25 January, 2015

Video Post: Lip Product Addict Tag

Just letting you know that last week Ling and I quietly uploaded our first video in several months. To dust off those cobwebs - and being the lipstick addicts we are - we started off with the Lip Product Addict Tag!

Here are the all important questions:
1. Favorite balm/treatment?
2. Best eye-catching red?
3. Best luxury & best drugstore?
4. Best MAC lipstick?
5. The most disappointing?
6. Liner - yes or no?
7. Best gloss?
8. Something extra!  

We never take ourselves too seriously so if you want a bit of a light-hearted take on lip products then watch the video below... 

Products mentioned:
1. Hourglass Lip Treatment Oil, Lush Santa Baby
2. MAC Lady Danger, Tom Ford Cherry Lush
3. Tom Ford and Rimmel (with an honourable mention for Maybelline)
4. MAC Rebel, MAC Girl About Town
5. Maybelline Color Sensational Pop Sticks, L'Oreal Shine Caresse, Revlon Lip Butters, Chanel Rouge Coco Shine
6. Wet n Wild lip liner (666 Brandy Wine)
7. Chanel Glossimer, Lime Crime
8. Liquid matte lipsticks (Hourglass Opaque Rouge, Stila Stay All Day), YSL Rouge Pur Couture (No. 52 Rosy Coral), Kevyn Aucoin

Of course we tag anyone who wants to play along!

Until next time...

23 January, 2015

Australis: bethatgirl

The nail polish I'm featuring today has gone straight to the top of my favourites list because - this is a rarity - I've worn it more than once this summer on my fingers AND toes!!!
I've found Australis nail polishes to be either hit or miss in the past so I've tended to overlook them unless they were on sale and so that's how I came to buy bethatgirl.  Bethatgirl is a neon purple cream from their Limited Edition range and it delivers in colour punch and coverage.  Two coats glided on and with the customary topcoat wear time has been easily a week on my fingernails and 3 weeks on my tootsies!  It's all about the colour of course, and being a neon it was a complete diva to photograph colour true but this is the most gloriously vibrant pink-purple in real life.  I think it will translate well for the change of season too.
Bethatgirl is still available on the Australis Cosmetics website here.
Until next time!

21 January, 2015

Online shopping at Natural Supply Co

It's my first haul post of the year -  and it's all for the purposes of blogging research you know! Yes, seriously!

Okay, so being serious, one of the highlights of my blogging experience over the past year has been getting to know and review products from smaller, independent beauty brands I may not have otherwise come across. More recently that has extended to local online businesses in the beauty and lifestyle industry and this post is about my online shopping experiences (and picks) from the Natural Supply Co site.

Natural Supply Co is a Melbourne based company established late in 2014 by close friends (and genuinely lovely ladies from my dealings with them) Celeste and Catherine who wanted to make it easier for customers to find "...natural (yet delightful!) beauty, skincare and lifestyle products, along with meaningful information, in one place."  All of the brands available on the site focus on natural ingredients, are cruelty free and are environmentally friendly in their manufacturing and packaging.

 After only a few months the site's brand listing has grown to a total of 37 local and international brands (and counting it appears as it was 35 only a few weeks ago) including Badger, Bite Beauty, Grown Alchemist, O&M Original Mineral Haircare, and Shore Soap Co.
 I've actually shopped the site twice now, initially before Christmas and just a week ago so this is a combined haul post...
My online shopping experience:
I found the site easy to navigate either searching by brand (by clicking on brand logo's on the main brand page) or by product in the dropdown category listings.  Apart from looking at a few specific brands I had in mind I found it just as easy to scroll through product categories to explore the range.  I like how each brand has an introductory 'Who Why What' page so I could read all about them before I made brand selections and link back to the 'Shop' page. 
On both occasions the products were promptly dispatched within 24 hours and delivered within 48 hours.  As you can see above the packing is in keeping with the company's environmentally conscious philosophy, using unbleached paper rather than plastic or foam padding and everything is prettily hand wrapped and ready for gifting if I'd wanted to gift it to someone other than myself!
So here's what I chose.  It was a balanced mix of necessities and pretties I think...
December's haul
Salus Eucalyptus & Rosemary Purifying Body Scrub - I always have a body scrub in the shower for regular exfoliation and I wanted to try this luxury home spa version.
Yard Skincare Balmoral Bliss Bloss - This crazy sounding product is one of an irresistible range of natural lip balm/gloss hybrids referred to as 'Bloss' and come in 7 shades.  Balmoral Bliss Bloss is a sheer candy pink, smells like chocolate mint and glides like butter on the lips - yum!
Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream (Crianza) - Another matte liquid lipstick to add to my collection and another Bite Beauty product to try.  Crianza is a dark pink-red or red-pink depending on how you see it.

January's haul
O&M Maintain the Mane Mini Set - My hairdresser uses O&M products on my tresses so I bought this travel-size pack ready for my next trip coming up in a few months.  I like being prepared ahead of time obviously!

Love Soap Organic Lavender and Meadowfoam Hand Wash - I bought this child-friendly moisturising hand wash for my own sensitive hands and got it straight into action in my bathroom to wash my hands without stripping them of moisture. 
Bite Beauty Whipped Cherry Fruit Scrub -  Confession:  this will be the first time I've tried a lip scrub!
Kester Black Nail Polish (Sky) and O&M/Kester Black Limited Edition Nail Polish (Conquer Blonde) - This will be my first time trying these 5-Free Australian made (Melbourne made actually, so very local!) nail polishes.
 I'm slowly working my way through these products so let me know what you'd like to see reviewed first!
Australian readers:  If you want to check out Natural Supply Co for yourself shop the site here.


18 January, 2015

Orly: Red Carpet

I'm still playing catch up around here so that will explain why I'm posting my Christmas Day manicure in the middle of January!
I'm a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to Christmas beauty and so I'd always planned to go with a red (or gold, or green!) polish.  Red Carpet is one of the Orly polishes I chose at the Salon Melbourne event last year and it's a cherry red jelly with a subtle glitter sparkle. I'll tell you right now these pictures will not do justice to this little gem because it actually sparkles madly in the right light! This is two coats, finished with a single coat of top coat.

What did you choose for your Christmas mani?

14 January, 2015

Review: SODA & Co Sugar Scrub and Lip Balm

I was excited when natural body care brand SODA & Co contacted me to review their products because I'm slightly obsessed with body scrubs and lip balms and these really looked - well honestly - FUN!

 SODA & Co is another local brand, (very local because they're based in Melbourne!) and it came as no surprise to me to learn that their philosophy does focus on a fun approach to natural body products.  In their own words:  "..being natural doesn't have to mean bland or boring. At SODA & Co colour is everything. Our products are a reflection of all things good for you whilst being fun and upbeat." 

SODA & Co products are not tested on animals, are rich in natural plant-based ingredients and are free from any of the following:

Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Ammonium Laureth Sulfate
Tree Nut or Peanut Oils
Synthetic fragrances
Mineral oils or

SODA & Co  Sugar Scrub
These very appealing and cheerfully packaged body scrubs are described as "All Natural, Mouth Watering Gentle Exfoliating & Moisturising" and come in 3 fragrances not at all surprisingly described as uplifting: Mint Burst, Orange Splash and Pink Lemonade. They're enriched with moisturising ingredients including Cocoa Butter, Jojoba and Vitamin E promising to invigorate and soften the skin and claim to be gentle enough to be used everyday if you like to wake up your skin with a good scrub!
My impressions:
I received Mint Burst (a mint candy scent which reminds me of Mentos candies if you know what I'm talking about) and Orange Splash and I dipped into Orange Splash first. I found the slightly sweet, zesty natural orange oil scent definitely uplifting without being too cloying or overpowering in any way.  And the scrub itself?  I only needed to scoop out small amounts of this sugar granule scrub and rub onto my damp skin for seriously the scrubbiest scrub experience ever! Moisturising scrubs can often get the balance wrong and skimp on the actual scrubbing granules themselves meaning you have to scrub like crazy to get any kind of result but as you can see in the picture above this dense mix is all about the scrub!
Do I sound just a little excited? I can't help it because I was in scrub heaven as this did a fantastic job of exfoliating my skin without stinging or scratching, and because it's a sugar scrub it didn't leave any gritty granules in the shower after rinsing either - always a plus.  The natural oils remain on the skin after rinsing off the scrub and I don't need to moisturise at all afterwards. This is a 2-in-1 exfoliating and moisturising scrub indeed!  
Ingredients listing for Orange Splash Sugar Scrub:
Sucrose, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Sodium Chloride (Australian Sea Salt), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Glycerin, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Vanilla Planifolia Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil.
SODA & Co Sugar Scrubs are $26.95 AUD each for 225g of product.
 SODA & Co Lip Balm
These little pots of balm come in 4 flavours:  Mint Burst, Orange Splash, Pink Lemonade and Natural Cocoa.  The key ingredients are Sunflower Seed Oil, Cocoa Butter, Jojoba and Vitamin E to soften and nourish the lips.
My impressions:
Packaging considerations first - I like the little tin with the nifty screw top lid because it's just so handy to carry around in my purse or pocket with no fear of any mess. The 2 flavours I've received - Natural Cocoa and Orange Splash - smell natural, and very much deliciously edible which makes sense because they are made from recognizable, edible ingredients (see the Orange Splash ingredients listing below). 
The balm is a solid texture that melts just enough with a swirl of the fingertips to apply onto my lips and doesn't feel sticky, greasy or waxy at all, just buttery smooth enough to make my lips feel soft and give them a subtle sheen.  I'm quite addicted to reapplying these balms because they are positively yummy and appeal to my fun side - they bring back all kinds of good memories of flavoured balms I loved as a little girl and what could be wrong with that?  Speaking of which, I think these would make great gifts for those little aspiring beauty buffs out there too :)
Ingredients listing for Orange Splash Lip Balm:
Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Citrus Reticulata (Mandarin) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Vanilla Planifolia Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E).

SODA & Co lip balms are $8.95 AUD each for 10g of product.
You can purchase online from the Soda & Co website here.  Free shipping is available to Australia for orders over $25 and New Zealand for orders over $50.
 (These products were provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

11 January, 2015

Revlon Parfumerie: Lime Basil

It's nubbin time again and that's when I usually end up reaching for something a little more on the quirky side to dress up my shortie nails - like a bright green perhaps!
Lime Basil is a perfectly herby shade of green. It's also one of those love/hate scented polishes from Revlon's Parfumerie range and this particular scent was a hate for me because it was so strong and overwhelmingly like lime cordial, but fortunately it faded away after 24 hours or so - and lots of hand washing!  Application was also problematic and a little on the streaky side and after two coats it still looked uneven.  I finished off with the usual single layer of topcoat to finesse it a little bit and then I gave up.  Oh well, at least the colour itself was fun...

All pictures taken in indirect daylight, on an unfortunately gloomy summer day:

Until next time!

09 January, 2015

Review: Rimmel Provocalips 16HR Kiss Proof Lip Colours...

...and how they kept my lipstick game strong over the festive season!

Let me be honest - when Rimmel initially released their Provocalips 16HR Kiss Proof Lip Colours I wasn't going to jump on the bandwagon because I figured I'd been there and done that years ago.  So of course as it goes with all new releases the hype starts building (which I duly ignore), and then my friends start raving (maybe there's something to this?), and then finally in mid December the PR company sends me some samples to try (okay then I'll try these and find out for myself!)

Provocalips 16HR Kiss Proof Lip Colours promise:
    •  Kiss proof, transfer proof, food proof high impact endless colour.
    •  No tight feeling or dry lips. Lips feel smooth and moisturized all day long.
    •  Easy removal with Oil based makeup remover. 

 First up, I have the say the packaging is too cute (my admitted weakness) and being colour coded makes it easy to see which colour you're grabbing for. 
The application itself is a two step process.  First, colour is applied directly to clean, unprimed lips, then allowed to dry for around 60 seconds WITHOUT smooshing or smacking your lips together (or your lip colour could adhere to itself and peel or flake).  Once dry, the clear topcoat is applied to seal the colour and moisturise the lips.  Both the colour and topcoats are easily applied with the doe foot applicators.  I found the topcoat was a must, as although the lip colour will dry transfer-proof alone, it feels uncomfortably tacky on the lips without it. This means the finish of these lip colours is shiny - at least until the topcoat wears off.
The first thing I noticed is how incredibly richly pigmented these are and I had opaque colour on my lips in one swipe. These can still be built up to some degree with extra coats before the colour sets although not too heavily because it can result in a too thick coat of product, prone to peeling from the lips. Honestly though I think a single coat of colour should really be enough - as you'll see when you get to my swatches later in the post!
Once the colour is set, it is 100% SET and mine did not budge through all the eating and kissing I did throughout the festive season.  It was a huge relief to be able to wear bright lip colours without worrying about leaving lipstick prints on family and friends' cheeks, nor about having to touch up my lip colour after lunch or dinner and finally not worrying about colour bleeding outside my middle aged lip line!
These do wear very comfortably for a long wearing lip colour too and I didn't find myself rushing to reapply the moisturising topcoat because I really didn't need it.  The initial application is enough to seal in the tackiness too so it's a set and forget it for the rest of the day situation.
I received 3 of the 8 shades available to review and because I was won over I ended up buying another because of course I needed a long-wearing red for Christmas day!
 Top to bottom:  Skinny Dipping, I'll Call You, Little Minx, Kiss Me You Fool
Swatched on the back of my hand Left to Right:
Skinny Dipping, I'll Call You, Little Minx, Kiss Me You Fool
And now for the documented wear test!
Provocalips shade I'll Call You freshly applied at 10:00 am -  I decided to pout for a change...
And those brutal but necessary close ups:
10:00 am lips
7:30 pm lips in fading light with top coat freshly applied
The only sign of wear is where the colour has faded from the inner portion of my lips after a long day of lunching and grazing with friends and to be honest, had I not pouted my lips this wouldn't be noticeable at all.  If I was concerned with the fading (which I wasn't because I was back at home) a quick reapplication of colour in the centre of the lip would freshen it up perfectly.  I kept my Provocalips on for the rest of the day and it stayed like this until I chose to take it off at 11:00 pm with some eye & lip makeup remover.  
Yes, I totally get the hype and I'm more than impressed Rimmel Provocalips 16HR Kiss Proof Lip Colours - I think they are a very reasonable buy at $17.95 each too.

Rimmel Provocalips 16HR Kiss Proof Lip Colours are available at:
Priceline, Priceline Pharmacy, Big W, Woolworths, Coles, Chemist Warehouse, My Chemist,
Target and Kmart and various Independent Pharmacies.

 Have you tried these?
(This product was provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

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