Monday, June 30

Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque Review

I’m ashamed to admit I hadn't tried Aesop products before Christmas last year, they always seemed too far out of my price range. In the end curiosity got the better of me. Not to mention, the scent that seems to permeate from their store, it smells so good, it was beckoning to me. Of course, the infamous Parsley Seed Masque was a must try, and I think quite a safe option for an Aesop noob such as myself.

Ingredients: water, kaolin, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, bentonite, alcohol denat, glycerin, lavandula angustifolia oil, oenothera biennis oil, rosa canina fruit oil, phanoxyethanol, ormenis multicaulis oil, carum petroselinum, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, linalool

What I love about this masque is the texture, it’s not a stiff, thick formula like other masks I’ve tried (Queen Helene Mint Julup Mask, I’m looking at you), it’s almost like a mouse, and it spreads across the face easily. You can layer the product on as much as you want, but if you want this masque to last as long as possible, use a small amount at a time. Regardless of quantity, it dries around the five to six minute mark. I do experience a burning sensation after applying this, but it’s mild, not like the agonizing burning I would get from other, cheaper clay masks. I love how it doesn’t leave my skin feeling really tight and dry, and although I didn't see much results on the first few tries, after using this each week for the past seven months I've noticed a huge reduction in blackheads around my forehead, cheeks and chin area. It seems to really help smooth out those pesky little lumps I have around my lower cheeks as well.

Retailing at around $39AUD it is a high end product, but truly is an amazing cleansing masque.  Although the price might seem quite steep for some, it is a year round product and I love how it doesn't strip or dry out my skin, even during the winter months when my face is more on the dry/combination side. Totally worth the splurge in my opinion!

Ever tried Aesop products before? What’s your favourite clay mask?

Wednesday, June 25

Holiday Reading

During the semester I am constantly reading set materials, but now that classes are over I finally have time to read for myself. I thought I would share a couple of books I've been keen to dig into these next few weeks:

Looking for Alaska by John Green
John Green has been everywhere recently, unavoidable to the point where I finally caved into the hype and purchased one of his novels. Looking for Alaska is about a young boy who transfers to boarding school to seek, what he describes in the words of Rabelais, as ‘a great perhaps’. Here he meets Alaska Young, a reckless and impulsive young girl who irrevocably steals his heart, but there’s more to her than meets the eye, and of course, chaos ensues. I’m already half way through this book, and I’m at the point where I know something is about to happen, something will change the fiber of the story, and at the moment it’s virtually impossible for me to put down.

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
For anyone who has read or heard of this book knows it’s in no way a light novel. It has a distinctive and unconventional structure that is apparently quite enthralling, but at the same time disorientating. House of Leaves is about a man, after moving into a new apartment, discovers a manuscript that was left behind by the former, and recently deceased, tenant. This manuscript turns out to be some sort of study about a documentary film which also follows the author’s slow dissent into madness. Everyone I have encountered who has read this book says it’s absolutely excellent, so I’m looking forward to an interesting read.

What are you guys reading at the moment? Are there any books you've been itching to read for quite a while now? Let me know below!

Tuesday, June 10

La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL 50+ Extreme Fluid Review

La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL 50+ Extreme Fluid, 50ml
Like every other skincare junky out there I was very excited to see La Roche-Posay finally in stock at my local pharmacies. At the time, after recently finding out the difference between physical and chemical sunscreens, I decided to try this out after reading a lot of rave reviews.

This sunscreen has a very runny, milky texture. La Roche-Posay was right in calling it a ‘fluid’. On the box it says it’s non-greasy and trace free, but unfortunately this wasn’t the case for my skin. The product didn’t seem to absorb at all, and sat on top of my skin making it feel quite thick and grainy. I didn’t think twice about it at first, a physical sunscreen is supposed to feel thick, sit on top of the skin and reflect UVA and UVB rays, but the slippery, slimy texture just didn’t seem to feel or look very great. And when you added makeup into the mix it was a complete disaster. Not even my most mattifying foundation lasted very long with this sunscreen beneath it.

Active Ingredients: Octocrylene, Titanium Dioxide, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Bemotrizinol, Ecamsule, Drometrizole Trisiloxane, Octyl Triazone

Before I purchased this, I read many reviews stating that it was a physical sunscreen (a sunscreen that contains physical UV filters that block and or deflect the sun’s rays). Correct me if I am wrong, but I am certain that there are only two ingredients that make a physical sunscreen: titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. The Anthelios XL only contains one physical ingredient, titanium dioxide, which gives extensive protection from UVA and UVB rays but not as much as Zinc oxide, which is more reliable at deflecting UVA rays than its counterpart. Just to note, UVA rays are the ones that give you wrinkles. For someone adamant about anti-aging, having a sunscreen that extensively blocks UVA rays is pretty important, so the lack of Zinc Oxide in the ingredients did surprise me.

I also read that this product was perfect for oily skin, but once again I was deceived. This product in no way worked well with my combination-oily skin. It even states on the box that it’s more suitable for normal to combination skin. I would think this product would be great for dryer types, so now that it’s winter I decided to test this out again. Even with slightly dryer skin I still had the same results. I also really dislike the scent. It’s atrocious, a really horrible chemically smell that linger all day long. I may be sitting in my room on the computer or something, then all of a sudden I’ll get a whiff of it and my entire body would just convulse in disgust. Ick. Even as I’m  describing it I can smell it.

Overall, I was pretty disappointed with this product. Okay, extremely disappointed, considering the minuscule 50ml bottle cost $30 AUD, but this was first time venturing out into the world of physical sunscreen, so I haven’t lost hope yet.

Have you had any bad experiences with sunscreens before? What’s your go-to sunscreen? Also, if you have any products you would like to recommend let me know!