Saturday, 30 August 2008

Corrynne's Fuller's Earth Face Wash

Finally, after a long and expensive search, I have found my holy grail deep cleanser, and this is it.

What I really love about Fuller's Earth
Face Wash is the way it leaves my skin feeling. It feels soft and smooth, without any dryness or tightness. Corrynne's website recommends using this twice a week as a deep cleanser, however the sales assistant at the shop told me that this is gentle enough to use every day. As I have sensitive skin I use it a few times a week, but Mr GlossQueen uses it every day and loves it.

According to Corrynne's, Fullers Earth Face
Wash is a pure clay with high absorbancy and detoxifying properties. It is rich in silica, and magnesium beauty minerals. Blended with coconut soap, cold pressed olive oil and organic lavender essential oil, it is suitable for all skin types, especially problem skin. Lavender oil is included for its ability to promote new cell growth and its healing properties.

You can either apply this with a wet facial brush or sponge, rub in with water until it lathers and then rinse off, or just apply it with your fingers. I use my fingers to rub it in and then rinse of with water.

It has a lovely lavender scent that is quite strong, but not overpowering.

I purchased a 115 gram pump bottle for $14.00. With daily use it lasted me approximately two months. The pump bottle is the only thing I don't like about this cleanser. Because it's a clay, it get clogged up in the pump, so it needs to be cleaned out regularly. You can also purchase a 200 gram tub for $20.

Bentonite clay (from
WA), rainwater, coconut soap, olive oil and organic lavender essential oil.

Friday, 29 August 2008

Products I've used up this week

It's such a good feeling to use things up, I find it so satisfying. Plus, it means that I get to start on something else, which is always fun. This week I used up three things. As I've already got replacements for all of them, I won't be repurchasing any of them just yet, but I may in the future (if I ever get through the huge stash of products I have waiting to be used).

The first thing I finished was my mini size YSL Shiny Lip Plumper in shade 1. I really love this product, and I have two full sizes of it already, but not in this colour. The Shiny Lip Plumper is a beautiful moisturising gloss. It has a soft peppermint fragrance, with no flavour. There's a very slight tingling sensation after I apply it, which is gone after a few minutes. Whilst I didn't notice any immediate plumping effects, after using this for 3 weeks my lips do look more hydrated and plump. Colour 1 is a very soft pink colour. It can be built up for more colour, or when applied thinly it looks like a clear gloss.

The second thing I finished was my Natural Instinct natural cream facial cleanser. I've been using this for 3 months now and I really like it. It's a very gentle cleanser that doesn't irritate my sensitive skin at all. It's all natural, and does a great job of removing my make-up, even eye make-up. If I didn't have two other cleansers waiting to be used, I'd definitely repurchase this.

Ingredients: purified water, sesame oil, safflower oil, polawax, rose water, witch hazel water, aloe vera juice, suttocide, avocado oil, jojoba oil, citric acid, rose hip oil, calendula oil, hypericum oil, carrot oil, vitamin e, rosewood oil and grapeseed extract.

The last thing I finished was my St Ives Oatmeal and Shea Butter moisturising body wash. I've been using St Ives body washes for over 10 years now, and I love them. My favorite is the Vanilla fragrance, but the Oatmeal and Shea Butter is lovely too. I use this one when my skin is dry and itchy as it's for extra dry skin and very soothing. It has a lovely, soft shea butter fragrance.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Clinique Colour Surge Buttershine Lipstick

These lipsticks are very appropriately named because they really do go on just like butter.They are so soft, smooth and moisturising. It's pretty rare for me to use up a lipstick because I have so many but I loved my Buttershine lipstick so much that I used it up within three months, which is unheard of for me.

The colour I purchased was Berry Blush, which on me is a my lips but better shade. It's a mauvey pink colour with silver shimmer.

According to Clinique this is " the creamiest, richest, smoothest lip colour you can imagine. Our revolutionary gel formula delivers the shine of a gloss, the comfort of a lipstick. Drenches lips in moist, lush colour that glides on buttery-soft, feels luxuriously smooth".

I have to say, I love everything about it. The feeling, the texture and the look. It's a very shiny, moisturising lipstick that goes on smoothly and feels like a lip balm. It gives a gorgeous soft colour that can be applied sheerly or layered on for a more intense colour. As it's quite a soft texture the colour doesn't last as long as more matte lipsticks, but it will still last a few hours. Another thing I love about my Buttershine is the case. It looks like silver bamboo.

As with most Clinique products it has no fragrance or flavour. I purchased my Buttershine lipstick for $36.00. There are 25 different colours available in the Buttershine range.
Colour shown is not Berry Blush.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

My recent purchases

Thanks to Mr GlossQueen deciding that he wanted me to wear strawberry or peppermint lip balm, I was forced (yes forced) to go out and buy some new balms. So I bought Nivea's Star Fruits Strawberry balm for $3.95 from Priceline and Kit Cosmetics Lip Sheen for $15.95.

My eczema has decided to visit again, so I headed to The Body Shop and bought a tub of their Shea Body Butter for $27.95. This stuff is great for when my skin is dry and itchy, it's the only thing that's moisturising enough for me not to feel all dry and itchy a few hours after moisturising.

Whilst I was wandering around Priceline I noticed that they had make-up brushes by Eco Tools. I haven't seen this line before, so decided that I needed a new eyeshadow brush, which cost me $5.95. They look pretty good, they've got bamboo handles and recyclable packaging.

I also bought a Face of Australia brown liquid eyeliner for $8.95. I don't use liquid eyeliner much, but I like to have it there for when the fancy takes me. I thought that I already had a brown liquid eyeliner, in fact I'm sure that I did, but it's disappeared, the make-up fairy must be playing with it. She can keep it now that I have a new one.

Then I took a trip to one of my favorite stores, Lush, where I bought Ceridwen's Cauldron bath melt for $9.95, Dreamtime Bath melt for $7.95 and Chocolate Whipstick for $9.95.

And onto David Jones where I purchased Badger's Cool Mint Cocoa Butter lip balm stick for $9.90. This thing is huge! I've already got the vanilla and coffee ones and really like them, so I got the mint one to keep Mr GlossQueen happy.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Redken Blonde Glam Shampoo

Until I started lightening my hair, I never realised the importance of using a good shampoo. This shampoo was recommended to me by a sales assistant at my local Price Attack store, and every time that I see my hairdresser he tells me what a great shampoo it is.

I've been really happy with this shampoo, so happy that I don't bother trying other shampoo's, and considering how fickle I am, that's amazing! I've gone through countless bottles of Blonde Glam shampoo now and it's something I'll keep on using.

This shampoo is advertised as a shine activator for blondes. According to Redken Blonde Glam shampoo gently cleanses multi-tonal blondes and refines highlights to revive dimension. Redken's exclusive interbond conditioning system delivers grapefruit extract that combines with a natural anti-oxidant polyphenol and shimmering mica to form the exclusive crystal shine complex. This highlight targeted formula helps eliminate brassiness, clarify colour and reinforce strength.

Blonde Glam shampoo leaves my hair soft, healthy and tangle free. I can't say that it helps to "refine highlights", but it does make my hair look shiny and healthy.

Washing my hair every second day a bottle lasts me 6 weeks.

I purchased a 300ml flip top bottle for $24.95(AUD).

Monday, 25 August 2008

Lush Ceridwen's Cauldron

I always enjoy a Lush shopping trip. I can smell the shop for ages before I get to it, and when I get there I have a ball wandering around smelling everything. There's always something new to look at and smell, and so many things that I'd love to buy. Somehow I usually manage to show great restraint and walk away with just a few products.

Ceridwen's Cauldron is one of my favorite Lush products and I've been using it for years. According to Lush,
this ancient Welsh moisturising bath melt is contained in a muslin bag of oats and petals, which can then be rubbed over the body to polish skin. Personally I rarely use it in the bath, instead I use it in the shower. I find it to be really moisturising and great for soothing dry, itchy skin. I just rub it all over myself like I would a shower gel. Used this way it usually lasts me a month, using it every day. When I do use it in the bath I usually get 4 baths out of it.

Ingredients: Cocoa butter, laureath 4, walnut oil, whole porridge oats, sandalwood oil, tangerine oil, olibanum oil, rose oil, lavender oil, marigold petals and perfume.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand cream

My hands are something that I sometimes neglect, purely because I don't like having greasy, sticky hands. So, as a result of this I've been searching for a non greasy, moisturising hand cream for a while. And now I'm happy to say that I've found one!

I bought L'Occitane's mini hand cream because I liked the packaging and it was a good size to carry around in my handbag. It's a beautiful smelling mix of shea butter, honey, vitamin E and sweet almond extract, blended with jasmine and ylang-ylang essences.

What I love about this is that it's very moisturising, but sinks in straight away and doesn't leave any greasy residue. It's great for very dry, dehydrated hands, and also for not so dry hands. It quite amazing that a cream can be so moisturising, and also soak in so well, even when my hands aren't dry.

It comes in a cute little silver tube, which costs $14.95.

Would I buy it again? Definitely, it's my favorite hand cream.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Trilogy Intensive Lip Treatment

For those who don't already know, Trilogy is a New Zealand brand that is known for it's amazing rosehip skin care. The company started in 2002 with the skincare philosophy of simplicity, purity and vitality.

It is said that Rosehip plays a vital role in the regeneration of skin cells and the repair of damaged tissue. It is also said to help the body minimise scarring, improve the appearance of fine lines, moisturise dry skin and help with skin renewal.

According to Trilogy, their rosehip oil is extracted from the seeds of certified organic rosehips using a low temperature, solvent free and certified organic process that preserves the unique qualities of the oil and ensures Trilogy rosehip oil is the premium quality rosehip oil available. It contains 80% essential fatty acids, vitamin e and lycopene.

After having heard all this, I just had to try something from the line, so of course I chose the lip balm. It comes in a 4 gram squeeze tube.

When I first started using this it was winter, and I didn't really like it because the balm had tiny little lumps in it. They disolved as soon as I rubbed my lips together, but I still didn't like them. So I put the balm away, and pulled it out again in summer. This is definitely a summer balm. In the warmer weather there are no lumps in it at all, and it applies smoothly.

There is a faint oily smell to it, that is not unpleasant, but because of this I only use it at night time. It leaves my lips with a soft shine to them, and it stays on for about an hour if I'm not eating or drinking.

This is a great, moisturising balm that I will repurchase. It leaves my lips feeling soft and smooth, and it's also helped to smooth out some of the fine lines around my lips!

Friday, 22 August 2008

Products I have repurchased

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I am extremely fickle with my products. It's very rare that I'll repurchase something once I've used it up. I'm always looking for something better, so products have to be amazing for me to buy them again. So saying, here's a list of products that I've repurchased more than once.

Avene Thermal Water face spray - A staple in my collection. It's great for soothing irritated skin and setting make-up.

Badger lip balms - All natural ingredients, cute labels (they have pictures of little badgers) and great flavours.

Bloom Sweet Pea lip gloss - A great Australian product, perfect my lips but better colour and a reasonable price.

The Body Shop lip balms and lip butters - I've been using TBS lip balms since I was in high school. They aren't very moisturising, but they have great flavours and a nice shine. The lip butters are super moisturising and have great flavours too.

The Body Shop Shea and Nut Body Butters - Expensive, but they smell great and are deeply hydrating.

Bonne Bell Lip Lites in Mocha Mousse - My all time favorite gloss for colour and taste.

Burt's Bee's lip balms - Another all natural product, they do a great job.

Carmex - Even though this contains petrolatum, when my lips are sore and cracked, this heals them faster than anything else I've used. Within a day my lips start to feel better.

Clinique Super City Block - This is one of the few sunscreens I can use that doesn't irritate my face. As it has a matte finish it's perfect to use under make-up.

Dove Energy Glow moisturiser - A great moisturiser for dry skin and it's cheap.

Dr LeWinn's Firming eye cream - The only eye cream I've ever used that actually works.

Ganache for Lips - What more could you want, a natural lip balm that contains chocolate.

L'Occitaine Shea Butter hand cream - The best hand cream ever. Very moisturising and non sticky.

L'Occitane Ultra Moisturising Care - One of my favorite face moisturisers. It's rich without being greasy.

Lush Ceridwen's Cauldron - Great for soothing dry, itchy skin.

Lush Whipstick - Another lip balm that tastes like chocolate.

Mac Syrup lipstick - This is a beautiful natural pinky mauve colour. I'm onto my third tube of it. It's one of those perfect colours that always looks good.

MAC Untitled paint - This is a great base colour. It's lovely for those days when I want a natural look, and also makes a great eye shadow primer.

My Lip Stuff lip balms - All natural and with over 400 flavours you're sure to find something you love.

Palmers Cocoa Butter - Smells great, works really well.

Shizen lip balm - One of my top 10 favorite lip balms.

St Ives Vanilla shower gel - A nice, moisturising shower gel, it's cheap and smells great.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Are you faithful or fickle?

Are you one of those people who'll use the same product for years until they stop making it, or do you constantly change your products and never buy the same product twice? I know a lot of people who've been using the same products for years. I have a friend who uses the same lipstick, it's the only one that she owns, and when she runs out she buys that same colour again. I can't even begin to imagine just having one lipstick, let alone buying the same colour over and over again. Or for that matter, using up a lipstick!

So as much as I'd like to say I'm not, I have to admit that I'm fickle, extremely fickle. It's very rare that I'll buy something more than once, because I'm always looking for something new and better. With so many new products coming out, there's always something else that I want to try. Even if I like whatever it is that I've been using, there's usually something that I think could be better. A product has to be truly amazing for me to repurchase it.

Even if I find a product that I love and repurchase, every year I'll try something else, just to make sure that there is nothing better out there. Usually when I do this I regret it, and end up with a barely used product. This happened to me a few months ago when I decided to try a different face moisturiser. I've been using the same one for about two years now, but decided to try something else. I used it for four weeks, decided that I didn't like it as much as my usual moisturiser, so now it's sitting unused in the cupboard. I'll probably give it to Mr GlossQueen to use. That's what usually happens to the products I don't like, they end up with Mr GlossQueen.

I'm very fortunate that I have him to use up my unwanted products, it's much better than them going to waste. Giving him new products is always fun. He's usually convinced that they're reducing his wrinkles. He knows this because he screws up his face in a funny grimace/grin so that he can see his wrinkles. If his wrinkles look like they aren't as bad, then the cream is obviously working. Personally, I think he looks the same as he always did, but as long as he's happy then I'm happy. Plus, it's really funny watching him pull the wrinkle face.

Stay tuned tomorrow for a list of the products that I have repurchased.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Look what came in the mail!

I have to admit, I'm addicted to these balms. I've been using them constantly since I got my first order a few weeks ago, and I'm totally in love. The only time I haven't been wearing them is when Mr GlossQueen is home, cause I didn't have a strawberry or mint one. But now I do, so they are all I'll be using. I've even been using them during the day in place of lipstick or gloss, that's how obsessed I am.

I still think that the shipping is a little excessive, but the product is well worth it, and the customer service is brilliant. I sent an email enquiry and got a reply within hours, from Brea herself. She was so friendly and helpful, it was a long email with plenty of information, not just a quick reply. And then when my order was sent, Brea even remembered my email and wrote the information in my package. It's the best customer service I've ever received from an etailer!

I got the following flavours:
Shamrock Shake
Cafe Latte
Cocaramel Kick
Strawberry Banana
Mixed Mystery
Kahlua & Cream
Vanilla Sugar
Blackberry Buttercream
Chocolate Caramel
Pink Cake
Brown Sugar

For being one of the first 100 to sign up for the Prestige newsletter I got an eyeshadow brush and Skin Loving Minerals Shimmering Trio eyeshadow in Emerald. The colours are gorgeous, there's a pretty pale blue, a dark shimmery green and a pale green. They're all gorgeous colours that I'll wear a lot, so I'm really happy. I've been wanting to try the Skin Loving Minerals range for a while now so I'm really glad I've been given the opportunity.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Palmolive Skin Essentials Pure Cashmere Exfoliating Shower Scrub

I'd never realised how difficult it is to find a body scrub for under $20 until I went looking recently. I managed to find a few that were around $15, and then I stumbled upon Palmolive Pure Cashmere Exfoliating Shower Scrub at the supermarket for only $7.19. I've seen this advertised for a while, but hadn't managed to find it anywhere until I found it in Coles.

There's really not a lot that I have to say about this scrub, other than it's nice and does the job. It's a pretty good exfoliator, the beads are small fine, so it's not scratchy. I don't particularly like the smell, it's very soap like, but that's the only thing I don't like about it. As it's cheap, I'll buy it again. It's not irritating or drying, and what else do you need in a scrub? It's a great, basic body scrub. It comes in a 200ml flip top tube. The only place I've seen this is in Coles, but I'm sure other stores will stock it soon.

Since I didn't have much to say, here's a pretty picture to look at.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Shizen Salve

I am a huge fan of Shizen. All of their products that I have tried are amazing and the Salve Balm is no exception. According to Shizen it is a soothing balm that provides skin protection from cracked lips, sunburn and dry cuticles. It can be used to relieve dryness and is great for nappy rash.

I use this for nearly everything. It's one of those products that I take everywhere with me, cause it's so versatile. In fact I'd have to say that it's taken the place of my beloved Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream. It's great for using on dry lips, skin rashes, dry cuticles, dry, flaky patches, dry elbows, just about everything! I even use it to help heal pimples.

The Shizen website lists the following ways to use Salve:
Rub over your nails and cuticles to soften, heal and condition the skin. Smooth over eyebrows to help keep them in place and under control. Apply to sunburn to sooth skin. Massage over your dry elbows, knees and heels for marvelous, soft, nourished skin. Blend over your face for use under your foundation.

It has a light lemon scent that fades quickly. The balm is thick, the consistency of ointment, but it's non oily and sinks in quickly. It leaves a bit of a sheen if applied thickly, so is good for use on the lips over liner. If applied thinly it sinks in and isn't visible.

In cold weather the balm tends to harden, so needs to be warmed up in the tube before use.

Ingredients: castor seed oil, lanolin, shea butter, beeswax, lemon myrtle essential oil, sweet almond oil, lime essential oil, vitamin E, chamomile extract and rose geranium oil.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Corrynne's Detox Paste for Body and Face

I'm a sucker for natural products. I just can't walk past a place that has natural skin care products without going in and smelling things, cause they always seem to smell so good. And this is how I discovered Corrynne's products.

Corrynne's is an Australian company based in Dunsborough, that makes natural, clay based skin care, and heavenly smelling soaps. All of their ingredients are sourced from Australia.

So far, out of all the products I've tried, the Detox Paste is my favorite. This is something that I will never be without for the rest of my life. I've gone through 3 tubs so far, and I still love it as much as the first time I used it.

Why is it that I love this mask so much?

Firstly, it doesn't irritate my sensitive skin. It doesn't sting, tingle or leave it looking red and blotchy.

Secondly, it smells great! It contains honey, almond and olive oils plus lemon, lime and organic lavender. The scent is beautiful but not overpowering.

Thirdly, when I use this my skin feels and looks amazing. It feels soft and smooth and looks brighter and fresher. And, it stays like this for a week!

Fourthly, it is so easy to use, and it also acts like a facial exfoliator, because when it dries you can either gently rub it off to exfoliate, or take it off with a warm cloth. So it does two jobs in one!

The recommended way to use this is to gently rub it onto your skin and allow to dry then rinse with a wet sponge or cloth.

According to Corrynne's the clay they use is a mineralised, alkaline clay which has a negative charge. This attracts toxins, which have a positive charge. The toxins are locked onto the clay and can then be rinsed away. The inclusion of honey, almond and olive oils keeps your skin moisturised while this process is occuring. Lemon, lime and organic lavender rejuvenate your skin. A small amount of botanical soap has been added to aid in removing the paste easily.

The clay is silky smooth and very easy to apply. I find that it takes about 15 to 20 minutes to dry, but I normally leave it on for about 40 minutes because it smells nice. It doesn't dry to a tight or uncomfortable mask, it seems to still move with your face, so I often forget that I've got it on.

I purchased a 120 gram tub for $16.00 (AUD).

You can purchase Corrynne's products at the Fremantle Markets or the Goanna Gallery in
Western Australia, or online at

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Moon Haven

If I had to pick my ten favorite stores, Moon Haven would be one of them. It's an amazing little cottage in Cowaramup filled with the most amazing collection of soaps and skin care that I've ever seen. Going to the Moon Haven store is like entering an enchanted world.

Moon Haven sell aromatherapy soaps and skin care. The soaps are the nicest soaps I've ever used, and they small heavenly. There are so many different fragrances available there's something for everyone. They even have unscented soaps for babies and those with sensitive skin.

Moon Haven also have a range of different salves and oils for different conditions. One of my favorites is the Achy Breaky Rub. It's great for sore muscles and the aches and pains that we all get from time to time.

They also have a great range of skin care products. I've only tried a few of them, but am planning to try the whole range eventually.

I've been using Moon Haven products for years now, and haven't found anything that I didn't love. I know I sound like I'm being paid to advertise them, but I promise I'm not, I just love their products!

So if you're down south, pop in and visit this magical little world. The staff there are delightful and always happy to help. If you can't get to the store, you can purchase their products online. And as a bonus, and Australian orders over $70 receive free shipping.

Friday, 15 August 2008

My top five favorite lip balms

This was originally going to be a list of my top ten favorite lip balms, but as I was writing I realised that I really only have five favorites at the moment. No doubt this list will change over time, so I'll repost the list as it changes.

At the moment these are my absolute favorite lip balms.

My Lip Stuff - I know I originally said that I probably wouldn't purchase these again due to the high cost of shipping to Australia, but I love them that much that I've decided the shipping cost is worth it to get my hands on these beauties. They have over 400 flavours and are cheap, costing $2 to $3.50 (USD) depending on what you get. They've got a beautiful smooth, creamy feel to them, they're all natural and petrolatum free. Plus, they're shiny enough that I look like I'm wearing lip gloss. At the moment these are my favorite lip balms.
Shizen - What do I love about this balm? Well one of the things I really love is that it's Australian. I love supporting Australian companies. Another thing I love is that it's petrolatum free. Before I used this balm I had always used balms containing petroleum. And then I used this balm, and couldn't understand why my lips were flaking, but not dry or sore. So I checked out the Shizen website and learned that balms containing petrolatum don't actually moisturise lips, they just coat lips, but don't penetrate the skin, which then leads to layers of dry skin. I found that my lips flaked for a few weeks and then they were really soft and smooth.

Burt's Bee's - The original balm has a little bit of a kick to it, that makes my lips tingle for a few minutes after I've used it, which I really like. It's a matte balm, so is great to use under lipstick. It also heals cracked lips really quickly. I also love the honey and pomegranate lip balms. The honey one tastes great and the pomegranate has a lovely, soft red shine to it.

Badger Balms - These are all natural (petrolatum free) lip balms. They've got a great range of natural flavours (such as chai rose, vanilla, highland mint, tangerine breeze), and are certified organic. They come in stick or pot forms and are reasonably priced. They also have a range of cocoa butter stick balms that are heavenly.

Ganache for lips - These lip balms contain Scharffen Berger chocolate, and that's a great reason to love them. They're petrolatum free, there are a great range of flavours, they smell and taste great. Add to that they are really moisturising and you have a great lip balm.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Cheap products from Mirenesse

Mirenesse have a great program where you can try their products really cheaply. They call it free make-up, but as they charge you around $8.95 postage per product, I wouldn't call it free. Nevertheless it's a great way to get cheap products. Often they're full sized products, which for around $9 are a bargain!

They also occasionally have sample sizes available. They don't have the full range of products to trial, but they have a good range that changes constantly, so it's worth checking the website regularly to see what's available.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Fudge 1 Shot+

Since I've been lightening my hair it's become high maintenance. Instead of being easy to look after like it used to be when it was darker, I now have to use treatments and really look after my hair. Thankfully, I've found some products that work brilliantly and make the job of looking after my hair really easy. One of these great products is Fudge 1 Shot+.

Fudge calls this a hair reconstructing clinic in a bottle, and I have to agree with them. It's a leave in conditioner that works magic on my hair. It makes it soft, conditioned, tangle free and shiny.

I have fine hair and usually I can't use leave in conditioners because they weigh my hair down too much and make it oily and lank, but I don't have this problem with 1 Shot+.

I use about 10 sprays of this on wet hair, comb it through and that's it. Normally I just use it after I've washed my hair, but if my hair is really dry I use it every day.

It's lightly fragranced and smells like a mix of orange and coconut. The smell doesn't linger and doesn't scent my hair.

This is now a holy grail product for me. I've gone through countless bottles, and still love it just as much as the first time I used it.

The only problem I have with this product is the spray pump. For some reason, on every bottle I've had the spray hasn't worked well, it give an uneven stream. So I just transfer it into another spray bottle and the problem's solved.
I purchased a 125ml bottle for $18.95.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Aveda Lip Saver

I'm fairly new to Aveda, and have only tried a few of their products. It's a line that's always intrigued me because of their natural philosophy.

After hearing lots of raves about the Lip Saver I really wanted to try it, and I'm so glad that I did. I'd have to say that it's now one of my favorite lip balms. I mainly use it as a lip primer because it's great under lipstick.

Lip Saver is a rich, creamy lip balm. Because it's so creamy it lasts well, usually for a few hours. It can be built up to the coverage you want, so if you want to apply it thickly you can, or you can put it on thinly. I find that if I put this on too thickly it can be a little waxy.

It has a very faint shine to it, but is matte enough to be suitable to wear under lipstick. I find that when I wear it under lipstick it helps the lipstick last longer because of the waxy texture.

This balm leaves my lips feeling soft and hydrated and it's great for when they are really dry and flaky. It has a very faint natural floral scent that fades upon application, and no flavour. It has an SPF of 15.

I purchased a 4.25 gram twist up tube for $12.95.

Key ingredients: anise oil, beeswax, brazilian carnauba wax, cinnamon leaf, clove oil, sunflower oil, vitamin E

Monday, 11 August 2008

L'Occitane Ultra Moisturising Care

After reading The Skin Type Solution I decided I'd try out the products that were recommended for my skin type (Dry, Sensitive, Non Pigmented and Tight). L'Occitane's Ultra Moisturising Care is one of the day creams recommended for me.

After using this moisturiser for over a year I can happily say that I love it, and have repurchased it several times. Actually, I'd even go so far as to say that it's one of my Holy Grail day creams.

This moisturiser is for dry skin and it works really well. It's rich enough to get rid of dry patches and hasn't irritated my skin at all. After using it my skins feels beautifully soft and hydrated. Even though it's for dry skins it's not a heavy, oily cream, it's lightweight and sinks in quickly.

It has an SPF of 15, and comes in a screw top metal tube. It contains shea butter, vitamin A and sunflower oil. I purchased my 50ml tube of Ultra Moisturising Care for $29.95 (AUD).

Sunday, 10 August 2008

What do you look for in a lip product?

I’m really fussy about scent and flavour, especially for lip products. If a lip product doesn’t smell and taste good, or have no scent and taste, then I won’t use it. There have been a few products I’ve given away or tossed because of their horrible taste, so now I don’t buy something unless I’ve at least smelt it. I don’t understand why cosmetic companies make products that smell bad, surely they must know that people either want products that are odourless or smell good. And the same goes for flavour. Either they should be flavourless or they should taste good.

The worst tasting product I’ve used would be Bloom’s Lip Plump. It tasted horrible, that horrible that Mr GlossQueen commented on it when he kissed me, and that was over an hour after I’d applied it. The taste was sour and awful, like stale sweat. I"m not sure why it tasted so bad, Bloom's products are usually really nice, so maybe I got a bad batch. I've since bought their Lip Plump Colour and it has no taste. It was after this experience that I started smelling all my products before I bought them. The best tasting products I've tried are Lancome's Juicy Tubes and Bonne Bell Lip Lites. They both have a range of great flavours that all taste great.

And of course, products have to pass the taste test for my significant other too. I have to admit, in past relationships I've never cared what my significant other thought of my make-up, but as Mr GlossQueen loves me wearing make-up and encourages my obsession, he now gets a say in what lip products I wear when he's around. I'll still use products he doesn't love when he's not there, but when he's around then he gets to help pick.

At the moment, Mr GlossQueen is 'over' chocolate lip products, and is liking peppermint and strawberry. He's okay with citrus, but since he's using a lemon lip balm at the moment (Arizona Sun Lip Kist), he'd rather I didn't use citrus balms. So when I get a new product I put it on and kiss him so he can taste it. This process naturally makes me buy heaps of new lip products cause the taste test is so much fun, hehe. One of his favorites is CO Bigelow's Mentha Lip Tints, but I used mine up (I know, can you believe I actually used a whole lip gloss!) and haven't got around to purchasing more yet. It'd be great if these were available in Australia, but as they're not I buy mine on ebay.

The downside to smelling lip products is that I often end up with them smeared on my nose, which is never a good look. Nevertheless, I will continue to smell and taste products before I buy them, and make sure I have a tissue handy for any accidents. So if you ever see a woman in the cosmetics department smelling and tasting lip glosses, come on over and say hello! And if I've got lip gloss on my nose, please let me know.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Dove Energy Glow

This has been my favorite moisturiser for over a year now, which is amazing for me, as I'm usually very fickle with my products. I purchased it when I saw it on the Baumann Store website. As usual, the products Dr Baumann recommends for my skin type are amazing.

According to Dove: Energy Glow brightening moisturiser contains natural skin illuminating ingredients which immediately brighten skin and provide lasting radiance. The visual enhancement complex blurs fine lines, wrinkles and smoothes uneven skin tone for softer, younger looking skin. The formulation, with UVA/UVB sunscreens, helps protect against the visible signs of premature aging.

When I first started using this I didn't think that it was brightening my skin or making it look any different. I thought it was a really nice moisturiser, but not brightening, until one of the girls at work told me that I've been 'glowing' lately. She put this down to me being newly engaged, and didn't believe me when I told her it was my new moisturiser. However, I'm sure that it's my moisturiser not my fiance that's making me glow!

I can't say that it's made any difference to my fine lines or skintone, but it's still a great moisturiser. Energy Glow is a rich and creamy, perfect for dry and sensitive skin. It sinks in quickly and doesn't leave any oily residue. My skin has felt soft and smooth all day since I've been using this moisturiser. I've also noticed that I no longer get the red, dry patches that I used to get.

I purchased a 50ml pump tube for $13.95(AUD). With daily use this has lasted me 6 weeks.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Lush Whip Stick

Chocolate lovers of the world rejoyce, I have the perfect lip balm for you!!!!

This lip balm is heavenly! I discovered it on one of my visits to Lush a few years ago, and haven't been without it since.

I must admit, this stuff doesn't look great. In fact it looks like whipped poo, not a pretty sight! However, it tastes and smells exactly like chocolate!

It leaves my lips feeling soft and smooth and smelling great! Even when my lips are really dry and sore, this does the trick. There is no colour to it, but it does leave a nice shine to my lips, so I normally wear it over lip liner.

When I first started wearing this I couldn't figure out why I could smell chocolate all the time, until I finally realised that it was my lips. The scent is not strong, but it is long lasting, I can usually smell it for about half an hour after I've applied it.

Whipstick comes in a very cute little 10 gram tin and costs $9.95 (AUD).

The ingredients are: Oat infusion, almond oil, beeswax, chocolate, glycerine, olive oil, cetearyl alcohol, shea butter, honey, wheatgerm oil, carnauba, flavour, sodium borate, tangerine oil, orange oil, vanilla absolute, cocoa absolute and methylparaben.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Leg Gloss

I have very pale skin, so pale that I've often been told I glow in the dark. I really don't know why people feel the need to tell me this, but they do, regularly.

Despite this, I have never been brave enough to use fake tanner on a regular basis, because everytime I've tried it has looked unnatural, and I'm not willing to go to the salon for a spray tan on a regular basis. But when I had a summer wedding to go to I spied Palmer's Leg Gloss and decided to try it out.

When I first put this on it looked scary, a muddy brown, streaky mess. However, when I got the application right, it looked amazing! I instantly had tanned legs (and feet).

The secret to this is not applying too much. I used about half the amount I'd normally use when I'm moisturising, and I rubbed it in really well. I find it best to apply it in several light layers, that way it's easier to blend.

Once this stuff is on, it stays on. It won't rub or sweat off, and lasts all day. In fact, the only way I can get this off is using shower gel, in the shower. And it'll only come off in the shower when I'm scrubbing it off. It doesn't come off on clothes or shoes, doesn't sweat off and it has a lovely subtle shimmer to it.

Leg Gloss is also a moisturiser, containing cocoa butter and vitamin E. And, as an added bonus, it makes hair grow back slower. This is now a staple in my cupboard. It's not something I use every day, but when I don't want to look like Casper Palmer's Leg Gloss is what I use.

I purchased a 400 ml pump top bottle for $19.95 (AUD).

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

New sightings at David Jones

I must say, David Jones is certainly going up in the beauty stakes. First they get Burt's Bee's and Badger Balms, then they open a new MAC counter in the Perth city store, and on the 12th of August they'll be opening an Armani cosmetics counter.

I'm so excited about this, I've never seen Armani cosmetics in real life, and I've heard so many great things about them. I hear their foundations are amazing, so I'll definitely be checking them out. From what I can see, it looks like the Armani counter will be right next to the new MAC counter.

If you haven't already picked it up, get a copy of David Jones' Summer Beauty 2008 catalogue. They have heaps of great GWP's that are all available until 31st August.

I noticed when I was there today that they now have the Badger Cocoa Butter lip balms, which I really love. I was very tempted to buy another one (I already have two), but somehow managed to resist. They're selling for $9.95. They also had a larger range of the balms in the tin's, in both large and small sizes, and a bottle of body oil.

The Skin Type Solution

If there’s one skin care tip that I could recommend to everyone, it is to buy this book, it’s the best $19.95 I’ve ever spent. The amazing book is by Dr Leslie Baumann, and it’s called The Skin Type Solution. Dr Baumann is a dermatologist who says that skin has one of 16 different types and when you find your skin type you can treat it correctly, enabling you to have the best possible skin. She recommends products for each different skin type, from cheap to expensive, and she says that quality products do not have to be expensive.

At the start of the book there’s a quiz that you do to determine your skin type, and once you’ve found out what your skin type is, you read the chapter appropriate to your skin type.

The skin types are broken down into 4 different categories, pigmented or non-pigmented, wrinkled or tight, sensitive or resistant and oily or dry. All skin is a combination of these four. My skin type is DSNT (dry, sensitive, non-pigmented and tight).

Since I’ve been using the products recommended for my skin type, my skin has never looked better. I’d always thought that I had slightly oily, sensitive skin. After taking Dr Baumann’s quiz and discovering that I have dry, sensitive, non pigmented, tight skin, I totally changed my skin care routine. I had been using expensive skin care products and was still not happy with the condition of my skin. Now I use mainly Dove, Nivea and L’Occitane skin care and have great skin.

So if you are one of the many people out there confused about what products to use and sick of wasting money on products that don't work, race out and buy The Skin Type Solution, I promise you won't regret it!

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Fudge Dynamite

I've always liked Fudge products, they're reasonably priced, work well and smell great. My hairdresser recommended Dynamite to me after I'd started lightening my hair and it's now one of my favorite products.

Dynamite is a deep conditioning repair treatment that's great for dry and damaged hair. I've tried a lot of different conditioning treatments over the years and never found one that worked as well as Dynamite does. For me this is a holy grail.

It is a coconut scented, thick cream treatment that does a great job of making damaged hair soft, healthy and shiny. It's only through using this and Fudge's 1 Shot+ that I've kept my hair soft and healthy, with no damage from all the torture that I put it through.

I use this in the shower, after I've shampoo'd I comb it through my hair, leave it for about five minutes and then wash it out. When my hair is really dry I'll put it in and leave it overnight. I've also used it as a leave in conditioner by smoothing a little bit of it through the ends of my hair when it's looking dry.

A 125ml flip top tube costs $18.95(AUD).

Monday, 4 August 2008

Clinique Repairwear Intensive Lip Treatment

I'm a lip balm addict. It's the one product that I just can't resist. Everytime something new comes out I just have to try it. So when I heard that Clinique was coming out with a new lip balm I just had to have it. Even the $48 (AUD) price tag didn't put me off. Really, at this point I should have stopped and considered if any lip balm could possibly be worth that much money, but as I was in a shopping frenzy I didn't.

According to Clinique, this "smooth, gel-based lip treatment helps repair the look of wrinkles on and around lips. It protects natural collagen production, provides immediate and sustained antioxidant protection against external aggressors and replenishes the natural moisture barrier so lips stay soft and hydrated."

Here's what I think of each of those claims.

"Helps repair the look of wrinkles on and around lips"
After two months of twice daily use I can say that the wrinkles around my lips looked just the same as they did before I started using this.

"Boosts natural collagen production."
Possibly, however my lips don't look any plumper or bigger than they did before.

"Provides immediate and sustained antioxidant protection against the environment."
I'm not sure about this, but if they say so, I'll believe it, after all, I'm willing to pay $48 for a lip balm!

"Replenishes the natural moisture barrier so lips stay soft, hydrated."
Yes, this is definitely true. It does leave my lips feeling soft and hydrated.

All in all this is a nice lip balm. It has no fragrance or flavour, and is great used under lip pencil or lipstick. Plus, it comes in a lovely tube which looks very impressive when you pull it out of your bag, and has people asking what you're using. I was tempted to keep the case and put other lip balms in there cause it was so flash.

But, is it worth $48(AUD) for a 4 gram tube? No.
If I'd paid under $10 (AUD) for this I would have given it a 5 star rating, however as it's so ridiculously priced I wouldn't buy it again.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Some of my favorite things

Clinique Super City Block
I've been using this for years now, around 15 to be exact (that makes me sound old!) It's one of the few sunscreens that my skin doesn't react to. It's got a matte texture and is great used under foundation as a primer.

Shizen Lip Balm
This is an amazing lip balm, one of my all time favorites. In fact, I'd go so far as to say if I could only use one lip balm for the rest of my life, this would be it. It's got a great lemon scent, and it's an Australian product.

Badger Balms
These balms are great. They've got a great range of flavours, and are all natural. You can get them in stick or pot form. I prefer the sticks because they're easier to use. Plus, I find that as it's quite a hard balm, using the pots it's really difficult to get enough product onto my lips.

Burt's Bees Balms
I really love their original lip balm, it's all natural and does a great job of healing my lips when they are split and sore. It starts working straight away, and after two days use my lips are back to normal. It gives a little sting on application, which I really like.

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Moisturiser
Another amazing product. It smells great, like chocolate and is super moisturising. And if you aren't a fan of scented products, it comes in an unscented version. They also have an AHA version to help get rid of lumps and bumps.

Lancome Juicy Tubes
These would have to be the best lip glosses ever made. Now I know that's a huge statement, but they truly are amazing. They're shiny, moisturising, come in a great range of colours and taste great. Yes, they're expensive, but well worth the price.

L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream
I'm not that great at remembering to use hand creams, and I really don't like those creams that leave my hands sticky, which is why I love L'occitane's hand cream. It's really moisturising, sinks in quickly and doesn't leave any greasy residue on my hands.

Bonne Bell Lip Lites in Mocha Mousse
This is my all time favorite lip gloss. I've been using it for about 15 years and still love it as much as I did when I first tried it. It's the perfect MLBB shade, tastes great and is cheap!

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Stop Violence in the Home Shea Butter Lip Balm

The Body Shop regularly brings out lip balms to raise money for different charities. Their latest balm is a Shea Balm stick to help stop domestic violence. You purchase a card with two balms attached to it, one for yourself and one to give to a friend who may be a victim of domestic violence. They also have little cards that they are giving away, with different tips and information for people who may be in an abusive relationship.

Having known many people (both men and women) who are victims of domestic violence, I am a firm believer in the importance of stopping violence in the home. So naturally I had no choice but to buy this lip balm (and that's exactly how I'm justifying it to Mr GlossQueen!) Plus, the other justification I gave to Mr GlossQueen is that two lip balms for $12.95 is a bargain.

It's such a great balm that I'm glad the card contains two of them. I was intending to give one away to a friend, but now that I've tried them I've changed my mind. Hopefully The Body Shop will make these part of their regular line like they did with the Guarana lip butter.

The scent is lovely, like the shea butter body butter, with a little coconut mixed in. I didn't notice any flavour to it. It's a light, moisturising lip balm with a soft shine. It looks great applied over lip pencil for those days when I don't feel like wearing gloss or lipstick. And as an added bonus it doesn't contain petrolatum.

The ingredients are: cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, beeswax, euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), flavor, tocopheryl acetate, ammonium glycyrrhizate, retinyl palmitate, limonene and ascorbyl palmitate.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Silicea Gel

I know this isn't really a beauty product, but it's done such amazing things for my hair and nails that I just had to write about it.

My naturopath originally put me on Silica tablets to help my muscles recover from exercise. I didn't notice any difference in my hair and nails when I was using them. When I went to the health shop to buy more, the naturopath there convinced me to buy the gel, and told me that it was way better than the tablets as it was absorbed by the body better. I wasn't that keen on it because I thought it'd taste bad, but it doesn't have any taste.

After I'd been using silica gel for about 3 weeks I noticed that my nails were getting stronger. I've always had soft, weak nails, and I've never been able to grow them because they always bend and break. But they started getting stronger after 3 weeks, and after two months I had gorgeous nails that look like I've had a french manicure, the nail bed is pink and the tips are white.

I also noticed that my hair was getting thicker and growing faster. Even my hairdresser noticed the difference! My hair has always been fine and prone to split ends, but since using silica gel it's thicker, healthier and I rarely get split ends.

I used silica gel daily on and off for a year. But the best thing about it is that even though I haven't used it for around 12 months, I still have great hair and nails. Now, I'll use it for a few months if my nails start to get weak, and then stop for a few months.

I've been told that silica gel can be used on the skin to treat acne and wrinkles. I haven't tried this so can't say if it works or not, but considering the results that I've had from using it internally I'd say it'd be worth a try.

The brand that I use is called Silicea. It's available from health food stores and most chemists. There are several different brands of silica gel available, but of the ones that I've tried Silicea is my favorite.