30 March, 2014

REVIEW: Dirty Works Glow Girl! Buttery Salt Scrub & Supreme Cream Body Butter

If you follow my empties posts at all you'll know I'm a fan of exfoliating scrubs and body butters - if you didn't well you do know now! Of course when I was offered the opportunity to review Dirty Works' Glow Girl! Buttery Salt Scrub, partnered with their Supreme Cream Body Butter I jumped onto it as my first taste of this UK brand now available in Australia. 

Glow Girl! Buttery Salt Scrub (300ml tub)

Ingredients list:
Aqua, Pumice, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceril Stearate, Parfum, Isopropyl Myristate, Sodium Polyacrylate, Prunus Persica (Peach) Kernal Shell, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Xanthan Gum, Maris Sal (Sea Salt), 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1, 3-Diol, Hexyl Cinnnamal, Limonene. 

My impressions:
Dutifully following the instructions on the tub I scooped out a handful of the scrub, promptly losing some of it onto the shower floor! My first piece of advice is to be just a little bit careful with scooping out this scrub because it is a little runnier than some.  In my enthusiasm, and being overly generous (greedy?) I learned that the hard way.  You can get an idea of the consistency in the picture below on my fingertip:

Consistency aside I've enjoyed using the scrub so far. The exfoliation is done with a combination of Pumice, Sea Salt and ground Peach Kernels - I was expecting the salt to sting my eczema-afflicted hands when I rubbed my skin with it but I had no problems at all.  Because of the non-dissolving exfoliants included the scrub can be applied on quite wet skin and it will still do the job of exfoliating for as long as you care to gently rub it onto your skin - the grains are the right size to exfoliate without any scratching or reddening.  Of course because the grains don't dissolve you should follow the advice on the side of the jar to make sure to rinse the shower (or bath) thoroughly afterwards to avoid any gritty feeling under your feet.

After rinsing off and patting dry my skin definitely felt smoother, was lightly moisturised without any filminess at all and lightly scented.  As a matter of fact the shower and bathroom had a distinctly 'beachy' salty scent afterward too which I absolutely loved.  Just the antidote to any cold weather blues!

Because of the slightly runny consistency (my one criticism), and me being prone to grabbing big handfuls of this stuff to scrub down my arms and legs in the shower I have a feeling I will power through my Buttery Salt Scrub fairly quickly but at $9.95 I think it's an affordable indulgence.  Most importantly it does the job it's supposed to by gently and effectively exfoliating the skin - and I love the summery beachy scent.

Supreme Cream Body Butter (300ml tub)

Ingredients list:
Aqua, Glycerine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Isopropyl Myristate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Parfum, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Extract, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Cinnamyl Alcohol, Citronellol, Eugenol, Geraniol, Citral.

 My impressions:
As you can see in the above pictures Supreme Cream Body Butter is as rich and thick in consistency as you'd expect.  It contains Soybean Oil, Shea Butter and Cocoa Seed Butter as key moisturising ingredients and I found only a small amount - say twice of that shown above on my fingertip - was easily enough to moisturise my arms, paying special attention to my elbows.  This body butter has enough slip that it literally glided onto my skin like - well - butter, absorbing very quickly and easily into my skin.  Best of all my skin felt soft and silky with no greasiness or tackiness, making it easy to get dressed immediately afterward - I've gotta love a body butter like that for when I'm in a morning rush!

Supreme Cream Body Butter has the same subtly beachy scent as Glow Girl! Buttery Salt Scrub so it partners perfectly with it.  Because I only need a small amount I can see this tub will last me a long time and is a great quality budget buy at $9.95.  I can definitely see myself throwing this into my supermarket trolley in future. 

The Dirty Works range is available at Coles stores nationally.

(Both products were provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

27 March, 2014

Sally Hansen Sugar Coat: Bubble Plum

I remember when I thought smooth and glossy was the only way to go with polish but I have really embraced textured polish in a big way these days.  Sally Hansen got in on the act a few months ago with their (unfortunately) all too limited edition range of Sugar Coat polishes.  When they originally released I passed them over, only buying 2 shades when they'd already started to disappear from stands.  I'm actually kicking myself now for hesitating because my first impressions as posted here are really positive. 

Bubble Plum is a matte pink-purple (or purple-pink) which obviously brings bubble gum to mind but I also think it's a good candidate for a variation on Pantone's colour of the year Radiant Orchid.   Two coats applied really easily and precisely, and dried down quickly to reveal the textured finish.  Because there's no sparkle or glitter it looks like a crazy coloured concrete render job on my nails but I really fell in love with it. I was expecting removal to be challenging but it was extremely easy, and much the same as a more conventional polish.

I'd really love to see this finish in dark autumnal shades like burgundy, navy blue or a regal purple too.

Until next time!

26 March, 2014

YSL Spring Collection 2014 picks

So my first makeup purchase of 2014 was driven by a rapidly building obsession for orange lipstick.  My second, and third - both featured here - were driven by a longer held obsession, acquired from the moment I first eyed YSL's Spring 2014 collection at the start of the year.  I have a well shared weakness for pretty things and the YSL Flower Crush collection seduced me instantly with its combination of floral embossed gilt packaging, pretty spring colours and the promise of...
 "Whorls of petals. A rush of roses and peonies.
A whirlwind of a thousand flowers envelops the Saint Laurent woman in a soft, feverishly sensual cloud. Flower crush..."
I gritted my teeth, saved my money and held out for the Australian release, ready to literally swoop on that counter. As it happens I didn't do the swooping but my partner in YouTube crime did - thank you Ling for performing my personal shopper duties yet again!  I was initially deciding between the 5 colour eye palette, Pivoine Crush or the Rosy Blush and in the end decided on both.  Call me indecisive but I think I was very decisive when I made that choice.

Pivoine Crush Ombrés 5 Lumières Eye Palette

The YSL website describes this palette as:
 "A collector eye palette with 5 vibrant eye shadow shades inspired by the perfect spring flower storm..."
Indeed the palette design itself has a highly collectable appeal. The bowerbird in me attracted to pretty shiny things was powerless to resist it based on that alone! The bright colours within are a bit of a departure from my usual choices of purples and taupes and in the palette they actually look a little too bright for comfort - I don't want to look theatrical (or as though I have an eye inflammation!) but swatching quickly put any concerns to rest.  The mostly warm shades are all surprisingly soft, even when applied over primer.  Some of the shades have a subtle sparkle but there's nothing over the top in the selection.  If you're after a very bright or shimmery look then this may disappoint but for someone like me who likes to dabble in colour in a subtle everyday way it's going to be perfect and I look forward to experimenting: 
Rosy Blush Duo Collector Face Palette
YSL refers to this beauty as:
"...a creamy powder that sculpts and illuminates the complexion. A collector face creamy powder palette that displays a graphic motif to unveil 2 marble pink shades that swirl and unravel an arty rose petal motif."
The blush is a duo of non-shimmery soft pastel pink blush swirled with a golden pink highlight shade in a ridiculously pretty, rather organic looking design in the pan.  YSL recommends the matte pink shade be used for sculpting the cheeks, then applying the golden highlight on the cheekbones however I've been swirling both shades together for a subtle pink glow on my cheeks - maybe because I'm fair skinned I find this works beautifully for a daytime look and I just love it because I get a healthy pink glow without anything too obvious.  Yes, there is a bit of sparkle but not too otherworldly for me so I am 100% in love with this!
  I can see that if you have medium to darker skin this won't do much for you as a blush, although it could probably still work as a highlight.  I've also read it can be layered over other blush to add a subtle glow.
Swirled and swatched on my arm:
These pretty things were both very much an indulgence for me but I don't regret them at all - like I said I'm a sucker for pretty and these are undeniably pretty and, importantly, wearable too. If you like pink then this might just be your thing. Both of these items are limited edition so you need to be quick to snap them up!
Until next time.

18 March, 2014

Revlon Parfumerie: Wintermint

Now for another variation in the wonderful world of nail polish.  We've seen pastels, neons, metallics, multichromes, holos, glitter, matte, and many more different textures so let's progress onto sensory stimulation of a different kind. Moving on from sight and touch let's get onto smell...
Scented polish isn't a new thing and Revlon themselves have done this before but this time around they've made it more enticing and fresh with the new perfume style bottles and wide range of shades in their Parfumerie range.  I wasn't really taken in by the scent gimmick in itself but some of the colours appealed to me so during a recent sale I pounced on a few bottles to try. 

Wintermint caught my eye first because it reminds me so much of Deborah Lippmann's Mermaid's Dream and not owning the Lippmann original I was keen to try this drugstore version.  The silvery blue-green polish needs two coats for opaque coverage and along with larger pieces of blue glitter it's filled with fine glitter so it dries down to a very gritty finish.  Once dry the gentle candy mint scent develops and I did enjoy it - I was surprised to still catch occasional subtle wafts of the scent over a few days actually! I didn't apply top coat and without it this polish did take a few hours to completely harden on my nails.

Let's hope they don't invent flavoured nail polish next! It wouldn't exactly help nail biters now would it!!!
Have you tried any of the Parfumerie polishes?

17 March, 2014

St Patricks Day mani: L'Oreal - Wasabi Mint & Sally Hansen - Scale Up

Happy St Patricks Day! 
It's the day when everything has an excuse to be green - including nails...and beer!
I didn't have time to be too creative this year so went for a simple accented mani.  I opted for two coats of L'Oreal Wasabi Mint over all of my nails for the vibrant creamy green base and finished off with two coats of Sally Hansen's green flakie polish Scale Up on my ring and pinky fingers.  Both polishes are newish in my collection and both performed well - Wasabi Mint could have easily been a one-coater and Scale Up with its green, gold and blue sparkle was just the right flakie for the job.  Because it's late and I want to get this post up before we end St Patty's here in Melbourne I'll stop right here!
All photos taken in indirect daylight
Until next time!

15 March, 2014

Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Color - 96 Excentrique (AKA fulfilling my orange lipstick obsession)

Well...after 8 makeup empties I'm finally posting my first beauty diet reward buy of the year and OMG did this develop into one hell of an obsession leading up to the purchase!

I know I have an obsessive personality at times and when I get a fixation there's no way of getting around it - it just builds and builds and builds!  Much like a chocolate craving where I try eating my way around it but inevitably I will cave - Aargh!!! Yes as per usual it started innocently enough with an evening in the other world of Pinterest when I pored over all the orange-lipsticked  muses and realised that, perhaps, maybe, I didn't have a true orange lipstick? Orange-red, yes indeed I do have that, but true orange? This progressed - logically in my mind - on to what were the perfect true orange lipsticks which led me to Chanel Excentrique...

True to form it's the last thing to catch my eye that I must have first! And here it is...


Because of the unfortunate natural lighting situation in my bedroom Excentrique does look more orange-red in these pictures but, oh my, it is most definitely ORANGE in real life!  For reference Chanel describes it as "Intense Apricot" which should give you the idea. 

I don't know if you want me to go on about the packaging (and this is not a new line) so I'll keep it to the point:  obviously the lipstick casing is in keeping with the signature minimalist Chanel look of sleek shiny black and the yellow gold bullet smoothly slides out with the press of a finger, which is something of a novelty for me. 

The formula is quite intensely pigmented and wears very comfortably with a semi-matte finish on my lips. I can only imagine how perfect a true red in this formula would look, although one tube will do me for now while I'm on my beauty diet. Chanel says this lipstick formula contains "... concentrated, ultra-thin pigments...offers radically intense, long-wearing colour with full coverage and a satin finish. Leaves lips supple and protected with lasting comfort."  While I agree I'll stand by my opinion on Tom Ford and Bite Beauty lipsticks as having superior moisturising properties for my lips because of their creamier formulations. However as far as semi-matte lipsticks go Rouge Allure has to be one of the most comfortable I've tried and I'm not unhappy I made the leap - even if it was driven by my obsession with the colour!  Wear time is good as you'd expect and I got through about 4 hours and my midmorning coffee before I had to freshen up the colour.  Pricewise this sits between Bite Beauty and Tom Ford at $50AUD.

 Swatched on the back of my hand

And on my lips. I love how orange brightens up my whole face.

What's your latest colour obsession?

12 March, 2014

Natio: Rosy Glow

Now for one of the prettiest pinks I've worn in a while...
Rosy Glow is from Natio's Little Treasures collection and I truly love the unabashed prettiness of this strawberry ice cream shade of pink.  I know this is a spring colour but really, when does pretty ever go out of style? Don't answer that and burst my bubble okay? Anyway who doesn't like something that reminds them of strawberry ice cream? Two coats was all it took to obtain a perfectly opaque finish.



Until next time!

10 March, 2014

VIDEO POST: Summer's Beauty Misses

It's time for the second and final part of our summer beauty miniseries:  the beauty "misses".  This little video features a small number of products that didn't quite live up to Ling's or my expectations.

 I'm going to go ahead and admit it though:  I was a little harsh in my impressions of the Evodia body mist and I'm backpedalling a little now.  I've discovered it does linger quite well on my skin as long as I've moisturised first! Let that be a lesson learnt.  Yes, I've got a little disclaimer in the video too...

Products in order of presentation:
Evodia - Champagne Melon Body Mist Cologne
Maybelline - Dream Matte Powder
L'Oreal - Caresse Shine
Hourglass - Illusion Tinted Moisturiser

All suggestions for a good mattifying pressed powder will be gratefully accepted!!!

That's all for now.

09 March, 2014

L'Oreal: 916 Confetti Top Coat

I grabbed this top coat a few weeks ago and because it's something slightly different from my usual glitter top coats I had to put it on immediately - literally the same day I bought it! 
L'Oreal Confetti is one of those one size fits all glitter top coats because the monochrome mix of black and white glitter means it can be used over anything. I threw mine over a hot pink base just because that's what I happened to be wearing and it looked great.  I look forward to dressing up many other colours with this little topper...
All pictures taken in indirect daylight:
What do you think of Confetti?

07 March, 2014

February's farewelled products (and beauty diet update)

Another month of the usual beauty product carnage - and I've been doing pretty well on the beauty diet too! So well that I'm now reaping rewards and finally shopping for items on my wish list.  I'll save those for another post (or two)...
Hand and body care
No facial skincare this month funnily enough.  All body products this time!
12) Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser (500ml) - My reliable old in shower soap-free Cetaphil makes a return to the empties, although I've downsized to the 500ml bottle because the 1 litre was too impractically big for the shower caddy.  Expect more of these throughout the year, especially when winter hits and my skin gets that sensitive dry skin itch happening again.
13) Soap & Glory Hand Food (50ml) - This was gifted to me by a close friend and I immediately fell in love with the scent! The scent is the highlight of this hand cream for me (sure it does contain Shea Butter, Macadamia Oil and Marshmallow too) so I can feel the need building to explore the Soap & Glory range in search of more of that delicious scent.  Oh yeah, back onto the hand cream:  I didn't find it too greasy and it penetrated well. It's not a super heavy duty hand cream so I'd probably need something richer in the cooler months although it's perfectly fine as an everyday handbag option.

14) OPI Expert Touch Lacquer Remover (120ml/4 fl.oz) - On par with my average of around a bottle per month this is my second bottle for the year.

15) La Clinica Dry Skin Relief Body Butter (250ml/8.5 fl.oz) - Ling's getting me onto La Clinica in a big way so this is going to be the first of a long list of La Clinica products I'm going to finish over the coming months.  This rich body butter is scented with Vanilla and contains Organic Rose Hip Oil, as well as Sweet Almond Oil, Shea Butter and Sandalwood Oil.  Further down the list it even contains Patchouli and Ylang Ylang which explains the exotic aroma - vanilla with a bit of added depth and mystery so this is your everyday vanilla body butter's sexier friend.  I found this very thick and rich so learnt very quickly that a little goes a looooong way - use too much and it can sit on top of the skin - used sparingly gets the best results and meant this jar lasted a long time too.

16) Natio Wellness Body Scrub (450g/15.8 z) - Yet another deliciously scented body product! I love all the products in Natio's Wellness range and they all have the same wonderful pomegranate scent.  This almost jelly-like scrub contains sugar, apricot seed powder and "antioxidant pomegranate" so it can be applied on dry or damp skin for a gentle exfoliation.  It also leaves the skin feeling rather silky and moisturised afterward. I must admit I do tend to use too much when the product comes in a tub, scooping out generous handfuls but I did enjoy using it.

Hair care
17) L'Oreal Professionnel Volume Expand Volumising Root Lift Spray for fine hair (125ml/4.2 fl. oz) - I really didn't love this product.  Rather than lifting my hair it made it almost sticky to the touch and look more in need of a wash when it had been just washed.  It's not like I was using that much either, as I sparingly spritzed twice or maybe three times over my entire head.  Not repurchasing this one!
As you can see there's been more progress with the makeup empties on my beauty diet! Since writing this post I've finished another item so I'm now up to 7 for the year.  Joining me on this downsizing exercise are Anissa and Norlin and we have been cheering each other on all month.
18) MAC Frost Eye Shadow (Vex) - If I tell you this is the second pan I've finished of this particular eye shadow then you'll get the idea of how much I love it. This multidimensional shimmery beige/green/pink shade works beautifully on its own or paired with a deeper accent. I will repurchase at some stage I'm sure.
19) No 7 Lipstick (Blossoming Pink) - I won this lipstick a few years ago in a blog giveaway from the empties queen herself, Claire of UK blog Eyelining Obsessions.  I had no trouble finishing this glossy mauve lipstick at all because it was very much a MLBB for me and went with literally everything.  I've just visited the Boots UK website and this lipstick still appears there but is out of stock - I'm pretty sure it was a LE but I'd be happy to be corrected on that!
20) MAC Slimshine (Gentle Simmer) - Discontinued and I bought it a while ago.  It was a very pretty glossy peach nude but it disappeared very quickly from my lips and obviously in the tube too.
21) MAC Lip Glass (Sizzle Peach) - Another old LE lip colour from an old holiday collection.  Kind of weird silvery peach with yucky chunky glitter.  I suppose I could have just thrown it out but opted to wear it around the house instead.  That probably makes me seem kind of weird too now that I ponder it. 
These two fragrances were Spring/Summer favourites so it makes sense they gave it up last month...
22)  L'Occitane - Pivoine Flora (EDT 75ml) - Notes:  bergamot, grapefruit, green notes, peony, magnolia, violet, vanilla, cedar, musk.  I saw this soft green floral as very much a spring scent. It's soft and subtle, with no sharp edge and a work-appropriate everyday choice.

23)  YSL - Elle Summer Edition (EDT 90ml) - Notes:  Grapefruit, sambac jasmine, pink pepper, benzoin, amber.  A summer favourite fragrance and I would repurchase either this or the original Elle because I've loved wearing both.  I love the layers of this fragrance as it clearly starts off with the fruity grapefruit freshness then settles down to the amber base. 
 So that's it for the February empties!

05 March, 2014

Revlon: Sweet Tart

I'm still parading my summer manicures - and loving it!
Sweet Tart is a classic Revlon polish and is a hot pink cream with a subtle kiss of coral saving it from being too bubblegummy.  Does that make sense? I hope so! The application was typically Revlon - average and nothing to rave about, partly due to the thin brush and partly due to the slightly watery formula.  Okay so it's a middle of the road product but this is still an awesomely summery pink and universally flattering for a bright.  This is two coats with top coat.

Until next time!

04 March, 2014

Rimmel: Misty Jade

I nominated Rimmel's Misty Jade nail polish as one of summer's greatest hits in my last video post and it was a genuine discovery for me, a sleeper hit if you like because this has been available in Rimmel's 'I Heart Lasting Finish' range for ages - and yes this is a permanent shade so even better it's still available!

Misty Jade seems to be the shade du jour actually - it's that popular cool jade green that's popping up everywhere at the moment.  As a matter of fact L'Oreal has just released a very similar green polish and has declared it the "shade of the season". I totally get it too because jade green pairs perfectly with the bright orange lip look that I've been obsessing over lately and that's why I dug it out to wear in the first place.  Now why do I love this polish so much?  Not just the colour but the finish:  this baby applies like the proverbial dream and looks like a gel polish on my nails with a shine that would not quit for the entire week. 

What do you think of the "shade of the season"?

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