Thursday, July 28, 2011

B Collection by Bloom Magic Wand Makeup Remover

I love product innovations that gives us clever and nifty gadgets to make life easier, more efficient and enjoyable.

As this sort of innovation usually occurs in the fast moving computing and electronics field, you can imagine my excitement when it also creeps into the beauty industry as is the case with this genius product below.

B Collection by Bloom Magic Makeup Remover Wand 3g (0.1 oz)
Now who goes around carrying with them in their makeup bag a makeup remover to fix their makeup smears and smudges? Seriously, who does? It would be too messy to use traditional bottled makeup removers that requires cotton buds or tips to make it all work.

Enter this clever little pen which recently won the inaugural Shop Til You Drop Genius Awards.
  • Filled with makeup remover liquid with a felt tip, it is easy to carry around to quickly and precisely removes makeup faux pases, or smudges that appear anytime of the day. 
  • Great to use all over, it's amazingly handy for the eye area where liquid eye liners, and mascara mishaps are plentiful for me. I always have this on hand when lining my eyes for just in case. 
  • Takes off any stubborn makeup without disturbing your carefully crafted surrounding look
  • When I'm home I would just use a cotton bud dipped in concealer to remove the offending marks but away from my vanity table where my arsenal of beauty products reside, this become my powerful weapon for on-the-go. 

In a nutshell: If you are clumsy like me or want to make sure you never have any panda eyes, this genius makeup remover pen is perfect solution for on-the-go precision fixes.

To see more genius winners from the Shop Til You Drop 2011 Awards, go here.

RRP A$14.95. B Collection is a diffusion brand of Bloom and is available at Target Stores nationally.
This product was provided for consideration.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tom Ford Private Blend Lip Color - True Coral

Nothing exudes sex appeal and confidence than a vibrant lip. Even if you look a bit worse for wear, slick on a suitably bright lippy and you will look a million bucks, even if you don't feel it.

So what better way to get the look than with a shade from ultra luxury brand Tom Ford's Private Blend.

Tom Ford Private Blend Lip Color - True Coral 3g

  • A namesake shade, this is a vibrant bright red tone coral (rather than the usual pink or orange varieties that are out in the market) that instantly brightens and warms ups any complexion. Suitable for fair to tan skintones. 
  • As always, the creamy texture glides easily (although it lacks a bit of slip) on lips from the tube or with the use of a lip brush for precision application. A medium opaque coverage means a swipe and you get colour true to tube with a satin finish. 
  • If your lips are a bit drying, prep it with conditioners before application as this is not a the most moisturising lipstick.
  • If you don't already love it for the colour, you will love that it gives you over 3-4 hours of colour without food and fades to a stain that still give your lips some lingering colour. Then there's the light vanilla scent of the formula and the weighty white with gold trim square tube that just oozes decadence and elegance - it's hard to resist the calling of a Tom Ford Lipstick. 

In natural light, on NC30 skin

In a nutshell: A name sake coral that would brighten up anyone's day, it's a shade you can't go wrong with and is my favourite bright lipstick.

Want more Tom Ford Lip shade reviews? check out my swatches in Blush Nude, Morrocan Rouge or Jess in Pink Dusk.

RRP A$65 at city David Jones stores. Americans can snap this up for US$45 at Bergdorf Goodman or Neiman Marcus.  £36 In the UK from Harrods and Selfridges.
This product was provided for consideration.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Grown Skincare: Facial Exfoliant, Facial Masque, Facial Moisturiser

Grown is an Australian skincare company that prides itself in bringing botanical beauty products to everyday life. For those who aren't familiar with the brand, here's a quick low-down.
  • Home-grown Aussie owned and made organic bio active products across its entire range. 
  • Being an organic alchemist company, all their ingredients in their products are naturally derived and pass all the stringent requirements to be able to be certified organic. 
  • Produce products that are free from sensitivity causing additives such as lauryl sulfates, glycols, petrochemicals, artificial fragrances, synthetic colours, silcones and parabens or animal derivatives.
  • Against Animal Testing and instead opt for clinical trials to show proven results of the harmonious marriage of nature and biological chemistry.
  • Dermatologically tested to avoid skin reactions. 
  • Use environmentally-friendly and recyclable packaging that is also created to protect the delicate ingredients inside. The amber glass bottle designs harks back to the early 20th alchemist ears and are used to guard against UV oxidation of the product  and aluminium tube to prevent air getting into creams and lotions and spoiling it or decreasing its potency. 
I recently had the opportunity to road test their balancing facial moisturiser and 2 other items from their limited edition Winter Repair Kit RRP A$99 (A$142 value) which includes a facial exfoliant 75ml, a masque 65ml and a serum 25ml all boxed in gold and ready to gift or spoil yourself with.

Facial Exfoliant: Peppermint, juniper berry & jojoba 75ml A$44
  • This refreshing facial scrub has the finest jojoba micro-beads to gently exfoliate skin and move along those dry patches dulling skin - a saviour for my flaky winter skin due to use of retin-A and Jen's Idebenone/NAG serum.
  • Contains refreshing peppermint out which is cooling but be careful using this when you have broken skin as it can sting a little. Pink Grapefuit and juniper berry oils in this exfoliating cleanser helps to detoxify and sooth the face. 
  • I like how this cleanser doesn't leave a residue and none of that too tight over drying feel and preps skin for the moisturising step. 
In a nutshell: Very gentle yet effective exfoliator that keeps flaky skin under control.
Exfoliant Ingredients 

Facial Mask: Deep purifying wheatgerm ginkgo & Cranberry 65ml RRP A$39
  • Clay based masque for deep cleansing and detoxifying.
  • Star ingredients of antioxidants cranberry seeds, ginkgo and pro-vitamin B5 to protect against cellular stress and help purify the skin, and wheatgerm oil which is essential fatty acid rich with vitamins A,D,E helps replenish moisture back into skin. 
  • instantly cools and calms skin when this is applied onto skin. I detect a whiff or fresh geranium roses and some sort of essential oil when applied to skin. 
  • Left for 10 minutes before washing off with warm water, it left skin feeling soft clean and velvety smooth. There was no drying effects usually associated with clay masks thank to the moisture rich shea and cocoa butter formula while absorbing excess sebum to give you oil control. 
  • I didn't notice a firm or lifted feeling but did experience refined pores and brighter, more even skintone were immediately evident. 
In a nutshell: Just the perfect masque for a midweek detox or weekend purfication session.
Masque ingredients
Facial Moisturiser: Matte Acai-berry and Borago 40ml RRP $59
  • This light gel-light moisturiser is non-greasy and goes on skin like silk, leaves it matte without a hint of oil and is a great base of makeup. 
  • The balancing formula contains acai-berry essential fatty acids and vitamins to protect, lycopeins from tomatoes and aloe to ward off free-radicals and promote healthy collagen production and sesame oil for sebum control.
  • Does an amazing job of mattifying my normal/combo skin and kept the shinies at bay all day long -very impressed. If this also had SPF I think it could be elevated to HG status for me.
In a nutshell: Provides good hydration and excellent sebum control all day long. It's my current favourite daytime moisturiser.
Moisturiser ingredients

If you are interested, the Grown Winter Repair kit RRP A$99 (valued at $142) is a valued packed kit which is still available at your local stores.

Available nationally through David Jones, selected MYER stores (city stores), and selected beauty salons, and pharmacies or online at
These products were provided for consideration.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Goldwell DualSenses Extra Rich 60 Second Treatment

If you regularly colour your hair, you will know it undergoes a fair amount of stress that can lead to dullness, brittleness and split ends if you don't give it some intensive care.

That is why you need extra rich and nourishing hair care products for demanding coloured hair and you want to make sure the hair care also helps increase shine, retain the hair colour and resist fading as well.

But if you only can spare 60 seconds in the shower for it, then you need to get yourself a tub of this just like I have with my recent re-colouring of my hair to a rich caramel brown.

Goldwell Dualsenses Color Extra Rich 60sec Treatment 200ml

  • A thick berry scented cream that is like chocolate for hair. Its light pink colour reminds me of yoghurt and it really looks and smell good enough to eat (please don't - your hair needs it more than your diet does). 
  • Contains a specially developed Brilliance System with antioxidant pomegranate extract and UV filters to restructure hair and protect if colour investment from UV fading. 
  • The Microfluid technology is fast acting and after shampooing, just distribute through hair, go scrub the rest of your body and you before you know it, you're ready for the rinse out for soft and silky with a shine that will ensure you give everyone around you hair envy. 

We all need a quick pick me up at times and so does our hair. For ultra-fast and effective results on your colour-treated hair, you can't go past this ultra-quick working treatment.
Ingredients listing

RRP A$20.95 at PriceAttack and selected hair salons.
This product was sent for consideration.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Diversity in Beauty

In recent years, there’s been a change in advertising campaigns in the beauty industry with more ethnic models and brand ambassadors who continues to challenge the narrow ideal of beauty held in western society.

And although we’ve historically had the likes of Halle Berry for Revlon, Aishwarya Rai and Beyonce for L’oreal and famously Naomi Campbell on the catwalks, these beauties still appear to be the exceptions, rather than the norm in the industry. 
The beautiful Aishwarya Rai
MAC and Bobbi Brown were the industry trail-blazers having led the diversity celebration by using ethnic models to promote their collections years before it was in vogue but it seems this year, a whole bunch of other beauty houses are joining this bandwagon. 
MAC's 2010 All Age, All Races, All Sexes collection
With a growing non-western market to capture, we heard earlier in the year Estee Lauder announce their Three Graces, the new brand ambassadors in Puerto Rican-born Joan Smalls, Chinese model Liu Wen and archetypal French beauty Constance Jablonski.
Estee Lauder's Three Graces for 2011
But now it seems that ethnicity and races isn’t enough of a marketing tool and shock value needs to be added in new campaigns. 

This was led by L’oreal announcing that para-athlete Aimee Mullins who lost both legs due to a medical condition at childbirth as the new face of L’Oreal Paris.
Gorgeous Aimee Mullins with her prosthetic legs

Then last month, it was announced that Clarins owned fragrance house Thierry Mugler has south African para-olympian Oscar Pistorius (who also wears prosthetic legs) is fronting the ad campaign for the latest scent: A*Men.
Oscar Pistorius for Thierry Mugler's A*Men

So do you think the latest campaigns are heralding a change in conventional beauty ideals and truly embracing diversity or just shrew business decision to shock and entertain (and be politically correct)? 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Currently Coveting: Leopard Prints

Prints are in, specifically leopard prints!
These are my current favourites
Leopard prints
Zu Anaconda leopard print pumps with silver heel embellishments
Fendi animal print chef bag
Forever 21 animal print scarf
Speigel silk leopard print dress
Sally Hansen Salon Effect Leopard effects strips
Swarvorski crystal leopard print iphone case
Mother of pearl and Swarvorski drop necklace
Roberto Cavalli woven frame sunglasses

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Illamasqua Cream Blushers: Seduce, Rude & Dixie

I've been a little obsessed with blushers lately and have been wanting to find the right shade to convey my mood in this chilly winter weather. My lovely enabling friends, Maddy, Jess and Tine over at twitter tweeted on and on about Illamasqu's cream blushers last month and they have on my wishlist ever since.

So when I finally had a chance to try them out, I knew I would not be dissapointed.

Illamasqua Cream Blusher
L-R: Rude, Seduce, Dixie

Now Illamasqua is known for their superior pigmentation, amazing quality and performance and these cream blushers are no exception. In fact they probably rank right up there with Becca (review on those soon here) and NARS.

  • Love the sturdy, albeit slightly bulky curved packaging of the product and the clear window from the top lets you easily see the colour inside which speeds up the shade selection process when you need to dig around your makeup stash. 
  • Has a beautiful texture - non-sticky or tacky, it's thin, almost gel-like feel that goes on like a dream and blends very easily with fingers. It's slightly oily to the touch at the start but once blended out, that oily feeling disappears. 
  • The colours can look scary in the pan and swipes opaquely but fear not because of the texture, it blends out rather sheerly for buildable colour and with its dewy finish, will give you that natural lit from within pop of colour all day long. 
  • You wont find any glitter or shimmer here, it's just glorious pure matte pigments. 
  • Did I mention the staying power already? amazing for a cream blush stays put all day long. It also smells faintly of sweet biscuits in the pan but not detectable when applied to skin. 
  • Now fingers works well for 95% of the situations but if you want to take it up to the next level, a cream blush brush will make it 100% fool-proof. I used the MAC cream blush brush #192 (a flat synthetic mid size brush with stiff long bristles - will have to try it with a concealer brush which is softer to see if it gives the same beautiful results) 
  • These can also work as lip colours - just swipe and lightly pat over conditioned lips for a lush tinted look. It is lightweight enough and I didn't experience any feathering with it. 

Dixie - A red tone rose pink that resembles that natural flush on my cheeks and is the perfect winter time shade. This is the lit from within pink on my NC30 skin. The shade is very universal and would flatter all skintones. It also comes up as a nude pink colour on my medium pigmented lips.

Seduce - A neutral medium plum raspberry/rose that comes up as a natural stunner on cheeks and universally flatter all skintones.

Rude - A corally pink that adds a fresh pop of colour would make the perfect Spring shade or any time you want to brighten up the face.

Top-bottom: Unblended, blended (flash lighting)
ingredients listing

Have you tried any of Illamasqua's blushers yet? What colours are your favourite?

PRP A$42 | US$26 for 4g (that will last you forever with these babies)
Available at Illamasqua counters in selected Myer stores or in limited colours selections at Myer Online.
This product was provided for consideration.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Review: Braun Silk Epil 7 Expressive Pro

During the cold winter season when we all rug up, it's easy to forget about our grooming needs as we hide our hairy body and legs under thick layers of warm clothing, leggings and tights.

This is all well and good until an unexpected event comes along that requires us to frock up and bare some skin as was the case recently for me. Whilst I'm not a hairy person, the dark hairs I have are very noticeable against my winter skin so when I had to rush with the razor to de-fuzz, the results were less than satisfactory to say the least. The lesson of my story is to always be prepared for the unexpected no matter the season by maintaining your regular grooming routine.

My preferred choice of at-home hair removal has always been epilation because it provides long lasting results comparable to waxing without the mess, skin irriations and unlike shaving, doesn't cause nicks, cuts or give razor bumps.

For the past 3 years, I've relied solely on my trusty Emjoi BareBody Go (and before that, its predeccesor the Emjoi Gently Gold for 4 years) for smooth hair-free skin but that went kaput on me recently and I was forced to hunt for a new epilator. I did some research and noticed that technology advancement had come a long way since I bought an epilator and the new devices now come with exciting new fang-dangled features which I'm always a sucker for. So you can imagine my excitement and heightened expectations when I was given the opportunity to try out one of these hi-tech epilators.

Braun Silk.Epil 7 Xpressive Pro (Model 7681 WD)
  • I love that the device is fully charged within the hour and charging indicator lights change from blinking to staying on constantly gives you the visual cues to let you know when it's ready for use. Each charge gives about 40 mins of cordless use - more than enough time to work on entire legs and underarms for most. When it's running low on power and starts to slow down, it will start blinking on red on the (-) sign and when the (-) sign lights up continiously, then it's time for a charge.
  • Comes with 5 inter-changeable caps including a shaver/trimmer head to let you to use the epilator on all body parts including your face. The Shaver head and trimmer attachment even allows you to trim and groom your lady bits to keep everything under control or help make epilation less painful by shortening the hairs first before removal. 
The interchangeable caps, trimmer/shave with comb attachment and high frequency massage system cap (below epilator)
  • My favourite attachment is the high frequency attachment which vibrates and pivots to adapt to the body's contour for closer skin contact which really minimise the discomfort and pain during epilation.
  • As I'm farily used to epilation after all these years, I barely felt more than tiny tugs during use giving me what is by far the most comforable experience I've had with epilation.
  • I won't lie and say its completely pain-free, but it is something that is very tolerable and with use over time, you your skin numbs out with the high speed tweezing and don't feel it as much. I'm normally farily pain tolerant and would rate epilation using the Braun Silk Epil 7 at a pain level of 2 for legs and 3 or 4 on facial/bikini areas (with 0 being no pain at all and 10 being OMGWTF-searing hot, throbbing pain).
  • The most important thing to remember is any discomfort experienced is generally very brief so if you can tolerate waxing (which I think is slightly more painful), you will definitely be able to use this. 
  • Picks up hair a short as 0.5mm with the latest close grip technology meaning that you don't have to wait for hair to grow much to remove them and with results lasting up to 4 weeks, you will have silky skin for longer. Another plus is that there are less hair re-growth and any that do grow back are be finer and softer.
  • Has a dial-style on/off switch that rotates to turn on and provide 2 speeds, 1 for gentle (slower) or 2 for efficient (faster) epilation. I always turn it to the higher speed as I find faster tweezing leads to less discomfort over time as any pain numbs out with the high speed.
  • Very efficient - with its 40 tweezers that rotates to give up to 81,000 plucking movements a minute, hair removal time is lightening fast and I can finish both my lower legs within 20 minutes and each underarm in less than a minute each so all up I'm silky smooth and hair free in under 25 minutes. 
Tip: Epilation can sometimes cause ingrowns so be sure to keep up with the regular exfoliation to help the hair follicle break out of the skin when they grow back, ready for the next epilation session.
close up of tweezer head
  • Another standout feature is the ability to use this wet or dry - yes, you can take it to shower with you and epilate under soothing warm running water to further lesson any epilation pain. This is especially great for sensitive areas like the bikini or facial area. In fact, I'm was so impressed with the epilator I even allowed it to go near my face (which I've never done with my Emjoi) to remove the hair above the sensitive lip area and although I felt slightly more pain in that area, the hair was removed in no time that the soreness didn't even havr time to register. 
  • Cleaning this is a cinch as you just run this under running water to wash off all the hair and dead skin cells, dry it off and viola, ready for the next shave.
  • Love the build-in ultra bright white smart light just above the controls that automatically turns on when you switch on the device to give better visibility and help show up the areas of hair you might have otherwise missed.
Switched on: The tweezer head is blurred due to the its quick rotation but check out the bright light to illuminate your epilating area . The red light at the bottom blinks to indicate power during use.  This one is getting low in power
  • Is travel friendly with the compact universal voltage charger and a waterproof draw-string pouch to carry everything neatly so you can take it with you anywhere you go.
  • Made in Germany and comes with a reassuring 2 yr warranty - longer warranty periods is something I always look for when buying gagets as its a sign of the device's quality and indication that it won't die within a few short months. It also means that if it does break down during the warranty period, you can always get a replacement or refund without any added costs (just make sure you keep that receipt handy when claiming). 
In a nutshell:
If are looking for fast at-home hair removal with lasting results that is gentle and comfortable to use or need to upgrade from your current epilator, you can't go past this high-tech gadget that has all the features you ever want want or need. It truly is the the best in its class and gives the ultimate epilation experience, surpassing all my epilating expectations. In fact, I can't see myself needing or using any other epilator. 

Update: Don't forget to read the latest model Silk Epil 7 Dual Epilator and its comparison with the Xpressive Pro model here.

Looking for more reviews: see it in action at Akisa's review here, Kimmi from PlasticDairies here or Ponikuta's here.

RRP A$208.95 at leading department stores, the Shaver Shop and selected electrical outlets.
This product was sent for consideration.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sally Hansen Beauty Tools

Sally Hansen has this week released a new range of high performance beauty tools to help you primp and groom with ease and precision at home.

Being the nail expert, they’ve created large range of manicure products to help you skip the nail bar and nip, clip and file all in the comfort of your own home with professional results. The tootsies didn't get neglected either and there are products to help give you the perfect pedicure as well. 

Complementing the range, they also included grooming products for your brows with tweezers and brow kits and an sexy curls eye lash curler to complete the 30 strong item range. 
My pick from the bunch:

See the light tweezer – RRP A$29.95 
How innovative to have a built in light in between the tweezer so you can clearly see every hair you are need to remove. No more waiting for sunny days in that dark bathroom to shape your brows. 

Everyday Strength – RRP A$9.95 
These nail files are great in the handbag for on the go shaping and filing work and helps save those snagged nails from breaking/splitting further.

Cuticle Tamer – RRP A$16.95 
With curved precision blade, you’ll be sure to cleanly cut away over grown cuticles and those pesky ragged skin around the nail. 

Priced from A$4.95 for a nail shaper & buffer to A$29.95 for precision tools, get them now at Priceline, David Jones and selected pharmacies.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Foundation SPF 25

I love Bobbi Brown foundations for their colour match, coverage and finish and have previously used the Luminious Moisturizing and Natural Finish Long Lasting Foundation SPF 15.

So when Bobbi released the new Extra Repair foundation last month, I had high expectations.

Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Foundation SPF 25
Extra Repair Foundation in warm beige (3.5)
  • Is a multi-tasker being makeup, sun protection and skncare in one. With sun protection of SPF 25, it's one of the higher SPF foundations in the market. 
  • It also contains shea butter, vitamin A & C from willow herb extract, sodium hyaluronate, evening primorose oil, rosemary extract and geranium flower oil, vitamin E to sooth and hydrate and protect. Being more than your average foundation,  skin feels soft and moisturised for hours after use. 
  • Has a unique texture – it isn’t a cream nor liquid type foundation. Rather it is a rich moisturising cream consistency. It instantly brings to mind the East-Asian coloured skincare Blemish Balm product which is like a thick tinted moisturising cream. 
  • Provides buildable light to medium coverage. It won’t hide serious imperfection but it does a fabulous job of evening out skintones and covering light marks and pigmentation (see photo below of covering my pigmentation and darkness around the eye area). It also provides good coverage from redness.
  • Gives a dewy finish that gives skin a healthy glow. It may be too dewy for some but a little loose powder should be able to adjust the sheen level. 
  • Has a sparkling citrus scent thanks to the bitter orange oil and is very pleasant to my nose. Upon application the scent fades away within minutes. 
  • Best applied with fingers as you would a moisturiser. It requires a bit of blending for the product to spread evenly onto skin. Ditch the brush as it gave a streaky finish and sponges soaked up too much of the product and didn't give a better finish than fingers. 
skintone is evened out around the eye and mouth area. Notice the dewy glow 
  • Doesn’t like to play nice with some skincare products and can cause pilling with serums and moisturisers when blending into skin (I’ve tried unsuccessfully to make it work with Olay Regenerist, ASAP Super C serum and Vitacreme B). It also doesn't like the Clearasil cream so I would advise applying any blemish cream after applying the foundation. Patting the foundation into skin rather than blending it seems to help alot as well. Good thing that it's also a skincare product as it is best used on bare skin or with light water based serums/moisturisers. 
  • Doesn't suit dry patchy skin types as it accentuate the flakiness more than liquid type foundations do. Be sure to exfoliate your skin regularly to keep those dry patches at bay and also use a primer to help prep the skin so the foundation sits more smoothly on top of skin for a better finish. 
  • At A$132 for a 30ml jar, this is luxury item and sits in the realm of nice-to haves rather than must-haves. Perhaps the price is more justifiable with the rationale that it's skincare and makeup in one?
This is the ultimate foundation for dry (but not patchy) skin types who love a light dewy finish. I’m still not sure it’s won my heart as the other Bobbi Brown foundations seem to work better for me. With its temperamental nature with my other skincare products, I reserve this foundation soley for days when I’m on a minimal skincare routine.

30ml RRP A$132 | US$55 (ex tax) 
Available in 12 shades at Bobbi Brown Counters now or BobbiBrown Online.
This product was provided for consideration.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Review & Comparison: Kiss Me Heroine Make Smooth Liquid Eyeliner & Kate Super Sharp Liner

I am terrible at lining eyes. With my shaky hands and unsteady strokes, I make mistakes all the time when trying to draw and line my eyes. Adding to my woes, I have a small eye crease space so I steer clear of thick eye lining techniques as it can unintentionally give me the goth look.

And if that isn't bad enough, my oily eye lids mean no eye makeup stay on for long without massive effort and copious amounts of priming and prepping the skin beforehand so understandably I often forgo lining the eyes to avoid smudges during the day.

Types of eye liners for clean sharp lines
Pencil liners are great for blending out to create the smokey eye look but tend to only give sharp fine lines from freshly sharpened pencil so liquid or gel liners are more dependable for clean sharp lines.

Having narrowed down my choice of liners, I only have the product staying power to contend with when looking for eyeliners. Today I'm sharing with you two products that meets these demanding needs.

Packaging of Kiss Me and Kate by Kanebo eye liners
Kiss Me Heroine Make Smooth Liquid Eyeliner
I came across this brand when I was visiting an Asian beauty boutique in Box Hill, an eastern suburb of Melbourne a few months ago. The sales assistant swore by this product so I decided I must try it myself to see if it meets the needs of my very fussy eyes.

This Japanese brand is one of the most popular drugstore brand in the Asian market and I can see why as the quality rival those of luxury brands. 
  • Pen type packaging - it reminds me of a good sharpie felt tip pen. It boast a fine 0.1mm tapered felt tip, giving you alot of control and is capable of drawing medium or very fine lines depending on the pressure and angle you apply it against your skin when drawing. 
  • Beautiful rich black colour - just the deepest opaque black shade you want from your everyday eye liner and it only fades slightly after 8 hours. 
  • The ink flow beautifully out of this pencil and makes drawing lines effortless - it glides on smoothly with no bleeding on the sides and even improved my clumsy drawing skills and is practically idiot proof - I love it alone for making me look like I'm a pro with lining eyes meaning that I can now master drawing wings and flicks with the fine tips - see exhibit below for proof. 
  • It promises tear-proof, sweat-proof, oil-proof stay-put colour once dry and I'm happy to report that it delivers on all these promises. I don't get any smudging on it when lining the top lids and only the slightest smear after a good 3 hours when I do use it to tightlining work from my watery eyes (i.e line the water line or inner rims of the eye). If you don't have watery eyes, you will have no smudging problems with this product at all. 
  • Comes off fairly easily with eye makeup remover.
Lined eye using Kiss Me Heroine Make smooth liquid liner - check out fine flick at the end

Kate by Kanebo Super Sharp Liner

Kate is mid range Japanese cosmetic brand from Kanebo who is reowned for his leading luxurious skincare products. I was introduced to this liner over a year ago by a girlfriend who had lived in Japan for over 3 years and is equally obsessive at finding the best beauty products.
  • This is another pen type ultra fine liner with also with a 0.1mm felt tip (are you sensing a theme here?) so is great for any detail work you want to do on your eyes/face. Flicks at the end of eyes are also very easy to control with this pen liner. 
  • The ink flow of this liquid liner can be a bit finicky at times and needs going over your strokes a few times to even out the thickness of the lines and achieve good opacity sometimes but thankfully the fine lines means multiple layering doesn't add too much thickness and also helps to deepen the colour. 
  • The colour is a deep black shade but I find that by the end of the 10 hour day, it does fade to a dark grey shade so the formula is less superior to Kiss Me's . 
  • Is also non-bleeding, smudge-proof and tear-proof and stood up well against the majority of liquid liners out in the market. I find it again to not be as good in weathering my oily lids as Kiss Me's at the end a long day. It stood up well if you only need it to stay on your eyes for 5-6 hours. 
  • Comes of easily with eye makeup remover.
Comparison of both liners - look how fine the tips are

Final thoughts
I love both liquid liners and use them both interchangeably depending on how long I need to have my makeup on for. I find that the tip of the Kate eyeliner is less firm than the Kiss Me one, so can be slightly harder to use as I don't have a steady hand. For the working day, Kiss Me is the fail-safe option and for a night out, I'd happy draw away with Kate.

Is Kiss Me Heroine Makes' eye liner worthy of HG status? I think so as I've tried many liquid liners over the years and most fall short of the staying power or ease of application. It is now my benchmark liner when comparing all other liquid eye liners and at such an affordable option, I can't recommend this product enough.

Kiss Me Heroine Make Smooth Liquid Liner 0.4ml RRP US$12 at | ~A$25 locally at Asian beauty boutiques
Kate Super Sharp liner 0.7ml RRP US$12 at Cosme De | ~A$25 locally at Asian beauty boutiques 

Monday, July 11, 2011

2011 Australian Beauty Awards Winners

Each year, a panel consisting of ACP magazines' beauty editors from OK, Madison, Cleo, Bazaar, Grazia, Dolly, Cosmopolitan, Australian Women's Weekly and highly respected industry experts Zoe Forster (Primped), Myer Cosmetics GM Liz Webster, leading hair stylists George Giavis amongst a few others get together to squabble over which beauty products they're tried in the past year should be worthy of being elevated to the beauty stratosphere and be worshipped by us mere mortals.

After much debate and tough calls, the votes were cast, tallied, tripled checked for good measure before finally announcing the winners. This year the lists on some product category are lengthy but all are drool-worthy and deserving of the their win.

So without any further ado, here are the Judge's winners of the 2011 Australian Beauty Award's

Gloss: Max Factor Vibrant Curve Effect
Lipcare: Lanolips Lemonaid Lip Aid (review here)
Lipstick: Tom Ford Private Blend Lip Color (review Morrocan RougeNude Blush)

Face Makeup

Primer: SMASHBOX Photo Finish Luminizing Foundation Primer
Bronzer: SMASHBOX Halo Hydrating Perfecting Bronzer
Blush: Clarins Blush Prodige
Concealer: Hissyfit Skin Perfector in Honey Beige
Powder: Laura Mercier Pressed Setting Powder
Foundation: Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua
Mineral makeup: ASAP Pure

 Eye Makeup
Eye shadow: Bourjois Round Pot Eyeshadow
Mascara: Lancôme Hypnose Precious Cells 01
Brows: Jane Iredale Bitty Brow Kit
Eyeliner: YSL Long Lasting Eye Pencil No.1
Eye innovation: CoverGirl LiquiLineBlast


Prestige day: SK-II Skin Signature Melting Rich Cream
Mass day: L’Oréal Youth Code Rejuvenating SPF15 Daily Moisturiser
Eye cream: Elizabeth Arden Prevage Eye Ultra Protection Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 15+ 
Serum: SK-II Cellumination Essence
Night cream: L’Oréal Paris Youth Code Night Cream
Prestige night cream: Lancôme Genifique Repair Night Cream
Anti-aging treatment: Napoleon Auto Pilot Complex

Sunscreen: Neutrogena Ultimate Sport Face
Cult product: Dr. LeWinn’s Synergise Tinted Moisturiser SPF 30+
Facial mask: Chanel Ultra Correction Lift Mask
Prestige cleanser: Shu Uemera Skin Purifier Cleansing Beauty Oil A/O Advanced Formula
Cleanser: Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser
Acne treatment: Dermaquest Clarifying Pads

Hand products
Nail Lacquer: Chanel Le Vernis Black Pearl
Hand Cream: Bloom Organics Nourishing Hand Cream
Manicure: Kit Quick Fix Manicure Kit

Body products

Body wash: NP Set Body Wash in Tahitian Vanilla
Body product: Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter
Body scrub: NP Set Body Polish in Tahitian Vanilla
Body sunscreen: Nivea Sun Ultra Beach Protect Sunscreen SPF 30+ 
Body Cream: Clarins Extra-Firming Body Cream
Hair Removal: Gillette Venus Embrace Pink Razor
Faux Tanner: St Tropez Instant Glow Shimmer Stick

Women: Maison Francis Kurkdjian Apom Pour Femme
Men: Bleu De Chanel
Cult: Michael Kors


Tool: Parlux 3800 Eco Friendly Ionic & Ceramic Dryer
Prestige Shampoo & Conditioner: Wella System Professional Color Save Shampoo, Conditioner and Mask (review here)
Shampoo & Conditioner: L’Oréal Paris Hair Expertise Ever Pure Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner
Anti-dandruff: Head & Shoulders Itchy Scalp Care Shampoo (review here)
Hairspray: L’Oréal Professionel Infinium Lumiere
Styling product: Maximise Mousse ghd
Cult hair product: L’Oréal Professionel PlayBall Beach Fizz
Home Colour: Schwarzkopf Perfect Mousse Permanent Colour in Dark Blonde
Hair innovation: Clairol Nice ’N Easy Colour Blend Foam

Other winning categories (beauty tools, men's products, breakthrough products, natural wonder products, and hall of fame) and the runner ups can be found here.

It looks like I've barely touched the list of this years winners so expect to see me visiting the shops in the near future to pick up a few of the items on the list to try. I think I'll start with the Aveeno Ultra Calming cleanser and Bloom nourishing hand cream before dashing out for the Clarins blush. 

Which of these products have you tried? which are your favourites?

P.S If you have reviewed a product on the list and would like me to link to your blog review of it, please feel free to drop me a line and I'll update this post to include it :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Pantene Nature Fusion Shampoo & Conditioner

Over the years, the Pantene formula have been refined and re-developed and these days with improvements in technology findings, it is constantly evolving and advancing its hair care products.

Pantene’s latest line of products is the Nature Fusion in which contains the newest buzz ingredient in hair care - cassia flower extract,  proven to promote the health of hair and have previously used in Ayurvedic medicine and haircare for centuries before.

Pantene Nature Fusion Shampoo and Conditioner 
  • Contains 2 varieties of cassia seed extract (cassia obtusifolia and cassia tora) to maximize the healthy hair benefits. Also contains naturally derived ingredients such as avocado oil, grapeseed extract and bamboo extract to penetrate into hair and strengthen it from within. 
  • Coupled this with the high-tech Pro-V formula and a soft fruity, you have a winning creamy formula that spreads easily to leave each strand of hair more conditioned and stronger than before after continued use. 
  • My hair is soft, lightweight and full of body and shine after use of the shampoo and conditoner. The most impressive thing for me is the difficult to manage ends that seem to flick in all directions are well behaved and easier to style. It definitely is my favourite range from Pantene to date and the conditioner is officially my new love!
  • I also notice few hair breakages after 3 weeks of use of this latest range –testament that my hair is getting healthier and stronger. 
I’ve always enjoyed using Pantene hair products and appreciate their affordability (especially when they are on sale). In fact, I first tried them out some 15 years ago on my thick, wavy and somewhat coarse hair and they always managed to tame them and give me good-looking locks. 

I know some people don’t like Pantene shampoos and conditioners and it often gets a bad rap but I think that’s because they are a big brand and an easy target to pick on because frankly the claim of it being filled with silicones (hello – so does 100+ other brand’s shampoos) and it will make your hair fall out (bah – I wish, because I wouldn’t mind thinning out my thick mane) are baseless and bias.

Of course, I also use a clarifying shampoo on a weekly basis to remove residue and any silicone build-up from the various hair care products I use throughout the week. I think this is something most of us need to look into if our hair feels weighed down and coated with too many products and think its the regular shampoo causing the problem.

There's every chance that Pantene may not work for you depending on your hair type (I find that it works best for fuller thicker hair types rather than fine-haired people), but you can only try and find out for yourself whether the product is suitable for you.

At least it is cheap enough that if it doesn’t agree with your hair, you didn’t spend a fortune to find out. For me, it is an affordable everyday shampoo and conditioner that works well while I leave the more pricy salon speciality ones for weekly use.

Ingredients listings:
Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Xylenesulfonate, Cocamide MEA, Sodium Citrate, Fragrance, Citric Acid, Dimethiconol, Cassia Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Sodium Benzoate, Disodium EDTA, Panthenol, Panthenyl Ethyl Ether, Avocado Oil – Persea Gratissima, Bambusa Vulgaris Shoot Extract, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Grape Seed Extract – Vitis Vinifera, Yellow 10, Red 33, Blue 1
Water, Stearyl Alcohol, Behenamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Cetyl Alcohol, Bis-Aminopropyl Dimethicone, Fragrance, Benzyl Alcohol Dicetyldimonium Chloride, Disodium EDTA, Cassia Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride (Cassia Tora Seeds), Panthenol, Panthenyl Ethyl Ether, Avocado Oil – Persea Gratissima, Bambusa Vulgaris Shoot Extract, Yellow 10, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Blue 1, Vitis Vinifera (Grape Seed) Extract, Acid Red 33
200ml RRP $4.89 at major supermarkets, Priceline and various pharmacies.
A sample of the above product was provided for consideration.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bloom Lip Balms with a Boost

Have you seen Bloom's latest creativity boost?

Yep they've outdone themselves by teaming up with tutty fruity Boost Juice and come up with 6 fabulous naturally fruity flavoured lip balms that is good enough to eat (but don't go licking your lips too much with it on - you'll dry them out).

With flavours such as Strawberry Squeeze, Mango Tango, Banana Buzz, Watermelon Crush, Berry Bang and Tropical storm, you'll want to collect them all as not only are they delectable, they are very moisturising and will provide hours of relief from chappness with nourishing ingredients like beeswax, jojoba seed oil  and vitamin E.

Get them for a steal in the month of July with a 2 for $10 deal to help you kick-start your collection today!

RRP A$6.95 at Myer and David Jones, Bloom's  flagship Chapel St store (South Yarra, VIC) and selected Boost Juice outlets.
Samples of the above product were sent for consideration.