed as the ultimate all-in-one super creme that lifts, firms and perfects skin’s appearance, this is the latest addition to Estee Lauders Re-Nutriv line.
The ingredients listing of the creme reads like a celebrity A-lister Blocker - it's packed full of potent ingredients to repair and moisturise with the multi-patented star ingredients:
  • Phormidium Persicinum - known as the algae of life to repair and renew damaged skin cells and support healthy skin cell reproduction, something we all need a extra does of as we age. 
  • EGT - an amino acid complex that acts as a powerful anti-oxidant to renew and protect skin from free-radicals and environmental damage. 
  • Silketare - derived from rare marine seaweed that helps boosts our own genes life span to ensure that they live longer and are at their optimum energy level to produce healthy cells. 
  • Black Tourmaline- a charged mineral that supports skin natural production of collagen to give firmer, more plump looking skin. 
  • Hyaluronic Acid & Trehalose to keep skin supple and moisturised 
  • Crushed south sea pearls to give skin radiance and lustre.
How it Performed
  • Scented with a floral fragrance and has a thickened silky texture, it is not overwhelming nor irritating on my sensitised skin. Even on slightly raw skin (from overuse of AHA products), I did not experience discomfort or burning sensations using this. 
  • You'd expect this thick and incredibly rich creme to be difficult to use but it sinks immediately into skin and fast absorbing with only the slightest sticky feeling that goes away in 5 minutes. It seriously has an amazing texture for such a rich creme although given its richness, I tend to use it only at night. 
  • This stuff promises cellular lift, surface lift with is stellar ingredient combination that can be assisted with a manual lift when you spend the time to massage it into skin. Skin is ultra hydrated and more plumped up and looked lifted in the morning. 
  • Skin on my cheeks are firmer and there is more elasticity and resilience when I pinch it and expression lines were also softened after 4 weeks of use. 
  • Fine lines under the eyes appear melted away and were barely noticeable when I first get up. It does creep back in as the day wears on but each night I use this product, my skin is refreshed again the next day. 
  • I've also seen overall skintone and texture improvement. My skin is calmer and less prone to flare ups and turning 'fugly' on me. I can honestly say that whilst using the cream, I did not have a single bad skin day. 
  • On more mature skin (I had my mum who is in her late 50s try this out too) and she couldn't believe how much firmer and tighter her skin feels just after a few weeks of use - the lifting effect was definitely very noticeable on her. Her fine line which are deeper than mine and early signs of crows feet are now less prominent than before. She was so addicted to this product, she's laid claim to it and refuses to give the jar back to me. 

Final Thoughts 
This is truly the ultimate anti-aging cream. Sure it's not cheap but if you really care for you skin and need to reverse damage whilst protecting and refining your skin texture, you cannot go past this investment cream. It would be also make the perfect present for the mum who wants a mini face lift without going under the knife. 

RRP A$410 for 50ml. Available at Estee Lauder Counters in Myer and David Jones stores.
This product was provided for consideration.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Review: Glass House Triple Scented Candles

I think it's the recent muggy/rainy Melbourne weather and a relationship breakup that has gotten me in a brooding mood. Yes, if you were to see me lately, you will catch me staring into space with a fairly woeful expression on my face.

Some people turn to food for solace, others turn to friends in times of distress. I turn off food and although look to friends for support, what I find most relaxing is to immerse into the world of scent.

Scent can evokes strong memory and is capable of transporting myself into a fantasy world, even if for a brief moment.  So lately I'm been burning countless hours of scented candles, hoping the scent will lift my spirits. The ones that impressed me the most has been from MOR(which was previously reviewed) and Glasshouse.


Glasshouse Large Triple Scented Candle - RRP A$34.95
  • Comes in a beautiful large glass jar with its very own lid. The candle already smell divine and exudes decadence without even being lit up. Being in its own glass jar means its also much safer to be burning the candle as they are less prone to falling or melting all over the place. 
  • The large candles boasts up to 80 hours burning time so there's definitely value for money here. I've yet to burn mine enough despite my multi days use to get to anywhere near the bottom of my jar - infact I've barely made a dent to it after a few sessions of burning. At this rate I'm sure I may get months of enjoyment from it. 
  • Handmade in Australia from food grade wax and comes with a double wick (yes, it is that big) to ensure even burning of the candle. 
  • Gives a subtle yet beautiful scent that permeates throughout the room, creating this wonderful fragrant  room that seems to come with within as it can be hard to pinpoint the source. The fragrance can linger hours after burning so I still get enjoyment after blowing the candle off. 
  • Available in a whole ranges of wonderful unique scents like Manhattan's Little black dress (tulip, orchid & gardenia), Marseille's Gardenia (gardenia, sandalwood, cardamom and casaba melon) and Esperance which exudes subtle Mimosa & Wild apple scents. Each of the ones I've tried are wonderful and unique in their own rights and I burn them all at different times depending on whether I wanted more fruity or floral scents. 
  • The mini glasshouse candles - RRP A$14.95 are so cute, I snapped up a few the other day and they make great gift ideas for that someone special. Being smaller, these come with single wick and lasts up to 12 hours but like its big brother has a lid which you can use to snuff the candle out without leaving that burning smell 
Next time if you need to de-stress yourself for whatever reason, why not hit up a scented candle and let it take your away to more blissful place. Care to share what else you do when your not feeling the best and need some cheering up?


Glasshouse is available in Myer, David Jones, Peter Alexander and selected homeware stores.

One of these products were received at the MBBE event. I've gone out and purchased the mini candles to add to my collection. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

$50 Voucher Giveaway for Melbourne Health & Beauty Clinic

I was recently sent this voucher by the lovely people at Melbourne Health & Beauty Clinic and thought instead of hogging this for myself, I should give it away to my wonderful deserving readers.

This $50 can be used on any services (eg oxygen treatment facials or weight management treatments) in their North Melbourne centre and is valid till 30 June 2011 so there is plenty of time for you to redeem.

There is no need for you to do anything. You are automatically entered as long as you are a follower of this blog (via Google Connect).
Of course I realise some of you are not Melbourne based and so would not have use for this voucher (unless you come down for a visit), so if you would like to win this, please leave a comment on this post to let me know you are from Melbourne and are interested in receiving this voucher.

The giveaway closes midnight 22 Dec. I will randomly select a winner using random.org and will announce the winner shortly after. It is my intention to deliver the voucher out to the lovely winner by New Year so they have an awesome gift to start the new year!

Good Luck!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bring MOR Into Your Life

I recently mentioned that the clever guys at MOR have outdone themselves with their latest release of 5 beautiful scents in their Everyday Essentials range. These new scents are Basil & Grape Neroli Clementine; Honey Nectar; Black Currant Iris; and Sugar Rose Tiger Lily

Each scent range covers 5 essential body care products and includes the following:
  • hand and body wash 350ml - RRP A$19.95
  • soap bar 170g - RRP A$12.95
  • body butter 250ml - RRP A$14.95
  • hand cream 80ml - RRP A$14.95
  • hand and body lotion 350ml - RRP A$19.95
  • scented candle 170g - RRP A$19.95
The first thing you'll notice is the incredible pricing of these products, they were designed to allow you to bring MOR into your everyday life with its affordability whilst still delivering quality products beautifully finished with that elegant MOR touch.

This range may have less decadent packaging than it's original MOR cousins, but let me tell you it has definitely not compromised its formula, quality or addictive perfumery scents.

I had the pleasures of trying out a few of these new products from the Neroli Clementine range and they are every bit as good as good as MOR's main counterparts.

Neroli Clementine Body Butter
Rich and silky texture this stuff melts straight into skin. No greasy feeling here - instead, its leaves skin feeling velvety and the other day when I was having the smudge panda eye look, I actually used dabbed a bit of this onto a tissue and used it as a cream makeup remover under my eye at my work. It work like such a charm and I smelt so good afterwards as well.

Now I'm no connoisseur of scent names and initially didn't know what Neroli or Clementine were but I loved the slightly sweet mandarin citrus fragrance this body butter imparts.

When I found out that Neroli was actually bitter orange essential oil and Clementine another mandarin scent, and this body butter also contains Yuzu, a Japanese mandarin and sweetened candy orange, I realised this technique of complementary subtle layering is why I want to keep slathering this stuff on my legs and arms.

Neroli Clementine Hand cream
Lighter than the body butter so even more quickly absorbed, it bestows the same wonderful fragrance as the body butter. It spreads easily and with shea butter, conconut oil, glycerin and aloe formula, this rich yet fluid cream soothes hands to keep them soft, supple and fragrant for many hours.

Neroli Clemintine Fragrant Candle
Oh how l love lightly scenting the house with sweet fragrances to remove any cooking odours and pet smells  (my dog can be a wee bit smelly during summer).
Made of soy oil and natural cotton wick, this candle is encased in its own pretty tin jar and burns for hours on end. The best part is the lid acts as a snuffler when you're done so there is no smoky smell when the candle outs out - nifty!

The MOR Essentials range is now available at David Jones, Myer and selected pharmacies nationwide.
These products were sent for review.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Illamasqua Competition

With another new store opened in Chadstone shopping centre late last week, Illamasqua in Myer is truly taking Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne by storm.
Don't worry Adelaide and Perth, your turn will come early next year with your own Illamasqua counter birth.


So the good guys at Illamasqua thought to celebrate, 
Let's have a competition for you to participate!
Yep, that's right y'all.

This is one goodies filled galore. 
1 of 3 prizes to be won, 

Each worth $1000 of makeup fun. 
To be redeemed at your nearest store, 

All you need to do is answer a short question for a chance to score. 
Once you're finished saying WOW, 

Head over to the competition now!
Here's a hint in case you get stuck, 
The revelation is in the last minute, Good Luck.



Entries closes 12th December.
Get in quick while you remember :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Review: Is UD Naked Palette worth the hype?

I've waited for what must be eons (yes, 4 months did feel that long) for this precious baby to come back in stock and be shipped to me. My expectations and anticipation of this palette was obviously escalated up to the stratosphere after all those months. Finally I can do a review to share with you whether I think this palette is worth one of the biggest beauty hypes this year.

Urban Decay Naked Palette

Here's what the product looks like in its packaging.
In its packaging
Out of its box
  • The palette comes with a sleek velvet magnetic enclosure case, contains 12 neutral colours has a duo-ended 24/7 glide-on eye pencil in Zero (black) and Whiskey (brown). It also comes with a mini eye potion primer. 
  • Ok - the colours are not mind blowing or even terribly unique. But that is the whole attraction for me, it's meant to be a 'naked' colour palette that goes beyond basic neutrals with 4 coloured shades to play it up the abit. They are all very pretty and I love each and every one of them and can see this being the only neutral palette I ever need to have (except for product research purposes haha)
  • Virgin is satin beige, sin a frosted champagne pink, naked a matte nude taupe, sidecar shimmery malty brown, buck a matte cocoa butter, half baked a metallic golden bronze, smog a frosted dirty dark copper, darkhorse a shimmery deep cool brown, toasted a satin bold copper, hustle a satin wine brown, creep is a onyx black with shimmer, and gunmetal is metallic steel grey with silver glitter. 
  • all the texture of the colours in this palette is just amazing, it applies like velvet on skin, and I experienced zero fallout with all of the shades. Again amazing is the pigmentation - one swipe and you get colours true to pan. It was very resistant to fading - even in humid weather and didn't crease on me for almost 3 hours (very impressive results since most shadows don't last 1 hour for me). 
NC30 skin, natural light

NC30 skin, fluorescent light
  • Eye shadows aside, the 24/7 glide on pencils are amazing. Literally just a soft touch and colour is transferred onto skin, making it the ideal pencils to use for tight-lining or lining the waterline as you don't have to tug as much to get pigment off it. The textures of these pencils are amazingly smooth as well - by far the best liners I've encountered to date (would be keen to compare with MUFE Aqua Eyes eye liners). 
  • I gave these liners a rub test, and the colours faded evenly without much smudging at all. This translated to very minimal smudging on my super oily eyes which is just so brilliant to see it faded very evenly throughout the day (imagine if you had non-oily eyes, these liners will stay fixed all day long). 
  • the primer potion is great to use to give any eye shadows and ensure vibrant colours that lasts for hours without fading or creasing. The only downside is it grabs eye shadows when it touches the skin, so can make blending work abit more challenging. 
freshly applied, rubbed off, see no smudging at all

Rating: 10/10. I ♥ every product in the palette and yes, it's totally worth the hype. RRP US$44 (ex tax) at Sephora or Ulta. It is also available at BeautyBay (UK)  but most retailers are currently out of stock unfortunately. I bought mine from Ulta.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Lux v Less - Sun Protection

Summer has officially arrived and it's finally starting to feel like it too.

So when the sun rays peeks through, make sure you enjoy its presence safely and in moderation by protecting your skin. Here are 2 facial sunscreens that will not only keep your skin moisturised but give you the protection you need to safely venture outdoors.

LUX: Guinot Age Sun Protective Anti-aging Skincare SPF 20 - RRP A$140

This will not only protect you from the sun, but it will give you a big-antiaging boost with its list of 56 super-charged anti-aging ingredients like vitamin A, C, E and cell protecting amino-acids.

Only SPF 20 I hear you scoff? well yes, it is not as high as I personally would like but I was explained by Guinot's skincare expert Laura Pritchard that a higher percentage of the sunscreen chemicals would destablise the formulation and won't allow the product to penetrate deeper into skin, making it an ineffective anti-ageing product. Besides, no matter what SPF you end up using when outdoors, you should always re-apply every hour to make sure skin stays protected throughout the day.

A light and non-greasy cream, this stuffs smells of chocolate cocoa butter and can be quite addictive. Readily absorbed, this keeps skin hydrated all day long and doesn't get greasy on me at all. It also acts as a great primer before makeup applications, a bonus that many will appreciated and enjoy. Although it doesn't leave an obvious white cast in everyday use and has a great finish, be mindful if you're planning to be photographed whilst wearing this as it can have you looking lighter than in real life due to natural sunscreen ingredients (titanium dioxide).

Guinot is available at Guinot salons nationwide.



LESS: Neutrogena Healthy Defence Daily Moisturiser SPF 30+  - RRP A$17.95


A cheaper and readily available alternative, you will get good hydration and sun protection from Neutrogena Healthy Defence.

Also quite light and fluid, it has a subtle fresh scent that disappears within minutes of application. Whilst its texture is not as luxe as Guinot and it does leave a bit of an sheen on skin, it also contains vitamin A, C, E to give instant hydration. It doesn't leave a white cast and dries to a slight sheen finish, but I don't find makeup sitting as well over it and you may need to use a primer to prep your face and I find I can get slightly oily looking during the day with this product, even when using the combination/oily skin formula.
In 2 formulations to cater for normal/oily skin and combination/oily skin types, I find this product more suitable for me to use in cooler weather as I don't oil up as much and so I can slap plenty of it on my face and neck.  
Guinot spreads better and is slightly pale yellow in colour

Neutrogena is available in supermarkets, Priceline and pharmacies nationwide.


Many people have asked how you can re-apply sunscreen over makeup. Unfortunately, there's no real simple way without without having to do major touch ups on your face. So if you are outdoors, try using mineral foundation for touch up as they contain natural sunscreen that will give you protection or SPF tinted moisturisers instead.

samples of these products were sent for review.