Thursday, June 30, 2011

5 Eye Creams You Need to Know About

Our eyes may be the windows to our soul but they are also is the first area to show the early signs of aging and fatigue with dark circles, puffiness, fine lines, and wrinkles.

While nothing beats a sound 10 hour sleep and sun protection to help prevent these problems, there are some great products on out there to help you keep your peepers looking fresh and rectify the tell-tales signs of tiredness and premature aging.

1. Dermalogica Intensive Eye Repair 15ml 
Winter dries out my oily combo skin and I'm currently experiencing a bout of dry patches across my face and the skin under the eye area is rather dehydrated.

Enter this little gem from Dermalogica, an ultra rich gel but not heavy or greasy on skin, it instantly hydrates skin to eliminate fine lines and crepiness and keeps the skin moisturised throughout the day.

Contains a cocktail of antioxidant-rich ingredients like cucumber extract, arnica and wild yam extract, vitamin A, B5, C, E to fight free radicals as well as help repair prematurely aging skin. It also primes skin to help makeup sit on skin better rather than sink into the fine lines.

This is a FITE product so its sale will help fund a female entrepreneur in a developing country. To find out more, visit

RRP A$71 at selected salons and at the FacialCompany.

2. Olay Regenerist Anti-aging Roller 6ml*
Click the end of this anti-aging pen to dispense the product out and then massage it into the under eye skin area with 3 precision massaging rollers. You will be greeted with instant coolness against your skin from the metal rollers whilst the massaging action improves blood circulation around the eye area and allows the caffeine and vitamin E infused serum to be delivered deeper into the skin to reduces eye puffiness. Before you know it, you'll be de-puffed and looking wide awake. 

It also has dimethicone to fill in lines and smooth over wrinkles to give a more youthful under eye area appearance.

RRP A$49.99 at supermarkets, Priceline and most pharmacies.

3. Kiehl's Ultimate White Darkness Diminishing Activated Eye Treatment 15ml* 
Now that you've sorted out the hydration and puffiness, attack the dark circles with this potent eye cream that will gradually fade darkness with vitamin C, plum fruit extract and glucoside. You will have to be persistent with this cream as it won't give you results overnight but you will get that brigthened translucent under-eye skin in 3 weeks time. It also gives very excellent hydration to dry, tired eyes.

RRP A$62 at Kiehl's counters or Kiehl's Online.

4. Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-aging Eye Serum 15ml
The holy grail of all eye creams. That is all.
Oh alright, I'll elaborate. I love this eye serum because when I wake up in mornings after using it the night before, I have next to no sign of puffiness in sight. My dark circles are lighter, the skin in my under eye area is firmer, hydrated and fine lines are barely visible - all thanks to the 0.5% idebenone formula that my skin is such a fan of. If I didn't have a mortgage, I'd be hauling this by the truckload to use forever.

RRP A$165 at Elizabeth Arden counters

5. Peter Thomas Roth Power K Eye Rescue 15g
Given my very bad dark circles, I'm always trying to find quick fixes for them and this was one of those purchase I wish I hadn't made.  Lured by the promise of vitamin K (at 5% concentration which this clearly isn't, it's proven to fade dark circles and help treat bruises) and flanked with a stellar line up ingredients such as vitamin c, green tea, kojic acid, arnica and CQ10, this rich gel was too hard to resist.

I admit I enjoy bursting the CQ10 micro-capsule when rubbing the gel into my under eye skin and although it is a good eye gel in all other aspects, it just didn't do the one thing I wanted it for - reduce dark circles.
For the price, I want to see results pronto but  after 1 whole week of use, my skin just didn't respond. I didn't see improvements in darkness nor was it any better at reducing puffiness than the Olay eye serum so yes I'll be holding a grudge against Mr. Thomas Roth for this particular eye treatment.

Personally, I would choose the others eye serums before forking out such an exorbitant amount that didn't deliver more than its budget-friendly counterparts.

RRP A$125 at Kit Cosmetics counters or Mecca Cosmetica.

Out of the five, you all know which is my favourite but a close second is the Dermalogica Intensive Rich repair for it super hydrating properties whilst the Kiehl's Darkness Diminishing Activated eye treatment is slowly winning me over as I start to see results of lighter dark circles.

Do you use eye creams on a daily basis? What are your favourite eye creams?

Products marked * were provided for consideration. All other products were purchased by me. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gillette Fusion ProGlide & Gillette Series Skincare

Most people’s theory’s when it comes to many things in life is that if it ain't broke, don’t fix it. This is especially true with men and grooming products - once they find something that they are comfortable with, they're content and continue to use the same product many times over and not look for alternatives.

Never mind that advancement in technology means newer, better products are always being put to the market, most of them just aren't interested or curious enough for the change.

Case in point is Big DD, the family patriarch.. For the past decade (has it been that long already?) I’ve always known him to use his Gillette Mach 3 razor. Sure he’ll replace the blades every month once they become blunt but he was never curious enough to try anything else different.

This all changed 3 weeks ago when  I handed over to him the newest razor technology from Gilette.

Gillette Fusion Proglide Razor - RRP A$13.99 | A$16.99 (Power model)
Fusion ProGlide Manual and Power Razor
A culmination of years of research and testing on over 30,000 men, the latest in Razor technology is the Gilette ProGlide.
  • One the best innovation products of the year, 2.5 million razors were sold in the first 10 weeks of its release in America!
  • Contains 5 re-engineered low cutting blades that are super thin to give the closest shave, helps to glide effortlessly across the face without drag or pull. 
  • Blade stabiliser that flexes to adjust to the contours and plane of the face yet still maintain even spacing between blades. 
  • Available in a manual or battery boosted Power version which vibrates to allow the microcomb strip to guide stubble to the blades. 
  • Has a gel lubrastrip to lubricates the blade to ensure smooth and even shaving as the razor glides past, giving the most comfortable shave ever, a rubber snowplough channels to guide excess shaving product. 
Big DD tried out the Power razor and he agreed, it’s time to retire his Mach 3. He was so impressed that the latest razor not only gives him the closest, smoothest shave ever, but it’s comfortable to hold being ergonomically design, is lightweight and really doesn’t tug, drag or pull when gliding across the face. In fact he even commented that the power vibration makes the shave even more enjoyable and couldn’t nick himself even if he tried to.

Gillette Series Skincare
With the Latest fusion Proglide release are some complementing Gillette Series skinare products - the Thermal Facel Scrub, Hydra Shave Gel and Intense Cooling Balm. 

Thermal Facial scrub 100ml - RRP A$12.99

Goes on skin with a warming feel which is welcoming on these cold winter mornings. It contains fine particles to gentle scrub away oil, dirt and dead skin cells. Big DD comments that this was very pleasant to use and the same refreshing scent isn’t over-powering and left his face feeling smooth and soft. 

Hydra Gel for Sensitive Skin 73g - RRP A$6.99

Contains Aloe Vera and vitamin-E to lubricate and prep skin and help give a smooth gliding surface for the razor to glide over whilst reducing the experience of razor burns or irritations. Big DD likes how this blue gel lathers up so wells upon rubbing into skin and helps give friction-less shave whilst moisturising his skin and left his skin feeling very soft. He like the light refreshing scent which adds to the enjoyable experience.

Intense Cooling balm 100ml - RRP A$11.99

Instant cooling and hydrating to calm down any irritations from just-shaved skin to help you continue the comfortable shave experience. It then continues to provide hydration through the day to sooth and keep the skin soft and moisturised. Big DD likes to finish off his shave with this lightly scented gel lotion as he says “it’s light, cooling and refreshing and just helps soothes my skin”.

With the latest Gillette Fusion Proglide, I think Big DD is convinced to move on with technology and upgrade to this latest razor that doesn't nick skin and with the Gillette Series skin care, gives the most pleasant, smoothest and comfortable shave ever.

Gilette Fusion Proglide and skincare products are available now at supermarkets and selected pharmacies.

These products were sent for consideration and the review was brought to you by Big DD.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lancome Juicy Kusama Tubes

One of Lancome’s cult makeup products has got to be Juicy Tubes - beautiful smooth lip gloss that impart subtle colours, leave lips hydrated and give a great shine without any hint of stickiness.

So how do you go about improving a cult product? You go team up with reowned Japanese Artist Yaoi Kusama (famous for her polka dot conceptual artworks) to come up with a fresh fun packaging, add vitamin-enriched ingredients to the product and then make it a limited edition range.

And that, readers, is how these Juicy Tubes known as Awakening of Love were born.

Juicy Tubes: Awakening of Love by Yayoi Kusama
  • Being a collaboration with an amazing artist, the packaging of the tube is adorned with too-cute polka dot patterns and 3 adorable designs that are worthy of an art display itself. 
  • Comes in 6 beautiful shades with 70’s Free-Love era inspired names like Crazy Yuzu, Vigorous Fruit, Exotic Bomb, Yoga Vanilla, Baba Jasmine and Peace & Flowers in shades of sheer berry to pink and peach. These are lightly scented in vanilla, honey and fruit flavours as well. 
  • Packed with Bisabolo and sweet almond oil, vitamiC, B5, E and moisturising shea butter to protect and nourish, Juicy Kusama Tubes are also designed to make your lips feel good with ginseng and Acerola extract. 
  • I have Yoga Vanilla (a pretty peach with fine pink and gold shimmer in vanilla flavour - the pink shimmer is not showing up as well in the photo as in real life) and I love how it’s non-sticky yet incredibly shiny and gives me glossy puckers that looks great on its own or layered over my favourite lipstick. 
If you are a collector of products with special packaging, then these are not-to-be-missed, so make sure you mark the release date down in your diary for these limited edition Juicy Kusama Tubes.  
Lancome Juicy Tubes Yoga Vanilla swatch
10ml RRP A$29. Available  from July 10th at Lancome Counters in selected Myer and David Jones Stores.
This product was sent for consideration.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Review: Listerine Zero Mouth Wash

An apple an day may keep the doctors away, but it probably won't decrease the frequency of visits to your dentist unless you regularly floss and use mouth wash in between visits.

Now if you're like me and dislike that burning sensation from conventional mouth washes, there is good news. Listerine has come up with the latest version that guarantees to be as effective as without the stinging burning feel.

Listerine Zero

  • This is a non alcoholic version of its brothers and cousins out in the market, and is a less intense version of the original mouth wash. 
  • Comes in slender bottle with a screw-down twist cap so it's easily to find room in the bathroom cabinet to store and is child-proof so little kiddies don't drink this up like they would cordial syrup. 
  • Despite containing zero alcohol and being milder, it was still quite strong in intensity with a very refreshing minty taste. I find it easier to gargle for the whole 30 seconds with this mouth wash. 
  • Provides the same protection as the full strength mouth washes with fluoride to help strengthen teeth enamel and freshen breath. 
  • I find that using mouth wash also helps my mouth ulcers when I get them heal much faster and sting less than normal. 
A healthy inclusion for anyone who wants to have clean & healthy teeth and gums but cannot stand the sting and intensity of the full strength mouth wash. This would be also great for training school children to use mouth wash as part of a healthy at-home oral hygiene regime.

RRP 250ml A$5.49 | 500ml A$8.39 at supermarkets and  most pharmacies now.
This product was received as part of BeautyHeaven's trial team.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Bath & Body Collection

I’ve always heard good things about Tom Ford Private Blend Fragrances but with so many available scents in the line up, I wasn’t sure where to start.

Thankfully the decision was made easy with the recent launch of the Neroli Portofino Bath and Body Collection, an addition to the existing Fragrance line and as a result , I was able to get my hands on a sample body cream and a bar soap from the collection. 

The inspiration for Neroli Portofino is drawn from the Mediterranean landscape the Italian beach side Riviera with its old-world glamour and tradition. Adorn in deep aqua packaging and the transformation of the fragrance bottle from its apothecary brown glass bottle to a translucent turquoise one could only mean it’s getting serious with representing the Mediterranean warm waters. 

The product range in the Neroli Portofino Collection includes
  • Private Blend EDP Spray 50ml/100ml - RRP A$290/A$395 
  • Private Blend EDP Decanter 250ml – RRP A$790 
  • Body Moisturiser 150ml - RRP A$100 
  • Shower Gel 150ml - RRP A$100 
  • Body Oil 100ml - RRP A$100 
  • Bath bar soap 50g - RRP A$50* 

Now when I hear Neroli, I instantly think of warm citrusy scents that sits comfortably in the fruit family scent. Not so with Neroli Portofino – it is more a floral fresh infused with tangy and vibrant citrus oils and warm amber undertones – truly a unique and individual scent that I’ve ever come across. 

It takes me to back to heady summer evenings where one can easily be intoxicated by the crisp yet bitter scent of neroli citrus, before being softly wrapped with sweet orange blossoms and lingering musky amber.

Amazingly long-lasting, the body cream gave many hours of subtle fragrance that had me drifting to warm Italian seas whilst the bar soap gently perfumed skin whilst lathering up for a creamy silky wash. Enriched with Olive fruit oil, grape seed oil, jojoba oil and date seed extract in both products, it leaves skin soothed richly hydrated and product. Honestly, it couldn’t possibly be any more luxurious when you layer the products together.

I’m not surprised Tom Ford delivered yet again with the Neroli Portifino bath and Body collection. Tom Ford is not something you make a blind purchase on so I urge you to head down to David Jones to sample and acquaint yourself with the scent but be warned, go prepared to part with some serious cash because you will be walking home with a Neroli Portofino product.

Tom Ford is available exclusively at David Jones.

Product marked * were sent for consideration. I received a sample of the body moisturiser through my rewards membership from David Jones 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Review: The Brush Guard

We beauty addicts know that makeup can be expensive, even more so with quality cosmetics and tools. In fact, they are more investment items and if you take the time to treat them with love, they will reward you with many years of loving service.

This is especially the case with makeup brushes. Some of the ones I own are over A$100 retail for a single brush (I don’t know what I was thinking when I picked up the MAC #134 brush for US$52/A$105 – I love it but my wallet didn’t).

Although sourcing for brushes online from the US lowers the prices, it is still a significant amount to pay so protecting my investment is a must!

Other than keeping them clean and washing them correctly to maintain their tip-top condition, I generally like to shape the brush hairs after cleaning, and I always try to protect them when I go travelling with me to avoid frayed and damage hairs.

What makes this an easy task are these genius inventions called brush guards – they are truly one of the best beauty innovations out there.

I’ve never seen anything similar in retails stores but thankfully, these are readily available online with worldwide shipping!

Brush Guards
Brush guards are a great way to dry kabuki brushes upside down :)
  • Made of flexible plastic netting material that expands and contracts so you can slot the brush head through. 
  • Comes in 4 sizes, extra small for fine eye brushes, small for larger eye brushes, small face brushes, medium for small to medium face brushes like blush and foundation brushes and large for large face powder or kabuki brushes. 
  • Protects against movements and hair breakages during travels. Also great to slip on if you want to put the brushes into storage. 
  • Make sure you always pull the brush guard down from the handle end down to the brush head so the hairs are not caught in the netting that will damage your brush. To remove the brush guard, continue to push the netting down the brush head, rather than up to the brush handle. If you make a mistake and slide it from the wrong direction, gently and slowly pull it back in the other direction to avoid any damage. 
  • I usually don’t slip these on after washing my brushes as I find that it slows down the drying process. I would slip it on after a few hours when the brush head had dried about 70% If I don’t have time, I’d put on the guards to reshape them after the brush dries.
  • The only exception is the kabuki brush, I would slip the large brush guard on after washing so it acts as a base and dry the brush upside down so water doesn’t fall back into the base of the brush to avoid damaging the glue. 
  • Tip: Great way to ensure brush head are compacted and dense for contour work (eg. With the MAC #168 contour blush and MAC #109 contour brush). 
Close up of brush guard netting

If you love your brushes, you must get some of these brush guards. I find the best place to start is the variety pack as it has a few brush guard for every size brush. If you have more of a particular brush size, then get the pack with your desired size only. 

RRP US$5.50 per pack (number of brush guards varies depending on pack chosen) at TheBrushGuard online store. It costs $3 to ship up to 5 packs to Australia so stock up now! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Review: Face Of Australia Gentle Makeup Remover

I’m a big fan of dual-phase makeup cleansers whether they be oil-based or otherwise. They just get the job done more effectively with a lot more products get wiped away in one go, thus saving time and causing less irritation on skin by having to go over the area fewer times.

Now I have my favourites but am always looking for a budget friendly alternatives as I can go through an entire bottle in mere weeks given I wear makeup almost every day (barring the Sunday bare face look when I’m lounging at home).

I’ve been using the Face Of Australia one for the past month and this is how it stacks up against my HG makeup remover.

Face Of Australia Gentle Make Up Remover

  • This oil-free dual phase formula needs you have to shake the bottle to emulsify 2 different density of liquids to activate it before using. It does look in the bottle to contain oil based ingredients but I checked the ingredients listing and there are none to be found.
  • Formulated to be the pH of tears , fragrance free and contains cornflower extract to sooth and reduce redness in eyes, this does not sting or irritate my eyes at all – very important feature as this is the area that I am removing most of the make up from. 
  • Tip: I soak a cotton pad with the product, press and hold it against my eyes for 10 seconds before sliding it across the eyes to easily remove the makeup
  • Over 85% of product is remove in the first wipe and this was tested against waterproof mascaras and hard-to-budge smudge-proof liquid eye liners. Another wipe across the eye area with the same cotton pad and the remaining product is usually removed. Long wear foundations are easily removed with this.  Whilst this isn’t a one cotton swipe job, I've found no product rarely is (except my HG Lancome Bi-Facil).
  • It also does a great job of dissolving eye lash glue to make removal of false lashes a breeze.
  • Does not leave face feeling dry or tight and followed up with a facial cleanser for a double cleanser to ensure any remaining traces of residue are washed off and skin is properly cleaned
Face Of Australia Gentle Makeup Remover ingredients
How well does it stacks up to Lancome's Bi-Facil?
Face of Australia is a great budget cleanser that stand up well against the higher end names like my favourite Bi-Facil. Although it doesn’t beat it in terms of swiping makeup off in one go, it comes close and is a fraction of the cost. This remover definitely have a place in my bathroom cupboard and I'll be picking up a new bottle when I run out. 

What makeup removers do you currently use?

RRP A$8.95 at Priceline, Kmart and selected Pharmacies.
This product was provided for consideration.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Review: Rimmel London Royal Gloss

Want a tasty treat but don't want the guilt? Then look no further than the latest lip gloss offerings from Rimmel London as they are so yummy, you'll be smacking your lips all day long with these on.

Rimmel London Royal Gloss

  • With vitamins A,C,E and nutrient rich royal jelly to keep your puckers conditioned and hydrated as well as protect them from chapping.
  • Comes in 3 translucent shades with delicious flavour like Candy Bar (a cotton candy flavour), Cookie (cookie and cream biscuits flavour) or Sugar Glaze (boiled sweets flavour). 
  • Imparts glossy shine and just the right amount of shimmer to to sheerly tint lips for an extra dimension.
  • Non greasy formula that just glides on lips makes it a real winner in my books.
The moisturising properties make Royal Gloss a great lip gloss to have in the handbag so you can whip it out to apply and give a yummy pick me upper any time of the day.

RRP A$10.95 for 14ml at selected Priceline, Target, Big W, Kmart, Coles and selected pharmacies.
This product was sent for consideration.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Look of the Day: Cabaret Girl

Over the weekend, I attended a costume party for a girlfriend's 30th birthday and went as a Cabaret Girl for the evening. The costume itself took relatively little time to put together as I was lucky enough to have various pieces of clothing that went together to give the sexy show girl look (thank you Celina for the satin gloves) and all I had to do on the evening was concentrate on my hair and makeup.

The Hair 
For the hair I decided on soft curls. My straight hair was prepped with heat protectant Moroccan Oil's latest Curl Control Cream to give it a bit more texture and so that the curls would last when used with VS Sasson's Magic Curl styling wand.

Hair was sectioned in 6 parts - bottom, mid and top layers and left and right of each layer. I then put the VS Magic curl stying wand to work at the highest temperature setting for maximum hold and created medium size ringlets by twirling the hair around the wand.

Working from my way up from the bottom layers, I proceeded to curl the hair below the ear length to ensure they didn't become too puffy at the top. When all the hair is curled and brushed into place, copious amounts of hair spray was used to keep the fly aways and curls in check for the night.

Hair Products Used
Frizz-Ease Heat Defeat Protective Styling Spray
Moroccan Oil Curl Control Cream*
Schwarzkopf Strong Styling Hairspray

Moroccan Oil curl control cream is designed to give defined curls for those with curly and wavy hair, add shine, volume and control. It did an amazing job with helping to hold the curls in my normally (permanently) straightened hair throughout the night and the whole of next day, it even survived being slept on - now that's impressive!

The Makeup
I went for a heavier coverage base for a flawless look to allow me to emphasise the eyes and lips. Thick false lashes and firey red lips helped to sex up look whilst keep keeping the rest of my face fairly simple and neutral.

Dermablends Cover Creme in Chroma 2.13 Natural Beige
Bobbi Brown Concealer in Warm Beige
Milani Minerals Blush #203 Mai-Tai
Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Rose
MAC wedge eye shadow as contour powder
Kryolan Anti-Shine powder
NYX loose powder #07 transparent medium

Face of Australia Oppulent Eyes in Endless Nights*
3 trees false lashes #6 design 
ColourSoft eye lash glue
Kiss Me Heroine Smooth Liquid eye liner

Illamasqua Box *(layered underneath)
Rimmel London 230 Red Fever applied with a lip liner for precise definitions.

  • Moroccan Oil Curl Control cream A$44.50 is available at all good hair salons
  • Dermablend Cover Creme A$49.95 is high pigment waterproof makeup and is available at selected Priceline and Pharmacies.
  • Kiss Me Heroine Smooth liquid liner is an amazing Japanese smudgeproof eye liner that can be purchased from
  • Milani is a US drugstore brand and can be purchased from

Products marked * were provided for consideration

Friday, June 10, 2011

Illamasqua Toxic Nature Collection: Torture Sheer Lip Gloss and Glister Precision Ink

The Illamasqua Toxic Nature collection was released back in March this year so I am very late to the party to do a review on the products from the collection.

Truth is though, I only received these items recently so am trying to get this out ASAP so that if you are interested in the shades, there's still opportunity for you to pick it up in stores or online. 

Sheer Lip Gloss in Torture 7ml - A$33

As its name suggest, this medium thickness in consistency is very sheer and wearable despite the vibrancy in the tube. In fact, I wish there was more pigment as I quite like the colour of Torture – a pretty coral peach. 

It’s non sticky formula will be welcomed by those who hate sticky glosses and imparts a subtle layer of colour whilst keeping lips moist for hours. It's perfect for adding hydrating shine to lips and can be layered over your favourite warm colour lipsticks. 
Torture looks almost bare on my lips

Precision Ink in Glister 1.8ml - A$43.50

Precision ink is a liquid liner with a sharp felt tip that makes drawing precise lines a easy and fool-proof. 

Glister is a pink nude shade with iridescent pink shimmer. Although I found the shade too light to use as a top lid eye liner, A thicker line over eye shadow brightens up my peekers and it also works very well on the lower lids to widen the eyes and give is a light shimmering dimension.

For anyone artististly inclined, you can draw it anywhere on the skin for added shimmer and is one of the more unique shades that won’t be found in any other brands as a liquid liner. 

Once dry, the colour stays on for hours and is smudge and water-proof. The precision ink formula is definitely a keeper and has me keen to explore other precision  inks shades. 

Illamasqua is available exclusively at Myer Melbourne, Chadstone, Sydney, Bondi, Brisbane and Robina. 

Products were sent for consideration.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Potent Line Erasers

Sometimes your skin just needs more than the average moisturising and you need extra fighting powers in your skincare arsenal to target specific skin concerns.

In adult skin, the main skin concerns are fine lines, pigmentation, wrinkles and hormonal break outs.  Today we'll look at line erasing products that actually works. 

The most effective and scientifcally proven line minimising products are retinoids, which is a derivative of vitamin A.

Unfortunately the good stuff (retin-A which is tretinoin -a retinoic acid at concentrations of 0.01% .025% 0.05%) are available prescription-only in Australia and are usually prescribed by the local GP for acne treatment as it speeds up the shedding of outer layer skin (epidermis) to reveal softer new skin and stimulates the production of collagen on the dermis layer of skin for baby plump skin (which btw is a great treatment for reducing the dimply appearance of stretchmarks). 

Retin-A is prescription-only and costs A$30 a 20g tube
As doctors don't usually write these out to save you from wrinkles, you may have to look online for sites that offer to sell them without a script but I find this somewhat dubious so would advise you to go see a dermatologist and pester them for a script instead.

If all that is too hard for you, then your best bet is the poor man's version of the activie ingredient in the form of retinol. Retinol isn't as potent as the prescription stuff (because it needs to break down to retinoic acid first, resulting in a lower concentration of the available active ingredient to it works its magic on lines and wrinkles) but still can gently refine your skin over time.

The other products that help to refine skin is alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), which dissolves the glue that keeps the dead skin cells on the surface of skin that can dull your complexion and help to reveal newer soft skin.

Like any other skin thinning products those, it makes you sensitive to the sun's rays so I cannot stress enough you need to cover up with sunscreen or best yet, a hat  and long sleeved shirt to make sure you don't damage the newly revealed skin.

Although I have access to Retin-A via my dermatologist, I find that it can be too strong on my skin and make my face peel like an onion which is not a good look. So retinol products have its place in my vanity table as it's milder and the peeling effects are not as promininent. My current favourite retinol product is from Roc.

Roc Retin-Ox Intensive Anti-wrinkle Cream Night 30ml - A$49.95 
I use this twice a week for a dose of retinoid on my skin in a bid to minimise and delay the deepening of fine lines Cream based, it spreads easily and has a very pleasant albeit slightly strong scent that some people may find too much. The next day my face is soft, supple and the fine lines look lighter. 

There's now a new version of this called Retin-OX wrinkle filler with retinol and hyaluronic acid which I haven't yet tried but I am really impressed with it's predecessor so have high expectation of the incumbent.

Alpha-H Liquid Gold - 100ml A$57.50

I use this once a week in place of a serum. This golden brown liquid has a distinct scent (not unpleasant but there is alcohol in it) improves and clarifies skintones, removes dry patches and firms and refines skin with 10% glycolic acid. It's also great at fading blemish scars but do cause skin sensitivity by thinning the upper layer of skin so be sure the use it only at night and top up with the sunscreen during the day

Skin Plumpers
With all these skin thinning and high actives ingredients, you need to plump the skin up with something that mimics its own fat to keep the youthful look. Nothing like essential fatty acids omega 3 and 6 to help revitalise your carefully prepped skin from all those other skin refining products.

Organic Rose Hip Oil 100ml - A$18

On dehyrdrated days, my skin just drinks this right up. I love it around the eye areas to plump the skin up and with all the essential fatty acids and high vitamin C concentration, it repairs and protects and brightens. A must have for me during winter months. Read more about my love for it here.

What do you use to combat the signs of aging? Would you resort to surgery?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

How to: Get it on with the Side-Part Pony Tail

Winter's windy and cold weather outdoors and heated dry conditions indoor not only wreak havoc on skin but is also very damaging to hair.

And if you find that your hair's looking shabby (as mine currently does) and you don’t have time for a cut, then the current trend of a sleek pony tail will give your hairstyle a new lease in life as you can easily hide the messy hair.

Other than using a great hydrating shampoo and conditioner, you will also need to up the anti on your styling products to keep your hairstyle looking in tip-top condition in the colder months. 

My current product of choice is the Wella SP Elegant shape Body Mousse 300ml - RRP A$33.50 as it adds a flexible hold to hair, gives it a bit more structure and adds body and volume to the roots of hair.
Applied to towel dried hair and you not only have something to work with on your hair, you're also giving your hair some heat protection from hairdrying and also has UV filters to protect again from sun rays.

Now back to the pony tail style -  it's easy to achieve and looks great on anyone any age, it’s elegant, classy, chic, seductive, hide bad hair and was all over the run way at the Marc Jacobs Fall Winter 2011/12 show.
Nars for Marc Jacob NYFW 2011

For a something a little different though, try the sleek side parted pony tail which Lucy Liu sported when she stepped out for the NYC Kong Fu Panda 2 premiere last month. The side part works as it's more wearable and helps to diffuse attention away from an uneven hair line.
image credit: John P Iblis/
To get the look:
Start with straight dried hair and create a strong side part with a comb and then brush hair down. If you have curly hair, you might want to use an anti frizz serum like before hand to smooth the hair down first.

Brush hair back towards the back of the head and make sure to brush out any bumps on the side. Depending on how high your front hair line is (the higher your hairline, the lower your pony tail should sit to balance it out at the back), fasten hair with a hair tie and then smooth down flyaway bits with hair spray.

Smooth some Gloss Shine Concentrate at the ends of the ponytail to make your hair shiny and prevent frizz during the day/night

Products used:
Wella SP Perfect Hold hairspray 300ml - RRP A$33.50  
Wella SP Exquisite Gloss Shine Concentrate 40ml - RRP A$37.00  
Medium tooth comb and round paddle hair brush

What other styles do you use to hide bad hair days?

Additional image credits: Google images
Wella SP products were provided for consideration. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

My Evening Skincare Routine

Following the morning skincare routine post, I will continue today with the products that I use during the evenings.

My routine is simlar to my daytime routine, in fact I would use some of these items morning and night and it's only out of preference that I showcase them in the evening routine post. I start off with removal of makeup and then follow up with cleansing before treatment and moisturising. 

1. Lancome Bi-Facil 125ml A$48
Activate this 2 phase solution (by shaking it before use) and it works its magic to eraser everything off your skin swiftly and gently. No waterproof eye liner or cream and emollient makeup are no match for it. It also leaves a conditioning residue on skin aftewards and has an subtle lingering rose scent.

2. Invisible Zinc 12% Glycolic Cleanser 200ml $35 
Help slough away stubborn flaky skin and reveal a glowing face with this AHA based cleanser. It effectively removes makeup residue and was made to remove water resistance products (though I won't advise trying to remove eye makeup with it as it may sting your eyes). It has a slight fermented pinapple scent (from the AHA perhaps) and can also be used as a treatment mask by leaving on skin for 5 minutes to help clear breakout prone skin and helps give skin a clearer complexion.

3. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronised Recovery Complex 30ml A$105
Little wonder this wonder serum has won so many awards from Marie Claire to InStyle in 2010 and Glossacars this year. It is a great prep for skin by plumping and hydrating it and protecting it from free radical damage and improves uneven skintone after a period of use. Slightly sticky upon application it dries off to a matte feel and soothes and calms irritate skin (was a god send with a recent breakout I had).

4. Elizabeth Arden Prevage anti-aging eye serum 15ml A$165 
Very effective with de-puffing eyes and lightening dark circles, I use this at night and in mornings when I don't get enough sleep and my peepers are feeling super dehydrated. Containing 0.5% idebenone, the most powerful antioxidant discovered to date, it does a great job of brightening up the eye are and filling in fine lines so under eye makeup just glides on rather sinking in. 

5. Elizabeth Arden Prevage Face Advanced Anti-aging Serum 30ml A$195* 
My absolute HG serum to date - also with 0.5% idebenone, it clarifies, firms and plumps skin and evens out skintone and delivers on every promise it makes. A canary yellow cream that's silky in texture, a little goes a long way as it spreads very well. I cannot tell you enough how much I love this product, I used this morning and night when skin is sallow and dull and needs extra TLC by giving me radiance and glow as if I've had a lot of restful sleep. I've now finished my bottle and am about to restock.

6. Dr. Lewinn's Oil Free Day and Nigh Cream 56g A$64.95 
This pale yellow gel-like consistency cream is great for hydrating the skin without adding any oils to it. Non irritating it is particularly great for sensitised skin that's on the heal from chemical peel or burns (I used this after my recent fraxel which would be similar to having burnt skin).

7. Vitacreme B-12 50ml US$25.60 (purchase via
I've been using this highly popular moisturiser since last year as it was the rage across the Asian community. A unique pink cream, it has vitamin b12 which assists with cell regeneration and promotes healing. I found it to be an excellent moisturiser for both day and night, keeping skin well hydrated and soft and is great for sensitive skin. It can be slightly too oily for oily skin types to use during the day but would suit night use. I didn't find that it did anything beyond what great moisturisers do and didn't feel that the vitamin B12 sped up blemish healing or fades the marks any faster than other good moisturisers but I do enjoy this cream and is impressed by how well priced it is.

My HG products from the above bunch would have to be the Prevage eye and face serum - it's the bomb of all skincare I'd tried so far. And Bi-Facil has been my all time favourite makeup removers.

Products marked * were sent for consideration. 
All other products were purchased by yours truly.