Thursday, 28 February 2013

Do you know you're shit from your shit?

I started reading beauty blogs rather than magazines because I loved their honesty. With magazines, I was always a little suspicious that the review wasn't true, that it was more an advertorial than an honest article. Blogs seemed more honest - I never distrusted the review. Plus they went into so much more depth than magazines ever did. I think that the day I discovered beauty blogs was probably also the day my magazine addiction came to an end.

BUT, there is one issue that I do have with blogs and that is editing, or grammar to be more precise. Now, don't get me wrong, it is not all blogs that I have this issue with. In fact, the majority of blogs I do read are very well written. But, I still come across a few that don't know the difference between your & you're; where, we're & were; and their, there & they're and this is a massive pet hate of mine. The odd typo doesn't bother me. We all make them. I know I do as I usually only proof read once but repeatedly writing there instead of their or where instead of were drives me mental. I just want to bust out a red pen and edit the post.

The carton below, which is floating around Facebook at the moment, was my inspiration for writing this post as it really highlights how, by making the slightest grammatical error, the entire meaning of the sentence changes.


I suspect that, if you are a similar grammar fanatic, you are sitting here, nodding your head, thinking 'man, that drives me crazy, too!'. If you are not a grammar fanatic then you might be thinking 'hey, what are you whinging about - it is only a couple of letters out of order'. This is why it annoys me so much - I read a sentence but it doesn't quite make sense, so I have to go back and read it again to get an understanding. As soon as I start doing that, I am no longer reading the content of the post but am instead trying to decipher what is being written. As soon as I have stumbled over a few sentences I give up and stop reading.

Remember, when it comes to blogs, we are being immediately judged on what we have written (as well as the quality of images used). The judgement I make when reading an article with numerous grammatical errors is that if you haven't gone to the effort of proof reading your post then why should I go to the effort of reading it. If you want to come across as professional, make an effort to ensure that your grammar is correct.



Here are some grammar tips:

Your and you're

  • Your - opposite of my: I really love your eye shadow
  • You're - short for you are: You're going to love the new OPI range coming out.
A really good tip to work out if you are using the correct your/you're is to replace it with 'my' in the sentence. If the sentence still makes sense with 'my' in it then you should be using 'your'. If it doesn't make sense then you should be using 'you're'.


There, their and they're
  • There - refers to a location: the lipstick is on the table over there
  • Their - refers to possession: Estee Lauder is my favourite brand. I love their lipsticks
  • They're - is short for they are: Have you heard about the new lip butters? They're going to be the hottest beauty trend of the season.
Where, were, we're
  • Where - means place: Where do you store your makeup?
  • Were - past tense: I thought you were going to wear you new perfume. 
  • We're - short for we are: We're going to Myers this afternoon to check out the sales.
Know, no and now
This one gets abused a bit although I suspect that it is more out of laziness rather than not knowing the rule
  • Know - refers to thought: I know purple eye shadow makes my green eyes pop.
  • No - opposite of yes: No, you cannot borrow my mascara.
  • Now - present time: I stink. I need to put deodorant on now.

I hope that these tips have been useful and that I haven't come across as arrogant.  


What are your thoughts on grammar? Do grammatical errors drive you crazy or are you oblivious to them?

Kérastase Paris and the new Cristalliste available online for the first time

In Australia, Kérastase Paris has previously been unavailable online - you have had to go into salons to stock up. For a limited time, that is about to change. Adore Beauty is hosting a pop up online store stocking the Cristalliste range as it is launched in Australia. 

The Cristalliste Collection:
Cristalliste Bain Cristal Fins - Luminous Perfecting Shampoo - Fine Hair - $38
Cristalliste Bain Cristal Epais - Luminous Perfecting Shampoo - Thick Hair - $38
Cristalliste Lait Cristal - Luminous Perfecting Conditioner - $44.50
Cristalliste Lumiére Liquide - Luminous Perfecting Essence - $44 


From the 1st of March you will be able to buy the entire Cristalliste Collection online at Adore Beauty. The Cristalliste Collection is perfect for long hair as it leaves it smooth and shiny without weighing it down. Have a look here for more detailed information on the range


Do you use Kerastase products? Do you prefer to buy your hair products in a salon or online (or at the supermarket)?

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Schwarzkopf Ultimate Colour Home Hair Colouring Launch

This week I attended the launch of Schwarzkopf's Ultimate Colour Home Hair Coluring. I haven't attended many product launches since Kiki was born. I just found it too hard organising baby sitters for her and the Crazy Kid. I have to confess that I went to this launch for the wrong reasons. As soon as I soon as I saw on the invitation that menu being served at the launch had been prepared by two hatted chef Christine Mansfield I accepted immediately. It may have been the wrong reason for going to a launch but thank God that I did because I actually walked away from the launch more excited about the new product that I had just leant about, rather than the food eaten (and the food was bloody fantastic so that says a lot about the product!).

Ultimate Colour is a world first innovation in home hair colour. It is a foam colour that is re-usable. With every other home hair colour on the market, you have to mix the colourant with the developer before applying the dye. This means that if there is any left over it cannot be saved and reused. The difference with Ultimate Colour is that the developer and colourant are housed in different compartments within the bottle and when you press to release the colouring foam, an equal amount of both the colourant and developer squirt out leaving you with a pile of white developer foam and coloured foam on your hand. You can then mix the two together on your hand, or if you are particularly lazy, apply it straight to your hair and mix it on your head. Any left over dye can then be saved for up to 3 years for the next application. If you have longer hair it will be enough for a root touch up but if you have short hair (as in a typical man's length hair) you can potentially get 3 or more applications out of a bottle.



Back in my DINK days (double income no kids), I would always pay someone to colour my hair. Once the Crazy Kid, and then his sister came along I had neither the time nor the disposable cash to get my hair regularly coloured at a hairdresser. So, I returned to my stingy student days and resumed colouring my own hair at home. I had thought that the best thing to happen to home hair colouring was the introduction of the foam dyes. I absolutely love them and find that the results really are salon worthy. I make no mess when I use them, have no drips and never end up with missed patches in my hair. My favourite, to date, has been the John Frieda Precision Foam Colour and I have returned to this one about 4 or 5 times. But the one thing the really annoyed me was that I would always have a third of a bottle of the dye left that I would end up having to chuck. Then, a couple of months down the track, the colour would still be looking rich; however, my bloody grey hairs would be rearing their ugly heads again meaning that I would have to buy a new packet of dye just to hide the handful of greys that were annoying the crap out of me! (I did try plucking them for a while but unfortunately am loosing that battle and, if you have ever wondered whether the rumour is true that if you pull a grey hair out then seven grow back, it isn't - see here).

I haven't had the opportunity to trial Ultimate Colour just yet as the stock had just arrived in the country at the time of the launch, but hope to do so in the coming weeks. At the moment they have 9 colours in the range, which you can see below. The colours that I plan on testing are 465 Dark Chocolate Brown and possibly 668 Hazelnut (though I am not sure whether my naturally dark brown hair would be too dark for this shade) and then, come winter, I like to put a red shade through my hair so will take 388 Dark Red Brown for a test drive.











At this stage I am not sure of an exact release date or price for the Schwarzkopf Ultimate Colour but will have that information on hand when I review the product so will update then.

What are your thoughts? Are you excited? Which colour in the range would you go for? 

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Nicole by OPI Modern Family: Luke of the Draw

The other day I brought you the news that Nicole By OPI had released a Modern Family Collection. Here is my first swatch from the range - Luke of the Draw. OPI describes it as an adventurous gunmetal grey; however, I would not describe it that way at all. It is a black jelly base jam packed with tonnes of various shaped silver glitter pieces. The effect, once applied, is striking. The different shaped glitter gives the final finish a real depth - a bit like staring into a star packed milky way. The glitter applies very thickly so there is only slight gaps between the particles. The glitter is easy to apply and two thin coats is all it takes for totally opaque coverage. After the first coat it looks patchy and streaky but this completely clears up after the second coat.

I absolutely love this polish.. I have not seen a glitter polish like it before. Most glitters seem to be sparse topcoats but this is a glitter packed lacquer. It is super sparkly when on and quite striking.

The swatches below are all two coats, with one top coat shot in various lights.













Luke of the Draw and the rest of the Nicole by OPI Modern Family range will be available from 14th March at selected pharmacies Hairhouse Warehouse, Petra Haircare and on-line at www.nicolebyopi.com.au, $14.95 RRP incl. GST.   For stockists contact 1800 358 999 or visit www.nicolebyopi.com


Have you discovered any other glitter polishes that are jam packed with glitter - I'd love suggestions!


All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. Luke of the Draw was provided for consideration.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Who wants a $50 Groupon Voucher

If you haven't heard of group buying and the daily deals sites then I'm afraid you must have been living under a rock. They have been hugely popular of late. The way they work is that various companies offer either products, services or travel deals at greatly reduced prices, but a minimum number of people need to buy the deal for it to go live. Your credit card does not get charged until the minimum number has been reach and the deal becomes live. For example if a deal needs a minimum of 20 people and only 15 attempt to buy the offer then the offer doesn't go live and no one gets charged and no purchase is made. Once 20 people buy, your credit card will be charged and you will receive your purchase. There are quite a few of these sites out there, one of which is Groupon. Before today, I had shopped from a few of these sites, and had always had a favourable experience but had not yet tried Groupon.

Before recommending it to you I wanted to try it for myself. My mother in law has bought me a couple of deals from Groupon but I personally hadn't tried purchasing from them. I found the whole process to be super simple. I just searched the Groupon website for all of their deals. I am based in Sydney so was searching all of the Sydney deals. The deals are broken up into categories: Sydney deals (or wherever your location is - these are the experience deals), shopping deals and travel deals. There are some awesome travel deals on there but I am off to Japan and Thailand in May so won't be going on any more holidays this year! I was also quite tempted by a couple of the shopping deals, but I ended up buying a Sydney deal. All I had to was click the green BUY button, enter quantity then the payment page came up. I was provided with a $20 voucher so I entered that code in the REDEEM VOUCHER box then used Paypal to pay the balance. Seconds later I received an email saying that my order had been received and that once the deal was over I would receive my voucher. About 5 minutes later, two emails arrived with my vouchers attached. Super, super easy!

So, what did I buy? I did want to get something beauty related since that is the subject of this blog but none of the experience deals tickled my fancy at the moment. I have a hair dresser than I am happy with and the rest either weren't local to me or just weren't for things that I needed done (if there was deal on a hot stone massage I would have snapped it up in a second - I have been dying to try that!). I was tempted by the Prolash Eyelash Growth Enhancer as I have always to know whether these actually work (I believe they do as I have read good things but have never personally tried one of these products) but, in all honesty, I have naturally quite long eye lashes so I would have just been getting it for the sake of buying. Instead, I got something I know the Crazy Kid would love - two unlimited ride passes for the Sydney Family Show (we went last year and it is similar to the Royal Easter Show but smaller and has free entry, which is perfect for younger kids who have tendency to crack it after a couple of hours so you don't waste all that entry fee!). Now, all I have to do is take our vouchers to the show and we will be given wristbands that give us unlimited rides.

Now here is the good part. I have a $50.00 Groupon voucher up for grabs. To be in the draw to win it all you have to do is enter is one or all of the following (you get once entry per task):

  1. Follow me on GFC or by email
  2. Follow me on Facebook
  3. Share this giveaway on Facebook
  4. Follow me on Twitter
  5. Tweet the following: Who wants a $50.00 Groupon voucher?? Head here to win one. http://t.co/OR53bfOMg4 @GrouponAUS  
Once you have done any/all of the above can you please leave a comment in the comment sections letting me know how you entered and what your name is (ie if you follow on GFC then just comment 'GFC - (your GFC name) or for Facebook comment 'Facebook - your name'). Please leave one comment per task (ie so if you do all 5 tasks then you should leave 5 comments) so that way I can randomly draw the winners from the list of entries in the comments (sorry if this is annoying but its quicker for me to draw a number then see which name corresponds rather than having to transport everything into Excel).

 This competition is only open to Australian residents and will run until 8.00pm (AEDST) Friday 8th March.

Good luck!


ps In case you missed it, I am also giving away two Burt's Bees gift packs



All opinions are my own. I received a $20 Groupon voucher to test their site but also used my own money in the purchase. 

Thursday, 21 February 2013

OPI Modern Family Collection



At the moment my husband and I have 3 favourite shows - Sons of Anarchy (we are a bit late to jump on this bandwagon and are only just watching season 1 on Foxtel), My Kitchen Rules (my hubby is actually a doppelganger for Pete Evens but it is Manu that I have the crush on....he could talk to me all day long!) and Modern Family. There is next to no chance that there will ever be a Sons of Anarchy collaboration with OPI (unless they decide that we need 12 different shades of gunmetal with the odd blood red thrown in!), and even less a chance of a MKR collection, but, great news...Nicole by OPI has collaborated with our third favourite show to create the Modern Family Collection. Each lacquer in the collection represents the personality of the character it is named after and, in usual OPI form, the names are all quite amusing.






The colours are (from left to right):

My Jay or The Highway – a sophisticated pale taupe grey

A Phil’s Paradise – a desirable slate grey that will SELL, SELL, SELL

Candid Cameron – this year’s Pantone Colour of the Year, Emerald Green

What’s The Mitch-uation – a more serious shade of Olympic Blue


Back in My Gloria Day – a rich sexy plum

Basking in Gloria – a rich ruby red that is saucy and spicy

She’s Lily Something – a fantasy land filled with glittery pink, confetti and stars





The colours continued are (from left to right):

Am I Making Myself Claire? – a delicate shade of lilac

Alex by the Books – a subtle yet intelligent mint green

Stand By Your Manny – a beautiful pale blue

I Do De-Claire – a frosty rose pink

A Like Haley Story – a fabulous coral pink

Haley Good Looking – a feminine pink glitter that will always have admirers

Luke of the Draw - an adventurous gunmetal grey


There are so many colours in this range that I want to try - it looks like such a wearable range. The only shade that doesn't really tickle my fancy is My Jay or The Highway - taupes just aren't my cup of tea. I should have swatches up of a couple of them in the next couple of weeks so keep your eyes out (or if you are desperate to see swatches now, have a look at The Polish Aholic - her swatches are divine!).

The Nicole by OPI Modern Family range will be available from 14th March at selected pharmacies Hairhouse Warehouse, Petra Haircare and on-line at www.nicolebyopi.com.au, $14.95 RRP incl. GST.   For stockists contact 1800 358 999 or visit www.nicolebyopi.com.

What are your thoughts on the range? Are there any colours that you are dying to try?



Burt's Bees Giftpack Giveaway

During the Christmas period I was sent two gorgeous Burt's Bees gift packs - one to review and one to giveaway. I love Burt's Bees - I have previously reviewed the Radiance Range in a lot of detail. Unfortunately, my whole family got struck down by gastro and that really knocked me about and totally destroyed my blog schedule. Although I was only sick myself for a few days, having to get up multiple times a night to change the Crazy Kids sheet's, or block my ears from the noises my husband was making in the en suite meant that I got very little sleep and it really took it's toll. So, sadly, my gift pack never got reviewed and my giveaway never went live. However, this is where you are in luck. I am now giving away both Burt's Bees gift packs.

Pack 1: Sweet Kisses (the one for lip balm lovers!)

Contains:

  • Strawberry Lip Shimmer
  • Hibiscus Tinted Lip Balm
  • Refreshing Lip Balm with Pink Grapefruit
  • Limited edition mirror


Pack 2: Treats For Your Sweet

Contains:
  • Almond Milk & Beeswax Hand Creme
  • Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme
  • Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil
  • Limited 
  • Edition Nail File  


How to Enter
Simply do one or all of the following (you get once entry per task):
  1. Follow me on GFC or by email
  2. Follow me on Facebook
  3. Share this giveaway on Facebook
  4. Follow me on Twitter
  5. Tweet the following: Love @Burt'sBees products? Well then, you had better check out this #giveaway http://t.co/7Y339jdskH 
Once you have done any/all of the above can you please leave a comment in the comment sections letting me know how you entered and what your name is (ie if you follow on GFC then just comment 'GFC - (your GFC name) or for Facebook comment 'Facebook - your name'). Please leave one comment per task (ie so if you do all 5 tasks then you should leave 5 comments) so that way I can randomly draw the winners from the list of entries in the comments (sorry if this is annoying but its quicker for me to draw a number then see which name corresponds rather than having to transport everything into Excel).

This competition will run until 8.00pm (Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time) on Sunday March 10th. Entry is open world wide.

Good luck!!


ps in case you missed it I am also giving away a $50.00 Groupon voucher

Friday, 15 February 2013

February BellaBox

I have posted about the sample box phenomenon in the past but have never experienced a bellabox sample box for myself...until now!

For $15 per month you will get 5 of the latest prestige, boutique and cult beauty products from around the world. They have around 150 brands on board so there is a huge range of potential products that you could receive. You can see the full list of brands here

When you sign up, you fill in an online profile and then get sent a box tailored to your profile. Four different boxes go out each month. For the purpose of this review, I was just sent a random box so one of the products wasn't suitable for me; however, had they had my profile this most likely would not have happened.

So, what was in my February box?





I got Box C and in it was:

  • Bastiste dry shampoo 30g - I have heard nothing but rave reviews for this so quite excited to try it (value $2)
  • John Freida Sheer Blonde Colour Renew Tone Correcting shampoo and conditioner 45ml - I am a brunette so if I were a subscriber I would have been a tad annoyed receiving this; however, I am sure that if I were a subscriber and they had in my profile that I am a brunette then I shouldn't have received this. (value - about $6.50)
  • Naturals Natural Paw Paw ointment 7g - handy for the handbag. (value - $1.40)
  • Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure polish in 677 Shoot the Moon - a glorious metallic silver shade - one I'd definitely get plenty of wear out of (full size - value $14.95)
  • Gatineau DefiLift 3D Resculpting Lift Cream 15ml - at 32 this is definitely the type of product I am now in the market for and 15ml is a very generous size (value $42)
  • U Skin Solutions Nourishing Cleansing Milk (not sure the volume - maybe 5ml?) - smells all herbally and divine, I look forward to trying it. (value - about $1.50)
Total value of the box - $68.35. Definitely worth the $15 subscription fee.

I have listed below the contents of all 4 boxes for you to compare. The sizes of the products listed are the full sizes, not the sizes received in each box (I'm not sure what they are). It looks like every box got the Bastiste Dry Shampoo and a U Skin Solutions sample but then the other contents varied.

What I loved about bellabox:
  • great value - my box was worth $68.35 so over four times the cost price of $15
  • great range of products - I had hair care, skin care and nail polish
  • good quality brands

What I didn't like:
  • It's only a minor thing but I am not sure whether I like the four different boxes. I am the type of person to get box envy so would prefer that the boxes are the same but personalised - ie my box would have contained the John Frieda Brilliant Brunette range rather than the blonde products. However, in saying that I am guessing that you would have been giving the option, in the preferences, to select the type of products you prefer ie make up, skincare etc and I would have chosen skincare as that is my real passion. Looking at the list of products, Box D is most likely the one for us skincare junkies and I would have loved that box, so maybe it is not such a bad thing after all.
BellaBaby and Men's Box
When I was surfing the bellabox website for more info I discovered that they have a men's box ($30 per quarter) and a baby box ($24.95 per month). To be perfectly honest, the men's box is not something that would interest my husband. He likes looking after his skin but is a creature of habit and doesn't like changing his products much - why fix something that already works! However, The bellababy box is something that very much interests me. I have a 3 year old and a 9 month old so am forever testing out new products on them. The Crazy Kid has normal skin so I can use pretty much whatever I like on him (though interestingly he is very sensitive to sunscreens); however, Kiki has sensitive skin with a tendency to get eczema so I need to be quite careful with her. This would be a great way to find out what works for her and what doesn't. $24.95 is a little on the pricey side for baby products - I am not sure whether I would normally spend that on products for my kids each month but I am a fair way into my parenting journey. In the early days I found myself at Priceline every second day picking up something new to fix The Crazy Kids latest nappy rash/graze/gunky eyes/skin irritation so a box like this would have been awesome. A three month subscription would be the perfect post birth present for a new mum.


Anyway, so far I have been impressed with bellabox. For those that are interested, here are the contents of all four boxes that went out in Feb.

Box A

EYE OF HORUS EYELINER IN BRONZE AMULET GODDESS PENCIL OR CHARCOAL OBSIDIAN GODDESS PENCIL – LUXE! Incorporating all the features of the traditional smokey pencil but in a stunning bronze or charcoal shade. Get the most shimmering eyes in the room! RRP $30.00 available at bellabox.com.au

FING’RS NAIL MAKEUP – COLOUR PRODUCT! Frost your fingers with these mega-watt Fing’rs nail stickers and add easy self-expression to your everyday manicure! 22 nail stickers RRP $9.99 available at Coles and Kmart

JOHN FRIEDA FRIZZ-EASE DREAM CURLS CURL PERFECTING SPRAY – CULT CLASSIC Want sexy waves that last? Turn to Frizz Ease. A few spritzes will help to hold pre-styled curls, or add definition and extra waves to naturally curly locks. Time to confidently flick your stunning mane around in front of your main squeeze! 198ml RRP $16.99 available at Coles, Woolworths, Priceline, Target and selected pharmacies nationally

BATISTE DRY SHAMPOO – MUST HAVE Our bb favourite Batiste is back in their new pretty in pink packaging – we guarantee it’ll be the new love of your life next time you need fresh locks fast! 150ml RRP $9.95 available at supermarkets and pharmacies

U SKIN SOLUTIONS CLARIFYING CLEANSING GEL - SUPER SKIN CARE This refreshing cleansing gel, with lemon myrtle and the antibacterial properties of tea-tree, helps to thoroughly remove dirt and impurities from the skin’s surface, all while smelling sweet! 125ml RRP $32.95 available at bellabox.com.au

OR

U SKIN SOLUTIONS CLEAN AND GO EXFOLIATING GEL CLEANSER - SUPER SKIN CARE This two in one cleansing and exfoliating solution is perfect for keeping pores clear and clean. Calendula, antibacterial tea-tree oil and super fine bamboo beads leave your skin feeling soft and smooth! 125ml RRP $30.95 available at bellabox.com.au

BANANA BOAT SPORT SPF 30+ – BONUS PRODUCT! It’s still summer, so make sure you are taking extra care to look after your skin with the Banana Boat range. It’s a must for essential skin care! 200g RRP $14.99 available at grocery retailers, pharmacies and convenience outlets

Box B

NUXE HUILE PRODIGIEUSE – LUXE! There is a reason this multipurpose oil is a French favourite. Giving intense nourishment for face, body and hair without a greasy after-touch, the sweet scented oil will become your favourite too. 50ml RRP $24.95 available at bellabox.com.au

SALLY HANSEN COMPLETE SALON MANICURE – COLOUR PRODUCT! No time for a salon mani? No stress! Achieve the at-home quality trifecta: a gel-like shine finish, fast and easy application and chip resistance. Enjoy your choice of three shimmering shades: Mermaids Tail, Golden Rule and Shoot the Moon. 14.7ml RRP $14.95 available at Priceline and selected pharmacies

JOHN FRIEDA FRIZZ-EASE DREAM CURLS CURL PERFECTING SPRAY – CULT CLASSIC Want sexy waves that last? Turn to Frizz Ease. A few spritzes will help to hold pre-styled curls, or add definition and extra waves to naturally curly locks. Time to confidently flick your stunning mane around in front of your main squeeze! 198ml RRP $16.99 available at Coles, Woolworths, Priceline, Target and selected pharmacies nationally

BATISTE DRY SHAMPOO – MUST HAVE Our bb favourite Batiste is back in their new pretty in pink packaging – we guarantee it’ll be the new love of your life next time you need fresh locks fast! 150ml RRP $9.95 available at supermarkets and pharmacies

U SKIN SOLUTIONS CLEAN AND GO EXFOLIATING GEL CLEANSER - SUPER SKIN CARE This two in one cleansing and exfoliating solution is perfect for keeping pores clear and clean. Calendula, antibacterial tea-tree oil and super fine bamboo beads leave your skin feeling soft and smooth! 125ml RRP $30.95 available at bellabox.com.au

BANANA BOAT SPORT SPF 30+ – BONUS PRODUCT! It’s still summer, so make sure you are taking extra care to look after your skin with the Banana Boat range. It’s a must for essential skin care! 200g RRP $14.99 available at grocery retailers, pharmacies and convenience outlets

Box C


GATINEAU MOISTURISING RANGE – LUXE! ENJOY ONE OF THE FOLLOWING: Melatogenine Future Plus Day and Night Cream 50ml RRP $240, Melatogenine Day Cream 50ml RRP $165, Defi Lift 3d Throat & Décolleté Cream 50ml RRP $140, Defi Lift Resculpting Lift Cream with Botufix 50ml RRP $165, Nutriactive Nourishing Day Cream 50ml RRP $$98, Gatineau Aquamemory Moisture Replenish Cream 50ml RRP $104. For more information visit bellabox.com.au

SALLY HANSEN COMPLETE SALON MANICURE – COLOUR PRODUCT! No time for a salon mani? No stress! Achieve the at-home quality trifecta: a gel-like shine finish, fast and easy application and chip resistance. Enjoy your choice of three shimmering shades: Mermaids Tail, Golden Rule and Shoot the Moon. 14.7ml RRP $14.95 available at Priceline and selected pharmacies

NATRALUS NATURAL PAW PAW OINTMENT - ESSENTIAL Add a touch of natural shine to your pout this V-day. No petrochemicals with all paw paw means your lips will feel soft and free to kiss whomever they please! 30g RRP $5.95 available at bellabox.com.au

BATISTE DRY SHAMPOO – MUST HAVE Our bb favourite Batiste is back in their new pretty in pink packaging – we guarantee it’ll be the new love of your life next time you need fresh locks fast! 150ml RRP $9.95 available at supermarkets and pharmacies

JOHN FRIEDA SHEER BLONDE COLOUR RENEW TONE CORRECTING SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER OR JOHN FRIEDA SHEER BLONDE GO BLONDER LIGHTENING SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER – CULT CLASSIC Go longer in between colour treatments with new looking locks! Get your best hair yet this V-Day and flick your stunning mane in front of your main squeeze! Both 250ml RRP $17.99 available at Coles, Woolworths, Priceline, Target and selected pharmacies nationally

U SKIN SOLUTIONS CLEAN AND GO EXFOLIATING GEL CLEANSER - SUPER SKIN CARE This two in one cleansing and exfoliating solution is perfect for keeping pores clear and clean. Calendula, antibacterial tea-tree oil and super fine bamboo beads leave your skin feeling soft and smooth! 125ml RRP $30.95 available at bellabox.com.au

OR

U SKIN SOLUTIONS NOURISHING CLEANSING MILK - SUPER SKIN CARE This nourishing cleansing milk with added vitamin B5, Australian sandalwood and lilly pilly helps assist the gently elimination of daily grime and impurities, and feels silky, smooth and luxurious on your skin! 125ml RRP $32.95 available at bellabox.com.au


Box D

BE IN AWE SKIN SAMSKRTA SKIN POLISH – LUXE Designed to remove dead skin cells and leave skin looking (and feeling!) soft and radiant, this polish combines cranberry extract, gluconic acid, vitamin B3 and co-enzyme Q10 with micro jojoba beads. Hello vibrant shimmering skin! 30ml RRP $29.00 available at bellabox.com.au

SALLY HANSEN COMPLETE SALON MANICURE – COLOUR PRODUCT! No time for a salon mani? No stress! Achieve the at-home quality trifecta: a gel-like shine finish, fast and easy application and chip resistance. Enjoy your choice of three shimmering shades: Mermaids Tail, Golden Rule and Shoot the Moon. 14.7ml RRP $14.95 available at Priceline and selected pharmacies

BIODERMA CREALINE H2O - CULT! This cult cleansing water removes every trace of makeup (even waterproof mascara) as well as the impurities in your skin at a cellular level. Plus, it’s safe on eyes. Wonder product alert! 250ml RRP $29.95 available at bellabox.com.au

BATISTE DRY SHAMPOO – MUST HAVE Our bb favourite Batiste is back in their new pretty in pink packaging – we guarantee it’ll be the new love of your life next time you need fresh locks fast! 150ml RRP $9.95 available at supermarkets and pharmacies

U SKIN SOLUTIONS CLEAN AND GO EXFOLIATING GEL CLEANSER - SUPER SKIN CARE This two in one cleansing and exfoliating solution is perfect for keeping pores clear and clean. Calendula, antibacterial tea-tree oil and super fine bamboo beads leave your skin feeling soft and smooth! 125ml RRP $30.95 available at bellabox.com.au

BANANA BOAT EVERYDAY SPF 30+ – BONUS PRODUCT! It’s still summer, so make sure you are taking extra care to look after your skin and using a top notch SPF. Our pick? The Banana Boat range. Because you can’t shimmer and shine without nourished and cared for skin! 200g RRP $14.99 available at grocery retailers, pharmacies and convenience outlets

You can subscribe to bellabox box here. They offer either a month by month subscription ($15/month) or a yearly subscription ($165) or 3, 6, or 12 month gift subscriptions,

What are your thoughts on sample boxes. Do you love receiving your box of goodies each month or are you up to your eyeballs in samples?


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

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

OPI Oz The Great and Powerful: When Monkeys Fly! swatch

There is a new Oz movie coming out - Oz the Great and Powerful. It is the prequel to The Wizard of Oz and tells the story of how many of the characters ended up in the land of Oz.

To celebrate the release of the movie, OPI have created a new range of lacquers inspired by the movie - the Oz the Great and Powerful range. As soon as I heard that there was a range based on The Wizard of Oz, I straight away imagined sparkly ruby red and emerald green - but, of course, they are colours from the original movie and not the latest installment. Instead, the Oz the Great and Powerful range is all soft shades and glitters, described by OPI as:

The soft shade limited edition range by OPI - Oz the Great and Powerful - is bursting with magic and excitement designed to capture the magic and whimsy portrayed in the film. The collection features soft neutrals in white, beige and pink combined with glittery shades of white, gold and silver.


There are seven shades in this range:

Which is Witch, a silver glitter lacquer with a magical iridescent sparkle.



Glints of Glinda, only a good witch could turn beige from bland to chic.



When Monkeys Fly! you will go bananas for this gold confetti (swatches below).



Don’t Burst My Bubble, an irresistible white like puffs of clouds



Lights of Emerald City, like a white confetti spray bursting with excitement



I Theodora You, an adorable sheer pink that is bewitching.



What Wizardry is This? – designed specifically for The Great Wizard - a rich taupe hue with reflective sparkle in OPI’s new Liquid Sand formula

I managed to get my hands on When Monkeys Fly! and have swatched it below. When Monkeys Fly! is a glittery top coat with a mixture of 3 different types of glitter - super chunky gold circles, tiny hologram specks and slightly larger hexagonal (or perhaps octagonal!) hologram disks. In the swatches below I have just applied one coat. The large round gold glitter randomly scatters over the nails, so some nails end up with only a couple of dots whilst others have heaps. The gold glitter is really striking - it looks a little bit like diamontes on the nails. I have swatched this over two different colours and it looks fantastic over both. I honestly think that it would look amazing over just about any colour (probably not gold - would get lost on that one, but any other colour!).

When Monkeys Fly! swatched over Suzi's Hungary AGAIN (from the Euro Centrale range)







When Monkeys Fly! swatched over You're Such a BudaPest (from the Euro Centrale range)






OPI’s Oz the Great and Powerful will be available from mid February at selected salons, David Jones and Myers, $19.95. For more information on stockists contact 1800 358 999 or www.opi.net.au.

What are your thoughts on When Monkeys Fly? Do you love the chunky gold glitter? What colours are you hoping to get your hands on from the Oz the Great and Powerful range?


All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. When Monkeys Fly! was provided for consideration.

Monday, 11 February 2013

The Acne Series: Guest Review 2 of Aphelia Cosmetology


The other day I brought you a guest review of the Oasis Acne range from Aphelia Cosmetology. I have mentioned before, but the journey to perfect skin for acne sufferers is often not clear cut and what works for one person many not work for another. Therefore, for the Aphelia Cosmetology acne range I have recruited three different acne sufferers to trial it.

The second reviewer I have is Jenny. Jenny is 20 and has bad acne on her forehead. Here is her review:

I spent the majority of my teenage years not appreciating that I had nice clear skin and I never felt the need to wear makeup since I had nothing to cover up anyway. I only ever got the odd spot or two and that was pretty rare as I can’t remember even one time when I might’ve freaked out over a breakout.

When I reached year 12 in high school, I started to get lots and lots of break outs and it was all concentrated on my forehead. I can even tell you how it started as it literally started overnight with little pimples on my forehead which grew and grew and I soon had a breakout on my forehead which has never cleared in the last 3 years.

My breakouts are consistent and never go away. I always have a small amount of pimples on my forehead and I get some pretty nasty big ones during that time of the month. They tend to stay around for about a week but the little ones pop up as the old ones go away. My acne has also spread to both my cheeks (although the left cheek is significantly clearer than the right) and occasionally I also get pimples under my bottom lip and above my top lip near my nose.

You’ll see in my photos later, that I scar very easily. Some of the pimples that I got during the trial turned into red dots that stay red for weeks. I still have the scars today! It had nothing to do with the products and everything to do with the way my skin is as it happens regardless of the products that I use.

I’ve tried everything at least once from not using cleanser at all (just water), not wearing makeup, using natural products and using different brands like Nivea, Garnier, Biotherm, Khiels, Estée Lauder and Clinique. Nothing has even come close to clearing up my skin, let alone reducing the amount of pimples. I put my hand up for trying out these products when Sarah gave out a call for people to trial the products as I thought that it couldn’t hurt to change up my skincare regime again, especially since it wasn’t working anyway.

I admit that I didn’t really look too much into the brand that was offering the products for trial so when I first opened the package that Sarah sent me, I noticed that there was Chinese writing on the side of the boxes. Immediately, my boyfriend and I got a bit freaked out as we know that Chinese products can often smell quite bad. As children, our parents forced us to eat really smelly black medicine and we’re both familiar with Chinese traditional medicines and the awful smell that some of them can have. Luckily, the smell of the Aphelia products wasn’t too bad.

There were 3 products that I was sent to try.

Master Cleanse Deep Cleanse Fluid:

This was the cleanser that I used in the morning and at night. It looks like liquid soap and it also smells like it. To use the cleanser, I put a small amount (literally one or two small pumps) in my hand and then added water to it. When you rub the cleanser and the water together, it foams up and turns white. While I felt like it cleaned my face, I also felt like I was just using plain soap on my face as it really stripped it of the oils. My hands would also feel really dry afterwards. I think that the cleanser would be better suited for people with really oily skin unlike mine which is mostly dry.

Acne treatment 12+5 essence:

This was an essence that I had to use twice a day (morning and night). It’s a clear runny liquid with a strong herbal smell that I put on my face after I washed it. The instructions told me to focus on the blemishes but that the essence needed to be put on the whole face. I wasn’t a fan of it as the smell lingers even when the essence has been absorbed. I found it hard to spread it on my face as it’s so runny that it kind of dripped off my face unless I worked fast. However, I felt that this step was important as the cleanser dried my face out so much.


Classic skin Purifier Cleansing Beauty Oil:

The instructions said that it was good at removing makeup so I used it as a makeup remover each night. It didn’t make sense to use it as a cleanser since I already used the Master Cleanse Deep Cleanse Fluid as my cleanser.

This didn’t have a strong smell but it smelled faintly like the cleanser. It had a light oil consistency to it and I used it by putting it onto cotton wool pads and wiping it over my face. Interestingly, the instructions said that you didn’t have to wash your face afterwards but you could if you felt like it was “merited”. Because I did this step before cleansing, I obviously washed it off each night.

It was good as a makeup remover and I definitely rate it higher than some of the makeup remover wipes that I’ve been using. It did a good job removing everything but I should probably point out that I normally only wear some concealer and eyeliner so I don’t wear heavy makeup.

Overall, I didn’t see a huge change in my breakouts. It did reduce the large ones as I only saw 2-3 in a month. I think that no products will clear my skin and that my acne may be due to my diet or hormones. I think that people who get breakouts because they have oily or congested skin will benefit from this range. I’ve seen other reviews where people have noticed a huge difference and I’m so jealous!

I think that the Classic Skin Purifier Beauty Oil is the stand out product and will suit any one. The cleanser is a bit harsh but good if you’re targeting really oily or congested areas on your face. I think that the smell of the essence really lets it down as I got pretty sick of the unpleasant smell. I’m sure that some people wouldn’t mind as “no pain, no gain” but I personally wouldn’t buy it for myself.

Before forehead photo

After forehead photo


Before (left) and after (right) pictures of the cheek


What are your thoughts on the scent of a product? Does the way a product smells ever stop you from using it?

Just a heads up, after I post the third review of these products I will be giving away a set so keep your eyes out!


All opinions are mine or Jenny's own and we received no remuneration for this post. These products were provided to Jenny for consideration.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

The Clarisonic Mia: A review





How to use it: I used it once a day in the shower in the morning. I would apply cleanser to my face first, wet the Clarisonic under the shower then turn it on. It would immediately start buzzing and vibrating. I then gently massaged it over my face. The Clarisonic Mia has an automatic timer that switches it off after one minute. I would start cleansing my chin by massaging it in small circles. I usually spend around 10 seconds on the chin. I then do each cheek and jawline, this time massaging large circles with the brush. Again I would spend 10 seconds on each cheek/jawline and another 10 seconds on the nose. For the nose I just hold the brush over it, trying hard to get into the corner of my nose as this is a problem area for me. I then finish off by spending about 20 seconds on my forehead as I am getting a fair amount of congestion there at the moment.




The bristle on the Clarisonic Mia are quite soft but you don't want to press too hard. The Clarisonic isn't actually meant for use as an abrasive exfoliant - it uses ultrasonic vibration to shake loose cell debris and dirt then the brush sweeps them away. I found that if I ever did press a little bit too hard it would leave my skin feeling a little raw. However, this feeling didn't linger and within minutes the raw feeling had subsided.



Although the Clarisonic is an electric device, it is full water proof. The charger attaches to it magnetically so there is no entry point into the device for water to get in, hence why it can be used in the shower. This is absolutely brilliant as I do my cleansing in the shower so wouldn't want to have to incorporate an extra step when I got out. Since it is completely water proof I actually store the device in the shower. With two young kids I usually have to bolt into the shower when they are both happily occupied with something or when one of them is sleeping so this leaves me quite forgetful to bring products in with me. As soon as I get in the shower I see my Clarisonic in there waiting for me and it reminds me to use it.




I tested the Clarisonic with multiple different cleansers - the provided cream cleanser and a couple of my own foaming cleansers. I think I prefer a foaming cleanser with it as the cream cleanser tends to disappear in the bristles so at times it feels like I am using it without a cleanser which feels a tiny bit abrasive.

To clean the Clarisonic what I do is, once its 1 minute cycle has finished, I then turn it on again and massage it over the palm of my hand under running water until no hint of cleanser remains.

Once you have finished the one minute cycle with the Clarisonic your skin still needs to be rinsed under running water to remove any remaining cleanser. This is where you will first notice just how damn soft your skin is. After the first time I used it I kept rinsing and rinsing my face thinking it still had cleanser on it, it was so soft and slippery, until I realised that was how my skin now felt,

After exiting the shower I noticed my skin was looking shiny like it had been buffed. This faded once I applied serum or moisturiser. After the first time I used it I was quite surprised at how much more quickly my moisturiser absorbed in. I usually apply moisturiser then brush my teeth and afterwards my skin is usually still tacky and shiny. After using the Clarisonic, my moisturiser had fully absorbed by the time I had brushed my teeth.

In the first week after using it I noticed a few white heads appearing on my forehead. They were only tiny so I think it must have been all of the gunk in my pores rising to the surface. They cleared up and since then my forehead has been looking a lot smoother. This last year my cleansing routine has gone out the window. I had a baby 9 months ago and have been in a constant state of exhaustion and so lost interesting in maintaining my skin. This has left my forehead looking very bumpy. The Clarisonic has changed that . One minute of cleansing with it each day has made such a difference. And because it is making a difference I actually get a little bit excited about cleansing, my skin has been looking so much smooth and feeling incredibly soft in the two weeks that I have been using it.

This is one beauty device that is actually worthy of all of the hype around it. Such a simple addition to your cleansing routine makes such a difference therefore I cannot recommend this any more highly. It is definitely a worthwhile beauty investment.

Here is a little video review that I did for Beauty Heaven on the Clarisonic Mia:





The Clarisonic Mia retails at $139 and can be bought at Myer or online at The Facial Company (as can replacement brush heads).


What beauty device can you not live without?


All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. The Clarisonic Mia was provided to me for consideration as part of Beauty Heaven's Trial Team.