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Wednesday, December 31

Kosmea Rose Hip Oil Review*

kosmea australian organic rose hip oil 10mls
Kosmea Certified Organic Rose Hip Oil, 10mls
Before I had extracted the final drops from my old Trilogy Rose Hip Oil, I was very fortunate to be sent the Kosmea Rose Hip Oil to trial. I've been curious about Kosmea's products for a while now, being certified organic, and an Australian owned brand, I thought it would be interesting to compare the differences of this oil to other foreign brand's that I've tried.

Ingredients: Rose Eglanteria Seed Oil

What I love about this product is that it's pure rosehip oil, free from harmful chemicals, colourants, fragrances, mineral oils and animal products.  Many Rosehip Oils out there on the market have a lot of extra ingredients packed into their product, which can be a bit of a hit and miss for some. This one is the purest I've come across on the market. Kosmea claim to extract the rose hip oil without heat or solvents like other brands, retaining all the anti-aging vitamins, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants that are naturally found in the plant. It's 100% USDA certified organic, and protects, repairs and adds radiance to your skin.

Comparison between the Kosmea & Trilogy Oils
This has to be the thickest rose-hip oil I've come across so far. A little goes a long way, and even though I only have a 10ml bottle it has lasted me three months. It has a very strong scent, and in the comparison photo above, you can see how much thicker and purer the oil is compared to Trilogy's which is very light in colour and texture. I've found that this is definitely a night-time only product for me. Because it is quite thick and has a very distinct orange tone it can make my skin look dark and oily. The oily texture has had no adverse effects on my acne or blackheads though. And obviously because it is a lot thicker, it does take a little longer for the product to absorb, but when it does it's barely noticeable.

There's been a huge change in the texture of my skin when I use this oil, it makes the skin feel incredibly smooth and silky, more so than any other brand I've tried so far.  I've also been using it on my legs and it really helps to heal my scars and sooth irritation from ingrown hairs and regrowth.

I definitely recommend this to anyone interested in trying out rose hip, and for anyone who is after a 'pure' oil that will help with scarring, texture, and anti-aging. It's pretty reasonably priced as well, about on par with Trilogy's oils (the 24mls is around $25). It's an Australian owned brand, and are currently stocked at David Jones stores around Australia.

(*This product was sent to me for reviewing purposes. Check my disclaimer for more information.)

Sunday, December 21

| Live Bright | A Kikki K Stationery Haul

The Kikki-K Leather Personal Planner in Lilac (also available in black and limited edition gold)
Hello, my name is Tegan, and I am a stationery addict. Initially, I was just after a new diary for 2015 until I came across this video. I immediately fell in love with the lilac personal planner, and soon ordered my very own. The cover is real leather, but my favourite part is the black lining on the inside, I don't know why, but I just love the contrast of the two colours together.

the kikki k personal planner in leather lilac
Inside the personal planner. As you can see I've already started decorating and reworking the interior.
The time planner may not be the most convenient diary to carry around with you all day, it's 243mm height x 205mm length x 40mm depth. However, it comes with heaps of room and features inside:
  • gorgeous, gold binder with magnetic closure
  • elastic pen loop (Kate Spade pen not included, obviously!)
  • 4 card holder slots, 2 large pockets, and 1 inner zip case
  • today notepad at the front with an A5 sized notepad at the back
  • a calander section including 18 blank monthly inserts
  • a to do list section
  • a section for meeting notes
  • 4 blank tabs with note pages
  • and three sticker sheets to help you oraganise and rework the tabs to your heart's content.
kikki k live bright quote card pack of 12
The Live Bright quote card pack.
I also bought the quote cards from the Live Bright series. It contains 12 beautiful quotes and designs, and comes with a wooden stand for you to prop up on your desk. They're also great for decorating the planner (as you can see by the front page already). To match, I also purchased the sticker book, mini sticker pack, and the diamond sticky notes.

kikki k live bright sticker book, mini sticker pack, and diamond shaped sticky notes
At this point, I might have gone a little overboard with the decorating, but I did get a couple of other things: two little dishes for storing jewelry and other little bits and bobs, and last but not least, the scented candle which just happens to have a lovely inspirational quote printed on it.

live bright jewelry tray, scented candle, and gold and white dish
I'm incredibly happy with my new time planner, although it's not the most convenient to carry around, I now have a place where I can have my calendar, to do lists, blog stuff, expenses, and fitness documents all in one place instead of everywhere else. Yup, I definitely went overboard this time, but I can't say I regret it. I also may have received 20% off (hohoho).

Have you guys spoiled  yourselves with anything this Christmas?


Tuesday, December 9

A Little Essie Nail Haul

essie nail polishes

During Priceline's last 40% off cosmetics sale I decided to pick up a few more Essie polishes. I may be going against the summer grain here, but these shades have been on my wishlist for a long time now, and looked too good to be ignored. 

essie nail polishes

Merino Cool is a gorgeous shade of grey with a tinge of purple, Sole Mate a deep plum, and Wicked, the vampiest of them all, is a very dark (almost black) red. It’s hard to pick a favourite because I honestly love them all. I will definitely be wearing Merino Cool a lot this summer. Sole Mate is probably the closest to my heart, it’s very similar to my much beloved Mrs O’Leary’s BBQ from OPI and it’s a kind of shade I like wearing all year round, no matter what the season.

Saturday, December 6

Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes Waterproof Mascara

lancome hypnose doll eyes waterproof mascara review
I had quite a shock at work the other day when, on a bathroom break, caught site of myself in the mirror. After only five hours I had already developed some serious panda eyes! With my top notch researching skills, I then proceeded to waste the rest of my break researching the best waterproof mascaras (and by top-notch skills I mean typing 'best waterproof mascara' into google). On every list I came across, Lancome's Hypnose range was always at the top. Even the lovely lady I spoke to at the Lancome counter claimed they had the best mascara's in the world (and the best selling). Those were some impressive claims, so I couldn't resist putting it to the test. 

lancome hypnose doll eyes mascara wand

Firstly, the packaging is lovely. Although it's plastic, the unique shapes gives it a very sleek, luxurious feel, and the exterior, adorned with the brand's iconic roses, is a nice touch. The mascara itself defines and lengthens the lashes, and leaves them with little to no clumps. The wand is the perfect vehicle for defining and lengthening the lashes. While the tip of the wand focuses on those pesky little lashes in the corners, the thicker part defines and extends the outer corners. Check out the photo's below:

lancome hypnose doll eyes mascara before and after
This is by far the best waterproof mascara I have ever used (and also the most expensive, but definitely worth it). It lasts all day long without any flaking or smudging, which is all you can really ask for. I usually prefer a little bit more volume, but I honestly don't mind with this one. If you are after something more volumising, Lancome's Hypnose Star & Drama sound like great options (it was very hard for me to decide between the three at the time), and they both also comes in a waterproof formula.

Tuesday, November 25

L'Oreal Colour Riche Extraodinaire Lipsticks

L'Oreal Colour Riche Extraodinaire Lipsticks in #101 Rose Melody (left) & #500 Molto Mauve (right)
I really love the look of wet, glossy, lips in the summer months, so I picked up two of the new L’Oreal Colour Riche Extraordinaire lipsticks in Molto Mauve (500) and Rose Melody (101). Because I totally needed more lip products. Surprisingly, L’Oreal have gone with the lipstick label here instead of lacquer, claiming they have substituted the stiff, waxy materials you usually find in lipsticks with micro oils. These micro oils apparently reveal ‘the full richness’ of colour pigments and help ‘reflect light for extraordinary depth and shine.’

#101 Rose Melody (top) & #500 Molto Mauve (bottom)
The lightest shade I purchased, Rose Melody, is a pinkie-peach colour and, Molto Mauve a light plum. I did notice the lighter shade was quite sheer, and took a couple of layers to build up some colour. I don't mind this, mainly because sheer lipsticks and glosses (especially light pinks) seem to sit better on my lips. The darker shade, Molto Mauve only needed one to two layers to give it the colour is does in the swatch above. L’Oreal were definitely spot on about the shininess. Both shades have a crazy amount of glittery particles to enhance their vibrancy, but they’re minuscule, and don’t detract from the overall smoothness of the formula.

The one thing I don’t like about these lipsticks is the texture. They’re thick, sticky, and transfer like crazy. But hey, that’s 90% of lipsticks for you. So don’t make the mistake of going out on a windy day with your hair down (like I did). Aside from this, the packaging is very sleek and also has a colour indicator built in on the side. The applicator is a (dare I say) furry sponge that's easy to use and control. They smell amazing; a tropical paradise in a bottle, and give that wet, glossy, finish that seem to be all the rage in summer.

Saturday, November 15

A Whole Lot of Empties 02

Yup, it's that time of the year again: spring cleaning time. I can't believe I've held onto all these empty bottles for so long. It just goes to show how long it takes me to get through some of these products. Anyway, the sooner I get into this, the sooner I can put all this in the rubbish bin.


Goodbye, my love. Well, not for long. My fourth bottle is already on the way. Yeah, I really love this product. This really helps balance, brighten, and clear up my skin.

This is another amazing product I am sad to see go. I was so surprised by this serum, the price, the brand, the name, I definitely didn't expect it to work miracles on my skin, but it did.

Garnier 2 in 1 Gentle Eye Makeup Remover
This is a really great, affordable eye make up remover. There isn't much to say about it, it does its job. It will easily remove thick or waterproof eyemakeup and its super cheap. I'm already onto my second bottle.

Laneige Sun Block Aqua SPF 35++
I really wanted to like this sunscreen. The formula is light and watery, it absorbs super fast, doesn't leave a white cast, it smells nice, and the packaging is really sleek. Unfortunately, it was a bit too greasy for my face, so i found myself using it more on my body. I got my money's worth and used it up to the last drop, but my search continues for facial sunscreen.
In my opinion, this is the best exfoliator of all time. It's done my skin so much good. This is my second bottle, and I will buy this again in a heartbeat.

I actually really liked this product. It was really moisturising but it didn't feel heavy on my skin, it also had the extra SPF15 which is nice, but it really was the scent that put me off. It smells like dish washing detergent. Also, there was no ingredients list on the packaging.

Laneige Hydra Eye Cream
Another great product from Lanaeige, but more suitable for dryer skin.

Ladykin Vanpir Dark Repair Cream
This was a great moisturiser, although I felt like the Whitening ampoule was more effective in brightening, combining the two worked wonders for my skin. I also really love the jar.

Skinfood Egg White Pore Mask
I was so upset when this ran out. One of my favourite clay masks of all time, I found it was really affective at minimising blackheads and tightening pores. It made a huge difference to my acne and I think I will always go back to this because it's so affordable as well.

Sukin Rosehip Oil
I love rose-hip oil, I've moved back to Trilogy since, but Sukin was definitely a great, cheaper alternative.

Botani Rescue Acne Cream
 Shouldn't it be acne rescue cream? Not rescue acne cream? No one wants to rescue their acne, they want to rescue their skin from the acne. Anyway, if you're after a natural spot killer, this is a pretty good one. It's quite horrifying when you first use it though. It's not a clear solution, it's a thick, smelly, gunky cream that you concentrate on yours spots in the evening. The only downside is that you can only use this at night. It's the equivalent of applying green toothpaste on your face. It also flakes, so if you don't compulsively sleep on your back you probably won't appreciate scraping the gunk off your pillow every morning.


Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum
A highly raved product that I really wanted to love, but unfortunately it just didn't suit my oily skin. I loved how it looked for the first 30 to 60 minutes but it just seemed to melt away after that, leaving my skin looking blotchy. I don't know why, but I find it so hard to hate on this product. It smells so nice, and it's such a pleasure to apply, and it looks so good…for the first 30 minutes. What is absolutely bizarre is that I really want to buy another one. I kept saying to myself, maybe today is the day it will work for me? I'm in denial.

Amazing mascara. I'm not usually one for clumpy, gluggy looking lashes, but I really liked this. It made my lashes look so much longer, thicker and more volumised. It also smells really good.

I'm on the fence with this mascara. I really loved it for a time, but since it's run out I've completely forgotten about it, which tells me I probably wont buy it again. It's good, but I like branching out when it comes to mascara. Maybe's it's because I just haven't found 'the one' yet?

L'oreal Volume Million Lashes (Waterproof)
Not bad, not bad at all. It dried up very quickly though. It defined the lashes nicely but didn't really give me any extra 'oomph' or volume that I was looking for. I couldn't help but feel quite bare when I used this, a problem I find with many waterproof mascaras.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer
I don't really have much to say about this primer. It's a primer. Would I buy it again? Probably not, there's nothing really special or unique about it, and I think it's ridiculously overpriced for what it is. Since, I've found a far cheaper alternative that looks and feels exactly the same. It's by NYX and you can get it from Target for $10.


One of my favourite dry shampoo's. Scent it great but it is strong and be overwhelming at times. Also, for the amount of product you get, it's quite expensive.

You get what you pay for with this dry shampoo. Surprisingly, not the worst I have ever tried though. The Tresseme dry foam took the cake for that title, but this one came pretty close. The tint stained my fingers and forehead, and made my hair look and feel even greasier. The scent is the only good thing about it. It smells nice.

Nail Stuff

The Faceshop Quick Sponge Nail Remover & Innisfree Sponge Nail Remover
I love these nail sponges. They make fixing and painting your nails so much easier for us lazy girls who like to multitask at the computer or on our phones. There's not much so say about these two brands, they both get the job done, and that is that.

Monday, October 13

Trilogy Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+ Review

I've been an avid user of Rosehip oil for years now. It was the first facial oil I ever used, and it's what got me into the oil trend to begin with. For those who don't know, Rosehip oil is filled with essential fatty acids (like omega-3 or 6) which help improve skin tone, elasticity, fine lines, wrinkles, heal scarring, stretch marks, and also helps to nourish and protect the skin against free radical damage (such as pollution and sunburn).  It works wonders for acne, eczema and sun burn as well. It's not just exclusive to your face either, you can use it on any part of your body.

Ingredients: Rosa Canina (rosehip) seed oil, solanum lycopersicum (tomato) seed oil (and) caprylic/capric triglyceride (and) vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry) seed oil (and) helianthus annuus seed oil (and) tocopherol, Lycopene , Euterpe oleracea fruit oil , Avena sativa kernel extract

Trilogy have stepped up their game with this oil. For the Antioxidant+ they've added a couple more ingredients for added skin benefits: tomato, cranberry, Acai palm seed oil, with oat kernel extract. All of these naturally derived ingredients help to brighten the skin, soften, soothe irritation, acne, and help prevent and correct UV damage.

The Antioxidant+ is quite thick but absorbs into the skin really quickly. On the box it says it has a non-greasy formula, but it's not entirely. Unless you slather a heap of this stuff onto your face, it doesn't feel or appear uncomfortably oily, which is a big plus. It doesn't smell any different from their original rosehip oil either.

It took some time to see improvements when using this on my face, just like other organic products I have tried, patience and perseverance is key. I didn't see improvements over night but after a week I noticed scars were diminishing a lot faster, and the acne around my cheeks had improved. I did see miraculous results on my legs. Shaving is a huge pain for me, and picking the right razor is almost impossible. All those soothing honey, aloe vera strips they put  above the blades just irritate the hell out of my legs. I get really nasty rashes and it itches like crazy, so after shaving I use rosehip oil which I found soothed and relieved my dry, irritated skin.

This is an all-purpose product that I love to have around.  It doesn't matter how many other facial oils or serums I have in my drawer, there will always be a Rosehip oil in there. When your skin goes south it's nice to fall back on something that you know won't irritate your skin or make it worse.

Friday, August 29

| Memebox Review | The Iope Super Box

A few weeks ago the one and only Beauty Wolf blogged about a particular sale they were having at Memebox. For anyone who doesn't know, Memebox is an online Korean beauty-box store. I had never heard of them before but decided to purchase the Iope Super Box they had on sale. The Iope Super Box included 6 full sized products, and all for the price of $80 AUD. Most of these products are around $50-$70 each, so savings wise, that's math I can't do without a calculator. It's about $270 actually, but anyway, this is what I received:

Air Cushion XP SPF50 PA+++ No. 21 (refill included) RRP $48
This is Iope best-selling product, packed with highly concentrated mineral water and beneficial nutrition such as Vitamin B5, E, and P, this air cushion works to cool and moisturise reddened, stimulated skin. It looks and feels like a very luxurious product, it smells heavenly, and I cannot wait to test this out.

Essential Moisture Relief Cream - RRP $87
A light-textured cream suitable for summer, this product soothes, moisturises, and tightens dried-up, worn-out skin. Scent and texture wise, this reminds me a lot of a the Laneige Sleeping Pack (which I will love until the end of time). So not a bad first impression on Iope's part.

This serum boosts hydration, preventing any possible dehydration after cleansing. It also works to maintain the right balance on your skin by strengthening the natural healing power and moisture lock-in capability.

Essential Tone & Wrinkle Care Eye Cream - RRP $86
Enriched with shea butter and jojoba oil, this eye cream will fill in fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and create a protective layer to prevent further sagging and wrinkle formation.

This thick, yet quickly absorbing facial oil creates a thick, protective later over the skin for a softer, smoother skin texture. Organic argan oil and macadamia oil delivers deep nourishment and hydration to the skin. This reminds me a lot of the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery concentrate, it has the same heady lavender scent. Because I haven't experienced any severe break-outs yet, I think this is a far superior oil to Kiehls'.

Lip & Cheek 01 in Pink Rose RRP $42
Last but not least, is the dual lip and cheek compact. The colour is quite strong, but it blends out beautifully. I love the packaging of this one, it feels so sleek! It also has a mirror inside!

Overall my experience with Memebox was really good. As much as I despise shipping costs I found the extra $5 very reasonable, and was pleasantly surprised when this box showed up at my door-step exactly two weeks from the purchase date. A lot of my parcels from South Korea can take between three to five weeks to arrive. Even though this wasn't a mystery box I would love to try one in the future. I used to be a Bella Box subscriber, and although I enjoyed receiving mystery boxes, I was never overly impressed with what I received. Memebox is completely different though. Instead of receiving a mix bag you can choose the box you want: hydration, collagen, whitening, body care, brow care…the list goes on. You can also purchase 'superboxes' that usually contain a whole lot of full sized products (like the Iope one) for a little bit more. So if you're a Korean skincare fanatic like me, and you're interested in trying out new products, definitely check out

Tuesday, August 19

Bourjois Colour Boost Chubby Sticks Review

Okay, I really need to stop buying new lip products. My lipstick tray is overflowing, but I still can't seem to restrain myself when I see a good sale. I picked these two up at Priceline when they were having a $10 deal on all Bourjois lip products. Not being a huge fan of neon pinks and oranges, I went with the two darkest shades in the collection:  Red Island (05) and Plum Russian (06).

When I swatched these in store, the first thing I noticed was the colour; these guys are bursting with it. Bourjois were right to label them as colour 'boosting', they really do have quite a vibrant and radiant shine. I personally love the glossy finish as well, while it gives you the pigmentation of a lipstick, it still offers a certain amount of hydration. I found the '10h comfort and hydration' label very doubtful, and wasn't really surprised when it didn't even last a quarter of that time (I have very dry lips though). The gloss only lasts for a few hours on my lips before it needs a touch up, the tint remains for some time though, so sometimes I just apply lip balm on top. 

Even though they are about twice the size of a regular lipstick, I actually prefer carrying these around in my bag. Mainly because they're so much easier to find. They do take the effort of a lipstick though. I can't just whip these out of my purse and apply them without the guidance of a mirror, I'll end up with colour all over my face. It's easy to forget how pigmented these are because they melt into your lips like butter. Additionally, the formula is also waterproof and contains a sun protection factor of 15 which I think is great. Not enough lip products these days contain SPF in my opinion, and even our lips need protecting from the sun.

Thursday, August 7

Iope Complete Care CC Cream Review

Iope Complete Care CC Cream in 02, Natural Beige
When I was in Melbourne I managed to pick up my first ever CC cream. I was after the Hera one initially, but after testing it out in store I found it way too moisturising for my liking, so I went with Iope instead, and I’m glad I did! Iope’s Complete Care CC Cream comes in two shades, clear beige (01) for fair pink toned skin, and natural beige (02) for fair ladies (like myself) with yellow tones. As with all CC creams I didn’t expect much coverage from this one (or any at all, really) but I was pleasantly surprised by the results. 

It evens out skin tone, reduces redness around my cheeks and the eczema around my nose and brightens tremendously. It’s not enough to cover dark circles and red spots however, and no amount of building will change that. I like that it doesn’t feel thick or heavy on the skin either, it feels like your skin. It’s also quite moisturising, but doesn’t make my skin look oily until the 3 hour mark, which is when the product starts to break down. So it’s not very long lasting, but a primer would definitely help it last longer. Plus, it has a sun protection factor of 35++. Can’t complain about that.

There is one major thing that really ticks me off about Iope (Laneige are also guilty of this!), they don’t list the full ingredients list on their packaging! For someone who may be allergic or sensitive to certain ingredients this is a huge problem. They do include a pamphlet that takes note of a couple of key ingredients, but how much and in what form?! Gah!

So aside from that, I am pretty impressed with this CC cream. I’m not sure whether I’ll try another one in the near future though. I did start at the top of the market with Iope, so I have a distinct feeling it will only be downhill from here, but if you have a favourite or any you would like to suggest let me know below!

Friday, August 1

Cure Natural Aqua Gel Review

I haven’t had much luck with exfoliators over the years, but there’s always one product I seem to go back to: Cure’s Natural Aqua Gel. This is a water based exfoliator that is gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin. This product is insanely popular in Japan; apparently one bottle is sold every 12 seconds over there! Crazy! Once you've tried it, you’ll understand why.

Ingredients: water, glycerin, acrylates crosspolymer, dicocodimonium chloride, steartimonium bromide, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, ginkgo biloba leaf powder, rosemary leaf extract, butylene glycol, c10-30 alkyl acrylate. 

As you can see from the ingredients list this product contains no artificial colouring, fragrances, alcohol or preservatives, and contains natural plant extracts from rosemary, ginko and aloe vera. Also, it doesn’t contain any irritants that may trigger or irritate sensitive and acne prone skin. The formula itself is just a clear, thick gel. No harsh beads, no fragrance, or colour. When it comes in contact with your skin it starts to turn to water, and once you start rubbing the product in these squishy grains start forming between your fingers. Hello, dead skin cells! 

This gel is really easy to use, no harsh rubbing or scrubbing is needed and it rinses off without a trace. As far as the appearance of pores and acne are concerned, don’t expect instant improvement. While my skin felt rough beforehand, it feels very smooth after I use this, and a lot brighter too. What I love about these exfoliating gels is that they don’t irritate my acne. Harsh scrubs tend to open up and irritate spots, making it harder for them to heal quickly. Gels allow the skin time to heal, as well as sloughing off the existing dead skin. When I substitute my harsher exfoliators for this twice a week, acne scars and spots seem to heal a lot faster and it doesn’t leave your skin feeling dry and taut.

There is one thing I find mildly annoying: the packaging. After a while the gel seems to harden and block the pump dispenser, so I end up having to unscrew the lid to get the product out, and I end up using up more of the product because of it.

Price of Cure Aqua Gel has skyrocketed since I first begun purchasing it from Once upon a time I could buy it for $30 (sigh, those were the days…), now it retails at around $50 AUD. Luckily the internet is a vast and magical place and I've definitely seen it cheaper. 

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?

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!

Tuesday, June 3

| Beauty Wishlist | June '14

One little purchase online, and boom, I’m back into haul mode. I’ve already made wishlists for each of my favourite online outfits, but here’s a condensed version with all the products I’m craving most this month:

1. 3CE Blush in 'Baby Chaou'
I've been on the hunt for a pale pink blush for quite a while now. Nars's Sex Appeal was the only one I’ve found that came close to the shade I wanted, but for a hefty price. Now I’ve found a second! For $15 I thought this could be worth a try.

2. 3CE Nail Varnishes Matt Top Coat & VL04
3 Concept Eyes are dominating my wishlist this month. This time I’m after their nail varnishes. There’s a gorgeous dark red I would love to get my hands on and they also have a matt top coat. I also love their sleek packaging, which looks very much like, if not exactly the same, as Butter London.

3. The Body Shop Shiso Whitening Serum
Thank god for whitening serums. Seriously, I don’t want to know what my skin would look like without them, and since my current serum is about to run dry, I’d rather not find out. This Shiso White Serum isn’t at the top of my list, but I was the most curious about it. It’s rare to see a whitening product in Australia, especially in a store like The Body Shop. Laneige’s Whitening Ampoule and

4. Lush Dream Cream Body Lotion
I tried this on my hands in store once, and oh my god it felt absolutely amazing. It smells great too! I’m not sure how it would deal on my sensitive legs, but my lord…the smell. To die for.

5. Iope Intensive Conditioning Essence
Just like the SKII and Missha this Iope Essence is supposed to help re-condition the surface of your skin. I absolutely loved Missha’s 1st Treatment Essence, it cleared up my acne, minimised pores, regulated sebum production and brightened my skin, and this one is supposed to be very similar if not better.

6. Bumble & Bumble Straight Blow Dry Cream
I've been getting pretty sick of having to straighten my hair all the time. So sick of it I've actually just stopped doing it (man I’m lazy). I would love to find a product that I could use with my blow dryer that gives me a semi-straight, glossy look. Is this too much to ask? Am I reaching for the stars here?

7. Annie's Way Arbutin-Hyaluronic Acid Mask
This product went straight onto my wishlist as soon as I watched Bubz Beauty rave about it in her April Favourite’s video. It’s a whitening and moisturising mask that apparently also helps with fine lines, acne and blackheads!

Monday, May 26

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Review

Houglass Ambient Lighting Powder in 'Luminous Light'
Last Christmas I sold my soul life savings away for this gorgeous looking face powder. When I walked out of Mecca Maxima with this in hand and a gaping hole in my wallet I had a little internal meltdown. What have I done? Who spends $60 on a shimmery face powder? Well, I did, and so do a lot of other people, but for me it’s a rare occurrence. But as soon as I got home and unwrapped it all my regrets flew out the window.

I had been craving an Hourglass product for a while now. I love the look of their products, and this powder is no exception. The packaging is divine. The powder looks as soft as a pillow in its casing, and the product itself is quite smooth and picks up easily. The shimmer is very fine and, as the beautician at Mecca Maxima mentioned to me, it can be used all over the face for a natural glow. I've been treating this like a highlighter, so I've been concentrating this product over my cheekbones and t-zone, and I think it gives a really nice glow on top of my regular foundation.

Have you tried any hourglass products before? Have any on your wishlist?

Tuesday, May 20

Benton Snail Bee & Aloe Skincare Line Review

Benton has been a pretty hyped up brand in the Korean-skincare blogosphere this last year, and finally after months of testing and deliberating I can finally present this review. Seriously, it took me five months. It took me so long that Benton have already released a whole new range of products to their line! Before I go into the individual reviews, so I don't repeat myself too much, I just wanted to note some key ingredients that are present in all these products, unless otherwise stated of course:

Aloe Leaf Water
Instead of purified water Benton have used aloe leaf water instead. Aloe is an anti-inflammatory and is great for soothing and treating damaged and acne prone skin. It’s very hydrating, and contains natural anti-aging properties to help delay fine lines and wrinkles.

Snail Secretion Filtrate
Researches have found that, structurally, snail skin is very similar to human skin, and contains compounds (glyconconjugates) which are packed with proteins, peptides, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories to help repair damaged skin. Some of these properties include: Allantoin, which stimulates cell regeneration, sooth irritated skin and moisturises. Collagen and Elastin, which gives the skin 'bounce'. Loss of collagen means a reduction in moisture and elasticity, which basically means 'hello wrinkles'. Collagen production slows down a lot faster in women than men, and this is another factor as to why we age faster than they do (damn them).

*None of these products contain parabens, alcohol or artificial fragrances or colourings, and just like most South Korean brands, Benton do not test on animals.

Aloe BHA Skin Toner
This is probably the nicest toner I have ever used. But there's nothing 'toner'ish about it. It doesn't strip or tighten the skin, its main purpose is to soothe and moisturise which is exactly what it does. My skin feels so soft after using this. Aside from the two key ingredients, aloe leaf water and snail secretion, this toner also has some sasylic acid in it to help fight blemishes. I definitely noticed any spots I had reduced greatly while using this toner. The only negative thing about this is the 'spritz'. It’s more of a squirt than a spray, so I've resolved to use the palms of my hands to pat this on my face.

Snail Bee High Content Essence
This essence can be used after the BHA toner, or in place of it. It comes out as a gel, and absorbs into the skin almost instantly. It's not very moisturising, as the packaging suggests, but it makes the skin feel super soft and supple. This essence contains a more concentrated form of snail secretion to help fight acne and aging as well. I don’t know about the aging part, but I feel my skin has a lot more elasticity or ‘bounce’ after I use this.

Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel
This is the third step in the benton range and look, it's another gel! This one can be used as a moisturiser, and it definitely lives up to its claims for providing sufficient moisture. I actually found this gel too moisturising for my face, and ended up using it to soothe my sensitive legs after shaving, so I guess you could say it's a multi-purpose product.

Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream
Finally we've come to the final product and it's a steam cream! I've never tried a steam cream before, and for anyone who doesn't know, don't expect a dramatic poof of steam when you first open it, it's just the process in which the formula is emulsified. The cream itself looks quite light and watery but it's extremely moisturising, and can feel somewhat thick and sticky on the skin for a while afterwards. Oily skin, steer clear! This is a moisturiser for dryer skin types. I had a lot of problems with this cream in summer when my skin was oozing gallons of oil every minute, it was just too heavy and I suffered a lot of breakouts, but in the cooler seasons (when my skin can get quite dry) this works amazingly! Not only does it keep the dryness away but it also fights acne and makes my skin feel incredibly soft and bouncy. However, the heavy after feeling may be a drawback for some people. Another problem I found, just like the toner, is the packaging. I've found the bottom of my tub has shattered. It hasn't broken apart yet, but I have to be extremely careful with how I handle it. Has anyone else had this problem? I guess it doesn’t really matter anymore because Benton have already fixed the problem by switching the tub for a tube, which I prefer in my opinion, it's a lot more hygienic.

For someone who cares a lot about aesthetics, I love the minimalist design and even though the bottles are plastic they do look very sophisticated. The pump bottles are very handy, hygienic and disperse the perfect amount of product, minus the toner, which just seems to go everywhere. I really enjoyed this range, there was a little bit of disappointment with the Aloe Gel & Steam Cream but overall I had really good results, but it definitely took a while for me to see the benefits. So if you are thinking of purchasing these products, don’t expect to see life changing results overnight.

Friday, May 16

The Dry Shampoo Smack-Down

There's something incredibly tedious about washing your hair everyday. If you don't have fine, oily hair, please take this time to be grateful, because it really does feel like a curse sometimes. Thankfully, we live in a time where this magical product called 'dry shampoo' exists. Sometimes I just can't be bothered washing my hair everyday, and this is why I turned to dry shampoo. Here's a quick overview of some of the ones I've tried, the good and the bad.

No 1. Lee Stafford (for dark, oily hair) - $15 AUD
This is the most recent one I've purchased and at the moment I'm really impressed with it. It smells amazing, brings volume to my roots, and the tint doesn't stain my skin or go all over the place. It is on the pricier side, especially for 150mls, it goes quickly but I find it very effective at keeping my hair grease-free for most of the day.

No 2. Klorane (with oat milk) - $13
This is my favourite of them all. Klorane gives the most lift to my roots, and has a very light scent that doesn't make your head hurt. The only downside is that it leaves a very white cast. Better for light hair but not dark.

No 3. Klorane (with nettle, for oily hair)- $15
This is another favourite of mine, great oil absorption, lifts roots for volume, and keeps my hair looking fresh all day long. Great for oily hair, but like it's predecessor, it does make you look like you’re going grey. I avoid sun and spotlights like the plague when I use this.

No 4. Toni & Guy Cleanse DS - $16
I couldn’t help but feel a little cheated with this one. It comes in a large bottle, which seemed great to me considering the price, but all the bottles picked up felt half empty. It didn't seem to do much for my hair either. It did nothing for my oily roots except make them feel a little crispy, and there was no volume at all. It smells like every other Toni & Guy product, and it's nice enough, but it does linger, and I found myself getting sick of it really quickly.

No 5. Batiste - $10
This is another great drugstore dry shampoo, its cheap, it does the job and comes in a variety of scents and shades, the most from any brand available here in Australia. The standard formulas can look a little grey on dark hair though, so I make sure to use it in moderation.

No 6. Polished London - $3
You get what you pay for, I guess. This did nothing. If anything, it made my hair greasier. It smells nice, the nicest smelling dry shampoo I've tried, and it is tinted for darker hair, but alas, that's the extent of its virtues.  To use it up I've been using a little on top of the more 'whiter' ones. I would definitely recommend not wearing white while using this because the tint goes everywhere. You can see how messy it is through the orange cap.

No 7. Cedel (for dark hair) - $8
This cedel tint is okay, just okay. It keeps my hair slick free all day but it doesn’t give much oomph to my roots and the tint tends to end up all over my wrists instead of my head.

There's a lot of dry shampoos on the market at the moment, and it can get a little overwhelming, so I hope this post helps. Until next time!