Thursday, 30 October 2014

October Favourites

I've been trying out a lot of products lately - these are some of the ones I'm really loving that I thought I'd give some mini reviews for.

Face of Australia Gentle Make-up Remover* - This make-up remover is everything I want in a make-up remover - gentle, efficient, doesn't leave an oily residue.

Mary Kay Cream Eye Colour in Violet Storm* - I own every single Maybelline Color Tattoo they've put out, so I was really excited when these creme eyeshadows came out. They're a lot smoother and less sticky than the Color Tattoos - not quite as good as a base, but they work really nicely by themselves, blended in with a finger.

Essence Bloom Me Up! Blush Brush - I reviewed the Bloom Me Up brushes when I first picked them up, and I thought I'd end up using this for foundation since it looks so much like a stippling brush, but I've found that it's perfect for stippling on creme blush. I've always tapped on creme blushes with my fingers because I could never find the right brush for it - turns out this is it! I've been using this brush with ulta3's new blush in Natural for an understated everyday work look.

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB in Medium - I got this in a subscription box and kind of ignored it for a while in favour of Maybelline's Dream Pure BB in Light (still hands down the best "Western" BB I've ever tried), but I somehow managed to tan a bit despite the massive amounts of sunscreen I was wearing, so mixing the Medium shade in with my usual foundation has worked fantastically.

Orly Bonder Base Coat - I keep trying other base coats but always end up going back to Bonder.

Uriage Moisturising Express Mask* - I loved this when I first tried it, but after trying a heap of other moisturising masks this one's still the best.

Revlon Kissable Balm Stain in Adore - I've been a fan of the Revlon lip balm stains for ages now, but I never gave Adore a try until I misplaced Romantic and had to pick up a replacement from the shops (it's OK, I found Romantic under my desk!). Adore is housed in a dark and vampy looking tube, but it's actually an extremely wearable sparkly sheer red shade.

Kerastase Discipline Smooth-in-motion Shampoo* - I'm absolutely loving this shampoo. The range is meant to tame unruly hair, and it does a damn good job of cleaning grease off too.

Macleans High Definition White Toothpaste* - I'm making a concerted effort to avoid plastic microbeads in whitening toothpaste - I'm glad to say that this one uses environmentally friendly scrubbing particles!

Eleven Australia Miracle Hair Treatment - I've been trying to avoid conditioning my hair in the shower too much since any bacne I get seems to be linked to conditioner dripping down my back. Instead, I've been patting a small amount of oil on my wet hair in the shower, then adding silicones to my hair after I'm dressed.

Toni and Guy Classic Spray Gel for Curls and Muk Hot Muk Thermal Protector* - I've recently started using my hair straightener again, and after the damage from my last foray into heat styling, I'm taking precautions this time.

L'Artisan Parfumeur Bois Farine - Michaela took me to a L'Artisan Parfumeur sale when I visited her in Dubai. I'm really a novice when it comes to perfume, so it's exciting for me to finally buy something that's not quite mass-market! This one smells like creamy woods and is a really nice, sophisticated winter scent.

What have you been using and loving lately? Let me know in the comments!

Products marked * provided for review, which did not affect my opinion. For more information, see Disclosure Policy.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Micellar Water Dupes and Near-Dupes

More and more brands are jumping onto the micellar water cleanser bandwagon, with supplement company Swisse releasing one recently. Micellar waters are basically very mild soaps that are gentle enough not to require rinsing off - if you missed it, I explained how micellar waters work in this post.

Now that they've come out at a range of price points, I thought it might be handy to have a reference list of which ones might be a good cheaper alternative to your fave high end micellar water, based on the surfactant (soapy cleansing ingredient) in them.

As you can see, there are some similarities - most of the L'Oreal micellar waters use Poloxamer 184 as their main active ingredient (L'Oreal Skin Perfection Micellar Solution, Garnier Skin Naturals Micellar Cleansing Water, La Roche-Posay Physiological Micellar Solution, Lancôme Eau Micellaire Douceur, Yves Saint Laurent Toning & Cleansing Micellar Water, Vichy Pureté Thermale Calming Cleansing Micellar Lotion). However, since they're under the control of one company, it's likely that there are deliberate differences between products at different price points, even if they use the same actives e.g. the YSL one has to perform differently from the Garnier one.

There are other similarities too - the Bioderma Crealine/Sensibio H2O and Avene Micellar Lotion have the same active (PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides). There are a few which use completely different actives - the Swisse, Nuxe, and Yves Rocher versions use actives that don't appear in other formulas.

Of course, you can't predict how much of the surfactant there is in each product just from the ingredients list, and the other ingredients will make a difference too, but this will be a good starting point. Hope it helps some of you!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Lust Have It! July/August/September 2014 review

While I was away, Lust Have It! boxes were piling up on my doorstep, so I've finally gotten around to reviewing them now!


Ardell Self-Adhesive Lashes
Premium Spa Ultra Firming Body Balm
Designer Brands Nail Polish in Shimmer
Marsk Mineral Eyeshadow in Rich List
Aveda Botanical Kinetics Hydrating Lotion

This box wasn't bad - nice, wearable lashes, a nail polish that works well with a range of other colours (and really good for nail art), a wearable eyeshadow colour, and a generously sized tube of body cream. I'm actually quite pleased with this Aveda sample - it's the same size as other Aveda samples, but it's a reasonable size for face moisturiser, unlike for shampoo and conditioner (which have appeared in boxes before).


Marsk Eyeshadow Brush
Bioderma Crealine H2O
Essenzza Fuss Free Naturals Facial Cleansing Wipes in Cleanse + Refresh
Eleven Miracle Hair Treatment
Bioelixia Bodyshaper Stretch Mark Diminishing Cream

August's box was the Lust Have It! birthday box. It's a pretty good box - wipes and brushes are always welcome, the Eleven hair treatment is good for everything (and smells great), and the Bioderma micellar water is a very handy travel size. The one thing I'm really unexcited with is the Bioelixia cream - I'm just not convinced that it works.


Urban Skincare Co. Repair + Body Balm
Model Co Skincare Samples
Model Co Lip Lacquer Liquid Lipstick in Rich Red
Uriage Extra Rich Dermatological Cleansing Gel
The Cosmetic Kitchen Macadamia Wax Creme Highlighter
Glam by Manicare Express! 3 in 1 Nail Art Pen

This is an interesting box, with lots of little samples to try! I'm a huge Uriage fan so the cleansing gel is very welcome, and the Urban Skincare Co product smells amazing. The Model Co lipstick sounds great too (goes on like gloss, wears like lipstick, according to the box), although the skincare selection is a bit of a mixed bag - there's a harsh walnut-shell-containing scrub, a single facial wipe, a promising looking soothing oat-containing moisturiser and a serum high in vitamin C. The cream highlighter is a bit different from the norm - it's in a lip gloss-style tube, with a waxy texture. The Glam by Manicare pen is great, but I already own this one so I'll be passing it on. Overall, a very good selection!

Since July, all of the Lust Have It! boxes have come in sturdy pink mesh make-up bags. I'm a fan - they're handy and reusable, but I hope they switch it up soon because they're not very versatile (not as versatile as, say, a box or the old satin LHI bags).

Lust Have It! has improved a lot in the last few months, in my opinion, after a string of lacklustre boxes earlier this year. I hope this trend continues!

This product was provided for review, which did not affect my opinion. For more information, see Disclosure Policy.

Monday, 20 October 2014

If You Smoke, Your Future's Not Pretty

This post was sponsored by Queenland Health. For more information, see Disclosure Policy.

Now that we're in the 21st century, we all know smoking is bad for your health and gives you cancer - in fact, it's considered the single biggest preventable cause of death and disease. But because that doesn't happen until we're older, and we humans tend to ignore long-term risks (I know I certainly do!), so it's easy to convince ourselves that we can smoke one more and it won't make a difference.

Well, unfortunately - it does have an impact!

Along with the well-publicised long-term health effects (being unfit, lung cancer, heart disease, yellow teeth, bad breath), one of the biggest effects is on your appearance. And scarily, that occurs pretty early, so you could look a few decades(!) older by the time you're in your 30s. Tobacco smoke contains thousands of harmful chemicals which hit a whole heap of ageing mechanisms in your body:

- Tobacco smoke speeds up the production of an enzyme which destroys collagen in your skin, the scaffold that holds your cells up and keeps skin firm and elastic. This translates to wrinkles and saggy skin.

- Smoking also degrades elastin fibres in your skin which leads to additional sagging - eye bags, saggy boobs, lower lip lines.

- Vitamin A is also reduced by smoking - vitamin A has lots of great effects on skin.

- As well as making your teeth yellow, smoking encourages plaque and damages the gums, and makes your nails more prone to breaking.

If all this information isn't enough to convince you, Queensland Health are holding "make-under" sessions around Queensland this week. Make-up artists use their skills and a generous amount of latex to transform your face into a mock-up of how you might end up looking if you have a smoking habit. The results are shocking! Here's mine:

I was really shocked with the transformation! There's no way to accurately predict the exact effects of smoking on each individual, but this is a great wake-up call. I'm not a smoker, but after this transformation... I'm never smoking!

The next two make-under locations are Thursday October 23rd on the Sunshine Coast (Sunshine Plaza Maroochydoore) and Saturday October 25th in Brisbane (Westfield Garden City). The booths will be happening from 10 am - 4 pm. (They'll fix you up with a makeover afterwards so you don't have to walk around looking haggard.)

If you can't get to a booth, you can visit the campaign's virtual booth online (from anywhere in the world!), upload a pic and see what you look like after 10 or 20 years of a smoking habit

If you're a smoker and you'd like to quit, the good news is that all of these problems will improve from the moment you quit, and there are heaps of sources out there to help! Queensland Health has a great page full of information on quitting, a confidential, free telephone hotline, Quitline, which is manned by trained anti-smoking counsellors, and an app, QuitTracker, to help you keep track of your progress. Plus, think of all the money you'll save!

The If You Smoke site is located here, with additional facts on the dangers of smoking and helpful advice on quitting.  

If you're a Queenslander in Brisbane or the Sunshine Coast, check out the make-under booths this week (Thursday October 23rd at Sunshine Plaza Maroochydoore and Saturday October 25th at Westfield Garden City).

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