27 February 2014

My Top Three Favourite Foundations

Foundation is such an important part of my makeup routine. Considering I wear makeup practically everyday now that I'm working, I like to splurge a little more on my foundations. This is especially so, since it stays on my face up to 12 hours a day!

My skin type is oily-normal, although it leans more towards the oily side the majority of the time. Therefore, oil control is quite an important factor when it comes to foundations. I also prefer a matte finish, but it's nothing a good face powder can't fix.

As mentioned earlier, since I don't remove my makeup till the end of the day, it is important that the foundation stay put and last until I take my face off. It is also important that a foundation does not feel too heavy and clog up pores. With all that in mind, I have three foundations to share that I have been loving lately (and by lately, I mean over the past 3-6 months). All three foundations have ticked all the boxes for me.

L-R: Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk UV Foundation; Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet+; Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua
I don't pick my foundations based on my skin condition (e.g. when my skin is flaring up or is redder than normal) with the exception of my wedding day, more on this later . I tend to pick one depending on how I feel, as all three foundations provide ample coverage and don't aggravate my skin. However, each foundation have their pros and cons, so I will go through each one individually in no particular order.

Starting with the Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk UV foundation, I have done a review on this foundation a few months ago (read here). Therefore, I'll try not to reiterate what I've written before.
I use the shade 5.5 and have found myself reaching for this foundation more than the other two. I'm still not sure why, as I love all three of them equally. Perhaps it's my need to finish this, so I can open another foundation without feeling guilty and find another favourite? Or maybe because it's just friggin amazing.

I work in an office where the air-conditioning is always switched on, and therefore spend the majority of my time in a dry environment. This is slightly different to when I wrote the review back in October, where I was working in a house-turned-office, and the air-conditioning was never on (although it was winter at the time). The reason why I'm bringing this up is because I absolutely hate touching up or blotting during the day, and I haven't found the need to do so anymore (in fact, ever since working at the new job). Therefore, working in an air-conditioned office (i.e. dryer environment) may have affected the amount of oil my skin has produced.

I wrote in my review that this provides light-medium coverage. I have changed my mind and would say that it provides more of a medium-ish coverage. I do have scars peeking through my thin veil of foundation, but it's nothing a good concealer can't fix.

This foundation feels extremely light on my skin. In fact, it doesn't even feel like I'm wearing any foundation when I use this.

Furthermore, I've been using this foundation for about three months, and I reckon I have at least another 2 months worth of foundation left. Therefore, despite the hefty price tag, it lasts FOREVER.

The second foundation is Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet+.
I'm not sure what shade this is. I absolutely hate it how Make Up For Ever do not print shade numbers on their foundations!!

This is the foundation that I wore on my wedding day. Inserting obligatory picture here...

I couldn't decide between the two considering one is blurry and the other is a bit dark, so I inserted both.

I guess the main reason why I chose Make Up For Ever over the other two foundations is that it doesn't have SPF. I did not want to risk the white cast effect in my photos, especially since my wedding started at 4pm.

Having over productive oil glands has made me a strong lover of matte finishes when it comes to foundations. I am proud to report that Make Up For Ever has formulated a foundation that is true to it's name. It has a brilliant matte finish. However, I did find the need to blot once mid way through celebrations, as it was quite a warm day.

I'd say the coverage of this foundation is slightly fuller than Giorgio Armani's Lasting Silk foundation. It is a medium coverage foundation, and I still found the need to apply a bit of concealer over acne scars.

The only thing that I can think of that I'm not the biggest fan of is the dispenser system... It has none. You have to squeeze/pour product out, and pray that noone comes up behind you and surprise/scare the living daylights out of you whilst you're dispensing this foundation. Things can get ugly. I didn't clean up the nozzle of the Make Up For Ever foundation, as I thought I'd show you just how messy it can get, especially when you're travelling with it (like I have to Tasmania for my wedding, I also brought this to the states with me).

What I do like about this foundation, besides the formula, is that the bottle is extremely light, making it super portable (I realise I'm contradicting myself here, what with the messy point made previously but it's nothing a wet wipe can't fix). It's absolutely a God-sent when trying to meet weight limitations when travelling.

I haven't tested out the water resistant claim of this foundation, but it's still nifty to KNOW that it may be water resistant just in case you decide to live on the edge and jump into a pool or something.

Lastly, I introduce to you the third foundation - Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in shade 20 Beige.
Those of you who have been following/reading my blog for some time now would know that a product's fragrance is important to me, and I guess this is one of the main reasons why I love Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua. It has a pretty strong perfume scent, which may be a turn off to some, especially those with sensitive skin, but I absolutely love it. It just feels so luxurious slathering this on my face.

The one thing that I've learnt (albeit the hard way) is the importance of shaking this bottle of foundation really well. You know you've not shaken it enough when it comes out watery. It should be quite thick in consistency when it's shaken up well (see swatch below). Therefore by using this foundation, you not only get a nice smelling face, you also got the chance to squeeze in a bit of arm-toning exercise.

Similar to the other two foundations, the coverage of the Chanel foundation leans towards medium. And despite the thick consistency, it feels light on my skin. I also love that it's easy to blend (I use my fingers).

The packaging of the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua is similar to that of Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet+. It's light and really portable, which makes travelling with it a walk in the park.

As you can see, the Chanel foundation is thicker in consistency. I didn't actually mix it up enough, as it was still slightly watery.

If you compare the two swatch pictures, you may notice that the Giorgio Armani swatch is darker in the second picture than the first. This is due to the foundation oxidising. Therefore, you may want to get a sample to find your true shade if you wish to purchase this foundation.

All three foundations are a breeze to blend. However with liquid foundations, I find it necessary to set with a powder. I have been using Make Up For Ever Super Matte Loose Powder, which works a breeze for all three foundations. I used the same powder on my wedding day.

Although all three foundations are on the pricey side, I think they're worth every cent. I highly recommend these foundations, especially if you have skin that is on the oilier side.

Have you tried any of these foundations? What is your favourite foundation?

26 February 2014

Violet Box - February 2014

I received my Violet Box on Monday (along with Lust Have It), and was quite impressed with the contents.

There were 6 products in my February Violet Box, along with a love-heart lollipop (which I'm guessing was there to celebrate Valentine's Day).

1. WOTNOT Natural Organic Facial Wipes - 5 wipes (RRP: $7.95 for 25 wipes)
"The first facial wipe that's 100% natural and certified organic. Ingredients to cleanse, soothe and hydrate WOTNOT has produced a facial wipe so natural your skin will love it as much as you do. A make-up bag essential that removes daily impurities and grime and gently wipes away make-up including waterproof mascara."

I love WOTNOT facial wipes, and was pleased to receive another sample pack, as they are fantastic for travelling.

2. Red Carpet Kolour - 2 sachets (RRP: $49.95 for 150ml)
"Introducing RCK all-over body glow, the latest beauty secret to achieving a star-worthy glow from head to toe. The first ever luminous body lotion that will stay put and not transfer into your clothes. This innovative all-over body lotion provides a gorgeous glowing coverage for imperfections such as pigmentations, veins, cellulite, stretch marks, age spots and wrinkles. This product is not a self-tan item. Available shades: Light, Medium & Tan"

I'm actually wondering if these two tiny sachets will be enough to cover my arms and legs. It'll be kind of weird if your legs were all nice and glowy, but your arms were dull and not so glowy. Not too sure when I'll use this, but it may come in handy someday or it'll live forever in my box of samples.

3. Nuxe Creme Nirvanesque - 15ml (RRP: $49.95 for 50ml)
"Creme Nirvanesque smoothes, de-stresses, relaxes first expression lines. The skin is intensely smooth and relaxed locks radiant and feels comfortable with a sensation of total well-being. Over 80% ingredients of natural origins."

This sounds like botox in a bottle. It smells a little funky. I can't put my finger on what it smells like... herbs? Italian French Dressing? Besides making the back of my hand softer, and slightly shinier, I can't really see a difference... Unless I squint, I guess the lines are a bit fainter where I've applied the lotion.

4. Aphelia Oasis Acne Solution - 2ml (RRP: $49.00 for 50ml) 
"Breakthrough Herbal Acne Solution - you don't need drastic measures to gain control of acne or blemishes, no Benzoyl Peroxide, no Salicylic Acid. The most effective herbal delivery system to defy acne ever! Oasis penetrates fast to deliver rapid acne-fighting action but it's so gentle on skin structure it will even assist beautifying your skin."

An interesting product that I'm sure I'll be reaching for since I recently took myself off the pill. Hello face-full-of-acne!

5. Be a Bombshell Lip Crayon in Trophy Wife - full size (RRP: $19.00)
"A glossy lip crayon with a smooth texture. Apply to top and bottom lips for full coverage. For sheer coverage, apply to lower lip only and blot lips together. For more colour, apply several coats until you receive desired results." 

I love be a bombshell products. I've read somewhere someone was comparing Be A Bombshell to ModelCo, and she was saying how similar the products were... YOU DID NOT JUST GO THERE, GIRLFRIEND! The quality of Be A Bombshell products are far more superior than ModelCo, and hence are NOT comparable to ModelCo at all but that's my opinion. Having said that, I'm not a big fan of this lip crayon. The colour is far too frosty for my liking (see swatch below). BUT the formulation is amazing! It's so creamy and does not tug on the lips. Maybe if I layer a lip gloss over the top, it may take away a bit of the frosty finish... hmmm...

6. Be a Bombshell The One Stick in Girl Crush - full size (RRP: $21.00)
"An all-in-one multiple stick with a smooth texture. Apply to eyelids, cheeks or lips for the perfect pop of colour anywhere!"

I quite like this "all-in-one multiple stick". Although it can be a little too glittery, it's quite a nice colour. Like the lip crayon, it's creamy and does not tug on the skin. I drew a line across on each cheek, and used my fingers to blend it. I then applied another blush (matte) over the top to set it and tone down the glitter.

L-R: Be A Bombshell Lip Crayon in Trophy Wife; Be A Bombshell The One Stick in Girl Crush
Excuse the bumps on my skin in the picture above. I'm reacting to a self tanner :(

Overall, I'm content with this month's Violet Box. Unfortunately, this is the last box of my 3 month subscription. I won't be re-subscribing again, as I'm on a tight budget and can't afford both Wantable AND Violet Box (I much prefer Wantable, I've raved about Wantable for quite a few months now - see here).

What did you think of Violet Box February 2014 edition? 

25 February 2014

Lust Have It - February 2014

YAY for Lust Have It sending out a box on time! I received my Lust Have It box yesterday (along with Violet Box - review coming up shortly), so it was a great beauty box mail day.

There were a heap of products in my Lust Have It box this month - 8 in total!

1. Hand Spa Bijoux Hand Wipe - RRP: $1.50
"Made from 100% natural cotton non-woven fabric which has premium cellulose continuous fiber construction, it contains organic fulvic acid extract, 18g of hyaluronic acid, royal jelly, glycerin, and soy bean extract provides the skin with a deep nourishing and moisturizing effect."

I've never really gotten into the whole "hand" mask thing, as having a hand mask on makes me feel... vulnerable. What if someone breaks into my house and I've got a hand mask on?!

2. Clairol Professional Color Radiance Shampoo - 50ml (RRP: $13.95 for 250ml)
"This salon-exclusive formula helps to protect coloured hair from fading and shifting for long-lasting brilliant colour. It gently cleanses and conditions coloured hair."

A shampoo that is actually suited to my hair type...ish! I'll probably save this for my travels, so a short review of this shampoo will appear in an empties post.

3. Clairol Professional Transition Creative Spray - 50ml (RRP: $9.95 for 300ml)
"A professional strong hold spray, which remains flexible for up to one minute after application to allow for any last minute adjustments, its unique formula provides precision hold and shine for a touchable texture without weighing the hair down."

Not sure if I'll ever use this, as the only time I've ever used hairspray was on my wedding day. I'm more of a throw-your-hair-up-into-a-messy-bun kind of girl. Putting my face on takes up the majority of my getting-ready time, so much so that I have about 3 minutes to get my hair done (sometimes even less).

4. Vaseline Ultimate 10 Anti-Aging Body Lotion - 25ml (RRP: $16.29 for 750ml)
"It contains anti-ageing ingredients such as AHA, pro-retinol and vitamin B3 to effectively protect, restore, brighten and tighten skin while giving immediate relief from dryness. Skin is more radiant, smoother and younger looking."

This lotion smells pretty darn good. I used it last night and was pleasantly surprised at how quickly this absorbs in my skin. I thought the AHA and pro-retinol ingredients were quite unusual and interesting, as you normally find those in face creams.

5. The Cosmetic Kitchen Brush (RRP: $22.50)
"A combination of Eco bamboo & Original ranges. The Cosmetic Kitchen has the largest range of Certified Vegan, Certified Cruelty Free super soft & luxurious cosmetic brushes that are a must have for every occasion."

A soft angled blush/contour brush (I think). However, there is something about this brush that I don't like. It somehow feels a tat cheap... I think it's the bristles. Although it may just be me being a brush snob.

6. Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive - 7ml (RRP: $65 for 60ml)
"It exfoliates and refines to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and lighten pigmentation. Delivering a spa grade exfoliation and revealing a brighter complexion while firming the skin, this product is a daily essential for all skin types." 

Another interesting product - I would never have thought to put the words "peel" and "sensitive" in a product name. Also, sadly it does not smell like green apples.

7. The Cosmetic Kitchen Eyeshadow in Celebrity - full size (RRP: $22.50 for 2g)
"100% Pure Talc Free Explosive Mineral Colour, Mix & match, bold & bright colours for unlimited style creations! Apply dry for subtle effects, and damp for electric colour! Certified cruelty free and certified vegan."

I tried using this eyeshadow this morning, and it was a bit of an epic fail. I thought it'd look good as an all-over lid colour, but I thought wrong. I applied it dry, and it went everywhere and made my lid look super glittery. The colour was not even either, like in the swatch. Some bits were silver, whilst others were gold. Maybe I applied it wrongly? :-s

8. So...? Sinful perfume

I was one of the 1,000 "lucky lusties" to receive a So...? perfume gift as part of Lust Have It's Beuaty Dip this month. There were a few varieties of the "So...?" perfume, and I got the Sinful version. It smells pleasant enough, but it's not a perfume I'd use. 

Overall, I thought this month's box was ok. It wasn't terribly bad, but it's not a box I'm raving about. If you'd like to subscribe to Lust Have It, use the coupon "WALLET" to get $5 off your first box. 

What did you get in your Lust Have It box this month? What are your thoughts?

24 February 2014

My Wedding Day

I got hitched slightly over two weeks ago in Tasmania. We had an outdoor wedding and were so blessed with the weather, as there was a storm that was meant to come that day but was thankfully delayed by 24 hours. We had the most amazing day, and we are extremely thankful for everyone who made the effort to attend our little gathering and helped us make the day possible. 

I thought I'd share some pictures of the day. I decided not to use any pictures with any of my guests for privacy reasons (well, at least ones where you can see their faces), so most of the pictures are of yours truly. :P

The day started off with putting my face on and getting my hair done. My mother-in-law organised the make up artist, whilst I organised the hair stylist. I'm pretty pleased with the result.

After all that was done and the dress was put on, my father and I made our way to the venue via horse and carriage. It was about a 20-30 minute ride. We went through the main strip in town and there were quite a number of people out on the street taking photos and waving. I felt semi-embarrassed, as I'm not one who enjoys being in the limelight. 
I thought I was going to be super nervous on the way to the venue, but was quite surprised when I felt calm. It was actually quite surreal.

We were notified by one of the photographers (who was Michael's mum's partner) that Michael was actually running late. He just hopped into the shower when we were halfway through our journey! So in order to be there AFTER the groom as appeared at the altar, we had to stop outside someone's house for about 5-10 minutes. It was a good break for the horses anyway, as they had to climb up and down a few hills. 

Apparently when I got there, there was a collective gasp. I was too busy trying not to stack it whilst climbing out from the carriage to notice the expressions from my guests. 

The ceremony passed in a blur, and the next thing I knew, we were slipping rings onto each other's fingers. I think this may be due to our extremely short and to-the-point ceremonial speech. My dad was also assigned 10 minutes to do a quick biblical reading, but that seemed to pass so quickly as well.

So after the ceremony ended, we had to sign our marriage certificate... and then the endless photo taking took place (well, it started from the moment I got onto the horse and carriage, but I wasn't too inclined to smile and reveal those pearly white chompers).

Whilst we had our obligatory photo snaps, our guests were having nibblies and drinks. The majority of "formal" photos with family and friends were taken with Mount Roland in the back.

Michael and I then climbed into the horse and carriage for our ride down to our other "formal" photo-taking destination - Red Water Creek Railway. Michael loves trains from a very young age, so this was for him.

We had a good relaxing chat on our way down there. It was on our ride to the trains where he told me why he was running late before - his best man was taking absolutely forever in the bathroom doing who-knows-what. I wasn't impressed at all. 

Anyway, I got really excited when we got to Red Water Creek because my mother-in-law was fetching the puppies (well, they aren't technically puppies) so that they could be part of our special day too!

L-R: Penny, Snowy, Kostya, Dozer
I brought my dog, Snowy, down to Tasmania. It was his first plane trip, and I think he was extremely stressed out because he wee-d his bedding. :( He seemed to have a ball with the other three dogs though (after Penny showed him who's boss). Dozer is Michael's dog, and he is temporarily living in Tasmania with my mother-in-law whilst we're homeless. Dozer's biological mum and dad are Penny and Kostya who belong to my mother-in-law and her partner. So it was quite a happy (canine) family, and I was (and still am) so pleased that they were able to be part of my wedding.

Our wishing well
After our photo taking session at Red Water Creek, we hitched a ride with my mother-in-law to send the dogs back to her place before making our way back to the wedding venue. We had a group photo of all our friends and family and then had dinner.

Table decorations - gumnuts with fresh gumnut leaves & flowers and handmade gardenia scented candle
We had a pretty unusual reception. After our buffet dinner, we had speeches from Michael's dad, best man, and my dad. Dad stole my thunder (with our blessings) and gave a diamond ring to mum after his speech, which was so sweet as she was not expecting it at all.

We also had a Chinese tea ceremony, where Michael and I served tea to our elders (family members only) and in return we get a red packet (with money) from them, symbolising their blessings.

I actually can't remember the order of the reception, but we also had a "Yum Seng" toast (or three), which is part of the Chinese tradition as well. "Yum Seng" is a toast to success and it's a toast where you have to basically scream "Yum Seng" for as long as possible... like this "Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu...m SENG!" It seemed to be quite a hit, as everyone (even Michael's family members) enjoyed this seemingly unusual tradition.

Another hit of the night was our cupcakes. The cake at the top was meant to be a giant cupcake, but something went wrong somewhere. I actually didn't mind it at all.

The cupcakes were delicious! But I wasn't a big fan of the love-heart with our initials even though it looked really good.

But the biggest hit of it all was....
The cake topper. Everyone who knew me got it, and I'm sure you will too! :P

I couldn't have asked for a better wedding... or husband. I really did enjoy myself even though I did have the shits and wasn't really looking forward to it (as mentioned before, I HATE being in the limelight).

I've been asked quite a few times what married life is like or how I'm finding married life. The truth is it really doesn't feel like anything has changed. An example I have been giving to people who have asked me that question was that it feels like the day after your birthday. You don't feel like anything has changed, you're content with life, but you don't necessarily feel like you're a year older. The only thing that has changed (besides my last name) is the extra ring I wear on my ring finger everyday.

17 February 2014

Wantable - February 2014 & Wantable Giveaway Winner!

My Wantable box came just in the nick of time! I was going to announce the winner of my Wantable giveaway today, and found my February Wantable box sitting in my room (thanks dad!) when I got home from work. So I thought it'd be perfect to combine a quick review of this month's Wantable box and announcement of the winner.

In case you've not heard about the most amazing beauty subscription in the whole world, Wantable, I'll do a quick rundown of why they are fantastic in point form.
1. You get 4-6 FULL size products.
2. The products you get are HANDPICKED according to your preferences (via a survey you fill out).
3. They arrive before my Australian beauty box subscriptions despite coming from the states.
4. They also have an Accessories and Intimate versions if you're not into makeup.
5. You can put your subscription on hold with a click of a button. Similarly, you can unsubscribe with a click of a button. No need to find some obscure email address on the company's website and send an email only to wait a week for a reply and have money taken out for the next box, which will contain products you won't use.

What more could you want from a beauty subscription box?!

The only two cons are that it is quite expensive compared to the Australian beauty boxes at USD$36 a month, especially with shipping (which they've increased from USD$9 to USD$10 to Australia), and they currently only ship to USA (free shipping), Australia, Canada (USD$6 shipping), and UK (USD$7 shipping).

I personally think it's worth it, and here's why...

I received five full sized products this month and a sample (not pictured above).

1. NCLA - Bullion in a Bottle - RRP: USD$16.00

"There's nothing better than bright, shiny gold, and lots and lots of sparkle. We're a proudly 
"5 Free" luxury nail lacquer, meaning we are not only 100% free of DBP, toulene and formaldehyde, but also of camphor and animal testing. Because we love our furry friends and toxins aren't fashionable. Dreamed up and concocted in sunny L.A. Beauty Tip: Finish your mani off with a high quality top coat to seal it in with a durable high gloss finish."

I absolutely LOVE receiving nail polishes in my beauty boxes, so I was pretty stoked to find one in this month's Wantable box. This is a gorgeous gold with multi-coloured circular glitters. I don't have anything like this in my collection, and I wouldn't have willingly purchased this (as I'm not all that into gold). But I'm glad Wantable included this in my box, because it's so unique.

2. Golden Rose Perfect Lashes Vitamin Transparent - RRP: USD$10.99

"This nourishing formula gives your lashes a natural look and brightness. Nourishes and protects the lashes with Vitamin A, E and Provitamin B5. Beauty Tip: Curl lashes and apply 2-3 coats as desired."

I have never tried a colourless mascara before, but I'm quite interested to see if this mascara will do anything to volumise my lashes (I can't imagine it lengthening my lashes, since it's colourless). Thankfully I've been blessed with dark lashes, so I don't have to worry about having to make my lashes more visible by using coloured lashes.

3. Be a Bombshell - Bombshell Eyeliner in Espresso - RRP: USD$14.00

"Our long lasting water resistant formula last from am to pm. Use like a marker, drawing with the tip closest to your lash line for precise definition. Beauty Tip: To make lashes look more full, line the upper lash line with liner and follow with lining the lower waterline."

I don't normally use a dark brown eyeliner, but I did give this a quick go after removing my makeup, and it looks quite natural. I think I'll give it a good go tomorrow morning before work and make my decision then on whether or not I like it. Unfortunately (and disappointingly), it seemed quite easy to remove with a baby wipe after swatching my arm (swatch below), so I'm not all that convinced of its "water resistant" formula.

4. Be a Bombshell - Eye Crayon in Fetish - RRP: USD$14.00
"A glossy eye crayon with a smooth texture. Apply to eyelids for full coverage. Our creamy eye crayons go on effortlessly for a smooth finish. Beauty Tip: Start applying eye crayon on the inner corner of your eye, stopping just short of the edge and smooth outward."

This is such an interesting product, as I'm so used to seeing/using lip crayons instead of eye crayons. I was pleasantly surprised when I swatched this on my arm (swatch below), as it was so soft and creamy. Pigmentation was excellent! Now I just got to figure out how to use it without making look like Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

 5. Michael Marcus lipstick in Kim - RRP: USD$24.00
"Michael's unique lipstick formulation delivers a soft, creamy and long-wearing lipstick. Strong pigments offer staying power, while castor oil moisturizers the lips. A luxury blend of pigments with a creamy texture. Beauty Tip: For extended wear, layer over a coordinating lip pencil. Apply with a lip brush for expert precision."

Another product that I was pleasantly surprised with. I didn't think I'd like this colour very much, as it seemed far too bright and "out there" in the tube (I'm more of a natural-nude-pink lips kind of girl). However, one swipe on the lips didn't look too crazy on me. It also didn't feel dry like some lipsticks can feel like without a lip balm underneath.

L-R: Be A Bombshell eyeliner in Espresso; Michael Marcus lipstick in Kim; Be A Bombshell Eye Crayon in Fetish
I did not have trouble at all in getting enough product to show on my skin. All three were one swipe swatches. 

6. Sorme Fresh Start Anti-Aging Under Foundation Makeup Enhancer - Sample
"This light, fast-drying under foundation makeup enhancer instantly evens out skin discolorations, smoothes skin texture, and fills in fine lines and wrinkles so that makeup goes on evenly and lasts far longer without touch ups. A powerful blotting ingredient holds up to 10 times its weight in oils for a shine-free, poreless finish. Super antioxidants of green tea, grape seed extract, and pomegranate help repair free radical damage. Hyaluronic acid keeps skin hydrated without oils. Beauty Tip: After cleansing and moisturizing skin, apply a small amount evenly over entire face. Allow to dry. Apply powder or liquid foundation on top."

I think I received the oil-free version of this in my Wantable box last month. I've been using it the past few days and found that it made my skin feel quite sticky. However, once foundation was applied, the stickiness was not an issue anymore. I didn't think the oil-free one helped much with keeping oil at bay, so I don't really think much of the anti-aging one.

That's it for my February Wantable box! I'm happy with what I received, and I can't wait for next month, as it is such a treat to open a beauty subscription box to find stuff that you'd actually use.

Now, without further ado, the winner of my Wantable giveaway is....

Congratulations Candice! I will be contacting you shortly!

Thanks again to Wantable for sponsoring the giveaway!

If you did not win this giveaway but would like to subscribe to Wantable, please subscribe through my personal invitation link here, as I get $10 credit towards my next box! Thank you :)

14 February 2014

Review: Dirty Works Coconut Scrub & Coconut Body Butter

I have two products from Dirty Works to share with you today. In case you are not aware, Dirty Works is a skincare brand from the UK that has made its way to Australia. Dirty Works reminds me of Soap & Glory, another skincare brand that has originated from the UK, which is why I felt compelled to compare one of the Dirty Works products with a similar one from Soap & Glory.

Both Dirty Works products are from their Coconut Caress Collection.

"Come rain or shine get your body in the holiday mood with the Coconut Caress Collection from Dirty Works and reveal your true exotic beauty. Each pampering product is infused with the tropical scent of coconut to transport you (daiquiri in hand!) to your very own desert island in the sun."

From the blurb that I was provided in my PR information kit and from the name of the collection, you can bet your bottom dollar both products from the Coconut Caress Collection smells exotically coconutty.

The first product that I'd like to share is the Coconut Body Butter.

It comes in a purple plastic tub with a screw top lid. The body butter itself is a creamy white formula that smells strongly of coconut. Whilst this is not my favourite scent in the world, and admittedly can be quite sickening at times, I was quite glad when the scent faded to a more bearable level after about 15-20 minutes.

The Dirty Works Coconut Body Butter has the same texture as most body butters in that it is quite thick (when I scoop some out onto my finger and turn my finger upside down, the product does not move or fall). It feels quite refreshing, as it leaves a cooling feeling on my skin for about 5 minutes after application (this may be due to the hot summer weather). It also does not leave an oily residue on my skin and absorbs so quickly (although my very dry skin may have played a part in absorption rate).

I'm not entirely sure what more you could ask for in a body butter, as it has ticked almost all of my boxes (the only box that is half-ticked is the smell). Furthermore, it retails for only $7.99 for 30ml of product! Cheap ass brew!

The second Dirty Works product is the Coconut Scrub, which I didn't use until quite a few weeks later after first using the body butter, as my skin was really irritated after using self-tanners.

The Coconut Body Scrub does not have a strong coconut scent like the body butter. It has a pleasant tropical scent that doesn't linger on my skin (I think this is due to my very strong scented body wash). It is packaged in a tube with a flip top cap.

The body scrub is of a lotion-type consistency that isn't too runny. It contains Pecan Shall granules that act as the exfoliant, and sweet almond oil to moisturise the skin. As you can see, the granules are quite large.

I'm not by any means an expert in all-things-scrubs, as I've only ever used one other scrub, which is the Soap & Glory Pulp Friction Foamy Fruity Body Scrub. Thus, the comparison between the two...

The Soap & Glory Body Scrub is packaged in a similar way to the Dirty Works Coconut Scrub. However, the Soap & Glory has 50ml more product but costs almost twice the amount (AUD$19.95 at kitcosmetics.com.au compared to Dirty Works at AUD$7.95).

When comparing both products, there is quite a difference in formula. The Soap & Glory body scrub has far more exfoliating granules, and they seem to be smaller than the Dirty Works Coconut Scrub.

This is probably a better picture to illustrate my point above. The difference in amount and size of granules plays a massive part in effectiveness. In my honest opinion, I prefer the Soap & Glory Body Scrub because it feels a lot more effective/harsher when scrubbing the dead skin cells off. However, I think it may be all in my head, as the end result is extremely smooth skin that puts the skin of baby's bottoms to shame! I would recommend Dirty Works Coconut Scrub for those with sensitive skin and on a budget, but my Soap & Glory Body Scrub remains my favourite body scrub thus far.

If you'd like to purchase any Dirty Works products, they are available at Coles.

Have you tried Dirty Works before? What are your thoughts?

These products were kindly provided for my consideration. All opinions expressed are my own.