Wednesday, November 30, 2011

FOTD: Party Time Look

The silly season is coming up. This means plenty of parties, school formals, weddings, BBQs and social gatherings. To help get into the festive spirit, I’ve created a look to inspire you this week.

This is a soft look that is both chic and glam and actually quite easy to achieve. The curls are a sure fire way to add to the soft feminine look

Key Products Used 
Eyes & Brows
  • Bobbi Brown Ultimate Party Palette* RRP A$130
  • Shu Uemura Glittery Mascara (LE holiday collection by Wong Kar Wai)* RRP A$55
  • Kiss Me liquid eye liner US$12 from Sasa & reviewed here
  • Three Trees Faux lashes  #112 (set of 10) US$5 from Ebay
  • Dollywink eyelash glue US$10.20 from Sasa
  • Illamasqua brow powder in Motto RRP A$27
  • Illamasqua Skinbase #9* RRP A$55
  • Illamasqua concealer in UC200* RRP A$33
  • Bobbi Brown powder blush in Apricot RRP A$58
  • Cover Girl Smoother lip liner in pink velvet RRP A$13.75
  • Tinsel (pink shade) from Bobbi Brown Ultimate Party Palette* RRP A$130
Tools Used
  • Bobbi Brown foundation brush RRP A$68
  • Shu Uemura Wong Kar Wai  Flashing Gold 4 piece mini brush set with pouch* RRP A$98 (featuring goat hair blush brush, sable hair eye shader, synthetic eye shader, sable eye/lip liner brush)
  • Shu Uemura eye lash curler RRP A$39
  • Mac #263 angled eyeliner brush RRP A$39
Top-bottom: Illamasqua Under Eye Concealer, Bobbi Brown Ultimate Party Palette, Shu Uemura eye lash curler, Bobbi Brown foundation brush, Shu Uemura WKW mini brush set, Illamasqua Skin base, Bobbi Brown Apricot blush, Cover Girl Pink Velvet lip liner, Illamasqua Motto brow powder, 3 Tree false lashes #112, Dollywink eye lash glue, Shu Uemura WKW glitter mascara
Look Breakdown:
This look is focused on having playful and precious looking smokey eyes and the feature product to achieve this is the new LE Bobbi Brown Ultimate Party Collection Palette. Its double decker compact palette features a collection of cool metallic and shimmer shades to ensure your eyes sparkles in the light. It also comes with 4 glitter lip glosses underneath which are all very pale in colour pay off and work best when layered over a richer lip colour.

1. Start by framing the face by filling in any area of sparse brows with a brow powder for a soft natural look. Motto is a greyish taupe shade that is natural looking on dark coloured brows and doesn’t look drawn on like some brown or red-brown based powders

As the eye colours were quite sophisticated, I only had to use 3 shades from the palette to achieve the look. 
Bobbi Brown Ultimate Party Palette

2. Apply Navajo (metallic champagne -A) as a highlighter on the brow bones,  Pewter (a silvery olive -B) on lids and along the lower lash line, the crease was darkened with Plum Steel (black purple plum -C).

3. Dolly eyes are created by lining the top lid with liquid eye liner and are glammed up even more with false lashes and this season’s hottest gold glitter mascara by Shu Uemura. This clear gel mascara won’t volumise or lengthen but its fine iridescent glitter particles means that your lashes will sparkle and glisten through all hours of partying.

Tip: curl natural lashes first before applying false lashes so they have a curl and blend in with the false lashes.
Shu Uemura KWK Glittery mascara
Face1. After applying skincare (a must before any makeup application to protect and hydrate the face), dot some Skin Base and blend with a foundation brush into skin with short quick patting strokes. 

2. Apply undereye concealer to hide dark circles and other marks on skin (applying concealer after foundation ensures that you don’t blend away the concealer while blending in the foundation).  
3. The cheeks are swept with Bobbi Brown’s Apricot (although it looks like a bright warm pink in the pan, it’s a pinky peach on my skin and the perfect spring shade) before a light dusting of NYX loose powder to set everything in place. 

4. Finally for a long lasting lip colour, use a light pink lip pencil to lightly shade in lips and blot away the excess and then apply a light shimmer gloss (Tinsel - D, a soft glitter pink from Bobbi Brown’s Ultimate Party palette) for soft fresh lips.

KMS Freeshape Hot Flex Spray*  RRP A$31.95
KMS Silk Sheen Styling Crème * RRP A$31.95
KMS Curl Up Wave Foam* RRP A$36.95
Remington Tribal Compact Tong* RRP A$33.95

1. Prep hair with a heat protectant (KMS Freeshape Hot Flex Spray) and some curling mousse (KMS Curl up wave foam) to help enhance curls when using with curling tongs.

2. I used the Remington Tribal Compact Tong, which is a mini version of its bigger sister that gives smaller ringlet curls and is exceptionally handy for travelling. The only downside to its size is that it takes longer to complete the look, particularly if you have lots of hair like me – the plus side is pretty tight curls! To prevent too much volume, I only curled the hair from below the ears.

3. Finish with KMS Silk Sheen Crème to lightly smooth away any flyaways on top of head and added some gloss into hair and provides a softer more natural shine than silicone based serum products.

You can also pop on a floral headband for a cute youthful look. I picked mine up from Forever New.

Shu Uemura, Bobbi Brown, Illamasqua are all available on counters now.
KMS products are available at Hairhouse warehouse, Petra Hair and selected salons.

Products marked * were provided for consideration or received at events. All other products were purchased.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Quick Update

I'm about to board a flight and head over to Adelaide (endearingly called "Radelaide" by my Adelaidian friends) for the next couple of days.

The agenda? One of my favourite cousin's wedding  tomorrow but I'm also taking the opportunity to explore the wider Adelaide city over the next couple of days and visit family whilst I'm there. 

I'll try my best to put out a few posts but can't be sure I'll have the time so it might be quiet on the blog over the next few days.

Hope to see you again soon!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Put your best feet forward with Soap & Glory Heel Genius

Summer is coming - yes, somehow we are all now staring at the end of spring and the before we know it, the festive season and party season is all about to come up.

What this all means is dresses and strappy heels and sandals season. Now my feet isn't exactly in the best condition so have always looking for a hard working product that isn't too greasy and will gives good results.

And readers, today I present to you something that tick all these boxes. I've been recommended by many of my beauty blogger friends this cult UK brand so finally decided a couple of months ago to find out for myself what the fuss was all about by picking up this foot cream.

Soap & Glory Heel Genius - 125ml

  • Full of soothing and moisturising ingredients like macadamia oil, allantoin and citrus plant extracts and cooling menthol, this is a rich yet easily absorbed cream that amazingly doesn't feel the slightest bit greasy. 
  • It leaves skin feeling velvety to touch afterwards which I love. The benefits are boosted when you pop on a pair of socks afterward as it intensifies the absorption of the product into your parched skin.
  • Has a slight green scent that reminds me of the bruised leaves of snapdragons. Don't ask me why but it does. It's not a bad scent though, just takes a little getting use to as I'm a typical floral rather than a leaf scent addict.
  • within a week of use, my rough heels were alot smoother, the skin is still thick, but there are no cracked heels and the dry and rough appearance has all but disappeared. My feet now look presentable enough to slip into those pretty summer heels.
  • If fact, I like how well it worked on my heels that I also use it as a hand and cuticle cream because the formula is not too thick and it also gives soft supple results on hands!
This well-priced and hard working tube is now a firm favourite foot (and hand) cream of mine for all year round use. If you are not proud to show off your feet this summer (or any other time really), pick up a tube and see the improvements within a week!

RRP A$14.95 at Kit Cosmetics counters in selected Myer stores or online at Kit Cosmetics. Folks in the UK can pick this up at Boots or Asos for £5.15

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tom Ford Beauty: Shade & Illuminate

Fans of luxe beauty products rejoice for another ultra luxury beauty brand has launched and landed on our shores.

While not a new brand, we were previously only spoilt with his private blend lip colours. Now, we can also indulge in the first of Tom Ford's cosmetics collection.

From essential products that primes, protects and creates a flawless base to beautiful palettes of eyeshadow quads that give striking eye looks and sensous lacquered lip, the collection is a comprehensive set to achieve complete sophiscated looks.

Of course your hip pocket would probably not be able to withstand such an assault all at once so it's a good thing that these are permanent additions to the line so you can slowly build you the collection on your favourite products.

Today I have to pleasure of showcasing to you the Shade and Illuminate contouring creme. 

Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate - RRP A$100

Shade & Illuminate packaging; heavy swatch on NC30 skin
  • The heavy and luxe and glossy dark brown packaging with gold accent is sturdy and the strongly magnetised closure housing an oversized mirror means it's not only ridiculously good looking when whipping this out of your makeup bag, but is practical and secure so you know there is no chance of accidentally spoiling the contents in your bag. 
  • An extra light creme, it's almost-gel like in texture on skin. The white side is used for highlighting and give a radiant pearlescent sheen and can be used on brow bones, cheeks, the bridge of nose, cupid's lips and anywhere else that could do with a bit of glow. It is very sheer is easy to blend so is fool-proof to use, even heavy-handed enthusiasts who might otherwise look like a disco-ball. 
  • The deeper shade is a deep bronze/brown colour that reminds me of Becca's Brazillian Bronzing Sheen - Samba sans the shimmer. It is also slighter deeper and gives a true bronze without looking dirty or orange. Used as a shader, this blends flawlesslessly and gives chiselled looks when used to sculpt the cheeks (which I'm still mastering) and shade the corner of foreheads. It can also be used to give a narrower and higher nose bridge with the contouring of it on the side.  Despite looking quite deep in the pan, it's ease of blending, it means it suits all skin tones by adjusting the amount of blending and product used. 
I find the best way to apply and blend the product is with a flat synthetic brush like the ones you would used for concealer or creme blushes. Fingers only work well for the Illuminate colour on smaller areas like brow bones.

I used the product in my recent FOTD I took for my circle lens review and you can see the results again below - subtle and radiant with shadows placed in the right areas for a more structured look. 

A beautiful product that gives beautiful results, Shade and Illuminate is a lust-worthy product to add to anyone's collection. With my first taste of Tom Ford's cosmetic collection, I'm hungry for more and am already eyeing the cheek colour in Love Lust (RRP A$85) and the Crushed Amethyst eye quad (RRP A$100). Perhaps I should put this onto my Christmas wish list?
Tom Ford Love Lust cheek colour has me lusting all over it

Have you started your Christmas Shopping yet? What's on your list? I haven't even begun to think of Christmas gifts yet but I'm a typical late starter.

Tom Ford Cosmetic Collection is available now exclusively at David Jones Bourke St, Melbourne and Elizabeth St, Sydney stores.

This featured product was provided for consideration.

Monday, November 21, 2011

My Swishing Pantene Aqua Light TVC

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I went up to Sydney last month for a Pantene Aqua Light hair treatment and blow dry at the chic Barney Martin Hair Studio in Surrey Hill.

What I didn't mentioned last time was that after my blow drys, along with fellow bloggers Valerie and Tine, we were given the opportunity to make our own hair swishing TV commercial for Pantene's latest offering - Aqua Light.

Yours truly, Valerie and Tine
I've always envied the girls with their beautiful hair that who are able look absolutely stunning when they swirl their heads and their amazing head of glossy manes so jumped at the opportunity to make my own commercial and look anywhere near as graceful as those TV beauties.

To get us all into the mood, Barney donned on a pretty wig and gave us a swishing demonstration himself.
Barney looking HOT with his swishing wig
Now thankfully we weren't making the official commercials because I have no such talents in front of the screen, but it was great fun to shoot the scenes and come back a nice little personal momento that I'm sure will give many chuckle in years to come when looking back at the all-too-hilarious footage.
shooting the TVC
Most importantly, I had a ball making the commercial and got a taste of what it like to do multiple takes of the same shoot to get the perfect shot (it is hard work I tell you - I have new-found respect for all the models and actors out there!).

So here it is - the fruits of my labour. Just don't mind my contorted facial expressions - I could never keep a straight face when I was being told to swing my heads from one end to another with the hair plastering all over my face.

I hope you enjoy this little comical TVC of mine. Just don't just laugh too hard - I had my mum laughed her head off when I showed this to her the first time this week.

You can also check out my fellow beauty bloggers Tine and Valerie's Pantene TVC on their blogs.

Finally, don't forget to enter the Pantene Make a Swish competition currently running to make your very own TVC and win an amazing cash prize.

Additional photos courtesy of Saunders & Co.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Perk things up with Rodial Boob Job

There’s been a lack of posts recently from me due to work and family taking over my life.

After very long hectic days planning and setting up a new project, I’m just mentally and physically exhausted. Then there's family commitments in evenings and after all of that, I just don't have much energy left for blogging at 11pm each night. Hopefully, with family members heading back to France this Friday and some of the project set up activities settling down, I’ll able to get back into the regular groove.

To warm things up this week, let’s look at a novel product from UK cult skincare line Rodial.

Radial Boob Job - 120ml

With such a cheeky name, I chuckle every time I see this very serious looking bottle on my vanity table.  Ok – so this product doesn’t promise to give you cleavage the size of Pamela Anderson or Heidi Montag but then again, you wouldn’t expect to achieve silicone implant results from a bottle of cream would you?

Still, I was secretly wishful for some enlarging results and maybe see a boosted set of cleavage with regular use.

So what exactly would Rodial’s boob do? I put this to the test and after 5 weeks, I can tell you exactly what it does and doesn’t do for me

It Doesn’t:
  • Make you look like you’ve had breast enlargements – but I didn’t expect it to and no one else should. If you want a bigger bust then you would already be considering surgery, not a cream.
  • Contains any hormones and is based on a natural phytosterol, derived from an Asian root to slightly increase the bust size.
  • Cause any breakouts – my chest area is quite prone to breakouts if the product is too rich or greasy. This light cream is more a gel texture easily absorbs into skin without residue stickiness and I didn’t experience any irritations whilst using it over over the course of the month.
It Does:
  • Smooth the skin on your bust, your boobs and the dellolete area. Yep baby like skin can be yours again
  • Envelop your skin with a luxurious layer of silkiness that moisturises and leave skin feeling so soft to touch that you will ahem want to touch yourself a bit more frequently. This is made all the more pleasurable to use with the light fragrance which is the signature scent across the rodial line of an infusion of jasmine & neroli. 1 pump for each side nightly (I’m far too rushed for time in mornings to do the twice a day routine so I only do the morning sessions on weekends). 
  • contains volufiline to promote the storage of fat cells in your bust area, pentapeptides to promote the synthesis of collagen, wheat protein to firm plump and tone, myrrh extract to plump up fat cells and skin
  • Firm up the boobs so they look perky and fresh again. Finally, there is hope for sagging breasts after all without surgery. After the 3rd week, I notice a slight lift, and for my more mature (read: gravity-affected) mum, she noticed a more dramatic lifting result than me. Morale of the story: you'll get more telling results if you have lost more elasticity on your cleavage
ingredients listing (click to enlarge and read properly)

Rodial's Boob Job is not really about increasing your cleavage size because in honesty, there was minimal enlarging effect. It’s star qualities is how it helps to achieve fresher, younger looking perky boobs again. And to get that without going under the knife – well then it’s a product worthy of its name isn’t it?

RRP A$150 exclusively at Myer stores in Australia |  £127 at Rodial online in the UK 
This featured product was provided for consideration.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Lac Taut Collagen Infusion Mask: A quickie result for brighter firmer skin

It's Friday night and the weekend has began. But I cut short my social drinking session with friends, declined dinner invites and came home early tonight.

Did I hear you gasp at that news? No, I'm not sick or a hermit (although some may say otherwise) but I have very good reasons for taking such drastic actions tonight, dear readers. For tomorrow will be the highly anticipated Melbourne Beauty Bloggers Event (MBBE), the biggest beauty blogger event in Melbourne's calendar!

Now if you've been reading my blog for a while you will know I'm one of the lucky gals to be part of an amazing community of beautiful, gorgeous and talented beauty blogging ladies who have become my great friends (and no longer just fellow bloggers). Together, we are the face of MBBE. The group feels like a sorority really, and I love our sisterhood and support we give each other.

Of course, being a part of such a beautiful and gorgeous bunch, there is a tiny bit of peer pressure, I need to do my part to primp and prime and look my very best and not let my ladies down in representing MBBE. 

So I came home to paint my nails, shave those fuzzy legs, tame those stray brows into shape and put on a brightening, firming face mask to ensure I don't look like I've been hit by a truck because there is no way I want those dark circles under my eyes after a long week of work and constant lack of sleep to mar the photography galore that will go on tomorrow.

So what do I turn to for such an important task? Well, this would be none other than a miracle worker- a super-charged sheet mask!

LAC Taut Gold Standard Collagen Infusion Mask
  • This sheet mask is infused with hydrolysed collagen, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, and squalane to supercharge the skin and hydrate, tone and brighten. 
  • I used this straight after taking a shower as it's a non-rinse off mask and I want every drop of the serum to absorb into skin for full benefits (I even rub any excess serum from the packet all over my arms to make sure they get some TLC as well). 
  • It gives an immediate soothing and cooling sensation which I love and is totally relaxing to use.
  • Results? well 20 minutes later and after using the mask, my face is slightly sticky after the serum has dried and absorbed into my skin is soft, more radiant in skintone and has a luminosity that looks lit from within. I could get away with not using any moisturiser afterwards because it was so hydrating.
  • Next day, I definitely notice the skin-plumping factor kicking in and I still have that lit from within look - honestly even my dreaded dark circles seems lighter as well .Then there is a taut firm feeling as my skin is tightened and these results last for 2 days. 
Lac's collagen infusion mask is definitely gold class in my books for giving such visible results.
I'd use this the night before any big event or occasion where I want to look my best. Actually, scratch that - I want to use this every other night of the week so that I can look my best every single day.

Now I just have to finalise what I'm going to wear tomorrow and I'm all set for the big day.

I've leave you with a picture of the pair of shoes I'll be wearing for big afternoon tomorrow.

What do you like to do to get ready for big events?

Taut Collagen Infusion Mask 19ml RRP A$44.95 for a pack of 5 sheet masks at all GNC stores or online.
This featured product was provided for consideration.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pantene Aqua Light & A Swishing Competition

Pantene sceptics, I know there’s quite a few of you are out there. And as they say in industry, perception is reality - especially if 1 in 5 out of a sample of 159 women think that Pantene is bad for them and weighs their hair down.

I personally don’t mind Pantene because I have thick hair (and a lot of it too) so pantene’s formula have always worked for my hair rather than against it. But I know fine haired friends of mine are not so lucky and can find the original formula far too heavy for regular use.

After all this time, the folks at Pantene have heard its consumers and sceptics loud and clear and created a product that directly addresses these perception and concerns about Pantene products.

And folks, that is how the Aqua Light range is born. Guaranteed to leave no residue, and not be heavy or weigh hair down, this collection is will deliver hydration and that fresh ‘just washed’ feeling without hair feeling weighed down or looking limp and flat.

Having used it myself recently when I was given a wash and blow dry at Barney Martin’s Surrey Hill Salon, I can attest to it how light it feels.

My hair feels like its been using a clarifying shampoo and my hair was soft, weightless, and full of volume and without the usual pantene coating that I get from using the regular version. The blow dry was the icing on the proverbial cake (pass on my thanks to Jarita will you Barney?) and left my hair super straight and sleek, making me wish I had a stylist every morning to do my hair before I headed off to work .

Pantene Aqua Light Shampoo & Conditioner 350ml, RRP A$7.99 from major supermarkets, Priceline, discount department stores and most chemists.

So you want more than just nice swishing hair? Well you may just be in luck.

To help launch this latest range, Pantene has launched a ‘Make a Swish’ competition where you could be in the running to win $10k cold hard cash and become the face of Pantene Aqua Light (imagine starring in your own Pantene commercial – now that’s potentially 15 minute of fame you’d be proud to tell the grandkids of in years to come).

Simply upload a video of you unleashing your swishing powers and you’re in the running to win – it couldn’t be any easier!

I just might go practice my swishing techniques now and I hope to be able to see your hair swishes too!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Virgin No More: Circle Lenses

Not being a glasses wearer (other than my favourite pair of sunnies), I’ve never really had to think much about putting on contact lenses. Frankly, the thought of having to stick something into my eyes and possibly poking it out in the process scared the bejesus out of me.

Yet I’ve been fascinated by the craze of circle lenses which have been made popular by the characters of Japanese comics and worn by many models and celebrities in East-Asian countries. Lady Gaga popping on a pair in the MV of Bad Romance just capitulated them to the stratosphere in the western market.

These coloured cosmetic contact lens have a ring around the outer edge of them (hence their names) which enlarges the iris of the wearer and gives them doll-like peepers.

So after watching one too many youtube videos featuring wearers of these alluring lenses, and late night browsing on online stores (evil!), I decided to cast away my fears of poking my eyes out and ordered some lenses to try. Hey, this is all in the name of beauty research ok?

Given, these are my first pairs and I was planning to wear them at a wedding, I decided to go for a natural looking pair of lenses.

The lovely and seasoned circle lens wearer HeartOfPearl suggested I go with the Dueba DM23 Brown lens for a natural look and I decided to add the Hana 30 Days Sharon Grey for something fun to try.

G&G DM23 Brown - US$19.90
These are soft lenses with a 14.00mm diameter and are speckled on the outer edges of brown and black and towards the outer edge there are fine swirling.

These come in glass jars with aluminium seals that you need to break before you can take the lens out from the saline solution. I used a promotional code when ordering at Pinky Paradise that gave me free cute animal shaped lenses to store these lenses in (for a newbie like me, I had no idea that every time you buy contact lens solution, they usually include a lens case in the box until I picked up a box from the local chemist later on).
contacts in the jar - one lens per jar; DM23 brown pattern

I didn’t  rinse them with contact solution from the saline solution because it's already sterile and had no trouble wearing them straight away but I did watch some videos suggesting that they should be soaked in contact solution for 24 hours before first wear. Whatever – I wasn’t going to wait that long but I’ll heed the advice of an optometrist next time if they tell me to do that.

On the eyes, these are very natural and indoors in low light, you wouldn’t notice that I had contacts on. They were moderately enlarging but still very natural looking as it still complemented my natural eye colours. The brown specks on the lens are lighter in colour and appear as mini sparks of light in my eye under bright lighting.
naked eye, with DM 23 brown lens and false lashes
LOTD for the wedding with DM23 brown lenses

Hana 30 Days Sharon Grey  - US$11.90 
These are also a soft lens have a diameter of 14.2mm and come in blister bubble pack of saline solution. I also took these out of the pack and put them into contact lens storage case.

They look more bluish tint than grey in the case and when worn than the stock photos which was a surprise to me, but I still quite like the look. There are long fine swirly patterns of black and bluish grey but that sort of just blends into my brown eyes and looks very pretty and very dolly-like.

cute animal lens cases; Hana 30 day grey looking more blue

Naked eyes, with Hana 30 day grey lens

Quick LOTD after work with Hana 30 day Grey lenses (I didn't wear them to work)!

Being soft contact lens, they were surprisingly comfortable on my eyes. I’ve never worn any contacts before so have nothing to compare with but naked eyes, and although at times it can feel a bit like you got a bit of grit stuck in the eyes, for most parts, I forgot I had them on. If they started to get uncomfortable, I just blink my eyes several times and the lens seem to fall back into place, and the tears seem to rehydrate my eyes again so it's comfortable once more. These are suggested to be worn for no more than 8 hours at a time but I’ve gone for about 12 hours with them on. My eyes did begin to tire out but it was still relatively comfortable.

As for the poking the eye out bit, well I was surprised I managed to stick these in. My first try took 20 minutes to put on for each eye cos the lens wouldn’t go in and kept falling off my index finger. I found watching many youtube video helped but the most important thing is to start with clean hands to avoid infection and to look straight ahead when putting these on, which I struggled with initially.

This video from Brenda at AngelContacts was the most helpful to me in learning how to put on contacts.

Taking them off was much easier and this video from AkunoTensai showing the squeezing technique along the upper and lower lashline worked best for me.


These circle lenses were purchased from Pinky Paradise. My order was shipped from Malaysia and arrived within 2 weeks. It also came with the free animal lens cases and a pair hair velcro  for keeping loose hair in place (really handy during makeup application and removal) - not too shabby customer service from these folks really. My next order will include some more dramatic designs and different colour lenses.

Wearing circle lenses can take your eye makeup to the next level by enlarging your eyes and achieve doe-like eyes. I find it a lot of trouble to wear regularly but for special occasions or parties, it’s definitely worth the effort.

Have you ever worn coloured contacts? which lenses do you recommend I try next?

Monday, November 7, 2011

It's a Close Shave with Trishave & Gillette Venus Embrace

You may or may not know this but I’m currently undergoing laser hair removal treatments so in between the 6 weekly sessions, epilating (my preferred hair removal method) is a no-no and I can only shave the re-growths.

With the warmer weather, I can’t hide the re-growths under layers of clothing as often so am having the find the most comfortable shaving process to minimize razor bumps and irritated skin and I honestly think I’ve found the winning combination in these two products

Trishave 3 in 1 Shave Creme for Women* - 100g RRP A$8.50

I’ve actually never heard of the brand or knew of its existence before my ABBW visit in September where I was introduced to it. Dermotologist approved, this 3 in 1 formula gives a great shaving experience as it’s a cream that you apply as you would a body moisturiser onto skin (I apply with damp hands to get a lathering effect in preparation for the shave).

It softens the hair and prepares it for the shave, acts as a lubricant during the shaving process and also is a moisturiser to leave skin hydrated. The tea tree oil sooths and prevents redness and razor bumps and I haven’t’ experienced any irritation after shaving unlike previous times prior to using this product. This conditioning soap-free formula also smells amazing with the slight rose scent mingled with the stronger tea tree oil (so if you don't like the scent of tea-tree, you may not like the smell of this product).

Results are incredibly smooth silky skin that feels likes every singled hair has been removed (close inspections showed I did missed a few finer hairs but it still feels so smooth!) and this lasts for 3-4 days on my legs and longer for my underarms as hair grows back slower in that area.

Best of all I don’t suffer from the scaly skin effects often seen after shaving and I also don’t have to spend extra time moisturizing my legs or rinsing out the shaving cream which makes it great for last minute quickie jobs before heading out.

ingredients listing

Trishave is available at Coles supermarkets and Priceline stores.

Gillette Venus Embrace  Pink - RRP A$14.99 
(A$21.95 for 4 replacement cartridges) 
With 5 blades and a pivoting head that helps to contour the curves of body, it provides a close shave and takes a lot more hair off in one swipe. It also contains a guiding strip to guide hair into the razor and is surrounded by a strip of water activated-moisture for a smooth gliding shaving experience. I like the fact that the handle is covered with a pink silicon grip for ergonomic handling and it feels comfortable using the razor at all times.

The razor heads are replaceable so when the blades go dull, you can always pop on new replacement heads. I’ve always found the blades with heads to be on special in supermarkets more often so just buy a complete new pack which comes with 2 blade heads and a shower pod with a suctions to attached to shower glass or tile walls (which I personally don't care for but other people may find it handy). 

Together these 2 products have been keeping me smooth and silky and I may even rethink my dislike of shaving now that I've found this great shave creme and easy-to-use razor combo.

Gillette Venus Embrace is available at all major supermarkets, Priceline stores, Big W, Kmart, Target and most other pharmacies.

Do you prefer shaving or waxing? Which at home products do you use? 
Products marked * have been provided for consideration but I'll gladly purchase. All other products have been purchased by me. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday Mask Day for Blackhead Removal

I've always suffered from blackheads. They've pretty much made a permanent home on my nose and not much I've done have managed to move them off.

So weekly (or fortnightly when I'm lacking time) extractions are a must. My favourite way of doing this  safely so that doesn't damage skin is to soften the skin first to allow the pores to open up and then apply a peel off mask to remove those pesky things.

There are two ways to soften the skin and open the pores.
  • steam the face over a basin of hot water for 5 minutes. The same effects can be achieved with a hot shower so this is a great after shower . 
  • applying a salicylic based toner with a cotton pad to help dis-lodge the skin and wait for this to dry. Try  Clean & Clear Essentials Oil-Control Toner (I'm currently alternating between this and a home-made 4% salicylic 10% lactic acid toner to do this job).  I'd recommended applying the toner only to areas where there is actually blackheads (so T-zone for most of us) and not the entire faces as it can irritate skin and be sure to avoid the eye area. 

Blackhead fighting products
 I then apply a thick layer of peel-off mask (I've been using Korean brand Rolanjona Black Peel-Off Mask) onto only the areas with blackhead so when dried, it can easily be peeled off. You can also use Biore Ultra Deep Pore Cleansing strips which is less messy and also works well.

I don't use the Rolanjona black mask on the entire face anymore as I find the mask dries and stick to skin very strongly and it actually hurts to peel if off from cheeks and is far too harsh on sensitive skin areas.
First time use: I applied to the whole face - ouch! I now only use on the nose and chin area.
After waiting 15 minutes for the mask to dry, peel the product off and watch all the gunky stuff come off with the mask/strip!

When I haven't had a weekly removal, I repeat the mask application process to remove additional blackheads still stuck on my skin.
Gunky blackheads pulled out from Rolanjona black peel-off mask

This doesn't completely remove all the blackheads, but it does clear over 80% of them and have me looking presentable for the week until the next extraction session.

To prevent future blackheads and blemishes, I use the salicyclic toner atterwards to help control oil flow and keep the skin clear.

Super by Dr. Nicholas Perricone Acne Treatement is also a great post extraction treatment with as it contains 1% salicyclic acid, malic acid, alpha lipoic acid (ALA) for texture improvements and anti-oxidant quercetin from green apples to exfoliate and fade light blemish marks and help reduce the occurrence of blackheads and whiteheads.
  • Clean & Clear Essentials Oil-Control Toner 100ml RRP A$6.49 at supermakets, Priceline and selected pharmacies.
  • Biore Ultra Deep Pore Cleansing strips RRP A $6.99 also at supermarkets, Priceline and selected pharmacies. 
  • Rolanjona Black Peel-Off Mask 25g per sheet in pack of5 can be bought for approx US$10 at ebay stores. In Asia, it's readily available in Watsons and other chemists.
  • Super Acne Treatement* 30ml  RRP A$76.95 at Kit Cosmetics in selected Myer stores and Kit Cosmetics online. 
Products marked *  were  provided for consideration. All other mentioned products have been bought or gifted to me by great friends.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Organix Moroccan Argan Oil Collection

If you are after a sulfate-free hair care product and want the renowned nourishment from argan oil then you shouldn’t miss the latest range from award winning salon inspired Organix.

The Moroccan argan oil collection is made up of shampoo, conditioner, treatment, and penetrating oil designed for use together and promises to give you beautiful salon results without breaking the bank.

You may have read how beneficial argan oil is to hair and skin as it is rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin E, but Organix has made sure the oils they use in each of their products are even better by using only fair trade argan oil, which helps local women in Rural Morocco.

So with all these benefits, how does it translate to results on hair?

Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil  Shampoo - 385ml RRP A$19.99

The thick gel shampoo being sulfate free is very gentle on the scalp but still manages a good lather and leaves hair clean without feeling stripped of moisture and natural oil from scalp as the argan oil adds back nutrients to hydrate. As it also doesn’t contain phosphates, and parabens, so is safe for coloured hair. The lifting properties of this shampoo is great and hair from the roots well lifted, adding back volume to hair.

Water (Aqua), Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Dimethicone Copolyol, Cocamide DEA, Glycol Distearate, Argania Spinoza Oil (Argan), Cacao Extract (Cocoa Butter), Parfum, Theobroma Cocos Nucifera Oil (Coconut), Persea Gratissima Oil (Avocado), Aloe Barbadensis Extract (Aloe Leaf), Panthenol, Polyquaternium-11, DMDM Hydantoin, Cetyl Alcohol, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, PEG-23M, Red 40, Yellow 5

Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil  Conditioner- 385ml RRP A$19.99

The conditioner is thick creamy and luscious smelling like the shampoo and does a good job of leaving my parched and chemically damaged hair slightly softer and smoother.

However, given the sad state of my hair, I didn’t find the conditioner moisturising enough. I need a super dose and that’s where the treatment mask comes in hand.

Dl Water, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycol Stearate, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Parfum, Argania Spinoza (Argan) Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa Butter) Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado), Aloe Barbadensis Extract (Aloe Leaf), Panthenol, Polyquaternium-11, DMDM Hydantoin, Cetyl Alcohol, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, PEG-23M, Red 40, Yellow 5

Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil  Intense Moisturising Treatment - 237ml RRP A$19.99

Used in place of the conditioner I work it into the ends and leave it on hair for the same amount of time and I get silkier smoother locks afterwards.

My hair is also glossier and it’s definitely something I’d used all the time in place of the regular conditioner to keep my hair healthy.

Water Behentrimonium chloride Cetyl alcohol , Cetearal alcohol, Dimethecone, Glycerin, Glycol stearate, Ceteareth-20 , Cyclomethicone, Polyquaternium-11, Dimethiconol Fragrance , Lanolin oil Jojoba Oil, Argania Spinosa Oil, Panthenol ,DMDM hydantoin, Tetrasodium EDTA, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone solution, red 40, yellow 5

Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Penetrating Oil - 385ml RRP A$24.99
Another star product of the range is the penetrating oil. This oil  is non-greasy and can be used as brow drying product on towel dried hair for smoother softer hair that is easier to style as it lessens friction in hair. Used on dry hair, it acts as a finishing product that tames frizzes and flyaways and adds a beautiful shine. Tip, dispense a small amount and rub with palms of hands to heat up the product before applying to hair to activate the oil and evenly distribute so there are no greasy spots.

Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Argania Spinoza Oil (Argan), Linum Usitatissimum Extract (Linseed), Parfum, Yellow 11, Red 17

Organix renewing Moroccan argan oil range work well to give soft, glossy and smooth hair annd is great for dry damaged hair of fine to thick hair types. The price is in the mid-higher end of similar products in its line and for that I'd expect it to work harder for me but it does contain many natural and fair trade ingredients so its also for a good cause.

Organix hair products are available from Coles, Chemist Warehouse, My Chemist and selected pharmacies.
The productd featured have been provided for consideration.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sally Hansen Salon Effects

Don't have time to paint your nails before going to bed but you need them looking pretty and sparkling the next day?

Sally Hansen has the solution for you with Salon Effects. Made from real nail polish sprayed onto a layer of glue, these strips are easy to peel off and apply to nail and look as if hours has been laboured to give beautiful effects when in fact it would take less than 20 minutes to do.

The kit comes complete with cuticle stick, a mini file and buffer and 16 nail strips to fit all nail shapes and an instruction guide on how to apply the file.

Tip: Apply a base coat so the strips can adhere better to nail. Peel off paper backing and apply to nail, rubbing over the nail lengthway to remove any air bubbles and use the file to cleanly file off excess nail polish strip.

With no drying time, and resistant to lifting, these quick and easy work of art lasts over a week (especially when a clear top coat is applied after application and 3 days later to help the polish looking fresher).

And when you're ready to take them off, just use any nail polish remover to wipe them off.

With many creative designs, there's bound to be a style and design that would suit your occasion. I've got on a limited Halloween edition silver cobweb style this week in keeping with the Halloween theme but I also love current best seller 'misbehave' (nude base with fishnet stocking design).

For those of you in Melbourne, Sally Hansen has a mobile manicure bar set up at Federation Square and are offering free manicures (including the Salon Effects applications). Get there quick because their last day is this Thursday 3rd November.

Sally Hansen Salon Effects RRP A$14.95 at Priceline stores.
This featured product was provided for consideration.

Okoii Winners Announced

Apologies for announcing the winners late - my weekend left not a spare moment to be around a computer to draw a winner and write an entry, but better late than never right?

After tabulating the entries, I have the pleasure of announcing the two lucky winners. They are:

#4 - @chicillumi


#17 - @LittleMissMegsy

Congratulations ladies. You've just won your choice of Okoii natural skincare product. 

Please email me ( in the next 72 hours with your preferred product choice and postal address so I can pass the details of your order to Yoko who will then freshly make up your skincare.

This week, I'm taking a break from running competitions. 
I'll be playing host to family visiting from France which for my mum, is a long-awaited reunion after 42 years of not seeing her brother so regular posting will be interrupted whilst I travel around the state. You never know though, I may still be able to sneak in a few post in between catch ups!