Thursday, 22 November 2012

Click Frenzy turns to Vomit Frenzy in our household

I am wondering whether any of you scored some amazing bargains? I had every intention of jumping onto Click Frenzy and having a search for my Christmas gifts. I knew it would be busy at 7.00 so was planning on leaving it until 8.00/8.30pm, after the kids had gone to bed, to have a bit of a look. I had just logged on (though was getting the frozen error screens) when we heard The Crazy Kid coughing...or so we thought. We went in to check on him and found that he had spewed everywhere. So, instead of shopping up a storm I got to cuddle a hysterical vomit soaked toddler whilst my husband stripped and remade his bed (to be honest, I am not sure who had the worst job).

Once Crazy was clean and back in bed asleep, it was shower time as I reeked of vomit. The only good thing to come out of the night was that I used my ILA Body Scrub for a Blissful Experience from the I AM NATURAL STORE for the first time and it was out of this world amazing.

What they say: This sensual Body Scrub is ideal for occasions when your body needs special treatment. The essential oils of Jasmine and Rose restore and relax the nervous system, leaving skin glowing and resulting in a sensation of enhanced well-being for both body and mind. Massage Body Scrub over damp skin as a healing exfoliant, then bathe in hot water and let the uplifting, strengthening essential oils pervade every essence of your being.

Now, I am going to review this in much more detail (in a non vomit related post!) but just wanted to say that it was my savior on Tuesday night. The fragrance completely over rode all traces of Eau de Vomit and the scent lasted for ages. I had to sleep the night in Crazy and Kiki's room (which was now also fragranced with Eau de Vomit) but all I could smell was the heady deliciousness of Jasmine and Rose.

Though Click Frenzy went for 24 hours, I was so shattered yesterday that it didn't even enter my head to check the sales out again. I guess I will have to do my shopping the old fashion way by physically going to the stores.

Since I missed out on the Click Frenzy sales I want to live vicariously through you. Please tell me what bargains you managed to snap up. Or were you caught up in the Click Fail and gave up before you managed to get online? 

Monday, 19 November 2012

The online sale of the century: Click Frenzy

Tomorrow is going to be a super day for online shopping. Not only is there the David Jones sale that I have already told you about, there is also the multi-retailer mega sale - Click Frenzy. In the United States, they have massive sales on the Friday after Thanksgiving and it is these sales that kick start the buying frenzy of the holiday season. These Black Friday sales are the biggest sales on the calendar. The Monday after the Black Friday sales is the online equivalent - Cyber Monday. The aim of Click Frenzy is to give Australia its own version of the Cyber Monday sales and kick start the local retail economy.

The Click Frenzy Sales start at 7.00pm (EDST) on Tuesday 20th November and it runs for 24 hours. You need to register before hand (I think...though that might just be to get updates, but register anyway just in case!) and can do so here.

There are over 150 retailers on board for the Click Frenzy sales. The full list of participating retailers can be seen here. However, I have sifted through the list and found the following beauty brands are getting involved:

I'm a bit excited about this with The Crazy Kid and Kiki in their double pram is, quite frankly, a pain in the arse! Hopefully, I can clear a good chunk of my Christmas shopping with a few clicks!

Have you heard of Click Frenzy? Do you have a shopping list of what you want or will you be impulse shopping?

HUGE pre-Christmas sale at David Jones - online and in store

Just a heads up that David Jones are having a massive pre-Christmas sale tomorrow (Tuesday 20th November). The following discounts will be available:

  • 20% on all full-priced toys; 
  • 15% on all full-priced fragrances; 
  • 30% on a range of full-priced women’s shoes; 
  • 30% on all full-priced denim; 
  • 30% on all Manchester (excl nursery); 
  • 40% on a great range of full-priced cookware; 
  • 20% when you spend $50 or more on full-priced small appliances and floorcare; 
  • 20% on all full-priced items from the Christmas shop, boxed Christmas cards and David Jones Home Christmas gift wrap, bags and tags.
Store opening times are as follows:

9:30am – 10pm: David Jones stores NSW, ACT and Vic
9:30am – 9pm: David Jones stores QLD, SA and WA

And, if you can't make it to a store tomorrow don't worry - the sale is online as well (with extended hours):

6am – Midnight: 

Now I haven't seen any discounts on beauty but I think I might pop up there anyway to double check as I really want to get OPI's Man With a Golden Gun polish for less than $40!

Will you be hitting any of these pre-Christmas sales?

Friday, 16 November 2012

Dermaviduals Glow & Nourish Gift Set

I whinge a lot on this blog about how little time I have to myself since having kids. This means that I tend only do the bare minimum when it comes to skincare. When I just had The Crazy Kid I could sometimes sneak a mask on whilst I was supervising him in the bath. This was all well and good if he did his normal 45 minutes but the problem was that when he decided that it was time to get out, he meant immediately. He didn't have the patience to wait for me to rinse my mask off and any delay would result in an epic tanty.

I think that I might have discovered the perfect solution for time poor people - dermaviduals have a peel and a mask that can be removed simply with a tissue! This Christmas, dermaviduals have beautifully packaged together their DMS Mask with Vitamins and their DMS Peeling Cream in the Glow and Nourish Gift Set. This set retails for $130.00 - if you were to buy the products individually they would cost $185 so you save a huge $55.

The gift set is beautifully presented so that you do not need to do anything - it is ready to placed straight under the tree.

DMS-Mask with Vitamins

What they say: Vitamins A, C, E combined with D-Panthenol for all skin types. Provides intense skin care. The DMS®-mask with vitamins contains a very effective combination of vitamins A, C, E and provitamin B5 (panthenol) together with DMS® components as well as vitamin F (essential fatty acids) in the form of liposomes and nanoparticles. The mask is free of emulsifiers.

The mask acts as a prophylactic against vitamin deficiency symptoms of the skin. Due to its composition similar to DMS it provides intense skin care which is still measurable after 72 hours.

Application: The cream is spread onto the skin in a circular motion. After absorption by the skin, the surplus cream is removed by gently patting a dry tissue to the skin. As the mask is an excellent base for further skin care steps due to its DMS®-base, there is no need for removal of the mask.

What I say: This mask is very runny (which you can see in the picture below) so when I first applied it I only used one pump; however, this felt more like applying moisturiser so I added a second pump to really saturate my skin so that it could suck up as much of this mask as it needed. I left it to soak in for about 5 minutes then simply blotted off the excess with a tissue - although there was actually very little excess.

I applied it whilst the kids were in the bath (about 5.00pm) so didn't wash my face again until I had a shower the next morning. Whilst I was in the shower, my skin felt slippery like it had excess product on it so I kept trying to rinse the excess off but the slippery feeling wouldn't leave. Turns out that wasn't the feeling of product on my skin but the feeling of my actual skin. My skin was so hydrated and silky soft it felt slippery!

I have used this mask twice now and it always leaves my skin so hydrated that it has a glowing sheen to it. It really does leave it looking and feeling its best.

The mask doesn't smell pretty. It has no added fragrance or essential oils so it doesn't have that aromatherapy scent that you would often associate with masks. The scent is probably closer to sorbolene cream. It is not terrible by any means and I can definitely hand a non-pretty smelling product when it works as well as it does.

The DMS-Mask with Vitamins can be used up to three times a week and, given how easy it is to apply and remove, I can really see myself using it that often.

DMS-Peeling Cream

What they say: Gentle removes the build up of dead skin cells. Peeling and care of skin in one simple step. DMS-cream with jojoba beads (wax particles).

The DMS-Peeling cream is free of tensides and emulsifiers. It is based on DMS®-cream; therefore we can speak of abrasive cleansing and skin care in one step without damaging the skin. Jojoba beads with their typical rubbing effect gently remove the tiny horny scales from the skin surface.

Application: The cream is applied in circular motions onto the skin and removed with a dampened tissue or face cloth without any further treatment.

What I say: Again, I took this peel for a test drive whilst the kids were in the bath. Since Kiki was born 6 months ago I really haven't looked after my skin very well and that has left it looking congested and a bit flaky. So, this peel was exactly what it needed.

I applied 2 pumps of the cream to my skin and massaged in it for a good few minutes. It is a thick cream with lots of little jojoba beads in it that gentle yet effectively exfoliate the skin. Since the beads are smooth, the massaging sensation really was lovely - it was incredibly soothing and relaxing.

My skin had been looking a tad dull due to lack of care, yet after this peel it was looking much fresher. Just about all of the dull flaky skin had been removed. My skin was left feeling smooth and looking hydrated.

I attempted to remove the peel as suggested with just a wet tissue (I actually used a cleansing wipe), but I found that it didn't completely remove all of the jojoba beads. I ended up having to splash some water on my face to remove the beads, though they were all gone after three splashes.

The DMS-Peeling Cream can be used once a week.

The DMS-Peeling Cream and DMS-Mask with Vitamins can be used together. The first time I used them I did the peel first then followed up with the mask. I found that using them together left my skin feeling so hydrated and glowing and two days later the effect was still noticeable. I plan on using the peel once a week and immediately following it up with the Vitamin mask then using the Vitamin mask again during the week for a top up of the effects.

This gift set is perfect for anyone who loves to take care of their skin but is struggling to find the time to do so. As the peel and the mask take mere minutes to apply and remove just about anyone could find the time to slot them in. And, for something so quick the results are surprisingly effective. You will notice an improvement in the hydration and smoothness of your skin.

You can find stockist details for this gift pack along with other dermaviduals gift packs on the dermaviduals website.

What is your go to speed skincare treatment?

All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. The Glow and Nourish Gift Pack was provided for consideration.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

The Bio Sculpture Christmas gift guide: all your nail needs covered

Bio Sculpture have a whole bunch of naily gifts this Christmas to suit just about every naily need!

Bio Sculpture Beach Holiday Nail Collection Pack RRP $29.95

This pack includes four bright nail polishes - 132 Coral Cove, 133 Isla del Sol, 134 Aquacade and 135 Appletini. The colours really are on-trend this season and I have swatched them all here.

Bio Sculpture A little TLC Pack RRP$22.50

I don't know about you but I treat my hands terribly. I barely put hand cream on let alone anything else. So here is a gift pack just for your hands. It includes Vitamin Dose, Cuticle Oil and Cuticle Cream.


Bio Sculpture Mini Treats Pack RRP $22.50

I don't always wear polish so this pack is perfect to have my nails looking their best even when I don't have polish on. This pack includes three miniature polishes to protect the nails. It includes the Bio Sculpture Lavender Base, Vitamin Dose and Cuticle Oil.

Bio Sculpture SpaMani Pack RRP $29.95

If you have your nails in tip top shape, you don't want to ruin the look with wrinkly dry hands. This pack includes a Hand & Body Butter (100mL) and Apricot Kernel Scrub (100mL) to really have them looking their best and feeling soft and smooth. The pack also comes with matchbook nail files.

Bio Sculpture SpaPedi Pack RRP $29.95

Don't forget about the poor neglected tootsies, especially during the beach and party season when they get most abused but need to be on constant display. This pack for feet include Heel Balm (100mL), Mint Mask and Foot File.

These packs are available from Bio Sculpture Salons nation wide. To find a salon near you, just enter your postcode on their website.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Super stocking fillers from Manicare

There is one thing that I can absolutely guarantee that I will forget to pack when we go on holidays is tweezers and nail scissors. I could go weeks without using tweezers when I am at home but suddenly, under the harsh hotel fluorescent lights, my brows always seem more unruly. I used to carry nail scissors in my handbag but took them out the day they worked their way through the pocket and stabbed me in the side. It was actually only a very minor scratch but I got worried about the damage I could do to my kids with them, so out they went. We almost always go away to the beach and the sand always ends up splitting my nails leaving me thinking, dammit, I wish I remembered my scissors.

Manicare have the perfect solution to my dilemma this Christmas with their Perfect Nails Wallet. This brilliant little wallet contains all the things that I forget when I go on holidays plus more. The wallet includes a file, clipper, cuticle trimmer, tweezers, buffer and handy zip wallet. 

The wallet is valued at over $60 but retails for $16.95 - so it is cheap enough to buy a couple - one for use at home and another to keep in your car glove box or luggage to guarantee you never are without your nail tools.

The size of the wallet is great - not much bigger than my hand, so it won't take up a lot of space in your luggage but your tools are safely protected from being damaged (or from stabbing you!).

So far, I have tried the scissors, nail clippers and tweezers and found them all to be high quality. The tweezers are sharp and precise making it easy to pluck only the hairs you want plucked. Both the clippers and scissors cut through the nail easily and neatly and did not cause it to split or leave and jagged shape edges behind. I am not actually sure how I am meant to use the cuticle trimmer...I'm a bit scared of that one!

The Perfect Nails Wallet is not the only gift that Manicare have available this Christmas - there is also the French Manicure Collection which retails for $19.95. Packed in a stylish red leather zip pouch, the French Manicure Collection comes with the manicure essentials. The collection includes French White, French Pink and French Finish polishes, a Miracle Shiner buffer and shiner, 10 Tip Tapes and a Cuticle Pusher.

These Manicare gifts can be purchased at Priceline, Myer, Target, K-Mart, Big W and leading pharmacies.

What item do you always forget to pack when you go on holidays?

All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. The Perfect Nails Wallet was provided for consideration.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Bio Sculpture Beach Holiday Nail Collection Pack Swatches

For the past three summers I have been pregnant, trying to get pregnant and then pregnant again so I have pretty much avoided buying fashion as there was no point with my ever changing body. This summer, that is all about to change and the timing is perfect. The colours of the season are right up my alley - all fluoros and brights. When I saw the Bio Sculpture Beach Holiday Nail Collection Pack I knew the colours were going to fit right in with my new wardrobe.

Their are four colours in the Holiday Collection - 132 Coral Cove, 133 Isla del Sol, 134 Aquacade and 135 Appletini and, during the Christmas period all four colours can be bought together in a nail polish gift pack for $29.95 or individually for $17.95. Alternatively, the colours are also available in the Bio Sculpture Gels for in salon application.

I did used to think that wearing different coloured nail polish on each finger was a tad 'Year 8 try hard' but these colours look spectacular together! In fact, I got two compliments on my nails whilst I was at the shops today.

132 Coral Cove 

132 Coral Cove

Coral Cove is a great bright pink - it is more of a pink with the slightest coral hue rather than a true coral. This was opaque and streak free after two coats.

133 Isla del Sol

133 Isla del Sol

Isla del Sol is a very, very bright yellow (but not fluoro). I am not sure whether I could pull off a full manicure of this colour; however, it does look amazing side by side the other colours. It would also be ideal for use in nail art, if that is your thing. I'm not really steady handed enough to do nail art so I have included some examples from the Bio Sculpture Blog at then end of this post that you can use for inspiration. It took 4 coats to get this colour to be opaque and streak free.

134 Aquacade

134 Aquacade

Aquacade screams summer. It is such a gorgeous tropical turquoise. I think that it is a very wearable blue, both on its own or mixed with the other colours. This was opaque and streak free in two coats.

135 Appletini

135 Appletini

As the name suggests this is a real apple green. Green is actually my favourite colour though I don't tend to wear a lot of green nail polish. I can see this green changing that! It took 3 coats for it to be streak free and opaque.

As I mentioned above, I a not really skilled enough to do my own nail art so here are some examples of manicures that you can get by a nail artist at a Bio Sculpture Salon.

Source: Bio Sculpture Blog

If you are unfamilar with Bio Sculpture nail polishes this is what they say about them:

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.

The two paler colours - Isla del sol and Appletini - took more than 2 coats for me but that is probably because I wanted them completely opaque. Other than hat I agree with everything they say.

These polishes are available from Bio Sculpture Salons nation wide. To find a salon near you, just enter your postcode on their website.

Do these colours float your boat? Are they exactly the type of colours you want to be wearing this summer?  

All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. These polishes were provided for consideration.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Elemis Duchess of Spa: Perhaps the most heavenly gift pack you will ever receive

Before I had kids I used to have a bath just about every night of the week. There was so much less to do in my life that I had the time. These days, 5.00-7.30pm is my peak hour when the kids need to be bathed, fed, bed then our dinner made and eaten and if I am not completely shattered then I will pack away each of the 500 trains The Crazy Kid has gotten out to play with (though more often than not they remain where he left them!). Once peak hour is over, all I want to do is crash on the couch and play on my computer. Unfortunately, it's a rare occasional that I have a bath these days. The thing is, I haven't lost my love of gorgeous, smelly bath products. So I need gorgeous products that are both bath and shower friendly. Enter the Elemis Duchess of Spa gift pack - a selection of utterly divine products that can be used in both the shower and the bath.

The Elemis Duchess of Spa pack includes:
  • Frangipani Monoi Body Oil (100mL) 
  • Frangipani Monoi Shower Cream (200mL) 
  • Tranquil Touch Creamy Body Wash (300mL) 
  • Tranquil Touch Body Polish (150mL) 

All of these products are full sized and very generous sized at that.

This gift pack is fantastic value at only $115 as the total value of the products is $204 (Frangipani Body Oil $69, Frangipani Monoi Shower Cream $47, Tranquil Touch Creamy Body Wash $42, Tranquil Touch Body Polish $46).

What I thought of the products:

Elemis Frangipani Monoi Body Oil

What they say: Elemis Frangipani Monoi Body Oil leaves the skin soft with a nourishing sheen. With an exotic blend of coconut coprah oil and sweet scented frangipani flowers, the treatment oil has long lasting hydration properties to seal in moisture and leave the skin soft. Frangipani Monoi Body Oil can be used as an intensive conditioning treatment for the hair and nails.

What I say: I had actually been busting to try this product for years - I think I first read about it in New Woman magazine and that mag was discontinued back in the mid 2000's. It just sounded so divine. Well, I finally got to try it and I wasn't let down. It is coconut oil infused with the scent of frangipani flowers, so at room temperature it solidifies meaning that before use you need to place the bottle in some warm water. Coconut oil is incredibly nourishing for the skin and hair. The scent is amazing - a very true and natural frangipani fragrance. If you love the scent of fresh frangipanis I guarantee that you will adore this oil.

I use the oil three different ways:
  • The day I got it I massaged it into my skin, after my shower, like a moisturiser. Although it is an oil, it rapidly absorbed into my skin and didn't leave my skin feeling greasy but soft with a lovely sheen. The frangipani fragrance lingered on my skin for hours afterwards, giving me tropical bursts throughout the day.
  • I used a few drops in the bath as a bath oil. I used this in combination with Frangipani Monoi Shower Cream and was left with a highly fragrant bath. Again, this left my skin feeling soft and moisturised afterwards.
  • I have also used this as a hair mask. I haven't cut my hair in about a year now so the ends are starting to feel quite dry. I used a generous amount of this and rubbed it through the ends of my hair (avoiding the roots), then put my hair up in a bun and left it there for 30 minutes whilst I has a bath. I then shampooed it out then conditioned as normal. I probably needed to shampoo my hair twice as it was still greasy after I got out; however, I wasn't too concerned as I was going to a wedding the next day so knew I would be shampooing again in the morning. The next day (after the second shampoo) I had the most amazingly well defined curls. My hair looked spectacular! I wore it down to the wedding and didn't need to put any product in it and my curls stayed defined all day. I honestly haven't seen my curls looking that good in ages. 

The Frangipani Monoi Body Oil is my favourite product in the pack and I am going to make a really effort to give myself a hair mask with it at least once a fortnight as it has done more for my hair than any other product that I have tried, plus it smells amazing!

Elemis Frangipani Monoi Shower Cream

What they say: Elemis Frangipani Monoi Shower Cream is enriched with Tahitian monoi and frangipani flower infused shower cream to leave the skin scented, soft and supple.

What I say: This shower cream gives me the spa experience I have been missing by not having baths, in the shower. It is so lovely. It also smells strongly of frangipanis, so very tropical, and this scent lingers very subtly on the skin for a good couple of hours afterwards (or the rest of the day if I use the oil as well). 

The shower cream is super thick and luscious - it is almost the consistency of honey, without the stickiness. It smells divine and is also very gentle and moisturising for my skin. I have been using this daily since I got it and it is like my little tropical escape each morning before I face the day. This is hands down one of the most delightful shower products I have used.

Elemis Tranquil Touch Creamy Body Wash

What they say: Elemis Tranquil Touch Creamy Body Wash is rich and creamy, infused with patchouli, cedarwood and vetiver to promote wellbeing and serenity.

What I say: This wash is more your typical shower gel consistency, as opposed to the honey like consistency of the Shower Cream. This one has one of those scents that when you breath it in you then exhale everything that you have been carrying inside you. It is not as strongly scented as the frangipani products but has more of a subtle sweet woody fragrance. The fragrance is definitely unisex, which can be a good thing if you like your man to look after himself, but not if you don't like him using up all of your lovely products (we all know that men use WAY too much product!).

I have been using this as both a body wash and as a shampoo. It is non drying for both uses and, as an added bonus, when I use it as a shampoo my hair smells amazing for the rest of the day - especially when I start sweating I sweat a delightful sweet woody fragrance!

Elemis Tranquil Touch Body Polish

What they say: Elemis Tranquil Touch Body Polish is a rice exfoliator that gently buffs the skin, while cupuacu butter infused with patchouli, madarin and ginger nourished and enhances your mood. Skin is left soft, glowing and radiant

What I say: This is a super gentle exfoliator that left my skin feeling amazing after I used it. It feel so smooth and soft and it completely got rid of the scaly looking skin on my legs,  even without moisturising afterwards.

No surprises, the smell is amazing. Again, not as intense as the frangipani products but instead it was a fruity herbally scent - a very spa like fragrance. The cream is lovely and thick and it has an excellent scrub particle ratio ie there are plenty of scrub particles to give your skin a lovely exfoliation (scrubs that do not contain enough scrub particles to do anything are a real pet hate of mine).

This gift pack is absolutely perfect for anyone who loves the spa experience but is too time poor to actually sit back and take a bath. The products are all very high quality and amazingly fragranced so even if you only have 5 minutes to spare to have a shower you still step out feeling pampered and relaxed. If you know of someone who has recently become a mum or who has a whole bunch of rug rats racing around I can absolutely guarantee that they would LOVE this pack. One thing I found, since becoming a mum, is that I get just about no time to myself. This pack allows me to bliss out, even if just for the briefest time, and it truly is pure luxury.

Available from 1st November 2012 from Elemis spas and salons nationally while stocks last. For a full list of stockists phone 1300 820 430.

Have you ever lusted after a product for years and years? When you got it did it live up to your expectations? Would you buy this pack as a gift or keep it for yourself? I'd keep it!!

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

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Dermalogica Christmas Gift Packs

I don't have any reviews of the Dermalogica Christmas gift sets; however, they are all such good value I thought that I should share. If you have been eyeing any Dermalogica products, now is the time to buy as with each of these packs you just pay for the main item and get the rest of the pack for free!

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant set RRP, $83.50
  For the price of the Daily Microfoliant, you also get the Gentle Cream Exfoliant (10ml), PreCleanse (30ml) for free!

 Dermalogica Multivitamin Thermafoliant set RRP, $90.00

The Multivitamin Thermafoliant is one of the products that I purchased to get my skin looking its best in the lead up to my wedding. This was a few years before I started my blogging adventure so I haven't reviewed it here but it is a seriously cool product. It has very fine scrubbing particles and as you massage it into your skin the cream heats up so it opens up your pores and helps to really get all the gunk out. My skin felt amazing after using it. So, if you purchase the Multivitamin Thermafoliant you receive for free the Antioxidant Hydramist (30ml), Skin Resurfacing Cleanser (30ml). 

 Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel set RRP, $53.00

For the price of the Special Cleansing Gel you also receive for free: Skin Prep Scrub (22ml), PreCleanse (30ml). I haven't tried the PreCleanse although it was used on me once when I had a facial. It smells just like the Lemon Lime Hubba Bubba! This product has won a ton of beauty awards and is actually right at the top of my must try list.

These gifts can be bought online here.

Will you be stocking up on any of these Dermalogica gift packs this Christmas?

All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Urban Rituelle Signature Soap Collection: the decadent Christmas gift for the soap lover

I love soap. Not the crappy soap you get from the supermarket but rather beautifully scented 'gourmet' soap with a thick creamy lather. I love building up a lather in my hands then massaging it over my skin. I love the delicate fragrance it leaves behind. As strange as it is, a beautiful soap makes me happy. So, you can only imagine just how happy I was to receive the Urban Rituelle Signature Soap Collection - 12 x 110g bars of their best selling fragrances packaged together in a beautiful giftbox. RRP$39.95.

What they say: Urban Rituelle Signature Soap Collection is a collection of 12 hand selected Cocoa Butter Vegetable Soaps to leave skin soft, supple, and luxuriously fragranced. Each soap bar contains cocoa butter for a super rich and creamy layer of bubbles as well as glycerin and vitamin E to promote soft and supple skin. With a rich palette of colour and lusciously scented, this gift set is guaranteed to delight. Urban Rituelle will donate 10 per cent of the profits from the sale of this gift set to The Smith Family, a non-profit organisation committed to responding to the needs of disadvantaged Australian families.

What I say: When the box arrived the first thing that I noticed was the amazing smell. All of the scents had merged together into one amazing fragrance. I was expecting that the scents from the soaps would have leaked into each other - ie that they would no longer smell of their designated scent but of a mixture of all scents, but I was wrong. As I took each bar out and sniffed it, every scent was unique and each soap smelt strongly of the scent that it should smell like so there was no scent leaking.

The pack contains the following scents:

  • Oriental Lily
  • Ocean
  • Buttermilk and Honey
  • Frangipani
  • Lavender
  • Rose Petal
  • Gardenia
  • Lime Splice
  • Lemongrass
  • Lemon Verbena
  • Green Tea
  • Honeysuckle

There is literally a scent to suit every member of the family. My husband has already bagsed Ocean and Lime Splice, The Crazy Kid chose Rose Petal (though I suspect that was due to the colour rather than the scent - in an attempt to teach him to share with Kiki and not think that he owns every single toy I have been telling him that the pink toys are Kiki's - I am guessing that he saw the pink soap, thought that it must be Kiki's; therefore, it was the one that he wanted to use the most - the road to sharing is going to be a very, very long one!). I am also planning on using the Buttermilk and Honey soap on the kids - it would leave them smelling so delicious! The rest are all mine!

This pack could be given to one soap loving person - a year supply of beautiful soap - or split up into many smaller gifts of one bar or maybe 3 bars. It would be lovely to give your children's teachers a bar or two as a Christmas gift, or to have on hand in our present cupboard for when guests turn up with unexpected gifts. Or you could keep it for yourself and use as your hand soap. One bar will not only be useful for hand washing, it will also fragrance the whole bathroom - that is how good the fragrance is.

Urban Ritulle knew that I had young ones and let me know that the soap is gentle enough to be used on them. Like any good scientist who is also a parent, I experimented on my children! The Crazy Kid took his Rose Petal bar into the bath with him and Kiki and had a blast washing himself and his sister! Crazy has fairly normal skin whilst Kiki is looking like she has sensitive skin and possibly eczema - she is a bit rashy at the moment. The soap didn't dry out either of their skin, and it didn't irritate Kiki's sensitive skin. It left them both beautifully fragranced as well. The only complaint that Crazy had was that it doesn't make a good shampoo and it bloody hurts when it gets in his eyes (he kept going to put the soap in his hair to wash it. I told him 5 times not to wash his hair with soap before giving up and letting him find out the hard way why you don't wash our hair with soap. Although it didn't dry his hair out - he doesn't really have that much - it inadvertently got in his eyes - cue massive tantrum!). Although he played with the soap in the bath for 30 mins before he had his soapy eye accident, he still barely made a dent on the bar - so the bars are well cured and are likely to last well. I'd say you'd get at least a month of daily use out of a bar, if not more.

When I used a bar in the shower I found that it lathered easily and beautifully. With little effort, I had a beautiful thick creamy lather that I could massage over my body. The fragrance is beautifully strong - I used Lemongrass - and it subtly lingered on my skin for an hour or so afterward. I could actually still smell the fragrance in the bathroom for the rest of the day.

As a soap lover, I would be absolutely ecstatic to find this gift my Santa sack on Christmas morning. I guess the only problem with it is trying to choose which soap to use first...I suspect that I am going to have multiple bars line up in my shower on the go at any one time. I store the bars that aren't in use in my undie and T-shirt drawers and this leaves my clothes lightly fragranced.

As much as I love soap I understand that it is not everyone's cup of tea. Not to worry - Urban Rituelle have another gift to tempt you with - the Limited Edition Lip Balm Trilogy. This pack will soothe and protect the lips naturally. The balms are enriched with nourishing beeswax, vitamin E, shea butter, sweet almond oil and sunscreen. The pack includes three flavours - Watermelon, Lime and Milkshake. RRP $24.95 (valued at $31.50).

The Signature Soap Collection retails at $39.95 and the Limited Edition Lip Balm Trilogy for $24.95. Urban Rituelle products are available to purchase online, and are also stocked in select MYER stores & gorgeous home & lifestyle boutiques nationally. See here for stockists.

What are your thoughts on soap - do you find it as exciting as I do??

All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. The Signature Soap Collection was provided for consideration.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Great value Christmas gift packs from OPI

Yesterday I reviewed OPI's Top 10 Christmas Gift Pack. Today I will showcase the rest of their Christmas offerings.  OPI have a whole bunch of great value gift sets available this Christmas. There really is just about one for every budget and taste. 

OPI Top 10 gift pack $39.95

This pack contains ten miniature bottles of OPI’s most popular reds, sheers and neutrals including Alpine Snow, Bubble Bath, Tickle Me France-y, Kiss Me On My Tulips, Red Lights Ahead…Where?, Big Apple Red, I’m Not Really a Waitress, You Don’t Know Jacques!, Vampsterdam and Lincoln Park After Dark. Each bottle is 3.75ml. I have reviewed and swatched this pack, here.

Put a Bangle on It! $34.95 

In addition to having perhaps the greatest range of colours of any nail polish brand, OPI also have some treatment products - Nail Envy, which comes in two formulations - Nail Envy Natural Nail Strengthener or the Sensitive and Peeling Nail Envy formula. During the Christmas period these now come with a free silver fashion bracelet.
Lovely Lips and Tips $24.95

I didn't even know that OPI did lip glosses but it seems they do! During the Christmas period you can get an OPI polish with a matching lip gloss. The packs are available in the following colours:
  • Princesses Rule OPI lacquer and lip gloss
  • Cozu-Melted In the Sun OPI lacquer and lip gloss
  • Big Apple Red OPI lacquer and lip gloss

Dear OPI, I Love You $29.95

This is another great value pack - you get two OPI polishes plus a diamonte pen all for only $29.95. They are available in the following colour combos:

  • An Affair in Red Square, a rich sassy red and everyone’s favourite dark purple, Lincoln Park After Dark
  • Pirouette My Whistle, a delicate silver sparkle; like fairy dust and magic combined and Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous, a dramatic silver grey
  • Yodel Me On My Cell, a shimmer shade of dark blue and OPI Ink, a dark blue black

Sweet Things $14.95

A bargain at $14.95, this little pack is the perfect stocking stuffer for lotion lovers. This pack contains 6 x 30ml bottles of Hand and Body Lotion in the following mouth watering flavours:

  • Mango Juicie
  • Jasmine Juicie
  • Coconut Melon Juicie
  • Cran & Berry Juicie
  • Vanilla Snowflake Juicie
  • Peppermint Shimmer Juicie

A Girl and Her Gadgets $39.95

If you have invested in a whole range of new polish colours this season then you need to have your nails looking their best. Enter the Girl & Her Gadgets gift pack. This is a 5 piece mini manicure kit that contains stainless steel implements including scissors, nail clippers, tweezers, cuticle pusher and a mini 3-in-1 nail file; all neatly packed in a stylish black sequined carry case.

In addition to these great value gift packs there is also the new Bond 007 range that is also available this Christmas.

Skyfall Magnetic Lacquers $24.95

There is a massive trend at the moment for magnetic nail polishes. If you haven't heard of them, they are polishes that contain microscopic metal particles. You apply the polish, hover a magnet that has a pattern on it over the wet polish and the metal particles are drawn towards the magnet leaving the shape of the pattern on the nail. The effect is really quite striking. OPI has releasd their range of magnetic polishes in three shades - gunmetal gray, gold shimmer and rich burgundy each with their own unique magnetiser to create striped, diamond or wavy patterns.

Bond-ettes $24.95

More minis! This 4 pack includes the following shades:

  • GoldenEye, a golden shimmer,  
  • The Spy Who Loved Me, a rich ruby red, 
  • Live and Let Die, dark and dangerous charcoal black
  • The World is Not Enough, a beautiful rose pewter

Get Bond-ed $39.95
A three pack of polishes from the Bond 007 range that contains the following shades - Skyfall, GoldenEye and The Spy Who Loved Me. The colours in this pack can be used to create nail art - OPI gives the following suggestions:
  • Layer it! Apply two coats of The Spy Who Loved Me or Skyfall, followed by one coat of GoldenEye. 
  • For even more drama, apply GoldenEye only to the tips or on the moons of your nails.
  • Do you have long nails? Try The Spy Who Loved Me or Skyfall on top of your nails and polish the undersides with GoldenEye to create the look worn by actress Bérénice Marlohe in the movie – instant Bond Girl!

The Man With The Golden Gun $40
This might be the coolest nail polish ever! I am lusting after this polish like you wouldn't believe. It is a clear polish with real gold leaf flakes throughout. It looks absolutely spectacular over a dark polish or can be worn on it's own for a more subtle look. I don't have it yet as it is on my Christmas wish list but you can check out some awesome swatches at The Made Up Maiden (how amazing to her nails look!).

OPI’s Xmas collection will be available from late October, early November at selected beauty salons, spas, and David Jones nationally. For your nearest OPI stockists contact 1800 358 999 or visit

Ok, so which of these gift packs have you added to your Santa List? As I already have the Top 10 Gift Pack, I am able to cross that off my list so I will only be asking for The Man With The Golden Gun (if I can hold off from buying it beforehand!) and the Bond-ettes - every colour in this pack sounds awesome plus if I do get The Man With The Golden Gun that would look amazing over 3 of the 4 colours (I think it would get lost over GoldenEye).

All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for my comments.