Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The acne series: Guest review of Fixaderm

Got itchy skin? Sunburnt? Pimple brewing? Insect bite driving you mad? Fixaderm® can help give instant relief. Keep Fixaderm® handy in your First Aid kit or bathroom cabinet ready for everyday use.

This was on the press release that I received about Fixaderm and so I thought that it could be another interesting addition to The Acne Series. Sophie (from the blog Sophie's Maze), who is 28 and gets hormonal acne along her chin had contacted me about trialing acne products. She needed something gentle for her skin as she was finding that harsh products really dried it out. I thought that this might be a good solution for her.

More from the company: Necessity Fixaderm® is a 100% natural First Aid and skin repair product made from the finest quality essential and plant oils. The blend of 11 oils has been tested and refined over several years, resulting in a unique formula that may help alleviate skin discomfort, help prevent infection and help promote healing. Fixaderm® is completely free from chemicals and has a wide range of applications including; natural First Aid for cuts, abrasions, minor burns, fungal infections, insect bites and stings. It has also been demonstrated as an effective treatment for pimples, scarring, and stretch marks.

And now to Sophie's review:

Review for Necessity Fixaderm Skin Repair

Fixaderm is marketed as a skin repair oil containing the following key therapeutic oils:
  • Calendula
  • Lavender
  • Patchouli (Progostermon Cablin)
  • Rosehip oil (Rosa Eglanteria)
  • Tea tree oil (Melaleuca)

These oils are used to treat an array of ailments ranging from burns, cuts, fungal infections, eczema, scarring, warts, sunburn and acne. I was interested in trialing Fixaderm to help treat persistent acne on the jawline and random congestion on the remainder of my face. My skin is combination and extremely sensitive. As such I struggle to use traditional acne remedies such as Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid. I have used tea tree oil for years to treat individual spots and have found it reasonably effective with minimal side effects. The concept of Fixaderm is intriguing to contain tea tree oil along with some other oils known for their calming and healing properties.

The packaging of Fixaderm is the same as most essential oils, in a small amber bottle with a dropper top and a screw on lid. The dropper is good and it’s easy to dispense the product drop by drop. The actual oil is very liquidy and almost clear in colour. The smell is very herbal and the tea tree oil is definitely the dominant scent.

  • ·         Acne – I initially tried using this as a spot treatment. Thankfully it didn’t irritate my skin but much to my surprise it actually made my spots worse. The texture of the product is quite greasy and maybe this is the reason it exacerbated the spots. I do find neat tea tree oil better for this purpose.
  • ·         Scarring – I next tried applying this on broader areas of acne scarring. I only needed 1 drop to cover half my jawline, I little goes a long way! It feels quite greasy going on but sinks in after 5-10 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised by the non-greasy feel after it had soaked in. It moisturizes well but after 3 weeks of application I didn’t notice any accelerated healing of scars. I do usually use a vitamin C serum in the mornings and I think that is far more effective at fading scars.

  • ·         Hands – Now I absolutely ADORE this oil for moisturizing my cuticles and around my nails. I was travelling overseas recently and the flight combined with the cold English weather meant my skin went haywire. My hands were the most effected. I had the worst hangnails ever. Like I am talking multiple skin peeling things around each nail. It was painful and unsightly. I started rubbing Fixaderm around my nails much like you would a cuticle cream each night and my skin was back to normal in a few days. Continually applying Fixaderm prevented the same thing from happening on the return home.
  • ·         Dry skin – I also get really dry elbows and knees. A couple of drops of Fixaderm really helps relieved the chapped skin.

Overall I think Fixaderm is an interesting product that has many potential uses. It helps that I also love the smell of the oil and find it relaxing. Personally, I like it as an antibacterial cuticle oil. I wish it had worked wonders on my acne but it wasn’t the case. However, I am more than happy to keep a bottle around to help prevent and repair damage around my nails. And who knows what other uses I will find for this multipurpose oil?! 

All opinions are Sophie's own and she received no remuneration for this post. This product was provided to Sophie for consideration.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Vanilla lovers: Vanilla Bliss is the best vanilla fragrance you will ever experience or your money back

Ok, I lied. I am not going to give you your money back if you don't think The Body Shop's Vanilla Bliss is the greatest vanilla fragrance ever but now that you are here you may as well learn more about it! I was meant to write this up as part of my Christmas reviews but I am so completely besotted with my Vanilla Bliss Body Butter that I needed to dedicate an entire post to it!

The Body Shop is famous for their body butters. They are so deliciously thick and rich, incredibly moisturising yet surprisingly non greasy. Over the years my alliance to particular scents has chopped and changed. My love affair was ignited with the Brazil Nut, but then one day I cheated on Brazil Nut with Coconut and didn't look back...well until I discovered Mango. In general I'm a bit meh about mango...except this Mango - it was the scent of summer bottled up in a tub. It was many years until I strayed again. I was walking past a store and they had a new scent on display - Moringa, on a whim I stuck my finger in the tub and tried it. Precisely 12 seconds later I was standing at the counter purchasing a tub. This fragrance is beyond amazing. Perhaps the perfect white floral. I thought I was finally going to be monogamous to a body butter but then Vanilla Bliss came along. OMG it is friggin' amazing. OMG a body butter made me say OMG. I sound like a star struck teenager, and quickly frankly I feel just as gushy and excited as one! 

I wouldn't say that I am a huge vanilla fan. I like it enough but have never bought a vanilla perfume or anything like that. I guess I m just not that into gourmand fragrances. This Christmas The Body Shop have a range of products in three limited edition seasonal fragrances, one of which is Vanilla Bliss (I'll tell you about the rest when I do my Christmas reviews next month). I decided to try the Vanilla Bliss fragrance in the body butter. OMG it is seriously so amazing (crap, I just said OMG again). It is a very true vanilla without being overly sweet. It is so utterly delicious it takes an enormous amount of self control not to lick the butter. I have honestly never smelt a vanilla product that smells as good as this one. In fact, I challenge you to find a better one. I will be shocked if you can.

Like all Body Butters from The Body Shop, this one is both highly moisturising and completely non greasy. Because it smell so amazing I have been applying it twice a day. I have only been using it for 3 days and the change in my skin has been amazing. I haven't taken care of it at all in the last 6 months, if not longer (Kiki turned 6 months today so now you understand why I have not looked after myself!). In these 3 days my skin has transformed from being dehydrated and scaley to silky soft and smooth. Before it look dull and dry, now it glistens with health. As an added bonus, the fragrance lasts hours (about 3 hours on me) - that is longer than some perfumes. Today, at playgroup, two people came up to me to tell me that I smelt amazing - and what is really amazing about that is that I hadn't showered (The Crazy Kid chucked an epic tanty so showering got replaced by 'mummy cuddles' and some Chuggington).

Ok, I think I might have gushed about this enough so I am going to finish by putting a challenge out to determine whether this the greatest vanilla fragrance ever. All vanilla lovers out there - I need you to sniff this then report back whether you also think that this is the greatest!

The Vanilla Bliss Body Butter is $AU27.95 and will go on sale (along with the other Christmas releases) from the 5th November, 2012 until sold out - sadly, it is limited edition so you might need to stock up (I know I will be!).

All opinions are my own and i received no remuneration for this post. This product was provided for consideration. 

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Want a funky new haircut? Why not donate your ponytail to create real hair wigs

It is common knowledge that one of the major side effects of using chemotherapy to treat cancer is that ones hair will often fall out. For many women, this can be as traumatic as having cancer itself. Sure, there are wigs out there but often these are so fake and tacky that women will prefer to wear scarves. Unfortunately, real hair wigs are extremely expensive and, what with all of the other expenses associated with cancer, a luxuary many women cannot afford. However, now there is a way that we all can help by donating our ponytails. Here is some information on how to do it:

Beautiful Lengths is a program by Pantene in partnership with charity Look Good…Feel Better, designed to encourage women to cut, grow and donate 20cm of their hair to create real hair wigs for women who have lost their hair to cancer treatment. Since 2006, Beautiful Lengths in North America has received an incredible 303,998 ponytails. With enough hair to create 24,000 real wigs, Pantene has helped to transform the lives of thousands of women across the US. Now the program is being launched in Australia and New Zealand.

Monday 12th November will mark the launch of the inaugural Beautiful Lengths National Donate Your Hair Week in Australia kicking off with a hair donation event at Martin Place in Sydney CBD with Pantene ambassadors leading hairstylist, Barney Martin, and beauty expert, Zoe Foster.

The first 100 women to donate their ponytails will receive a free haircut from Barney Martin and his team of top hairstylists. A gift bag full of products will be presented to every woman who donates their ponytail as well.

In order to participate in the National Donate Your Hair Week event, hair donors must be able to travel to Martin Place for 8am on 12th November and have at least 20cm of hair to donate.

To take part, please visit and complete the registration form.

The website for Beautiful Lengths is

Basically your pony tail must be at least 20cm long for it to be donated otherwise the hair will be too short for the wig weavers to use and it can't be dyed, bleached or too grey. Other than those restrictions you are free to donate. Also, remember that if you are going to post your ponytail in then make sure you put a whole heap of hair elastics around it so that it stays as a ponytail - if it falls out of the elastic then they can't use it.

I am actually desperate to cut my hair all off. I usually keep it quite short but having The Crazy Kid and Kiki has made it quite hard for me to make it to the hairdresser. I actually worked out that my last haircut was on 25th November 2011...nearly a full year! I measured my ponytail and it is currently 15cm so I am not going to make the 12th Nov to donate but I think that I will keep growing it anyway as you can donate it at any time.

Are you planning on donating you ponytail or have you done so in the past?

Saturday, 27 October 2012

A short film by OPI featuring the horse from War Horse (wearing nail polish, of course!)

OPI have just released their first international short film/video, directed by Han Emanuel featuring the horse from War Horse, wearing OPI nail polish and having a dance off. Check out his moves - it's pretty funny!

I just love how advertisers minds work. Seriously, who would think to put a horse in a nail polish short film! But it is a brilliant idea as these sort of things always go viral.

What has been your favourite, unusual advertisement?

Thursday, 25 October 2012

MOR Marshmallow Eau De Parfum: Heavenly, divine, scrumptuous

I have been on a bit of a perfume journey lately, haven't I. I can't help myself. I just love perfume so much! Today's review is of MOR Marshmallow Eau De Parfum. This perfume astounded me. It really did. I tested it on a whim, not expecting to like it. I don't like sweet, foody fragrances but wanted to know what this pink boxed fragrance smelt like. Would it really smell like marshmallows?

The answer? Yes, but in the most sophisticated way. It is not a young girls perfume but a sensuous women's fragrance. I read somewhere it be described as rose petals dipped in sugar and think that this is such a fitting description. There are definite floral notes, as well as clear sweet notes but there is not a hint of sickly sweetness.

On me, the top notes are the sweeter notes, kind of like a musk stick lolly, but not quite so sugary. These fade in about 30 minutes and what remains is a very sensual musky floral. It is warm and comforting and quite sexy. The perfume is not super long lasting - about 3 hours on me, so I always take the roll on oil with me when I am wearing this to do quick top ups.

This is definitely a daytime fragrance. It's fun rather than classy. It has good silage - you will leave a delicious fragrance trail behind you when wearing this one.

I also have the Marshmallow bath Elixir (don't you just love the word 'Elixir'!). This smells exactly like the perfume and fills the bath with gentle bubbles and a subtle fragrance. I kind of wish that the fragrance was more intense, though it does linger on your skin for ages so it would be perfect to layer with the perfume.

Does this sound like a perfume you would wear? It really does smell very much like musk lollies...but they smell so damn good, so that's a good thing!

All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. The perfume and bath Elixir were purchased for me by Crazy and Kiki for Mothers Day (though they used my money to do so!).

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Flora by Gucci Glorious Mandarin: the perfume that will convert any citrus or fruity haters

I have never been a fan of fruity perfumes. They have always seemed a bit young to me. I have especially never been a fan of citrus notes in perfumes. They seem to have a strange reaction with my skin chemistry and end up smelling quite harsh on me. So, it was probably a strange choice to review Flora by Gucci Glorious Mandarin, as it was clearly going to be both a fruity and citrus based perfume, but I had recently reviewed Glamorous Magnolia from the same collection and was keen to try another one. I am glad I did as I genuinely love this fragrance. I was not expecting that at all, but it is such a happy, joyous fragrance and is perfect for wearing in this glorious spring weather we have been getting.

Flora by Gucci Glorious Mandarin is one of five spin off fragrances of the original Flora by Gucci that make up the Gucci Flora Garden collection. According to Fragrantica, the Gucci Flora Garden collection includes five most important blossoms outlined on the legendary Gucci scarf designed by Vittorio Accornero for Princess Grace of Monaco (a picture of this scarf can be seen in my Glamorous Magnolia post).

Flora by Gucci Glorious Mandarin and Generous Violet were originally only released for purchase from Gucci boutiques but have since been released for sale along side the other three, Glorious Mandarin, Glamorous Magnolia and Gracious Tuberose.

What they say: With Mandarin and Violet completing the collection of five beautiful perfumes, the Gucci woman has an opportunity to explore and enhance her many facets – hidden and revealed – her gorgeousness, grace, glamour and now also her generosity and glory. In plucking a flower from this secret, scented garden, she reveals her soul. A gloriously juicy fruit: Gucci captures the exhilaration of mandarin.

  • Top notes: mandarin, peony
  • Middle notes: jasmine, pina colada accord
  • Heart notes: ambergris, white musk, creamy wood

This magnificent scent blends joyful mandarin with the tropical rum and pineapple of the pina colada. In place of the traditional coconut, the cocktail is completed with creamy wood notes that are at once contemporary and sumptuously feminine. Glorious Mandarin is an exuberant expression of the fruit’s effusive energy. The euphoria it imparts is glorious. The Glorious Mandarin woman is inspiring and intoxicating. Time in her company is enlivening. Her spirited approach to life is utterly thrilling.

What I say: Though mandarins are a winter fruit, this is the ideal spring/summer fragrance. It is such a fresh and deliciously fruity fragrance. It is happy, full of joy - really fitting for the party season.

I definitely can detect the mandarin top notes although they are not purely fruity. The peony adds a floral element which I think is what makes me love this fragrance. The mandarin note really makes the fragrance sparkle. The mandarin lasts a long time throughout the fragrance. As the top notes mellow into the middle notes the mandarin can still be detected and is complimented by the pineapple. It is the pineapple that keeps the fruitiness going. After about an hour of wear, the fragrance starts to loose its fresh fruitiness and it is replaced by a warm creamy fruitiness, thanks to the white musk.

I found this fragrance to be very unique. I have never smelt anything like it. It does not have any of the sharp, harsh notes that I usually associate with a citrus fragrance. It is genuinely one of those mood altering fragrances that you just can't help smiling after you sniff it. This is a wonderful daytime fragrance that would work equally well as an evening fragrance for all the wonderful summer parties we have coming up.

It has average lasting power on me. I would get about 3-4 hours before all I could detect was the musk heart notes. The silage is initially ok - medium strength; however, after an hour or so when it mellows from the fresh fruity to the creamy fruity it then wears much closer to the skin.

If you, like me, have always avoided fruity or citrus fragrances I highly recommend you give this one a sniff. I honestly think that it will be the one to convert you! And, if you are in the market for a new scent to add to your fragrance wardrobe this summer, this one epitomises the happy mood of the party season.

Flora by Gucci Glorious Mandarin Eau de Toilette is available in100ml for $AU161.00 and can be purchased from MYER, David Jones and Gucci Boutiques as of 9th September 2012 for a limited time (so you might want to try it ASAP!).  I have previously written about the risks of buying grey market cosmetics - if you want to know whether your local stockist is an authorised reseller you can ring (02) 9695 5678 to confirm.

What are your thoughts on fruity perfumes? Like or loathe?

All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. This perfume was provided to me for consideration.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Do you have acne? Guest reviewers required

Do you suffer from acne? If so, you might actually be in luck! I am after a couple more guest reviewers to trial some acne ranges for me. To be my acne guest reviewer you must:

  • be willing to take before and after photos. However, they don't have to be of your whole face. Have a look at this review for an excellent example - you can clearly see how the acne has changed between photos but the person remained anonymous - I am perfectly happy for you to do similar (and I can help with the cropping if need be)
  • have at least moderate acne - not just one or two pimples but problematic skin that is bothering you
  • be willing to stick to the routine provided and preferably not use any other skincare products (sunscreen and makeup are fine).
  • be Australian based.
I need three reviewers in total. The age of two of the reviewers doesn't matter but I specifically need a teenager for one of the reviews.

If you are interested please either comment below or send me an email.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Alexami Colour Analysis results

I was recently invited to participate in the Alexami Colour Analysis. Alexami is an Australian-owned natural cosmetics company. Alexami's products address the growing need for truly natural and safe cosmetics made from quality ingredients that are kind to your skin and the planet, but without overlooking fashion-forward colour palettes. To participate in the challenge I was asked to answer the following questions then I was sent makeup to create a look based on my responses:
  • Hair colour - dark brown (with a subtle red dye through it)
  • Eye brows - black
  • Eye colour - green/blue
  • Lips - pink
  • Preferred makeup focus - eyes

Herbal - Mineral Mascara - NATURAL EFFECT LASHES RRP $39.95
What they say: Some mascara can contribute to eye irritation. Our mascara has been specially formulated with mild, naturally derived ingredients so that you’re less likely to have tears
What I say: About 8 years ago I had a massive allergic reaction to my contact lenses. It was hell. The whites of my eyes were pure red. Not veiny red, but pure - no white in sight - red. I could also only open each eye about 2mm. I had been wearing contacts for 8 years at that stage and I still have absolutely no idea what caused the reaction. Ever since then, though, I have had really sensitive eyes. Often when I have been wearing a new mascara, my eyes will end up feeling a bit gunky and when I check them out in the mirror they are usually also bloodshot. I am pleased to say that I had no such reaction to the Alexami mascara. My eyes felt completely comfortable all day. The mascara also didn't clump. I can't stand clumpy mascaras that leave your lashes looking like spider legs. This left my lashes looking very natural. I did notice at the end of the day that it had smudged slightly but that might have been because I was wearing L'oreal Paris Revitalift Total Repair 10 BB Cream and I had not set it with powder. 

Mineral – Vegan Lip Gloss - NATURAL EFFECT LIPS RRP $34.95

What they say: Alexami mineral-vegan creamy lip gloss is the perfect choice for women seeking to avoid the harmful toxins and lead in conventional lipstick.

 What I say: This really is a deliciously creamy lip gloss. It left my lips feeling so soft and moisturised. It is not at all sticky but has more of a buttery texture. It also has no taste which is very important to me. There is nothing worse than a lip gloss that has that awful taste that gets caught in the back of your throat.

Mineral Eye Shadows - DRAMATIC EFECT EYES RRP $24.95

Left: Deep Blue, Right: Grey Blue

Left: Deep Blue, Right: Grey Blue

Left: Deep Blue, Right: Grey Blue
What they say: Not all mineral eye shadows are created equal. Alexami Cosmetics uses intense and pure natural pigments of highest quality.  
What I say:  The colours I received were perfect - they are exactly the type of colours I wear. I found them to be very easy to apply, highly pigmented and the colour was long lasting and didn't crease (I applied it over Urban Decay Primer Potion).  
My Look
I decided to be efficient and get two reviews done at once - my Alexami reviews plus L'oreal Paris Revitalift Total Repair 10 BB Cream review. Unfortunately, this turned out a bit orange on my skin so it hasn't been the most ideal foundation to use. I also manage to leave a shadow smudge on my right eye that I didn't notice until I photographed myself. So, that gave me three options 1) I could photoshop it out...but I don't believe in photoshopping - that's for magazines, not beauty blogs 2) I could redo my makeup - Kiki decided that, by waking up from her nap, that wasn't going to be an option (she also insisted on being in a photo as you'll see below!) 3) I leave the smudge and apologise to my readers. I choose option 3! Sorry guys!
The look I went with was dramatic eyes and understated lips.

Kiki wanted to be part of my look...she is my cutest
accessory, after all!
I was very happy with how the look turned out. Alexami did advise to use the eyeshadow as an eyeliner by tipping it onto the back of your hand, wetting an eyeliner brush then blending it below the eye line, but I am no very good at eyeliner so shied away from that step.

So, apart from my orange skin and smudged eye, what do you think of my look?

Alexami makeup can be purchased online.

All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. The Alexami products were provided for consideration.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

L'oreal Paris Revitalift Total Repair 10 BB Cream

Lately, there has been a huge explosion of interest in BB Creams. BB (Blemish Balm) creams are an all in one product - they are your serum, moisturiser, primer, foundation and sunscreen all rolled into one nifty product. They have been really popular in Asia (in particular Japan and Korea) since 1985 but really only hit the Western market in 2012. Now the big brands are jumping on the BB bandwagon and are releasing their versions of the product. L'oreal Paris is one such big brand and they have incorporated their hugely popular Revitalift Total Repair 10 serum into the BB formulation.

I was pretty excited to try the L'oreal Paris Revitalift Total Repair 10 BB Cream as I had never tried a BB cream before plus Revitalift Total Repair 10 moisturiser is one of the best moisturisers that I have used so I thought that it would be a great introduction into the world of BB creams...perhaps not? I had very mixed feelings about this product which I will go through below.

What they say: The L’Oreal Laboratories have created the first Anti-ageing BB Cream that instantly perfects your complexion and intensely fights 10 signs of ageing, even UV damage in one simple step:
  • Covers Imperfections
  • Perfects Skin Texture
  • Evens Skin Tone
For the first time, L’Oréal’s skincare and make-up Laboratories have merged their expertise to create a new generation of skincare, an Anti-ageing BB Cream. It fights 10 signs of ageing and instantly gives you a beautiful and even complexion.

What I say: As I mentioned above, I had very mixed feelings about this product. There were aspects that I loved but then there were other areas that I had real issues with.

I will go through what I loved first:
  • It was easy to apply - it applies just like a moisturiser. I love any product that I can apply with my fingers!
  • It really does even out my complexion. The coverage is heavier than a tinted moisturiser but lighter than a foundation.
  • The pump pack makes it easy for dispensing the right amount - just don't press the button all the way down otherwise you'll end up with way too much.
What I didn't like:
  • The darkness of the light shade. It was a actually quite a good match for my skin however my skin isn't all that pale so I imagine that it would be too dark for a lot of people.
  • I found in natural light this looked quite natural on my but in artificial light it made me look a bit orange.
  • Even though it was easy to apply with my fingers, the final result was quite streaky. From a distance you can notice it but up close it was quite patchy - you will see this in the pics below.
  • After it dried, if I was to touch it it would ball up and peel off. I tried reapplying to freshen it up and it immediately balled up and peeled off. You would have to completely remove it before you could reapply it. This might be why it appeared patchy - I probably accidentally peeled areas off.

Before application - so you can see the colour match

After application - the colour match is quite good for my skin tone -
it evened out my skin tone and from a distance looks nice

Up close you can see how patchy it is - there is a clump between
my eyes and a few missed areas on my cheeks

Perhaps I just need to practice the application a little bit more and the results might be more even. But all in all I don't see myself using it again. Yes, it saves a step compared with applying moisturiser then foundation but I still prefer the look of moisturiser plus foundation as you can match the colour to your skin better and can reapply foundation as needed without it balling up.

Have you tried a BB Cream before. Should I give them another go or just stick with moisturiser + foundation?

All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. This product was provided to my to review as part of BeautyHeaven's trial team.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Bio Sculpture Black Aubergine (2031) swatch

I have had  Bio Sculpture Black Aubergine (2031) nail polish sitting on my shelf waiting to be swatched for weeks now but I just haven't felt inspired. Spring has really been blooming in Sydney lately and my nail polish colour choices have reflected that - lots of pinks, fluoros and all round bright colours. But today the weather is absolutely feral - it is windy, wet and freezing, very much reminiscent of winter and so I am drawn back to Black Aubergine, which to me is a real wintery shade.

What they say: Bio Sculpture Nail Polish is a fast drying, stable and durable. Our polishes contain double density fluorinated colour pigment to match our Colour Gels and will never need more than two coats. Not wearing Bio Sculpture Gel on your nails? Brighten up your natural nails with Bio Sculpture nail polish. Bio Sculpture nail polishes are available to purchase from Bio Sculpture salons nationwide and are a perfect match to our range of colour gels. All nail polishes are toluene free, DBP and formaldehyde free.

What I say: Black Aubergine was my first introduction to Bio Sculpture nail polish and I have to say that I am impressed. It is super fast drying - I applied one coat to my left hand, then did the right and by the time I had finished right left was already touch dry. The bottle said to apply two coats. The first coat was so streaky and wishy washy I thought that there was no way I could get away with only doing two coats but sure enough, that was all that was needed - the swatches below are of two coats. Finally, it has a really high shine finish. I haven't applied any topcoat in these pictures yet it still looks shiny and glassy which I love. I also especially love the fact that it is toluene free, DBP and formaldehyde free - they are definitely chemicals that you are better off avoiding.

Black Aubergine is a classic winter colour - dark yet also warm. I found it to be very complimentary to my skin tone. This would definitely be a work safe colour as it is not too out there.

Bio Sculpture nail polishes are $17.95 each and are available from Bio Sculpture salons nationwide. They have a MASSIVE range of colours, which can be seen here. I'd also like to add that Bio Sculpture have a few pink products available during pink October where they will be donating the proceeds from the sale of these products to the National Breast Cancer Foundation

Pink nail file on a key ring - $2.35
Grapefruit Cocktail nail polish $17.95

Bio Sculpture Gel Pots in Grapefruit Cocktail,
Bright Summer Pink and Funky Fuschia

Do you change your nail polish colours to match the weather?

All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. Black Aubergine was provided for consideration.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Philips Lumea Precision Plus at-home IPL device

I have body hair where I don't want there to be body hair. My legs are hairy. My armpits are hairy. My...well, I'm just going to stop there but you get the picture. I know what you are thinking - why doesn't she just shave it? Well, it's just not that easy. You see, The Crazy Kid is a part time water inspector and so he insists on supervising every single shower that I take. He then, very vocally, lets me know when I have exceeded the allowed shower time limit - usually 30 seconds after I get in although sometimes he is generous enough to permit me to shower for an entire minute. So you see my problem - it is just not possible for me to clean my bits, wash my hair and defuzz all in under 1 minute. Hence why I am hairy!

When the opportunity came up to trial the Philips Lumea Precision Plus at-home IPL device I damn near wet myself (and not because I refused to do pelvic floor exercises whilst pregnant - I was EXCITED!!). I foresaw a hair free future. I have long been a fan of IPL hair removal in salons - my armpits are actually just about hair free (I may have exaggerated my hairiness above for humour reasons!). Each one has about 5 stubborn hairs left, so it has been very successful for me. But now that I have The Crazy Kid and Kiki to juggle, finding the time and the baby sitters to allow me to go to a salon is something I have dumped into the 'too hard' basket. This was to be the answer to my hairy prayers

Unfortunately, it just wasn't meant to be for me. The Philips Lumea Precision Plus is not recommended for use when pregnant or breast feeding and, at this point in time, Kiki is still very much attached to her milky friends. When I first heard that it couldn't be used if you were breast feeding I thought 'that's crazy, I don't have hairy boobs so I'd never use it there'. In fact, the hairless status of my boobs is one of the main factors why Kiki prefers them to my husbands (well, that and their delicious milky contents!). But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. When you are pregnant, your hormones go mental. You become more sensitive to the sun and your skin pigments much more readily. When you are breast feeding, though to a lesser than when you are pregnant, your hormones are still a little mental. Whereas the safety of the machine has been established in normal skin, it has not been tested on the skin of pregnant and breast feeding women. That means that, at this stage, I cannot review it for you but I thought that I'd still do a write up on the machine as it really does sound quite exciting. 

How it works: the Lumea Precision Plus uses Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), to prevent hair regrowth. It applies gentle pulses of light to the unwanted hair to produce heat that is transferred to the hair follicle. The follicle is then stimulated into a resting phase and as a consequence, the hair sheds naturally and regrowth is inhibited. European studies have shown over 80 per cent hair reduction can be achieved in as little as four bi-weekly treatments.
Philips Lumea Precision Plus includes five adjustable light settings to ensure gentle but effective treatment across a wide variety of skin tones and hair colours, which is awesome as it means that it will work on much more people than just those with pale skin and dark hair. It also comes with an integrated UV filter and advanced safety controls to provide maximum protection for skin - as the majority of users aren't hair removal technicians this is essential so we don't all end up burning ourselves.
The device comes with tailored attachments - a large attachment for the body meaning that larger areas can be treated at once - in fact both legs can be treated in around 15 minutes. There is also the precision attachment for the face (or bikini line) meaning that only the areas you want to zap will be zapped and that you can finally get rid of your lady moustache!
An enhanced battery life allows a full body and face treatment to be completed in one application without the need to recharge and it features a prolonged lamp lifetime of 100,000 flashes, enabling  the device to be used for a minimum of 5 years without the need for a replacement lamp, so you are going to get a good many years use out of this machine.
The new Lumea Precision Plus will be available in Australia from October at Shaver Shop stores nationally with a RRP of $AU1,299.95.
If Kiki is anything like The Crazy Kid then I expect her to wean herself when she is about 9 months (well that's what Crazy did), so hopefully that means that I can review this device sometime in the new year. In the mean time, I will post links to any reviews I find on this device as this is the type of beauty investment that you really want to know works before forking out the money.
Have you tried an at home IPL device before? Is this a product that would interest you?


Monday, 8 October 2012

Japanese pink 2 minute bath noodles

Tonight's post is a fun one. As you might remember, my sister moved to Japan last year. Whilst I miss her desperately there is one advantage to her being over there - she keeps discovering kooky Japanese beauty products and sending them back to me!
The Japanese do amazing bath bomb type products. Em has been sending The Crazy Kid bath bombs in which toys pop out as they dissolve - his favourite one contained a tiny little shinkansen (bullet train).
The following product also falls into the bath bomb category, though it is unlike any bath bomb you have every seen. It is made to look like a tub of 2 minute noodles. Thankfully Em gave me a heads up that I couldn't eat these noodles as I most likely would have taste tested them! I have absolutely no idea what the packet says but on first inspection the pig did trick me - I really did think that she had sent me bacon flavoured 2 minute noodles. Turns out they were rose scent bath noodles! The noodles dissolved completely to leave a pink tinted, rose scented bath - just lovely! Though I do have to confess that I was quite excited by the prospect of bathing with noodles and was a bit disappointed when they all dissolved!
Yummy bath noodles

The little picture warning me not to eat them...I am pretty
sure I would have missed that had I not had a heads up!

Still looks kind of edible

Wrapped up as only the Japanese can

Once the noodles were free they revealed their
amazing rose scent

Turning my bath pink


I was actually hoping that the noodles would
remain for me to play with in the bath but, alas,
they dissolved completely like a bath bomb

Have you made any kooky beauty discoveries? If so, I'd love to hear about them!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Support breast cancer research and get a funky pair of specs in the process

As you probably know, October is the pink month or the breast cancer awareness month. Many brands jump on board to create limited edition pink products with a portion of their profits going to one of the breast cancer charities. As the month progresses I hope to introduce you to as many of these limited edition pink products as I can.

Kicking off Pink month are these gorgeous pink frames below from Clearly Contacts. Clearly Contacts is an online eye wear retailer who have amazingly priced specs, contacts and sunnies. Clearly Contacts have paired up with National Breast Cancer Foundation to donate proceeds from each pair of their limited edition, pink designer frames (pictured below) sold. The frames can be purchased exclusively at for the month of October, RRP $97 each.

Derek Cardigan Pink
Make a bold statement with these Derek Cardigan Pink glasses and help support breast cancer research. These wayfarer style frames have been reinterpreted in pink with the recognizable Derek Cardigan math symbols on the temples. These frames are stylish and comfortable thanks to the flexible spring hinges.
Love L
Geek out in our Love Black Pink glasses! These petite wayfarer style frames are reinterpreted in glossy black acetate with pink temples to help support breast cancer research. The small decals on the temples simply add to the frames’ overall vintage style. These frames are perfect for those with a petite face shape!

Love Black Pink
Our Love glasses are redesigned in black and pink to help support breast cancer research. These retro style cat eye glasses come in glossy black acetate with pink temples. Notice the cute heart decal details on the wings of the frames that give them an added special touch. Finally, with its flexible spring hinges you’ll be sure to have a comfortable fit all day.

Kam Dhillon
Our Kam Dhillon glasses have been redesigned in pink to help support breast cancer research. These soft rectangular eyeglasses showcase two shades of pink and include flexible spring hinges for the ultimate in comfort and fit. With its versatile shape, these frames would suit any face shape and any occasion!
I have always been obsessed with bright colours - my clothes are bright, my sneakers are bright, even the makeup I wear is bright. Actually, the only thing that I have never worn in a bright colour are my specs. I have been wearing glasses since I was 11 - so 21 years now - and I have ALWAYS had black or dark coloured frames. As I have dark hair and features I have felt that dark frames suited me best. Well, I have decided to get out of my glasses comfort zone and go for the last pink pair in the list - the Kam Dhillon pair. I know the shape will suit me, as it is similar to my current pair, but the colour is way different so I am very intrigued as to how they will look. I will post pictures as soon as they arrive. 
If none of these limited edition frames are quite your cup of tea, don't worry. Clearly Contacts will donates $25.00 from the sale of any pink pair of frames sold in October. Have a look here for the entire range of pink frames - you have a whopping 66 to choose from! 
Buying glasses and contacts online can be scary; however, you have nothing to worry about here. Clearly Contacts have an amazing returns policy - if you are not completely happy with your order you have 366 days to return it!
Will you be ordering a pair of pink frames this October? If so, post a link to the pair you choose as I'd love to see what you got.
Have you ever bought your specs online? How did you find the process?