03 August, 2015

A balmy winter...



Of course you know that I'm not talking about the weather because we've just ended the coldest July in 20 years down here in Melbourne! Speaking of the weather - and here's my segue - I do gravitate more to using my lip balms in winter so I felt like doing a bit of a rundown of the lip balms I currently have on rotation.  It's been at least a couple of years since I last did this type of post and I'm confident there are no repeats from the original so it's time...


The pots


All of these little pots live on my bedside table so I like to alternate between them as my nightly lip balms.
  • SODA & Co Lip Balm (Orange Splash)*- This natural lip balm is the lightest formula of the three.  The Cocoa Butter rich balm melts under the touch of my fingertips so I end up with subtly slippery soft lips that smell deliciously of orange and cocoa. I get that pleasant whiff of something reminiscent of orange-infused chocolate every time I open the tin so I must admit to opening the tin just to have a little sniff! It's all about the delicious factor with this to be honest! This lip balm doesn't pretend to be a heavy duty formula so it doesn't last through the night although I'll still use it at bedtime if my lips aren't overly dry. You can read my original review here for more detail about ingredients etc.
  • Philosophy Kiss Me Tonight Intense Lip Therapy - I bought this as a specific overnight lip treatment after looking for a medium priced luxury balm.  This stuff feels heavy-duty as soon as I put it on - it's very thick and suitably sticky enough for me to know that it's going to hang around on my lips for more than a few minutes and is enriched with ingredients such as shea butter and olive oil. My lips initially feel a little tacky but it settles after a while (or maybe I just become accustomed to it!) and I wake up the next morning with flake-free lips.
  • NIVEA Lip Butter (Vanilla & Macadamia)* - I'd just finished a tin a few months ago when I received another as a PR sample which is fortunate because I'd have repurchased this anyway. I find NIVEA's Vanilla & Macadamia lip butter to be one of the most addictive and inexpensive lip balms in my collection so I'll freely admit to going overboard in the reapplication of this before bedtime!  The texture is thick and yes, buttery, so it's not the slightest bit sticky on the lips. It feels extremely comfortable and moisturizing and I'm a fan of the delicious, almost ice-cream, vanilla scent.

The tubes
  • Burt's Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil - This tube was a swap gift from the very generous Liz some time ago and it also warrants a precious spot on my bedside table because it's so smooth and moisturizing. This is very sheerly tinted - actually pretty much undetectable on my lips - so I've added it to my overnight lip treatment rotation. It makes for a nice little change from dipping my fingers into pots, especially when I've just applied my nightly hand cream!
  • Yes To Carrots Conditioning Lip Butter with SPF 15 (Pomegranate) - I don't have too much to say about the formula of this balm because I've not worn it in a little while.  I bought it specifically for the added SPF so I'll wear it when I'm exercising outdoors in the warmer months to protect my lips from sun damage. It's fit for the purpose and is handy to stash in my pocket for reapplication.

Tinted balms
  • Yard The Bloss (Balmoral Bliss) - This is a locally produced organic balm/gloss hybrid and that's how it's earned the unique name 'Bloss'.  It's glossy and contains the moisturizing ingredients of a good balm including cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, shea butter, jojoba and olive oil.  Note to self:  Balmoral Bliss is a sheer candy pink that I don't wear often enough because it's a pretty and more subtle alternative to pink lip gloss.  
  • Fresh Sugar Rosé Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 - This is another swap gift, this time from Larie! I've been toting this tinted balm around in my office makeup bag and have been using it as an after lunch lip treatment when my lips have been dehydrated from excruciatingly dry formula matte lipsticks - I love a good old fashioned powdery matte lipstick for that retro look but it never loves me back!  In any case, this balm does feel seriously moisturizing on the lips, like a cushiony protective layer rejuvenating and protecting them from the elements and the colour is very sheer but buildable enough for me to look a little more rosy lipped when I most need it.
  • Hurraw! Black Cherry Tinted Lip Balm - This is the newest tinted balm in my rotation and while I hesitated because of the cherry scent - sorry but I'm not a fan of anything cherry flavoured other than fresh cherries themselves - I found that it's not too overwhelming and quite bearable.  This balm feels very light and pretty much weightlessly moisturizing on the lips and the tint is again buildable enough to give me a natural flush as needed.  I also feel quite virtuous using this balm because it's "...100% natural, vegan, made from premium raw, organic and fair trade ingredients"

Swatched top to bottom in the same order as above

So that is my lip balm collection as it stands for winter 2015! 
What are your favourites? Do you reach for them more in winter or all year round?


(Products marked * were provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

27 July, 2015

DB Quick Colour Nail Polish: Aubergine

 Australian budget beauty brand Designer Brands (also known as DB Cosmetics) has been around for years but for whatever reason I'd never stopped to have a proper look at their lineup.  That changed when I spotted this very polish being worn by Lou in a recent Instagram post.  A few things caught my eye: the colour first of course for this purpleholic, but also the packaging which looks very chic and reminds me of a very high end brand - for reference I've included an image of the bottle later in the post.

Aubergine is a very rich shimmery pink-toned purple and the colour was not a disappointment when I finally bought my own bottle - it is exactly what I hoped! However, the polish formula was rather thick and it was virtually impossible to apply as thin a coat as I normally like to - fortunately the polish did dry very quickly so I had no issues with smudges or dents.  My final niggle is the manicure wasn't particularly durable and I experienced significant chipping within the week, even with a top coat.  I don't know if I was just unlucky so I will buy another shade to try before I come to any conclusions.  I hope I was unlucky because the colour is a stunner for winter.

All pictures taken in afternoon sunlight:





Now as I mentioned the bottle design did look uncannily familiar to me.  Does the bottle below remind you of any high end brand?? Let me know in the comments below.

DB Quick Colour nail polishes are free from formaldehyde, toluene or DBP, are Certified Cruelty Free and Certified Vegan.

Until next time!

26 July, 2015

Revlon Colorstay Makeup for Normal/Dry Skin (Priceline Beauty Click favourites)

I used to be very wary of foundation (I suffered one skin suffocating experience too many all those years ago) so to be honest for as long as I could get away with it I consciously didn't wear foundation as I preferred to spot conceal and powder the rest, but as time marches and I get older my skin isn't what it used to be so a little help is needed!

I normally rely on BB creams and or powders but - as you've likely gathered from the title of this post - Revlon Colorstay Makeup took me a little by surprise, especially as it's a drugstore option. Now that we've been introduced I've changed my opinion about drugstore foundation - well this one at least - for the better. 


Revlon Colorstay Makeup comes in two formulas:  Normal/Dry and Combination/Oily.  I received the Normal/Dry version and as I have a tendency towards combination skin I was a bit concerned this formula would be too dewy for me.  It turns out I was unnecessarily worried as the oil-free, "moisture-balance" formula did not make me end up looking overly shiny at all. More about that a little later...

What Revlon says about Colorstay Makeup for Normal/Dry Skin:
  • Offers medium to full coverage with a lightweight formula that won't cake, fade or rub off
  • Time Release Technology
  • Oil-free, moisture-balance formula is especially formulated for normal or dry skin to continuously provide hydration
  • Makeup feels comfortable and wears for up to 24 hours
  • Comes in 12 beautiful shades
  • SPF 20
  • The pump dispenser means no more tipping the bottle upside down, no more wastage

One pump: 

Blended out:

My impressions:
I received shade 220 Natural Beige to try which is from around the middle of the range of shades available.  It's a touch darker than my pallid winter skin but warms it up just enough without looking obviously darker and I think it will be just about perfect when the warmer months come around.

The pump dispenser is definitely a good packaging move as it makes it easy and hygienic to apply and I found that a single pump dispensed just the right amount for a light-medium coverage for everyday wear.  Yes, the liquid formula builds nicely too so a second pump provides enough for extra coverage where needed. I find this foundation applies easily straight over moisturized skin and buffs out to a very natural looking satiny finish.  I apply a little translucent powder to set it - out of habit mostly - and I find it lasts all day even without a primer.  Despite the moisturizing formula I barely experience any midday shine - a single top up of powder over the T-zone in the middle of day is all that's occasionally needed and then I'm good for the rest of the day.  Gotta say that I'm not planning to see if it lasts for 24 hours though! 15 to 16 hour days are good enough for me!

Revlon Colorstay Makeup lives up to the comfortable claims too and is lightweight enough on the skin that I don't notice I'm wearing it - and I've been wearing it pretty much every day lately.  I have to say that this is one drugstore foundation that lives up to the raves as I can't find anything that I don't like about it. It does everything I want my foundation to do: it looks natural, I can adjust the coverage to my needs, it feels comfortable and lasts the distance without the need for primer.

Until next time!

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

19 July, 2015

OPI: Taupe-less Beach

Today's polish swatch is from a summer collection (OPI's 2014 Brazil Collection) but I think it's most winter-appropriate too...

Taupe-less Beach has just the right mix of grey and beige and is the perfect all year round neutral cream polish.  Two coats applied as smoothly as the proverbial butter and after sealing with top coat I got almost a full week of chip-free wear.  I've got nothing more to say about this one really other than I hope it becomes part of OPI's core line.

The weather has been particularly gloomy around here so all pictures were taken under lamplight:




Until next time!

15 July, 2015

Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Jelly (Priceline Beauty Click favourites)

Welcome to the latest instalment in my Priceline Beauty Click favourites series - and a little impromptu introduction to hyaluronic acid!

I don't know if I'm one of the last people to discover hyaluronic acid in skincare or whether it's a mystery to you too but it has become one of those key ingredients in moisturizing over the last couple of years because of its ability to draw water to the skin and help prevent moisture loss.  Fun fact:  hyaluronic acid molecules have the unique ability to attract and retain more than 1,000 times their weight in water...

....which brings me to Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Jelly.  I didn't know anything about the science behind this product when I received it for review, nor did I do any research before I tried it so my Priceline Beauty Click favourite status was initially based on the wear test (the science came much later).  If you are into the science behind it and want to read all about hyaluronic acid click on this article I dug up from Hyalogic.com:  About Hyaluronic Acid 


Okay - So not surprisingly Indeed Labs say on their website that Hydraluron Moisture Jelly will:

"Provide immediate and long lasting moisture protection
Help skin regain optimal moisture levels
Defend against moisture loss and creates a protective film on skin’s surface"

as it...

"...helps provide both instant and long-term locked-in moisture to the skin through a sophisticated complex of 5 key actives, which support the natural protective layer of your skin, helping to restore moisture levels and defending against future loss..." , leading to softer, smoother and plumper skin as the hyaluronic acid improves the skin's hydration levels, stimulating collagen production.


My impressions:
You know I like good clever packaging so I can't go on to the rest of my review without addressing that first.  One little press of the top of the jar results in the hygienic delivery of precisely the right amount of product to moisturize my face as you can see above.  This means I don't have to worry about any waste or contaminating the jelly by dipping my fingers into the product.  I'm sure this isn't the only brand with this kind of packaging but I'm impressed the innovation - whoever came up with it! If you know, then feel free to educate me in the comments below.

This moisturizer is also an innovative product in my experience as the jelly formulation feels like nothing I've ever used before - it's cooling and refreshing at first, then sits like a 'second skin' on my face.  It's like I'm wearing an invisible barrier on my skin but there's not a hint of greasiness or tackiness, nor does it feel in any way suffocating (as I'd feared it might) and my skin feels smoother, moisturized and well, yes, 'plump'.  Any woman my age has got to love plumped up skin!

I've been wearing Hydraluron Moisture Jelly as my morning and night moisturizer as it works well as a makeup base too.  I have normal to combination, and infuriatingly occasionally sensitive skin and have had no issues with any breakouts since using this and because of the light jelly formula I think this would work well on younger, oilier skins also.  It's a refreshing feeling, long-lasting moisturizer and has opened my eyes to the point of difference of hyaluronic acid as a lighter way of hydrating the skin.


Ingredients:
water (aqua/eau), glycerin, pentylene glycol, glycereth-26, carbomer, glyceryl polyacrylate, trehalose,  urea, strelitzia nicolaiseed aril extract, sodium hydroxide, disodium EDTA, serine,  biosaccharide gum-1, algin, disodium phosphate, pullulan, sodiumhyaluronate, potassium phosphate, caprylyl glycol, phenoxyethanol.



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

12 July, 2015

Wet n Wild Color Shine Nail Color: Lady Luck

It's time to sport another old polish from the depths of my equally old Ikea Helmer cabinet!

I'd decided that the right shade of pink can be just as easily worn in the middle of winter as the middle of summer so Wet n Wild's Lady Luck is what I came up with for a quick cheer-me-up manicure.  Lady Luck is deeper shade of pink - almost fuchsia - with the barest hint of shimmer that only really reveals itself in the brightest light.  This polish was a travel souvenir from a friend a few years ago and I think it may be discontinued so I apologize again and I won't get into the application details - my point is that pink is a valid nail colour choice for winter, unless of course you're lucky enough to be enjoying the Northern summer right now!

Full sun


 Partial sun

How do you like to brighten up your winter?

08 July, 2015

The hunt for the perfect brown-red lipstick (shopping my stash)

Here's a fun post for Hump Day!

So, I alluded to my change of hair colour in my last post and how it's influenced my taste in other things - namely makeup! It's amazing (pretty logical really) how a new hair colour can get you out of a makeup rut.  Taking advantage of that brief window before the red tint fades from my lightened hair - as it inevitably does and is already - I'm suddenly all about wearing complimentary warmer shades of lipstick and that had me zeroing in on brown-red.

My knee-jerk reaction was to go out and buy a new tube of lippy (Great excuse right?) but I've done the sensible thing first - this time - and gone on a treasure hunt in my lipstick collection to see what I have in brown-red.  Brown-red...is that Pantone's Marsala?? Hmmm...  Before I let myself muse any more on that point, here are the three lipsticks I came up with...
  
L - R: 
MAC - Dubonnet, Natio - Flame, Revlon - Wine With Everything

  • MAC Dubonnet was the first lipstick I specifically dove into my collection for, as this Amplified formula lipstick is almost the colour of dried blood.  It definitely leans more to red but has the hint of brown to give it the warmth I'm looking for. This lipstick is by far the deepest shade in this trio and with its rich pigment and slight sheen it makes for a strong statement lip.  My only issue with this lipstick is because it's so dramatic and not a matte it requires more care to ensure it doesn't end up everywhere but on my lips when drinking and eating!
  • Natio Flame is a shade lighter and brighter than Dubonnet and sits more in the middle of red and brown so is the true brown-red.  This shade looks like terracotta on my lips and has more of a low maintenance semi-matte finish.  This is the newest of the three lipsticks, which I bought on an unsuspecting whim a few months ago and is my favourite of the bunch because it is exactly what I was looking for in terms of colour and finish for a daytime lipstick. Success!
  • Revlon Wine With Everything is an old tube (as you can see by the outdated packaging above) but this colour is a Revlon classic and still available in their core range of Super Lustrous lipsticks. This leans more towards the cooler end of the red spectrum as a plummier red, so kind of misses the brown-red mark although it still flatters strawberry-blonde hair, and is an appropriately classic rediscovery for a winter lip.

The swatches (top to bottom in the same order as above):

Besides having obvious fun playing in my own little makeup pit, the end result of this exercise were the realisations that:

I actually do have the perfect brown-red lipstick in my collection;
I don't need to go lipstick shopping after all;
I've embraced Pantone's colour of the year....maybe???
My own stash is the first place to shop!


When did you last shop your own makeup collection?


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