Sunday Night Pamper (March)

Anybody who knows me well, knows I love a good pamper night. A pamper night is my version of an “I can’t attend, I’ll be washing my hair” invitation refusal. I usually aim to do it at the end of the week (Thurs/Fri night) or the holy grail of pamper nights – Sunday! It all depends on my weekend social schedule, but this year, I’ve been pretty consistent with doing one every Thurs or Fri. After watching Lisa Eldridge’s mask video, I’ve also been trying to get some additional mid-week masks into my routine.

So, as a regular feature on my blog, I’m going to include a monthly pamper night piece, which will detail what I’ve been using for my pamper nights, what I rate, what I hate, etc. This month’s pamper includes 10 products.

Before the pamper can officially begin, I must light a candle. This month, I’m lighting a Pink Molli ‘Lychee Peony’ candle, which I bought from my hairdresser – all the rest of my pamper night will include huge brands and companies, but at least this way I’m supporting a local small business. This scent is a sweet floral, which is right up my alley.

The Sanctuary ‘Hot Sugar Scrub’ – I’ve reviewed this before, so feel free to check out a more detailed review here. This was followed up with a L’Occitane ‘Cherry Blossom Bath & Shower Gel’ which is a nice floral treat. I love all things L’Occitane and all things floral, so this was a no-brainer for me.

Clarisonic Mia II + Philosophy Cleanser – I’ve also reviewed the Clarisonic Mia II here. The Philosophy ‘purity made simple’ cleanser was my choice for a pamper night just because it’s so simple – it’s very much a barely-there product. No foaming, no heavy scent, no film or residue after using – perfect when your skin is to be heavily invaded.

I’m currently using the Herbal Essences Shampoo & Conditioner ‘Colour Me Happy’ combo (this range is for colour-treated hair). I regularly rotate hair care products, and this what I rotated to this week. I love Herbal Essences, I’ve loved it since I was a primary school student, and still love it to this day. I used to think of it as a pretty indulgent hair purchase in my school days, and I wish they still had the old packaging. I just love its scent, which makes it perfect for a pamper night.

Post shower, I moved to my favourite step – the mask. My current mask of the moment is The Sanctuary Time Reversal Mask. It’s essentially a collagen mask, with Vitamins A & B, which is perfect for when my skin is looking a bit tired and dull. It’s very hydrating, and can be left on for an extended period of time as it has no harshness or acidity to it. In fact, according to the packaging, it’s recommended to wear it overnight once a month – very interesting.

My current body moisturiser is the Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion, which is a solid performer in my opinion. It absorbs well, doesn’t leave your hands feeling oily or slimy (Nivea Lotion, anybody?), minimal scent – completely inoffensive.

After the mask, I applied Philosophy’s ‘When Hope is Not Enough’ facial firming serum. Now, I love a good serum, but am pretty inexperienced with them. So for me, the jury is still out on this product. I don’t love the feel of it before it fully sets – it feels quite tacky for a while, and I cannot stand the smell of it, it’s actually revolting. But once it’s set, it feels nice, the scent goes away, and after using it for over 3 months, I haven’t had any negative reactions to it.

Finally, I finish off with an eye cream. I’m currently using a Boots Essentials Cucumber Eye Gel. After my disaster with the Burts Bees eye cream, I quickly retreated to this little £1.00 beauty that I’ve kept since my last UK visit. It feels so nice going on, feels so refreshing once it’s dry, and really seems to brighten up my eyes and surrounding skin.

The perfect ending to my Sunday pamper night is painting my nails. Essie’s ‘Master Plan’ has been waiting for me since my recent Priceline haul, so I was glad to finally try out this nude-grey shade.

As always, thanks for reading, and please comment if you have any suggestions or requests – I’m very interested in April’s pamper night already. pamper night

Love at First Use: Bourjois Happy Light Foundation

I know I’m giving a lot of Bourjois love this week, but it was a large percentage of my Priceline haul two weeks ago, and they were the products I was most interested to try out. I started using the Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation last year, after Lisa Eldridge kept busting it out in her tutorials. I couldn’t resist and started using it in Shade 54. The mix was nice, but way too sheer for my full-coverage desires, and the shade was too light for me – so was always mixed with a darker shade.

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Fast forward to 2014, I still have my Healthy Mix, and despite it’s sheer coverage, I can see why it’s popular – it feels really nice on the skin, has a nice scent, and blends well. Given the 40% off sale at Priceline, I decided to try a different foundation – the Happy Light foundation. Again, very limited shades (4 shades), and I went for 54 Beige again. There was no tester, so I checked the 53, and decided 54 was a safe bet. A safe bet indeed – the colour turned out perfect. A much better match than the Healthy Mix 54 shade, and an even better formula!

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This foundation, like the Healthy Mix, feels great on the skin. Doesn’t feel too chemical-ly, has a nice scent, and provides medium-full coverage. This foundation blends a lot better than the Healthy Mix. I’ve been applying it with my new Real Techniques buffing brush (which I will discuss at a later date), and the smallest pump goes a long way. The coverage is good, and provides a really solid base without being too heavy. Now I’m not one for a no-makeup makeup look (I figure if I’m wearing it, I may as well show it), but this foundation really works perfectly for that – evens out your base, and looks very natural.

The packaging really works for me – a very sweet peachy pink pump glass bottle, and plenty of product (30mL). I’m a diehard Rimmel Match Perfection daily user and despite trialling other products, have never managed to reduce my usage, but this foundation has been worthy. In my case, It doesn’t need the Match Perfection to correct the shade, so can be used by itself. The finish is definitely heading towards a “dewy” or “glowing” finish, without quite being there. I definitely would reconsider this for an event where I would be in front of the camera a lot (which is actually extremely rare), but for regular use, it’s perfect.

Would I buy it again? For sure.
Who would I recommend this to? Anyone looking for a natural-look finish, with the magic of a more full-coverage foundation – i.e. one that actually corrects any blemishes and imperfections (otherwise, what is the point?).
Is it value for money, and how can you get it?  In the foundation market, it is definitely worth it. The RRP is $29.00 (Priceline), but it can be sourced on Asos for <$20. I got it for $18.00 at the Priceline sale.  

So shiny and beautiful… Gold.

GOLDAnybody who knows me and my makeup loves, will know that I’m a big lover of gold, and gold toned products. I love doing a gold eye, and think it provides plenty of variety and different looks. One of the first makeup items I remember buying for my own personal collection was a killer shade of gold – single pot design, Face of Australia, $2 from Priceline. My mum was with me and approved of the purchase – perhaps this approval started my love for gold eyeshadows? Who knows.

That single pot of gold eyeshadow got me through my glory years of high school and probably fed my addiction to eyeshadows on an everyday basis. While all the other girls were lining their water lines and lash lines in the school toilets, I was coming from home with this undetectable shade of gold with some light mascara. To this day, I wear eyeshadow on a daily basis, and love playing around with different looks and shades… But I can’t get away from gold. I’ve thought for a long time that I was set in the gold department – Urban Decay Naked palettes, a Napolean Perdis gold quad, a Clinique quad, some single pots… But I can never get enough.

In my Priceline haul a fortnight ago, I had the pleasure of finding a new gold shadow worth trialling. Bourjois Colour Edition 24H Cream-To-Shadow is, as it claims, a cream to powder shadow. It’s currently available in 3 shades (a tea pink shade, this gold shade ‘Petale de glace’ and a navy shade), however my international research tells me some more colours may hit our shores later this year (and unlike the Maybelline Colour Tattoo, there will be no hideous bright teal and other unusable inclusions). The texture in the pan is quite firm, which meant I had to do some firm packing of the shadow onto my eyelid, but the colour result is pretty good. Definitely needs to be paired with a primer to ensure no creasing.

This product was a worthy addition to my gold collection. Goes on so smoothly, with just the right level of shimmer. I’m not into super glittery eyeshadows or any look described as “dewy” “glowing” or with a “hint of shine” – I want a highlight, but not all of tha’ lights. This gives the right amount, and it is really easy to work with. I’ve got a handful of paint pots by MAC, which are obviously amazing, but require a lot of effort to be used well – I’m pretty good with approaching morning makeup, I love to experiment with looks, but I’ll never reach for a paint pot midweek – that’s definitely a weekend product. The Bourjois 24H shadow is a worthy entrant to the midweek cream eyeshadow. It definitely has the finish of a powder shadow which suits my oily eyelids just fine!
Next Bourjois sale, the navy shadow will be mine.

Would I buy it again? There is plenty of product, so I won’t need anymore for a long time – but I would definitely buy this particular line of shadows in the navy shade next.
Who would I recommend this to? Lovers of cream shadows who simultaneously are oily skin sufferers – the powder finish helps keep any creasing to a minimum.
Is it value for money? RRP is $22.00, which is a bit steep. But think of it like this – Chanel and Bourjois are owned by the same company. So it’s a great price for a Chanel associated brand (I know, I’m clutching at straws). I bought it from Priceline at the 40% off cosmetics sale, so got it for $13.20.
How can you get it? Your local Priceline store if it stocks Bourjois. Otherwise, you may be able to snag this product on Asos.

Skip a step… Nivea In Shower Body Lotion

A birthday gift review, scream my tens of readers! Just what everyone has been waiting for! I figured I may as well continue the birthday gift reviews with the easiest product, the Nivea In Shower Body Lotion. It was the easiest because a) I had been thinking about buying this since it’s introduction in late 2013, b) it was one of the cheaper items and therefore not as tempting to hoard, and c) the opportunity to use it was high as it is a shower product

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I didn’t have huge expectations for this product – the idea of combining a body lotion into the shower seems quite ludicrous, especially as I have been expertly taught to moisturise immediately after bathing for my entire life. I generally like Nivea lotions for post-shower application though, and the idea of being able to skip a step is very intriguing.

In terms of use, the bottle explains quite simply to use a body wash first, apply the lotion, then rinse it off. The packaging is perfection, an upside down tube with a flip-top lid (you hear that, Sanctuary?). The tube is quite large, so I feel you definitely got a decent amount of product for your buck. However, I will say that after having used it intermittently for a few weeks now, the product does get used up fast – a traditional Nivea lotion in the same size bottle would last a lot longer.

So, using it is easy enough. It doesn’t leave any residue in the shower (you still listening, Sanctuary?), and is super quick and efficient to use. I haven’t used it nightly due to my above mentioned moisturiser training, but I’ve used it on nights when I really want to be over and done with the shower as quick as possible. The smell is lovely, if you already enjoy the Nivea lotion scent (which I do), and it really does leave you feeling moisturised. It’s an interesting product however, in that you can almost feel a thin layer on you when you first step out of the shower. That does go away, but it’s a very unusual feeling after having a shower. The first time I used it, I scratched my arm after getting out, and noticed that my scratching hands’ nails had some residue under it. This did kind of gross me out, so I’ve modified my post-shower scratching habits. Another interesting feature was that once I got out of the shower after using this product, the bathroom temperature didn’t feel quite as low as usual. I guess it really does provide a thin layer over the skin. This is an intriguing sensation, but nothing horrible – the science seems to check out.

Overall, I was pretty pleased with this product. I don’t think I would replace my normal body lotion with this, but it is excellent when you want to reduce your shower steps and therefore save some time.

Would I buy it again? Sure.
Who would I recommend this to? Individuals who are lazy with moisturising.
Is it value for money? I think the RRP is around $7-9, but I’ve seen it on sale for $3.98 – definitely worth it at that price! [seen at Priceline and Big W for that price]
How can you get it? Any store stocking Nivea – Priceline, Big W, Kmart, supermarkets, Target – it’s easy to find.

Mascara Wars: Rimmel vs. Loreal

Although I love eye makeup and eye products, I’ve never been very fussy with mascaras. I have never been committed to one type or brand, and am constantly trying out new ones. Rimmel is a brand I return to time and time again, simply due to the cost and variety they offer. The time frame for mascara use is only 3 months, and although I’m not that rigid about it, I do generally use a decent mascara endlessly for 3 months, and retire it fairly soon after the 3 month mark.

In recent months, I’ve trialled these two mascaras, as I embark on a hunt for a decently priced mascara. 3 months is not a long time to get bang for your buck, so I think mascara is worth saving your money on, unless you are a very dedicated one-mascara user, which unfortunately does not describe me. In the higher end brands, I think there is a range of great mascaras, my personal favourites being Lancome Hypnose and Christian Dior’s Dior Show (I mention these two from experience – there are many I’ve yet to try). The great thing when trialling a mascara is that you can tell very quickly if it’s any good; of course this is also a negative, because if you have a dud, you’ll know very quickly, and have early days buyer’s remorse.

ImageMoving along, the two mascaras I tried were Rimmel’s Lash Accelerator Endless, and Loreal’s False Lash Telescopic. I’ve only had the Loreal one for about 2 weeks, but remember what I said about early indicators? The same, unfortunately, goes for the Lash Accelerator.

Loreal’s Falsh Lash Telescopic won this round, hands down. It is a great day time mascara! I personally don’t think it does enough to my eyelashes for a heavy eye look, but for a decent coat for a day of work or leisure, it’s a great choice. Coats the lashes perfectly, adds a decent amount of length, and the pièce de résistance – no clumping or flaking! At the end of the day, the mascara is where you put it at the start of the day. I have suffered a lot from flaking recently, so much so that I had decided it was my eyelashes and under eyes that was causing this; no no, it was the mascara.

Rimmel’s Lash Accelerator Endless did all the stuff I mentioned above, in reverse. It clumped, it flaked, it didn’t add any length or volume, and needed heavy handling to actually coat the lashes. What I found most surprising was that it somehow managed to make my eyelashes look thinner and spidery, which is hardly the look I wanted. I actually quite liked the packaging despite how ordinary it looks in the photo – I thought it was a nice change to the usual fat tube marketed by Rimmel.

Loreal False Lash Telescopic Mascara
Would I buy it again? Sure thing – but not anytime soon, as I am going to continue my mascara hunt.
Who would I recommend this to? Anybody starting to doubt their eyelash or under eye condition; anyone in the market for a decent lengthening mascara.
Is it value for money? I got it on special from Priceline for $18, which was well worth it.
How can you get it? Any self-respecting Loreal counter will stock this cult-ish item.

As always, thank you for reading. I’m looking for some blog inspiration, so please comment below if there is anything you’d like me to write about, or a product line which makes you curious. 

A haul lotta’ fun


So today was one of my favourite beauty days of the year – a day when Priceline has 40% off all cosmetics. Whee! I made up a plan yesterday, browsed the website for some items that I’ve been interested in, and jotted down some notes about what I wanted. For any non-Australian readers, Priceline is the Australian version of UK’s Superdrug, or USA’s Duane Reade. The only better offer that happens in the yearly calendar is when Priceline offers 40% off all cosmetics and skincare. There is a lot of skincare that I’m dying to try at the moment, but I can wait for the skincare sale.

Now, my disclaimer for this post is just a heads up – I don’t plan to do a lot of haul posts. I don’t mind watching haul vlogs, or reading haul posts, as I like to know about products in other parts of the world, but overall I think they are a bit of a pointless blurb. The products haven’t been tested, tried or reviewed; just knowing what stuff is being purchased isn’t very helpful. But this sale only comes occasionally, and a lot of the products I bought I’m fairly confident about – heavily researched from other blogs and reviews, it’s more about seeing how it translates to my skin type and tone. So if you’re not a lover of haul posts, forgive me this once, and believe me when I say that these (hopefully) won’t happen very often. If you love haul posts, then take solace in knowing that when I buy any interesting product (in a bulk purchase or by itself), you will know about it.

Haul

So, in brand order:
Rimmel
Match Perfection Foundation in Shade 300 ‘Sand’ – this is a bit dark for me, unless I’m super tanned. I love this foundation, so this was just a sensible restock.
Scandaleyes Eyeshadow Stick in ‘Bad Girl Bronze’ – this was a rave review from Lily Pebbles, so I figured I should give it a go. A lot of the other colours were too shiny for my liking, so it may be a bit of a risk for my taste.
60 Seconds Nail Polish in ‘Aye, Aye, Sailor’ – I love me some navy, and one of my friends raves about the Rimmel 60 Seconds polishes, so figured this is the time to give it a try.
Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liner in ‘Red Diva’ – this was just something missing from my collection, and seemed like a safe choice.
Bourjois
I’m already an owner of the Healthy Mix Foundation, which I like for low-coverage days. A 40% off sale is enough to encourage me to try some of the other items in the Bourjois range. This brand hasn’t been on sale in Priceline for ages, so I feared it would all sell out quickly – turns out nobody really cares about it in my suburb.
Happy Light Foundation in Shade 54. The shades in Bourjois foundations are really limited for darker skins; I’m a 54 in the Healthy Mix, so I’m hoping this shade will work for me too. There was no tester in store. Why do people steal testers? I can think of nothing more gross to have in my makeup collection.
Colour Edition 24hr Cream to Powder shadow in ‘Petale de glace’ – the packaging reminded me a lot of Maybelline Colour Tattoo, so I am really keen to try this out. The tester felt very different from the Colour Tattoo range, it definitely turned to a powdery finish. There are only 3 colours stocked here in Aus, so I went with a safe golden shade.
Rouge Edition Lipstick in ‘Violine Strass’ – it was really tough to pick lip colours today. I didn’t want anything bright, or shimmery, or tacky – but seems like those key words are hot words currently. This seemed like a safe option, a classic shade – I was mostly interested in testing out the formula.
Little Round Pot (eyeshadow) in Shade 13 – this just seemed interesting, and since I couldn’t find everything on my list, I had a bit of room to try something new.
Revlon
Lip Butter in ‘Pink Truffle’ – I tried this tonight and the shade reminded me a lot of my beloved Clinique Chubby Stick in Mega Melon – I definitely can’t go wrong with this!
Super Lustrous Lipstick in ‘Pink Cognito’ – a really pretty shade, and the packaging is just so pretty!
Lipburst Balm Stain in ‘Smitten Eprise’ – Priceline looks like it’s getting ready to receive all the Chubby Stick wannabes, this was the only version available today, so I thought, why not?
Miscellaneous
Sinful Colours in ‘Aubergine’ – I’ve been eyeing this off for ages, and even tried to buy it in Target one day – wouldn’t scan, so I didn’t bother.
Maybelline Express Polish Remover – it claims to remove polish from each finger in a second! I had to try it, especially at a reduced rate. I’m in the market for an OPI-quality remover without the OPI price tag, and was recently disappointed by a Sally Hansen remover. I was excited enough to try this out tonight – it’s ah-mazing!
Essie polish in ‘Master Plan’ – I’m a new convert to Essie, so trying to build up my wanted shades in this brand instead of OPI. I’ll be interested to see how this colour turns out.
Sally Hansen nail files – errr, not sure why I left this to last, this was a purely functional purchase.
For any Aussie readers who didn’t know and are interested, Priceline’s sale will continue today (Wednesday 12th March, 2014). Happy shopping!
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The long awaited review…. The Clarisonic Mia II

This has probably been my most expensive beauty investment in the past 12 months, and one of my most considered purchases of 2013. This has been marketed in Australia for over a year, and it kind of tickled my fancy, but once I went to the US and kept seeing it in Sephora, I became much more interested in trying it. I almost bought it in the US, but for a very small saving, I figured the hassle of using a converter plug wasn’t worth it. Unfortunately for me, that didn’t mean I bought it upon my return, but instead considered it for another 6 months. Finally in December, I committed to the purchase and bought it from the Clarisonic online store (www.clarisonic.com.au).

I do think it’s still early days, but I’ve had a few friends asking me for my thoughts on the product, so I’ve decided to add it to the blog. Firstly, to give you an idea of my skin type, I’ve got oily combination skin (i.e. minimally combination, mostly oily), with hyper-pigmentation along my cheeks. My pores aren’t a problem area for me, nor are fine lines a focus – my main goal is to improve the hyper-pigmentation scarring. I am a beauty salon enthusiast, and regularly get facials, microdermabrasion and extraction treatments. I’ve experienced a Mia style cleansing brush during treatments before, and loved it. It’s one of those parts of the treatment that I wish could go for 10 minutes – super relaxing, massaging and overall, quite a unique part of the facial.

Now, when I first got it, I was annoyed to discover that it needed a 24 hour charge before first use. I already waited quite a long time for the delivery, so to have to wait again for another day was really disappointing. It also requires 18 hour recharges, which I’ve had to do on average about once a month. I read reviews online with people saying they didn’t have to recharge it for 4-6 weeks with twice daily use, which I’m pretty iffy about – the first month I used it about 18 times before it needed a recharge. It’s not a big deal, but an 18 hour recharge is a bit unexpected. My laptop takes less time to recharge…?

In terms of actually using it – it’s really very simple. It runs for exactly a minute every time – 20 seconds on the chin and nose, 20 seconds on the forehead, 10 seconds per cheek. It buzzes to let you know when to change to the next part of your face. I actually modified my zones to chin & neck, forehead & nose and then each cheek. There are a lot of reviews of this product online, and most of the ones I read mentioned a horrendous breakout for the first fortnight, and then clearer skin. The idea of a hideous breakout for the first fortnight terrified me, so I started with very casual use. I used it every second evening only, and had no initial breakout (phewf). It came with a Clarisonic cleansing gel, but of course you can use any cleanser you like. Again, to minimise the chance of a breakout, I used my Philosophy Purity cleanser, which I find quite gentle. It came with the standard inclusion of the sensitive brush head, which I think will be my next brush head purchase (the brush heads need to be replaced every 3 months, just like a toothbrush).

Two months on, and I’m pretty pleased with the results. I generally use it once a day, in the evenings, and am still using it with the Purity cleanser. I’ve used the Clarisonic gel as well, which was fine, just a bit too foaming for my liking (it keeps bubbling up around my nose and mouth, and I feel like I have to hold my breath!). What I perceive as the outcomes of using the Mia are obviously all subjective – I didn’t take before and after shots, I didn’t keep any form of clear records; it’s all my perception and opinion. Overall, I feel like my skin is visibly smoother, my pores are definitely more refined (adding to the smoothness), and I do think I’ve seen some improvement in my hyper-pigmentation. Part of the Mia marketing is that it promotes better cleansing, which results in better uptake of treatment products, so this may be how it has helped with reducing pigmentation. I love using the thing, it feels like such a salon experience, and it has become a solid part of my evening skincare routine.

Would I buy it again? Hopefully I’ll never need to replace it!
Who would I recommend it to? People looking to really up their skincare routine, or for those who have really fancy skincare products already, and want to increase their effectiveness.
Is it value for money? I do wish it was cheaper, just to make it more accessible. I feel like it does a lot of what it claims, so have to give it credit for that. The corresponding price-tag is $175.00.
How can you get it? Myer, David Jones, Skincare Store and Clarisonic. [Disclaimer: There are a  lot of online stores stocking this product, I’ve named the two that I trust and recommend from personal experience.]

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A masque to end all masques?

‘Finally!’ scream my hoards of readers. Finally I am reviewing a birthday present product! As I mentioned in a earlier post, my best friend gave me an amazing assortment of products for my birthday last month, under the conditions that they would feature and be reviewed in this blog. Now, this pushes my usual rules, which is to hoard beautiful things and save everything for a special occasion. All but one of the gifts definitely fall into special occasion category, but MO’s directions were very clear – and I can safely assume she did not mean to save it for a special occasion and then review it in 2 years time after a grand total of 10 uses.

So one of the delightful products is from a line that I haven’t used much, but love the idea of – MoroccanOil. I don’t know a thing about the science of this product, I stupidly assume it’s from some precious tree in Morocco, where they have squeezed all the oil out of the leaves, for my hair’s pleasure. I don’t care to correct this ridiculous assumption. In reality, it’s a mass-produced factory-made product packed with chemicals. But what intrigues me is… do these chemicals do anything for my hair?

Firstly, the packaging of this product is delightful – it screams fancy and was such a nice surprise to discover in my birthday gift. I love the colour of the MoroccanOil brand, that beautiful turquoise blue, with a hint of teal. This masque comes in a tub with a screw top lid (250mL). The tub instructions state to apply it to towel-dried hair for 5-7 mins, 1-2 times weekly, and less frequently once hair improves.

I’ve used it for the past 3 weeks, and used it as often as prescribed. I won’t lie, it is a total pain in the butt to use. It may be less annoying if you have a different bathroom set up. I don’t have a hand-held shower head that can be removed, so if I want the shower head, I have to be in the shower. So for me to use this product, I’m getting in the shower, washing my hair, cleansing etc., then getting out, towel drying my hair, applying the masque, waiting 5-7 minutes (this is death!) and then getting back into the shower. Obviously a person with a portable shower head can just lean into the bathtub and rinse the masque out, but alas I do not have this luxury. Having said that, as much as I’ve bitched about it, that process is actually fine (in the warmer months – I dread winter use). The process is actually what makes it kind of luxurious – it can’t be used quickly and hurriedly, you really have to have time to use it, which by default means you will be more relaxed and therefore enjoy it more. Maybe? That seemed to be the case for me anyway.

MoroccanOil Masque

The masque itself is lovely – it is as thick as I would have liked, the smell is nice (though I do know others who don’t care for the smell), and it’s easy to apply the desired amount. It washes out easily and quickly, and leaves no scent afterwards. The actual result afterwards is noticeably smoother hair. I was pretty impressed during the first week of use, my hair is definitely due for a cut, colour and treatment, and this seems to have bought me a bit of extra time. I did notice a lot of hair loss afterwards, but this could be due to the extra man handling of my hair. I lose a lot normally, but there was definitely a noticeable increase.

Overall, it’s a great product. It is quite expensive though, and this would definitely factor into my repurchase decision. I’ve been a long time user of the Pantene 3-minute Miracle Treatment, which is much easier to use in the shower and doesn’t involve as much fuss. I really rate that treatment, which comes with a price tag of $6.99 for 3 tubes. This masque definitely makes for a great gift for a beauty lover, and I will definitely scrape the tub to finish this off.

Would I buy it again? Potentially. It’s pretty expensive ($49.50), and there are definitely cheaper products on the market that do as good a job.
Who would I recommend this to? Anybody needing serious moisture for their hair. It definitely adds a tonne of moisture and gives you very soft locks.
Is it value for money? It does do what it claims, so in that sense, yes. However, there are a lot of other masques and treatments on the market that are worth trialling.
How can you get it? Hairdressing salons, as well as online (www.activeskin.com.au is one supplier).
‘Till next time, reader.

Greetings Autumn…

As you have previously read, I am a great lover of Autumn. The cool change in weather, the fashion, the colours… my list goes on. This past weekend brought in Autumn in its truest form – lots of rain, and a very swift cool change. I can’t think of a year where I have taken out my boots on the first day of the season, but the rain was the perfect excuse. The last day of summer also involved a lot of rain, but boots seemed a bit of a push that day – I regretted this decision by the end of the day, when I had dripping wet shoes and dirty trousers. Oh well, live and learn.

Autumn was also christened with a new nail polish, which I think could be one of my greater loves this Autumn/Winter. Priceline had a 20% off Essie nail polish sale, and despite my best attempts to buy a base coat only and walk away, I ended up with a gorgeous new shade.

ImageBahama Mama is a deep purple & plum toned polish. I’m trying to improve my polish application technique, and dark colours always make me nervous. A busy weekend also meant that I had to paint my nails after midnight on Friday night – the potential for this to be a disaster was high with this dark shade. The universe was on my side, the colour applied beautifully (I won’t lie, I did have to redo my right hand ring finger), and it looked even better in the morning. Waking up to a cloudy, rainy day, with perfect autumn nails. It’s times like these that I feel I have my life together.

I’m really coming around to Essie polishes – they are extremely chip resistant, huge range of colours and unlike OPI, they actually go on sale! The formula is great, the brush is comparable to OPI, and I think the packaging is quite cute.

Hair masque, nails, rain and a face mask – my weekend ended up being a dream start to Autumn.

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What’s all the buzz about?

Burt’s Bees, I have really tried with you. I don’t think I’ve been gifted so much of one brand of skincare before, in addition to what I have bought myself. Yet, I cannot love you, nor can I even like you. The principles of this brand sound great on paper (or screen) – no animal testing, socially responsible recyclable packaging and all natural ingredients. Plus, the packaging is quite sweet! I love honey and honey-related items (although I’m terrified of bees, but that is a story for another day), so I had really high hopes for this brand.

I’ve been using their products for over 2 years, and have trialled a number of items – plain lip balm, tinted lip balm, body wash, body lotion, makeup wipes, hand cream, foot cream, cuticle cream and even the eye cream! I have not been impressed with any of these products, or even been able to enjoy using any of them. They are quite readily available in Australia – Priceline, Myer and David Jones all stock this brand, as well as large and small chemists.

Image The makeup wipes left me with stinging skin, so were relegated for use when doing a smokey eye and all that is required is a small clean up under the eye. The eye cream left me with almost sagging skin, I actually thought I saw the start of a fine line near my eyes, so immediately discontinued use after this, to see the problem go away. The cuticle cream had a lemon stench that even I, one of the greatest citrus lovers to have ever lived, couldn’t stand. The hand and foot creams are not worthy of a mention – but at least they didn’t cause a negative response. The body wash is one of the only products I liked, the smell was a gorgeous honey smell, but unfortunately it doesn’t stay on the skin, even when layered with the lotion. Finally, the lip balm was fine… just fine. But for $6.95, there are cheaper options on the market that do a better job (e.g. Lucas’ Papaw Ointment $4.95).

Would I buy it again? I’m not going to lie to you. The marketing is good and it’s in all my favourite stores – so if they came out with a new product that looked good and made grand promises, I’d give it a go. But if the product line remained static, I wouldn’t touch it, and would never replace any of my current products.
Who would I recommend this to? Nobody, unless someone actually had money that they would otherwise burn. In that case, I would recommend the body wash, just because it smells nice during use.
Is it value for money? The prices aren’t horrendous, but based on this review, do you think this question is necessary?
How can you get it? Don’t worry about it.

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