Thursday, September 29, 2011

Orly GelFX Manicure: Star Spangled

This week Orly launched a salon-only range called GelFX into the Australian market - a gel manicure system that boast chip free colour for up to 2 weeks in answer to the demands for long lasting colour, diamond shine (and perhaps also to CND's Shellac manicure system?).

Using LED UV lamp for faster cure time of the 3-in-1 cleanser, primer and base coat, colour and topcoat of the GelFX system. Results are diamond strength durability and shine. It's also easy to remove when the time comes to take the colour off with foil remover wraps.

The vitamin infused GelFX formula is also nourishing for nails with vitamin A, E and B5 to promote healthy nails and protect the nail structure and when used with the orange blossom and wild cherry extract based cuticle oil, provides a complete system that protects nail and conditions culticles.

Orly GelFX is available in 32 colours that are colour matched to the top selling colours in the permanent collection. This means you can touch up the ends of growing nails at home to prolong the wear which you will definitely need because the GelFX just doesn't chip or fade.

I had the pleasure of being one of the first in Australia to experience this new manicure last weekend at the ABBW event at the Maxted Gala and now I find it very hard to go back to basic polish.

I had my gelFX manicure in the shade Star Spangled. This is what I call an old Hollywood glamour red with a modern twist. It is a gel finished ruby red with red micro glitter that dazzles and shine under the light and subtle flickers in the shade. This shade is <3 at first sight and a friend and I are planning to place an order for the matching nail lacquer from the website.

Below are photos of my nails 6 days after the manicure without any touch ups. You can see my nails are starting to grow out but the tips of my nail are still in pristine glossy and vibrant condition - a first for me since I don't wear gloves for chores!

I never been able to have nail colour on my nails last more than 2-3 days without chipping no matter what brand or formula I try (including OPI, Essie, or Orly's normal range). With GelFX, I'm now a convert and I can't wait to book myself in for my next GelFX manicure when I have to attend an upcoming wedding next month.

GelFX launched nationally in Australia this week. For your nearist salons, contact Orly on 1300 769 355 or email them at
GelFX is also available in the North America at Orly stocked salons.

Many thanks to the ladies at Orly, particularly Celeste my manicurist for introducing me to this beautiful shade and for allowing me to experience the magic of GelFX.

So who's now keen to try an Orly GelFX manicure?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Giveaway Time: Face of Australia Cosmetics

It's giveaway time again! This time the prizes are kindly sponsored by Face of Australia.

Their products are phenomenal for their prices and I promise to be less slack and write some more reviews on their products soon. 

Now today's giveaway are some of my favourite products from the brand that I reach for often. There are three prizes - a first prize and two runners up prizes. 

The prizes:

First prize is a set consisting of 
  • 2 of the limited edition Opulent Eyes palette in Diamonds & Pearls, and Rich & Famous 
  • Mineral Therapy Bronzing Pearls
  • Divine Shine lip lacquer in Morning Mist
  • Liquid Eye liner in Black
If you want to see swatches of the Opulent Eye palettes, head this way.

Two runner up winners will each receive an Opulent Eyes palette in either Endless Nights or Diamonds & Pearls
How to Win:
1. Be a follower of Things I Love via Google connect or active email subscription. 1 entry
2. Follow me on twitter. +1 entry
3. Tweet about this giveaway. +1 entry
4. Comment below to let me know you are entering this competition and how many ways you're entering. 

Too easy!

The competition will run for 2 weeks until 13th October 23:59 AEST and is open to all readers, including international readers. I'll be selecting the winners randomly via a random number generator to pick out the 3 winners and announcing it on this blog by 16th October. 

Good luck my pretties. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Be Sun-smart: Top to Toe Protection

You’ve most likely heard it many times before, but it honestly can’t be said enough that the sun is your skin’s #1 public enemy and the surest way to cause pre-mature aging and increase the risk of getting skin cancer.

So I was shocked to find out that today from the experts that the message is still not getting across to the people out there and not everyone is using sunscreen on a daily basis. Many are only using sunscreen when they head out to the beach but not when they are out and about. Incidental sun causes more damage as people don't remember to apply sunscreen and that most of our sun damage is caused in the first 18 years of our lives but  that damage won’t come to surface until many years later.

UVA rays, even on a cloudy day will cause damage to skin cells, causing those fine lines and deep wrinkles. And if you want to tan, do so safely with sunscreen - it may take longer but it is safer!

Don’t wait till you have to repair the damage, prevention is key. Here are some great sun-protecting products for you to use everyday when you are out, rain clould or shine - that will go a long way in helping you stay protected from those nasty rays

Facial sunscreens
1. Endota  SPF 15 Day Moisturiser SPF 15 – 50ml
Launched as a take-home after care product with the new Endota Glycolic in-spa treatments, this physical blocking moisturiser sunscreen doesn’t deteriorate like chemical ones do over time so I’m overlooking the fact that it’s only SPF15. It’s quite thick but the paste-like formula rubs well into skin to give a surprising matte finish without any hint of shine and would suit normal to oily skin types . With moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera juice, jojoba oil, green tea extract, vitamin C to hydrate and protect the skin, you get 2 benefits in 1.

I’ve now made this my daily facial sunscreen as I love how it also primes my face and help makeup sit better on the surface of skin. Best of all there is no white cast usually associated with physical sunscreens to be seen.

RRP A$65 at Endota spas and Endota online.

2. Moisturising Daily Defense SPF 30+ - 100ml
On days when I’m giving my skin a break from the intensive layering of serums and treatment products, I only this product and I’m set to go. This light lotion absorbs into skin with ease and little rubbing, non greasy it also leaves a semi matte finish that also works well as a primer for makeupl.

I’ve found that this broad-spectrum moisturiser sunscreen too rich to use with my vitamin C oil serum and it caused a few breakouts around my nasal labial folds when I do the layering of multiple treatments products.

On its own, it’s beautiful and hydrating enough and if only I don’t have so many other skin issues like pigmentation, large pores and uneven skintone, I’d gladly give up the layering to use only this product and this would make one great product dryer skin types. Thankfully it’s also packed full of great ingredients - hyaluronic acid to boost hydration, nicotinamide (a form of vitamin B3) to promote elasticity and soothe skin so that I don’t feel guilty when I go without treatment products with its use.

RRP A$49 at selected salons or online from the Facial Company (where it's $9.80 cheaper too)

Body Sunscreens

I’m a lazy person by nature and spray and aerosol type sunscreens will forever be a part of my life.

3. Le Tan Coconut spray SPF 30+ - 250ml
The heavenly coconut scent is the reason why I love this product. Normally I’m not a coconut fan as it can be overwhelming and synthetic but this one is just right and very natural. A milky lotion in a spray, I spritz straight into my hand it rub onto my legs and arms but spray directly onto the body for hard to reach places like back of legs and necks for 4 hours of protection. Not too sticky and leaves skin with a soft sheen, it makes me feel like I’m taking an island holiday every time I put this to use.

RRP A$16.99 at supermarkets, Kmart, Big W, Priceline and selected pharmacies

Neutrogena Ultimate Sport Sunscreen Spray SPF 30+ - 140g
This aerosol sunscreen spritz gives a fine mist all over skin without having to rubbed in – pefect for bikini skin with the upcoming summer. The spray has a light fresh scent and leaves skin feeling dry to touch once the alcohol (enthanol) evaporates, but if you prefer your products to not contain alcohol, you are better off with non-aerosol types. Neutrogena Ultimate sport is made to be sweat and transfer resistant and last up to 4 hours and contains helioplex to stablise and slow down the deterioration of the sunscreen formula.

RRP A$17.99 RRP A$16.99 at supermarkets, Kmart, Big W, Priceline and selected pharmacies

Remember, sunscreen is only 1 of the mantra of slip slop slap. I highly recommend a wide brimmed hat and light long sleever shirt when you’re outdoors for long hours for keeping your skin looking its best for the longest possible time and prevent skin cancer.

I wished someone spent the time to tell me all this when I was a teen as I  never used sunscreen on a daily basis until my mid 20s. I just hope I can undo the damage I've caused all those years before.

What is your biggest skincare regret?

Product featured have been provided for consideration. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Violet Blonde by Tom Ford

The first of 3 new Signature collection fragrances to be released by Tom Ford this year, Violet Blonde is a fronted by a beautiful ad campaign of a blonde bombshell lying on a bed of violets in full bloom.

This image evokes an air of mysterious feminity and sophistication and had me keen on getting a whiff of the juice behind the story.

Packaged in the hallmark Tom Ford slim-profiled ribbed glass bottle, tall gold domed ribbed cap with a golden plaque bearing the Tom Ford logo and Violet Blonde name etched into the bottle's body, it adds a definitive class of elegance to any vanity it graces.

Upon spraying, you get the rather cool top notes of violets infused with violet leaf absolute and the powdery orris tempers and rounds up the complexity of the scent. The added sophistication comes from the mixture of sharpness via the pink peppers, greenness of vetiver, sweetness of jasmine sambac, smoothness of suede and musk hitting the senses at various different points to punctuate the lingering powdery undertones. 

This latest TF offering is in essence a floral scent no doubt, but its ingenuity is in how the notes come together to produce a sophisticated elixir. In fact, when dried down, Violet Blonde bears a striking resemblance to the equally chic and sophisticated Balenciaga Paris (my all time favourite scent) but is with more violet and powdery than the latter - really, they're almost like a family singing the same notes on different octaves. 

Floral scents are too often thought of as being too wispy and delicate but don’t let the name of this latest offering deceive you into thinking that this scent will leave you a shrinking violet. Not by a long shot!

Violet Blonde is feminine, sophisticated and quintessentially old European glamour. It doesn't overpower but you will feel the quiet air of confidence linger and surround you when you wear this. Mark my words, because you've heard it first here, this will become an all time classic glamour scent. 

What type scents to you like to wear to feel glamourous? Mine is Lancome’s Trésor In Love and now Tom Ford’s Violet Blonde.

RRP A$100 30ml | A$155 50ml exclusively at Tom Ford counters in David Jones city stores and David Jones Chadstone Australia. 

This product was provided for consideration. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Rave: Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus All-smooth Makeup SPF 15

Following on my last foundation post, I'm on a roll and thought it only fitting to do another foundation post this week.

A fan of multi-purpose products, I find anything that makes saves me time in the morning or makes life easier added to the staples list of my (ever-growing) morning beauty routine. So when this latest 2-in-1 skincare makeup was launched into the market earlier this month, I knew it would be something that could easily simplify my life in the rushed mornings.

Clinique Repairwear laser focus all-smooth makeup SPF 15 - 30ml 
  • This combines the patented ingredients and benefits of the hugely successful Clinique Repairwear laser focus de-wrinkle and UV damage corrector serum to correct, protect and prevent fine lines and wrinkle causing by UV damage. 
  • This foundation goes on smoothly, gives medium buildable coverage and dries to a soft natural finish (similar to Bobbi Brown's long lasting natural finish foundation, but with more coverage). 
  • Upon application, it immediately soften lines whilst evening out skintone and hiding imperfections (as you expect a foundation to do). But the key impressive thing for me with that is that it is very moisturising, and doesn't settle into fine lines or accentuate large pores and lines. It just basks my skin in moisture and keeps it hydrated all day long, which is particularly beneficial in air-conditioned offices. 
  • Contains SPF 15 (the standard SPF formula for foundations in our market) and a cocktail of ingredients that you normally find in skincare to help reverse the signs of aging. 
  • You will find skin protecting Murumuru seed butter, vitamin E to provides anti-oxidative protection while skin plumping palimitoyl oligopeptide and siegesbeckia orientalis extract fills in the lines and gives skin a smoother appearance, and whey proteins firms and refines the texture . Add in the SPF and you have an all rounder skincare product really. 
  • Use with your anti-aging and damage corrector skincare, this will no doubt give an added boost to the reversal of skin imperfections and damage rather than just covering it up. Paired with the Repairwear Laser Focus serum (review of that coming soon), it makes for the perfect powerhouse couple in the fight for fine lights and bad skin texture. 
this gives a medium coverage natural dewy finish. Flash used
blended swatches on NC30 skin
I had the chance to try shade 3 which from the photos above, you can see is slightly too beige on my golden skintone and would suit those with more neutral/pink undertones. I did find that this foundation oxidises slightly to become darker by the end of the day but as the sample shade I had was not coloured matched to me, I'm not too sure if a matching colour would minimise the colour-changing effects of oxidation.

For foundation colour matching, it's best to get a colour consultation with the makeup advisor and check the results in natural sunlight, away from the bright warm store lights. If you are unsure of the formula or colour match provided (the advisors do make mistakes sometimes), ask for a small sample to use for a couple of days to make sure its the right product/shade for you.

Clinique's repairwear laser focus makeup is what I like to call a genius foundation: it feels very comfortable on skin, gives adequate coverage with a great finish that lasts the whole day and with longer term use actually helps to improve the texture and appearance of your skin. This is by far my one of my foundations released this year in terms of finish and coverage and with 10 shades available for 2 different skin types (I: very dry or II: dry-combination), you should be able to find a shade that suits.

RRP A$68 | US$32.50 |£27.00 at Clinique counters across the country now.
This product was provided for consideration.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Review: Kit Cosmetics Liquid Mineral Powder Foundation SPF 15

If you love the mineral foundation, but hate the mess that loose minerals cause all over the vanity or bathroom table, then you'll rejoice the fact that some clever soul solved that problem with the creation of liquid mineral foundations.

They go on like normal liquid foundation but dries to a powder finish and give you the same silky soft feel and the benefits of natural sunscreen ingredients that are often associated with mineral foundation. Not only that, these foundation are generally minimalists when it comes to the ingredients list and are less likely to cause irritations on sensitive skin types.

Kit recently put out such a foundation and I had the opportunity to try it during my makeover last month.

Kit Liquid Mineral Powder Foundation - 35ml 
  • Contains minerals that help protect skin all day by giving physical sun protection with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.The finely milled minerals also act as light diffusers to soften any imperfections on skin and give you an even and flawless base. 
  • The oil-free liquid formula is mess free and dries to a powder finish in about 3 minutes time, enough for you to do the blending work on your face before it sets. Because it sets to a powder finish, no additional setting powder is required unless you have very oily skin and want that extra shine absorption protection. 
  • Lightweight and breathable it also contains vitamins A, C and E to condition and protect skin as well as hyaluronic acid to hydrate throughout the day. 
  • Kit's formula give a velvety smooth finish with excellent coverage. As you can see on my hand, all the  uneven skintone and some minor sun spots I have is easily covered by that single drop of foundation and this lasts through more than 9 hours of normal wear on my face. 
  • This liquid mineral foundation is more sophisticated than most and it shows in its ingredients listing being quite long as there is a built-in primer and added moisturising complexes; those who like minimalism in their mineral foundation ingredients will have to decide if this suits them. Personally I love the feel and finish and ease of use of this foundation so if I could find a better colour match (with only 3 shades, the choice is quite limited), this would be my foundation for flawless smoothness that stays put all day long. 

a little goes a long way and look at how smooth skin looks afterwards
I was colour matched to Tan but as you can see, this is too dark and would be more a deep summer shade for my skin. If they expand their colour availability, I'd make this my everyday foundation in a heartbeat.

Available in 3 shades: Light, Medium or Tan.
RRP A$44.95 at Kit Cosmetics counters, Mecca Maxima or online.
This product was provided for consideration

Saturday, September 17, 2011

NOTD: Australis Nail Colour in Bombshell

Yay it's the weekends! I hope everyone has time to enjoy some sunshine and warm weather this weekend!

Given weekends should to be a relaxing, I thought I'd share with you a bright and cheering nail post today.

Australis Nail Colour in Bombshell -10ml

I won this limited edition nail polish in a twitter competition a while back and haven't tried it till recently. And now that I have, I wonder why I haven't any sooner as it's a beautiful shade

Bombshell is the mother of all barbie hot pinks. It's neon, bright and loudly proclaims 'look at me'.

When I put this on, Elle Woods from Legally blond instantly came to mind. Yes - she would definitely approve of this shade. Paired with white clothes and this cool bright pink will guarantee that your digits stand out a mile away.
L: in natural light; top R: with flash
Bombshell is very easy to apply, non-streaking and becomes opaque in two coats. It did take a bit of time to dry completely as I applied thicker coats than usual and when they did eventually dry, you get a beautiful even high shine creme finish that glistens in the sun.

Overall, Australis's formula appears to be pretty good. On me (I'm very rough with my hands and don't wear gloves for any chores), the colour provided average wear and lasted 2 days before starting to chip on the nail edge but I didn't experience any peeling with this lacquer.

Given this is limited edition and if you want some Elle Woods in your life, I'd be dashing to the stores to pick this right up to add to your collection.

RRP A$7.95 at Priceline, Kmart, Big W, Kmart and selected pharmacies.

what's on for your weekend this week? Do share as I'd love to know. 

Review: Estee Lauder Sensuous Rouge Wistful Wisteria Lipcolor

Estee Lauder’s latest lipstick offering is the Sensuous Rouge created by the maestro Tom Pecheux who took up the helm of Estee Lauder’s creative directions since the Spring 2009.

These lipstick features a 2-in-1 formula - a firmer outer shell of pigmented colour with a softer moisturising core of the same shade.  

It’s been said that the inspiration of these lipstick were born from the early days when Pecheux worked as a pastry chef. He wanted replicate in a lip product the creamy centre encased in a crisp outer shell of macaroons and have them be as delectable and lucious!

The sensuous rouge lipcolor follows the usual packaging from Estee Lauder, with the heavy Lauder gold case, giving it a chic and sophisticated look and a coloured bottom to indicate the shade inside. 

They are indeed very moisturising and creamy, applying like a dream and are soothing and hydrating on lips with a soft vanilla scent that you would miss if you didn’t pay attention. The thing I love most about this lipstick is that it imparts a soft shine like a lip balm but gives rich colour of a lipstick and is so moisturising.

As for pigmentation, they provide light to medium coverage but the formula lends well to layering if you are after a more intense colour.

Sensuous Rouge Lipcolor – Wistful Wisteria 

This is a soft plum wine shade with light-catching  micro-shimmer that transforms lips into multi-dimensional lustrous pouts. The soft shine formula helps to hide lip imperfections and doesn’t accentuate dry lips which I’m very grateful of as I suffer from that to no end.

Because of its softness, it suits all fair-medium complexions on either cool or warm skintones. This would be one of my everyday shade for work as it gives a good amount of colour but doesn't scream for attention.

The shade lasted 3 hours on my mid-tone lips with normal wear and tear without the need to touch up and does not feel drying on lips, unlike some lipstick that start off moisturising but finish up being quite dry. With food or drinks, they last significantly less and I needed to whip out the bullet for a re-application to get the colour and soft shine again. 

I do notice after a week of use that the inner core starts to sink more than the outer layer of the lipstick, most likely due to the core being of a softer formula but this doesn't affect application and would only be an issue if you need your lipstick to look immaculately even. 

Overall I'm very impressed with this lipstick; its formula, shade and wearability is spot on and I can see myself wearing it often. 

Have you tried Estee Lauder's lip colours before? What shades do you like best?

RRP A$49| US$28 Available in 16 shades. Out now at Estee Lauder Counters.
This product was provided for consideration.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mor Belladonna Winners!

Today I had a tough one - I had to get cut out of a dress. Yes, quite literally a beautiful silk dress was cut off my body with a pair of scissors. No, I wasn’t expanding in the space of the 5 minutes I’ve had it on for – I put it down to the defective zipper that just wouldn’t pull down but I was devastated that that an exquisite dress had to be ruined to get me out nonetheless. Talk about embarrassment much?

Then I broke a nail in this evening's netball match – now, I’m no cry baby with nail breakages, but when it breaks below the nail line, down the nail bed and drew blood, I think I’m entitled for a little “poor me” moment. Thank goodness I have a reprieve from netball next week. I’ve been injury prone ever since I started this season.

All tired and exasperated and ready for a quiet night with a cuppa to nurse my sore thumb and bruised ego, I sat down to read through all the entries for the MOR Belladonna competition and draw the winners. 

Boy you guys sure made it tough for me. The entries were all so clever and amazing! It was no easy task to narrow it down to just 2 winners. 

After much re-reading and deliberation I finally came up with my top 2 luxurious experiences that transported me to a land of ultra indulgence and pampering. 

The winners

Michelle Vamvas who’s would “wake naturally (no alarm!!!) to sunshine, eat a gourmet breakfast, have an indulgent massage and facial; horseback ride to a rainforest, have a waterfall shower!

Michelle you had me with the waterfall shower – I so would be there with you!

Then Natasha Andrews had me all wistful with her entry to be on a “Luxury yacht in the Mediterranean, complete with personal chef, beautician, masseuse, yoga instructor…the whole kit and caboodle. And hubby too, so we can canoodle.”

Yes, I think I could get use to the idea of that on a daily basis Tash  :)

Congratulations Michelle and Natasha. I hope you enjoy a little piece of luxury everyday with your MOR Belladonna little luxuries prize.

Please get in touch with me ( by the 18th September with your postal details so I can send these prizes off to you straight away. If I don’t hear from you by then, I’ll be redrawing a new winner.

To everyone else, I’ll have more giveaways and competitions lined up again soon so keep an eye out!

With the winners now announced, I’m off to finish off that cuppa and nurse the sore thumb.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

InStyle's 2011 Fragrance Awards

Fragrance lovers - think you've got a keen sense of smell and can whiff out a winner?

If you think yes, then check if you're right by comparing to what the experts have listed as their top 10 fragrances this year. 

In its 3rd year, the judging panel included think tanks and industry experts like InStyle think tanks Director Victoria Meppem and Editor Kerrie McCallum, founder Jan Logan, Fragrance designer John Lambeth, Ten news presenter Natasha Belling and EDIT Boutique Owner Sharyn Storrier Lyneham.

They've come up with the following winners this year: -

BEST CELEBRITY: Reb’l Fleur by Rihanna
BEST NEW CLASSIC: Chanel No. 19 Poudre
BEST DESIGN: Halston Woman Amber
BEST DAYTIME: Miss Dior Cherie Blooming Bouquet
BEST DESIGNER: Prada Infusion De Rose
BEST HOLIDAY: Tom Ford Neroli Portofino
BEST EVENING: Very Irresistible Givenchy L’Intense
BEST INNOVATIVE: Jo Malone Limited Edition Tea Fragrance blends
LIMITED EDITION: Marc Jacobs Splash Cocktail Collection
BEST MEN’S: Guerlain Arsene Lupin Dandy

Reading down the list, I've tried Neroli Portofino, and Miss Dior Cherie Blooming Blossom, and Prada Milano but I'm very much inclined to dash to the nearest fragrance counters to get a whiff of the other winning scents. 

If you want to find out more on the list of the 50 finalists, grab a copy of the October issue of Instyle magazine with Blake Lively on the cover now.

Are there any on the list that are your favourites? Which would you nominate as this year's best fragrance. 

Illamasqua: Theatre of the Nameless

Last week, I was invited to Illamasqua's Theatre of the Nameless Melbourne launch where we were treated with a makeup transformation demonstration that allowed us to learn more about the colours in the collection.

This latest collection is inspired by the heady and pleasuring frenzies of the underworld subculture in 1920s Berlin where exotic dancers and exhibitionists come out to play at night. 

It was also there that we learned of Wittenberg Platz's dominatrix Boot Girls and how the different colour boots and laces worn by each girl represented an S&M service that each lady specialised in (curiousity got the better of me and I did do some more research later on it - if you are interested, head over to Cabinet magazine's overview on it)..   
One of the looks for the Theatre of the Nameless collection
The colours are bold and vibrant, the shades daring and edgy - all great representations of its hedonistic and theatrical inspirations.

The collection includes
  • Pure pigments in Xeitgeist (deep black shimmer), Beguile (light shimmer) which I dubbed 'fairy dust', and Berber (auburn shimmer) - A$39
  • Cream pigment in Androgen (coral) and Depravity (magenta) - A$44
  • Shimmer blusher in Ambition (neutral taupe), and Morale (flushed rose) - A$42
  • Lipstick in Kontrol (blue violet) - A$39
  • Intense lip gloss in Facade (grey pink) and sheer lip gloss Violate (dark green shimmer) - A$33
  • Mascara in Raven (midnight black) - A$40
  • Precision ink in Havoc (aubergine) - A$43.50
  • Nail Varnish in Kink (bottle green), Vice (deep cerise, Faux Pas (blue violet) and Taint (cool stone green) - A$34
  • False lashes in  (dramatic thick and tapered) and Weimar (blackened auburn lashes) - A$36
The collection

Back to the event, the wonderful MBBE do what we do best- chitter and chatter while we wait for the demonstration to start. 
MBBE ladies Mel, Jacie, Ling, Celina and Tine (photo credit: Val)
Then the lovely Violet was transformed on the night using the colours from the collection. She looked stunning don't you think? 
Violet's transformation
Mandi with her Boot Girl inspired coloured nails - these polishes have a satin rubberised texture. 

We were also gifted a little goodie bag afterwards. My booty contained the nail polish in Taint and lipstick in Resist (which isn't part of the new collection). I'll be reviewing  Resist soon. 

Many thanks for Mandi and Illamasqua for a great evening of fun with my favourite girls. 

All Theatre of the Nameless products are available at Illamasqua now.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Review: Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream

When the seasons change, so does my the texture of my skin. It's no different this season and due to the crazy hot-cold weather currently playing out. Add to that, my recent fraxel procedure (I'm still working up the courage to blog and post photos about it), my skin has been super dehydrated, fragile and sensitive to the external conditions.

During the days whilst my skin was peeling and healing, I need a ultra gentle moisturiser to keep skin my moist and hydrated and give it a layer of protection.

My dermatologist recommended Cetaphil for its gentle basic moisturising properties but my skin was so dry during this, I would have been slathering the stuff every 1/2 hour - not something I was wanting to entertain. Luckily I had a tub of something even better on hand to use during this critcial period of skin trauma.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream - 125ml 
Back in May when I has a skin consult at the Kiehl's counter, I was already prone to dry skin so was provided this jar of moisturiser for intense hydration. Little did I know that this tub would be so handy months later for more than your average dry skin conditions.
  • Rich and nourishing but non-greasy and light textured, the formula has a good slip and a gel consistency but does takes some rubbing to absorb into skin. 
  • Contains Imperata Cylindrica extract, a catcus plant that thrives in the Australian dessert and Antarcticine which contains a clycoprotein extracted from organisms from Antarctic sea glaciers that provides hydration and protection from extreme harsh conditions so is good for our dry climates as it helps to retain moisture in skin. 
  • Is scentless and non-irrating, even for extremely traumatised skin and can be use over open cuts or wounds. 
  • Provides immediate hydration that lasts all day in most conditions. While my skin was healing and peeling from the fraxel treatment, I applied after washing my face in the morning, and topped up during the day when my skin was feeling tight (about 6-8 hours later, especially during the first 2 days after treatment) and then again at night. 
  • This leaves skin hydrated and feeling comfortable and helps rid the tight feeling when skin is overly dry. On normal dry skin this would be able to provide all day hydration and can last up to 24 hours (although one would usually have washed their face at least once by that time and reapplied but it's good to know it would last that long in extreme conditions). 
  • This would be suitable for those with extremely dry or wind-chapped, and would help those suffering from ecezma or mild dermatitis to sooth and hydrate. 

This is truly a hard working hydrator that skins well into skin and lasts all day. It's little wonder that the Ultra Facial cream is Kiehl's hero product and has been on it's best sellers list internationally for so many years. As part of Kiehl's 160th anniversary celebration, they've even put out a limited edition with the heritage packaging - chic no?

RRP A$64 at selected Kielh's counters at  Myer, David Jones stores or Kiehl's online.
This product was provided for consideration.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

NOTD: Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Taint

Illamasqua has just released a new collection this week in time for the northern Autum/Winter season known as the Theatre of the Nameless that draws inspirations from the riotious and pleasure seeking scenes during the nocturnal underworld subcultures during 1920s in Berlin (this sort of reminds me of Underbelly Razor show with the working girl references).

I'll talk more about the launch another time on but for now, I just want to show you the nail varnish from the collection that is both opulent and exuding in confidence.

Illamasqua Nail Varnish: Taint

Taint is a cool stone brown shade. In some lights it looks like a deep grey brown. I was initially unsure of the shade, especially in the bottle, thinking it might be too muddy on fingers but boy was I wrong.

This shade is rich and broody and being a strong opaque shade, it exudes strength, confidence and edginess. Yes - I will admit to quite liking it on my nails.
indoor white light - note the satin finish
It's also boasts a chip resistance formula that is quick drying and streak free for very easy application, even for clumsy people like me who have difficulties at times with getting even finishes.

Taint dries to a beautiful satin matte finish that is described as having a rubber finish which feels flat and smooth, one of the best matte finishes I've tried as they can sometimes feel 'rough'.
with flash
This deceptive shade has completely won me over and is a great colour with denim or for the cooler months and even though it's now Spring in Australia, Melbourne is in the grips of a cold front this week.

So what do you think of Taint? Would it be a shade you would sport on your digits?

RRP A$34 from Myer Sydney City, Melbourne City, Brisbane City, Robina and Bondi Junction and Myer online.
This product was provided for consideration.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Botanics of Australia: Ingvigorating Body wash with Desert Lime

Whether they be soap bars or body washes, I love my scents and my rich lathers. My latest bath buddy is exactly that and really enlivens and gives me the squeakiest clean feel.

Botanics of Australia Invigorating Body wash with Desert Lime 200ml
With wild lime fruit juice, the citrusy smell is so divine it instantly awakens my senses very time I step into the shower. The lime juice contains vitamin c that is supposed to give anti-oxidising properties but in honesty, given it’s used under running water, it would barely have any time to penetrate skin and have any anti-oxidising effects before it’s all washed off. 

That aside, it always manages to soothe my tired aching muscles after a long hard day, especially after a jog or sports. The soft foaming action washes away the day’s oils, dirt and grime and leaves my skin so soft and clean afterwards without being too dry or stripped of skin’s natural moisture and make me look forward to the next shower time. 

I love this so much I’ve completely used up my tube last month and need to re-stock. Yup, it’s that good, it's made it to my staples list. 

Do you have a favourite shower time buddy? What are they?
RRP A$12.95 but get it for A$7.95 online at Fashion Addict.
This product was sent for review.

Win: MOR Belladonna Little Luxuries Set

We all love a little luxury in our everyday life and it's always nice to be able to indulge yourself with some decadent products.

MOR is always here to help whether it be for gifting to those we think deserves some luxury in their daily routine or simple pleasure we can indulge ourselves with.  Today I have two beautiful prize packs generously sponsored by MOR to ensure you will be able to pamper your senses in your daily beauty ritual.  

What you Can Win

The complete Belladonna set from MOR's Litte Luxuries collection:
  • Lip Nectar 10ml - RRP A$19.95
  • Body Butter  50g - RRP A$16.95
  • Perfume Oil 9ml - RRPA$19.95
  • Hand Cream 50ml - RRPA$12.95
  • Soapette in collectors tin 60g - RRPA$9.95
There are two sets to be won this week. If you want to find out more about the Belladonna scent, check out my reviews here

How to Win:
  • Simply fill in form below to tell me in 25 words or less what would be your ultimate luxurious experience.
  • This competition is open to all subscribers of Things I love (either via Google Friend Connect or email subscribers) including international readers. If you're not yet a subscriber - get a move on!
  • Multiple entries are allowed but limited of 1 entry per day. 
  • The competition will run until 11.59PM AEST 14th September. 
  • This competition is a game of skill. The two best answers as judged by me will be determined as the winners.  
  • The username of the winners along with their winning answers will be announced and published on this blog by 16th September.
Now put your thinking caps on and work on that response - Good luck everyone!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Review: MOR Belladonna Hand Cream & Scented Candle

MOR latest addition to the Emporium White collection is truly to lust for. Released in time for the warmer spring season, the Belladonna range is a sweet bouquet of white narcissus, Moroccan rose, pink tulips with a freshness of Meyer lemon, and sweetened with vanilla, musk and sandalwood and French Cassis (currants).

This soft and feminine scent has an air of feminine powdery complexity that will surely take you to the provincial era where life was less hectic and more romantic.

The range covers the traditional MOR body luxury products with a bar soap, hand cream, body butter, and scented candle - all luxuriously packaged with pink blossoms, gilded gold leaves print and decadent MOR logo embossing.

Belladonna Hand Cream - 100ml

Being a hand cream lover, I immediately gravitated toward the product and had to give it a go myself.
  • The box is beautiful and the tube elegant, the latest hand cream sits proudly on my desk at work with its bulbous gold cap providing it an opulence and style that no other hand cream in my collection has. 
  • Packed with moisturising cocoa butter, shea butter, glycerin and vitamin A and E to protect, this hand cream is rich and creamy but is lightweight and absorbs instantly to leave skin supple, velvety to touch and lightly scented for hours. 
  • It is especially great for dry fingers during the day with constant handling of paper and the drying office air conditioner. After a week of use, even the rough ragged bits on my index fingers were tamed and smoothed into soft digits. Hallelujah!

Belladonna Scented Candle - 184g

  • This scented candle will enlighten up your room and world with the heavenly Belladonna scent and will give your home a touch of old world charm in the frosted glass jar gilded with 24 carat gold logo decal.
  • What I love is that within 30 minutes of burning this candle, your whole room will be warmly scented with the Belladonna signature scent which gently wafts to fill all corners of the house and have it smelling like a spring bouquet of delicate florals.
  • And if you need more reasons to love this artistically presented candle, you can't go past the long burn time of 40 hours for days of endless enjoyment, the clean and smoke-free burns you get with the 100% soy wax and lead free cotton wick (for even burning of the candle, I advise to burn for no more than 3 hours each time).

MOR body products make amazing gifts that is always welcomed and love with their precious and pretty packaging and Belladonna is another fine example of the decadent attention to detail that we've come to expect.

It is also something you can indulge yourself with for a little touch of luxury in your everyday life and I'll be giving you a chance to win some of your own Mor luxuries Belladonna shortly. Stay tuned here!

Hand Cream RRP A$24.95| Scented Candle RRP A$39.95 at Myer, David Jones, selected pharmacies and MOR online.
These products were provided for consideration.