30 August 2014

Review: Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner

When I saw that Benefit Cosmetics released the "first ever lash-hugging gel liner in a pen" called They're Real Push-up Liner, I thought it looked so similar to my HG eyeliner - Maybelline Lasting Drama Pen Gel Liner (see review here). I wasn't too pleased at Benefit's claims that the They're Real Liner is the FIRST ever gel liner in a pen because Maybelline has obviously released a similar product. Despite their already false claim, I really wanted to try it out and compare it to Maybelline's pen gel liner. I finally bit the bullet and purchased one in my latest Sephora haul (read here).

Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner retails for USD$24.00 in the states, and AUD$35.00 here in Australia, which at the current exchange rate of USD$1 = AUD$1.06865, is almost AUD$10 more expensive to purchase this in Australia. 

Similar to Maybelline's gel pen liner, Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner comes with a tip protector (the orange thing in the picture above), which you have to remove before using it for the first time. Also, you have to twist the base a crap load of times (they say 8-10 times, but I'm pretty sure it took a lot more twisting than that) to before the gel liner is released from the tip.

The tips of both Maybelline and Benefit gel lines are really similar in that they're both soft and flexible. Although the shape of the tips differ, I didn't feel as though they made any difference application-wise. The main (and deal breaker) difference is the formula. I'll explain this further below. I did three tests to compare the formula of both gel pen liners - two smudgeproof tests and one waterproof one.

In Smudgeproof Test #1, I applied Maybelline Lasting Drama Pen Gel Liner on the left and Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner on the right (this is the same for all tests). I then waited about 3 minutes before applying pressure and dragging my index finger across both swatches. Although both swatches have smudged, there is a difference in the degree of smudging. In this test, Maybelline is the clear winner as smudging is significantly less than Benefit. Therefore, I'm going to conclude that Maybelline dries faster than Benefit.

In Smudgeproof  Test #2, I waited 15-20 minutes before applying pressure and dragging my index finger across both swatches. It seems that Benefit smudges very slightly. I reckon a few more minutes and Benefit should set completely. 

In the Waterproof Test, I allowed both swatches to dry for 10 minutes before I stuck my arm under running water for 10 seconds. I then dab dry both swatches with a tissue (gently), when I saw that neither have budged, I did a smudge test, and the results are as you see in the picture above. Amazing! I think it's so weird that there are no smudges whatsoever, despite only leaving each swatch on for 10 minutes to dry before doing the test considering there was a very slight smudge in Smudgeproof Test #2 when the swatches were left to dry for 15-20 minutes. It's almost as if the water helped set both gel liners.

The formula of both liners are slightly different. Using the Benefit one took me a bit longer to create a "wing" line on my upper lash line compared to the Maybelline one because the formula of Maybelline seems to be a lot smoother than Benefit. For some annoying reason, I keep getting clumps of Benefit gel liners, and they also like getting caught between my lashes. So I end up having to brush through my lashes with a lash comb to remove the clumps. Another thing I got annoyed at is having to twist the base 2-3 times for both liners and not having any product released. I have to squeeze the tip to push some product out. If I don't and continue twisting until product is released, more product continually gets released overnight. So when you use it the next morning, you end up having to wipe off the excess as it's practically impossible to use the liner with about 2-3mm of product on the tip without making a massive mess. It's also a lot easier to squeeze product out from the tip of the Maybelline liner than Benefit. I just feel like the formula of the Benefit liner is slightly too thick.

As such, if I would have to choose between the two pen gel liners, I'd go for Maybelline Lasting Drama Pen Gel Liner. Unfortunately, Maybelline Pen Gel Liner is not readily available in Australia compared to Benefit. However, you can purchase it from eBay (see here) for less than AUD$15 delivered! That's half the price of Benefit, and in my honest opinion, works better!

If you've tried the Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner, I'd love to know if you had problems with application - whether or not you had problems with clumping or getting enough product out without it spewing everywhere overnight? If you have a favourite eyeliner, I'd love to know what it is!

27 August 2014

Memebox - Superbox #41 My Cute Wishlist

Memebox has been taking over the beauty subscription box world by storm lately. After seeing some reviews on previous Memeboxes, I decided to jump in the bandwagon and ordered my first few boxes. 

In case you don't know what Memebox is, it's a Korean beauty box subscription, where you only buy one box - i.e. you're not locked into a stupid 12 month subscription. Also, what sets Memebox apart from other beauty boxes is that they have different themes (the one I purchased and am reviewing today is "My Cute Wishlist"). There are ones for lips, masks, hand and nails etc. There are also two different types of boxes - the original Memebox and the Superbox. Memebox includes 4-8 full sized and deluxe samples, whereas Superbox contains only full sized samples. As a result, Superbox is normally a bit more expensive. 

Prices of the boxes start from a super affordable USD$19 per box plus shipping ($6.99 for standard shipping, $25.99 for express). The Superbox #41 My Cute Wishlist was $29.99 including shipping, and since I had a $15 coupon, I only paid $14.99 for it. Unfortunately the $15 coupon no longer works, but I've for a few other coupons available:

Get 10% off orders above $100: 10%OFF$1004U
Get $5 off on orders when you buy 3 or more Memeboxes: MEMEBUNDLE3
Get $8 off on orders when you buy 4 or more Memeboxes: MEMEBUNDLE4
If you use my referral link (click here), you can also get reward points, which can then be redeemed when purchasing other boxes.

Memebox - Superbox #41 My Cute Wishlist
I was quite surprised when I opened my Superbox and saw just how many products they've managed to pack in.

From a quick glance, I can definitely see that the products have been well chosen to conform to the "My Cute Wishlist" theme.

L-R: a;t fox Lifting Cream Black Tea; a;t fox Moisturizing Gel Cream Gyoolpy Tea; a;t fox Whitening Capsule Cream Jasoyup Herb Tea 
1.  a;t fox Lifting Cream Black Tea - 10ml - RRP: $6
"If you've been stressing over sagging bags under your eyes or starting to notice little wrinkles and creases here and there, a;t fox's Lifting Cream Black Tea is just what you're looking for! With its softly melting texture and black tea extracts, this lifting cream will guarantee you healthy, younger-looking complexion with high resilience and firmness."

2. a;t fox Moisturizing Gel Cream Gyoolpy Tea - 10ml - RRP: $6
"High concentrates of Vitamin C from the Gyoolpy Tea deeply nourishes and moisturizes the skin, leaving a refreshing, lasting glow on your skin. Also, being a gel-type cream, it spreads and penetrates intot he skin smoothly and without curdling, and at the same times creates a thin, moisture layer over your skin to prevent dehydration."

3. a;t fox Whitening Capsule Cream Jasoyup Herb Tea - 10ml - RRP: $6
"What makes this cream so special is that it combines the deep hydration of a moisturizing cream and the brightening effect of a whitening essence. The whitening capsules inside the gel cream removes uneven, dark spots on your skin and helps create clearer and naturally glowing skin tone."

Although the three creams above have different functions, I don't think I'll be using them all. I have yet to actually use any of them, but I have opened one up to sniff, and it smells nice. I will most likely give one away to my mum and another to my sister (for her birthday... I hope she's not reading this).

4. Etude House Missing U Hand Cream - 30ml - RRP: $5
"Enriched with organic olive oil and shea butter, Etude's adorable Missing U Hand Cream comes in four different scents - fiona, green tea, baby powder, and peach. Also, it contains no paraben, sulfate, ethanol or artificial colouring, and is extremely gentle and nourishing to skin."

I received an Etude House Missing U Hand Cream (albeit the owl version) in a blog swap in December 2012, and I love how cute their packaging are. However, as I do not use hand creams (I hate the feeling of well moisturized hands... yeah I'm weird), I will most likely give this away too.

5. Pure Smile Neco Punch Point Pad Hibiscus & Lemon Grass - 17ml x 2 - RRP: $2 each
"Pure Smile's Neco Punch Point Pad is enriched with Vitamin E, Collagen, Hyaluronic Acid, Arbutin, Hibiscus & Lemon Grass extracts, and works to moisturise and control excess sebum and secretions to maintain a healthy balance in your skin."

These things are so interesting! So you're meant to stick these pads on various areas of your body or face, leave on for 5-10 minutes, and then pat the essence into your skin. I have to say I'm intrigued and am really looking forward to trying this out, although I'm not the biggest fan of the smell of lemon grass, so I'm hoping it doesn't reek too much.

L-R: Pure Smile Muddy Girl; Etude House Sweet Recipe Candy Stick; Pencil Sharpener
6. Pure Smile Muddy Girl - 15g - RRP: $1
"A wash-off type mud pack made from naturally derived ingredients such as clay, mud, and charcoal. It works to soothe, purify and moisturize the skin, preventing possible dehydration and surface roughening."

I am absolutely terrible at using a mask on a regular basis. In fact, I pat myself on the back when I do remember (and can be bothered) to even use a mask once a month! I'm going to leave this Muddy Girl mask on my desk, so I WILL remember to use it... one day... hopefully before it goes off.

7. Etude House Sweet Recipe Candy Stick in 01 Seedless Strawberry Candy - 2g - RRP: $5
"Enriched with bilberry, sugar cane, sugar maple, orange and lemon extracts, the Sweet Recipe Candy Stick is a gloss type lip tint that moisturizes and plumps your dry, chapped lips for a long-lasting radiance."

This tinted lip balm thing is so cute! It also smells like strawberries and it has a pretty strong tint that is buildable (see swatch below). It's also surprisingly moisturizing - surprising because I don't tend to associate "cute" things with things with a purpose. I know I'm judgemental, but at least I give things a go... right?

8. Pencil Sharpener 
I think this is a bonus product, as there was nothing on the information card about this pencil sharpener.

9. Kocostar Split End Therapy - 8ml - RRP: $6 
"Kocostar's sensational Split End Therapy contains 8 types of amino acid complex which works to prevent hair breakages and static electricity. It's specifically formulated to instantly repair split ends and protect hair from any future damages. An interesting fact about this hair therapy is that you don't need to wash it off after application."

I have yet to use this therapy mask thing, but I have used the hair tie that came with it and omg it's so friggin cute. I want MOAR!!! I can't believe that I'm more excited about the hair tie than the split end therapy. Cheap thrills makes my world go round.

10. Beauty People Snow White Special Edition Season 2 - 1.6g x 5 - RRP: $54
"Beauty People's popular eyeliner special edition #2 containing only the hottest F/W colour combinations! Mix and match five different eye colours for adding more depth and vibrancy to your eyes. These cream-type eyeliners boost minute-size glitter pearls, waterproof formula, and a long-lasting finish."

These eyeliners are (again) surprisingly amaaaazing, basing my first opinions on swatching my arm. They are super creamy and pigmented. I also love that all the colours are wearable, and this is coming from someone who is really conservative with colours anywhere on my face. Also, they weren't kidding when they said "waterproof" and "long lasting". I had to scrub my arm with a baby wipe to remove those swatches before giving up and using a cotton pad soaked with eye makeup remover.

L-R: Swatches of  Beauty People Snow White Special Edition Season 2; Etude House Sweet Recipe Candy Stick 
All in all, Superbox My Cute Wishlist is definitely worth the $14.99 I forked out for. In fact, I think it's worth the original price of $29.99, since it's jammed packed full of cute goodies!

I have another Memebox for review, which will be up fairly soon. In the mean time, if you would like to choose and purchase a Memebox or Superbox, click here! Chances are, you won't regret it!

Have you purchased a Memebox before? Which one did you get and what are your thoughts?

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links.

25 August 2014

Daytime Skincare Routine

I wrote about my nighttime skincare routine last week (read here), and thought that I should stop procrastinating and write about my daytime skincare routine. I don't use as many products as I do at night, and the products I choose to use during the day complements the products I used at night.

L-R: Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel; Clarins Day Screen High Protection SPF40; SK-II Facial Treatment Essence; Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil; Dermalogica Clean Start Matte Moisturizer
Since I find myself in a rush to get to work almost every morning, I don't like using too many products in the morning. I like to think I'm using the bare essentials, and some of these products are used in my nighttime skincare routine.

L-R: Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel; SK-II Facial Treatment Essence
1. Cleanse & Tone
I'm currently using the Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel as my morning cleanser. The only thing I dislike about this cleanser is that it doesn't lather very well. However, it's fantastic in that it doesn't strip your skin of your natural oils. It also smells really nice and fresh, like cucumber scented products. 

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence is part of my nightime skincare routine. I use it as a toner, and as mentioned in my nighttime routine post, I don't really see much (or if any) results that warrant the extravagant price tag.

L-R: Dermalogica Clean Start Matte Moisturizer; Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil; Clarins Day Screen High Protection SPF40
2. Moisturise & Protect
After the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence has been absorbed into my skin, I use about two pea-size amount of Dermalogica Clean Start Matte Moisturizer, mix it with 3 drops of Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil and used this concoction as my daily moisturizer. I have found that the addition of Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil to both my nighttime and daytime skincare routine has helped prevent my skin from flaking (which is caused from the use of Retin-A at night). In turn, my skin doesn't get as oily throughout the day, as it has been sufficiently moisturized in the morning. 

I use a pea-size amount of Clarins Day Screen High Protection SPF40 as my sun protection. Sunscreen is essential for Retin-A treated skin, as Retin-A may make your skin more susceptible to sunburn. 
I love that the Clarins Day Screen High Protection doesn't feel oily at all, and does not affect the application of my foundation. It also does not smell like sunscreen, and has a pretty high SPF too. 

That's it for my daytime skincare routine. As mentioned earlier, I do not like using too many products in the morning and this is the bare minimum I have found to work with my skin type. I could use a moisturizer with SPF to cut another product out of my skincare routine, however I purchased a moisturizer without SPF because I wanted to ensure that I didn't get a white cast from sunscreen in my wedding photos (I wasn't using Retin-A at that time, and I went without sunscreen on my wedding day).

21 August 2014

Another Sephora and Bath & Body Works Haul...

So I've got yet another US haul from Sephora and Bath & Body Works. I'm blessed to have a husband who has a mate in the states who was happy to act as my parcel forwarder. To make the whole situation sweeter, he gets a good rate at Fedex (although they did screw up my order by entering "Austria" into their system instead of "Australia", resulting in my parcel going around the globe several times - 6 transits in France, 4 in China, 2 in Dubai, 2 in India, 1 in Germany, 1 in Britain, and 1 in Singapore over the space of 2 weeks). 

I decided to treat myself since my birthday was around the corner when I placed my orders. I ended up placing two Sephora orders (so I can use two coupons), and 1 Bath & Body Works order. I'm going to pat myself on the back for not going too crazy at Bath & Body Works, though I'm not sure the same could be said for Sephora.

Bath & Body Works haul - 3 x 2 wallflowers, and a wallflower plug
I mainly wanted the wallflower refills from Bath & Body Works, so I refused to look at any of their shower gels or hand soaps (as I still have a decent supply left). I have been using their snowflake wallflower wall plug, which lights up and acts as a night light from their Christmas collection, along with the Winter Candy Apple wallflower, and I absolutely adore the smell. I did have to purchase a transformer as the voltage is not correct, but it wasn't too expensive and was definitely worth the extra ~$5. The Winter Candy Apple wallflower lasted since we purchased our house in May. However, it wasn't switched on 24/7. So I'd say a bottle lasts about 2 months. I can't wait to give the other refills a go. I'm going to have to pick up another transformer for my new plug, which I think I'll be using in my room.

As mentioned earlier, I divided my Sephora purchases into two so that I could get more samples and use an additional coupon. My husband's mate consolidated all my purchases into a medium-sized Fedex box, so I'm not going to bother separating my haul out into the two orders that I placed. 

Please excuse the poor picture quality. The lighting was horrendous due to the really crappy weather we've been having here in Sydney.

The items I picked up in my Sephora haul are:
1. Bumble & Bumble Super Rich Conditioner (2oz) - $9
I love trying out "new" conditioners for my dry, tangled locks. 

2. Caudalie Divine Oil (0.5oz) - $9
This was purchased as a replacement for when I finish using my Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil (as mentioned in my Nighttime Skincare Routine - read here).

3. Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner - $24
I really wanted to see how it compares to my favourite eyeliner - Maybelline Lasting Drama Pen Gel Liner (read here), which is so similar to the Benefit one. Stay tuned for a review/comparison post!

4. Clinique for Men Face Scrub (100ml) x2 - $20 each
My HG face scrub. I picked up one for my brother, as he loves it too and was using mine when I was living with my parents.

5. Make Up For Ever Sculpting Kit in 2 Neutral Light - $48
I was seriously torn. I couldn't decide whether I should get this sculpting kit or the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette. I would have gotten both if I could afford it, but ended up settling for this sculpting kit, as I've got heaps of bronzers and highlighters, and not many sculpting shades.

6. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush - $35
I love the Hourglass blush that my friend brought me back from New York so much that I HAD to add another shade to my collection. Luminous Flush is a lovely pink, but it's a lighter/brighter than I imagined (judging from the pictures on Sephora). Still love it though!

7. Too Faced Glow to Go - $12
To make up for not purchasing the Hourglass Ambient Palette, I purchased the Too Faced Glow to Go. It's such a good value for money, as it has a value of $25. It comes with a little Flatbuki Brush that is super soft!

8. Sephora Collection Smoothing Translucent Setting Powder (0.24oz) - $16
I wanted to purchase the Make Up For Ever Super Matte Loose Powder, which costs $28 but I eventually settled for the Sephora Collection version due to budget restrictions (not that I need any more setting powders, as I received one from my husband for my birthday).

9. Fresh Sugar Lip Deluxe Sampler Set - Free
This sampler set contains a lip scrub, advanced therapy lip treatment (balm) and sugar shine lip treatment (gloss). 

10. Dior Creme De Rose Smoothing Plumping Lip Balm - $27
I purchased this as a back up, as I absolutely LOVE this lip balm despite it's packaging, which is basically a pot of lip balm that you have to dip your finger in and apply. It has the most amazing subtle rose smell and taste and it's moisturising too!

11. Make Up For Ever Smoked Out Set - 500 points
I used 500 of my Sephora points to get this set. It contains an eyeshadow sampler, aqua eyes in Dark Grey and Matte Black, Smoky Lash, Smoky Extravagant Mascara, and Sens'eyes Waterproof Sensitive Eye Cleanser.

12. Make Up For Ever VIB Rouge Birthday Set - Free
Since it was my birthday was about a week out when the order was placed, I was eligible to get the birthday set. Furthermore, as I have the VIB Rouge status, I qualified for the VIB Rouge set, which contains an extra product - Aquas Eyeliner. The VIB Rouge birthday set also contains a lipstick and Smoky Extravagant Mascara. 

13. Samples - Free
There are two samples not pictured - Origins Smarty Plants CC Cream, and a Sephora Collection Color Reveal Lip Balm deluxe sample in Unique Pink.
The samples pictured above are the Bliss Triple Oxygen+c Energizing Cream, Amazing Concealer (which IS amazing - coverage is to die for), and Shiseido IBUKI Refining Moisturizer.

Now that I've gone through everything, I think I did pretty well at restraining myself and talking myself out of purchasing more stuff from Sephora. So I definitely deserve another pat on the back.

19 August 2014

Review: Lady Jayne Tangleze

A new product from Lady Jayne will be hitting the shelves soon. It is called the Tangleze. It's a hairdresser recommended detangling hairbrush for both wet and dry hair.

Tangleze is a compact palm sized hairbrush that is perfect for the busy gal that is always on-the-go. Furthermore, it also has a cover to protect the bristles if you're like me and like "throwing" things in your handbag or luggage.

Lady Jayne Tangleze has dual-length bristles that reduce hair breakage and allows detangling without the pain. The bristles are quite hard and firm, and remind me of a standard paddle brush. 

L-R: Lady Jayne Tangleze; Tangle Teezer
When I first heard about the Tangleze, I immediately thought of the Tangle Teezer. As you may already know, I'm a big fan of the Tangle Teezer. Even my dog, Snowy (Shih Tzu x Maltese) loves it! He absolutely hates when I use a regular dog brush on him, but he loves it when I use a Tangle Teezer. It's super gentle and feels almost like a massage on the scalp (well, skin for the dog). 

L-R: Tangle Teezer; Lady Jayne Tangleze
Tangleze is so similar to the Tangle Teezer. It does not hurt at all when brushing through my very tangled locks. I also did not see much hair fall out when I brushed my hair, wet or dry. However, the main difference is that the bristles on the Tangle Teezer is more flexible than Tangleze. Therefore, Tangle Teezer is more gentle on the scalp than Tangleze. This may not be such a bad thing for Tangleze if you're into a more "harsher" head massage.

Despite being harsher on the scalp, I think Tangleze is a great alternative to the Tangle Teezer, as it works just as great at detangling hair without the pain. It's also super affordable at $12.99 each. There are two colours available - pink and purple. Lady Jayne Tangleze will be available for purchase from Priceline in September 2014, and will hit the shelves in Big W, Target, Chemist Warehouse and independent pharmacies from October 2014.

This product was kindly provided for my consideration. All opinions expressed are my own.

18 August 2014

Nighttime Skincare Routine

I have been quite pleased with my skincare routine lately, that I thought I'd share the products I've been using. You may already know that I have oily skin and I detest blotting my face throughout the day to keep the shine off. Furthermore, since getting off the pill I've been getting more pesky pimples. After reading up on Retin-A treatments, I managed to get a prescription for one from my doctor to combat my pimple problems. Theoretically, it would normally make more sense to do my daytime skincare routine first, but I've developed the (almost) perfect daytime routine based on my nighttime routine - i.e. the products I use during the day complement the ones I use at night. Therefore, without further ado, here is my nighttime skincare routine...

There may seem like quite a lot of products here, but I can assure you it's not. Please note that I do not use all of these products every single night.

Clarisonic Aria; Neutrogena Rapid Clear 2-in-1 Cleanser/Mask*; Clinique For Men Face Scrub; Wotnot facial Wipes
1. Cleanse
If I'm wearing makeup (which is the case at least 5 out of 7 times a week), I use a makeup removing wipe to remove most of it. I have been really loving Wotnot facial wipes, as they do not leave any greasy residue on my skin. My skin actually feels clean enough not to continue with my cleansing routine. But my paranoia of getting pimples forces me to do a second cleanse.

The second cleanse entails using my clarisonic and a cleanser. At the moment I'm using Neutrogena Rapid Clear 2-in-1 Cleanser/Mask*, which I did a review of here. I actually love using this cleanser with my clarisonic. It doesn't make my skin feel tight at all (which is good, as that means the natural oil on my skin is not being stripped), and I absolutely love the cooling sensation left behind due to the menthol ingredient in this product.

About two to three times a week, I use the Clinique for Men Face Scrub (my HG scrub) to remove any dead skin and make my skin feel nice and soft. It is quite a harsh and gritty scrub, so I wouldn't recommend it to you if you have sensitive skin. It also has menthol in it, which makes my skin feel super cooling (especially after the Neutrogena cleanser).

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence; Stieva-A Cream; Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil
2. Tone, Treat, Moisturize
I am currently using the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence as a toner. I can't say it is worth the hype or the cash, as I haven't seen much (or if any) improvement in my skin from this. To prevent wastage, I pour a bit of the Facial Treatment Essence on my palm and pat on my skin.

I then wait a few minutes until my skin absorbs the essence before applying a pea sized amount of Stieva-A Cream (a version of Retin-A). I've been having problems with extremely dry, flakey skin after using Stieva-A, especially in the mornings when I'm applying my makeup, and it ends up being a hot mess with flakes being extremely visible, and I actually look forward to my oil-producing glands going into overdrive and producing a whole heap of oil, as I much prefer looking like a oily frypan than a flakey leper. I thought maybe I should reduce the amount of times I use Stieva-A a week, and started applying it once every other day, but it did not work, as the problem still persisted on the following days after using Stieva-A.

I then decided to apply a small amount of Argan oil (approximately three drops) on my face a few minutes after applying Stieva-A at night. I used the Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil, and it's the answer to my prayers. I think I know exactly how Alexander Fleming must have felt when he discovered Penicillin! Although my skin feels disgustingly oily after applying the Argan oil on top, it's something that I feel like I can get used to or at least tolerate since I normally go to sleep shortly after.

With this nighttime skincare routine, especially with the incorporation of Stieva-A, I've noticed my pores are almost non-existent and my skin never felt so smooth or clear (at least without the help of the pill). 

What does your nighttime skincare routine entail? Have you got any must-have skincare product to share?

*This product was kindly provided for my consideration. All opinions expressed are my own.

15 August 2014

NOTD: Rimmel London - Rita Ora - Midnight Rendezvous

Today's NOTD features Rimmel London Colour Rush 60 Seconds nail lacquer in shade Midnight Rendezvous, which is part of the Rita Ora collection. 

There are a total of six shades in the Colour Rush nail lacquer collection - 3 cool and 3 hot.
Image courtesy of Coty Australia

Midnight Rendezvous is a dark purple shade. I could not get my camera to capture the true colour of this polish, but there were hues of blue in it.

Add caption

Unfortunately, I wasn't very impressed with the formulation mainly because I found it too thick and had to add a few drops of nail polish thinner to make it easier to paint my nails. However, as expected, pigmentation/opaqueness is fantastic. One coat would be enough if you were in a rush, but I used two coats to get a more even finish. 

I was also quite impressed at how quickly the nail polish dried on my nails. Furthermore, I really love the packaging, in particular the background of the stamp on the lid matching the colour of the nail polish.
If you can overlook (or love) the thick formula, the Rimmel London Rita Ora Colour Rush nail polishes are a bargain at $7.95 each, and can be purchased from Priceline, Priceline Pharmacy, Target, Kmart, Big W, selected pharmacies and selected Coles and Woolworths.

This product was kindly provided for my consideration. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

12 August 2014

Review: Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector

As you may already know if you've read my recent Adore Beauty haul post (read here), I have been using the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector over the past few weeks and I am in love!

As described by Clarins, it is "a softly textured lip gel with a deliciously sweet scent and 3D shimmer. Experience the lusciously smooth, shiny and fuller lips you've always dreamed of. Sheer, but shaded enough to wear alone or to complement your favourite lip shade."

It's not everyday when one can agree wholeheartedly with a company's claims about its product. However, I'm not entirely sure about the whole "complement your favourite lip shade" thing, as I haven't felt the need to use a lipstick with this amazing lip gel because it looks freaking fantastic on its own.

The packaging of the Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector is so unique (at least, it is to me), as I've never seen a lip gel packaged in a squeezey tube with a soft foam-like applicator.

I remember staring at the foam head in amazement when I first started squeezing product out. It was so mesmerizing to see little round dots of lip gel seeping out.

I love that it's so easy to squeeze out an adequate amount of product, unlike the normal lip gloss packaging - wand with a doe foot applicator, as I sometimes find there is too much product on my applicator, and it's just messy to wipe excess product off on the edge of the inside of the lip gloss tube.

Formula wise, it's fantastic. I absolutely love it. It feels like a lip gloss but it's not sticky at all. It also has an amazing shine, and somehow makes my lips look slightly fuller. It is also surprisingly moisturizing, which is a God-sent in this cold, wintery weather.

The Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector also has a delicious sweet, caramel scent that is tempting to eat (although it doesn't taste like caramel). Do not fret if sweet caramel scents aren't your cup of tea, as it is not an overly strong scent (which is unfortunate for me because it smells so freaking good).

The colour I purchased after much deliberation was 05 Candy Shimmer, which is a gorgeous coral pink shade. Although it looks slightly sheer in the swatch above, it is pigmented enough on my lips that the thought of layering it with a lipstick didn't even cross my mind.

Obligatory selfie with Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector on the lips
As you would expect from a traditional lip gloss, the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector does not last as long as let's say a lipstick or even a lip stain. The shine wears off with drinking and eating and the colour does fade within a few hours, but it only takes you two seconds to get the slick on the perfect amount of product on your lips. I even look forward to applying this throughout the day, and I dislike re-applying makeup! 

Overall, I think the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector is worth the hype! I've got nothing but praises for this product. I think I NEED to try other shades.

Have you tried Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector? What's your favourite lip product?

11 August 2014

Review: Rimmel London Colour Rush Long Lasting Intense Colour Balm

Rimmel London has a new lip and nail collection out by Rita Ora, and I was given the opportunity to trial and review a lip and nail product. In this review, I will be concentrating on the lip product - Rimmel London Colour Rush Long Lasting Intense Colour Balm in the shade Give Me A Cuddle.

The Rimmel Colour Rush Balms are similar to Clinique's Chubby Stick or Revlon ColorBurst Balm Stains, in that it comes in a twistable jumbo-crayon-style lip balm. I do love this style of lip balms, as it's so travel friendly and hygienic. 

The Rimmel Colour Rush Balms claim to have long lasting colour and moisture. Based on the Give Me A Cuddle shade that I've tried, I found that only part of the claim is true. It is surprisingly pigmented but I didn't really find it all that moisturising (unlike so many reviews I've read, maybe I've just got super dry lips?). It may be moisturising enough for the summer months, but it certainly isn't enough for me during the winter months. However, I can say and agree with Rimmel's claim that it has a smooth, lightweight texture. It did not tug on my skin or lips when swatched, neither did it feel heavy like some lip glosses can feel sometimes.

L-R: Give Me A Cuddle light swatch; Give Me A Cuddle heavy swatch
Give Me A Cuddle is a candy pink colour, which I thought would be quite sheer on my lips. But I was wrong! As mentioned earlier, it is quite pigmented. One swipe on my lips is all it takes to cover my natural lip colour. Two swipes increased the intensity of the balm so much that I actually wasn't comfortable walking out the house with bright pink lips (I'm a nude pink lips gal, and don't have the "balls" to wear bright colours on my lips). 

In terms of long-lasting wear with eating and drinking, the "balm" bit didn't last but the colour did last for a few hours before wearing out evenly. 

Obligatory selfie shot with Give Me A Cuddle on the lips
Overall, I think the Rimmel Colour Rush Balms are a great alternative to Revlon or Clinique's versions of the Colour Balms. Furthermore, they are super affordable at $12.95 each.

There are 6 shades available in Australia, which can be purchased from Priceline, Priceline Pharmacy, Target, Kmart, BIG W, selected pharmacies and selected Coles and Woolworths  from this month onwards.

This product was kindly provided for my consideration. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

06 August 2014

Haul: Adore Beauty

I thought I'd share my Adore Beauty haul that I made a week or two ago. There were so many good coupons for gift with purchase that I could not refuse making an order. 

I purchased three items, and received the rest for free! BARGAIN! I absolutely love that Adore Beauty allows you to stack coupons.

After doing some research, I decided to buy the Clarins Daily Energizer Cleansing Gel ($19.80), and Clarins Instant Natural Lip Perfector in 05 Candy Shimmer ($23.40). Don't ask me why, but I sure as hell did not need another cleansing gel nor lip gloss. I have yet to use the cleansing gel, as I'm still trying to finish some of my older cleansing gels. 

I have tried the Instant Light Perfector and I thought it had such a unique applicator. I don't have any quite like this lip gloss in my collection. It's basically a squeezey tube with a fuzzy sponge tip. You squeeze the tube and product seeps out through the sponge - see picture below.

I've certainly haven't seen a lip gloss quite like this. I also like the formulation and colour. I won't go on too much about this product, as I'm thinking about writing a review on this.

The last thing I purchased was the Lancome Drama Radiant Gift Set ($52). I thought it was a great deal even though I certainly do not need another mascara and bottle of eye makeup remover (although the Lancome Bi-Facil is magnificent).  I might have to throw the makeup remover and mascara into a makeup mystery bag (see here to purchase), as I have far too many mascaras and makeup removers. I am looking forward to giving the Concealer a go though!

I was eligible to get a Clarins gift set, as I purchased two clarins products. There were three variants, and I decided on the Protecting one, which comes with extra-firming body cream, instant eye makeup remover, multi-active night youth recovery comfort cream, toning lotion, multi-active day early wrinkle corrective cream, and gentle foaming cleanser for dry or sensitive skin. Some of these products aren't for my skin type, so I will either give them away or throw them in the mystery skincare gift bags currently for sale.

I was also eligible for this 7 piece Lancome gift set, as I purchased a Lancome product. My sister took the Tresor perfume, lipstick and cosmetics bag, but I managed to hang out to the rest! 

I also managed to get my paws on the Lancome Clarifying Cleanser and La Roche-Posy Redermic. I have been using the Redermic cream, and I am reaping the benefits. As expected, it's a lot milder than the prescription Retin-A cream (I'm using Stieva-A). I alternate between the two, as using the Stieva-A cream is really drying my skin out (and hence making it really oily, as my skin tries to re-hydrate by producing bucket loads of oil).

Essentially, this entire haul costed me $95.20. I think it was money well spent considering the amount of products I received.

Have you purchased any bargains lately?