Saturday, 30 July 2011

My quest for perfection: how Photoshop has distorted my perception of normal

Like most women, I am well aware that the images I see in the media are Photoshopped. However, I was not aware of this fact in my formative years when I first started reading magazines. In fact, I don't think that I had even heard of Photoshop until I was well into my 20's. I believe that all of this Photoshopping in the media has really distorted what I see as normal, and what I believe is flawed.

For years, people have been telling me that I have a gorgeous peaches and cream complexion, but I have never really believed them. I have just assumed that they were being polite. I have blackheads on my nose and bumpy skin under my eyes. There is some faint pigmentation on my forehead and the odd blotch on my cheeks. Plus I still get pimples. Obviously the flaws are evident to everyone, so clearly my complexion isn't gorgeous, is it?

I also have a real phobia about wearing foundation. I hate it and only wear it for very special occasions. Why? Because you can always see that I am wearing foundation. According to the pictures in magazines, that shouldn't be the case. It should be completely flawless and virtually invisible to the naked eye. I have searched high and low for this elusive foundation that is undetectable on my skin, without any luck. There are just no invisible foundations on the market. Even though I know that the images I see are Photoshopped, they have completely distorted what I believe looks good. So, even though I know it is not possible for foundation to be invisible, I am never happy with how it looks on my skin as it doesn't look anything like how it does in the magazines.

It has taken me years to come to the following realisations - that the hideous flaws in my skin that irritate me so much are in reality only flaws to me. To sell products, the beauty industry has to convince us that we are flawed so that we will then either treat or cover our flaws. They then show us impossible images of Photoshopped perfection to aspire to. Naturally we fail, so we try a new product with better claims, and the cycle continues. So, I thought that I'd share the realisations I have come to in the hope that it might help someone else see their skin in a better light.
  • Blackheads are not nearly as noticeable or as hideous as you think. They were probably my biggest beauty worry until one day I came to the realisation that I literally have never noticed any blackheads on another person. When I examine my skin in the mirror it is usually from a distance of 10cm away. When are you ever that close to another person? Whenever I am talking to someone my eyes a drawn to either the other persons eyes or lips so I never even register what their nose looks like. I guess, ask yourself whether you can list, off the top of your head, 5 people who have obvious blackheads. I bet you can't. Therefore, I bet there are less than 5 people in the world who have noticed that you have them.
  • Pigmentation is another bugbear of mine yet it is also another 'condition' that I rarely notice on other people. To be perfectly honest, I don't think that I was even concerned about uneven skin tone until beauty companies told me that I should be. It was probably the ads for SKII promoting clearer skin that got me worrying that I also had that flaw which needed treating. Do the challenge above and try to name 5 people who have pigmentation issues on their skin. If you can't name 5 then stop being concerned about your 'flaw'!
  • Freckles - this is not a 'flaw' that concerns me personally but I but I have recently been reading in forums about people asking whether you can bleach them off with lemon or have them removed by laser. I personally think freckles look gorgeous so can't understand why someone would hate them, but then the media is forever promoting clear skin or even skin tone so it is understandable that people would think that their skin was flawed. The media would never dare claim that black skin or Asian skin was flawed and that it should be bleached, yet it is OK to convince someone with freckled skin, whom they have no more control over than skin of any other ethnicity, that their skin is flawed. Let me tell you, it isn't.
Recently, in the UK, the picture below of Julia Roberts was banned for being too Photoshopped. I think that it is about time such action is taken. I personally don't mind the idea of images in ads being Photoshopped, as you expect them to be all glossy and touched up. Though, it would be nice if they did come with a disclaimer at the bottom of the ad saying that the image had been Photoshopped. Where I would like to see the change is in the actual magazine articles. If they are going a tutorial on a makeup look, it would be so much more beneficial for the reader if they did not Photoshop the image so that we can see what foundation should really look like; that it is normal to have some crepiness around the eye when eyeshadow is applied; that lipstick still looks beautiful on lips that aren't quite as full as Angelina's.
Image courtesy of Gawker

The points above are some of the major reasons why I have ditched the printed media in favour of blogs. I love that I can see a Face of the Day, that has visible foundation yet still looks amazing. Or an Eye of the Day that has the crepinessPhotoshop the image so that if we ever try to recreate the look then we are guaranteed to fail.

Are you able to look at an image and dismiss it as being Photoshopped or has Photoshopping also distorted your perception of normality?

Have you entered my latest giveaway? Here's the link if you haven't checked it out yet.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Jurlique Purely Age Defying Ultra Firm & Lift Cream‏

Tonight I attended a Jurlique social media launch for the new Purely Age Defying Ultra Firm & Lift Cream‏. This cream joins the Purely Age-Defying Range, which features a blend of biodynamic and organic herbs and flowers combined with potent naturally derived ingredients that soften the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and discolourations while helping to renew and strengthen skin. With continued use, Purely Age-Defying brings about a smooth, fresh, luminous complexion.




Jurlique's motto is Nature. Science. Innovation, yet until recently they have mostly promoted the nature side of the company. This is about to change as they recognise there is a huge consumer demand for proof that their products do as they claim. A large scientific efficacy trial has been conducted on the Purely Age Defying range, and I will report more on this once I have gotten my hands on the scientific papers. But I just wanted to let you know that the scale of this trial is impressive. It spans 4 countries and features over 1600 participants - not the usual 25 or so that you see in other beauty trials. Exciting stuff!

Now, on to the Jurlique Purely Age Defying Ultra Firm & Lift Cream‏. According to Jurlique, this is a high-performance anti-ageing cream designed to help promote the regeneration of elastin, collagen and new skin cells. Clinical results show that 100% of women showed increased skin firmness after 6 weeks of use. These clinical results are quite astounding, so I will report more once I have seen the criteria used to assess skin firmness, but it appears that there is universal consensus that this cream increases firmness, with lack of firmness being one of the major concerns as skin ages.

So far I have just tried the cream on my hand and found that it absorbed straight in, was not greasy and I found it to be much less fragranced compared with other Jurlique products. This cream can be used as a day or night cream, - it is definitely light enough to be used as a day cream. It does not contain SPF so addition sun protection is required if using this as a day cream. It contains the following active ingredients (as stated on the Jurlique website):
  • Yeast Extract helps to promote collagen synthesis and acts as a tissue restructuring and repair agent.
  • Amino Acid Lipid Complex promotes skin remodeling and contraction of collagen fibers.
  • Rock Sapphire Extract supports skin density while reducing the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles.
  • Beech Tree Bud Extract accelerates the production of fresh new cells.
For more information on the rest of the products in the Purely Age Defying range, have a look at this post.

The Jurlique Purely Age Defying Ultra Firm & Lift Cream‏ will be available for purchase in Australia from August 1st. I will provide a review of this once I have trialled it for a suitable amount of time.

All opinions stated in this blog are my own. I have no affiliation with Jurlique and received no remuneration for my comments. I did receive a pack containing 3 Jurlique products for attending the evening. Images are courtesy of Julique.

Have you entered my latest giveaway? Here's the link if you haven't checked it out yet.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Who wants to win a bottle of BIOeffect EGF Serum?

Exciting news everyone, BIOeffect has now officially launched in Australia. The BIOeffect EGF serum is creating a huge storm world wide. It was first launched in Iceland last year (as it is made by the Icelandic company Sif Cosmetics) and within 6 months of the release it is estimated that 1 in 5 Icelandic women over the age of 30 have purchased the serum. When it was released in France, the serum sold out in the first week at the famous concept store in Paris, Colette. Now, we can finally get it here in Australia and I believe that it will be launching in the US shortly.

The serum is highly scientific, and based on reviews around the world, it really appears to work. I have been using it for a week now and my angry line down the middle of my forehead is already seeming less angry. I will post a review once I have been using it for a month or so.

If you want to purchase the serum, it is available from the BIOeffect Australia website or if you are looking for updates or reviews on the product then you can either like their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.

So, who is now busting to try the serum? Well, to celebrate the launch, the wonderful people behind BIOeffect Australia, Melanie and Kym, have agreed to sponsor a giveaway of some amazing BIOeffect products. First prize will be one full sized bottle of the amazing BIOeffect serum. This bottle alone is worth $180.00!! In addition there will be two runners up prizes of a 3ml travel sized bottle of the serum. These are worth $40.00 each!




Entering the competition is simple. All you need to do is have a read of my article, The science behind the BIOeffect EGF Serum explained, and make a comment on that article about what excites you the most about the serum. Are you like me and are blown away by the science? Is it the fact that independent clinical trials are proving that the serum works? Or is there something else that has grabbed you? Please tell me.

Once you have done that, come back here and let me know that you have commented on the science article (make sure that you comment on both the science post and this one for your entry to be valid. If you have previously commented there is no need to do so again, just let me know below). You also need to either follow me by email or GFC so please tell me how you are following me and what your GFC nickname is.

So, to enter:
1. Read this article and tell me what most excites you about the EGF serum.
2. Post below telling me how you are following me (GFC or Email)

Simple! This competition is open to entrants world wide. There will only be one entry per person as I get too confused with multi-entry comps! Entries close at 8.00pm Australia Eastern Standard Time on Sunday August 14th. International followers, remember that we are ahead of you so get your entries in early! The winner will be draw using random.org and announced on my blog within a couple of days of being drawn.

The following are not compulsory for you to enter but if you had a spare sec I'd love it if you:

Followed me and BIOeffect Australia on Twitter retweeted about this comp, something like: Guess what!!! Thanks to @Bioeffect_AU @skretchs has a bottle of the amazing BIOeffect EGF serum to giveaway!!! http://t.co/rX0k1Wp

Followed me on Bloglovin.

Thanks for entering and good luck!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Etude House Missing U Hand Cream Review

I recently posted about my haul of competition wins and purchases and how reviews were to follow. Well, here is my first review - the Etude House Missing U Hand Cream, which I won from Suzanne's blog Don't They Know Who I Am. I received the penguin hand cream.


Etude House is a Korean cosmetic company and the Missing U range of hand creams each feature an animal that is at risk of becoming extinct - the Harp Seal, Fairy Penguin, Panda and Pink Dolphin. It doesn't actually say whether any money is being donate to the protection of these animals or whether it is just an awareness campaign. According to Etude, the Missing U Hand Cream is formulated with natural mixture of herbs, Shea Butter and Olives to moisturise, heal and soothe hands.


On the belly of each animal is a picture of what I believe is the scent of the product:
Harp Seal - green tea
Fairy Penguin - cotton (though I think it smells like baby powder)
Panda - peach
Pink Dolphin - floral







On the box there is a story about the animal being feature. The story of my penguin is:
Fairy Penguin Story
Our endangered animal friends are rapidly becoming extinct from the planet...I really want to see you...
I miss you!
Hi~ I am Fairy Penguin
I live in Australia $ New Zealand, love to swim and dive for fish.

The hand cream itself is not bad. It is quite thin in texture - more the consistency of a body lotion than a hand cream but this does mean that it absorbs instantly and is non greasy. I absolutely adore the fragrance, though it is very strong. I love the scent of baby powder - even though I have a baby I never use the stuff on him so this is nice to get a baby powder hit. I'm kind of tempted to use this on him so he smells all lovely, and, well, baby powdery but prefer to use only natural or specialised baby products on him so will stick to using this on myself.  It is not the best hand cream that I have used but it is a lot of fun. There is only actually 30 ml of product in the container, and since it is so thin it is not going to last all that long but then you can buy it for around $9 on eBay so it is not overly expensive.




I guess my only criticism of this hand cream is that the packaging is too damn cute which means that my little friend always wants to play it. For some reason he has a bit of a fetish for my beauty products and is most obsessed with the Etude House Missing U hand cream. If I accidentally leave it on my bathroom vanity where he can see it, he cries until I give it to him. I guess I know what I am going to do with the tub once I finish it. Actually, I don't really have a choice - my little friends has already placed dibs on it!



This is not the best performing hand cream that I have ever used but the packing alone makes it a lot of fun to play with. If you are after a hard working hand cream then I would look elsewhere but if you are after something fun for your dressing table I think you have found what you are looking for! Warning: if you do have a little friend in your life then I recommend you buy two as it is mostly likely going to be claimed/stolen by your friend!


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

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Reviews on the Horizon

Recently I have been lucky enough to win a couple of competitions on fellow bloggers sites plus I have also done a couple of eyeshadow orders. So I thought that I would post a pic of what has arrived in the last week as it will be what I am reviewing on this blog in the near (and probably distant!) future.



So, what did I get? I'll start with my competition wins.

Suzanne from Don't They Know Who I Am went on a massive shopping spree to celebrate reaching 100 followers. Her giveaway prize consisted of:

  • Napoleon Set Primer (this is the only thing in the pack that I have tried - reviewed here UPDATED - I haven't actually tried this one, its the Auto Pilot I have tried - now I'm off to compare the two Napolean primers!)
  • Bourjois Smokey eyes trio
  • Bourjois lipstick in Rose Seduisant
  • Sportsgirl palette - Delicate Matter
  • Sportsgirl Give Em Some Lip lipgloss in Tutti Frutti
  • Sportsgirl Nail It! Nail polish in Blue Lagoon (exactly my shade of nail polish!!)
  • The Face Shop Vitamin E sheet mask
  • Revlon Metallic in Copper Penny
  • Skin Food Acai Berry Mask 
  • Etude House Missing You Hand Cream (that's the cute penguin in the photo!)
Plus, she also threw in a whole bunch of Skin Food Samples and a House of Gloi Bubbling Scrub which she must have known I was lusting after as I had a little bit of a rant about it here!

Next, I won a Blitz Mega Hair and Beauty Box thanks to Lilit from Makeup and Macaroons and Hairhouse Warehouse. This box was stuffed full with:
  • Nak Aqua Shampoo 375mL ($21.95)
  • Nak Aqua Conditioner 375mL ($21.95)
  • Nak Detangling Spray 200mL ($21.95)
  • Mini Curling Tong ($24.95)
  • Models Inc Lip Gloss with Light ($12.95)
  • Tail Comb ($5.00 with the clips below)
  • Sectioning Clips x 4
  • Nak Care 4 Ends Leave in Moisturiser 200mL ($12.95)
  • Nak Treat with Care Conditioning Treatment 200mL ($12.95)
  • $20 Salon Voucher
 As I mentioned in my Pissed Off rant reading other blogs has virtually forced me to go out and buy stuff. Here are two of my orders!
I put an order in with Michelle from RitualEyes for some eyeshadows. This was particularly exciting because two of the colours I asked her to create for me. I wanted a bright green with no hint of muddiness and she came up with Alien Invasion, and a nice bright yellow to pair with it and she created Lyme Spider. My full order (which I will swatch very shortly) consisted of:
  • Violent Violet
  • Phantoms Army
  • Molten Lava Flow
  • Lyme Spider
  • Alien Invasion
Plus she threw in samples of White Out, Abyss and Mermaid's Song, all of which I am annoyingly quite taken with...I feel another order coming on!

My final order came from Fyrinnae and I hold Megan from Beauty in the Sky. I hadn't heard of Fyrinnae until I read her post. Within hours I had ordered:

  • Herbivore
  • Dressed To Kill Loose Eye Shadow
  • Arcane Magic: Madame & Eve's
  • Arcane Magic: Sorceress
  • Eternal Innocence Loose Eye Shadow
  • Catrina Cabaret Loose Eye Shadow
  • Pixie Epoxy
Again, these will be swatched in the near future.

So there you go - a heads up of what you might see in this blog in the near future. What do you want me to review first?

Monday, 18 July 2011

Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator Review

Another serum, promising to reduce pigmentation and even out skintone has hit the market - the Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator. According to the Estee Lauder website this is an 'intensive, yet gentle oil-free serum features powerful technologies to address the look of every key sign of uneven skintone:
  • Triple-Optic Technology provides skin with a brighter, more luminous look from the very first application.
  • Correct Tone Technology visibly reduces uneven skintone in 2 weeks, while anti-oxidants help prevent its re-appearance.
Proven gentle and effective for all ethnicities. Skin looks noticeably clearer and brighter, vibrant and more even-toned'.

I was lucky enough to be sent this product to trial as part of Beauty Heaven's trial team and have now been using it for about three weeks.



The serum comes in a pump bottle, which I love because it maintains the hygiene of the product. I am always a little concerned with serums that come with eye droppers as I invariably touch the dropper on my face and then am worried that the serum will become contaminated. When you are paying a lot of money for your serum, the last thing that you want is for it spoil before you have had a chance to finish the product, so the pump bottle had me impressed before I even tried the product. 


How to use Estee Lauder give the following instructions to use the serum:
  • Apply on clean skin. Follow with your SPF moisturiser.
  • For maximum even skintone results, use AM and PM for the first 12 weeks, then continue with your regular Estée Lauder regimen, using Even Skintone Illuminator every AM.
  • If you use Advanced Night Repair at night, continue to apply it first, then follow with Even Skintone Illuminator.
I found I needed two pumps to do my whole face (the picture above shows the amount that two pumps is). The serum is very shimmery/pearly looking and you can see in the picture below that my finger are left looking very pearlescent after applying the serum. Rest assured that your face is not left looking this way. I think that the product must have collected in the ridges of my fingerprints, heightening the pearlescent effect. On the face it is much more subtle. My face was left with a glowing luminosity, rather than a sheen. I could see that light was reflecting off the shimmery pigments but it didn't leave it looking shiny. Instead, it reflected light away from the spots and areas of pigmentation on my skin, giving it the illusion of an even skin tone. The effect was really quite impressive.

Throughout the trial I got a couple of pimples and found that the Even Skintone Serum, in combination with my tinted moisturiser, did an excellent job of masking them. They didn't completely disappear but were no longer the eye catching red traffic lights on my face. I also get a fair bit of redness on and around my nose and this was also beautifully masked.

The serum is not at all oily and dries to a completely matte finish. Lately my skin has been quite oily and this has almost sealed the in oiliness. I had stopped wearing my tinted moisturiser as my skin was being too oily for it - it was sliding straight off, but since using this serum it now lasts all day - they work beautifully in combination (I am using the Estee Lauder DayWear tinted moisturiser). The serum is not a moisturising serum so you definitely will need to wear a moisturiser over the serum.



After using the serum I can definitely say that it has an instant evening effect on skintone. The shimmery particles really do help to reflect light and left my skin glowing and really even looking, but surprisingly not shiny looking. After about 3 weeks of use there does seem to be a reduction in the appearance of my pigmentation. I had quite a defined patch of pigmentation on my forehead, which had a really marked line between the pigmented skin and the non pigmented skin. After using this serum twice a day for the three weeks there does seem to be a decrease - there is no longer such a marked line between the pigmented and non pigmented skin. However I have been doing this trial during winter and whilst I have been going outside, I haven't been going to nearly as much as I do in summer and obviously the sun is not nearly as strong. So, to truly comment on whether this has an effect on pigmentation, I will repeat the trial during the summer months when my pigmentation is at its worst.

I really love how this makes my skin look and can definitely see myself using this beyond the trial period. If my pigmentation does get worse during the summer months then I will use this twice a day, otherwise I will just be using this in the mornings as, I think, the shimmery particles make it more suitable for day wear. The serum is a little on the pricey side but so far a little is going a long way. If uneven skin tone is an issue for you I recommend that you try and get yourself a sample of this to see if it works for you as I have found that this serum and a tinted moisturiser is enough to give me a beautifully even complexion.

Available now (in Australia) from Myer's, David Jones and online at Estee Lauder. RRP $105 for 30ml or $150 for 50ml.

All opinions stated in this blog are my own. I have no affiliation with Estee Lauder and received no remuneration for my comments. The serum was provided to me by Beauty Heaven to review as part of their Trial Team.  

Saturday, 16 July 2011

No more itchy head: QV Gentle Shampoo and Conditioner review

I recently had my skin analysed by a beauty therapist and to my surprise she said that it was sensitive. She also mentioned that people who have allergies often also have sensitive skin. I am allergic to quite a few things, so what the therapist told me got me thinking - could I also have a sensitive scalp? My head is a bit itchy at times but I always just assumed that this was normal, but maybe it isn't. Maybe I do have a sensitive scalp as well. When the opportunity to trial the QV Gentle Shampoo and Conditioner came along, I thought that it would be a great chance to see whether they could make a difference to my itchy scalp.



The QV Gentle Shampoo and Conditioner are free from the known irritants soap, colour, fragrance, propylene glycol and lanolin so are perfect for people with sensitive skin and scalps. They are also pH balanced so are suitable for daily use.


QV Gentle Shampoo: This is a gentle, non-irritating shampoo that effectively cleanses the hair whilst rehydrating the scalp. This had next to no scent at all - it smelt like other QV products such as the lotion or body wash. It lathered very effectively and left my hair clean - there was no need to repeat. The shampoo wasn't at all drying - my hair felt soft, even prior to conditioning. This shampoo easily performed as well as any shampoo I have used. I can't comment on how it goes in regards to stripping colour as I haven't coloured my hair in a few months. I have no complaints at all with this shampoo. I can definitely see myself using it again. RRP $9.95. 200ml. Available in Australia from pharmacies and Priceline stores.

QV Gentle Conditioner: This has a gentle conditioning formula which helps to lock in moisture without leaving product build up. It contains pro-vitamin B5 which helps improve elasticity and reduces fly away’s. Like the shampoo this has virtually no scent. It is actually much more slippery then conventional conditioners I have used in the past. It felt quite slimy when I applied it to my hair which took me by surprise as it was a texture I wasn't familiar with compared with conditioners I had used in the past. Once I got over my initial surprise I was very happy with this conditioner. It took a little bit of effort to rinse out, but that was also due to me getting used to the slipperiness. My hair would still feel a bit slippery after rinsing but then when it dried it didn't look greasy like it does if I haven't washed my conditioner out properly. I found that I could get away without putting product in my hair after washing and my curls were fairly well defined. By the end of the day they would be a bit fluffy so I would need product if I wanted to maintain their definition but it was fine for everyday use. Like the shampoo, I was impressed with this conditioner and can see myself using it again in the future. RRP $9.95. 200ml. Available in Australia from pharmacies and Priceline stores.


After using the QV Gentle Shampoo and Conditioner for a week my head definitely feels less itchy. I washed my hair daily (like I normally do) and noticed after a couple of days that I was not scratching my head nearly as much as I had been. The only issues I had with the products, and these are quite silly really, was the colour of the packaging. I loved that the bottles were different colours so I could tell them apart without my specs on but for some reason I associate the colour white with conditioner so every day, without fail, I'd pick up the blue bottle to apply shampoo, only to find out it was the conditioner. Does anyone else have this colour association with conditioners or am I a bit crazy?


All opinions stated in this blog are my own. I have no affiliation with QV and received no remuneration for my comments. These were provided to me by Beauty Directory on behalf of QV.

Well, hot dog! We have a weiner!! Jurlique Giveaway Announced!!

Image from Denouement

Hooray!! It's time to announce the winner of my first blog giveaway. Now I need to apologise for my blog title. I heard this line on Bart Gets an Elephant  episode of The Simpson's, nearly 20 years ago now. I found it funny then and I still think that it is funny now, so please indulge me while I have a little giggle to myself. If you want a little trip down memory lane, here's the transcript from that segment of the episode:

Marty: Let's try one more number.
Homer: Y'ello?
Bart: [grabs phone] KBBL is going to give me something stupid!
Marty: Well, hot dog! We have a weiner! [car alarm noise]
Homer: [grasping air] Y'ello?
Bart: I won, I won!
Marty: You win your choice of $10,000 or -- what's our gag prize this
       week, Bill?
Bill: [raucous] A full-grown African Elephant!
Bart: Well, all that money sounds mighty tempting, Marty, but I think
       I'm going to have to go with the elephant.
Homer: [to Marge, happily] He's taking the elephant instead of the
       money.
Marty: [whispering] The kid wants the elephant!
Bill: We don't have an damn elephant.
Marty: Don't whisper into the mike!
Bill: Ahem, kid, the elephant's a gag prize.  Nobody takes the gag
       prize.  [nervous laughter] You want the cash.
Bart: [indignant] I want the elephant!
Homer: Heh, heh, stick it to the man!
(I got the transcript from here)

Ok, enough blabber. Before I announce the winner, I just want to thank everyone for entering my giveaway and for supporting my blog. I am really loving my new hobby and am so grateful to have such lovely followers. I have checked through all of the entries and there were 40 valid entries. I entered the values into random.org and it spat out:




So...who was number 5?? Well, it was none other than:



Congratulations lucinda_fraser27!! I have emailed you to get your postal address and need you to respond within two days otherwise I may have to draw another winner.

Thanks, once again, everyone for entering. And if you didn't win this time don't dispair. I have another giveaway line up to go live in a couple of weeks and this one will be open to international followers!! So stay tuned!!

Finally, a huge thanks to the gorgeous people at Jurlique and Torstar Communications for allowing me to run this giveaway!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Aren't I a little too old to still be getting pimples?

I am 30 years old, nearly 31, and I have a pimple on my cheek. When I was younger, and I imagined being in my 30's, it was not pimples that I foresaw. The 30's seemed so grown up. That was a time when you bought a house, got married, had babies and did equally scary grown up things. Surely the 30's should be about buying home wares and nappies and such; and not time to still be buying Clearasil. Don't get me wrong, my skin is pretty good. I tend to only get the odd pimple these days, excluding hormonal pimples on the chin. Those I can understand. As long as I have hormones surging through my system I expect that there will be the odd hormonal break out. What I want to know is at what age are my non-hormonal pimples going to bugger off for good?

To answer this question I decided to look at my family. I don't recall either of my Grandmothers, Nonny and Nanna, ever having a pimple. So I guess that means that, at the very least, they will be gone by the time I hit my 60's. But that's still a bloody long time to wait. I also can't recall my mum ever having a pimple. She had me when she was 30, but to be honest, I wouldn't have had a clue what a pimple was until I was at least 10. So does that mean from the age of 40 I can be guaranteed to be free of pimples? That still seems like a while, too long if you ask me. Unfortunately, my little genealogical acne investigation fails when I think back to how my sister's skin has behaved over the years. She is 29 and I think it would be at least 10 years, if not longer, since she last had a pimple. So maybe my skin is a genetic throwback and my question as to the age I will stop getting pimples can't be answered by studying my family.

Pimples generally first appear when puberty strikes as this coincides with a sudden increase in secretion of the skin's natural oil - sebum. The purpose of sebum is to waterproof the skin and keep it protected and hydrated. Pimples occur when sebum and dead skin cells block the pore. Therefore, people with oily skin are more likely to get pimples than those with dry skin. My sister has dry skin explaining her lack of pimples, whereas I my skin is oily so pimples will continue popping up as long as my sebum flow is high.

So, when will my skin start producing less oil? Sebum production decreases with age and in women it decreases substantially after menopause. So that explains why I don't recall ever seeing a pimple on my Grandmothers or Mum. Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything more definitive than 'sebum production decreases with age'. So I guess my pimples will get less in the coming years, but who knows when.

What can I do to slow down my oil flow? Since I couldn't answer the question of when I will stop getting pimples, or even when my skin will start producing less sebum, my next point of research was to find out if there was any way to control my oil flow. I found an article on eHow that said experts recommend you wash your face with soap 3 times a day. I don't believe that this will help. I know if you wash your hair too regularly it becomes more oily as it starts to produce more oil to compensate for what is being stripped. So, I assume the same would be true for the face - the more oil you strip off your face, the more the body then produces to protect itself. At any rate, I can barely manage to squeeze washing my face twice a day into my schedule so a third wash has no chance of happening.

In my research I found the following can reduce sebum production:
  • Vitamin A - either topically or through supplements or in the diet can help to reduce sebum production. But this should be avoided if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant as it has been known to cause birth defects.
  • The contraceptive pill - as oil production and crazy hormones go hand in hand, the contraceptive pill can help to reduce sebum production as it evens out hormone levels
  • Oil cleansers - using harsh cleanser to strip off excess sebum causes the skin to over react and produce even more sebum. Oil cleansers can be very effective as they dissolve the excess oil and gently remove it without stripping the skin.
  • Jojoba oil - jojoba oil is the closest match to sebum so applying this discourages the skin from producing more sebum as it recognises that there is already sufficient present.
So, my fellow oily-skinned beauties, it looks like we will still be cursed with pimples throughout our 30's, and even 40's if your production is that high. But there is some good news for us. When out dry-skinned comrades hit menopause they will all be complaining how wrinkly their skin has become. Our skin, however, will have finished its long running stint through puberty and will finally be hitting it's clear-skinned prime!

Monday, 11 July 2011

Want to go to a Priori Myer Event?



If you have ever wanted to learn more about, or even try Priori products, then now is the perfect opportunity. The Priori range includes serious anti-ageing products which contain ingredients that have had the efficacy clinically proven, including Alpha Hydroxy Acids and the antioxidants Idebenone and Coffeeberry, to name a few. Spa Universe at Myer are hosting a not to be missed skin care event, presented by Sofi Lewis, the International Sales and Marketing Direcot of Priori. The details of the event are as follows:

Meet the Cosmeceutical Expert

‘SECRETS TO TURN BACK TIME’ SEMINAR

with Sofi Lewis

PRIORI® Skincare International Sales and Marketing Director


 


Learn the latest and greatest in skincare ingredients. Be one of the first to discover the clinically validated powers of PRIORI ®’s new lash-enhancing product and patented CoffeeBerry®* Mineral Skincare line. Customised skincare programmes bySofi Lewis available on request.



SPA UNIVERSE Sydney Thursday 28th July 2011  12:30pm | 3.30pm | 5.30pm
SPA UNIVERSE Melbourne Friday 29th July 2011  12:30pm | 3.30pm | 5.30pm


$50 booking fee, redeemable on Priori product purchased on the day.

Includes: Refreshments, PRIORI® Gift, Spa Universe treatment voucher and ‘Secrets to Turn Back Time’ Seminar with Sofi Lewis.



RSVP SPA UNIVERSE PRESENTATION

Sydney 02 9238 9125

Melbourne 03 9661 1282

Friday, 8 July 2011

The science behind the BIOeffect EGF Serum explained.

One product that is causing a huge amount of buzz in the beauty industry is BIOeffect EGF Serum. If you haven’t heard of the BIOeffect EGF Serum it’s because it is yet to launch in Australia (launch date is 22nd July). In fact, I only heard about it through Ling from The Best Beauty Blog when she was chatting about it on Twitter. She got me intrigued so I contacted the company for more info, and let me tell you, I have been completely and utterly blown away by what I have found out.


This is an incredibly scientific product. It is based on research that won a Nobel prize. This is pretty serious stuff – they don’t give out Nobel prizes the way we give out Blogging awards – only the most outstanding scientific discoveries receive a Nobel prize. The following post is not going to be a review, I have not been lucky enough to try this serum (yet!), but Ling has done a brilliant review on her Blog so check that out. Instead I am going to try and explain the science behind this amazing serum.
About BIOeffect EGF Serum It is produced by Sif Cosmetics, an Icelandic company. The active ingredient is EGF or Epidermal Growth Factor, which I will explain in more detail below. In fact, the serum only contains nine ingredients – literally only what is necessary to ‘maintain and stimulate the natural function of the EGF cellular activator’ and nothing else. 
 
According to the company, BIOeffect EGF Serum works by activating certain biological processes within the cell. It stimulates the skin’s own renewal process to improve the overall appearance and texture. It contains EGF cellular activator that supports the renewal of skin cells. The serum leaves you with a healthier and fresher appearance and moisturises, while at the same time it inhibits signs of skin ageing.
What is Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF)?  Cells in the body send messages to each other via the release of chemicals called cytokines. If a cell needs something done it releases a cytokine. Other cells have receptors that recognise these cytokines and when they come in contact with them it is their signal to spring into action. The cytokine EGF is the body’s chemical message to grow more skin cells and it is mostly released during wound healing. When you cut yourself, for example, the body realises that there is a gaping big hole that needs filling, so releases EGF. This tells the skin cells that they need to start multiplying to fill the hole. All cells in the skin have receptors for EGF – that is the epidermal cells that make up the surface of the skin, as well as the fibroblasts and collagen cells that give the skin its firmness and elasticity (check out this post if you need a refresher on the structure of the skin). When these cells come into contact with EGF it is their signal to start dividing and multiplying. EGF is also regularly released by the body to help maintain the renewal of healthy skin cells.

EGF is actually quite a big molecule. It doesn’t enter cells but rather binds with their receptors to give them the message to multiply. There were concerns that it would be ineffective in a topical agent, such as a moisturiser or serum, as it was thought that the EGF molecules would be too big to penetrate the skin. A lot of products contain ingredients that are too large to penetrate the skin – collagen is a classic example. Becuase these molecules are too big to penetrate the skin they just remain on the surface and are thus completely ineffective. However, studies have found that it EGF can penetrate the skin to reach the target cells by four different routes: through sweat glands, down hair follicles, it can squeeze though narrow junctions between cells and it can also enter bit micro lesions in the skin (ie flaking due to dryness or  scratches on the skin). What this means is that if applied topically, like in the BIOeffect EGF Serum, the EGF is able to penetrate the skin and reach the target cells to give them the message to divide and multiply.
The Efficacy Research  BIOeffects sent me a scientific paper that outlined the research that has been conducted into the efficacy of BIOeffect EGF Serum. Two studies were conducted by the company themselves and the third by an independant researcher - Dr. Ronald Moy who is the President of the American Academy of Dermatology.
Company Study 1: Participant Opinion This study involved 109 volunteers assessing whether the BIOeffect EGF Serum improved the appearance and texture of their skin. This is a typical type of study conducted by the beauty industry (you know the type – you always hear companies spurting out claims like ‘72% of women tested thought that their skin looked more radiant’). I don’t overly respect these types of studies as they are just too subjective. I know when I am reviewing a product I pay much more attention to my routine and go to a lot more effort. Plus, I am always desperate for it to work so I examine my skin more closely and will usually think that it does look more radiant – but maybe it always looks like that and I just haven’t studied it so closely? Anyway, the results of this study were that over 95% of participants saw an improvement and thought that BIOeffect EGF Serum was beneficial to their skin.
Company Study 2: Instrument analysis I have a lot more respect for how this component of the study was conducted as the result were collected on a skin analysis machine, the Soft Plus Skin Analysing System. This was also a double blind placebo controlled study. What this means is that participants received either the BIOeffect EGF Serum or a similar placebo serum that was only missing the EGF – they weren’t told whether they were in the study or placebo group. The researchers were also blinded as to which participant got which serum. That way there could be no potential biases. Parameters tested in the study included skin elasticity, hydration and image assessments of wrinkles.
During the study, hydration in the skin of participants using the BIOeffect EGF Serum increased by up to 30%, and these participants also saw a greater increase in hydration that the placebo participants. Skin elasticity also significantly increased in the BIOeffect EGF Serum group compared with the control group and there was a clear decrease in facial wrinkles in the the BIOeffect EGF Serum group.

Independant Study This research is still in the preliminary stages and is ongoing but so far it is looking really promising. Dr. Ronald Moy’s team recruited females between the ages of 30-60 to be involved in the clinical trial of the serum. The study is also a double blind placebo controlled study, like I described above, and the participants are using the control or placebo serum for 3 months. Results will be tested using the VISIA™ Digital Skin Analysis instrument. As the study is ongoing, I was only given access to one set of results and these show that after 30 days there is already a clear reduction in wrinkles and fine lines in participants using the BIOeffect EGF Serum and this is even more marked at 90 days. The full study will be published in a peer reviewed journal, hopefully later in the year, so I will update once the study is out but I have to say that these initial results really excite me. I guess what I am most impressed by is the fact that the serum is standing up to the rigors of an independent clinical trial and really seems to be producing positive results.

So, will it work? Without having tried it myself I can’t personally say whether or not it works; however, the research conducted is very positive. The theory behind the serum is very sound, so on paper it should work. I guess only time will tell whether it does.
Where to buy? BIOeffect EGF Serum cost $AU180 and can be purchased from their website -  www.bioeffect.com.au. The company are also in negotiations for it to be stocked in a major department store along with some day spas. I will update once this has been confirmed.
Want to be one of the first in Australia to try it? After reading this I bet you are all busting to try this amazing sounding serum – I know I was after reading the research. Well, I have some pretty exciting news for you! I can reveal that this is another sample that will be included in Lust Have It’s first box! So, if you haven’t ordered your first box yet, it’s about time you did – you can order your first box here.

Ok, I have attempted to explain the research in layman’s terms as best as I could. If anything wasn’t clear, please post your question in the comments section and I will endeavour to answer it better.

So, who wants to try this wonder serum?
UPDATE: Who wants to win a bottle of this amazing serum?? Check out my competition on how you can win.
All opinions stated in this blog are my own. I have no affiliation with BIOeffect or Lust Have It and received no remuneration for my comments.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

ALERT ALERT! Jurlique giveaway ahead!!

This giveaway has now closed. Click here to see if you were the winner!

I have been blogging for about 3 months now and I have to say that I love it more than I could have ever imagined. When I had to write scientific papers for work it was always such a chore. I would procrastinate, write one sentence then jump onto smh.com.au to read an article; write another sentence then 'quickly' check eBay for bargains; finish the paragraph then hit the Beauty Heaven forum to see if anyone desperately needed my opinion on something, anything...

Blogging is not like that. If I am not writing an article on my computer, then I am writing one in my head. I get to write about whatever I want and it is so liberating. If an article just isn't working, I move on (I currently have 47 partially written drafts saved! One day they will see the light of day and be published!).

So, to say thanks to all the lovely readers that I have had since the start who have encouraged me on my adventure, and to also attract some newbies to my blog as blogging has made me narcissistic and I want more readers I tell you, moooooore, I have decided to host a giveaway. I mentioned in a few posts how much I love Jurlique (if you missed them they are here, here and here), so the gorgeous people at Jurlique and Torstar Communications have teamed up to help me host an amazing giveaway. One winner will get:

Jurlique Lavender Hydrating Mist

Jurlique Lavender Shower Gel

Jurlique Lavender Hand Cream


Now I bet you are all busting to know how you can win this awesome prize. Since it is my first giveaway I am going to keep it nice and simple. All you have to do is:
  1. Follow me either by email or on Google Friend Connect (GFC)
  2. Tell me in the comments section below how you are following me (and what your GFC name is) and also tell me what your favourite Jurlique product is or which Jurlique product you would most like try.
Simple! I'd love it if you also followed me on bloglovin' or Tweeted about the giveaway...but only if you want to!

This comp is only open to Australian readers and will be drawn on Saturday 16th July (which is also my sisters birthday, how cool is that!!). So what are you waiting for...get entering!!

ps Some people have let me know that their comments haven't been showing up. I had a problem with Intense Debate, but I think that I have fixed it. Every comment gets emailed to me anyway, so I will have your entry, but if you are unsure drop me an email to let me know your comment isn't showing up. Don't forget to leave your email address when filling out the comment form (not in comment box otherwise it will be public) so I can notify you if you win.

Monday, 4 July 2011

I thought I couldn't live without you but life goes on...

When products get discontinued, or are limited edition to start off with, I panic. Especially if I LOVE the product. But even if I just kind of like it, I still freak out a little bit as I simply can't imaging my life without the beloved product in it. I usually rush out and hoard multiple backups of said product so that I don't ever have to go through life without it.
It has taken me many many years to come to the realisation that when I come to the end of a bottle I am actually usually a little sick of the product and am ready to move on anyway...except that I can't as there are still another 4 or 5 bottles stashed in my cupboard/under my bed/in the freezer - pretty much wherever I can fit them.

I now think that discontinuing a product, or releasing a limited edition is actually a brilliant marketing ploy. It makes my fellow panickers and I race out to the shops and buy the product without assessing whether we even really like it - we buy first, think later. And in the cases where we do actually love it, we then buy it in quantities we would never consider if it were a permanent line. But, even though I am aware that I am being manipulated by marketers, I won't learn. I will still hoard.

So, in celebration of my hoarding ways I have listed a few products that I totally panicked over when I found out that the were discontinued or limited edition, products that I just didn't know how I would survive without... yet here I am, not simply 'surviving' but thriving without them!

When I first started writing this post I thought that there would be products from many different brands. Turns out all the products I have gone into a discontinued meltdown were from Lush. Lush are the kings of limited editions and discons and have caused me many a panicked bulk buy up and these are the products that I have hoarded.

 Love Bug

Lush Love Bug image from Lush Wiki

I remember when I first sniffed this I fell head over heels in love, which is rather appropriate considering it's name. It is fragranced with rose and vanilla and it really is divine. It also has the most amazingly flattering gold shimmer. Unfortunately it was a limited edition only available in February one year for Valentines Day. So I did what every sensible person would do about bought 5. Turns out I didn't actually use it that often and am still only half way through my first one, have sold 3 and have one other stashed away.


Schnuggle

Lush Schnuggle image from Lush

I love Lush massage bars but they are pretty greasy and can leave you feeling pretty slimy if you apply them before bed. That's where Schnuggle was brilliant. It wasn't greasy at all and was packed full of lavender oil which is great for sleep. It became part of my night time routine. Then they were discontinued. I bought 4 and stashed them in my various clothes drawers to fragrance my clothes until I used them...but somewhere along the line I forgot I had them. It wasn't until I moved houses a year or so later that I found them, and since I had gone a year without needing them I decided that I could survive without them...and so sold them after all of that!


Butterfly Ball

Butterfly Ball image from Kaboodle

This was my favourite out of all of Lush's ballistics. It is intensely floral and right up my alley. It was a small ballistic yet smelt stronger than most of the bigger ballistics. When I found out it was being discontinued I bought 5...then went back 3 days later and bought another 5. I actually used every last one of them. It was sad to use the last one but then Lush have many other lovely ballistics so my life isn't completely meaningless without it!



Yummy Yummy Yummy

Yummy Yummy Yummy image from All Hail the Queen

I actually used Yummy Yummy Yummy as my baby's bubbly bath and damn did it make him smell good. Babies smell nice normally (except when they have dumped) but this made him extra delicious. I would just sit there, sniffing his head. I miss Yummy Yummy Yummy. I bought 3 bottles but they are long gone. There are millions of other baby bubbles baths out there but none are as 'yummy' as this was!

There have been products from other brands that have broken my heart when they were discontinued, but then they were not at a price point that I could hoard. Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultimate Youth Creme is one such product. This moisturiser could have become my Holy Grail moisturiser, I loved it so much. But at $400 a jar (though much cheaper on eBay!) it was not realistic to hoard this one.

So, what products did you think that you couldn't live without, then found out you could. Or did it turn out that you actually couldn't live without the product and you are now commenting from the grave?

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Product review: Revitanail Nail Strengthener

I was invited by BeautyHeaven to review the Revitanail Nail Strengthener. I was in desperate need of something to fix my nails as for the last couple of years they have been in terrible condition.
About the product (from BeautyHeaven) Use daily as a base-coat or top-coat. A superior nail care treatment that hardens, strengthens and protects nails. Also restores nails damaged from nail extensions. Fortified with calcium gel, Revitanail Nail Strengthener helps to eliminate peeling, flaking and chipping, while also benefiting slow growing nails.

How to use (from Revitanail) Apply 2 coats of Revitanail Nail Strengthener onto clean nails avoiding the cuticle area and then one coat daily for the next 5 days. On the 7th day remove with nail polish remover. Repeat the process 3 times. (Each program lasts for 25 days). Allow your nails to rest for 1-2 weeks between programs

The Experiment To determine whether or not the Revitanail Nail Strengthener actually works, I decided to conduct the trial in a scientific manner. Just prior to commencing the trial I cut the nails on both hands back to the nail bed. I then cleaned off all of the nails on both hands with Sally Hansen Strengthening for Weak, Thin Nails Nail Polish Remover with Acetone. I then applied the Revitanail Nail Strengthener, as directed, only to the nails on the left hand. I applied nothing to the nails on the right hand. Whenever it was time to remove the Revitanail Nail Strengthener from the nails on the left hand I would also clean the nails on the right hand with the Sally Hansen Nail Polish Remover.
Background Before I go into the results of my little study I'll just give you some background into my nails. I used to have really strong nails - so strong that it was nearly impossible to bite through them. Then when I fell pregnant a couple of years ago they started peeling like crazy. I had terrible morning sickness throughout my entire pregnancy so I guess that any nutrients I was managing to keep down were being shunted to the baby rather than to non-essential things like my nails. Now, a couple of years later, some of my nails have recovered but my thumb and pointer fingers are still really soft and prone to breaking. So I was really looking forward to this trial.

The results I followed the directions on the packet for my left hand, and did the program for the required 25 days. Just before I started the trial I knocked the nail on my left thumb so it was a bit chipped to start off with. At the end of the trial, the only nail that broke on my left hand was the thumb that I had previously knocked - all the other nails were in perfect condition without any chipping, splitting or peeling. The thumb nail only ended up peeling slightly at the damage site, but otherwise the nail was saved.

On my right hand, which did not have the Revitanail, the thumb nail totally split and peeled and was in terrible condition by the end of the trial and half of the pointer finger nail also tore off. The other three nails were in good condition.

The really interesting result of my little study was nail length. For some reason all of the nails on my untreated right hand grew longer than the nails on my treated left hand - approximately 1-2mm longer. This was a big surprise to me. Possibly, Revitanail slows down nail growth so that the nails that are grown are much stronger than if they grew too fast? I don't think so, though, as Revitanail claims to benefit slow growing nails. Maybe the nails on my right hand have always grown faster than my left hand and I have never noticed? I am thinking of repeating the trial but swapping hands to find out whether it was Revitanail affecting the nail growth or if it is just my nails.

The nails on the left hand were definitely stronger. The pinkies and ring fingers on both hands were the same strength - I couldn't bend these nails at all; however, on the untreated right hand I could bend all of the three remaining nails whilst on the treated left hand the only finger that I could bend was the pointer.

In addition to strengthening my nails, Revitanail also made an excellent top and base coat. It really did make my nails look nice. A friend asked whether I had had a manicure when she saw my nails. It didn't chip throughout the week so would really help to make a manicure last longer.

My Concerns One thing that does concern me with this product is the inclusion of formaldehyde as an ingredient. Formaldehyde is a chemical that, when used in my science experiments, I have to take great care in handling it (gloves, goggles and a lab coat have to be worn) so it concerns me to deliberately apply it to my body. The concentration in Revitanail would be much lower than what I was using in experiments but the fact that Revitanail is designed to be used daily for 25 days straight, you are exposing yourself to formaldehyde quite often.

Different people react to formaldehyde in different ways - and in my scientific work I discovered that I am quite sensitive to it - it stung my eyes and made me feel quite nauseated. I have not had this reaction to Revitanail so hopefully this indicates that the amount of formaldehyde present is quite low. The reason that I am concern with the concentration of formaldehyde is that at high concentrations it is know to be a carcinogen (cancer causing agent).

Conclusion

Would I buy it again? I don't think that I would buy it to use as described, that is daily for 25 days straight, and this is due to my issues with formaldehyde that I have mentioned above. However, I do think that I would keep a bottle of this on hand to use as a base and top coat as it didn't chip, so it would really help to make any nail polish that I was wearing last longer.

All opinions stated in this blog are my own. I have no affiliation with Revitanail and received no remuneration for my comments. This product was provided to me as part of Beauty Heaven's Trial Team.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Ajana Sweet & Spicy Fragrant Cinnamon Scrub and Lavender, Lemongrass & Tea Tree Body Scrub Reviews

I recently reviewed the Mocha Madness Scrub from Ajana and found this scrub to be one of the most delicious smelling scrubs I have ever tried. Well, my Ajana adventure wasn't over yet as I still had two more scrubs to try: the Sweet & Spicy Fragrant Cinnamon Scrub and the Lavender, Lemongrass & Tea Tree Body Scrub.


Sweet & Spicy Fragrant Cinnamon Scrub
According to Ajana 'the cinnamon body scrub is a deeply fragrant sweet and spicy combination of Cinnamon Bark and Leaf and is perfect as we head into winter. Aside from smelling great Cinnamon is thought to have healing properties'.


I loved the smell of this - the second the lid came off the jar I was hit with a delicious sweet cinnamon aroma - it actually reminded me a lot of chai tea. It was a very warming, comforting fragrance - especially in these cold winter mornings. I was half expecting the scrub to burn a little when I used it, like the feeling you get when you eat Big Red Cinnamon Gum and touch the tip of you tongue onto it, but alas (or perhaps thankfully!) there was no burning sensation.



To use the scrub, I would stand under the shower for a few seconds then turn the shower off and massage the scrub into my damp skin. Because the scrub is made out of sugar, the scrub particles (ie the sugar) dissolved slightly on my damp skin so it was an invigorating, yet gentle scrub. I would then turn the shower back on an rinse off the remaining scrub. I found, after showering, the fragrance of the scrub on lingered only ever so slightly. I was happy about that as it meant that it didn't clash with my perfume.

The scrub is packed with nourishing oils so it left my skin feeling really moisturised and soft afterwards. The only thing I didn't like about the scrub was that the cinnamon particles stuck to the oil and were really hard to wash off my skin. I would have to use shower gel afterwards to rinse off the cinnamon particles. But I found, even with the extra washing step, my skin still felt really soft and moisturised afterwards. The shower gel I used to rinse the scrub off was actually a rose one and I found the combination of the two fragrances was quite intoxicating - an intriguing spicy floral. A caramel or honey shower gel, like Lush's Its Raining Men (Honey I Washed the Kids fragrance) would also combine deliciously with the spicy cinnamon scent.
The scrub comes in a 250g tub and is $8.50. I got between 5-10 uses out of it (I lost count!) so it is a very economical scrub. The fragrance is quite unisex so it really would be appropriate for anyone. I think this would be a great scrub to pick up in winter as it is so warming and comforting.


Lavender, Lemongrass & Tea Tree Body Scrub
Ajana describe the Lavender, Lemongrass & Tea Tree body scrub as a 'fusion of classic floral lavender and zesty Lemongrass and fresh Tea Tree. This scrub is perfect for those times when you want to relax and forget the world. Aside from smelling great, Lavender has calming properties while the Lemongrass and Tea Tree adds a citrus and fresh twist'.


.
Of the three Ajana scrubs that I tried, this was my favourite. I absolutely adored the fragrance. I went to Thailand for my honeymoon and every time I smell lemongrass it takes me back there. When I first took off the lid, it was the scent of lemongrass I was hit with and this instantly made me feel both happy and calm. Then, when I actually used the scrub, it was the lavender and tea tree notes that were strongest. The first time I used this, it was in the bath in the evening. That night I had one of the best nights sleep I had had in ages as this scrub is packed with really relaxing oils.

I won't go on to describe the scrub beyond its fragrance as it is the same as the sweet and spicy cinnamon one I described above. But I will say that this scrub left my skin feeling so soft and moisturised thanks to the gorgeous nourishing oils. Because there were no particles in it, I didn't need to use shower gel to remove any residue so I was able to leave the gorgeous oils on my skin. Initially my skin did feel somewhat greasy but by the time I had towel dried the oils had sunk into my skin, leaving it soft rather than greasy. I have used this both for my morning shower and before a nice relaxing bath. Whilst it is great for both, I prefer it in the evening as  means I will be sleeping like a baby that night (a baby that sleeps solidly through the night, that is, not one of those annoying ones that wakes every two hours for a visit from their milky friends!).

You can purchase these scrubs from the Ajana Etsy Store or from the Ajana Facebook Page.

If you would like a chance to win the Ajana lavender, lemongrass and tea tree scrub, check out Little Jo as she is giving this scrub away, along with the matching candle plus a million other items!

Have you found an amazing scrub that gets you all excited to use?

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