Friday, August 30, 2013

Lush Shower Gel - Honey I washed the kids

Lush is famous for their shower gels. With Snow Fairy coming in at Christmas for a limited time only, naturally it was the only one I ever took an interest in...and I decided to set my heart on getting it in February back in 2012 (just after it became unavailable).

While I waited an entire year I decided to fill the gap where Snow Fairy sat (despite even having ever tried it at the time!) with the substitute 'Honey I washed the kids.' I actually went into the Lush store to buy the soap version but it was sold out and I was offered this. 'Why not?' I thought, you can't go wrong with anything honey flavoured!

It turns out you can, you can go very wrong. I don't know what it is about this but I really don't like it.

I don't quite understand why I have been unable to warm to this - it smells identical to honey and has the same beautiful texture as Snow Fairy but I just can't stand it. I decided to pass it on to my Mum to see what she thought about it, and despite being the kind of person who normally loves these kind of things, she wasn't a fan either.

I don't understand! Why don't I like a natural, sweet smelling, honey flavoured shower gel? All of these factors are ones that I would normally adore! Perhaps it is the sheer intensity of the fragrance that I find off putting, for it certainly is strong, but whatever it is I much prefer the sickly sweet artificial smell of Snow Fairy.

One thing that I do love about this is the packaging. Lush's basic, earthy approach is so effective and really catches the eye. It supports their organic, natural approach to their products and looks brilliant.

As for the shower gel itself, it works like a charm, lathers up well and your skin feels completely clean and refreshed after the shower.

At $8.50 this isn't too expensive, but I personally wouldn't buy this again because of the fragrance. Having said that, I know that many don't appreciate Snow Fairy (which I love) so in the end whether or not you buy this will be determined solely by your taste. Make sure you give this a good whiff before you hand over the cash!

I give this 4 out of 10.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway here.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

NOTD - FOA Glitterati Polish in Dancing Queen

It seems that the only nail polishes I ever use these days are FOA ones, but they are just so darn good!

Today's NOTD features one of the highly popular Glitterati polishes, Dancing Queen and a Rubi Polish in Purple Haze as a base.

Let's start with the Rubi polish. There is not one thing I could recommend about the Rubi polishes, they are simply awful. They do not last on the nails, they chip instantly, I had to apply 4 coats to get the polish opaque it was streaky and watery. The only remotely nice thing about the Rubi polishes are the bottles - a direct rip off from OPI.

As for the FOA polish, I am highly impressed. Normally I have lots of trouble getting an even glitter payoff across the entire nail and 3 or 4 coats are required for a decent amount of glitter. With this polish it took one swipe to get the glitter look achieved in the photos as it is so glitter dense. It doesn't take too long to dry, lasts an acceptable amount of time and doesn't cost a fortune. I am highly impressed, although the removal process is hell and takes a horrendous amount of time to get this polish off (as do all glitter polishes).

I quite liked this polish with a lavender background. I think almost all colours would work, but next time I might go a bright red!

Don't forget to enter my giveaway here.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Travel Times 5

When I was in Cambodia we were able to take a little boat ride down the Tonle Sap River to see all of the floating villages. There are literally floating villages aligning each side of the river and those living there rely on the river for a living. I was astounded by their way of life, and I only saw the tiniest glimpse of it! We passed a floating school, church, restaurant, supermarket, timber yard and apparently there was even a floating pig farm! 

Floating supermarket

Don't forget to enter my giveaway here!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Nude by Nature Soft Focus Illuminator

Illuminator. Perhaps the least used makeup product I own. Even though I think it is absolutely gorgeous and when applied well makes such a difference to an overall makeup look, my laziness or lack of time often overtakes and I find it left in the back of my makeup draw collecting dust.

But not for much longer! I've decided to get more use out of this beautiful product, starting with a long overdue review!

I was lucky enough to win this as part of a giveaway prize, held by the lovely Sophie from Born to Buy. Being the first Nude by Nature product that I would ever own, I was quite excited to have it as an addition to my collection. Even more exciting was that it was an illuminator of a golden based tone and in liquid form. Could it be any more ideal? I think not.

This illuminator is stunning. It is so beautiful. It is, as mentioned, a golden illuminator with slight peachy orange/pink tones to it. I love the texture of this product - not too thin that it is painfully runny, but not too thick that it is difficult to work with. It has a fine shimmer running through it, as well as (unfortunately) the occasional larger glitter particle. This is one of those products that, although looks stunning, must be used sparingly and in the right places! When it is used well it picks up the light and creates this incredible glow. Ahhh, I love this!

The packaging is gorgeous, with the brown tones of text and background with the flowery pattern behind. Nude by Nature hasn't seemed to have stepped a foot wrong with the appearance of their products.

This has a decent lasting power, making it through the whole day, although I find that it 'moves' over the face a little (largely due to the way I touch my face all the time I would imagine) and it ends up in places it isn't meant to be. For a glittery product, that can end up being a little bit of a problem.

I like to apply this with my fact, I think it would be really difficult to use with a brush. Fingers give you more control and blending power! This has a slight scent, though nothing that stands out, and smells quite fresh.

I love that this golden, warm toned illuminator is so easy to use and can be applied flawlessly. As $22.95, admittedly it isn't the cheapest option out there but my lord it is beautiful!

I give this 8/10.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway here!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Michika Complexion Synergist Rejuvenating Anti-Fatigue Facial Mask

Facial mud masks are not something I enjoy. In fact, I dislike them so much that they made it on to my well received "Beauty things I hate" post. As much as I hate to admit it, they do work remarkably well though, hence why I continue to use them.

Cloth masks, however, are something that I have never tried, so when I received an email about the opportunity to review the Michika cloth masks I was really excited! I couldn't wait to see how a cloth mask compared to their horrid mud mask cousins.

For my first cloth mask experience, I am impressed. I do not have the same hatred for these that I do with mud masks, in fact I am willing to go as far to say that I...enjoyed using it! Incredible!

Within this lovely box of goodies can be found 5 cloth masks, sealed in little silver bags soaking in magic - or at least a whole assortment of vitamins and antioxidants that equate to magic.

According to the back of the box, "Complexion Synergist is a one step easy treatment that rejuvinates, rehydrates and refreshes even the driest and most dull skin. Complexion Synergist works as 3 in 1: a moisturiser, toner, boosting serum and protecting the skin with a powerful shield of antioxidants."

I am a huge fan of this, because it worked like an absolute charm for me.

Basically what you do is you take it out of the little packet and enjoy how beautifully cold it is as you slap it on and meld the edges to the curves of your face. Try and get every bit of your skin covered, and if you are lucky and have a spare twenty minutes to spare, lie down and just relax with it on. If you are like me and have a backlog of blog posts to write, just put the eye flaps down and carry on with your work (although I wouldn't recommend putting yourself in situations where others might see you, it could be a frightening sight!). Wait a blissful 20 minutes then peel the mask off, rubbing in the excess serum and marvelling at how amazing your skin feels. This does have a strong scent, a fresh 'plant' based kind of smell, and I liked it.

I applied this on a Saturday morning and I am glad I did because I found that it is so super duper moisturising that it feels quite heavy on the skin, even after having rubbed it in. I suggest that although it may be a little inconvenient, use this on a day where you aren't planning on wearing makeup because you can avoid washing it off and let it spend the whole day soaking in and giving your face the most intense moisture refill it will ever have. I have been struggling with dry and flaky skin, but after this it was so plump and refreshed.

A week later and my skin was in pristine condition. Though I can't give 100% of the credit to these masks, I know they contributed to my blemish free, soothed and moisturised skin.

If you are a fellow mud mask hater or just looking for a darn good face mask, then I would suggest giving this a try. Yes, you can look a little silly and it does go on for longer than most of my 10 minute masks, but it feels so good and works a charm.

For $7.90 (the current special!) there is no reason not to give these a try! If you are interested check out their website here.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway here!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

*CLOSED* Giveaway - Revlon & Australis lip and nail products!

It's YouReview's 2 year anniversary and therefore, giveaway time! I thought I would buy some of my favourite products to giveaway, so I included my favourite shades of the Revlon lip butter and Kissable Balm Stain. I also found some other cool bits and pieces to include in the prize - I hope you like it!

It is international however I am aware that you can't send nail polish to some countries from Australia. If you know that is you, I am sorry but you won't be able to enter.

- Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic
- Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie
- Australis Parisian Pretty Gift Set
          - Mint condition lip gloss in Meow with your mind
          - Nail Colour in Sinfully Sweet
          - Nail Colour in Today's News
          - "Love" earrings
- Australis Colour Inject Mineral Lipgloss in Bellydance
- B.liv skin samples: Shrink and tighten serum, Submerge me moisturiser and Off with those Heads blackhead gel

Total value: $76.70

- It is an international giveaway however be aware that I cannot send nail polish from Australia to some countries. If you win and I cannot send the prize to you because of this, a new winner will be drawn.
- You must be a GFC follower of this blog to enter
- Those under 18 please get permission to enter as you will have to supply your address for me to post it to you should you win!
- All of the products in this giveaway are brand new and purchased by myself
- I am not responsible for any loss or damage that may occur in the mail
- If the winner does not respond within 7 days after I send them an email, a new winner will be drawn
- This giveaway closes at Midnight on the 20th of September 2013
- To enter, follow the prompts on the Rafflecopter widget

If you choose to promote this giveaway on your blog, whether it be in a post or in your sidebar, choose one of the pictures - either the one with the fireworks at the beginning of this post, or the one below with all the cute little insects! I couldn't decide which was my favourite! Please link the photos to this post.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Get in quick...someone's got their eye on something!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Travel Times 4

Ta Prohm
I would do just about anything to be back at the Temples of Angkor exploring all the incredible temples and their secrets! The photo above was in my favourite temple, Ta Prohm - which coincidentally was the one where the film Tomb Raider was shot...a film I have not seen. It was stunning - all the trees had taken over the stone and it looked so unreal and magnificent.

The Bayon temple was another cool one, full of carved faces of the King. Lastly was Ankor Wat, the largest and most famous...home of the steepest set of stairs I have ever seen too!

Angkor Wat

Bayon Temple

Angkor Thom

Angkor Thom

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Arbonne RE9 Advanced Regenerating Toner

My experiences in the past with toners are not good. Think intense oil stripping, skin peeling and red blotch inducing kind of experiences. It was for that reason that I decided to do away with a toner from my skincare routine, and stick with an assortment of mismatched cleansers, moisturisers, serums and oils. It worked remarkably well.

But then I went overseas for a couple of weeks and my skincare went out of the window, and I found myself returning with clusters of pimples on each cheek, a pretty unsightly look I tell you!

Around the same time I was contacted regarding Arbonne's skincare line, RE9 Advanced. I was sent a toner to try and here are my thoughts!

First up is the packaging. You can tell from the moment you set eyes on this that it is expensive (and it is!). Classy it its middle name and even though I really don't like orange much, this makes me love it. Complete with gold lettering, this is sophistication at its finest!

The product is unlike other toners I have used in that it comes in a spray bottle. Being the terribly lazy person that I can be at times, I failed to go out and buy suitable devices to apply this with (namely those cotton wipe things) and instead used a folded up tissue. It worked just fine.

I use a couple of sprays of this before bed each night following my cleanser. It is refreshing, smells quite pleasant - almost (almost) a little fruity - and most importantly, doesn't leave my skin resembling the Sahara desert. It feels fresh and as though it is really getting in there and cleaning your skin out, but doesn't strip my face bare...and for that I am an enormous fan.

Sheri from Behind the Frames also completed a review on this product and Mishelle and Sleep and Water commented saying how frustrating it was that Arbonne didn't have a list of ingredients in the toner on their website. Well ladies, you are in luck because I painstakingly typed out the ingredients just for you. You might think that being the Chemistry student that I am, it wasn't as bad as you might imagine. You were wrong, it was every bit as awful as it looks! Haha!

Aqua/Water/Eau, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Glycerin, Isoceteth-20, Polysorbate 80, Laminaria, Digitata Extract, Betula Alba Leaf Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Hypericum Perforatum Extract, Nasturtium Officinale Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Thioctic Acid, Butylene Glycool, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Caprylic/Capric Tryglyceride, Polyamino Sugar Condensate, Stearamine, Urea, Lecithin, Sodium PCA, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Limonene

For those of you like me whom to which that all means nothing, I trust that it has all the magical vitamins and antioxidants that it claims to have, and that I am now one step closer to beautiful skin. I will however note that being the biology lover that I am, the ingredient 'Urea' sent some alarm bells ringing - (urea is the primary component of urine) but apparently heaps of skincare products have it in them and that it is good stuff for the skin. Hmmm!

All up, I love this toner and it has become yet another mismatched addition to my crazy looking skincare loot. Just like their makeup it is of an excellent quality and looks stunning. It isn't cheap at $53, and being a high school student I don't think that I could afford to splash out on this one, but if you are a skincare fanatic and appreciate some of the more luxurious things in life, I think this may be for you!

I give this 9/10.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship Split End Protection Mask

I recently came to the realisation that neglect is not an effective approach for luscious hair. Who knew? But honestly, I had never bothered with more than the cheapest shampoo and conditioner and it seemed to work well for a couple of years until now, and I have been finding that my hair is getting a little dry and scraggly. No one wants dry and scraggly hair, so off I went in search of a solution.

I am an absolute sucker for pretty packaging and scented products so it really was no surprise to anyone when I came home with the Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship Split End Protection Mask. Having used their 'Long Term Relationship' shampoo and conditioner in the past I was familiar with Herbal Essence's magical ways, and I appreciate the humour they often incorporate into their product 'spiels' so this was a goer!

This is the first hair mask I have ever tried and I am without a doubt a fan!

Upon first opening this it seems just like an everyday, plain-Jane conditioner - except that it comes in a cute (although kind of inconvenient) little tub. It has that really distinct 'hair product' kind of smell that I adore, and so already we were on good terms and I hadn't even used it yet!

According to the packaging, "Soak me in for 3 minutes. Rinse out and love the ending." Easy enough! I use this as directed once or twice a week applying about the same amount as I would a normal conditioner and it leaves my hair feeling better than ever. Naturally it has quite a significant immediate effect, leaving my hair detangled and silky. After drying my hair remains in a more nourished, luscious kind of state for longer.

Being a hair mask newbie I honestly can't comment on how this compares to other products but for someone like me who just wants a little extra moisture and livening for their hair, it works a treat.

As far as I understand, this really isn't a long term kind of solution for split ends, but in my opinion the only real answer for that is a haircut! I wouldn't rave about this product to the world, it's not groundbreaking, but it is just a darn good product to have handy when your hair is in a bit of a sad looking state. I don't recall how much this cost me, but it's cheaper than many and a worthwhile purchase.

I give this 7 out of 10.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Travel Times 3

I've really hit that point where I am just desperate to return to Cambodia. I'm three weeks into school and it feels like I've been there for months. I look back on all my photos and just long to be back!

I miss all the food - the incredible meals, fruit drinks and flowers that came with all the food that you could put in your hair. It feels so strange in Australia where there is no 'life' on the streets, no crazy power lines to admire, no beeping and Tuk Tuk drivers approaching you every couple of steps! I would also love to go back to those markets - not to purchase anything but to simply be a part of the incredible, although rather claustrophobic type space.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

NOTD - Essence Colour and Go Nail Polish in English Rose

Essence is one of the greatest brands around - no exaggeration. Though they can be a little hit and miss at times, and can make terrible decisions regarding discontinued products, when it comes down to it Essence is a ridiculously cheap, generally good-quality brand and I am a huge fan. In terms of their nail polishes, I had tried their polish in Better Late than Never and then suddenly they decided to go and change all the bottle shapes and introduce a new shade range.

At first I wasn't a fan of their strangely shaped nail polish bottles, but now I think they are really lovely and quite sophisticated. I had money burning a hole in my pocket when shopping one day and decided to give one of their polishes a shot, so I picked a humble looking one stashed away in the corner, English Rose.

Ladies, this is the most beautiful, understated, classic, feminine polish you will ever come across. I adore this shade.

English Rose is the most perfect name you could give this dusty pink, slightly brown toned polish. It is super glossy, creamy and to be honest it looks like a colour you just want to eat. Under some light it can appear slightly more brown than pink, but even then it still looks gorgeous. I have had so many people ask me what polish I am wearing, stating that it is just the loveliest of colours.

This lasts a decent amount of time without chipping, and for the measly couple of dollars that it costs, I expect you all to run out and grab it right this very moment! Haha!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Behind the Scenes of a Beauty Blog

Being a beauty blogger - no matter how popular your blog is or how regularly you post - isn't easy. The time and effort that it takes to make a post is actually a considerable amount more than people tend to realise. In addition to that are the comments, emails (if you are lucky enough to be approached by PR), social media sites, coming up with potential post ideas, and trialling products. It's incredibly enjoyable, but it's not easy.

This is what my Saturdays tend to look like.

As I have been at school all week, Saturday is when I can bust out with the nail polish and the makeup I have been unable to wear all week. I'll be sitting there in my trackies and slippers, my hair in a messy bun but with a perfectly applied, full face of makeup. Well when else do you think I get the opportunity to trial products for reviews?!

I tend to write about 3-6 posts on the weekend to be spread out over the week, because it is the only time I get to do so. I sit in my little room at my little desk drinking hot chocolate and stalking other people's blogs, commenting, emailing bloggers for my Behind the Blog series and thinking up creative post ideas.

And then, you are sitting there typing away at about 6 blog posts at any given time, and you are temporarily blinded by a ray of sunshine powering through your window. And then the mad dash begins.

You leap up from your chair and proceed to accidentally clear your desk of about ten nail polishes, one half opened that catapults across the room and splashes all over the floor. You don't have time for this! You fling open your wardrobe and madly propell shoes behind you, most of which land on the bed, until you find a suitable pair to keep you dry as you traipse across the overgrown, soaking wet lawn that hasn't been tended to for approximately six months.

Next step is to load your arms with beauty products, as many as you can carry and as many as you can remember you are supposed to photograph. You balance your loot as you rifle for your simcard which is plugged into your computer, expertly shoving it in without even mucking up your still-wet nail polish.

You race out the back door and into the garden, only to find that the sun has moved behind a cloud, it is drizzling and the conditions are much too poor to photograph products.

So you wait.

You allow your products to fall to the table with a crash, and you sit there huddled under the verandah freezing to death in the dark with a soaking wet dog that is adamant on licking you to death. You wait, and you wait, and you wait, and then finally...the sun comes out again.

And so it begins again, the mad dash to collect all your products and race out to take photographs amongst the greenery of your Dad's vegetable patch. Everything is soaking wet and you take extra caution to avoid filling your lipsticks with dirt and your blushes with small insects intent on getting in the way.

You take 1000 photos at varying angles, all of which are causing problems due to light reflection, the light being too dark, the product being too white and contrasting or the product being a ridiculous shape. Your camera decides it won't focus and struggles to take close ups. And then the inevitable happens. Your camera battery dies.

After an explosion of words unsuitable for this blog, you madly run into the house flailing around for charged batteries. Naturally there are none, and a midst your chaos your family questions your hurrying. "The sun is going soon!" you yell, as if that explains everything.

Two charged batteries later and a clock and remote control that no longer works, you find yourself out in the garden just as the last rays of light move behind a cloud and the rain starts to bucket down.

Cold, wet and angry you gather your beloved products and make your way inside to the computer, shove your SD card in and start the tedious process of filtering through the millions of unsuitable photos, cropping, rotating and uploading them to the corresponding blog posts.

The worst bit is, you haven't even started any of the writing yet.

I hope you enjoyed this post, I had a lot of fun writing it and I promise you it is 100% true to life (at least for a winter's day, in the summer it is not at all a problem).

I would love to know the 'behind-the-scenes' of your blog and the difficulties you encounter. I think it is easier to appreciate blog posts once you know all the trouble and effort that has gone in to making them!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...