My 2017 picks (not a top 10 list)

Ah, 2017, where did you go? This year has flown by for me, feels like I was just saying “Happy New Year!” a few weeks ago (I admit, I say it for longer than I should).

Now this list is not exhaustive, nor is it a “best of 2017” list – there are so many things that I have not used, watched, nor listened to – so how can I claim to have a list of the best? Instead, these are just some things that I loved in 2017. They improved my skin routine, beauty routine, gave me some joy or quite simply, helped me live a better life – so why wouldn’t I share it with you all? I’ll warn you in advance, that these are not all beauty/skincare related – how rude.


Whether they are $5, or $25 – sheer masks are amazing and have really had their moment this year. Every skincare brand seems to be releasing a sheet mask all of a sudden – and they are all so good.

[For those who don’t know what a sheet mask is – it’s a fabric mask that goes over your face and has cut out sections for eyes, nose, mouth.]

I’m not entirely convinced that they do all the different things that they claim, but they all seem to consistently add hydration and nourishment into the skin. Ideal for when you travel, when your skin is dehydrated or just when you want to up your skincare routine. You need some time for application; it generally needs to stay on for about 10-15 mins, and usually no rinsing requiring afterwards – just rub in the leftover solution. Read the instructions on the packaging.


Those who are long-time readers, and those who know me in real life, will know that I have loved the Dermalogica Precleanse Oil since my beauty therapist introduced me to it about 4 years ago. It removes way more product than other makeup cleansers I have used, and doesn’t require wasteful products, like cotton pads, in order to be effective. This year, Dermalogica released the balm version of this amazing product. It is in a squeeze tube, and comes with a silicone rubbing mitt – so apply the balm to the mitt and rub all over your face. This stuff feels decadent on the skin and just has that touch of luxe that the oil is missing. It’s very gentle on the skin, and gets off just as much product as the oil. I love makeup, but when it’s time to remove it, I want every last ounce of it off – the mitt and balm combo helps achieve this goal.


Now, what is life if I don’t include a palette in a “top/picks etc.” list? So here is the palette I loved in 2017, and I was totally surprised that I loved it as much as I did – the Too Faced Sweet Peach palette. This palette was gifted to me (for my birthday, not going to try to claim Too Faced is sending me stuff), and honestly, I probably wouldn’t have bought it myself. Colours looked OK, but I am trying to fight the urge to buy every palette that hits the market.

The colour combo and options in this palette make it worth the buy – they aren’t just replicating the existing cult palettes, like Urban Decay Naked range, etc. The peachy toned colours are just gorgeous, and make for a really subtle but put together look. They have a decent range of matte versus shimmer, and have thrown in some curve ball colours, like the purple shades. I’m not saying this colour palette will suit everyone, or that it was THE palette of 2017 – but this was something that was a surprise to me. The colours are very wearable, unlike some of the rose gold and pink toned palettes of 2017. It does have an unnecessary peach scent, but it is actually quite nice.


I’ve been part of a book club for a few years now, and this has helped me get through some books on a regular basis. I admit, I’m a bit of a crappy book club member; I have the highest rate of “did not finish” (but I do have the highest rate of attendance, so let’s not kick me out just yet). This book was a highlight this year and you would have had to be living under a rock to not know of it. It has been made into a TV series (which is really good and worth the cost/effort of downloading), and stars Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon, amongst many other big ticket names. I’ve watched the series and read the book – and I’m telling you, READ THE BOOK! Then watch the show, and you will love it even more. I know I’m not a genius for suggesting that “the book is better than the show”, but I’m saying it anyway. Even the most unenthusiastic book reader will move through the pages quickly. The voice of the book has not been replicated in the TV series (understandably), so it really has it’s own magic.


Raise your hand if you haven’t listened to a single podcast this year?

Nope, those people don’t exist.

Everyone is jumping on board with podcasts, so much so, that the options are somewhat paralysing. Honestly, I’m not one for self help books, but this podcast has really changed and improved my thinking in 2017. The goal is simple – to live a happier life. This podcast isn’t delusional – it’s not suggesting we are happy all the time, or should be happy all the time – just that we can always work towards something better. It’s a really easy listen, Gretchen Rubin is a great writer, and it’s essentially a structured conversation between her and her sister, Elizabeth Craft.

If you want to dive into the podcast world, the self help world or just want a fresh new perspective in 2018, Happier with Gretchen Rubin may help you with that. This podcast can be found on iTunes and wherever else you get your podcast fix.

And that’s it – short and sweet! Wishing you all a wonderful new year – thanks for reading along this year and supporting me in this written expression of myself, and the beauty items that I love.

And if irritation occurs, discontinue use… (or close the book, or pause the podcast).


Skin skin skin

I’ll try not to keep going on about my posting frequency… but thanks to all the ladies who have commented in the past couple of weeks about my blog. One of my main motivations for blogging is from the conversations I have – I figure if one person is asking, at least ten other people are interested – so may as well write about it! So hello to all my readers, old and new…

It’s currently winter in Australia, so moisture is much-needed. Windy days, combined with cool mornings means we have to work a bit harder for our skin. I know a lot of people try to improve their skincare at this time too, so I’ve had a few people asking me about what they should be including and what order.

Five components, all take next to no time and give great results. The word “dry” in French is “sec” and it’s going to be important in your routine.

Cleanse – Tone – Sec

Avoid anything soap-like, anything that foams or anything that doesn’t really move your makeup. A good cleanser should get the majority of your makeup off; all of it if you are wearing a minimal amount. If you have party makeup on, use a proper eye makeup remover and do a double cleanse.

Luxe pick: Dermalogica Precleanse Oil
Starter pick: Aveeno Positively Radiant Brightening Cleansing

This is where I save money and just buy something that won’t irritate my skin. I’ll be honest and admit I’m not totally convinced as to the necessity of this step, so I include it, but at the lowest cost possible. Generally, this step for me just helps calm any redness and tighten up my pores.

Luxe pick: Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner
Starter pick: La Roche Posay Physiological Soothing Lotion

Now we move into Sec territory – Serum, Eye Cream and Cream (Moisturiser). Follow this order and kiss dryness goodbye.

I love a serum and think they are worth spending a bit more on – so save your dollars on a toner and invest in a decent serum. The difference between drugstore and department store serums are significant, so I apologise in advance for the high price point in the items I’ve included in my picks below. Use enough to cover your face, and try to use a patting motion, rather than massaging it into your skin.

Luxe pick: SK II Facial Treatment Essence
Starter pick: Clarins Face Treatment Oil

Eye cream
Eyes show one’s age, so a seperate eye cream can reduce your thoughts on cosmetic procedures. Apply gently with your ring finger, both below your eye and on your eyelid. Eye cream packaging is always tiny, but it will stretch a long way.

Luxe pick: Clarins Eye Contour Gel
Starter pick: Clinique all about eyes

Cream (Moisturiser)
Get the best that you can afford – and never, ever skip this step. Whether you wear a lot of makeup, or none at all, moisturiser is a must. You may want one with SPF, you may want to apply your SPF separately – do some research to see what suits you and your needs.

Luxe pick: Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream
Starter pick: QV Moisturising Day Cream

Initially it will just feel great, but when you put in some serious time, you’ll see some results in your skin. Best case scenario, do this once a day, preferably at night. Worst case scenario, spend some time once or twice a week following all of these steps. Spend some time trialling some products – don’t be afraid to ask for samples. You’re often looking at an item that is >$50 – you should at least be able to make sure it doesn’t give you a reaction prior to your investment. Good luck with your winter skincare!

And if irritation occurs, discontinue use...

Travel Ready: Skin 

Regular readers will be overwhelmed by my increase in post frequency – how many posts do I have to do to officially state that I’m making a comeback?!

Anyways, jokes aside, I’m excited to post more than once in 6 months! 2017 is turning out to be a year of travel for me, so another travel post seems fitting. Prior to my last post, I was prepping for Nepal, and now I have another country in sight – #blessed. Unfortunately, overseas travel results in dehydrated skin and break outs for me, so I’ve learned over time to shamelessly take a range of skincare abroad with me.


Flying dries out skin big time, so commit to something that will give you serious rehydration. Drinking water is obviously key, but you can further aid that with a serum. The Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum is great for this – if you are a regular Clarins user, you may be able to get a sample of this for a trip, or get a mini-version in a gift pack. I don’t necessarily use this all year round, but it is great for when you are travelling. I apply this day and night soon after a flight.

Sun Protection

Invisible ZincI admit, I don’t wear sun protection on my face all year round, but on days where I will be outside a lot and during summer, I try to use a face cream with SPF. When I’m on holidays, I’m out and about a lot more than usual, so need some serious protection. QV Moisturising Face cream is SPF 30+, and is light enough to wear after a hydrating serum, and under makeup. If I am going to be in serious sun, I use Invisible Zinc (SPF 50+) and avoid applying any face makeup. QV is great for something less intense –  it’s non-irritating, and you won’t need any additional moisturiser on top.

Break Outs

Unfortunately, my skin breaks out quickly and easily. For this reason, I really can’t afford to leave my overnight spot treatment at home.
I’ve recently converted to the Dermalogica Special Clearing Booster (prior to this I was using the Overnight Clearing Gel). This stuff is great if you can feel something coming, or if something does pop up and you need it to be gone asap. It’s small, and can fit into your clear carry-on liquids bag.

The Final Layer 

Anybody who is yet to use the Clarins Beauty Flash Balm (BFB) is missing out, big time! This is a cult product and has never needed a sponsored ad in it’s lifetime. Think of this as a moisturiser, a clear BB cream and an instant face lift. I use this on top of a moisturiser; I think of it as almost like a protective film – perfect when the air quality is compromised, and you have pores to think about. It tightens and brightens, and gives you a youthful glow – great if you are trying to avoid wearing too much makeup while on holiday. This stuff needs to be carefully applied – avoid rubbing it in as much as a moisturiser; it really does sit on the skin.


Now, am I even me, if I don’t suggest a mini-pamper? You’re away from home, away from the usual demands of life, so treat your skin with some TLC. A sheet mask takes up minimal space, and can help your skin when it’s been ravaged by a pressurised air cabin as well as changes in food, water and air quality. Pack one per 7 days that you are away (i.e. if you are away 2 weeks, pack 2), and no doubt, you will find some time to use this – you can thank me then for the suggestion. Sheet masks take up a lot less space than a tub face mask, and I personally find them more intense than a liquid/clay mask.

Skincare while travelling seems so indulgent, but it’s easy to do, and the pay off is worth it. Travel size bottles/jars make it light and small enough to fit into your on-board luggage, so there is really no excuse. Don’t return home looking like you were living in a hut without running water (unless of course, that is exactly where you were living)!

And as always, if irritation occurs, discontinue use. 

Best of 2014

Happy new year, readers! Hope you have all been enjoying some sort of break, whether you celebrate Christmas or not. I personally don’t celebrate (though I do enjoy it, possibly due to my love of shiny things), so I headed to Hawaii for a beach break. Regular readers will know that I love the USA, and need little encouragement to visit. The Australian dollar isn’t quite as strong as it has been in the past, but Hawaii did not fail me with it’s offerings. I was flying for NYE, which suited me just fine, because I’m a bit of a NYE grinch.

So as 2015 rolls in, I think it’s customary for bloggers to post their 2014 favourites… right? I drafted this very easily, so turns out I had some very clear favourites in 2014. I selected one clear standout product in each category of Skincare, Eyes, Face, Lips, Hair & Nails.

Best of 2014

Skincare Clarins HydraQuench Cream
This stuff is so gorgeous and was a late-2014 discovery. I picked up a Christmas gift set that included this cream, the matching serum and a third item I haven’t even taken out of the bag yet. This cream is extremely hydrating, sinks into the skin beautifully and feels amazing. My only gripe is the packaging – I hate jars you have to dip your fingers into, as it doesn’t seem that hygienic plus I find I use a lot more product. Clarins does great skincare and is really easy to find in department stores and salons. This cream retails at $65.00 [Myer]. Not the cheapest product, but it’s worth the $$$.

Eyes Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eyeshadow
I did a whole blog post on this, so it’s probably not a big surprise to regular readers that it’s a favourite. This stuff is fiddly to use, definitely not an item for everyday and is crazy expensive – but I haven’t seen much else on the market that does the same job. Retails for $44.00 [Mecca Cosmetica].

Face Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
2014 saw me increase my highlighter use as part of my everyday routine. Now I’m addicted to using it to add some colour to my face without adding blush. It really adds dimension to my face, and helps fake a healthy glow. I had read a lot about this highlighting palette before picking it up in the US, and after first use I realised why it was the holy grail for so many beauty bloggers. The powder is like velvet, and the tiniest bit goes a long way. Face palettes can sometimes be rubbish, because they try to cater for too many skin tones, but this palette seems universal. Retails for $76.00 [Mecca Cosmetica].

Lips Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner
Finally something that does not cost a bomb! I’ve been a long time lover of Rimmel as a brand, but this was my first year of buying the Exaggerate lip liner – which is their automatic wind up pencil. I generally don’t like automatic pencils because I feel they never have a decent point and the wind up mechanism can die before the pencil runs out – but Rimmel does not fail. I picked up the nude shade (the shade name escapes me now) and it quickly became everyday wear. I can’t think of any other product that I used to completion in 2014, but this little number got used up. Not much thinking or risk involved for a product that retails at $12.50 [Priceline].

Hair Moroccan Oil Intense Hydrating Mask
This is another product that made it from a single blog post to the favourites list. When I used it on its own, I liked it, but didn’t love it. Recently I used it in conjunction with a toning shampoo (I’ve become addicted to blonde ombre in 2014 also), and the results were magnificent. Anyone who has ever used a toning shampoo will know that their hair will turn to straw immediately. I used this straight after using the Fudge Purple Shampoo, and not only did my blonde ends look better but my hair felt better than before! Retails for $49.50 [Skincare Store].

Nails Essie Good To Go Topcoat
This may be boring to some, but anyone who loves painting their nails like me will know there is nothing worse than painting your nails and then managing to bump the paint an hour later. This topcoat is fast drying without chipping easily like some other fast-drying polishes do. Extremely shiny, and maintains a manicure for 5-7 days; retails for $17.95 [Priceline].

So that’s it for me! Thank you for those who have been reading along in 2014 – I really appreciate you reading my beauty raves and rants, and look forward to sharing more in 2015.

And remember – if irritation occurs, discontinue use…

Beauty Burn: Origins GinZing

I’ve mentioned it in some of my previous skincare posts, but today I’ll reveal the details of my love of moisturisers. Since I was a young child, my mother has been a passionate believer in moisturising – we were not allowed to do anything until we had some “cream” on our face. I grew up using Rosken’s Vitamin E Skin Repair, which was discontinued (or at least became very difficult to find) in my early adolescent years. It eventually made a comeback, but we had moved onto other products by then – plus, it was my adolescent years – where had all these other products been all my life?!

My habit and love for moisturising still continues to this day, and I actually cannot operate without some form of moisturiser on my face. I love the QV Face cream, I’ve mentioned my Kiehl’s love here, and… I’m suddenly having a total mind blank wondering what I used between my Rosken days, and well… today? Suddenly I can’t recall any details! So basically, what I’m trying to say, is that I come from a long line of moisturiser lovers (even if that line is only my Mum and I), so I am interested up to check out some new ones.

Fast forward to my Treat Yoself day in April, and I picked up the Origins GinZing moisturiser. Now, I’ve given away my verdict in the title, but play along. It has a really zesty scent, is packaged beautifully (I love the simple orange and white contrast), and I had a lot of hope in the Origins brand (since Lisa Eldridge recommends it!), so parted with my $44.

How sad. This was so disappointing! It smelt so fresh and awakening, but really didn’t do that for my skin. It wasn’t harsh or unkind to my skin, it just didn’t do anything special – and I expect something for that price. After some consistent use, I decided it was too citrus-y for my liking (which is surprising, as I love most things citrus), and although it felt nice on application, a minute later, I felt nothing – it felt like I hadn’t even applied anything! The feeling of tight skin drives me mad, and I will not stand for it!

I’m going to keep my eyes out for an Origins mask while I’m in the US (and will definitely insist upon a sample before parting with my money), and then will give my final verdict on the Origins brand (I’m a harsh critic).

Origins GinZing

Would I buy it again? Definitely not. I’ve relegated this to a once-a-week product, in the hope that maybe mixing it up in my skincare routine will give it a bit more oomph.
Who would I recommend this to? Citrus lovers! Or anybody looking for a very light moisturiser, particularly if they have very oily skin and don’t necessarily need lots of external hydration.
Is it value for money? Not in my opinion ($44).
How can you get it? I picked mine up from Mecca Maxima, and it’s also available from Kit Cosmetics.

The US Wishlist: Skincare

My research continues, and some of these things have been on my wish list for the past 12 months. All of these can be bought locally in Aus, but since I knew over 6 months ago that I would be returning to the US, I’ve held off buying any of these.

perricone MD





Perricone MD Blue Plasma


A daily peel that has been raved about on another blog I read, Makeup By Patricia. She swears by it, and has the skin to back up her claims. It’s promoted as a daily peel, that gives all the results of a chemical peel without the redness, irritability or skin damage. Since I love an at-home pamper, this is something I’m really interested in. [$US95.00]

la creme yeux





Chanel Sublimage La Creme Yeux


I got a sample of this last year, and am still squeezing out the end of the tiny tube. I love this eye cream. It really brightens the skin around my eyes, and feels so gentle when applied (unlike my Burts Bees eye cream experience). I really need to investigate the different size options (maybe I’ll just get more samples??), as its listed as $US225, which makes me scream.






Glam Glow Mud Mask


This is an extremely raved about product on a lot of YouTube vlogs, and as you all know, I love a good mask. I considered buying it from Mecca Maxima on a recent Treat Yoself day, but figured I could wait 2 months to visit the US. It’s a Sephora stocked product, so I’m keen to sample all 3 different types (hydrating, exfoliating and clearing), to work out which one is worth my cash [$US69.00].

bite lip mask






Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask


The idea of a lip mask makes me a bit giddy – another part of my face that can have a mask?! Again, rave reviews from US YouTube vloggers, so definitely need to look into this product [$US28.00]. My go-to scrub is the Victoria’s Secret Lip Scrub, so will restock that for exfoliating purposes.

Of course, I’m keen to sample and try a whole range of things while I’m away, but these are the main researched products that are on my wish list. Any recommendations, please comment below!

Slap it on: Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil

I’m such a sucker for a retail hit, particularly when shopping alone. When I’m shopping with a friend, it’s quite easy for me to buy nothing, and return home still feeling somewhat satisfied. Shopping alone, and no purchases? Sad face for me.

I’ve been interested in hitting up the Clarins counter at Myer since MO [a regularly mentioned friend on this blog] decided to trial some products before Christmas. At the time, I wasn’t so interested in the skincare, but instead was drawn towards a gold shade eyeshadow quad – like I need more gold toned eyeshadow palettes in my life? I managed to walk away, but in the back of my mind, I was interested in returning. The beauty of MO investigating the products was that I could find out the prices, so I could make a confident return to the counter. I am so easily influenced once I hit a counter, regardless of how ridiculously priced a product may be, so it really pays for a person like me to do some research beforehand.

Anyways, so it was time for a new cleanser, so I figured a Clarins cleanser was worth a trial. Because I am so easily influenced, I couldn’t help but be interested in other products in the range. The sales assistant showed me a small handful of products (and of course I couldn’t help but ask about the gold eyeshadow quad, just in case it was still available), and she showed me some serums and some oils. I’ve been reading a lot about the use of oils within one’s skincare regime, and one of my favourite bloggers (Makeup by Patricia) is a huge advocate for facial oils. I rubbed and scrubbed a number of products, and the Blue Orchid Oil was a stand out. Easily absorbed, gorgeous smell, and would finally fill my need for a facial oil.



Dayum Clarins, where have you been all my life? I am in LOVE with this oil. The smell is so addictive, I just want to use it every night. Since it’s an oil, and I am prone to oily skin most of the time, I’m trying to avoid using it every night. I obviously automatically wanted to pick up the oil for Oily Skin (which is the Lotus Face Treatment Oil), but the sales assistant really recommended I try the dehydrated skin version (the Blue Orchid) as we’re heading into winter, where most people are prone to dehydration. It is perfection for my skin – it really does eat up the oil, so I think the dehydrated skin recommendation was best. My skin feels amazing immediately after application, and looks amazing once I wake up. It has really helped brighten up my skin, and is such a lush addition to my pamper nights!

Would I buy it again? No doubt. I would like to try some other facial oils, but this is really quite perfect.
Who would I recommend this to? Anybody wanting to up their skincare treatment; anybody who is a sucker for products that smell amazing; anybody with dehydrated skin.
Is it value for money? I’ve been using it almost daily (it just smells so good – it requires a lot of discipline to only use it every 2nd night), and I’ve barely made a dent in the 30mL level. It comes with a pippet, and about 4 small drops covers my face easily. It retails for $49.00.
How can you get it? Clarins counter at Myer.

Sorry for my silence over the past week readers – had to fight off a bug last week, and had a baby shower over the weekend! 

Beauty Burn: Philosophy Hope in a Jar

Oh, what an exciting purchase this was! I picked this moisturiser up late last year when transiting through Singapore’s Changi Airport, but it’s taken me a few months to get to this jar. I bought a travel pack, which included the ‘Purity’ cleanser, this moisturiser and a serum, ‘When Hope is Not Enough’. I busted out the cleanser immediately, and started using the serum soon after. I quite like Philosophy’s packaging and look – quite minimalist and neat.

Now, the serum was a bit disappointing – very tacky upon application, and a really unpleasant smell. But it didn’t seem to do any harm, so I’ve maintained using it once or twice a week, just for the sake of using it up. About 3 weeks ago, I finally decided to give ‘Hope in a Jar’ a workout. My initial thoughts were that the moisturiser had actually gone off – the texture was really strange, and the smell was really pungent. I hate to waste things, and this was brand new (and I’ve never had a product like this go bad so quickly), so I slapped it on my face anyway.

OH DEAR… THE BURNING. Not only does this stuff stink, but it also burns. And I’m not afraid of a burn – I love a good burn-y mask, a burn-y exfoliator, a deep glycolic peel burn. But this stuff just stings for the sake of stinging – it doesn’t seem to have any value or purpose in its burn. This is the kind of sting that brings tears to my eyes. Add to that, the smell… it just reeks. I love anything medicinal, anything fruity, anything floral, anything woody, anything scentless – so what the heck is this scent category? It just smells awful. And not only does it smell on application, but the smell lingers! I put this on one night and went to bed on freshly washed sheets – I could still smell the scent on my pillow the following night!

It’s a souffle texture and has a yellow-ish tinge – which is why I was convinced it was past its use-by date. A quick google tells me that it had not gone off, but in fact, that was it’s design. The smell, the sting and the texture were noted on a lot of reviews (including the Philosophy site itself, and Makeup Alley), so it’s definitely not just me. There were still a lot of positive reviews, so I guess there is a population for whom this works, but I’m not part of it.



Would I buy it again? I’m not even sure what to do with the remaining product!
Who would I recommend this to? Not even my worst enemy.
Is it value for money? $20.00 (15mL), $45.00 (60mL). It’s definitely not overly expensive, but I think of it as quite worthless.
How can you get it? I have gotten Philosophy samples from Mecca Cosmetica and Adore Beauty (online), so you might come across a sample the same way. Otherwise, if for some odd reason you are attracted to a stinky, burning product, you can find Philosophy in David Jones, Adore Beauty, and Mecca Cosmetica/Maxima.

Scrub a Dub Dub: Facial Scrubs

Firstly, apologies for being a bit lax with the posts lately, I blame the Sydney weather! I understand now the importance of artificial lighting; currently I’m relying on natural daylight for my blog photos, and the sunlight quality has been particularly poor this week.

Regular readers will know I love a good, grainy scrub. I’ve recently expanded my scrub range, after years of using one product religiously. My current scrub repertoire includes: ASAP Daily Exfoliating Facial Scrub, St Ives Blemish Control Apricot Scrub and Dermalogica daily microfoliant. If you love to scrub a dub dub like I do, read on!

Scrub Collection

ASAP Daily Exfoliating Facial Scrub

This scrub has to be my Holy Grail scrub product. Although the name and marketing suggests it can be used on a daily basis, I personally use it 2-3 times a week maximum. It has a 14% glycolic acid content, so I’m always careful to apply an SPF moisturiser afterwards. It is noticeably grainy (don’t waste my time and say you’re a scrub if I can’t feel any granules), and after using it, my skin is left feeling soft and smooth. I really think the addition of glycolic acid to the granules tips this over the edge as my ultimate product. The packaging is great; it has a little push top lid that snaps closed, so this happily lives in my shower.
RRP: $49.00 – I buy mine on Skincare Store and there is constantly some sort of 20/25/30% off sale.

St Ives Blemish Control Apricot Scrub

Now I’ve tried St Ives before, knowing it has a bit of a cult status around the world for it’s wallet-friendly skincare products. They’ve never done anything for me, so I gave up on them. Last year, I travelled to the Middle East, and someone I met on my trip bought this scrub, and it came in a BOGOF pack – St. Ives managed to weasel its way back into my life. Due to the desert conditions, I was hesitant to use the ASAP scrub too much, as I was really over-exposed to the sun. This scrub has now become a staple part of my routine – I usually use it around 2 times a week, on the days I’m not using the ASAP scrub. It smells delicious, and has a really nice almost mud mask-like texture – and y’all know how I love a good mask. It’s cheap as chips, and can be easily sourced – Priceline, Woolworths, Coles, Big W, etc.
Does it help with breakouts? Not as much as the ASAP, but it’s a great scrub to get your skin feeling squeaky clean mid-week, with minimal effort. I do find the granules get in my eyes, but I think this is more a reflection of my scrubbing technique. I’m actually not sure if the same product is available in Australia, but I have repurchased an Ageless Skin Apricot Scrub – perhaps I’ll be raving about that next time?
RRP: $9.99 – also constantly available on sale.

Dermalogica daily microfoliant

Now, this is a very recent addition to my routine. I think of it more as a polisher than a deep cleaning scrub. I’ve been using it as part of my morning routine, about 2-3 times per week. It’s great for something different for my skin, and has a very unique application technique. It comes in a powder format, you put about a tablespoon of powder into wet hands and then lather it up to make it into a scrub. Feels gentle on the skin, and isn’t messy at all. It’s a rice-powder based product, and I was knocked for six when I smelt it once lathered up – revolting. I just cannot get over the smell – it is so bad. It’s nice to know that products aren’t loaded up with perfumes, but c’mon Dermalogica, at least make it smell medicinal! It does feel nice on the skin, and makes my skin look fresh and awake once used, but the smell is definitely worth considering before you add this to your routine.
RRP: $71.00 – I bought it for $58.65 on Adorebeauty (side note: ordered Tuesday 8pm, it was on my doorstep Thursday 8am!).

Which one do I recommend? If you are in the market for a serious scrub, and glycolic acid doesn’t scare you, go for the ASAP Daily Exfoliating Facial Scrub. It can definitely be used as a daily scrub – I just personally found that my skin responded really well when I gave it a break between uses. It’s not ridiculously expensive, the packaging is a great design and it has really helped control my breakouts and oil levels.

How can you get it? Plenty of Australian beauty salons stock ASAP, otherwise I am a diehard Skincare Store customer.

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.