Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lengthen your lashes with 1000 Hour Eyelash Enhancing Serum

For those of us who are not naturally blessed with luscious thick and long lashes, we go to great lengths to gain fluttery looking eye, whether it be done by piling on copious coats of mascaras or going down the path of false lashes or lash extensions.

There is also a growing market out there for eye lash serums that promises to promote lash growth naturally. I’ve never really thought much about lash serums to be honest as I didn’t think it would work for me but when I had the opportunity to trail a lash serum recently, I decided to find out once and for all whether they actually improve lash growth.

1000 Hour Eyelash Enhancing Serum - 2.5ml 

1000 Hour claims:

  • 97% natural based ingredients that is loaded with vitamins and minerals to condition lashes. It is also paraben and fragrance free so is less likely to irritate eyes. 
  • Conditions lashes and help provide strength, improving its flexibility and elasticity so that it is less prone to fallouts.
  • Increase thickness and volume of lashes. 

  • My view:
    This is a gel based product in a tube like you would find of any mascara. I like that it’s The wand is has a fine tip brush at the end like you would find in eye liners and you pretty much use it like one- applying the lash serum along the lines of the eye. I like to get as close to the lash line as possible so use the brush in a tight lining fashion which means applying the gel along my water line where the lash base is on my top and bottom lashes.
    The lash serum not only helps with the health of your lashes, but can also help with sparse brows as well, so I applied some on the ends of my brows hoping that it could work miracles as well.

    Fast forward a month later of regular use (I admit, I wasn't good with daily twice a day use as I may have forgotten during some late nights to use the serum), the verdicts are in.

    I definitely experience fewer lash fall outs, in fact within the first week. I’d have fewer and 1 lash fall out in a week when I normally have one a day.

    I haven’t notice much volume or thickening of my lashes but I would dare say that due to the fewer fallouts, I've got more lashes on my eyes than before I've started out as  the serum promotes hair growth. This appears to be the case with the sparse ends of my brows as well which is now slightly more filled than before (it is still pretty sparse).

    I’ve also noticed that my lashes were slightly longer as well. This was most noticeable for my bottom lashes which I barely have any of that are visible and now, I have some very fine lashes growing on my lower lash line.

    In summary, I’m quietly very pleased with the results. They are not dramatic and I certainly still need the help of a coat or two of mascara, but now, I can create a more doll eye look with mascara as there are more lashes for me to coat products with. If you’re looking for ways to naturally enhancing your lashes, do give lash serums a try.

    1000 Hours Eyelash Enhancing Serum RRP A$39.99 at selected Price Attack stores and online at The Beauty Office.

    This featured product was provided for editorial consideration. 

    Monday, July 15, 2013

    MOR Argan Oil Handcream is Aromatherapy Heaven

    Everyone knows that argan oil is great for hair and the number of hair care products featuring the miracle oil as one of its top ingredients on shelves today has bloomed.  But did you know it is also amazing on skin as well as it has extremely high levels of Vitamin E and 80% fatty acids which make it perfect for softening skin, soothing minor irritations as well as protecting against premature aging caused by oxidation?

    When I found that the latest handcream from MOR contains a high concentration of this miracle oil, I knew I needed to literally get my paws onto them.

    MOR Argan Oil Hand Cream  - 75ml 

    I am a sucker for packaging and MOR always does one of the best packaging out there. This time, before even digging into the product, the box had already won me over. Borrowing themes from the bygone art of sending hand-written mails for the Correspondence range, the box is showcased with a stamp sheet print design, accented by traditional trims and a colour-coordinated beeswax monogrammed seal to give it that special hand-pressed touch. It evokes a very romantic feeling with soft pastel colour.

    Packed full of argan oil (it's the 2nd ingredient in the listing!) which assists with premature ageing and a blend of Artichoke Leaf Extract, Shea Butter and Rooibos Extract to rejuvenate and smoothe hands as well as boost the anti-oxidant factors.

    A rich cream, it is easily absorbed by dry hands and fingers, and a little goes a long way. The aluminium tube makes it easy to dispense the product out and I like to rub a pea size amount into my finger tips and cuticles as those are my driest parts before working a bit more of the cream onto the rest of my hands. Once absorb, it leaves a light sheen on skin, smoothing and softening tired dried hands and give a soft and silky feel. The shea butter is really awesome especially during winter when my skin gets dry and scaly and I use it on my dry elbows as well.

    Available in 9 fragrances, I love the Sencha Verbena which reminded me of aromatic lemon grass while Tangelo Grapefruit is a refreshing blend of neroli and orange essential oils. Both scents lingered lightly on skin even after a period of time which I really enjoy.

    If you are after a great hand cream this winter with wonderful scents, be sure to look out for these when you next visit a nearby counter. I know I'd be picking up another tube with a different fragrance when my current one runs out. 

    RRP A$26.95 at Myer, David Jones stores, gift boutiques and MOR online.

    This featured product was provided for editorial consideration. 

    Saturday, July 13, 2013

    Blog Refresh and New Site Coming Soon!

    I've had my previous blog design for almost 3 years now and have been wanting to retire the old layout, give the blog a face-lift and take advantage of all the latest widget offerings.

    I've also wanted to move to the Wordpress platform but it all seemed too complicated to migrate blog posts across and I rather spend what little time I had to work on writing blog posts than figuring out how to do blog setup and migration of posts to a new platform.

    But the needs of this blog has truly out-grown what the current site design can provide for and I finally bit the bullet and did something about it.

    You may have noticed some slight changes to the blog during your current visit. For one, you will notice that the site is now sitting its own domain. Yep, the web address is FINALLY reflecting our blog name Things I Love. I've also done a few quick tweaks to give the blog a much needed layout refresh.

    This is just the first step though. I've got further exciting blog changes to share with you soon. It will be a complete new style and design on the blog - even a new logo to boot!

    In the meantime, I ask all you readers to update your bookmarks/feeds to the new URL of www.thingsilove.com.au as this will be the address that the new site will launch in.

    I can't wait to share and unviel the new site to you - it's all very exciting for me.  I'll leave you with a sneak peek of the new banner. What do you think?

    x A

    Wednesday, July 10, 2013

    Top Picks for Hydrating Winter Skin

    We are well and truly into the midst of Winter now, especially for those who live in the southern states of the country.

    This means we're exposed to heating when indoors, and to harsh winds and dry air when we go outdoors. All this is taking a toll on skin with the constant and abrupt changes in hot/cold temperatures.

    But fear not, with the right products, we can cocoon ourselves top-to-toe from the effects of this harsh winter. In no particular order, here are my top picks this year:

    1. Clarins Hydraquench Cream - 50ml RRP $A65
    If you have very dry skin or suffer from dry patches, a hydrating moisturiser is a must during cold winter months. I love this moisturiser as it's light and requires very little effort to have it absorbed into skin. The almost gel-like creamy texture, light floral scent and non-greasiness provides instant hydration that lasts throughout the day. Great for wind or sun over-exposure, I recently used this after having my Palomar facial laser treatment and it helped to keep the peeling effects to a minimum which meant my skin recovered much quicker from the procedure.

    Available at Clarins counters and AdoreBeauty online.

    2. Uriage Cleansing and Nourishing Cream - 500ml RRP A$39.95
    A must for those with sensitised dry skin, this non-foaming cream is more a lotion in consistency and is so gentle and non-irritating, it didn't even sting when I used it over broken skin. It does a wonderful job of cleansing and removeing oil, dirt and grimy residue without stripping moisture, leaving skin soft and smooth afterwards without any tight feeling. Made of 1/3 nourishing milk, I reserve this cleanser for my face due to its price (which then makes it amazing value) but if you need a bit of pampering, by all means go for the occasional body wash indulgence.

    Uriage products are currently available at selected Terry White Chemists and Adorebeauty Online

    3. Nivea Irresistibly smooth body soufflé - 300ml RRP A$9.92
    If your skin on your body is looking parched then put the moisture back in with this beautiful soufflé cream from Nivea. Fragranced with the signature Nivea scent, this product is quickly absorbed into skin, leaving it velvety smooth without any greasy residues. The intensive and nourishing formula containing shea butter gives all day hydration and conditions skin, making this a favourite of mine for arms, elbows, legs and feet.

    Nivea is available at major supermarkets, Priceline, pharmacies, Target, Kmart and Big-W stores.
    4. Endota Nourishing Oil - 30ml RRP A$75
    This dry oil has captivated my senses with its exotic scent of frankincense, warm myrrh and mossy patchoulil. The golden blend of plant oil and vitamins nourishes skin, restore its elasticity and instantly softens and rehydrates, making it perfect for dry to very dry skin types. This is honestly the only dry oil I make an exception to for use on my face (I only do this in winter months as I have oily/combination skin).

    Endota products are available at Endota Spas and online. For stocklist, check here.

    5. Kosmea Skin Clinic Rescue Body Cream - 125ml RRP A$29.95
    Intense and luxe in feel, Kosmea's body cream is my top pick for decadent body moisturisation. Made with natural and organic ingredients with healing properties like rosehip and grape seed oil as well as shea butter, it helps to sooth dry chapped skin, relieve minor itches (perfect for my hives) and is a god-send for cracked heels. The fact that it doesn’t irritate broken skin is a bonus and can also be used on minor burn areas.

    Kosmea is available at Priceline, selected pharmacies, health food stores and David Jones.

    6. Bio Oil - 60ml RRP A$14.95
    Bio Oil is an affordable dry oil to bring back skin vitality and helps to improve skin’s moisture barrier. It also helps that there is no greasy residue after the oil is absorbed into skin. With a blend of vitamins and natural plant oils, it has uses in softening of fresh scars and the prevention stretchmarks during pregnancy as well as for its treatment (which I have to sadly say, didn’t work for me) but my limbs just love it for maintaining suppleness.

    Bio Oil is avaliable at Priceline, major supermarkets, Kmart, Big W and Target.

    I hope this list provides some pickings for you to try if you are feeling the dryness of the winter season. I'd also love to hear how else you're keeping hydrated this winter. Until next time, stay warm!

    x A

    Products featured were provided for editorial consideration.

    Wednesday, July 3, 2013

    Floriental Luxe with Tom Ford Sahara Noir EDP

    I’m recently finding myself drawn to the world of aromatic scents.

    Previously I’ve always found them to be too strong and overpowering. But the perfume houses have refined their interpretations of Orientals notes over the years and as my familiarity with Oriental fragrances grows, I’m being won over.

    The latest I managed to try out is none other than the Sahara Noir by Tom Ford

    Tom Ford Sahara Noir EDP

    I cannot help but love Tom Ford for his signature perfume design. And although Sahara Noir is encapsulated in the same signature fragrance bottle as his other scents, he adds a special touch by dipping the entire bottle in a pool of gold and the golden bow accent on the neck of the bottle lends the right delicateness to the otherwise bold design.

    The opening notes of Sahara Noir reminds me of a dimly meditation room, located somewhere in tranquil surrounds - the air thick in burning incense, evoking a deep warmth of frankincense and rich citrus notes. I’m curious as I approach this alluring and mysterious scent, for it exudes a strong presence. I gain more confidence as I become captured by its notes, I can feel notes of jasmine and Levantine Cypress peek through. As I discover the scent more, I uncover powdery vanilla and a light sweetness of amber notes.

    Within the hour it settles down to a balmy, and mellow incarnation – woody Agarwood and Cedar complemented by cinnamon and rose absolute now permeates through as it gentles envelops the skin for the rest of the day.

    Mature and refined, Sahara Noir hits all the right notes from the warm Floriental family. I can definitely bask myself in this for many hours without feeling like I'm overwhelmed by its initial intensity. Potent and exotic, a little goes a long way so spray with light fingers and possibly from a further distance than you normally would with other scents until you master this exotic scent.

    Tom Ford Sahara Noir EDP 50ml - RRP A$230 at David Jones city stores only.