09 April, 2014

Time for a vacation...

Hi again!  Posting twice in one day must be an all-time record for me!
After the flurry of posts I thought I'd let you know as of the 10th of April (tomorrow down here) I'll be taking a little break because we're heading up to the Gold Coast in Queensland for a family getaway. Things might be quiet around here for the next couple of weeks depending on little things like wifi availability and how busy (or lazy) we are.  Normal posting will resume from 19th of April.
Hopefully the weather will be a little something like this:
Speak to you all soon!

OPI: Where Did Suzi's Man-Go?

I'm still in the middle of my orange/tangerine kick so Where Did Suzi's Man-Go? is right up my alley...

This juicy looking tangerine polish is another vibrant shade from OPI's current Brazil Collection, where they cheekily describe this cream shade as "mango smoothie" - Yes, I'll agree with that too, definitely when viewed in the full glare of the sun! This was another two-coater, which applied beautifully and was my choice to cheer up the working week.  This is probably the most trans-seasonal of the vibrant shades I've tried from the collection as I think it works well for spring, summer and autumn.

And that's it for my current round of OPI Brazil swatches.
 Which was your favourite?
(This product was provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

08 April, 2014

OPI: Kiss Me I'm Brazilian

I'm back in my comfort zone with my second Brazil collection manicure - pink!
Kiss Me I'm Brazilian is another of the vivid hues from the Brazil collection and OPI describes it as a "warm luscious pink".  I describe it in my own long-winded way as a warm neon pastel pink cream with a slight leaning to coral - very vibrant and pretty at the same time.  Don't be fooled by this polish in the bottle because it dries down a full shade darker (and brighter). It's definitely a statement pink, perfect for summery fingers and toes or for delaying the inevitable late autumn mood we're going to be creeping into soon down here in Melbourne.  Two coats were enough to do the job this time for a smooth creamy coverage.
All pictures taken in indirect daylight:
Thanks for looking!
 (This product was provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

07 April, 2014

OPI: I Just Can't Cope-Acabana

I have a few selections from OPI's recently released Brazil collection to post and I thought I'd get the most outrageous one out there first. I guess yellow isn't outrageous to some of you but if you know me you'll realize it's outside of my colour comfort zone.  Still - I keep an open mind and my son loves yellow so I'm doing it!
Whew! What a name for a nail polish shade is I Just Can't Cope-Acabana! OPI are as quirky and creative as always with their shade names especially when they come out with their more quirky colours.  IJCA is a quirky colour alright - it's a bright and very uplifting "sunshine yellow" as described by OPI themselves and I can't really top that.  Because this is a pastel cream I found I needed 3 coats of colour for perfect coverage but with more careful application I think I could have got away with the usual 2. 

What do you think about yellow nails? Yay or nay?
 (This product was provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

06 April, 2014

REVIEW: Palmer's Purifying Mask

You know up until recently I hadn't used a clay mask for years so my memories of clay masks were along the lines of thick, sometimes smelly, cakey masks which cracked on my skin, were hell to remove and left my skin feeling dried out. I'm happy to say Palmer's Purifying Mask was a revelation then - times have obviously changed for the better!  Palmer's Purifying Mask is suitable for all skin types and claims to "draw out impurities, tighten and cool" the skin.
 Ingredients list:
Water, Kaolin, Glycereth-26, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Cyclotetrasiloane, Isopropyl Myristate, Titanium Dioxide, Bentonite, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Magnesium Aluminium Silicate, Carrageenan, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Prunus Amydalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Panthenol, Polymide-1, Disodium EDTA, Silica, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Quaternium-15, Tocopheryl Acetate, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Root Extract, Menthol, Propylene Glycol, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Hydrolyzed Milk Protein, Lactose, Phenoxyethanol Methylisothazolinone, Glycerin, Steareth-20, Fragrance (Parfum), Chrysin, N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Bultyphenyl Methylpropional.

Palmer's Australia's website explains the key ingredients in plain English:

Sweet Almond Oil
A non-greasy, super moisturizing, emollient extracted from the kernel of Almond seeds. Sweet Almond Oil is rich in Vitamins B1, B6, B2 and E, as well as Omega-9 and Omega-6 fatty acids. The lightweight oil is easily absorbed into the skin and its antimicrobial properties help reduce the chances of scarring and markings on skin.

Shea Butter
Shea Butter is ideal for sensitive skin due to its naturally high vitamin content (including A, E and F). It has the ability to absorb quickly into the skin, soothing irritation and providing on-going nourishment. Shea Butter acts as a natural anti-inflammatory agent which makes it effective in addressing dry skin & irritation. The high moisture content helps diminish discoloration, wrinkles and loss of elasticity.

Vitamin E
Vitamin E is contained in all Palmer's products. This top antioxidant enhances the protective function of skin and decreases the appearance of lines, wrinkles and scars by keeping cells hydrated.

Cocoa Butter
Cocoa Butter addresses skin concerns such as roughness, loss of elasticity, scars and dryness. Cocoa Butter is an all natural skin conditioning plant extract loaded with essential fatty acids. It softens and protects by diminishing water loss - keeping skin hydrated and supple.

Kaolin Clay
A natural Chinese clay that gently absorbs oil on the surface of skin and helps clear breakouts. Kaolin Clay gently dries on the surface of the skin to deep clean and draw out impurities.

My impressions:
As soon as I squeezed the mask out of the tube I noticed the fine, rather rich creamy texture.  It seems more of a thick enriching cream than a clay mask at first glance:

As you can see below there's no grittiness at all and the mask glides smoothly onto the skin.  I applied a thin layer to my face and it spread very easily, feeling very creamy. 

Freshly applied:
Within two minutes as the mask started to dry I noticed an intense cooling effect on my skin - kind of like that intense cooling sensation you get when you suck on a strong mint - and once that subsided I could feel the mask firming my skin.  The pleasant white lily/cocoa scent isn't distracting at all and became apparent as the mask dried.

After 10 minutes:

Finally once the mask was dry I was relieved not to feel any "cracking face" sensation!  Better still the mask was easily removed with a wet face cloth - it just dissolved away and left my skin feeling super cleansed.  I noticed my skin looked refined immediately afterward - my pores were reduced, my skin felt softer and plumped and looked more radiant somehow.  I'd actually noticed this earlier when I did the first patch test on the back of my hand.  The pampered hand was noticeably lighter and softer than the untreated hand. Although I could have applied moisturiser afterward I decided to skip it to see if there was any residual tightness and there wasn't any at all.  Because of the Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter my skin simply felt comfortable and clean.  As I've said before on this blog I've yet to try a Palmer's product I don't like and this is no exception.

Palmer's Purifying Mask is gentle enough to be used up to 3 times a week and at $9.99 for 120g of product is an affordable pamper for my skin.

 Palmer's products are available from Priceline, Chemist Warehouse, Woolworths, Coles, Big W, Target, My Chemist, selected pharmacies & selected IGA stores nationally.

 (This product was provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

05 April, 2014

Essie: Too Too Hot

Summer's well and truly gone (5 weeks gone) but I needed another hit of bright colour before the warm days become too much of a distant memory.  I know I'll be gravitating towards darker, and more subdued colours soon enough so when I chose a red polish to wear this week I chose Essie's Too Too Hot.
Too Too Hot was released in Essie's 2011 Brazilliant Summer collection and Essie's website describes it as a "sizzling rich red coral".  Against my skin it leans more red than coral but it is the most vibrant summery red which is exactly what I was looking for.  This polish performed better than my previous Essie experience and applied smoothly with no dragging in two coats.

All pictures taken in full sun

Until next time!

03 April, 2014

March's farewelled products (and beauty diet update)

This month's not just about empties - there are also a few product fails in here I finally psyched myself up to let go.  Read on and you'll find out why...

Skin care
24) Burt's Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes With White Tea Extract (30 towelettes) - These pleasant smelling wipes promised to "...remove makeup, cleanse and tone in one easy step". They were sufficiently moist to do a thorough job and leave my skin feeling comfortable afterwards.  Besides White Tea Extract other botanical goodies include Aloe Leaf Juice and Cucumber Extract. I liked the snap seal on the package too. 
25) Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturiser SPF 15 (75ml) - I normally go for moisturisers with higher SPF but I got this as a magazine freebie a while ago so I was happy to use it.  The oil-free, soy enriched formula felt light on the skin and two pumps were enough to moisturise my face and neck so the bottle lasted a few months.  It did leave a bit of sheen on my combination skin though so I needed to mattify afterwards.
26) The Face Shop Collagen Essential Mask Sheet - I loved this lifting and moisturizing mask because it did as it promised as my skin felt softer and firmer afterwards.  I will be repurchasing this (and my other favourite Pearl Extract) from The Face Shop the next time I need to replenish my sheet mask supply.

Hand and body care
27) Natio Meditate Hand Wash Yoga Scent Khus Attar (240ml/8.1fl.oz) - I loved this moisturising hand wash but I used it up far too quickly and now I'm pretty sure it's been discontinued.  As you can infer from the yoga reference the Khus Attar scent was distinctly relaxing and I'm sadly deeply inhaling the remnants of the bottle now as I prepare to throw it away.
28) OPI Expert Touch Lacquer Remover (120ml/4 fl.oz) - My third bottle for the year. 
29) MOR Grapefruit Body Butter - This little tub was part of a 3-pack I bought for a Christmas gift a couple of years ago but then naughtily decided to keep! The truth is I found something more appropriate for that person and then I put these away and forgot all about them! The grapefruit scent has the perfect mix of citrus zing and sugary sweetness and it absorbed beautifully into the skin.  The small tub (say around 50ml) didn't last very long at all unfortunately and this scent has been discontinued.

I decided to get a bit more brutal on my beauty diet this month and following Anissa's very brave and sensible lead (Norlin has also made fantastic progress!), so in addition to accumulating the empties I'm taking a long hard look at some of the makeup items which shouldn't be taking up space in my drawers.  Let's start with the empties first:
30) Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Treatment Concealer (20 Light) - Perhaps all the hype around this concealer set my expectations way too high because I was underwhelmed by it.  The coverage was too sheer for me, meaning I had to build it and sometimes even reapply it under my eyes later in the day.  I don't have anything against Maybelline concealers per se because I still swear by my old favourite Dream Lumi - I just won't be buying this one again because it doesn't stand up to my PANDA EYES!

31) LancĂ´me Hypnose Doll Eyes Waterproof Mascara (Black) - I was sad to let this mascara go and not just because it's limited edition.  Read my original mini review here.

32) Bloom Eye Base (3.5g/0.12oz) - I thought this was quite a good eye primer until I switched up products recently.  No matter as it's been discontinued anyway.

Yup, I've finally taken the plunge and decided to get rid of a few products that didn't quite work for me.  At this point I'm deciding these won't count towards makeup empties and I won't use them as credit towards new products in my beauty diet - if they don't work they don't necessarily need to be replaced!
Styli-Style Timeless Lipstick (Beauty 1512) - I received this in a swap ages ago and unfortunately silvery matte beige lips are just not for me.  If this was glossy I could have used it as a topper and I suppose conversely I could have topped this lipstick with gloss but seriously I have too many lipsticks already to have to worry about making this one work!
L'Oreal Shine Caresse (Princess & Eve) - Ugh, I do feel bad about not loving these and I so wanted them to work for me. Another case of not being swayed by the hype perhaps - but for me they applied unevenly, felt weird on the lips and worse still, bled out in a tacky mess beyond the lip line. Out they go.
Essence Cherry Blossom Girl Lipstick Pencil (Cherry Cherry Girl) - Considering they are a budget brand Essence are usually surprisingly good quality so I was in a state of disbelief over the shocking performance of this pencil.  It applied way too thickly, virtually pilling into balls of colour on the lips.  Very hard to describe but trust me it was horrendous and unwearable.  The only positive was it didn't cost much.

33) Tom Ford Lys Fume EDP (1.5ml sample) - This is my second sample vial of Lys Fume so I don't need to say too much.   Top notes:  Italian mandarin, pink pepper, turmeric and nutmeg;  middle notes: white lily, ylang-ylang, Artemisia and rum;  base notes: Madagascar vanilla, labdanum, styrax and oak. 

Now that feels lighter!
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