28 August, 2015

Priti NYC Polish: Lambstail Cactus

A little while ago I won two bottles of Priti NYC nail polish from Australian online natural and organic beauty store Bare Naturals in my choice of colours! *does a happy dance*

I'd heard of Priti NYC - 5 Free, non-toxic, vegan polish - but this is the first opportunity I've had to try anything from the range.  Lambstail Cactus was my first choice and I was impressed immediately.  The polish was that perfectly smooth consistency so it applied easily and evenly and I had no issues with flooding or thick application.  And shall I talk about the colour? This is a deep taupe with tiny, almost holographic sparkles.  I just wish I could have captured it better in the pictures below.  This is two coats of colour with - you guessed it - top coat.

All pictures taken indoors in artificial light:

Have you tried Priti NYC polish? Do you have any shade recommendations? The other shade I received is a grape cream called Geisha Girl.

26 August, 2015

Review: Veet Easy Wax Electrical Roll On Kit

 I pretty much DIY most things beauty and grooming related so unsurprisingly I'm a DIY...erm, defuzzer...

Over the years I've tried shaving, depilatory creams, abrasive mitts, drippy old hot and cold wax tubs, and pre-waxed strips all with their varying results.  These days I either use the good old razor or pre-waxed strips.  Recently I was given the chance to try Veet's Easy Wax Electrical Roll On Kit so being the DIY-er that I am I was happy to do so - and just in time to prepare for my vacation to the hot Singapore climate too.

Veet says their roll on kit is "...an easy to use heated wax system that gives you salon-wax results at home..." as Veet's Easy Wax, made from the same ingredients as salon wax, is able to remove hair as short as 2mm right from the roots for a result that "...leaves your skin soft and touchably smooth."

As shown below the kit contains everything you need to get started:

The self heating device and cap;
A base to stand the device while heating and in between wax application;
A 50 ml roll-on wax refill, specially designed for use on legs & arms;
12 non-woven strips for wax, and of course hair removal;
1 instruction leaflet;
4 Perfect Finish Wipes to clean up any wax residue after waxing; and,
An electrical cable
All the necessary bits and pieces:

My step by step impressions:

(1) Assemble
Following the instruction leaflet I found the unit very straightforward to put together in 4 steps: popping the wax refill into the heating device first, connecting the electrical cable into the device, plugging it in to the electrical socket, then popping the device onto the stand while waiting for it to heat.

(2) Wait
While the minimum heating time is 20 minutes my wax took closer to the maximum required 40 minutes for my wax to heat sufficiently so some patience may be required in this step.  As the instructions suggested, I periodically tested the wax flow by rolling the device across some paper until the wax started to appear across the roller.

(3) Apply wax
I found it very easy to control where the - hot pink! - wax was applied and able to roll it on my leg in one continuous motion with absolutely no mess or drips and no waste. This method of application is a genuine improvement on older hot and cold wax tubs I've used in the past where runny wax was oozing and dripping off spatulas and basically getting everywhere I didn't want it!

(4) Remove the hair
This step is pretty straightforward too. I applied a strip at a time onto the waxed area, smoothed it down in the direction of the hair growth, then holding the skin taut I pulled the strip off quickly, opposite to the direction of the hair growth and - Voila! Every short stubby hair was trapped on the strip and gone from my legs.  I used the Perfect Finish Wipes to remove any wax left behind on my skin although I did find it took a little bit of elbow grease to get the skin completely wax-free

(5) End result?
I was pretty impressed because...my legs were smooth and hair-free afterward as promised and...best of all from my perspective...the unit was very easy to disassemble and put away and there was absolutely no sticky, waxy mess to clean up afterward! To be perfectly honest, if I'm in a hurry I'll probably still reach for pre-waxed strips as a fallback hair removal method, but where I can I spare a bit more DIY grooming time I'll choose this unit as the most effective method for removing even those short, pesky little leg hairs, and - yes - it's amazingly mess-free!  It's always nice to have choices isn't it?

Ingredients: Veet EasyWax™ refill 50ml
 Triethylene Glycol Rosinate, Glyceryl Rosinate, Polyethylene, Parfum, Paraffinum Liquidum, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, CI 77891, CI 15850

Ingredients: Veet Perfect Finish Wipes
Paraffinum Liquidum, Hexyldecyl Stearate, Parfum, Tocopheryl Acetate, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Peel Oil, Limonene, Cedrus Atlantica Bark Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil


To find out more about the Veet Easy Wax Electrical Roll On Kit or other Veet hair removal products (including pre-waxed strips) visit their website here: www.veet.com.au

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

24 August, 2015

Fuso Nail Enamel: Number 56

Hello and here I am back again from my mini-break!

I've been playing more with indoor lighting for my nail swatches and sometimes it just doesn't work but sometimes it works splendidly, especially when showcasing glitters and shimmers in their true glory - case in point is this budget nail polish from Fuso.  

Fuso is a brand I came across in Singapore a few years ago and this polish, simply called 56 is a vampilicious stunner.  It's a deep black-red jelly with tiny bits of glitter swimming about, giving it that little bit of extra dimension and considering this is a jelly it offered completely opaque coverage in two coats. This wore really well too and I loved it so much it ended up on my toes for my vacation pedi!

I'm tempted to keep taking my swatch pictures this way but what are your thoughts on these indoor-lit pictures?

14 August, 2015

See you in a week!

Hi lovelies!

I thought I'd better let you know there won't be much activity around here for the next seven days or so because Hubby and I are taking a little trip to Singapore to celebrate his birthday!

Normal posting will resume after the 22nd of August.

Chat soon!

12 August, 2015

July's farewelled products

Oops, I'm just a little late with last month's empties so I'll get straight into it...

Skin care

78) Garnier 2in1 Express Eye-Makeup Remover (125ml) - This works just as well as any biphase makeup remover and I'm partial to purple so the purple tinted solution did win me over! Did it strengthen my lashes? I don't really know.

Hand and body care

79) Lemongrass & Ginger Aromabotanical Hand Soap (300ml/10fl.oz) - I really enjoyed the zesty freshness of this hand soap and the generous sized bottle lasted quite a while too.

80) Salus Eucalyptus & Rosemary Purifying Body Scrub (250ml/8.46oz) - This gel scrub smells strongly of eucalyptus but I personally find that scent very invigorating so it was a pleasure to use. Bamboo and pumice granules did an excellent job of exfoliating my skin without too much vigorous rubbing, and aloe soothed and moisturised my skin. In short - excellent spa quality stuff that I can see myself repurchasing in future!

81) The Body Shop Body Butter Duo (Sweet Pea) - This has been discontinued so I won't get into it too much. The sweet pea scent was subtle and not too distracting. On the minus side the supposedly lighter formula 'normal skin areas' formula took much longer to absorb than the 'dry skin areas'.

82) L'Occitane Dry Skin Hand Cream (30ml) - If you're a regular visitor here you may have seen this before.  This is simply one of my favourite extra-emollient hand creams that I particularly favour in the cooler months when my hands need extra TLC.

Hair care

83) Original Mineral Conquer Blonde Silver Shampoo (250ml/8.4fl.oz) - I've already bought another bottle of this purple shampoo because:  it keeps brassiness under control in my (back to) blonde hair;  it's the same brand my hairdresser uses;  it's free from parabens and other nasties;  and it's not tested on animals.

84) Original Mineral Fine Intellect Conditioner (350ml/11.8fl.oz) - I've repurchased this too because it boosts my fine hair and for all the other reasons I've listed above.

85) Marc Anthony Coconut Oil & Shea Butter Deep Nourishing Conditioning Treatment (50ml/1.69fl.oz)* - I got 5 or 6 uses out of this sachet on my short-medium hair for weekly in-shower hair treatments.  I loved the coconut scent and my hair was deeply conditioned without being weighed down.


86) Savvy By DB Concealer (Light)* - This concealer did a great job of covering up blemishes although the light shade was not really light enough to brighten the under eye area which is the area I mostly use concealer for.


87) Tom Ford Velvet Orchid EDP (.05fl.oz/1.5ml) - A typically heavy, noirish, complex TF fragrance although perhaps just a little smoother than Black Orchid?  Top notes: bergamot, mandarin, Succan absolute (purified rum extract) and honey. Middle notes: an imaginary accord of black orchid blended with notes of velvet orchid, which gives the perfume its name; Turkish rose oil, jasmine and a new accord of purple orchid that grows in the wilds of southern Brazilian coast, orange blossom, rose absolute, narcissus, hyacinth and heliotrope. Base notes:  Peru balsam, myrrh, labdanum, sandalwood, suede and vanilla.

88) Penhaligon's of London Peoneve EDP (.05fl.oz/1.5ml) - I adored this fresh, natural spring floral scent and took to liberally dousing myself with the small vial.  It's not complicated, just pretty, as demonstrated by the simplicity of the notes.  Top note is violet leaf; middle notes are jasmine, rose and peony; base notes are vetiver, musk and cashmeran.

And behold the month's samples...

So there you have it until another month flies by!

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

08 August, 2015

OPI: I Don't Give A Rotterdam

I'm so over the Melbourne weather at the moment - grey and cold, cold and grey, and so it goes on repeat...

Today's blue-grey nail swatch is loosely in keeping with the weather although it's by no means a depressing or drab manicure shade.  OPI released I Don't Give A Rotterdam in their Spring 2012 Holland collection so that should speak for itself! OPI describe IDGAR as a "sassy steel-blue shimmer" and I'd describe it as all kinds of lovely - the shimmer is a light gold fleck that lifts the blue-grey water colour polish into something a bit more - for want of a better, more original term - pretty, I guess.  It makes me think of lightweight pastel knitted sweaters and all other things early spring.  The formula was sheerer and more watery than what I'm used to with OPI so I needed three coats for full effect.  It was totally worth the effort though - I adored wearing this manicure last week...

All pictures taken in indirect daylight:

Until next time!

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.)

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