Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Review: Goldwell DualSenses Rich Repair Shampoo & Conditioner

In my previous post, I mentioned how using a colour protecting shampoo like the Wella SP colour save has helped my hair colour last longer since the last hair colour, but I found that my hair was still not hydrated enough – it was slightly dry, brittle and the ends were looking more fried than lush. I needed more intense hydration.

So it was lucky that I had another shampoo and conditioner on hand to try and treat these concerns.

Goldwell Dual Senses Rich Repair Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Rich Repair is one of 6 in Goldwell's dualsenses range - a salon quality take home range that delivers maximum care with minimum effort required for the busy lifestyles today. 
  • This range contains Instant Microfluid Technology, which delivers active ingredients more quickly and evenly throughout hair to achieve maximum results. 
  • Delivers intensive care for dull, dry and damaged hair and suited for seriously stressed hair from everyday styling and heating of all hair types. 
  • Infused with with pashmina silk proteins, hydrolysed keratin to smooth and replenish lost moisture increase shine. The conditioner does have dimethicone in its ingredients listing for those who don't like their silicones but the shampoo is light and contains none. 
My experience:
  • I love the indulgent sensuous sandalwood scent the shampoo and conditioner - so heavenly!
  • Gives a light lather that washes out easily. I can feel a difference immediately after using the shampoo - it is very satisfying to able to run my finger through the wet hair without snagging or having it feel stringy.
  • Used with of the conditioner, my hair just feels very smooth and silky. After blow drying there is a visible increased in the amount of shine in hair, it is easier to style with less flyaways. 
After 3 weeks use, my hair is much healthier and there is a noticeable reduction in the split ends experienced though the use of hair masks (review up next) is a big contribution to that. I must admit I prefer a repair range to a colour save range, purely because I gives me healthier shinier hair and is great for any hair type that needs extra attention to look its best.

RRP A$20.95 for 300ml  at selected hair salons.

What are your biggest hair concerns.

These products were sent for consideration.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Review: Guinot Pur Equlibre Pure Balance Treatment Mask

For those who like me, have oily combination skin, having a good skin balancing and matifying moisturiser makes a real difference in keeping the shine at bay. Whilst I’ve still on the hunt for the holy grail day moisturiser, I think I’ve found a great treatment mask that greatly aids in the keeping my face from looking like an oil-slick by lunchtime each day.

Guinot Pur Equilibre Pure Balance Treatment Mask 
  • Claims of 56% reduction in sebum after 2 uses by regulating the production of sebum as absorbing excess oil whilst deeply purifying skin and control the amount micro-organisms growing on skin (microbial flora) 
  • Star ingredients include the Guinot's exclusive formula sebocidine which is a combination of amino acids, zinc oxide and chlorhexidine digliconate which acts on sebum directly and controls and restore skin balance. 
  • Other mention worthy ingridients are the finely milled pumice stone powder to give an exfoliating effect and matifying powders to absorb excess oil produced throughout the day. 
This is a white creamy gritty mask from the finely milled pumice stone. After application on the skin, I use circular motions to activiate the exfoliating action of the pumice stone for about 2 minutes before leaving on skin for another 10 minutes for its mask properties to take effect. I then wash it off with warm water.

  • The exfoliating properties meant dead skin cells and dry patches removed, leaving skin feeling soft and smooth without skin it being too dry or striped of moisture.
  • Shine free skin immediately and balanced looking skin throughout the day - I didn't measure it in percentage terms but it was a very noticeable difference
  • Reduced sebum production for the next 2 days – this is really amazing that I produce less oil on my face during the day after using this. 
  • Makeup stay on skin longer and looked fresher with less grease on my face without the use of a mattifying primer. 
  • To maintain the effects, I advise using this exfoliating mask twice or even 3 times a week, depending on how oily your skin is. 
Guinot has always delivered for me and this treatment mask is no exception – effective skincare with proven results.  If you have the budget, this is a must have mask to re-balance the skin.

RRP A$62 for 50ml at Guinot is available at Guinot salons nationwide or AdoreBeauty online.

Pure Balancing Mask ingredients listing

This sample was sent for consideration.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Win: $50 Leona Edmiston Gift Voucher

Another day and yet another give away for a lucky reader.

Leona Edmiston is a leading Australian designer, creating decisively contemporary pieces that are feminine and chic. I have on hand a $50 voucher off a Leona Edmiston's main range dress to give away so you can sport a beautiful designer piece at a reduced price.
This give away is open to all Things I Love readers. All you need to do is leave a comment below to let me know what you would get from Leona's collection. I've decided that this giveaway will be on a first come first serve basis, so first person to comment gets the voucher - yay!

Conditions printed on the voucher are: discount applies to Leona Edmiston Main collection only and cannot be redeemed at Leona Edmiston Vintage boutiques or with any other sale or discount.  Voucher expires May 1st 2011. 

Review: ASAP Super C Serum

One of the most powerful anti-aging ingredient in skincare products is vitamin C.  So when a Super C serum was released in the market with 20% vitamin C and even more impressive anti-oxidant Idebenone from one of my favourite Aussie skincare brand ASAP, I immediately want to know all about it.

ASAP Super C Serum 
  • Trio star ingredients: 
    • 20% Vitamin C - aka l'ascorbic acid, a skin brightener and anti-oxidant, at 20% concentration is one of the highest out there in the market. 
    • 1% Idebenone – This is the star ingredients in Elizabeth Arden’s Prevage range and it is the most powerful anti-oxidant ever in the market. Corrects and repairs signs of aging whilst providing high level of protection from free radicals to prevent future damages. 
    • 1% Pycnogenol – reduces the effects of UV exposure on skin and assists with collagen rebuilding to improve skin elasticity. 
  • Slow release technology allows the ingredients to gradually diffuse into skin to continuously provide benefits over a long period of time. 
  • Comes in an airless pump to maintain stability of the active ingredients. 
  • Has a light citrusy scent which reminds me of vitamin C tablets from the health food stores. 
  • Pale beige yellow in colour, it is non-greasy and absorbs very easily into skin. It feels slightly gritty (there appears to be micro solid particles suspended in the serum) when rubbed into skin but there is never any residue so this must dissolve with friction and could be due to the ingredient formulations. 
Results after 6 weeks use used as a day serum. 
  • A healthier and clearer complexion – even my dermatologist commented on my improved skin clarity since my last visit late last year. 
  • Skin do appear to be brighter and more radiant after a week’s use and maintains its level of radiance thereafter.
  • Visible improvement in skin texture with smoother, refined skin that feels firmer to touch. 
  • Vitamin C is often associated with brightening/fading skin pigmentation but I saw minimal change in my pigmentation spots around the eye area – perhaps longer term use would give better results? Dark marks from pimples and blemishes seem to fade considerably well with this serum though. 
Aside from the slight gritty texture, I can’t fault this serum for the results it gives in terms of firmer revitalised skin and improved skin clarity. I just need to find something that will work on those stubborn pigmentation and I’m all set!

RRP A$79 for 30ml at ASAP stocklists across Australia and New Zealand. It is also available online at the Facial Company.

This product was provided for consideration.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Win: Natio Berry Beautiful Collection and more Berry swatches

Following the Natio Berry Beautiful palettes swatch post, I’ll wrap up the rest of the Berry Beautiful collection today with their lip colours, nail colours, eye liner and mascara all of which are new limited edition shades. 

Lip Colours – RRP A$15.95 
I'm surprised and impressed by Natio's lip colour hydrating formulas that leaves lips soft and moisturised. They glides on relatively easily and lasts a couple of hours before re-application is required to freshen up the colour. Both these shades are very wearable shades. 

Baby berry, a soft berry plum colour that is more a satin finish with a sheerer coverage.

Natio Baby Berry

Velvet Berry, a deeper berry shade with a semi-matte finish that gives a fuller coverage as it is more pigmented. 

L-R: Velvet Berry, Baby Berry

Nail Colours –RRP A$9.95 for 13ml 
High gloss formula, these polishes were quick drying and very smooth and easy to apply. They are fairly chip resistant too which makes them even more awesome! 
Berry You is a deep cherry red – I love vampy shades in cooler months and this one is a classic stunner.
Berry You - 2 coats in indoor white light
Very Berry is a dark plum purple – 2 coats and it’s almost purple black. A very edgy shade for those who like their digits dark. 
Very Berry - 2 coats in indoor white light

Eye Liner - RRP A$14.95 for 3.5ml 
Midnight Berry is a navy black liquid liner with a felt tip pen. 
I find that felt tips don’t work too well on my eye shape as I need many strokes to draw the line across my eyes and the felt tip can make the liquid become streaky going over it too mulitiple times. But once I get it right, the sharp tip does give precise application and when the liquid dries, the colour is pretty much smudge proof and stays all day with minimal fading by late afternoon.

Super Long Lash Mascara in Black – RRP A$14.95 for 10ml
Gives clump free sculpted lashes that are lengthened and defined perfectly. It isn’t the most volumising mascara but if lengthening and lifting power is what you want and need, then this is one mascara you need to check out. 
Natio Midnight Berry eye liner and Super Long Mascara, fresh beige eye shadow on lid from  Soft Berry palette
Natio's Berry Beautiful colleciton is out now at your nearest Myer, David Jones or selected pharmacy Natio counter

Love what you are seeing and hearing about Natio’s Berry Beautiful collection? Yes? Well I’ve got a great prize for 2 lucky readers.
Natio has kindly agreed to give away two sets of Berry Beautiful packs away on Things I Love worth A$82.75 each.

The 1st prize pack is the Soft Berry pack for those who want a romantic and gentle foray into Natio’s berry world (contains the Soft Berry Mineral Beautiful palette, lip Colour in Baby Berry, Nail Colour in Berry You, Liquid Liner in Midnight Berry and Super Long Lash Mascara in Black).

The 2nd prize pack is the Dark Berry pack for those who want and crave more drama are daring berry shades in their life (contains the Deep Berry Mineral Beautiful palette, lip Colour in Velvet Berry, Nail Colour in Very Berry, Liquid Liner in Midnight Berry and Super Long Lash Mascara in Black).

All you need to be in the draw to win one of this awesome prize pack is: 1. Be a subscriber of this blog via Google Connect or email (either one will suffice). 
2. Comment below and tell me which Berry prize pack you want to win and why and note down your subscription method.
3. This giveaway is open to residents with an Australian or New Zealand address. Only one entry per person.
4. The total value of the prizes is A$165.50. The prize pack will be sent by Natio to the winner's chosen address.
5. This giveaway closes at midnight AEST 2nd April 2011. 2 winners will be chosen by with the 1st winner awarded the prize pack of their preference. Winners will be announced on this blog no later than 3 days after the close of the draw.

These products were provided for consideration. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Swatches: Natio Berry Beautiful Colour Palettes

Natio’s Colour collection just got bigger and better with the launch of the Berry Beautiful collection earlier this month.

This limited edition collection captures the change to bolder colours for the Autum/Winter season featuring fresh pink undertones and deep berry shades to suit all tastes. The Berry You collection includes 2 mineral colour palettes, 2 lip colours in Baby Berry and Velvet berry, 2 nail colours in Berry You and very Berry, a liquid eye liner in Midnight Berry and a super long lash mascara in black

You know my love for palettes so I'm swatching this from the collection first. 

These eye/cheek/lip colour palettes come in 2 shade choices – Berry Soft, a fresh palette containing soft pink eye shades and lighter lip colours that for those after soft romantic looks that suit daytime wears and Deep Berry which features bolder deeper berry shades for lips and warmer deep shades for dramatic eyes for when you want to turn up the drama. Both compacts contain the same shades for the blusher and bronzer.

Soft Berry Mineral Colour Palette

Lip glow #1 is a pearly shell pink 
Lip gloss in lily is light shimmery pink shade
Lip glow in #3 is a warm shimmery peach colour

sunswept bronzer is a golden peach bronze shade, 
warm day – pink is a cool pale pink colour enhancer and highlighter for the cheeks for those with darker skintones. I like combining the 2 shades to create a contoured look.

Eye shadows:
fresh beige – a shimmery taupe beige for highlighting, 
fresh deep pink – a mid cool pink for all over lid colour,
soft day brown – a mid warm brown that is great for contour and crease work.
Soft Berry swatch - indoor white light on NC30 skin
Deep Berry Mineral Colour Palette

Lips shades:
Lip glow in #2 is a pearly cashmere beige 
Lip gloss in grape is pale shimmery berry grape shade
Lip glow in #5 is a shimmery rose berry colour


Sunswept bronzer is a golden peach bronze shade, 
warm day –pink is a cool pale pink colour enhancer and highlighter for the cheeks for those with darker skintones.

Eye shadows:

Subtle glamour - a shimmery light gold beige that is amazing as a brow highlighter.
Smokey eyes brown – a mid cool brown with shimmer for contouring and lid work
Smokey eyes black – a shimmery black that adds depth and dimensions.  

Deep Berry swatch - indoor white light on NC30 skin
My initial thoughts on these palettes
  • Harmonious colours that complements each other perfectly and take all the guess work out for you when deciding on makeup looks this season.
  • These mineral colours are soft and silky to apply with no fall out experienced. All have fine shimmer in the eye shadows that enhances and add dimensions to looks.
  • The mineral blush and bronzer work very well together to give a defined contoured glowy look. 
  • The palette has 2 sponge tip applicators and a mini blush brush in a handy glossy slimline compact with a large mirror. It is very sturdy and clicks when shut tightly and would easily takes a few knocks in the handbag with no issues.
  • Both palettes are very versatile and wearable colours and would work well on almost any complexion. They are great quality in terms of pigmentation, blendability it is quite hard for me to pick a favourite. 
  • My only gripe is that the lip colours are quite sheer so I use them more as a lip gloss than anything else. These shades are from their permanent minerals range.
As these are limited editions, I'd try to get my hands on them quick stat if I were you or check in again later in the week to see how you can win one of these palettes and other items from the Berry You collection.

RRP A$24.95 at your nearest Myer, David Jones or selected pharmacy Natio counter.
These products were provided for consideration.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

NOTD: Face of Australia Luxe Nail Enamel in Foxy Roxy & makeup previews

Last week a small group of the MBBE ladies caught up with a wonderful Tina, the tweeter behind Face of Australia Cosmetics and boy were we spoilt.

Not only was the company great (that’s a given when there’s an MBBE catch up), the food was yummy (courtesy to Ghin Khao on Swanston st), Tina also brought us a bunch of new makeup goodies to play with.

We were introduced to the amazingly pigmented and smooth baked and limited edition Opulent Eyes eyeshadows (more on that in an upcoming post with swatches), Mineral Therapy mineral bronzing and illuminating facial beads (which reminds me of Geurlian’s Meteorites) and the new limited Edition Luxe nail enamels collection. 

It was makeup heaven I tell you, there are just too many products to try at one time and I don’t even know where to begin.

As always, I’m a sucker for nails so I couldn’t resist trying on the nail colours first. The one that caught my eyes most was none other than Foxy Roxy 

Luxe Nail Enamel - Foxy Roxy
  • A muted muavey, grey, mushroom taupe shade, this is a chameleon and change tones depending on the lighting it's viewed in. 
  • Pigmented, you can easily get away with one thick coat, this is a very easy to apply formula with a lot of self levelling properties which makes perfect applications easy to achieve. 
  • It was fairly quick drying and the high gloss shine just makes this even pretty. 
  • Classy enough to be worn in the office environment yet still edgy and sophisticated enough to be different, mark my words but I think this shade is going to be hot this coming Autumn/Winter. 
Foxy Roxy - more a taupey grey in natural white light

RRP A$4.95 - an absolute bargain! Face of Australia is available at Priceline, Kmart, Big W and selected pharmacies in Australia.

This product was provided for consideration.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Win: Natio's Pure Mineral Correctors Range

I was recently invited to Natio’s briefing for the launch of their Mineral Correctors range as well as some limited edition colour makeup for the current Autum/Winter season.

I've previously wrote how much I love the lip treatment but before I go further about their latest products, let me get you more acquainted with the brand.

About Natio
  • Founded by husband and wife Max and Vivienne Ross in 1993, Natio’s heritage stems from a long line that has been in the manufacture of skincare and cosmetics business over the past 75 years and actually have ties with another great Australian brand - Face of Australia. 
  • Is one of the fastest growing beauty brands in Australian pharmacies and department stores, Natio holds a strong belief of producing plant based, gentle and effective beauty products that are affordable and accessible to consumers.
  • Does not promise miracles, just realistic beauty solutions that work for everyday people.
  • Website contains full ingredients list of their products – something I love when brands are open and honest. 

Pure Mineral Correctors Range
The latest addition to the permanent range, I was given a low down of these new offerings by Natio product development manager Susheel Gandhi and MUA trainer Linda Ridell who showed how these product works to address the top beauty skin concerns today’s women have - namely dark circles, skintone, dullness and makeup slip. 

Star features of this range  
  • liquid products for silky blendability, ease of application and long lasting finish to help disguise blemishes, and brighten complexions
  • contains a blend of plant extracts like jojoba oil, vitamin C & E to hydrate skin and is suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin. 
  • has a product to address each concern in the range but you don’t have to use them all together, you can just pick the product that suits your needs most and complement it with your existing makeup. 
Fight redness with Pure Mineral Redness Corrector RRP A$14.95 for 15g
Has micro green pigments suspended in liquid to neutralise redness whilst luminous minerals deflect light away and helps to reduce redness. Can be worn alone or under concealer for added hiding powers. 

Fight dark cirlces with Pure Mineral Dark Circle Corrector RRP A$14.95 for 15g
Yellow base liquid formula helps to hide the trouble spot for many of us. Also has light diffusing pigments to help brighten up the skin area.

Fight blemishes with Pure Mineral Concealer RRP A$14.95 for 2g
Housed in a twist pen brush applicator to dispense pigmented light reflecting mineral liquid to help hide and conceal spots and imperfections. Available in light or medium to match most skin tones 

Fight tired eyes with Eye Brightener RRP A$16.95 for 4ml
Can be used as a brow highlighter, a brightening all over eye shadow, dotted along the inner corner of eyes as a highlighter or above the cheekbones to illuminate and show off your bone structure.

Fight dullness with face illuminator RRP A$17.95 for 30g
Adds a fine shimmery gleam to skin for radiance and a glowing complexion with this easy to use liquid illuminator. Available in 2 shades, soft glow for a soft radiant everyday look or bronze glow for a summery golden sun kissed look. 

Get fresher makeup with Pure mineral Face Primer RRP A$14.95 for 30ml
Oil free matifying formula has a light lavender scent and gives a good base for coloured makeup to stick to and stay fresh longer throughout the day.

Get more intense eye colours with Pure Mineral Eye Primer RRP A$14.95 for 15g
Make your eye makeup more intense and less prone to creases. This is light and easily absorbed cream that   makes a good base to coloured eye makeups. 

What I’ve found with the Pure Mineral Correctors range 
  • Very pigmented products – a little goes a long way. 
  • Easy to blend due to liquid form of products, it did give very seamless applications. Products can be easily thinned out for natural coverage or layered for fuller coverage. 
  • My pick of the collection is the soft glow facial illuminator, dark circle corrector which has great pigmentation, eye brightener for natural looking eye enhancer and the eye and the redness corrector to combat minor redness I have around the nose area and around my cheeks. 
  • I found the twist pen concealer packaging akward at times. Sometime multiple clicks yield no concealer yet another twist and a big gush of concealer would flow out, making it hard to dispense the exact amount for use all the time. 
  • Although marketed to suit all skin types and tones, I found that it was slightly too light on my skintone when using all the products at once, and would need to warm it up with a bronzer to get colour back into my face. It would be more suited to anyone of fair to light medium skintone – eg. NC/NW 30 or below (I’m currently NC30-35) 
Natio's Pure Mineral Correctors range is out now at your nearest Myer, David Jones or selected pharmacy Natio counter. International readers, you can get their Natio skincare fix at 

And here's the great news. The lovely people at Natio has kindly agreed to sponsor a giveway with this post. One Lucky reader will win the entire range of the New Natio Pure Minerals Range - that's all 7 corrective products valued at A$112.65.

All you need to do is: 
1. Be a subscriber of this blog via Google Connect or email (either one will suffice).
2. Comment below and tell me which skin concerns you want to address with Natio’s Mineral Corrector products and how you are subscribed to the blog.
3. The winner will be able to choose the shade of their choice for the face illuminator and the pure mineral concealer. The prize will be sent by Natio to the winner's chosen address. 
4. This giveaway is open to residents with an Australian or New Zealand address. Only one entry per person. 
5. This giveaway closes at midnight AEST 31st March 2011. A winner will be chosen by and announced on this blog.

~~~~This Competition is now closed~~~~

For those who love colours, I have some limited edition Natio Berry Beautiful makeup prizes to be won, so be sure to check that out too!

These products were provided for consideration.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Review: Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist & Herbal Recovery Eye Cream

Nowadays, We are more aware of what we put into our skin and many people are gravitating towards natural and organic skincare sources but also demanding that these products deliver effective results.

Many brands are jumping onto the organic bandwagon but there just happens to be an Aussie brand that pitches itself towards this market that I think makes amazing products.

About Jurlique
  • 100% Australian made and owned company. 
  • Strong belief of marrying nature and science together to produce innovative skincare products that meets the needs demanding consumers 
  • Started in 1985 by husband and wife team Dr. Jurgen Klien and Ulrike, both chemical scientists with backgrounds in herbology, homeopathy and alchemy. 
  • Sourcing as many ingredients from local farms and often growing their own herbs and flowers to harvest, Jurlique ensures only the purest ingredients goes into every jar or bottle of their product backed by a leading R&D team in South Australia to formulate the high-performing products. 
Below are just 2 of their products I’ve tried so far and love. 

Rosewater Balancing Mist  - RRP A$24 / US$21 / £14.50 for 30ml 

  • Helps sets makeup and gets rid of the cakey look immediately after makeup applications. 
  • Rehydrates skin in dry environments, aka full blast air-conditioned offices.
  • Tones and balances the skin out so it doesn’t produce as much sebum during the day. 
  • Best of all, it's like the freshest bunch of roses ever, sweetened ever so slightly with marshmallow root extract (which is actually an African floral plant, not the confectionery stuff you get from the supermarkets). 
  • I spritz it on me as often as required and feels even more amazing on skin when it’s been chilled in the fridge 

Herbal Recovery Eye Cream  - RRP A$52.00 / US$40/ £34.00 for 15ml 

  • Best Selling range for Jurlique, this emollient eye cream is soothing and refreshing and the botanical scent is not overpowering at all.
  • Non-heavy or greasy, it quickly is quickly absorbed into skin to provide hydration and sooth any any crepiness you may have.
  • Does a good job of brightening the eye with liquorice root extract. 
  • Used during mornings, this helped markedly with reducing puffiness but didn’t do too much for my incredibly dark circles.
What I appreciate about the brand is that you can find see all the ingredients listing on their website. They don't hide anything about their products at all. It also helps me decide whether there are any ingredients that I might react to or don't want to put onto my skin. 

If you are someone who consciously make the decision to buy organic skincare products, rest assured that there won't be many others with Jurlique's quality and effectiveness. 

Jurlique products are available at department counters and selected pharmacies in Australia or online for Australia, Europe and the US

Have you tried Jurlique before? What are your favourites?
Samples were provided for consideration from Jurlique counters.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wella SP Hair Care: Color Save Shampoo and Conditioner & Hydrate Mask

You probably already know that coloured hair needs a lot more TLC than normal hair. And with my recent hair colouring as well as permanent straightening back in January, my hair is just crying out for lots of TLC.

To address this I've enlisted the help of some products from the Wella System Professional range to incorporate into my hair care regime.

Wella SP Color Save Shampoo - RRP A$32 
  • This stuff smells amazing! Honestly, one of the best fruity/floral fragranced hair products I’ve used lately. 
  • This is very gentle and gives a soft lather to ensure it isn't stripping too much colour from your hair. My colour is still looking fresh 4 weeks on. 
  • Has colour saving ingredients like polyquaternium, d-panthenol, beeswax, UV filters and olive leaf extract to protect and enhance shine. 
  • On its own, I felt it left my severely dehydrated thick hair under conditioned. My over processed hair was feeling very straw-like so this may not be suitable for those with very fine hair. An extra dose of the Color Save conditioner or better yet a hydrating masque massaged into hair left it feeling soft and silky again. 
Color Save Conditioner -RRP A$32 
  • What more can I say other than thank goodness this stuff turns my straw-like hair into lush silky manes. 
  • Has the same awesome scent as the shampoo and helps to maintain and protect hair colour with UV filters, olive extract and d-pantenol. 
  • Smoother hair is noticeable as a result of use of the conditioner. I use this after every wash and followed by a hair mask once a week. 
  • Hair feels light, clean and regains its volume after use of the shampoo and conditioner 

Hydrate Mask – RRP A$34 
  • A must have for anyone with dry, overstyled or colour processed hair. 
  • Hair masks are a dry hair’s best friend and this is no exception - it provides intense nourishment to parched hair like mine.
  • Contains glycerine, d-panthenol, glucose and fructose to lock in moisture and prevent further split ends and damages to hair. 
  • Pleasant smelling (like a fragranced soap), this thick cream doesn't add weight to hair so it won't kill off hair's natural volume (very important to me since my hair is now stick straight). 
  • I use this on top of the conditioner for added silkiness and moisture but if you are time poor, you can forgo the conditioner and leave this into hair for 5 minutes before rinsing. 
My only lament is that I can’t find an all-in-one colour saving and hydrating range shampoo and conditioner, so I have to alternate between washes of the color save range and a rich repair range (review to come later) to keep my hair in top condition.
Wella SP products are available at selected hair salons across the country. 

What is your favourite shampoo and conditioner to protect against colour fading?
The above products were sent for consideration.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Review: Vivienne Westwood - Naughty Alice

When it comes to fragrance, I tend to lean towards florals and fresh scents.
My favourites to date are Marc Jacob's Daisy, Lancome’s Tresor In Love, Estee Lauder's Beyond Paradise, Balenciaga Paris and Lancome's Miracle. Now I can add another to the list.

Vivienne Westwood - Naughty Alice 
I must admit, when I first saw the marketing photos for it, it was the bottle design and the pretty blue heart charm gold bracelet caressing the neck of the bottle that caught my eyes. 

And pretty it is too – detachable, the charm bracelet can be worn as a jewellery around your wrist or hung on your bag. I prefer to keep it on the bottle neck as without it , that sensual yet elegant glass bottle loses its magical charm and Naughty Alice just becomes Plain Alice. 

This latest celebrity fragrance is developed by Bruno Jovanovic to celebrate the sophisticated feminine yet sexy and cheeky that is so Vivienne Westwood style. 

It is described as a floriental fragrance, which to my surprise hit a sweet spot with my senses when I’m not normally an oriental fan. I guess the florals of the violet, black rose and ylang ylang really does balance out the warmth and spice of hot pink pepper in the opening notes.  
Moreover, the sensual spiciness only lingers briefly before a bouquet of roses and warm ylang ylang comes through. It then settles onto skin with a soft warm violet musk that is more Nice Alice than naughty Alice. 

Naughty Alice is a fragrance that epitomises the sensual modern women with a bit of playfulness. If you're like me who need a gentle introduction to Orientals, you can’t go past this one.

I’m grinning like a Cheshire cat as I have am wearing this right now. And why not when it smells so good? It almost transports me to a wonderland of my own.

What fragrances are you currently wearing?

RRP A$65 for 30ml to $125 for 75ml at fragrance counters now. This is £37 for 30ml at Selfridges online.
This product was sent for review.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tom Ford Private Blend Lip Color - Blush Nude

In case you didn't know, American designer Tom Ford is equally famous for his successful line of cosmetics and fragrances as he is for his luxury designer fashion collections. This man is a genius really (he even directed a film!), and it goes without saying that his product launches are always highly anticipated and warmly embraced.

Released in August last year, the Private Blend lip color showcases 12 classic shades ranging from pale nudes, to deep reds and rich red browns; they are colours that can elevate the status of lips as well as transform and influence moods and looks.

Today I'm showcasing one of his classic colours.

Tom Ford Private Blend Lip Color - Blush Nude

  • The first thing you'll notice is the weighty gold-accented ivory packaging with the namesake engraving on the lid as well as the TF logo stamped onto the lipstick. It just oozes class and elegance. Details matter here - Tom isn't a designer for nothing.
  • In the tube the shade looks to be a nude pinky beige colour but as you can see when swatched on my skin, it looks to be more of a milky cool nude pink on my skin tone. This would look amazing for those with a lighter complexion, as it may appear slightly ashy in certain lightings for those with warmer and deeper complexions.
  • This stuff glides on to lips smoothly and with ease with a satin finish. Upon application, you will immediately detect the scent of Brazillian murumuru butter (a chocolate cocoa scent), whilst your lips are hydrated with soja seed extract and chamomilla oil to keep them looking luscious.
  • Being such a light shade, it isn't the easiest lipstick to apply on my mid tone lips, and I needed a lip brush to avoid streaks, which were still slightly visible in the swatch. 
  • Pigmentation is no issues here as this will will give you full coverage with a swipe of the lip colour.
  • Without food/drinks, this colour lasted 2 hours before fading and it's at this time that I love the shade more as my natural lip tone (which is more pink than the lip colour) shows through, giving me the fresh nude pink lip shade that I so covet.
Indoor white light on NC30 skin

I've always wanted to find the perfect nude pink shade for my lips but haven't quite managed just yet.

Do you have any recommendations for me?
Ingredients listing

RRP A$65 from David Jones stores | US$45 at Sephora.comBergdorf Goodman or Neiman Marcus.| £36 In the UK from Harrods and Selfridges.

This product was sent for review

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Swatch & Review: Shu Uemura Morphorium Blue Palette

This year, Shu Uemura's northern Spring/Summer release turned to nature for inspiration and features bold colours that are reminiscent of a tropical jungle and a sunset field. The collection is named Morphorium to highlight the transformation of the animals and the land during this fertile time of renewal and change.
Morphorium Blue palette packaging

Morphorium Blue Palette
I managed to land myself the Morphorium Blue Palette - one of two palettes from this collection (the other is the Sunset Gold Palette) and let me tell you it is a gorgeous palette of luscious bright sky blue, shimmery gold/green (more gold shimmer than green when applied onto skin), deep purple pressed shadow along with a bronze cream shadow/liner completed with a fresh pink blush that is too pretty to use with its silver floral butterfly over-spray. Check it out below.

Looking ultra bright in the pan, I was worried I can't carry off a look with the colours in the palette without it being OTT but thankfully, the colours are of medium pigmentation so it was easy to tone them down or play them up by way layering of the colours.  These shadows are not powdery and I did not get any fall out during use. They are amazingly easy to blend, gliding onto skin with the silkiest smooth finish. The cream shadow is amazing and can be used as a base shadow or to line the rims of the eye to warm up the look.

The blush is a pretty pale cool pink shade, which works more as a highlighter than a blush on my skin tone.
swatched on NC30 skin under indoor white light

I'm most impressed by the shadow's longevity and non-creasing powers. without a primer on a humid day, these shadows still look fresh 3 hours after application without a single crease. You know with my oily lids, that has never happened with any other product (although Urban Decay comes close). I'm so sold on Shu Uemura shadows and can't wait to discover more shades in the range. 

The Morphorium Look
  1. Use bronze cream shadow as base on whole lid.
  2. Apply blue shadow onto centre of lid. 
  3. Next use the purple shaded on inner lid area with a small flat brush and outer corners of eye with a crease brush.
  4. Blend gold/green shadow on above lid area to give a shimmery finish and up to brow bone as a highlighter. 
  5. line lower rim of eye with purple shadow for depth.
  6. Finish off by curling lashes and generous coatings of mascara.

Morphorium Blue Palette RRP A$115 exclusively at David Jones. It is available in the US at Shu Uemura Online for US$69.

What do you think of this look?
Would this be office friendly at your work place or only for Friday nights?

This product was sent for review.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Review - ASAP Daily Exfoliating Facial Scrub with AHA

It's not secret I love my glycolic based cleansers and I've previously reviewed the amazingly ASAP daily Facial Cleanser with AHA but if you are after something a bit more invigorating with more exfoliating power, then this one is for you.

ASAP Daily exfoliating facial scrub with AHA
  • Has the same milky fluid base and light refreshing scent (eucalyptus oil) as the gentle facial cleanser but also contains micro-fine silicon spheres to mechanically remove those hard-to-budge dry patches of dead skin we all get some times.
  • Non-irritating, fragrance-free and non-pore clogging, regular use will smooth skin imperfections and help promote skin's natural cell renewal process. 
  • The silicone spheres give a massaging effect during wash and is less likely to damage skin as they are very fine particles. The process of massaging the scrub into the face also helps to promote better blood circulation and flushes toxins out of the skin. 
  • Although marketed for daily use, I recommend using this every third day to avoid over exfoliating since the glycolic cleanser itself is a chemical exfoliator and if you are already using the daily glycolic facial cleanser, this facial scrub should be used as a treatment cleanser only. If you don't use any other glycolic cleanser you can probably try to use this on a daily basis if you don't have sensitive skin. 

Ingredients listing
This is another winner from ASAP and a great scrub cleanser that holds up well against many other scrubs in the market. In fact, I may just declare monogamy to it because it is that good.

RRP A$44 for 240ml bottle at ASAP stocklists in Australia and New Zealand. It is also available online from the Facial Company.

Do you use AHA (glycolic) based cleansers? Which are your favourites?
Do you prefer gel, cream, oil based cleansers or scrubs more?

A sample of this product was sent for review.

Monday, March 7, 2011

How To: Milan Fashion Week - Hair from Antonio Marras Show

I've been keeping my eyes on in the recent Autumn/Winter (A/W) '11 Fashion Shows held in New York and Milan and often find myself staring at the amazing makeup and hairstyles as much as I am at the amazing gowns that are gracing the catwalks. 

Apart from the bold colours and pale skin as the trend for makeup this upcoming season, it seems sleek and well sculpted hair that maintains its fluidity and delicate textures also feature heavily. 

Case in point: The "Clip Art" look created by Wella Global Creative Director Eugene Souleiman from the Milan's Antonio Marras show. 

I so love the multi-dimenional look of this 50s inspired style that is strong and angular when viewed from the front, yet soft and feminine when viewed from the back.  

The Makeup: 
Lips take centre stage here and it is the brighter the red, the better. Try Illamasqua Box or Elizabeth Arden Red Door Red. Remember to use a lip liner for more definition and ensure the colours stay inside the lips. 

Keep face fairly neutral with nude/naked colours on lips and cheeks. Think naked palette colours of soft browns and light shades that complement your complexion. One coat of mascara is more than enough here. Blush is kept to minimum or if you dare, forgo it all together. 

The Hair - how to:
  1. Apply Wella Professionals Sleek Wonder (straightening balm) on freshly washed hair and blow dry hair straight with a round soft bristled brush. 
  2. Create a side parting then take large front section from the short side parting (right side on the model), give it a spray of Wella Professionals High Hair Crystal Styler for a sleek shiny finish then lift the entire section, pull up tight and give it a tight lift by pulling the hair in upward direction with a round brush while heating it with a blow dryer. 
  3. Then spray this section of hair with some Wella Professional High Hair Finishing Spray and back-comb the roots of hair with a fine tooth comb for some texture and volume.
  4. Wind the hair around a chopstick or stick to create a tight roll before sliding out the stick and clipping the hair in place on the side with some bobby pins. 
  5. On the other side of the parting, brush the hair flat and square against the heard and back behind the ear. Use a large contrasting colour hair clip to hold hair flatly in plate. 
  6. For the back, pull hair into a side low ponytail then twist, while pulling towards the nape of the neck at the same time to get it tightened around the around the base of the head. When the complete section of the hair is twisted, pin the hair in place using a bobby pin inserted horizontally and another vertically to form a cross to secure it. 
You dont' have to be too precise with the ponytail twists as flyaways and loose hair form part of the wispy soft look. 
Eugene back-combing the curled side part

Products used: 
  • Wella Professionals High Hair Sleek Wonder RRP A$23.50
  • Wella Professionals High Hair Crystal Styler RRP A$23.50
  • Wella Professionals High Hair Finishing Spray RRP A$23.50
Available at Wella salons nationally.

What do you think of this look? Love it or leave it?