Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Natural Looking Skin with Estee Lauder Invisible Fluid Makeup

The nude makeup look is all the rage at the moment with everyone from catwalks to actresses trying to achieve that naturally beautiful skin without the cakey look.

But let’s face it, unless you are blessed with good genetics/have regular laser surgery/or are just darn lucky, you’re bound to have a few blemishes (pimples, pigmentations, here or there. In short - we all need a bit of a helping hand to look naturally good.

One of the makeup new to the market that promises to do just that is Estee Lauder’s Invisible Fluid makeup.

Estee Lauder Invisible Fluid Makeup 
  • Lightweight,  silky touch dry finish, this acts more like a light veil on skin that soften imperfections like a good lens on a camera would but still allowing your own skin to peep through.
  • It blends easily into skin and imparts a healthy glow to skin (no light-reflecting micro particles here, just a light natural sheen that gently corrects tint, tone and brightness) and with that, helps to freshen the face so it doesn’t look so sallow or tired looking.
  • With a new patented technology called IntuiTone, it is meant to give a seamless blend into skin for any skintone regardless of how light are deep coloured you are. The sample I tried was 1CN1, which was one of the lightest shades and unfortunately too light to really blend into my skin naturally. Luckily there are 12 shades available so I think if it was a few shades deeper, I can see it being the perfect colour and tonal match. 
  • With the coverage greater than a tinted moisturiser but less than a foundation. It can be sheered or layered to give a bit more coverage. 
  • It won’t cover red marks like pimples or rosacea (you’ll need to help of concealer) for that. But for overall evening out of skintone and light pigmentation, it does a great job. 
  • Longevity and lasting power was fairly decent for such a lightweight foundation, it lasts for 6-8 hours without much budging or smudging at all in the wet cold and windy Melbourne weather.
  • I also like the fact it is so lightweight, I barely remember I have a base makeup on and feel that my skin is able to breathe during the day instead of being suffocated under a thick layer of product. 
swatched on NC30 skin
With the quest for barely-there and natural looking skin, the best way to do that is to wear no makeup at all.

But if you can’t bear the thought of going completely naked out on the streets, then Invisible Fluid makeup is your new best friend – no one will know you had a little helping hand to look this good :)

Edit: my perfect match for NC30 skin tone is 3WN1.

Estee Lauder Invisible Fluid Makeup 30ml – RRP A$68 |US$35. Available now at Estee Lauder counters or online.
This featured product was provided for consideration.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Tips on Busting Blackheads

Most of us to would have some form of blackheads on our face in varying degree of affliction (and those who don't - I am mighty jealous and want your skin!).

Unfortunately for me, I have plenty of these pesky black dots on my nose and a few on my chin and no matter what I do, I just can't get to rid of them permanently.

So whether it be through squeezing them with my fingers or using pore strips to remove them, I love extracting them out - gross I know, but nothing gives me more satisfaction than seeing them out of my skin.

While I do the regular squeezing of my nose to get rid of all the gunk, there is a greater risk of injuring skin when squeezing out blackheads so always I only do it after skin is softened (after a shower or a facial mask is a great time to do the dirty work).

With pore strips, if the skin is not prepped properly, the strip doesn't effectively picked up the clog pores and remove enough blackheads. I've recently discovered a method of using pore strip that is as good as manual squeezing without the risk of injuring skin.

The Safer Way of Removing Blackheads

1. Wash face thoroughly with water and your preferred cleanser. I use a glycolic cleanser like Invisible Zinc cleanser with 12% glycolic acid 200ml - RRP $35 (which can also be used as a treatment mask when left on skin for 5 minutes).

2. Apply a glycolic based mask (you can use the IZ product above for this step on the problem areas only). This is the key as gylocic acid breaks down the top layer 'glue' on skin that holds the dead skin cells on skin. I like the Alpha-H Liquid Gold Smoothing + perfecting mask 100 ml - RRP $63 and Endota's glycolic polishing mask 100ml - RRP $70

3. Wet nose area and apply Biore Cleansing pore strip 6 pk* - RRP A$5.69 as per normal.
4. Wait until the pore strip hardens to a plaster feel on your nose and then peel off skin. Hey presto - you should see a tonne more blackheads release and peeled off with the strip than normally would.

I use this gycolic acid treatment/pore cleansing strip combination method once a week to de-speckle my nose.

So there you have it -  maximise your blackhead busting powers with the use of glycolic-acid based products by un-clogging skin and prepping it for blackhead removal.

What are your tips to combatting blackheads?

* product was provided for consideration.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Precision Waxing with Nair

Do you have fuzzy hair above your upper lips or around the corner of the mouth? I do.
They are quite fine, mostly around the corner of my mouth and normally don’t bother me but they do give this grey outline around my mouth when doing lip swatches. Case in point in the photo below and so this fine fuzz must go.
grey casting shadow thanks to the hair around the corner of the mouth
By far the best hair removal method on this small and sensitive area is waxing (compared with tweezing and epilating – both are more painful). I’ve tried two types of waxes the other day to remove the bit of unwanted fuzz on my face that I’ll share with you today and my experiences with them.

Overall I think one does a better job on removing hair around the mouth but I think it could also be due to technique (my lack of) and appropriate area for use that determines which wax is better for the job.

Here’s the first waxing kit I tried.
Nair Precision Facial Wax Kit - RRP A$15.99

This is liquid wax (when you warm it up by dipping the tube into a cup of boiling water for 2 minutes). It comes in a tube and you attach the roll on applicator head for use. The back of the packet contains all the instructions and they were very easy to follow to prepare the wax for use.

Once warmed up, you roll the applicator onto the area with hair you want to remove, press on the pre-cut strips of waxing cloth and rip the hair out!

My results with this wax kit was patchy – some of the hair was removed on the first go – I learnt that this was because I applied the wax too thickly onto skin and caused uneven adhesion to the waxing cloth. It was also hard to hold skin taut when pulling off the wax cloth around the corners of the mouth.

Lesson:  apply a very thin layer to allow better grip with the waxing cloth for better hair removal. The problem was that it was hard to control the roll on stick so that only a thin layer is applied to skin. I found it easier to spread with fingers to thin out the applied wax on skin after the initial roll on to ensure an even layer for better adhesion.

After use, it was easy to rinse off but there was a slight tacky feeling on skin that is best removed with an oil cleanser (eg. Shu Uemura xx oil cleanser). Clean up up was easy and I could see this being used for side burns, chins, straightening the fuzzy hair lines and with practice, on lips.

Overall rating: 6/10 for ease of use and medium effectiveness.

The next waxing kit I tried was the Nair Easiwax Mini Wax Strips - RRP A$9.15

This kit comes in a set of 20 pre-applied wax strips that needs to be warmed up by rubbing between your hands before use.

After warming it up, you apply the wax strip by pressing down on the skin area where you want hair removed and then ripping the wax strip off.

I had a hard time removing the backing plastic from the plastic strip and literally spend 4-5 minutes just trying to rip the thing apart. I almost wanted to take it up with a pair of scissors before I peeled away the backing plastic.

That hurdle aside, it was easy to apply – just press down the wax against skin before holding the skin taut and pulling the strip off against the direction of hair growth.

Results were much more consistent than the roll on wax and I found that I could use each wax strip twice on my face before having to use another strip (this will vary depending on how much hair you pick up on the first removal with the strip).

It also didn’t leave my skin too red after removal as I didn’t have too much hair for it to take off.

This mini wax strip is favoured by me for better hair removal not only for facial hair but also for cleaning up the other small areas as well (eg. underarms, bikini lines). And for larger areas, there are larger strips available to do the job.

Overall rating: 9/10 for effectiveness but hard to peel backing plastic

So now I have fuzz free upper lips and can continue my merry way of lip swatching without fear of hairy corners ruining the picture.

If you have small hair removal jobs and want fuss-free easy options that are fairly painless (the pain was short, not so sharp and subsided very quickly), I’d recommending their precision waxing kits to you unless you have very sensitive skin.

My preference goes to the mini wax strip but I guess if I master the thin layer application of the precision kit, the facial kit will work just as well.

Nair waxing kits are available at supermarkets, selected pharmacies and Priceline stores.

The featured products were provided for consideration.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Salon Melbourne 2012: Hair & Beauty Expo

In Australia, there are 2 major beauty events in the yearly calendar. Sydney has IMATS (International Makeup Artists Trade Show) and Melbourne has Salon Melbourne.
Inspiring hair creations
Salon Melbourne is a hair and beauty expo showcasing the latest products, technologies, hottest trends and talent and live demonstrations by industry experts.
This year the event was held back on the weekend of March 28-29 atthe Melbourne Convention Centre. This expo geared towards salon operators, professionals and students alike and has a plethora of hair styling information, and products for sale, from the latest manicure and waxing tools, spa equipments to a great array of cosmetics and beauty tools.

The place is great to pick up hair inspirations, see the prestigious Hair Expo Awards Finalists gallery of their creative inspirations.
Finalists of the Hair Expo award
I was provided a media pass and was able to see first-hand the hustle and bustle that was the expo of Salon Melbourne.
The displays were plentiful, the offerings vast. It was literally candy-land for any salon fanatic. 
airbrush makeup demonstration
Vani-T lipsticks
more Vani-T lip products
The best things about these exhibitions is the inspirations you get from it, being able to talk to so many like minded individuals and experts in the field and of course the trade prices on the products for sale. Yes, OPI products for half the RRP at the expo and there were Orly and Shellac nail colours in every colour ever invented for sale.

Hair styling products!
Next year, Salon Melbourne will be held on April 14-15th. It's a must-see for anyone working in the beauty industry and I highly recommend anyone who qualifies for registration to do so now so they don't miss it. The event is free for trade attendees (salon owners) and students.

I definitely look forward to visiting again to see next year's trends and new products.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Skincare Series: Hydration Booster for Winter

Are you one to change skincare with the season? Skin being exposed to different environmental conditions need different protections and with the dry, cold weather in Melbourne, I like switching to slightly richer and more hydrating facial and body creams.

Here are my favourites for this winter season:

L'Occitane Immortelle Precious Cream 50ml – RRP A$82
This cream sinks straight in, provides all day hydrating and works a treat as a rich yet non-greasy day cream over treatment serums (I even use it as a night cream sometimes because it’s rich enough) and suits all skin types particularly those with extremely dry skin. It smells of a bouquet of fresh field flowers and leaves a lovely silky finish on skin.

It contains the Immortelle essential oil (called the immortal flower because the petals doesn't lose colour even when it is dried or dies) to stimulate micro-circulation, increase collagen production and and has good anti-aging properties.

This facial cream is now in its 10th anniversary with a new improved formulation and continues to be one of L’Occitane’s best sellers that will give smoother, firmer skin.

Tip: remember to use on the neck and décolletage for silky soothe skin there too

Available at David Jones, selected Myer stores and L'Occitane online.

We all know by now our skin recharges overnight whilst we sleep so it’s worthwhile investing in products that give it a boosting hand. 

Clinique Turnaround overnight radiance moisturizer 50ml - RRP A$90
This multi-tasker does exactly that by gently exfoliating the skin and increasing cell-turnover (salicylic acid in a time release system and chestnut seed extract) to reveal clearer tone and complexion.

Emollient and rich but not greasy, Clinique Turnover Overnight Radiance Moisturizer works to give intense hydration and facial-like results while you sleep. Not only does it provide that extra hydration boost (hyaluronic acid, hydroxyethyl urea and trehalose) at night without the grease to make skin is brighter and more even in tone after a week’s use, and within a month, I’m seeing smooth velvetly skin that is all plumped up, clear and radiant.

Avaliable at Clinique counters in Myer and David Jones store and Clinique online.  I wasn't provided the product packaging so don't have the ingredients listing for this moisturiser.

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate 30ml - RRP A$59
On alternating nights I use this elixir of pure botanicals and essential oils (rosehip, evening primrose, jojoba and rosemary leaf oil). With a light lavender (from the essential oil) and faint squalene (plant-based from olives) scent, it is lightweight and readily absorbs into the skin to leave only a light sheen on the skin and fixes any dry patches, plumps up skin and helps to replenish lost lipids in skin.

Skin is soft, supple and hydrated after two uses and after a month of continued use, I notice faster he I use it in place of my night time moisturiser after applying treatment serums and within a week notice plump, supple and brighter skin.

Available at Kiehl's counters in selected Myer and David Jones stores and Kiehl's online.

Grown Rosa Damascena Acai & Pomegranate Intense Body Cream 120ml - RRP A$29
One of my favourite body moisturiser, it is intensely hydrating but non-tacky and leaves a silky dry finish on skin once absorbed. The cream forms a light shield on skin to help improve the skin's barrier function to increase skin hydration.

It also has a light pleasant orange vanilla scent and enriched with rose oil, pomegranate and acai extract to help improve skin firmness and replenish lost essential fatty acids back into skin. I love rubbing this cream into rough areas like elbows and knees as well as all over the arms and legs for immediately soft, smooth skin.

Available in selected Myer and pharmacies - check here for stocklist and Grown online.

So whether you live in freezing southern states or warmer northern regions, the winter months brings on dryer weather and your skin will need a hydration boost. Be sure to look at your current skincare regime to see what you can introduce to give it that extra level of moisture.

Products featured were provided for consideration.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Jurlique Mothers Day Giveaway Winners

Before I announced the 4 lucky winners of the fabulous Jurlique prizes, I'd like to say a big thank-you to everyone who supported Jurlique and myself via this competition by following us on either Twitter and/or Facebook. 

Your overwhelming support means a LOT to us and we are so glad to be able to give back to you. 

I hope the lucky winners will be able to bring a bright smile to their mother's face when they receive their Jurlique gifts. 

So without further ado, the winners of the following prizes are....

New Winner 1: All About Rose set: Kerry Santillo @purely4kids
Winner 2: In Full Bloom set: Elizabeth Phan
Winner 3: Pick of the Bunch set: Teresa Hogg
Winner 4: Hand picked set: @Wills

Congratulations to all the wonderful winners!
The next step is for you to get in touch with me via email to provide your mailing details. As I want to avoid delays in the delivery, you will have until the end of Sunday night 6th May to get in touch with the requested details. Otherwise a new winner will be drawn. 

Thanks again for your support everyone and watch out for other giveaways soon. I have just another one planned very soon! 

Enjoy your weekend everyone. I'm off to watch The Avengers tonight!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Winners: Silky Colourations Haircare Pack

Hi Everyone,

Sorry for going MIA on the blog the past week - I've been struck down with a very nasty cold. And just when I think things couldn't get worse, I came down with shingles!

So I've been hibernating at home all drugged up, splurting and coughing my lungs out, applying copious amounts of creams and lotion to sooth the itches and without much energy or motivation to blog.

Hopefully now that I'm on the mend, there will be more frequent posting!

And to get back on the blogging train, I have the wonderful winners of the Silky Colouration hair care pack to announce.

Many thanks for your support and entry of the giveaway. Rafflecopter has made it easy for me to choose the two winners below.

Congratulations ladies. Please get in touch with me via email or twitter DM with your mailing address so I can organise for your prize to be sent to you. You will have till 5pm Thursday 3rd May to supply your  information, otherwise I'll be drawing new winners.

Also don't forget the Jurlique Mothers Day give away is still running if you want a chance to win something to pamper mum.

Now I'm off to ensure that the normal posting schedule resumes!