Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The perfect stocking stuffer for a nail polish lover

Bloom have a massive collection nail polish colours - 80 to be exact (you can see all the colours here) which ordinarily retail for $19.95 per bottle or two for $29.95. However, just in time for Christmas, Bloom have brought out a couple of gift packs containing four mini bottles of their famous polish. These are an absolute bargain at $24.95, especially considering that the mini bottles are a generous 9ml each. I don't know about you but i have never ever finished a bottle of nail polish, therefore these mini bottles are perfect for me - more colour for my buck!

There are two packs to choose from:

Fashion Mini Nail Polish collection containing the following colours: Goldie, The Casette Society II, Kate, Sunday.

Classic Mini Nail Polish collection containing Millie, Kim, Edie and Toni.

I was sent the Classic Mini Nail Polish collection to trial. Prior to this I had not actually tried a Bloom nail polish before so I was quite intrigued to see how it compared my other favourite brands.

According to the Bloom website:

Natalie Bloom has always been obsessed with colour. In fact, some might say she has an unhealthy fascinations with the graduation of a Pantone swatch book! Natalie has collected fabric swatches, magazine tear-sheets and ribbons as inspiration for our 80+ Nail Polish range and the results are amazing. From sheer, seashell pink to that illusive petrol blue with a slight shimmer - Natalie wanted to create that perfect shade of nail polish that you've been searching high and low for.

With pigments sourced from around the world, a professional two-coat formula and an incredible 330-strand brush, our nail polish will hold its colour and shine for days.

The first colour I took for a test drive was Millie - a colour I would describe as a dark cherry red. My sister had a less poetic way of describing. On seeing me wear it she exclaimed 'OMG, that is the perfect whore red. I have been searching everywhere for that EXACT colour'. She then asked if she could borrow it...and took it with her when she moved to Japan. It is a great red after all! Two coats give total opacity. The formula is a dream to apply. I didn't find it streaky at all. However, it was fairly slow drying. It lasted three days before it started chipping and even then the chipping was minor. I did not apply a top coat over this - that is how shiny the polish is and the shine lasts until you take it off. I was hugely impressed with this polish.

I didn't get a chance to do a full mani with the other colours so have swatched them each on a single nail to show how the colour comes out. The second swatch is Kim, a taupey brown. I have to admit that this colour isn't my cup of tea. I just don't do anything that is even remotely a shade of brown. However, it is a colour that is really in fashion at the moment. I have seen a few blogs do nail polish swatches that are various shades of brown and the blog owners have all raved about the colour. I'd love to hear what you think of it. This is two coats. One coat gave me about 95% opacity and if you were in a rush you could get away with it as it only had the faintest 'bald spots' (a nail polish term I just learnt from Jacie at You've Got Nail!). Like Millie, it applied like a total dream.

The third swatch is Toni, though unfortunately it has not photographed as true to its colour as i would have liked. It has come out a lot whiter than in real life. Bloom describe the colour as 'a dew'...though that doesn't help me at all (I though dew was water so clear??), so I will include the official Bloom photo of the bottle to give you a better idea of its colour. The first application was very patchy so I was expecting this to be a minimum three coat job but surprisingly the second coat gave it complete opacity. I can see myself getting heaps of wear out of Toni, this summer, as it is one of those colours that really accentuate and and foot tan!

The final colour in the classic pack, and my personal favourite, was Edie. This is one hot red! Apologies for the colour of my finger, I think the blood must have been a bit cut off getting my finger to this angle. If you can ignore the purple finger take in the beauty of Edie. It is the perfect pillar box red. It is hot hot hot and demands attention. It looks like patent leather on. And the best bit - total opacity with one coat! Yep, this picture was taken after only one coat was applied, no top coat. Brilliant when you realise that you haven't applied nail polish and need to be out the door in five minutes (ok, fine, it won't be touch dry in that time but you get my point!).

The Bloom mini nail polish packs are such great value. You get four nail polishes for just over $6 each, and these are top quality polishes to boot. If you are after a Kris Kringle gift, or an extra stocking filler I can imagine anyone not being totally thrilled with a pack of these mini polishes. You can find Bloom online or in Myers and David Jones stores.

Have you tried Bloom nail polish before? If so, what are your thoughts?

Can you do a brown nail polish or do ou have a severe brown phobia like me?

All opinions stated in this blog are my own. I have no affiliation with Bloom and received no remuneration for my comments. This product was provided for consideration.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Who won the NVEY ECO organic makeup give away?

A massive thanks to everyone who entered my NVEY ECO organic makeup giveaway. I have used to pick a winner for me

And the lucky winner?


Congrats Magda. I have emailed you. I hope you enjoy the prize!

I don't think that I will manage to get another giveaway completed before Christmas but I still have a couple of prizes left to give away so keep your eyes out for some great giveaways of the new year!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Let's party on the Weekend Beauty Blog Hop

I have had a hectic couple of weeks and as such my poor little blog has been neglected. The older he gets, the more hard work The Crazy Kid becomes. The second I sit down at the computer he runs up and grabs my hand to drag me somewhere or other. That pretty much just leaves his nap times for blogging, but then that is also my only chance to get chores and work done so rarely blogging wins; the other chance is in the evenings after Crazy has gone down, but the these days I'm shattered, so fail again. I have that many blog posts written in my head that just need to make it to the computer...

As we get further and further into the party season, I can just feel that there will either be even less opportunities to blog, or more awesome topics to write about (I hope it's the latter). So, this week, instead of listing your blog, I want you to post a link to one of you blog posts that has a party element to it - whether it be a party FOTD, a perfume that puts you in the mood for a great night out, or some creative nail designs. Don't make reference to your blog but simply leave the title of your post so that it is a surprise to readers as to which blog they will end up at. I will post a link to one of my articles below so that you can see what I mean. If it is too hard to pick just one article to link to, you are more than welcome post more than once. In fact, I would love it if you did - lets get the party started!

I would love suggestions for themes to use in the coming weeks as well, if you have any.

If you missed my original post on The Weekend Beauty Blog Hop, here's a quick explanation:

What is a blog hop?

A blog hop is a linky list that is SHARED ON MULTIPLE BLOGS.

When several blogs put the same linky list code on their blog, the exact same list appears on each blog.

Blog visitors can submit their entries on any blog that contains the list. The entries will appear on each blog where the list resides.

Blog readers see the same list on each blog, and can "HOP" from blog to blog seeing the same list of links to follow: BLOG HOP!

So basically, its an awesome way to discover new beauty blogs or have new readers discover yours. Or in the case of Pimp Your Favourite Post, its a great way to get new traffic to your favourite post.

The only rule is that your post must have some beauty content. That's it! Once you have joined, why don't you check out the other articles posted in the list - you may discover a brilliant post that you missed when it was originally published. Please Tweet or share a link to your Facebook account as the more posts we can get to on the list, the better the Weekend Beauty Blog Hop will be!

If you would like to do a post about this on your blog, by all means grab the code below. Feel free to lift any content from this post, all I ask is that you link where you got it from.

Hop away my friends, hop away! This link will be open from 5.00pm on Friday 9th December until 8.00am on Monday 12th October (Australian Eastern Standard time).

In addition to the Weekend Beauty Blog Hop I have also set up a Beauty Blog Directory. If you would like your blog added to the Beauty Blog Directory leave a comment on that post or here with the following info:

1. Blog title
2. Blog URL
3. A brief sentence summarising the purpose of your blog (it can be your blog tag line if you like)
4. What country you are from. If you would also like to add your city and state, I will include that with your listing - that way you may be able to discover the fellow bloggers in your local area .

Once you have added your blog to the Beauty Blog Directory feel free to grab a button for your blog from the bottom of my right sidebar.

Enjoy the Blog Hop this weekend, beauty lovers!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

The acne series: Guest review of Aspect and Dr Aspect

In the first of my series of guest reviews on acne treatment ranges, I recruited Vanessa to trial some Aspect and Aspect Dr products. The products she received were:

Aspect Purastat 5 Cleanser which is described as 'an extraordinary one-of-a-kind cleansing formula that will exceed your expectations and change the way you think about the simple act of cleansing your face forever.'

Aspect Jungle Brew 'Chemical free because problem skin should be nurtured not tortured! If you suffer the misery of spotty, excessively oily or impure skin, you will no doubt have tried a myriad of cosmetic treatments with the hope of finding that magic clear skin solution only to find that the cure was worse than the disease'

Aspect Dr Exfol A Plus Serum 'A potent Vitamin A formula that has superior stability coupled with exceptional cellular renewal activity for clearer, smoother, more evenly coloured, younger looking skin.'

This is Vanessa's review:

My skin is troublesome to say the least. So when the opportunity came up to trial some acne-prone beauty products I jumped at the chance and boy, am I glad that I did! Why? Well, my skin is pimple prone – it always has been. 15-20 years ago I even went to a skin specialist and went on Roaccutane. My skin is stubborn so though this helped after a few months I found that my skin began playing up again after coming off of it. So my skin specialist put me on a second course of Roaccutane. This was great because this second course dried my sebum supply out enough to keep my skin under control – for quite a while at least. 

Enter my thirties: massive hormonal changes because I began a family – childbirth, breastfeeding played a big part in hormonal changes but luckily my skin stayed okay until my very late thirties when it started to get more oily – again!! Enter my fourties: increasingly oily skin for no apparent reason. Maybe the effect of the Roaccutane was finally wearing off!! So I was on the computer searching and signed up to several beauty blogs/website because I thought it sounded silly to head for the skin specialist again for yet another round of Roaccutane. But you know what? I would have been on it again if I hadn’t been invited to trial these truly amazing topical products by Aspect courtesy of The Science of Beauty blog.

So you probably have the picture of what my skin is like by now: pimple-prone, acne-prone, super duper oily t-zone, temperamental both to dairy products in my diet (triggered pimples!!) and also temperamental with hormones from the ‘monthlies’ which are sporadic at the best of times!! Genetically speaking, I got this annoying skin from my mum. Thanks Mum!! I watched her struggle with her pimple-prone skin all her life. So genetics, oiliness, the odd bad habit (like touching my face when I shouldn’t) and probably using the wrong products on my skin have made my skin the way it is. If I have a weak point then my pimple prone skin is my weak point. Everything else is great – it’s just that my skin is the pain and bane of my life.

As you can imagine I’ve tried and used many, many products which claim they’ll help control pimples and improve my oily skin type. (Though I’m dry on my upper cheeks and round my eyes and near my ears at my age now). Some products did help a little – just a little though and it was more for just ‘control’ after the next batch of pimples emerged but I have never, ever used anything as effective, gentle and downright amazing as these Aspect products (which I had never heard of by the way, before this trial).

The Aspect Purastat 5 Cleanser (240ml) slotted easily and simply into my ‘beauty’ routine by quite honestly being the most incredibly gentle yet anti-acne cleanser I have EVER used and I’ve used a couple of very good ones. This lime-scented and lime-coloured cleanser is so beautifully gentle that I can use it all over my face and there is not the least hint of dryness. It doesn’t strip my skin whatsoever. The pump top quality bottle is shaped like an upside-down cone. I’ve been using it for just over a month now and I estimate I’ve used only 40mls of this precious potion which makes it very very economical because it looks like it’s going to last me around 6 months! That works out around $10 a month or around $2.50 a week for the BEST cleanser I’ve ever used for my crazy skin type. It’s effect on my skin is highly cleansing and refreshing as well as calming – somehow it makes my skin feel more resilient against pimples and much, much less pimple prone. I’m honestly completely amazed something like this exists!

The other two Aspect products I received to trial for my pimple prone skin was two serums – one I’ve been using in the morning after cleansing – Jungle Brew (30ml) and the other I’ve been using at night after cleansing – Exfol A Plus Serum (30ml).

These fitted so easily into my normal routine – straight after cleansing and before I applied my moisturiser. In the morning I’d apply a sunscreen moisturiser after the Jungle Brew serum and in the night I’d apply an oil-free basic moisturiser after I applied the Exfol A Plus Serum. They both went onto/into my skin extremely easily – they both felt the same to apply. They are both a thin, slippery, easy-to-spread serum which, with one squirt from the pump pack would cover my entire face and upper neck area (as I was getting very stubborn pimple problems in the last year on my upper neck area too). At night sometimes I would apply the Exfol A Plus Serum without adding any of my nightly oil-free moisturiser on top.

These serums both are soothing, simple and effective. To me it seems like they have a compound effect with the use of the cleanser and so I love using these three products in unison on a daily basis.

These products are working for me like bottles of miracles! I would never have believed anything could help my skin as well as these Aspect products. After a few weeks of use my skin no longer feels pimple prone/acne-prone. It feels somehow stronger against pimples and doesn’t have that awful ‘just about to break out feeling’. Since starting these products my skin has had no further breakouts at all! My skin certainly looks a million miles clearer than what it did before I started using them too. My photos show the results! My face (and neck) is not congested like it was and I haven’t changed anything in my diet/nutrition but I still avoid dairy products. Maybe one day I will be able to eat and drink dairy again with the way these Aspects products are working for me!

I feel completely gob-smacked because I really thought I was going to be heading down the Roaccutane track yet again but after using these Aspect trial products I don’t have to.

I found these products to be very gentle but I did wear a sunscreen everyday as I normally do and I found that generally using moisturiser over the top of the serums, both for day and night, as my preferred way of using these. The night time Exfol A Plus Serum I found stronger than the Jungle Brew and I found that using the Purastat 5 Cleanser I didn’t need to rub at all and I used it for around 30 seconds to 1 minute to cleanse with and then I rinsed it off. I found it easy to rinse off. At night, after wearing make-up and sunscreens I would do a ‘double cleanse’ with it as the instructions say so on the website. This worked exceedingly well for me.

Something very worthy of mentioning is that these products are completely Australian and not tested on animals. It gets even better! They are wonderful cosmeceutical products which are free of all the nasties too – free of parabens, formaldehyde, sodium lauryl sulphate, propylene glycol, mineral oils, petrolatum, artificial colours and fragrances.

These unusual skincare products are truly what I’d call beauty products! Thank you The Science of Beauty and Aspect for allowing me to discover them through this trial. I am completely amazed with them!! They really work for me. I sit here typing this with absolutely no pimples!! I can easily say that they are the best products I have ever used in my entire life!

Before trial


After: close up

Aspect is a protected brand not available in department stores or online. For more information on salons that stock the Aspect and Aspect Dr range, check out their website.

Have you found your Holy Grail set of products to fix your problematic skin?

All opinions stated in this blog are my own (or in this case are Vanessa's). I have no affiliation with Aspect or Aspect Dr and received no remuneration for these comments. These products were provided to Vanessa for her consideration.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Organic eyes thanks to NVEY ECO

The other day I reviewed NVEY ECO organic makeup Moisture Rich Liquid Foundation. Continuing on my foray into the world of organic makeup, today I played around with some NVEY ECO organic eyeshadow.

Just to recap, NVEY ECO is an Australian made, organic makeup range that was founded in 2005. It has achieve great success in Europe, becoming the number 2 organic makeup brand in France within a year. It was founded by Rohan Widdison, who recognised that there was a huge need for natural makeup that did not compromise on performance. Following the huge success overseas, the brand is now being relaunched in Australia.

When it comes to eyeshadow, I love highly pigmented, long lasting colour. I was intrigued to see whether this organic makeup could be as pigmented and long lasting as it's non organic compatriots.

I was given five NVEY ECO organic eyeshadows to play with along with the NVEY ECO Volumising Mascara. The colours used in the following look were 166 - a deep shimmery blue, 160 - a soft pastel mint green with a hint of shimmer and 156 - a rich aqua, also with shimmer (I LOVE shimmer). I have photographed the colours with both the flash on and off to give you the best understanding of the colour.

NVEY ECO eye shadows L to R: 166, 160, 156 (flash on) 

NVEY ECO eye shadows L to R: 166, 160, 156 (flash off)

NVEY ECO eye shadow swatches L to R: 166, 160, 156
(flash on)

NVEY ECO eye shadow swatches L to R: 166, 160, 156
(flash off)

Below is the look I created with these three shadows and the mascara. These photos were actually taken about 4 hours after I applied the makeup so you can see that it has lasted well. I did prime my lids with my MAC paintpot so deviated slightly from an entirely organic look, but in my defense I have oily lids and no organic primer so I wanted to see how the shadow applied and lasted compared to my non organic shadow.

I was really impressed with how the eyeshadow applied. It was silky soft and applied very easily. There appeared to be fallout in the pan but this didnt occur on my face, which was a huge bonus.  I applied the pale green (160) to the inner corner. This colour was quite pale so it took about three applications to get the depth of colour I wanted, but it was still easy to build up intensity. The aqua (156) was applied to the crease and the dark blue (166) to the outer corner. I loved all of these colours and can see myself getting plenty of wear out of them. Pigment wise, I don't think that the colour was as intense as a MAC pigment but it was still veryy impressive and I wasn't at all disappointed.

A few years back I had a massive allergic reaction to my contact lenses and since then my eyes have been extremely sensitive, especially to mascara. I had no issues at all with this mascara. As you can see, my eyes are not bloodshot and I had been wearing the mascara for 4 hours. It applied as easily as any mascara I have tried and did not budge once on. I actually saw my sister off at the airport last night (as she embarked on her adventure to Japan) and I may have gotten a tad misty eyed but the mascara still didn't budge. It removed easily enough with makeup wipes. The best thing about it - it didn't clump or turn my lashes into spider legs. That is a massive pet hate of mine, when it comes to mascara. In these photos, I had two coats on.


I wasn't the only one who had a play around with the eye shadows - unfortunately The Crazy Kid also got his hands on them and create his own Face of the Day (well, he did the cheek and nose artwork and I may have helped out with the eyes!). He was rather proud of the final result.

The Crazy Kid also wanted to do a face of the
day with the NVEY ECO shadows

The NVEY ECO organic eyeshadows retail at $29.95 or you can get a palette of 5 for $75.95. The  NVEY ECO Volumising Mascara retails at $29.95. I have found these shadows to be on par with their non organic brothers so you most certainly don't compromise on anything by going organic.

If you would like a chance to try the NVEY ECO organic eye shadows then I have some awesome news for you. They are one of the products in the huge pack of NVEY ECO makeup that I am giving away. Enter here!

Have you tried organic eye shadow before? What were your thoughts? Do you think that The Crazy Kid di a good job of his makeup?

All opinions stated in this blog are my own. I have no affiliation with NVEY ECO and received no remuneration for my comments. This product was provided for consideration.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Redraw of my Okoii handmade skincare giveaway

Just a quick post. The person who took out the 2nd prize of my Okoii skincare giveaway unfortunately (for them!) did not respond to my emails so I have ha no option but to redraw the comp. I went back to my trusty friend and he told me that the new 2nd place winner was number 3, which was Bianca.  I have emailed this new winner, so fingers crosed the prize gets claimed this time!

Thanks, once again, everyone who entered!

Winner of my Can You Get Hooked on Lip Balm giveaway

For my second giveaway of the Christmas season, I got 33 entries. Hooray!!

So, who won?? spat out number 22 and that lucky person was kerry santillo.

Kerry, I will be emailing you in the next few minutes so keep your eyes peeled as I need you to respond within 48 hours.

If you didn't win this time, remember that I still have a giveaway running where you can win a huge pack of NVEY ECO organic makeup. Here's the link so make sure you get your entry in ASAP!! Best of luck, my lovely readers!

Also, one of the winners of my Okoii handmade skincare comp haven't responded within the required time so I am going to have to redraw that never know, you may be my new winner!!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Keen to be rid of nasties in your makeup? Win a fabulous pack of NVEY ECO organic makeup.

I have had the down low on organic skincare for a while now, yet, until recently, had no idea that such thing as organic makeup existed. I was then introduced to the NVEY ECO range of organic makeup and a whole new world opened up to me.
A pioneer in Organic Colour Cosmetics, NVEY ECO only uses ingredients that are both loving and nurturing to our skin. Certified Organic by the NATRUE, a leading European and Global certifying body that audits and certifies cosmetic products, NATRUE certification is an important global recognition for NVEY ECO, and reinforces this process our focus on safe, ethical and functional cosmetics for consumers.
I recently had the privilege of trialling the NVEY ECO Moisture Rich Fluid Foundation and was pleasantly surprised with the quality. Rohan Widdison, founder of NVEY ECO, recognised that there was a huge need for natural makeup that did not compromise on performance and I have to say that the Moisture Rich Fluid Foundation definitely did not compromise on performance or quality.
NVEY ECO is an Australian made, organic makeup range that was founded in 2005. It has achieve great success in Europe, becoming the number 2 organic makeup brand in France within a year. Following the huge success overseas, the brand is now being relaunched in Australia. So, to celebrate this relaunch and to continue with the spirit of giving this Christmas, I have another amazing giveaway for you. NVEY ECO, in partnership with Love PR, have agreed to sponsor the following prize. One lucky reader will win:
NVEY ECO Eye Shadow Palette 5 Colour Collection (RRP $75.95)
NVEY ECO Mattifying Compact Powder in Transparent Neutral (RRP $49.95 reviewed here)
NVEY ECO Advanced Care Lip Colour in 365 (RRP $29.95 - actual colour shown)

To enter, all you have to do is follow me on GFC or by email. Let me know below how you are following me and also answer the following question:

What nasties (if any) are you hoping to avoid by switching to organic makeup?

This competition will run for two weeks, from now until 8.00pm on Monday December 12th and it is open worldwide. The winner will be chosen by
There will be plenty more giveaways in the lead up to Christmas so make sure that you are following me on Twitter and Facebook so that you don't miss out. I also recommend that you follow NVEY ECO on Facebook and Twitter so you stay up to date with all of their specials and giveaways.
Good luck!!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

100% Certified Organic Makeup: NVEY ECO Moisture Rich Fluid Foundation

At the start of the month I received a press release advertising NVEY ECO organic makeup. When it comes to skincare I know quite a lot about organic ranges and ingredients, but it never occurred to me that there could be such thing as organic makeup - the concept literally had never entered my mind. Once I had heard of organic makeup I was actually a bit confused. I know that makeup is often made using minerals so I was wondering how these could be organic - is it possible to get organic dirt or organic rocks to crush to get the minerals? Then I had a light bulb moment, or more accurately, a flashback to year 12 organic chemistry. The term 'organic' refers to something that was once or still is living. Therefore, the ingredients in the makeup that would be organic would be the ones that are plant based. I checked out the NVEY ECO website and they then offered this explanation:

At NVEY ECO, we believe that if you are going to make a product Organic, you go all the way and make it Certified Organic! All NVEY ECO Make-up is NATRUE Certified . Unlike mineral or uncertified products, at NVEY ECO, we have to meet NATRUE’s standards in all ingredients we use. This prohibits us from using many of the ingredients found in mineral or uncertified products many brands use. Further NVEY ECO maintains its own internal standards of sourcing raw materials to ensure safe, ethical and functional colour cosmetics.

NVEY ECO is an Australian made, organic makeup range that was founded in 2005. It has achieve great success in Europe, becoming the number 2 organic makeup brand in France within a year. It was founded by Rohan Widdison, who recognised that there was a huge need for natural makeup that did not compromise on performance. Following the huge success overseas, the brand is now being relaunched in Australia.

I have to confess that I have always hated mineral makeup - in particular mineral foundation. I know how good it is meant to be for the skin; however, it always seem to age me by about 30 years. Wrinkles I had never seen before suddenly became highlighted and accentuated by the mineral foundation. I tested three different brands before coming to the conclusion that mineral makeup just wasn't for me. I rather wear no makeup then suddenly have a face full of wrinkles. When the opportunity to trial NVEY ECO's Moisture Rich Fluid Foundation came about I was hopeful that this would be an alternative to mineral foundation that actually works for me.

I was asked to select a colour from their website that would best match my skintone. This led to my first (and only) complaint about the product. I couldn't, for the life of me, work out what colour foundation would suit me best. I have been colour matched at MAC and I am a NW20 and I use a Look 1 in Napoleon's Camera Finish Foundation but neither of this helped me to work out what I would be with NVEY ECO. I spent a good couple of hours googling away trying to get possible matching tips, without any luck. I eventually came across another natural makeup company that had a chart of faces and what colour foundation their skintone corresponded to. So, even though this was a different company, I picked beige. It was the one I was tending towards anyway as the most pale colour NVEY ECO have is cool ivory and I definitely don't think that my skin would be that pale, plus my skin came up as 'warm' in the MAC colour match; and the next colour up was custard and I thought that would be too yellow for my skin, so beige it was.

Unfortunately, beige ended up being a tad too dark for my skin (as you will see in the photo's below). However, I applied the NVEY ECO Mattifying Compact Powder in transparent neutral to set the foundation and I found that this toned down the colour a lot and made it a much better match for my skin. I know it is best to test foundation in person to get the best match, but this isn't always possible. So, my recommendation to NVEY ECO would be to either update their website with photo's of models whose skin tone matches with each of the colours so that you can match up with them, or to provide better swatches that make it easier for an online consumer to select a colour.

Colour matching aside, I was really impressed with this foundation. It took me a couple of practice runs to work out the best way to apply it, but once I had mastered that I really liked it. The issues I initially had with application were that it actually dries quite quickly so when I was applying it with my fingers I found that it left streaky fingerprint smudges. I then changed to applying it with the Beauty Pod and found the application much easier and more even.

I had read online that the NVEY ECO's Moisture Rich Fluid Foundation transfers easily onto clothing. I did not find that this was the case at all. I did set the foundation with the NVEY ECO Mattifying Compact Powder, so perhaps the people who were complaining about transfer didn't set their foundation? Even in the stinking hot, humid weather we have been having in Sydney lately I still didn't have issues with it shifting. I have fairly normal skin with a tendency to get oily in the T-zone and found that this foundation was perfect for my skin type, although I did moisturise and prime before applying.

The NVEY ECO's Moisture Rich Fluid Foundation felt fairly light on my skin. I only tend to wear foundation on special occasions so I still noticed it on my skin but it didn't feel like a mask or anything like that. It was also easy to layer up to the coverage you needed. I prefer light coverage so I would just apply 1 pump to the Beauty Pod and then use that to do one entire cheek. I would then use a second pump to do the other cheek and a third pump to do the rest of the face. I also experimented using two pumps per cheek - this provided much heavier coverage, though, as I hadn't colour matched the foundation perfectly, this made it too dark for my skin. The photos below are using the 1 pump per cheek method.

One final thing I experimented with was using the foundation as a tinted moisturiser. Keeping with the organic theme I mixed 1 pump with a finger full of my Jurlique Purely Age Defying Moisturiser. The results were spectacular! It provided very light coverage but seemed to even out my skintone and gave a beautiful glow to my skin.

All in all I have been very impressed with this foundation. It didn't provide any of the issues I previously have had with mineral foundations ie making me look 31 going on 60. As long as you work quite fast it is easy to apply gives the ability to increase coverage if that is what you require.

NVEY ECO's Moisture Rich Fluid Foundation
in Beige

Beauty Pod with 1 pump of foundation

My skin without foundation

NVEY ECO's Moisture Rich Fluid Foundation
in beige
NVEY ECO's Moisture Rich Fluid Foundation
set with Mattifying Compact Powder

Looking back at these photos, beige doesn't actually look too dark for m skin. I think this might be thanks to the 1 pump Beauty Pod technique I mastered. If I apply it any thicker then it really does look too dark. In the final pic, the flash has made the powder look quite pale but in real life it actually looks really natural.

If you like the sound of eco friendly organic makeup then I have some fantastic news for you. NVEY ECO are giving customers 20% off all online orders until 21st Dec making it the perfect time to trial their makeup range or buy a bargain Christmas gift. Just enter the code xmas20 at the checkout to get your discount. As an added bonus for Aussie shoppers, if you spend over $50 then shipping is free.

If that is not exciting enough news for you then I have moregood news. I am also giving away a fabulous pack of NVEY ECO makeup. Enter here!

Are you familiar with the concept of organic makeup. Have you personally tried any yourself?

All opinions stated in this blog are my own. I have no affiliation with NVEY ECO and received no remuneration for my comments. This product was provided for consideration.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

So, who won the Okoii handmade skincare giveaway?

Before I announce the winner I would just like to thank everyone for entering the first in my series of Christmas giveaways: the Okoii handmade skincare giveaway. I am so excited to be sending out my first presents of the season to the lucky winners. So, without further ado...

There were 27 entries in this competition. Using the following numbers were drawn:

First place: 22

Second place: 18

So who were these lucky winners:

22 = aliciaraul

18 = keppers

Congratulations guys! I will now send emails out and you will have 48 hours to respond with our address.

Don't despair if you weren't a winner in this comp. There will be plenty more Christmas competitions for you to enter. I will be listing a fantastic organic makeup one tomorrow plus, if you haven't already entered my giveaway to win a copy of Can you get hooked on lip balm, the beauty book that will answer every beauty related question that you have ever had, then you had better get in quick - this competition is only open until 27/11/2011 (and it is open to international readers).

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Jurlique Aromatherapy Facial: Bliss to the MAX

Last week, I escaped the mortal world for 1 hour and visited Heaven, in the guise of a Jurlique Aromatherapy facial. There are two types of facials - ones that do wonders for problematic skin but are quite harsh and rather unpleasant to undertake; or ones that are so relaxing that you struggle to stay awake and once it is over you float out of the treatment room. The Jurlique Aromatherapy facial most definitely fell into the latter category.
The facial started off with an interview - I was booked in to have an Aromatherapy Facial and the interview was to determine which facial would be most suitable. My therapist asked me a range of questions including what products I am currently using, any skin concerns I have and what I hope to get out of the facial. I thought my main skin concern was the pregnancy related hormonal acne I was getting on my chin. At the time, it actually wasn't too bad - just a few bumps, but it was what was annoying me the most. The therapist analysed my skin and stated that she thought it was dehydrated from over exfoliation. She quizzed me on how often I was exfoliating and what cleanser I was using. I had been using my Clarisonic brush every second day, plus was using a scrub weekly. In addition, I had also been using the Jurlique Purely White Foaming Cleanser - what I didn't realise was that this cleanser contains enzymes that also exfoliate the skin - so I was well and truly over exfoliating. This had left my skin feeling papery and looking dehydrated so she suggested that it was a Replenishing Facial that my skin needed most. The following is a description of the various Aromatherapy facials that Jurlique offer:

Our signature Jurlique facial is focused on targeting your skin’s individual rebalancing needs. By releasing the living energy of our plants through warm aromatherapy preparations, uplift your senses, and restore balance to your mind and skin. Allow our skin care experts to customise your treatment with the selection of your favourite essential oil aromas and the best product solution for your skin care concerns.
  • Clarifying Facial – Deep cleanse and clarify the skin. An ideal treatment for oily, blemished and troubled skin.
  • Balancing Facial – Hydrate, balance and revitalise combination skin.
  • Replenishing Facial – Deeply replenish skin moisture and refresh the complexion. Ideal treatment for dry and dehydrated skin.
  • Soothing Facial – Calm and nurture sensitive and delicate skin.

To commence the facial, the therapist sprayed the Rosewater Freshener into the air and got me to inhale deeply before cleansing my skin. I adore the Rosewater Freshener so this simple first step instantly relaxed me and really set the scene for the facial ahead.

My skin was then cleansed, not once but twice - firstly with the Replenishing Foaming Cleanser then again with the Daily Exfoliating Cream.  Afterwards, came the absolutely best part of the facial - in fact this was the best part of any facial that I have ever had. The therapist applied a generous amount of the Skin Balancing Face Oil and massaged my face for what felt like 20 minutes. I am not entirely sure how long it went for as I couldn't see my watch but it was definitely a generous amount of time. The Skin Balancing Face Oil is absolutely heavenly. It smells utterly amazing - it is hands down one of, if not the best smelling product that I have ever used. It is a floral mixture that, to me, smelt like jasmine but it doesn't actually have any jasmine in it. It really is divine and the massage left me floating. The therapist then applied a mask, without first removing the oil. I commented afterwards about this and she said that it would be a waste to remove the oil and that it is actually recommended to be used under masks to enhance their performance.

The mask that was used on me was the Nurturing mask and this felt lovely and cooling on my skin. Although it is a clay based mask, it is not one that dries and cracks on your skin so at all times it felt very gentle, which was exactly what my over exfoliated skin needed. One pet hate I have with facials is when the therapist puts a mask on my face and then leaves the room for 20 minutes whilst the mask 'works its magic'. I always feel slightly ripped off by this. Well, you will be please to know that this didn't happen during my Jurlique facial. Whilst the mask was on, I got an amazing hand and arm massage. My hands are currently tingling as I have flashbacks to the massage. I didn't think that it was possible but, at this point, I became even more deeply relaxed.

The mask was removed with hot towels and then more good stuff was applied to my skin. I must have slipped into a nearly comotosed relaxed state by this point because I am not entirely sure what was put on my skin. I believe a serum, though not sure which one, and eye cream and the Love Balm was applied to my lips - this was a lovely touch as I have never had any attention paid to my lips in a facial. Finally, the Moisture Replenishing Day Cream was applied and my facial was over...well, nearly. The therapist gave me one last quick head massage before leaving the room so I could get changed.

I thought my skin would look really oily but instead it glowed with a luminosity I have not seen in ages. In my first pregnancy and in this one I never achieved the glowing skin people rave about - it took a Jurlique facial to bring it out! My skin looked so soft and every little dehydration line had been ironed out of my skin. To my surprise, even my hormonal acne had dramatically decrease, even though the facial wasn't specifically targeting that. I had entered the facial with 3 or 4 red bumps that were about 3mm in diameter - nothing too bad but still annoying - and excited with only tiny pin prick sized red dots.

This was honestly the best facial that I have ever had, and I have had quite a few in my time. It was both intensely relaxing which, with being pregnant and having to chase around an extremely active toddler, was exactly what I needed. But, as well as being relaxing, it was also so incredibly beneficial to my skin. One week on and it is still looking hydrated, only one hormonal spot has returned and the glow is still radiating strongly (I was at a wedding on the weekend and got a couple of compliments about how good my skin was looking!). I have mentioned this before, but fragrance is very important to me in skincare and every single product used in the facial smelt absolutely amazing. That really added to the euphoric feeling I was experiencing - aromatherapy really is powerful stuff!

If you are stuck for a Christmas gift for someone who has everything, then I can't recommend this facial any more highly. Or, if you know someone who really needs pampering, this would be absolutely ideal for them. The Aromatherapy Facial costs $105 for 60 minutes although there are a whole range of facials that you can choose from in their Spa Menu. One other brilliant thing about this experience was that I was not pressured to buy any products afterwards. I was actually not planning on purchasing anything as I have a ridiculous amount of products as it is, but I knew that I could not continue through life without having the Skin Balancing Face Oil! Since the facial, I have been using it morning and night, so perhaps this has helped prolong my post facial glow.

Now, my only is concern is working out how I can manage to have one of these facials each week for the rest of my life!

Are you a fan of facials? What has been your greatest ever facial/spa experience?

All opinions stated in this blog are my own. I have no affiliation with Jurlique. This facial was provided for consideration.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Lush Golden Wonder Ballistic: could this be the greastest ballistic ever made?

The other day I was killing time/getting my gossip fix/ stalking people on Facebook and was surprised to learn that a Lush store had reopened in Chatswood. I have been living in the area for seven years now and this is the third store that has opened in this time. Each time one closes I am a little heartbroken to be losing my local, and kept assuming that it was gone for good. Thankfully, Lush keep persevering to find the best set up for a store in Chatswood, this time around choosing an island in the middle of Westfield, rather than a traditional store. This is brilliant because all of Westfield is now fragranced with Eau de Lush!

I decided to pop in and check this new store out, especially the Christmas products. I had studied them in the catalogue but had not yet had a chance to play with any. The lovely sales assistant talked me into buying the Golden Wonder Ballistic. To be perfectly honest I wasn't expecting too much. As you can see from the pic below it is a boring yellow and white present shaped ballistic and I was expecting it to colour the water a glorious urine yellow. It is fragranced with champagne snow showers perfume, described as 'a light fizzing champagne cocktail, containing sweet orange oil, cognac oil and lime oil'. I do like this fragrance; however, I can't say that I was one of my all time favourites.

Image courtesy of Lush
You are probably wondering why I bought this ballistic if I didn't like the colour of it and only liked but not loved the fragrance. Well, if you shake the ballistic it rattles and I had to know what was inside. My money was on a little bell being the source of the rattle!

I always like to use the ballistics while I am actually in the bath to fully appreciate the fizzing and the exploding fragrance. So, for this reason there are no pics of the ballistic bubbling away in the bath. The beauty blogger in me was lying there thinking 'I really should be taking photos - this is amazing' but I wasn't going to do a dripping wet naked bolt through the house to get my iPhone so you will just have to make do with a written description!

My ballistic was obviously super fresh as it fizzed and bubbled like an exploding scientific experiment. Initially, there was just gold coming off (which was actually all that I was expecting) but then suddenly the water started turning green. I picked up the ballistic to see what was happening and it had turned from gold to a deep blue. In amongst the blue, out exploded hundreds of stars. I had just assumed that they were the foil stars that are often in Lush ballistics (the ones that keep poking you in the bottom as you lie there!), but it turns out that they were actually dissolving paper stars - even better as it meant no mess at the end. Now, if you don't want to know what the surprise in the middle is, here is your spoiler alert so skip to the next paragraph. As the blue continued to dissolve away out popped a sphere of pink ballistic - so there was a miniature ballistic inside the present and that was what caused the rattle.

The dark blue mixed with the initial gold turned the water a glorious deep turquoise. It really was a stunning colour to bath in. To my surprise, I absolutely adored the fragrance in ballistic format. In the past, I have just experienced the Champagne Snow Showers fragrance in jelly format, and I have to confess that I find the jellies a tad annoying to use, so that probably affected my opinion of it. It was a gorgeous refreshing fragrance - perfect for a summer's bath (though it is not quite summer yet, when the weather tops 36 degrees, that counts as summer!). The fragrance is lovely and strong - you can detect it for the entire bath. It is definitely not one of those ballistics that, after five minutes, you wonder if you are actually just bathing in plain water. The fragrance lingered delicately on the skin for a little while afterwards. Another surprise was that my skin had a subtle gold shimmer all over it. I hadn't realised but the gold colour I initially saw when the ballistic hit the water was actually a very fine gold shimmer. It is not an in your face glitter, but a subtle sexy gold shimmer. Gorgeous!

This ballistic has now jumped the queue to become my favourite ballistic. It wasn't at all what I was expecting and I really enjoyed using it. I shall be stocking up on a few more to last me through summer, then, one the Christmas stock is no longer available, I shall begin petitioning Lush to make sure they bring it back again next Christmas!

Have you tried Golden Wonder yet? What were your thoughts? What is your favourite Lush ballistic?

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard!

I was never a big busted babe. Not that it bothered me as I was very sporty in my younger years and figured having a set of big mumma's flapping about would just be plain annoying. Even when pregnant they didn't greatly expand. I think I went from a tidy10B to a slightly more buxom 12C (funny side note: when I was getting fitted for maternity bra's at Myers, I was still wearing my 10B push up bra. I took my top off to be measured and the fitter exclaimed 'what do you call that - that is nothing more than a nipple cover!'). Because of my small busted ways I have never really understood the concept of bust firming creams. I had no idea how cruel gravity could be to big boobs, but that was all about to change once I started breast feeding.

When my milk came in soon after giving birth, my boobs exploded to astronomic proportions - to the extent that when hubby came in to visit me, the morning after my milk came in, the first thing he said when he saw me was 'holy shit!'. I think he must have thought that I had snuck off for a boob job on the sly after he left the previous evening. For the next 9 months, whilst I fed The Crazy Kid, his milky friends were put through the ringer. He was an excellent feeder - to the extent that by 5 months he was 9.5kgs and could only be described as fat. Once my breast feeding days were over, all that remained of my perky 10B boobs were two very sad deflated balloons that now looked downwards rather than straight ahead.

When the opportunity to trial Advanced Natural Bust Firming Treatment Serum came about, I excitedly agreed hoping that this might be my opportunity to get my perky puppies back! Before I started the trial I performed the world famous saggy boob test - I stuck a pencil under my boobs then let go - if my boobs could hang on to the pencil, it meant they were saggy; if it fell to the floor there was still some perk there. The result: my boobs hung onto the pencil with an iron grip - in fact the probably could have held 5 pencils!

According to Advanced Natural, the Bust Firming Treatment Serum 'improves bust firmness & tone by deeply restructuring the skin. Stimulates cell metabolism, promotes collagen synthesis and enhances fibroblast proliferation. Provides the bust with global firmness efficiency.'

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Xanthan Gum, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Lecithin, Albumen, Algae Extract, Glycerin, Soluble Collagen, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Allantoin, Bioflavonoids, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Rahnella/Soy Protein Ferment, Propylene Glycol, PEG-8, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Firbornectin, Elastin, Ginkog Biloba Extract, Cereus Grandisflorus (Cactus) Flower Extract, Silica, Benzoic Acid, Sorbic Acid.

I applied the serum twice a day - after my shower in the morning and before I went to bed at night, for a month. It was a very light gel that seemed to absorb instantly into the skin. I used about 4 pumps to cover both boobs and the surrounding chest area. Instantly after applying the skin would feel a little tighter. At the end of the months trial my boobs definitely seemed firmer; however, when I repeated the pencil test they were still able to hold onto the pencil - though this time around it didn't feel like they would be able to hold five! I suspect that the damage breast feeding does to your milkies is too much to be fully repaired in a month. Perhaps you might have more luck if your boobs are saggy from non-breast feeding related reasons (such as weight gain or loss).

I have to note that I found out I was pregnant again, mid way through this trial and have noticed that my boobs have gotten slightly larger. There hasn't been a dramatic increase in size as that doesn't seem to happen to me until my milk comes in after the birth, but it is possible that some of the increased firmness came from the increase in boob size.

I am going to keep using the gel, though, to see if I can return them to their former glory. However, as I am pregnant again I will wait until I have finished breast feeding again - no point getting them back to their perky perfection only to have a hungry little monster destroy them all over again.

I loved the feel of the gel, especially that it was not at all greasy. It also didn't make me get sweaty, which was a major plus. I often find that if I apply moisturiser to my chest, within an hour or so I feel all sweaty but this didn't happen with the gel. It has next to no fragrance - just a gel like smell that is neither offensive or pleasant - just bland. I don't see it bothering anyone and it definitely won't clash with any fragrance you are wearing.

All in all, I have enjoyed the process of using this gel. It felt nice to be doing something for my milkies. I don't think that they will ever be returned to a state where I can go bra-less again - I think those days are long gone (even if I could, I'm too old!) but it was nice for them to no long resemble deflated balloons.

The Advanced Natural Bust Firming Treatment Serum can be purchased online for $AU64 or you can also find a stockist near you.

What have you tried to get your puppies looking perky again?

All opinions stated in this blog are my own. I have no affiliation with Advanced Natural and received no remuneration for my comments. This product was provided for consideration.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Some Christmas ideas from Decleor and Priori

One of the things I love most about Christmas is all the beauty gift packs that come out. These packs are always amazing value and they give you the opportunity to try a range of products from a brand. Decleor and Priori haven't let us down in these stakes.

Decleor are offering two different packs - I have my eyes on the soothing and hydrating travel pack as I have heard good things about the Aromessence Neroli serum and balm. I haven't used Decleor products before but I had a Decleor facial a couple of years ago that was out of this world amazing. The products used in my facial smelt absolutely gorgeous and I left the facial feeling quite euphoric, I didn't buy anything that day as I had other products to get through, and I guess things still haven't changed, but they are definitely lodged firmly near the top of my wish list!

The two packs are:

Anti-ageing travel pack (RRP $49, valued at $106)
Cleansing milk face and eyes 75ml
Aromessence Excellence serum 5ml
Aromessence Excellence regenerating night balm 5ml
Natural exfoliating cream 15ml

Soothing and hydrating travel pack (RRP $49, valued at $106)
Cleansing milk face and eyes 75ml
Aromessence Neroli serum 5ml
Aromessence Neroli essential balm 5ml
Hdra Floral Anti-polution moisturising mask 15ml

Priori also have a pack available especially for Christmas. I used Priori products in the lead up to my wedding and, whilst expensive, they really did leave my skin looking perfect (though I was 27 so no fine lines or wrinkles yet and still on the pill so no hormonal issues so I really did have a good canvas to work with!).

The Priori Christmas pack contains:

Priori Travel Pack (RRP $60)
Advanced AHA gentle facial cleanser 75ml
Advanced AHA invigorating face and body scrub 75ml

To find a stockist near you go to

What beauty gift packs have you got your eyes on this Christmas? Will you be getting a Christmas beauty gift pack for a love one or asking Santa for one?

All opinions stated in this blog are my own. I have no affiliation with Decleor or Priori and received no remuneration for my comments.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Find it confusing identifying which chemicals to avoid in your cosmetics? Check this giveaway out!

I have always been fairly relaxed when it came to ingredients in my cosmetics. I do prefer natural skincare but that's more due to the fact that is smells better rather than fears over the ingredients in non-natural skincare. I guess I have always been naively optimistic that if a product is being sold in a shop, then it must be safe to use and I really hadn't put any more though than that into it.

That was until I had a certain encounter on the Beauty Heaven Forum. Someone was seeking advice on some good, cheap cleansing wipes and I replied that she should just use baby wipes - that you could get a pack of 80 for a couple of dollars and that I sometimes used them when I'd run out of my normal wipes. Another member then berated me, stating that baby wipes are one of the worst things that you could use on your skin, that they contained mineral oil which clogs your pores. It got me a bit worried - not so much that I was occasionally using them on myself but more the fact that I was using hundreds of these wipes on The Crazy Kid each week.

This then became my introduction into the confusing world of cosmetic chemicals, and trying to decided which ones to avoid. The more I researched, the more I found that the information out there tended to be incredibly emotive and very one-sided 'If you use this chemical you WILL get cancer'. A bit extreme, perhaps, but as soon as I come across a really strong and emotive opinion it almost becomes my mission to prove it wrong! As a scientist, we a trained never to just take one opinion - to read as many papers on a topic as possible to get a well rounded point of view. Often there will be conflicting information and opinions out there so it then becomes up to you to decide which side of the fence to sit on.

I found wading through all this conflicting information incredibly confusing and so gave up, sticking to my attitude that if a product is being sold then it must be safe. Then I discovered a brilliant book (thanks to an amazing review on the blog Moxie Reviews) that really helped me see through the conflicting views. It is called Can you get hooked on lip balm and is written by the authors of the beauty blog The Beauty Brains. These guys are a bunch of cosmetic scientists who answer questions people have in regards to cosmetics. This book is compiled from hundreds of these questions that they have answered. They will state why a beauty myth might exist then examine all research that has been conducted in the field and give a response based on this. Here is an example (that I have paraphrased) from book:

Parabens - the reason there is such fear about this ingredient is that a research paper on breast cancer analysed samples for parabens and every single sample contained parabens. However, the authors of the paper could not find out how the parabens got into the breast tissue. Parabens are used in cosmetics as a preservative. The Beauty Brains team examined all papers available and there is still no research available stating that parabens have any involvement in breast cancer. So they concluded, based on the research to date, that as there is no evidence that the parabens can cause cancer, the benefits they offer as a preservative means that as this stage they can still be regarded as safe.

This book literally answers any question that you have ever had about cosmetics plus questions you hadn't thought to ask yet! The information provided is straight foreword and easy to understand and, most importantly for me, it is well balanced and non-biased. If you have ever felt confused trying to navigate your way through which chemicals are safe and which ones to avoid, then this is the book for you.

Now, the bit you have all been waiting for. I am giving away a copy of this book to one lucky winner. To enter, all you have to do is follow me on GFC or by email. Let me know below how you are following me and also what beauty question you would most like answered? This competition will run for two weeks, from now until 8.00pm on Sunday November 27th and it is open worldwide. This seriously is a book that every beauty lover should what are you waiting for?? Get cracking and enter!!

There will be plenty more giveaways in the lead up to Christmas so make sure that you are following me on Twitter and Facebook so that you don't miss out.

Finally, just a reminder, my 1st Christmas giveaway of a gorgeous handmade pack of Japanese skincare is open until 8.00pm on 20/11/2011 so if you haven't entered that one you might want to get onto it, quick sticks!!