Wednesday, April 27, 2011

GWP: KMS Travel Companion kit

Many great brands have embraced the mini-me market and have produced travel sized of their full size products that are less than 100ml in size to comply with the international airline regulations in wake of the security conscious society that we live in today. But sometimes, you just don’t want to fork out the extra dough to buy yet another albeit smaller bottle of shampoo and conditioner just for travels if you already have a perfectly fine big bottle at home.

This is where empty travel-sized containers, jars and bottles comes in handy. Traveling kits are one of those things that you don’t really think about until you need them, then you wonder how you went previously went on in life without them.

And from May 1st KMS California is giving away travel companion travel kits with the purchase of any 2 KMS products (my pick – their moisture repair shampoo and conditioner, which does wonders to hair).

The KMS travel companion comes with 2 pop-up cap bottles – perfect for shampoo and conditioners, a refillable spray bottle for liquid based products and 2 medium sized jars for creams and lotions and hair styling products or if you are like me, detergent powder so you get to wash your undies (my pet peeve is not being able to wash underwear daily whilst travelling) all in a handy clear plastic travel bag to put this or organise your other toiletries in. It even has a plastic spatula for you to scoop your products into the jars and labels so you know what products is transferred into which bottle/jar.

this KMS travel bag fits a fair amount of bottles in it

These are so handy because they
  • allow you to bring just the right amount of your favourite products with you whilst travelling, saving you precious luggage space for more important things (i.e. shopping purchases).
  • are refillable, so that means that when you run out of them, you can always top them up ready for the next big travel.  The clear containers so allow you to see how much of the contents are remaining.
  • are great for squeezing out sample products that we amass over time into jar containers that is more easy to use than straight from the sachet.
What's more, from May till August, you will also have the opportunity to go into a draw to win 1 of 5 travel vouchers with your KMS purchase. Too easy!

KMS products is available at selected salons across the country.
This product was sent for consideration.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Kim Kardashian's Voluptuous new Fragrance

Like so many celebrities before her, Kim Kardashian has followed the celebrity fragrance bandwagon with the recent release of her namesake fragrance - the only surprising thing for me is that she took so long to get one out.

When I think of Kim, sexy, sultry and sensual femininity comes to mind. And that is exactly what Kim Kardashian signature scent is – a mixure of classic florals with modern style, blended to represent the influential socialite.

Created in consultation with Lighthouse Beauty and master perfumer Claude Dir , the first thing one will notice is its command for attention with this mighty voluptuous scent. Powerful top notes of Jasmine and gardenia jump out at you on first spritz and can come across as over bearing to those who are not accustomed to strong scents. It then slowly transforms to a mellow and lush bouquet of white flowers that harmonises with the sweet tonka beans with hints of tuberrorse before finally settling down with a sensuous base of warm sandal wood and earthy jacarnada wood.

Kim Kardashian has torn me up because Jasmine and Gardenias are amongst my most loved scents but both flowers are strong scents and here it seems to compete too much for attention in the opening which can be headache inducing. In fact, with fragrances like Kim Kardashian, I spray the tiniest amount into the air and walk into it to allow the scent to evenly disperse around me.

Don’t get me wrong, Kim Kardashian is a beautiful scent, especially in the very end – the tonka beans and sensual warm bases are the balancing features and ensures a lasting fragrance that lingers and have me wanting my next hit of it again soon. It interestingly reminds me of a amplified version of Bvlgari’s Mon Jasmin Noir which has similar notes and that gentler scent sits very well with my nose.

If you love power scents and love it combined with voluptuous florals, then this is my top recommendation for you. My sister has already laid claim to my bottle and she is already making plans to pick up another bottle to take back to the UK with her when she leaves next week.

Kim Kardashian EDP RRP A$49/$69/$89 for 30/50/100ml
EDP rollerball A$22.95 for 10ml.
(note different bottle designs for the 30ml and 100ml sizes, the smaller size is the more rectangular pink bottle).

Available now at the Perfume Connection, Myer, Priceline and leading pharmacies.
This product was provided for consideration.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

L'Occitane Perfumed Shea Butter Collection

My love affair with French brand L'Occitane started years ago when I got my hand on their perfumed hand creams (the cherry blossom and rose are my all time favourites) and this love has deepened recently with my trialling of their latest Shea Butter offerings.

L'Occitane hails back to 1976 for its humble beginnings in the hills of the Haute-Provence. Today, all their products are still developed and produced in same southern town of Manosque, as it has for the past 35 years. It still follows traditional production methods to bring effective and pleasurable products to the market by being a socially responsible company with the use of natural ingredients, essential oils, and sustainably sourced ingredients as core ingredients in all their offerings.

This year, the latest  L'Occitane launch is the limited edition Perfumed Shea Butter Collection.
  • Available in Vineyard Rose, Apricot Flowers, and Orange Honey - scents reminiscent of the orchards of Provence. The collection extends the pleasurable experience of shea butter and bring it up to a new indulgent level with these delicate fragrances.
  • The collection line up includes a perfumed shea butter, perfumed ultra rich body cream, perfumed shea butter soap and converts best selling organic shea butter to fair trade status. 
Perfumed Shea Butter 30ml* - RRP A$24.95
  • Comes in a cute 1/2 circle tin and is a handy size to throw into the handbag so it can travel with you anywhere you go. 
  • With 95% certified organic and fair trade Shea Butter combined with organic botanical oils and beeswax for a deliciously smooth texture, it provides skin deep nourishment and protects against harsh environments. 
  • My little tin of Apricot FLower is a fruity burst of summer with the light apricot scent and contains organic apricot oil to sooth and protect. 
  • An emollient balm, I use this on my cuticles, my elbows, knees and rough patches for super soft smooth skin. 
  • Love it as a conditioner or balm for lips. It smells delicious but is actually tasteless which is what I prefer and has now replaced all my other lip balms.
  • Don't under estimate this little 30ml tin of rich goodness - a little goes a long way. I think it will easily last me a 6-9 months of use. 

Perfumed Ultra Rich Body Cream 100ml* - RRP A$36.95 

  • With 25% shea butter, this is an ultra luxurious tub of crème that richly moisturise with linseed oil extra, marsh mallow, sweet almond oil, honey and softening apricot oil, providing complete care for dry or very dry skin.
  • It helps restore the skin’s hydrolipidic film and provides deep nourishment and long lasting hydrating to protect it from further harsh environmental conditions. 
  • I received this in Vineyard Rose and love the delicate scent of cottage roses that leaves skin just lightly scented after use. 
  • Feels like Hazeline Snow that I grew up with as a kid as has the same smooth silken texture. Enriched with rose-hip oil, it is easily absorbed and although rich, it is non-greasy and just leaves skin feeling like velvet. 
  • Helps damaged skin heals faster. I burnt the back of my hand during cooking over the weekend and after using this cream for 4 days, the burn mark looked like it never existed. 
  • Great as a post-shave cream to sooth irritated legs and calm down bumps on legs
  • Within 1 week of use, my scaly legs are smooth with almost no dry flakiness left. The dry rough heels on my feet have never felt so soft and although they are still dry looking, they are no longer cracked looking and are actually starting to smooth up - no cream has managed to do this yet so I'm mighty impressed. 

Perfumed Shea Butter Soap 100g - RRP A$8.95
Delicately scented, these soaps produce a creamy lather to gently cleanses the skin and helps maintain its natural moisture balance.

Fair Trade Shea Butter 150ml - RRP A$49.95
Encased in a metal tin, this stuff is 99.8% pure shea butter, certified organic and fair trade by Ecocert (EFT label); the remaining  0.2% is antioxidant Vitamin E - there is nothing more simple and pure than this product. It provides intense repair and hydration properties to help soften, protect and is suited for very dry and sensitive skin. This would be ideal for cracked heels, rough knees elbows and anyone with eczema or other skin irritations.

My favourite pick would have to be the ultra rich body cream. It has healing properties and is able to smooth my rough heels. If you were to only pick up one thing, you can't go past this jar of magic cream.

This very limited edition Perfumed Shea Butter range is available from 9th May at selected L'Occitane Boutiques, Myer, David Jones, and selected pharmacies.
Products marked * were sent for consideration.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Swatches: Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipsticks

British brand Rimmel London's latest lipstick offerings is the Lasting finish lipsticks.
Fronted by Actress Zooey Deschanel as the face for these lipstick, these beauties boast colour, shine and comes in an array of 21 vibrant to wearable colours making your options plentiful.
Zooey Deschanel: The background flags showcases the lipstick shade in the range

Today, I have 5 shades to swatch and review for you:
Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick
Coverage: provides medium coverage on my medium pigmented lips. The lighter colours are sheerer in finish and layering is required to get the the tube colour onto lips. 
Texture & Finish: quite lightweight, it is comfortable to wear and doesn't feel like there is a thick layer on lips. these provided a sheen finish that gives lips a nice shine to lips and did not dry out lips. 
Application: there is a bit of a drag when applying this lipstick from the tube, it's by no means hard to apply but it just doesn't glide as silky smooth as it should for a product with a sheen finish.
Lasting powers: featuring colour protect technology for longer lastingness with up to 8 hours staying power,I  I found the darker shades gave 3-4 hours of vibrant wear before starting to fade from the centre of lips, the sheerer shades managed about 2 hours before fading so they definitely don't last the quoted 8 hours on my lips. 
Top: with flash, Bottom: in indoor white light on NC30 skin
Birthday Suit
An orange bronze shimmery shade, I found it very hard to get a smooth finish on my lips. This would be better suited for lighter lip shades but is very flattering on warm or cool skintones and on me, looks to be very neutral. 

Alarm is a pigment rich red with an orange base that isn't noticeable in the tube but shows through when swatched on lips. It is a great bright shade to wear during the day if your into brights and suitable for all skintones. 

Heart Breaker
This is an opaque deep pink with a hint of plum and is quite blue in base. It's very flattering on all skintones and is by far my favourite shade in the group.

Temptation is more a cherry red with a red base and is just a gorgeous vampy shade, especially with the cooler weather coming up. I think this shade would be more flattering on warmer tones but cool skintones will also look good in this shade. 

Dreamer is a light pink with a pearly silver shimmery finish. It looks best on cooler skintones and fairer complexions. It is quite sheer compared the the other colours and took a few layers to achieve the colour payoff in the swatch below. 

What is your favourite shade of lip colour?

RRP A$9.95 Available in now in 21 shades at Priceline, David Jones, Big W, K-mart and selected pharmacies. 
These products were provided for consideration.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Guinot's Hydradermie Double Ionisation Treatment

Ginuot has launched its latest treatment – the Hydradermie Double Ionisation treatment earlier this month which is meant to be twice as effective as the normal ionisation treatment with both positive and negative ions penetrating into the skin (normal ionisation only have negative ions) and boast the following stats.
New electrode design treats 38% more surface area of the face at a time
52.3% increased in hydration afterwards with use of the hydrating gel serum.
88.9% reduction in sebum with the use of the purity gel serum
53.4% reduction in wrinkles in the use of the Age Loci gel serum
* serum used will be based on individual skin types
I tried to get the details of the sample size for the stats but was only told that they were derived from a survey on a large panel of women. Without exact numbers, I’m not sure whether that equates to hundred or thousands so I’ll allow you to make up your own mind on these telling figures.

If these are indeed a broad based results then they are very impressive so lets take a look at what the treatment is all about as explained to me by Guinot global Head trainer Sandrine Carliez.

  • It starts off with application of double ionization serum gels onto the face with electrodes that produces both positive and negative ions to get twice the skin benefits. The serums are specially selected based on your skin conditions and the the double ionasation electrodes mean deeper and better penetration of the active ingredients into the skin to provide faster and better results.
  • This is followed by an application of high frequency static electricity with a high oxygen content gel to delivery increase oxygen supplies to skin cells and improve circulation below the skin.
  • You then get a nice 10minute massage using skin-specific serum to relax those facial muscles to melt away the tension and expression lines (momentarily).
The end result that you can immediately see is smooth features and radiant skin that will make you glow from within.

Sandrine tells me that this treatment have been patented by Guinot and is used in burn victims in France to help heal burn wounds and is suitable for all skin types, ages and gender.

I’m all intrigued and can’t wait for the day I try out this latest treatment myself.  Are you curious as well?

A 60 minute hydradermie double ionization treatment will set you back A$110 with the age logic serum treatment being A$150 .

Available now at Guinot salons and spas.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Battle of the Daily Exfoliants- Alpha-H v Dermalogica v SHE

I can't get by most days without using an exfoliator to cleanse my face because it's the only way to have my skin looking fresh and help keep the dry patches at bay.

Now bead or pumice based exfoliators do become a bit too harsh for daily use so it's great that there are alternatives in the market. The best known one would be the powder based Dermologica's Daily Microfoliant and recently the SHE Red-Rice Exfoliating Powder and now Alpha-H has joined the market with its own unique version.

Powder exfoliants are meant to be used on cleanse skin so don't use this with a face full of makeup. You should pre-cleansing face first or just use this first thing in the morning to avoid having to wash your face twice.

Unlike other normal cleansers, these powder based cleansers are meant to be mixed with a tiny bit of water in your palm to make a smooth paste before spreading it onto your area of skin to be cleaned. It took a bit of getting used to for me to work out the right amount of water to use to get a nice thick paste - adding water drop by drop is key.

Alpha-H Gentle Daily Exfoliant* - RRP A$59.95 for 50g
  • This doesn't come with instructions but before the first use, you have to open up the lid (not the cap on the top) and take out the plastic seal inside to allow the powder to flow out from the lid, but after that, the unique packaging will dispense precise amounts of powder for each wash and avoid over pouring - bonus points for this
  • Is actually a clay powder based product compared to the other 2 powdered exfoliants. There is no odour when using this cleanser. 
  • Contains enzymes from pineapple and papaya extract which is activated upon contact with skin to do the chemical exfoliating work. 
  • After massaging it in circular motion for a minute to rub of dead skin cells, I use this as a mask by leaving it on my skin for another 4 minutes on a weekly basis for it to work as an enzyme mask to give me an exfoliating boost. 
  • Has only 6 ingredients: Kaolin, Sodium Diatomeae, Bentonite (another clay type), Carica Papaya Extract, Ananas Sativus (pineapple) Extract, CI 77891 (aka titanium dioxide) - I love simple products. 
I heart the smoothness of skin after use. blackheads are reduced and there is not a single dry patch in sight.  Skin has a brightened complexion with a healthy radiance after 2 weeks; it's also very gentle and non-irritating even with the enzymes at work.
The clay base also seems to help control oil production and I don't get as greasy anymore during the day.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant - RRP A$83.50 for 75g
  • Rice powder based powder, it contains cellulose and can get clumpy in skin when over worked during the massage phase and is less smooth in texture than the Alpha H version.
  • Ingredients listing reads like a cast of thousands - Microcrystalline Cellulose, Talc, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, Colloidal Oatmeal, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Extracts Of: Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi Leaf, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit, Oryza Sativa (Rice), Ginkgo Biloba, Camellia Sinensis Leaf, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice); Essential Oils Of: Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel; Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Limonene, Allantoin, Salicylic Acid, Aspergillus Ferment, Papain, Pca, Allyl Methacrylates Crosspolymer, Cyclodextrin, Methylparaben, Titanium Dioxide 
  • I'm a strong believer that simple is best but there are similar enzyme ingredients papain (c.f. Papaya extract from Alpha-H) in the lists. 
Very comparable to Alpha-H, giving soft smooth skin after use and does a great job with dry patches and black heads too. There is less skin brightening properties immediately after use and doesn't help with sebum control for me. If these aren't your concern then Dermalogica would be a better alternative as it is actually cheaper gram per gram to Alpha-H.

SHE Red-Rice Exfoliating Powder -RRP A$19.95 for 50g

  • Is not an enzymed based power and instead has rice vinegar and lemon peel oil to refine pores. 
  • Texture wise, although the powder looked very similar to Dermalogica's microfoliant and is rice based, upon mixing with water you can tell it isn't as finely milled. There are actually minute grains of rice in this product and it works more like a scrub than a powder exfoliant when massaged on skin. 
  • Comes in a cardboard based container with no dispensing control mechanism so you will need to carefully pour your own amounts. 
  • Ingredients is also a lengthy read: Zea mays (Corn starch), Sodium potassium aluminium silicate, Guar hydroxypropyl trimonium chloride, Kaolin, Disodium lauryl sulfosuccinate, Oryza sativa (Rice) extract, Sodium methyl cocoyl taurate, Red rice vinegar, Citrus aurantium bergamia (Bergamot) oil, Citrus limon (Lemon) oil, Cananga odorata (Ylang ylang) flower oil, Silica
I found this powder scrub quite harsh on my skin as the rice granules were very hard. It left my skin feeling smoother but also slightly raw and is definitely a poor comparison to the other 2 products. I would only recommend this product as a facial scrub and not a exfoliating powder so am disappointed with its misleading name. 

The corn starch in SHE makes it look smoother than Dermalogica but the rice granules don't dissolve

I would have to say the clear winner in my books is Alpha H, it doesn't get too clumpy when I over rub it onto skin; the clay base helps with oil control and it gives the best results in terms of skin softness and improved clarity. Dermalogica is a very comparable and close contender so its really up to personal preference on use of the two. SHE is at a lower class than the other 2 products and not very comparable in terms of texture of the product or the results achieve during use although it is alot cheaper in price as well.

Alpha H and Dermalogica are available at selected salons, pharmacies and online at the Facial Company
SHE is available at selected Priceline and pharmacies or online at SHE Australia online.

Products marked * were provided for consideration. Others were purchased by me. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

La Dolce Vita with MOR

Last year MOR released the MOR Essentials line that captivated me with its traditional apothecary inspirations and luxuriously perfumed body products and amazingly affordable price points.

This year, MOR has followed it up with a diffusion line, the Dolce range that will be a Target exclusive. This no doubt makes MOR's beautiful products even more accessible to buyers with prices starting from A$10.

Now if you didn't know, dolce is actually Italian for 'sweet' and I can see why it would be called that with the latest 3 delicious scent lines in the range that will sweeten your everyday pampering experience.

SORBET: a blend of lemon, lime and coconut scents infused in a fresh vanilla base, it is adorned in baby blue packaging
POMEGRANATE: notes of violet and jasmine with burst of pomegranate and raspberry and black currant over a sweet musk base and is wrapped in pink packaging.
HONEY: honey infused may bell with base notes of warm vanilla, amber and the sweetness of cotton candy it comes comes in chic creamy packaging.

The Dolce line comes in practical and streamlined packagings that doesn't lose its luxurious appeals with the emblematic art deco embossed imprints and pretty designs - I actually prefer this packaging to that of the Essentials range. Each line features 5 sweetened body care products
  • hand cream 80ml - RRP A$10
  • hand and body lotion 350ml - RRP A$15
  • soap cake 150g - RRP A$10
  • hand and body wash 350ml - RRP A$15
  • fragrant candle 170g - RRP A$15
I had the privilege of sampling the HONEY range and let me tell you, it was love at first scent.

I'm not a huge sweet scent person and when I read honey, I wasn't sure if I would find it too sticky sweet. Amazingly the warm amber notes diffuses the sweetness and the vanilla just added extra dimension to the light sweetness that comes through the products in this range.  My picks are from this range are the fragrant candle, body & hand wash and the hand cream.

Honey Hand & Body Wash
In a large pump bottle, it is warm and sweet and adds an extra level of pleasure by transporting the senses to beautiful place. It is soap free and is non-lathering but gives a skin a great wash and leaves is silky and soft with a lingering sweet scent.

Honey Hand Cream
This stuff smells so good I almost want to eat it. I keep a tube at my desk and apply some throughout the day to get lovely hydrated hands. Suited for normal to dry skin, it softens rough hands and helps give supple smooth skin that is fragrant for hours. If you have very dry skin, you will need some other heavy duty moisturisers which I'll review later next week.

Honey Soap Cake
Gives a smooth silky lather and envelops skin in a heady sweet fragrance  that makes showers a pleasurable and enjoyable experience. This leaves skin feeling soft, smooth and silky without causing skin irritations. 

Honey Hand & Body Lotion
This is a light textured and beautifully sweet scented lotion that absorbs into skin easily. It gives average hydration but with my scaly dry legs, I need a more richer body cream on that area and only use this on my hands, arms and rest of the body.

Honey Fragrant Candle
I don't even need to burn this and can already smell the sweet warm amber scent. when lit, it scents the room up with a sweet cotton candy and vanilla the wafts gently and warms up any room's environment. I like to burn this in evenings when I'm going through my readings on the laptop. Packaged in a clever tin with lid, it burns safely and when you are ready to snuff it out, just close the lid and you're done. This boast burn times of up to 35 hours and is made from natural soy and has a cotton wick.

Tip: I learnt this tip from an Asian magazine the other day - sprinkle some salt around the wick before lighting up to pro-long the burn time and give a brighter candle flame. I tried it and really think it works!

At such a magical price, everyone can now have a pampering experience everyday with MOR and not break their budget. Get your little dolce sweetness at your nearest Target store next week and live the sweet life!

How else do you add some sweetness in your everyday life - I do mine via fun size chocolates :)

Officially  launched on Monday 18th April 2011 at Target stores.
Update: I did manage to popped by Target this weekend and picked up the Pomergranate scented candle. Had a whiff of the Sorbet range and can't say I'm in love with the lemon and coconut scent combination. Honey is still my fave and Pomergranate is full of beautiful sweet tangy goodness :)

This products was provided for consideration.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rimmel London - Colour Show off Lipstick in Red Fever

I recently bought new storage (a 5 drawer unit that's almost a meter high) in an attempt to organise my clutter and give a proper home and place to my growing beauty stash. In the cleaning up process, I found a bag of Rimmel goodies I got last year from one of the GWPs that had a lipstick, eyeliner and nailpolish in the set.

I've never gotten around to trying it out as I wasn't that impressed with the last Rimmel eyeliner I bought (it was too smudgy on me) and then I kind of forgot about the whole case... until I saw it again the other day. I pulled out the lipstick and must admit, it looked to be the perfect Red that I've been looking for a while now and all that time I had one sitting in my stash.

Rimmel Colour Show Off Lipstick - Red Fever

swatched in indoor white lighting
  • The perfect strong red against my medium NC30 skintone.There is no hint of orange or blue undertones in this shade, just pure red goodness. 
  • Medium to full coverage, this pigmented lip colour goes on opaque and has quite a matte finish. 
  • Although not quite creamy, it is non-drying and applies smoothly from the tube and is lightweight on lips.
  • This lipstick is tasteless but there is a plum fruit scent to it - I personally don't mind it at all.   
  • As with most bold colours, it's best to use a lip brush to do applications to get precise lines around the lips. 
  • wear wise, I got about 2-3 hours without food, which is dramatically reduced when I drank from a glass or ate anything. 
  • To enhance it's wearability, I would condition lips well before applying the lipstick and maybe dab a little bit of gloss over it just to give it some added dimension since the matte finish can make it look flat. 

Overall, I think for the price point and pigmentation, this is a great lipstick to have, especially if it comes in the colour that you are after. The only downside is that it are only 6 shades available and I'd love to see them expand this line with more colour options in the near future.

RRP A$14.95 at selected Priceline, David Jones and selected pharmacies.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Review: Lancôme Hynose Drama Mascara

As the seasons change, I tend to also change mascaras. Not for anything else other than the fact that you are meant to change mascara every 3 months to prevent bacteria growth (leading to eye infections) and the product usually dries out and give clumpy lashes in that time frame.

Recently I've been using a new Lancôme mascara and I am very happy with its results compared to the last Lancôme one I've tried.

Lancôme Hypnose Drama in Expressive black
  • Has a slight S shaped curved thick bristled brush to provide extra lifting power to lashes. Usually I think it's gimmicky but the shape of this brush really agrees with my lashes and gives great lift.
  • The bristles grab lashes well and gives a even coating of the formula for excellent volumising and defining results -ravishingly thick and lengthened lashes.
  • Non-clumpy, flaking or smudging, these are probably the next things I look for in mascara to avoid the 'racoon eye' look. This mascara didn't give me any problems during the entire day. 
  • Love the signature rose scented formula - although my lashes don't appreciate it, my nostrils do and it adds to the pleasant experience of the mascara application. 
bare lashes

Lancôme Hypnose Drama - 2 coats, no eyelash curler used
This is a beautiful mascara that delivers what I need most - volume and length and best of all it doesn't give me panda eyes. If the budget permits, I'd be using this every day for the rest of my life

RRP A$52/US$25 at Lancôme counters and selected pharmacies.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Molten Metallics Nail Enamels by Face of Australia

The latest limited edition range from Face of Australia is the highly anticipated Molten Metallics nail enamels.

The range has 8 colours - 4 of them run with a metallic chrome finish whilst the other 4 run in metallic-fine shimmer finish. The names are beautiful and describe the shade perfectly so you don't have to go guessing the colours.

 I was lucky enough to receive the collection last Friday and because they're that good, I've decided to swatch and post pictures on them immediately so you lovely readers can check out the shades and my thoughts on it before it is out in the market in early May.

Metallic Shimmer Finishes

Iron Ore - a granite black shade with silver/blue micro shimmer that shows up under the sun and lights.
Iron Ore: 2 coats - indoor white light

Titanium - a beautiful liquidified silver with with a micro shimmer finish.
Titanium: 2 coats - indoor white light

Gold - a true gold shade with flecks of gold micro shimmer that amplifies its beauty even more.
Gold: 2  coats - indoor white light

Bronze - a metallic shimmer orange copper bronze.
Bronze: 2 coats - indoor white light

Chrome Finishes
White Gold - a  moody metallic beige that transforms from light beige to taupe depending on the light it is viewed.

White Gold: 2 coats - indoor white light

Amethyst - a beautiful amethyst purple shade .
Amethyst: 2 coats - indoor white light

Flaming Lava - a chrome ruby red - it reminds me of Christmas decorations for some reason.
Flaming Lava: 1 coat - natural light

Verdigris - a chrome meadow green. This is one of the more unique shades and would be hard to find a dupe for elsewhere.
Verdigiris: 2 coats - indoor white light
Dazzling and beautiful, I'm partial to the micro-shimmer finishes but love all the shades in this range. The quality is on par with more mid-range lines in terms of ease of application and lasting powers.

Face of Australia continues to impress me with their quality products and any nail lacquer aficionado cannot afford to miss this range when it comes out in May. Mark this in your calendar so you don't forget!

P.S - Tine over at Beautyholics Anonymous has also swatched the collection, so head over there if you want to see more photos and swatches.

RRP A$4.95 at Priceline, K-Mart, Big W and selected pharmacies.
These products were provided for consideration.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Face of Australia Opulent Eyes Palettes

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago I received from Face of Australia, the very limited edition eye shadow palette collection called Opulent Eyes. This weekend, I finally had some time to swatch and review them.

Face of Australia Opulent Eye Palettes
  • Available in 4 different palettes- each contains 6 strips of baked colours to create complete looks.
  • Each palette has shades starting with light colours for highlighting and bold or darker colours for shading and contouring. Except for Saphire Desire, the colours tend to run in the the same colour family.
  • Saphire Desires is a kaleidoscope of rainbow colours, Rich and Famous a gold and bronze palette, Diamond and Pearls is a soft romantic pink palette and Endless Nights like a smokey silver blue palette. My Favourite is the Diamond & Pearls and the Endless Night Palette. 
  • The pigmentation on each colour is amazing- super rich and vibrant, most are luminous shimmery shades with a pearlescent finish; only one brown colour from the collection is matte in finish. 
Below are the swatches of each palette. They are swatched from right to left on my arm in order of the shades going down the colours of each palette. 

Rich & Famous - NC30 skin in natural light (the brown is matte)
Endless Nights - N30 skin in natural light
Saphire Desire - NC30 skin in natural light
Diamond & Pearls - NC30 skin in natural light
My thoughts on Opulent Eyes
  • Smooth and silky, these shadows applies like butter - they glide very effortlessly with either sponge applicators, fingers or brush, I didn't experience any fallout with these shadows. Blending with these was also fuss-free and the colours did not end up looking muddy like some shadows do when blended out too much. 
  • They last a good 3-4 hours before fading and creasing on my oily lids. With a primer, they lasted about 7 hours. 
  • These can be used wet or dry but personally I prefer them dry as I think they already give enough colour intensity. If you want to ramp it up, go for it with a wet brush. 
  • My only small gripe about these palettes is that the strip design whilst very pretty, means sometimes you can accidentally pick up adjacent shades when trying dipping your brush to pick up one shade. I can also imagine them being messy if these shadows were to break or shatter as there is no pan to press it back into. 
Big colour impact and quality at such a small price. I highly recommend you pick up a palette or 2 of these. They are so pretty and you can create many looks with the one palette or mixed with other shades up from the other palettes to create countless more unique looks. Being limited edition means you need to act quick and nab them at your local stores NOW!

Which Opulent Eye palette do you fancy yourself?

RRP A$14.95 at Priceline, K-Mart, Big W and selected pharmacies now.
These items were provided for consideration.