31 July 2013

Life Update

Hello!

I feel like I haven't blogged in AGES but I've been meaning to do one of these update thingies for anyone who cares. (This will be a rather wordy post without pictures. Sorry!)

Firstly, it's my birthday tomorrow!!! The last birthday as a "single" woman. I'm still not sure how I feel about that. I was planning on sitting on my bum all day on the couch, watching tv but that went out the window (reason will be revealed later). So instead, I'll be celebrating my birthday over dinner with family on Saturday. I have been wanting to do a birthday giveaway, but I haven't any funds (yet). So I'll hopefully get one up and running in a month or two (after I pay off some wedding bills).

Now for why my original plans flew out the window... I've got a job! It's a casual temporary job (and by casual, I mean a full-time-ish job - 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday), which has the potential to turn full-time if I'm able to prove myself. I started on Monday, and have been struggling quite a bit. Not only am I struggling with having to wake up so early to get to work and coming home when it's dark, but also the responsibilities that I have been given. It requires a lot of "prying", and I'm not someone who loves to pry... ok maybe I am, but not at work. Work was much better today, and I'm hoping that it'll get better as days go by.

I'm still weighing up the pros and cons of working. Here's my list so far
Pros:
  • Money to go shopping
  • Everyone is so nice where I work
  • I'm working for a company in my field of study (can be a con too).
Cons:
  • Have to wake up at 6.15am every working day. :(
  • Go to bed at around 9-10pm, so I don't get grumpy during the day = no life or time to do anything, including shopping.
  • Takes about one hour to travel to and from work.
  • Travelling with school kids in the morning.
  • Uncertain about wanting to continue working in this field of work.
Cons is winning, but I really do like the people at work. Everyone is so amazingly nice and patient with me, so I think I'm going to stick around for as long as they'll have me.

Lastly, I wanted to update anyone who is interested in getting their eyes lasered (if you haven't read about my first post, click here). My vision is (near) perfect. I'm still amazed at how clearly I can see. I'm currently on my last bottle of eye drops (1 drop in each eye, 3 times a day), and whilst that is annoying to have to keep remembering to put eye drops in, it is so worth it. I'm not sure if I mentioned this in the epi-LASIK post I did two months ago, but I developed a little bump on my left eye. Whilst I cannot feel it, I've been told that it has affected my vision (minorly, as I do not notice any blurriness). I've been to an eye specialist twice over a month and on the second visit, I've been informed that the bump has flattened slightly but it is still there and is visible to the naked eye. Hopefully it will go away, but I'm not too fussed at the moment, as I'm currently enjoying my near-perfect vision. I'd highly recommend this procedure if you're on the fence, as I certainly do not regret doing it despite my slight complication.

Anyway, I'm hoping to get some blog posts up over the weekend, so stay tuned for those. Sorry again for this wordy, picture-less post. Thanks for reading (and caring) if you're reading this! :)

26 July 2013

Colours of the Rainbow Tag

I was tagged by Sophie from Born To Buy to do this tag. If you have no idea who Sophie is, please for the love of bloggers, go visit her blog! She's amaaaazing!

I decided to do this tag a little differently to hers (read here). I'm going to pick only one product from each colour and the colours categories are ROY-G-BIV (red,orange,yellow,green,blue,indigo,violet) and pink. I could not for the life of me find a multi-coloured product that I truly love, so I'm cutting that out.

RED
Furless Kabuki Brush
Although this 2-toned red kabuki brush from Furless is now discontinued, I thought I'd throw it in this tag anyway because I haven't found a Furless brush I don't love, and they have a 2-toned black kabuki brush in stock (buy here for A$11.95). I also own another kabuki brush in a 2-toned yellow, and that lives at my fiance's (Mike). I use either one every day for setting my foundation with a pressed powder. It does not shed and its so fluffy and soft! It's also cruelty free and vegan!

ORANGE
Kerastase Nectar Thermique
I don't use this as a heat protector, as I rarely use any heat on my hair. Instead, I use this to tame frizz and help put moisture back into my extremely dry, chemically damaged locks. It doesn't weigh my hair down when I use it on dry hair (but I don't use a lot). I loved it so much, I purchased another one from HQHair to use at Mike's.

YELLOW
Nexcare Acne Patch
I mentioned these acne patches (a different packaging) on a "Products That Saved My Life" post (read here). Amazing stickers that sucks up the gunk/oil from pimples, except it only works on ones that are secreting oil or are the ones that white and are extremely tempting to pop. You can purchase these from sasa.

GREEN
Skinetica
Another acne-treating product that I've mentioned in my "Products That Saved My Life" post (read here). I love that this has no harsh chemicals and is not greasy. I also love that it does not affect my makeup, as it does not leave any oily residue (or any residue). You can purchase Skinetica here.

BLUE
Maybelline Baby Skin Pore Eraser
I did a full review here. An excellent primer that really softens and smooths the skin. It is comparable to Benefit's Porefessional. But this one is translucent and less expensive. You can purchase this from sasa for US$11.50.
 
INDIGO
Dior DiorBlush in 553 Peachy Keen
 I've only used this blush a handful of times but I absolutely love it. It's a great peachy coloured blush that I think is perfect all year round. One side of it is matte (left side) and the other side is sparkly (right side). The only downsides are that it attracts fingerprints like crazy and the price.

 VIOLET
Urban Decay Brow Box in Brown Sugar
This isn't exactly violet, but close enough! I did a review on this here. Absolutely love everything about this brow box - from the colours of the powders to the brush! I received this as a present for either my birthday or Christmas from Mike. I did repurchase another to use at his place, but I can't remember where I bought it from. I think it was from HQHair.

PINK
Laura Mercier Lip Glace Baby Doll
I did a quick review here. I love everything about this lip gloss. It's not sticky. It smells amazing. The colour is so pretty and it's so easy to pair this lip gloss with lipsticks! 

So that is it for my Colours of the Rainbow Tag. If you would like to do this tag, consider yourself tagged. Feel free to leave your link to the tag in the comments below, as I'd love to read!

22 July 2013

Violet Box - July 2013

I received my Violet Box today, along with my Lust Have It box (read here). I feel the need to compare the two, so tough titties if you don't like that. I still find it funny that I received Wantable, which came from USA, before these two Australian boxes.

The box closely resembled that of Lust Have It. The only difference is it is black with the violet box logo on the bottom right corner and a ribbon on the side of the box, which not only makes it more visually appealing but also ensures the box stays shut.

Contents of Violet Box July
 Loving that the majority of products received are makeup!

1. Adorn Cosmetics Eye Shadow Samples (RRP: $15 for 1g)
"Natural, non-toxic, organic, Australian. For women on the go conscious of a cleaner and greener lifestyle. Every day glamour is no longer bland! Create a mood with our range of toxic free natural and versatile colours. Adorn... Look good and feel better... Naturally!"

I received two shades - Coral Pearl and Golden Quartz. Both colours are part of Adorn Cosmetics' Eye Create Intensive Shadow range. I'm not sure if I'm meant to receive one intensive shadow sample and one matte, as it says "Adorn Cosmetics Eye Create Intensive Shadow, Shade and Eye Create Matte Shadow" on the information card. Regardless, I do like both of these shades. I'm an eyeshadow n00b, and I like using neutral shades when I can be bothered to incorporate eyeshadow in my makeup routine. The only two things that I'm not a big fan of are that they are a tat too glittery and they're loose powders. I'm a bit of a klutz, so loose powder and I don't mix very well.

L-R: Coral Pearl; Golden Quartz
 2. Catalina Geo Long and Deep Mascara (plus refill) - RRP: $31.50
"Eyes and brow - long and deep mascara is lengthening to the lashes and water resistant, but comes off with ease when cleansed. Particularly suitable for sensitive eyes, containing allatoin, vitamins B5 and E, which relieves irritation, repair damage and hydrate. Comes with a bonus refill."

I'm impressed that this comes with a refill. However, the whole idea of throwing away a mascara after a few months is the bacterial growth in your mascara tube right? Well, what's the point of a refill, if you have to re-use the wand, which has been soaking in the old tube of bacteria-infested mascara? Regardless, it's nice to have essentially received two tubes of mascara that is suited for sensitive eyes and waterproof.

3. ModelCo SHINE Ultra Lip Gloss in Strip Tease - full size (RRP: $18)
"A reflective, shimmering lip gloss that creates a glamorous, lacquered effect for the lips. Non-sticky formula glides on evenly, leaving your lips with a luscious, long lasting shine and lustre. Super sleek and super slender. SHINE Ultra Lip Gloss' tall thin bottle fits into the slimmest of evening bags and comes handy with a smart inbuilt mirror."

I swear I've received one of these lip glosses in a previous monthly subscription box, but I can't find the post. Anyway, I'm not a big fan of lip glosses and currently have a few that I really love, so I'm not in the market for a new lip gloss, even though it is a really nice colour. Therefore, I'll most likely throw this in my giveaway box.

4. St Tropez Bronzing Mousse - 50ml (RRP: $39.95 for 120ml; $59.95 for 240ml)
"This award winning self tan bronzing mousse is a super lightweight, easy to apply, velvety mousse that delivers an ultra-even tan. Infused with Aloe Vera and long lasting colour, it will leave you with a natural looking, healthy bronze glow. Dries in 60 seconds. Paraben free. Oil free."

I'm a really lazy person, if you don't know that already. Self-tan bronzing products are not something I'd ever purchase because of all the preparations that need to be done prior to application. However, after watching so many Youtube videos raving about St Tropez, I'm curious enough to THINK about giving this a go. I'm hoping I'll hate it because $39.95 for 120ml is quite a lot of money that I cannot afford at the moment.

5. Aphelia Peony 9+5 Advanced Beautifying Eye Creme (RRP: $69 for 15ml)
"Contains the most powerful micronised herbal extracts. A daily, anti-ageing treatment creme designed for the delicate eye area that contains natural multi-vitamins and powerful antioxidants to help fight tight lines, reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffy eyes."

Again, another product that I wouldn't have cared about. But for some strange reason, I feel compelled to use it. It has a really, really light fragrance, which is neither offensive nor amazing. After sitting here for 5 minutes, I still don't know why I feel the need to give it a go, as I am blessed to have neither dark circles, tight lines nor puffy eyes. Violet Box, what have you laced my box with?!

Overall, I'm impressed with this month's Violet Box. Despite having far less products than Lust Have It (read review here), Violet Box is the clear winner out of the two for me this month.

What did you get in your Violet Box this month? What are your thoughts?

To subscribe to Violet Box for $22.95 a month, $66 for 3 months, $130 for 6 months or $250 for 12 months, click here (referral link).

Lust Have It - July 2013

Yay! It's that time of the month again, where monthly beauty boxes appear in my PO box. In all honesty, I'm not entirely sure about Lust Have It this month, especially after receiving such an amazing Wantable box last week (read here). I just don't know what to think of it. Maybe I'll develop more of an opinion after writing up this post.

The packaging of Lust Have It is the same collectible box, with a different print. I kind of prefer the old makeup bags, as I find them more useful then these boxes. Anyway, onto what I received...


1. Schwarzkopf Extra Care Volume Powder - full size (RRP: $8.99 for 10g)
"The first Extra Care Styling Powder for instantly visible and long-lasting volume. This unique, weightless formula texturises each hair strand to create maximum volume of the roots, in an instant and without stickiness. Instant unbelievable volume that still looks natural. Formula becomes invisible in seconds. Ultra control, no stickiness."

I'm feeling a bit "meh" about this product. Lack of volume in my hair is not a concern, so I'm not entirely sure if I'll end up using this. Having said that, it would be interesting to see if the claims are true. I wonder if this could be used as a dry shampoo as well.

2. PHYT'S Lait Hydro-Nettoyant and Soin Riche Protecteur - 3ml each (RRP: Lait Hydro-Nettoyant - $43 for 200ml; Soin Riche Protecteur - $78 for 40ml)
Lait Hydro-Nettoyant - "Certified organic milk cleanser for all skin types. A gentle face cleanser to remove makeup and to cleanse the skin. Eliminates impurities without drying the skin."
Soin Riche Protecteur - "Certified organic daily moisturiser for very dry and sensitive skin."

These two samples are a dud for me. Firstly, it's in evil satchels of 3ml each... ain't nobody got that for that. I don't think it's enough for anyone to figure out if it's suitable for them, especially when they cost so much. Secondly, it's for dry skin, which I do not have. I wish Lust Have It included this as a bonus, instead of an actual product because this is certainly disappointing to have received as a "deluxe" sample.

3. Knotties by Condition Culture Hair Ties (RRP: USD$6.25)
"Knotties air ties and headbeads are the newest innovation in hair accessories. This cutting edge design uses soft yet strong elastic that does not snag or crease your hair. They look great in the hair or can be worn around your wrist as arm jewelry."

Not entirely sure about their "newest innovation" claim, as they work and look the same as Twistbands. However, I'm not going to complain about getting these, as I always need hair ties. They seem to disappear as frequently as bobby pins.

4. Swisse Hand Cream with Vitamin F and Pomegrante - 30ml (RRP: $29.95 for 500ml)
"A rich, nourishing hand cream with a quick dry down and non-greasy finish. Vitamin F provides omega 3 and 6 to help preserve the skin's natural barrier to environmental impact while pomegranate oils improve skin texture. Your hands will thank you."

Another product I'm a bit "meh" about. I have received this in a Bellabox sometime last year (read here), and I haven't even used that yet. I'm just not a big hand cream person, so I'll be passing this on to mum, who has really dry hands.

5. California Mango Natural Hand and Body Lotion (RRP: USD$3.49 for 57ml)
"California Mango Lotion is one of the most popular lotions used today in the beauty skin care marketplace. An overall hand and body product designed to maintain and enhance the surface skin health. Mango Lotion has become the standard in the professional beauty industry, establishing a retail following that is enjoyed by many salons throughout the world."

So many thoughts running through my head. I think I shall use bullet points to organise my thoughts.
  • I think this is a bigger than full size product... first for a beauty subscription box? 
  • Another hand lotion!?! I guess it is the season for hand lotions, and this is also suitable for the body.
  • I must be living in a cave, as I have never heard of this brand in my life before, and it's "one of the most popular lotions used today".
  • It smells really yummy, like mangoes. It doesn't feel greasy on my skin. I will most likely keep this and use it on my body.

6. Nude by Nature Natural Tinted Mineral Moisturizer with Sunscreen - full size (RRP: $19.95 for 30ml)
"This Natural Tinted Mineral Moisturizer helps to form a fine, protective layer to prevent ageing. It enables the skin to retain the moisture it requires with a natural tint that covers blemishes and creates a smooth, flawless complexion. Perfect to wear under foundation as a primer or by itself for an even radiant complexion."

This was revealed on the LHI's facebook page prior to the shipment of July's box. I haven't had much luck with Nude by Nature, so I'm not all that excited about this product.

7. Colorsmash by Condition Culture Hair Shadow - 3g (RRP: USD$15 for 4.1g)
 "Colorsmash Hair Shadow is the premium brand of temporary hair shadow in the hair and beauty industry. Offered in a variety of vibrant colours, its inspired by the popular hair chalking trend and the perfect add-on for all occasions. Smash it on. Seal with spray. Wash it out."

I've always wanted to try hair chalk but never bothered because of my naturally dark locks. I do have blonde highlights, but I like them the colour that they are (or maybe just a few shades blonder). The colour I received is called Gold Rush. I have looked at the hair swatches for this particular shade on the condition culture website (here), and I'm not sure if I'll ever use this, as it looks a tat too brassy for my liking. Although, I guess it'll be a good way to experiment and test out the quality of these hair chalk-type things.

8. Health Essentials Maqui Berry Active - 6g (RRP: $45 for 150g)
"Macqui Berry Active is the latest weapon in combating poor health and now available in Australia. Nutritional test results show it's nothing short of amazing and taken daily it has all the body needs to function at optimal performance. Be vibrant inside and out!"

Holy guacamole! $45 for 150g?! I don't buy these type of super organic foods, so I'm not sure if that is a reasonable price. But I don't think I'm going to ever start if that's how much they costs! This is a bonus sample. Not sure if I'll ever bother giving this a go, since I refuse to spend $45 on this.

Having finished going through all the products in this month's LHI, I can conclude that I'm not impressed despite receiving 8 products. I believe strongly in "quality over quantity" and I'm not excited by any of the products in this box. The only things I'd definitely use are the hair ties and the california mango hand and body lotion.

What did you receive in your LHI box? Were you impressed?

If you'd like to subscribe to Lust Have It, you can get $5 off your first box by using the code "Wallet". To subscribe, click here.

17 July 2013

Wantable - July 2013

I bit the bullet and purchased another Wantable box, despite my low bank balance.  This is my second Wantable box and I love it (although not as much as my first). The way Wantable works is absolutely brilliant. It's a box based on YOUR preferences. The first decision you have to make is whether you would like a makeup or a jewellery box. You then have the option to fill out a rather lengthy survey (lengthy compared to other subscription boxes in the Australian market), which Wantable uses to hand pick products to your preferences. The 4-6 products that are sent to your door step are full sized and premium items. This extraordinary service costs USD$36 a month or USD$40 for a one time purchase. They currently ship to US, Canada (USD$5) and Australia (USD$9).

I have received 6 full-sized products in this month's box, as well as an "extra" product (not pictured above).

Rainbow Honey Nail Lacquer in I Miss You - RRP: USD$10
I may or may not have squealed when I saw this in my box. I LOVE Rainbow Polish and this polish is SO me. It is described as "a pastel of rainbow of glitters and shimmer, these butterflies are sure to cure the homesick traveler". I'm actually quite surprised that I haven't got this in my collection (at least, I don't think I do - most of my nail polish is at Mike's, so I was scouring through my e-receipts to see if I've purchased this polish).

Cailyn Eyelashes 02 - RRP: USD$10
"These lovely lashes will add a boost of glam to your night out!"

I actually am not sure if I can pull this off. Although it looks quite natural, it's extremely long. I'm considering trimming the lashes a little, but I'm scared I might butcher them.

Cala Retractable Blush Brush - RRP: USD$10
"Cala Retractable Blush Brush provides smooth and even application with all cheek color products. It comes with a cap to keep the brush clean and neat!"

This isn't the softest brush I've ever owned, but neither is it a rough brush. It does feels a little cheap, almost in the same league as ELF brushes. However, it is a dense brush and it doesn't seem like there's any bristle fall-out. I also do like the idea of the cap, and I'm quite surprised that I haven't any travel-friendly blush brushes in my collection!

MiA BelleZZa Matte Couleur Tanning Powder in Warm Tan - RRP: USD$24.50
"A triple milled formula allows the ability to build colour intensity to get the look you want. Sheer, silky-light powder delivers a healthy-looking bronzed glow in any season. All the benefits with a healthy sun-kissed look. Includes a fine soft bristle blush brush."

I freaked out with this tanning powder. It's so much darker than my skin tone, and it has a really warm tone, so I can't really use this as a contour. However, when I applied it on my face, it blended in really nicely and wasn't at all too warm/orangey. Swatches further down.

MiA BelleZZa Luxe Rouge Nourishing Lipstick in Carla - RRP: USD$18.50
"Intense pigment color with long lasting wear. This amazing formula helps "lock in" color and shine for feather proof wear. Lip pampering Shea Butter, Illipe Butter and Hyaluronic Acid condition while Vitamin A, C, E, Avocado and Jojoba Oils moisturize, soothe and protect. Lips feel as pampered and luxurious as they look. Preservative-free. Limited Edition."

I was sold after reading "Limited Edition". It's a creamy lipstick. I've had it on my lips for the past 10 minutes and it doesn't feel drying (neither does it feel really moisturizing). It's a gorgeous almost-like-my-lips-but-better colour. Swatches further down.

Brazen Cosmetics Loose Brow Powder in Jane - RRP: USD$18
"Eye brows are the frame of the face - don't go out naked! We created a professional formula of rich, creamy (NEVER chalky!), matte powder that effortlessly fills in sparse brows for natural to dramatic looks. We then add green tea and rosehip extracts for mega antioxidants and vitamin E to condition the hairs and inspire hair health and growth."

I didn't think I would like this, as I'm not a big fan of loose powder (they get so messy)... until I tried it. It is so creamy and not at all chalky. Although it's quite dark compared to my other eyebrow powders and pencils, it still looks natural on me. Swatches below.

L-R: MiA BelleZZa lipstick in Carla; MiA BelleZZa tanning powder in Warm Tan; Brazen Cosmetics loose brow powder in Jane

Frownies Eye Gels
 "Anti-wrinkly treatment for puffy bags under the eyes contains powerful anti-oxidants that help protect your skin. With one 30 minute anti-aging treatment, 100% of women testing Frownies eye gels saw a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and dark circles. The weight of the anti-wrinkle patch smooths the under eye area and protects the integrity of the acid mantle and skin. Frownies Eye Gels promote beauty and provide antioxidants to fight free radical damage. Natural ingredients help improve the appearance of the skin."

I love that this is reusable. However, I'm been really blessed to not have fine lines and dark circles around my eyes. Therefore, I'm unsure if I'll be using this as a preventative measure or gifting it to someone else.

I'm in love with Wantable and it breaks my heart to have to unsubscribe because I can no longer afford it. But I WILL be back when I get a steady flow of income again. If you would like to subscribe to Wantable, you can do so here.

Wantable also has an amazing giveaway. There are two Michael Kors bags up for grabs, as well as 4 wantable bags. For more information and to enter, click here. Hurry because it ends on the 19th of July!

16 July 2013

Review: Aveeno Stress Relief Body Wash & Moisturizing Lotion

Having a wedding in less than 7 months can be quite stressful. Not only is planning stressful (even though my future mother-in-law is doing more than her fair share of it), being in between jobs and not having the funds to pay for it doesn't exactly help the stress levels. Furthermore, I can't turn to retail therapy for some stress relief since I'm broke. Therefore, when I was offered to try out the stress relief body care range from Aveeno (a body wash and a moisturizing lotion), I was excited (perhaps maybe even a little too excited) and jumped at the chance.

L-R: Aveeno Stress Relief Body Wash; Aveeno Stress Relief Moisturizing Lotion

Aveeno stress relief works by promoting relaxation and calmness with lavender, chamomile and ylang-ylang essences.

I have used this body wash a handful of times and I am in love. I felt so ridiculously calmed and relaxed after using it that I wish I had this when I was a university student stressing and cramming for exams and finishing assignments.

I absolutely love the smell of this body wash, which is quite floral. I'm usually into more fruity scents than floral, but I think this has changed my preferences!

I also love how creamy and rich this body wash lathers, when used with a pouf. My skin felt really smooth and soft after using this. I just noticed on the back of the bottle that you can use this as a shaving lotion too! Talk about a multifunctional product! I'm so going to try using this as a shaving lotion. I don't know about you but I hate leaving shaving foam cans in my shower, as it rusts and creates disgusting marks not only on the can but on the shelf as well. Also being a forgetful person, I don't always remember to bring the can in until it's too late, so I think it's really handy that this body wash has the potential to double up as a shaving lotion!

My mum also gets quite stressed sometimes and suffers from dry skin. After using this lotion once, I took it to the living room and left it there so that we both can use it. I'm guessing she really loved it, as it was gone the next day. I found it on her bedside table! So sneaky!

This moisturizing lotion smells really similar to the body wash. When used together, the smell lingered on my skin for hours! I have slept like a log after using these two products, and have been waking up fresh and (still) relaxed.

I also love that this moisturizing lotion is not only true to its name, that is, it is a really good moisturizer but also it is not at all greasy and absorbs into my skin quickly. This is such a perfect body lotion, especially to soothe dry skin caused by the cold wintery weather.

L-R: Aveeno Stress Relief Moisturizing Lotion; Aveeno Stress Relief Body Wash
As you may be able to tell, both products are quite thick in consistency but work surprisingly well in their unique ways - the moisturizing lotion absorbs quickly but leaves the skin so soft, smooth and moisturized, whilst the thick consistency of the body wash can be worked into a thick, rich lather. I think the consistency of the body wash would be perfect as a shaving lotion as mentioned above.

I highly recommend checking out these two products, if you're in the market for an amazing body wash and moisturizing lotion!

Have you tried the Aveeno Stress Relief range? What are your favourite body products?

These products were provided for my consideration.

12 July 2013

Review: I.C.O.N. INDIA Hair Products

I've read quite a few reviews on I.C.O.N. INDIA Hair Products on several blogs. Every single review seemed to rave about how amazing and hair-changing these products were, so naturally I was so excited when I was given the opportunity to try them out.

If you don't already know, I have extremely dry, frizzy hair that tangles easily thanks to the chemicals (i.e. bleach) I've subjected my once-amazing locks of hair to. So, I had really high hopes that the INDIA hair products will be my hair's knight in shining armor.

The kind people from Salon Cosmetics sent me four products from the INDIA hair care range - shampoo, conditioner, healing spray and oil.

L-R: ICON INDIA Shampoo; Conditioner; Healing Spray; Oil

The INDIA Range is Vegan, Gluten, Paraben and Sulphate Free and incorporates I.C.O.N. EcoTECH which is renewable resources, harnessed as the ecology of raw ingredients fused with advances in technology to create the art of the possible.

INDIA Shampoo:
The two things I liked about this shampoo is the clean feeling my hair felt after using it, and the way it lathered so beautifully. Unfortunately, I did find that my hair seemed more tangled than usual after using this. Maybe I'm just not shampooing right...

INDIA Conditioner:
This conditioner is not the worst conditioner I've ever used, but neither is it the best. I think it would be a lot better if it was more moisturizing for my hair. I guess my hair is far too dry. 

ICON INDIA Shampoo and Conditioner

INDIA Healing Spray:
I think I was least impressed with this product. This healing spray is meant to "repair and seal split ends while also adding tremendous moisture", which is exactly what my hair needs. However, I didn't really see much of a difference after using this spray. Also, I was expecting this to be a fine mist spray, but it was "spraying" white lotion. Having dark hair (with blonde highlights), I had no choice but to rub the spray in, which I have absolutely no problems with. However, this one left me with sticky fingers. To this products defense, the stickiness only lasts about 5 minutes before miraculously disappearing.

ICON INDIA Healing Spray

INDIA Oil:
This is probably my favourite product out of the four I was sent. This oil is meant to tame unruly hair and heal each strand. It can also be used for both damp and dry hair, which I love in a product. It not only tamed my frizzy hair but it also did not weigh my hair down.

ICON INDIA oil

All four products have really similar fragrances. Unfortunately, it's not a fragrance that I'm crazy about. It reminds me of cloves, which I'm not a fan of. The INDIA oil has only slight traces of the scent, which is awesome because it's my favourite of the four. In case you don't like the smell of cloves either, I'm happy to report that the smell does not linger all day. It does eventually fade out.

Overall, I'm quite disappointed that this haircare range did not work on my hair as well as it did for so many others. Out of the entire range, I'd recommend the oil for those with frizzy hair.

I have been told by Salon Cosmetics that there is another product that will be sent for trial soon called 24k Richly Exotic Masque Treatment. It's a rich detangling conditioning masque, which may be better suited for my dry damaged hair. It works by changing the hair’s inner core with pure gold micro-bursts and microscopic mixers. The restorative Moringa, Argan, Amber, Coconut and Olive fruit tree oils are the secret ingredients (well, not so secret anymore) that helps to hydrate, nourish, and strengthen hair. It also contains super-antioxidants to help renew the hair.

If you'd like to learn more about these products, you can check out the ICON India website here. You can also purchase these products here.

These products were provided for my consideration.

08 July 2013

Review: Bifesta Sebum Cleansing Lotion

I guess this review is more for my readers living in Asia, in particular, Singapore. I bought this Bifesta Sebum Cleansing Lotion during my last visit to Singapore, as I found it really intriguing because it's a no-rinse cleansing lotion. I have used and reviewed the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil and had that in mind when I came across the Bifesta cleansing lotion. I was thinking "How on earth? I'm pretty sure the Shu Uemura one HAD to be washed off... I wonder if this works". So here are my thoughts on this product...

Image taken from: Amazon.com
I had to use a "stock" image because I ripped a part of the packaging off and it looks totally different underneath the plastic covering... you'll know what I mean when I show you photos of my bottle.

There were a four types of cleansing lotions on the shelves at the shops, so there's one that should suit your skin type - age care (for mature skin), moist (for dry skin), bright up (for dull skin), and sebum (for oily skin). I picked sebum because of my annoyingly oily skin.

Half torn up packaging on the bottle
Hopefully you can see what I mean by the plastic packaging and the actual print on the bottle. I stopped tearing it off when I realized that the only English instructions located on the back is on the plastic packaging (picture below).



I have used this cleansing lotion about 3-4 times already and I'm in love with it! It is water based, unlike the Shu Uemura one but it's surprisingly just as effective as removing my gazillion layers of waterproof mascara.

The instructions say to soak a cotton pad using about 3 pumps and wipe makeup off gently. Repeat until all makeup is removed. I found that I had to use about 4 cotton pads to remove all traces of makeup. As a result, I have used up quite a lot of cleansing lotion already (about 1/6 of the bottle). I don't remember how much I paid for this, but I don't think it was anymore than SGD$20 (~AUD$17). It's not extremely expensive, but it's not dirt cheap either.

1 pump of Bifesta Sebum Cleansing Lotion
Because the Bifesta Sebum Cleansing Lotion is water based, it does not leave any oily residue whatsoever, which I think is absolutely brilliant for lazy bones like me. Bifesta claims that there's no need for any skin care routine after using this cleansing lotion because it has moisturizing and toning  properties, so you can use this to remove your makeup and head straight to bed. I personally like a shower before I go anywhere near my bed, so I did not manage to test the moisturizing/toning properties out overnight. However, I did wait a few hours before my shower and my skin felt really fresh and comfortable. By comfortable, I mean it did not feel tight (signs of dryness) nor oily. I don't particularly want to use the word "moisturized" because my skin didn't really feel the same way as it normally does after using a proper moisturizer. Having said that, if I were to use this in the morning for some strange reason, I would not feel the need to slap moisturizer on after.

The Bifesta Sebum Cleansing Lotion is also fragrance free, which I don't particularly care about, but it'll be perfect for anyone with sensitive skin. It is also non-cosmedogenic, paraben free, colouring free and alcohol free.


I think I'll most likely repurchase this. It's such an amazing makeup removing product that would be perfect if you had to travel really light or if you just want to go to take your face off and go to bed.

I have found this on eBay for about AUD$20 if you would like to give it a go.
The age care one can be found here, bright up here, moist here.

Please note that I'm not affiliated with the seller on eBay, and you're purchasing those products at your own risk.

07 July 2013

Products That Saved My Life... from itchy scalp and dandruff

Yay! I finally got off my bottom to write this post! Today, I bring you the next installment of "Products That Saved My Life" (to read the first post of this series about pimple busters, click here). I'm actually cheating a little here because I only have one product that have saved my life from itchy scalp and dandruff, so it should be "Product That Saved My Life".

Moving on from the technical talk... I've mentioned I had a problem with itchy scalp and dandruff in an empties post a few months ago, where I talked about how Heads & Shoulders wasn't doing it for me anymore. A few of you recommended MooGoo. So I picked it up and gave it a go. Unfortunately, that wasn't the solution. I then tried a few other sulphate free shampoos that I had in my stash, as I thought that sulphate was causing the problem. But itchy scalp and dandruff still reigned my life.

I then decided to google solutions. I stumbled upon a whirlpool discussion about itchy scalp and quite a few people recommended Selsun Blue shampoo. I then went to Chemist Warehouse to buy a bottle and finally manage to bid goodbye to itchy scalp and dandruff.

There were two variants of Selsun Blue - Replenishing and Deep Cleansing. I stood there at Chemist Warehouse for a good 5 minutes trying to decide between the two before I settled for replenishing because it is for all hair types, whereas Deep Cleansing is for normal to oily hair. I think I have pretty normal roots, which does get a bit oily after a day (but that's normal, right?) and dry roots, so I didn't think Deep Cleansing was for me.


Having almost finished this bottle of Selsun Blue, I'm confident to say that this is definitely going to be a staple in my haircare routine. I shampoo my hair once every two days and condition every day. I usually use this shampoo once every other time or once every three times I wash my hair. So I use this shampoo at least once a week.

The reason why I don't use this every single time I shampoo is because I'm not fond of the smell at all. I don't really know how to describe the smell of this... musky? chemically? It doesn't completely go away even after putting some conditioner on either. But it stops my scalp itching and doesn't make me look like I've been walking through snow, so I can deal with it.

I went to a smaller Chemist Warehouse (well, it's not called Chemist Warehouse but it looks like a miniature one) the other day and they only had the Deep Cleansing version in stock. As I am running out of the Replenishing one (I have about 1 more use left), I decided to buy the Deep Cleansing version. I'm hoping it is as effective as the Replenishing one. I did give it a quick whiff, and it smells a little different (in a good way). So, I'm hoping it doesn't smell as bad as the other and works the same.

For $5.39 (at Chemist Warehouse), I think it's a really affordable and effective way to keep dandruff at bay (despite the smell). I've also seen Selsun Blue at Coles, Woolworths, and Priceline. They were about $5.99-$7.

Have you had a problem with itchy scalp/dandruff? What do you use?

05 July 2013

Blog Sales Updated

Hi ladies,

Just wanted to let you know that both my cosmetics and nail polish blog sales have been updated! Please go check them out!

Cosmetics blog sale
Nail polish blog sale

Hoping to get a new "Products that have saved my life" post out by the end of the weekend, so stay tuned!

03 July 2013

Review: Physicians Formula Mineral Airbrushing Pressed Powder

As promised, here is my review of the Physicians Formula Mineral Airbrushing Pressed Powder. I mentioned this in my June Empties post (read here) that this Physicians Formula was so crap that it deserved a post dedicated to its crapness. So let's get started.
 
When I first started using this powder, I thought it was good. It helped set my foundation, didn't make me look cakey. The shade Creamy Natural was perfect. All was good until...

The friggin lid broke off!!! I haven't even dropped it yet! I cannot express the annoyance I feel when fiddling with the lid to get it closed when I'm in a rush. I don't understand why Physicians Formula would even put such a crap lid on a rather beautiful metallic blue body.

I also do not understand having the mirror on the other side of the powder, especially since the packaging (especially the lid) is so delicate and... well, crap. On the upside, the brush is quite soft. However, I do not understand why they'd include such a thin brush. I'd rather they include more product than such a thin brush. I did not bother using it because I like using a big fluffy kabuki brush for a more even (and faster) coverage.

Notice the two different tones of the powder in the picture above? Well, the lighter tone is the original colour of the powder (maybe a touch lighter), and then gradually, the powder started darkening. I wouldn't have minded all that much if the powder was actually still functioning as a powder. Instead, it's like... a hard clay. Barely anything transfers to my brush when I brush over it.

Anyway, when my sister came over on Sunday, I showed her this and she said it's happened to her before. The darkening of the powder is caused by oil. This has NEVER happened to me before. She said that she could try to fix it by scraping off the top layer. She tried to with the brush that was included (that's why it's dirty in one of the pictures above), but then we got distracted and she said she'll give it a go at home. I told her I didn't want it back anymore, as it just wasn't worth it. It'll only be a matter of time before it comes back again and I haven't even used half of it yet!

This has got to be the worst powder I have ever bought. Packaging and formulation are it's biggest downfall (and those are the two main factors that make or break a pressed powder for me). Physicians Formula Mineral Airbrushing Pressed Powder is definitely a fail for me in the history of powders.

Has a pressed powder gone funny on you before?