Wednesday, 31 December 2008

My favorite products from 2008

I try a lot of different products all the time, and rarely repurchase any of them. However, there are a few favorites that I've repurchased again and again. Here are my top five repurchases from 2008.

Moon Haven Soaps - These are my favorite soaps ever. They come in a great range of different fragrances, have no nasties in them and are reasonably priced.

My Lip Stuff Lip Balms - They come in a great range of flavours, are reasonably priced and do a great job of moisturising my lips.

Dove Energy Glow moisturiser - I've been using this moisturiser for over two years now, and it's the best. It's great for people with dry skin, it keeps the flaky bits away, but doesn't leave me looking oily.

Badger Balms - Great all natural lip balms. They do an amazing job of moisturising my lips and contain no petrolatum.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Make-Up The Ultimate Guide by Rae Morris

I look at make-up books all the time, but don't often buy them, however I couldn't resist this one. For a start Rae is Australian, and a lot of the models in the book are also Australian. And it only costs $39.95.

Rae Morris has been a make-up artist for 15 years. She got off to an interesting start, thanks to Naomi Campbell. She was working as a hairdresser at the miss Model of the World pageant when Naomi's make-up artist left the room in tears. Naomi looked around the room and demanded that Rae fix her lips. As Rae was setting to work on Naomi's lips, the paparazzi took photo's. The next day Rae's picture was all over the papers and that was the start of her new career as a make-up artist.

If you're looking for a how to book, then this is perfect. It starts with a list of essential products and tools, along with an explanation of why you need each item. It then goes on to brushes and includes a great tip on how to choose good quality brushes.

Then it's on to skin prep, brows, false eyelashes and eye colour charts. There are also chapters on eyes, asian eyes, over 40's, contouring, foundation, bronzing, highlighting, lips and cheeks and then 10 minute makeovers.

Each chapter has very details instructions with step by step photo's so you can see exactly how to recreate the looks yourself. This is one of the best make-up books that I've seen, it breaks everything down so that anyone can make themselves look like they've had their make-up professionally done.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Becca Antique Gold Cream Eyeshadow

I find cream eye shadows to be hit and miss. Some of them are amazing, and others are creasy, greasy and horrible. I persist with them because when cream eye shadows work they're amazing. When I bought my Becca cream eye shadow I was hoping that it would fall into the amazing category, but it didn't.

No matter how I apply this it creases really badly. I've tried everything I can think of and it still creases. I've used primer and no primer. I've set it with powder, I've put powder eye shadow over the top, I've applied it very sheerly and very heavily. I've used a brush and used my fingers. Regardless of how I've applied it, it always creases within an hour. And it creases badly too, it's like all the eye shadow migrated up my eyelid into one horrible line of eyeshadow.

If I had oily eyelids I could understand why this shadow creases so badly, but I don't. I've used other cream eye shadows successfully. It's a real disappointment, because the colour is gorgeous.

Would I buy it again? No, it's a mess.

Ingredients: hydrogenated polyisobutene, cocoglycerides, caprylic/capric triglyceride, octyldodecanol, oxidized polyethylene, candelilla cera (euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax), hydrogenated castor oil, C20-40 alkyl stearate, stearalkonium hectorite, carnauba (copernicia cerifera (carnauba) wax), magnesium stearate and may contain: [+/- titanium dioxide CI 77891, iron oxides CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, ultramarines CI 77007, carmine CI 75470, ferric ferrocyanide CI 77510, bismuth oxychloride CI 77163, mica].

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Pure Luxe April's Mix

I've never really been a fan of finishing powders, they seem pointless to me as they don't appear to do much. But now that I've met April's Mix my opinion of finishing powders has changed totally.

April's Mix is a blend of correctors, bronzers, radiance and glow powder. Because of this, it does a few different things. It gives my skin a healthy glow, hides pores and fine lines, and sets my make-up. When I wear this I get people telling me how well I look.

In the container it looks like an apricot colours, but it's undetectable when I'm wearing it. It gives my skin a healthy, luminous, glowing look. I use this over the top of my foundation when I want to look polished and glowing. I also find that it helps my make-up stay in place.

I also use April's Mix over moisturiser on no make-up days to even out my skintone and give me a healthy, glowy look.

This is one of those products that every one needs, and one I'll never be without again.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Prestige Sun Baked Mineral Highlighter

When Prestige bought out their new mineral line I really wanted to try it, as everything looked so pretty. Mineral Highlighter reminds me of MAC's Mineralised Skin Finishes, so I just had to get one. At $24.95, these are a bargain.

I've used my Mineral Highlighter every day since I bought it and I'm so happy with it. It's great to use for an all over glow, either on it's own or over foundation. It also works wonderfully as a highlighter for cheeks, inner eye and on the brow bone.

Mineral Highlighter gives a soft, skin coloured sheen to my skin that's subtle and natural. The shimmer is not at all glittery or obvious, it's glowy and makes my skin look naturally healthy.

There's only one thing that I don't particularly like about this. Because it's a baked product, it's quite hard, so I have to really rub my brush or sponge into it to get the colour out.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Pure Luxe Eraser

I believe that every beauty kit needs a few magic products that transform the skin. For me Pure Luxe's Eraser is one of those magic products.

Eraser comes in two formulas, original, which is a gel/cream and powder. I use and love both of them. The original Eraser comes in clear and colour correcting, and the powder comes in original (which goes on clear), medium and deep.

Eraser can be used in two ways, as a primer and as a finishing treatment, or it can be used as both. I prefer to use it after foundation as a finishing treatment.

Here's what Pure Luxe has to say about the original Eraser: Have you ever wished for a "magical" product that would erase large pores, "experience" lines, and leave your skin feeling like silk? WISH NO MORE! After months of formulating, I have captured magic in a jar!
This gel/cream base acts like a soft-focus diffuser. Think of "Glamour Shots" in a jar!
ERASER will soften the look of lines, large pores, and produce an all-over effect of perfect skin. This product applies like a creamy gel, then instantly dries to a soft, silky powder.
You have never felt anything so luxurious! I promise, one try, and you WILL be hooked!

Here's what Pure Luxe has to say about the powder version: The application slip is unbelievable. Brushes on like silk. This multi-purpose powder does it all. Apply before foundation as a primer adds an extra layer of water-resistancy Contains REAL pearl powder (not the cheaper versions such as mother of pearl or crushed shells), known for it's healing and nourishing powers. Achieves a gentle all over soft focus effect.

Often I've found that the claims that companies make about their products just aren't true, but in this case they are. I find the powder formula is great to use as a primer and finishing powder. It helps to minimise the appearance of my pores and fine lines. I have the original colour, which goes on clear.

As much as I love the powder Eraser, the cream/gel formula is my favorite. It truly is a miracle product. When I use this over foundation I literally see my pores and fine lines disappear before my eyes. As with the powder formula, I use this in the original colour, and it goes on clear.

Normally for a product like this you'd expect it to be expensive, but it's very reasonably priced, and the shipping to Australia is well priced and fast.

Would I buy it again? Yes, I've already gone through two pots of this.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Dr LeWinn's Line Smoothing Complex High Potency Treatment Mask

I've yet to meet a Dr LeWinn's product that I don't like. Everything I've tried from this range has been lovely, and Line Smoothing Complex High Potency Treatment Mask is no exception.

This is a really interesting product. It's a gel mask that comes in two pieces, one for the forehead and another for the rest of the face. You smooth it onto your face and then leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes. What I love about this mask is that unlike other cloth type masks I've tried, this one adheres to my face, so I don't have to lie still the whole time I'm using it.

The texture is really unique. Dr LeWinn's calls it a hydro-gel, and on my face it feels soft and gel like.

According to Dr LeWinn's High Potency Treatment Mask is based on nano-technology delivery systems, the revolutionary anti-ageing Line Smoothing Complex hydro-gel mask delivers high potency peptides, anti oxidants and collagen into the layers of the skin. It is a convenient, ready to use one step treatment that leaves your skin feeling incredibly smooth and silky, whilst minimising the appearance of facial lines and wrinkles. With results noticeable from the first application, your complexion will look and feel revitalised and more radiant.

Multi Action Benefits:
Instant smoothing and radiance - you will feel an instant boost to your skin. Lines and wrinkles are less visible, your complexion is dramatically smoother and hydrated, and skin appears firmer and plumped.
Anti wrinkle action - acetyl hexapeptide-3 (argireline) a unique peptide that helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles, especially expression lines.
Panax ginseng extract, and ancient herb, known for its skin tightening properties, it helps stimulate collagen synthesis, thereby reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
Green tea extract, a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger that calms and soothes the skin, while assisting in anti wrinkle action.
Hydrating and moisturising - sodium hyaluronate, known as nature's moisture magnet, it helps retain moisture, instantly softening and plumping the skin, whilst gently smoothing away wrinkles and fine lines.

I really love this mask. It's expensive, but well worth it. After I've used this my skin feels soft, smooth and the fine lines seem to have reduced.

Would I buy it again? Yes.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

The Body Shop Coconut Shower Cream

Lately I've been trying to use more natural products, and I'd always thought that The Body Shop products fit that category, but when I did some research, I realised that they are all about Fair Trade, not natural. Despite that, I still love some of their products.

For me, Coconut Shower Cream is my daily dose of luxury. It's so rich and creamy, using it makes me feel very pampered. The coconut smell is just gorgeous.

I find this shower cream to be gentle and moisturising. My skin feels soft and moisturising after I've used it, it's very gentle and non drying. I've even used this when my skin is irritated and it hasn't caused any problems.

There's something about the smell of coconut that makes me feel soothed and happy. If you're looking for a lovely, rich shower cream, give this a go.

Ingredients: aqua (water), cocamidopropyl betaine, helianthus annuus (sunflower seed oil), PEG-5 cocamide, sodium laureth sulfate, coco-glucoside, acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, sodium cocoamphoacetate, cocos nucifera (Coconut) , acrylates/steareth-20 methacrylate copolymer, phenoxyethanol, sodium benzoate, parfum, sodium hydroxide, disodium EDTA, benzyl benzoate, tocopherol, coumarin, butylphenyl methylpropional

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Eco Tools Brushes

I strongly believe in the importance of using good quality brushes. They make such a difference to make-up application, they last a long time and feel nice on my face (which I think is the most important thing).

On a whim I bought an Eco Tools brush because they are earth friendly. The bamboo handles have a low impact on earth's resources, the synthetic taklon bristles are cruelty free and the ferrule is made from recycled aluminum.

I purchased an angled eyeliner brush and a shading brush. I'm in love with both of them. They are just as good as my expensive brushes and yet they cost about a quarter of the price. They're soft, great quality and don't shed at all. I've used them wet and dry without problems, they're easy to use and generally great products.

Eco Tools brushes are available from Priceline. You can get a set of five brushes for $24.95. If you are in need of new brushes and haven't tried Eco Tools, I highly recommend them!

Monday, 15 December 2008

Lipstick Queen Pink Saint

Back in the 90's I was a huge fan of Poppy cosmetics. I was so disappointed when they were discontinued. You can imagine how excited I was when I heard Poppy King was launching a new range of lip products called Lipstick Queen. They've finally arrived in Australia and are sold throughout the country at Kit stores.

Naturally, I couldn't resist buying a few products. One of them was Pink Saint.
Lipstick Queen lipsticks come in two variations, Saints, which are shiny with 10% pigment and Sinners, which are matte and 90% pigment. Saints have a gold tube and Sinners have a black tube.

Saint lipsticks go on smooth and shiny. As they are sheer they don't last ages on my lips, but when Pink Saint wears off it leaves a stain of colour on my lips. On my Pink Saint looks very close to my natural lip colour, so it's great for those days I want the 'no make-up' look.

Would I purchase it again? Yes, I love these lipsticks and will definitely be getting more of them.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

I love the way my skin feels after I've exfoliated, but due to my sensitive skin I have to be careful not to use a scrub that too rough, harsh or irritating. One of my favorite face scrubs is Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant.

According to Dermalogica; This unique, Rice-based enzyme powder activates upon contact with water, releasing papain, salicylic acid and rice enzymes to smooth the skin and accelerate cell renewal. Our unique skin brightening complex of rice bran, salicylic acid, green tea, grapefruit and licorice helps to balance uneven skin pigmentation. Papain and other active agents derived from rice bran and rice extract help to regulate melanin production while micro-exfoliating dead cells. A super-soothing blend of green tea, ginkgo and colloidal oatmeal calms inflammation, leaving the skin extraordinarily clear and refreshed. Gentle enough to use on a daily basis. Contains no artificial fragrance or color.

How it works:
Rice bran and rice starch gently microfoliate skin surface to facilitate penetration of the skin brightening complex. Papain enzyme and salicylic acid help dissolve excess surface cells. Skin brightening complex of rice bran, salicylic acid, green tea, grapefruit and licorice helps even skin tone.

Now I'm not sure about all of that. What I do know is that this is a great, gentle face scrub. It's a softly gritty powder that's gentle enough to use every day, however I usually use it twice a week. I pour a little bit of powder into my hand, add a few drop of water then massage it into my face.

After I've used this my skin feels very smooth. I bought a large 75 gram bottle from Strawberrynet which I've had for a year now and have only used a third of it, so whilst this may seem expensive, I use so little that it will last for ages.

If you're interested in this I suggest buying it from Skin Care Store as they are often cheaper than Strawberrynet.

Would I buy it again? Yes, it's a favorite of mine.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Prestige Wonder-Full Lip Plumping Gloss

Never one to resist a gloss, I couldn't help buying one of Prestige's lip plumpers when they were on sale. I got the colour Chic LPG-03, which is a very pretty mauve pink with subtle silver shimmer. It's a colour that's very close to my natural lip colour.

This gloss contains maxi lip which is said to increase collagen and provide lip plumping effects when worn continuously for 30 days.

When I first apply this there is not tingle, but within a minute I can feel a tingle. The amazing thing about this gloss is that the tingle doesn't go away until the gloss has totally worn off. With other plumping glosses the tingle usually fades after a few minutes, but not with Wonder-Full.

As with most of the other plumpers I've tried, I don't think my lips look any bigger, but they do look full and pink.

The gloss is not sticky, it's smooth and creamy with a subtle shine. Texture and shine wise, this is similar to a light liquid lipstick. The colour is sheer and subtle. It looks great on it's on and over lipstick or pencil. It has a lovely, spicy scent with no flavour.

Would I buy this again? Yes.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Simple Regeneration Age Resisting Eye Cream

This is what Simple has to say about Age Resisting eye cream:
"Natural antioxidant green tea in combination with oat-beta-glucan will help stimulate your skin's own immune system, reinforcing it's ability to renew itself.
Sodium hyaluronate and mushroom extract help firm and reduce puffiness around the eye area.
Natural gingko biloba, allantoin and pro-vitamin B5 helps to repair, protect and strengthen the skin around the delicate eye area."

Sounds good doesn't it? I used this eye cream for three months and am disappointed to say that I haven't noticed any difference in the condition of my skin. It is a good moisturiser for the eye area, but that's it.

I find this to be a light, easily absorbed cream that keeps the skin around my eyes hydrated. It's suitable for sensitive skin and didn't sting or irritate at all.

If you're looking for a basic, cream to keep your eye area hydrated this would be perfect, but if you want a cream that gives results then I wouldn't recommend this product.

Would I buy it again? No.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Ganache for Lips Lemon Meringue

Lemon Mousse is the only non chocolate balm that Ganache makes. As I love my other Ganache balm, I assumed that I would love this balm just as much, so I'm very surprised to be saying that I'm not a huge fan of this balm.

The flavour and fragrance are lovely, like a beautiful, sweet lemon. Unlike the chocolate flavoured balms, Lemon Mousse is a hard balm. I have to put on plenty of layers before I feel like I'm wearing balm, and I'm reapplying every 15 minutes because I feel like I don't have any balm on. Even after applying several layers of this balm my lips look and feel bare.

I'm not sure why Lemon Mousse is different from the chocolate balms, perhaps it's because the chocolate versions have cocoa extract, although I wouldn't have thought that cocoa would make any difference.

Would I buy it again? No, I'll stick to the chocolate ones.

Ingredients: sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, beeswax, shea butter, vitamin E, vanilla extract in fractionated coconut oil, lemon oil, rosemary extract.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Benefit Danelion

Dandelion is the first powder blush that I fell in love with. It's also one of the first Benefit products that I purchased.

I know that some people use this as an all over highlighting colour, but as I already have a pink tone to my skin this doesn't work for me. However, for people without pink toned skin it would make a great all over glow product.

This is what Benefit has to say about Dandelion: "Start your day the "perk-me-up" way, and keep them guessing how you look so pretty this early in the morning. Dust on our soft, pink, perk-me-up powder for instant radiance and a youthful appearance. It's the perfect shade of pink that brightens everyone's complexion without looking powdery or chalky.

Tips and tricks: Sweep the brush across the powder a few times, then tap off any excess. Brush lightly on to the apples of your cheeks in an outward motion. For the final touch, lightly brush all over your complexion."

Dandelion comes in a cute little box with a brush in the top, which is okay for use as a blush brush. I prefer to use a skunk brush so I don't use the brush that was provided (I threw it away). Dandelion is a beautiful soft pink colour with subtle shimmer in it which makes a beautiful sheer blush for pale skinned girls.

Would I buy it again? Yes!

Friday, 5 December 2008

Bonne Bell Lip Lites Glossy Tint

Those of you who like flavoured lip balms need to get one of these. The flavours are so yummy, I usually end up licking most of the balm off my lips a few minutes after I've applied it.

As far as lip balms go this doesn't do much. It has a smooth, creamy texture that feels nice on my lips, but I don't find it moisturising at all.

Lip Lites Glossy Tints give a sheer wash of shimmery colour, so I use this like I would a gloss. It works very well applied over lip balm or lipstick. It has the same lasting power of a gloss, so needs to be reapplied regularly.

For me, the draw card of these balms is the flavour. If they weren't flavoured then I wouldn't use them.

I've tried; Cappuccino, Vanilla, Strawberry Gelati and Caramel Latte. They are all taste lovely.

Would I buy these again? No. They taste great, but aren't at all moisturising.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Earthly Possessions Fig and Cinnamon Lip Butter

I don't normally use lip products with cinnamon in them as it irritates my lips, but as Mr GlossQueen gave me this for valentines day I was determined to make it work. Surprisingly, the cinnamon in the lip butter doesn't irritate my lips. I don't find this to be a highly hydrating balm, but it's great for everyday use.

The fragrance is a lovely mix of fig with with a slight hint of cinnamon. There is no flavour. The texture is smooth and creamy with a shiny finish. It usually lasts around an hour before I need to reapply.

Fig and Cinnamon Lip Butter comes in a great pot that's wide enough for me to get the balm out without it getting stuck under my fingernails. The pot is a large 15 grams, which is about double the size of regular lip balm pots.

There are three flavours available, fig and cinnamon, frangipani and coconut and lime.

Would I buy it again? Yes, it's a lovely balm.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

The Body Shop Lip Butter

If you're a fan of potted lip balms, then you should give one of these a try. They're hydrating enough to soothe rough, dry lips and are great to use in winter. The texture is like butter, soft and smooth. They have a slightly glossy finish and need to be rubbed in well so that they don't leave a white tint to my lips (never a good look).

Being the lip balm addict that I am, I've tried the following flavours; nut, shea, papaya and coconut. I also have an unopened guarana one waiting to be used. My favorite is papaya (which is a fancy word for paw paw). It smells and tastes amazing.

Would I buy it again? Yes. Out of all of them papaya is the one that I would buy again.

Ingredients: butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), ricinus communis (castor oil), brassica campestris/aleurites fordi oil copolymer, cera alba (beeswax), carica papaya, lanolin, PEG-8 beeswax, hydrogenated castor oil, benzyl benzoate, aroma, silica, limonene, tocopheryl acetate, hexyl cinnamal, ammonium glycyrrhizate, linalool, citronellol, tocopherol, citral, methyl 2-cctynoate, geraniol, CI 77891, CI 15850, CI 19140.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Miessence Organics Tahitian Breeze Deodorant

I've been hunting for a natural deodorant that is effective and non irritating for a few years now. I'd given up the hunt when on impulse I decided to try Miessence's deodorant. I chose the Tahitian Breeze fragrance which is beautiful. It's a lovely mix of floral and citrus. In fact if there was a perfume that smelled like this I'd buy it.

I'm very happy to report that this deodorant works really well, even on very hot days. It keeps me odour free all day. The fragrance is subtle and light.

And added bonus is that this deodorant does not leave white marks on my clothes. I have noticed that it leaves yellow marks under the arms on my white tops, but the marks come out in the wash.

The other great thing about this deodorant is that it does not irritate my skin at all. I find that a lot of deodorants make me break out in a rash, but this doesn't happen with my Miessence deodorant. I can even apply it straight after shaving without any stinging or irritation.

There are two different fragrances, Tahitian Breeze and Ancient Spice, and there is also an unscented version available.

Would I buy it again? Definitely, it's a lovely product.

Ingredients: purified water (aqua), organic aloe vera (aloe barbadensis) leaf juice, sodium bicarbonate, non-gmo xanthan gum, honeysuckle (lonicera japonica) extract, organic bergamot (citrus bergamia) essential oil, lime (citrus aurantifolia) essential oil, organic ylang ylang (canaga odorata) essential oil, organic patchouli (pogostemon cablin) essential oil, organic geranium (pelargonium graveolens) essential oil.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Atopalm MLE Face Cream

This is a moisturiser that everyone with sensitive skin needs. If you only buy one skin care product this year, make it Atopalm cream. It comes in a face and body version, so it's great for people who suffer from eczema.

I discovered Atopalm after reading The Skin Type Solution. Dr Baumann recommends this product for people with sensitive skin. Atopalm moisturiser is proven to mimic the same three dimensional structure that the natural skin barrier has. This means that it helps to restore and rebuild the skin barrier.

This is the only moisturiser I can use when my skin is irritated. It's fragrance free and does not sting or cause irritation and redness. It only takes a week of once daily use for my skin to feel moisturised and no longer irritated. I can even use this when I have eczema and rashes. As it doesn't contain sunscreen I use it as a night cream.
Atopalm is my go to product when my skin is red and irritated.

As a moisturiser it is very hydrating without being greasy. It sinks in quickly and leaves my skin feeling hydrated, soothed and soft.

According to Atopalm their MLE Face Cream works to replenish the skin's own barrier function by providing essential lipids, allowing the skin to repair itself. Antioxidants, Vitamins B and E provide protection from free-radical damage, while other ingredients soothe irritation and inflammation.
Side-effect-free and highly effective, ATOPALM MLE Face Cream will leave your skin rejuvenated and sheltered against everyday harmful environmental factors, harsh cleansers and moisture-stripping products.
ATOPALM MLE Face Cream is ideal for all skin types, including dry or sensitive skin and those with sun-damage. Those with even the most extremely dry and sensitive skin conditions, including rosacea and eczema, will find there is no longer a need to rely on steroidal products.

Aids in skin healing and repair. Suitable for all skin types. Soothes extremely dry, flaky or sensitive skin. Ideal for those with sensitive skin conditions including Rosacea and Eczema. Free of side effects. Compliments any skin care regimen to combat the often harsh drying effects of other skin care products. Soothes skin after cosmetic procedures including microdermabrasion, laser treatments and facial peels.

You can buy Atopalm MLE cream from Skin Care Store.

Would I buy it again? Yes, I'll always have some of this in my house.

Ingredients: water (aqua), butylene glycol, glycerin, myrisyl/palmityl oxostearamide/arachamide MEA, PEG-10 glyceryl stearate, vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil, cetyl alcohol, glyceryl stearate, macadamia ternifolia seed oil, qqualane, biosaccharide gum-1, PEG-10 glyceryl stearate, portulaca oleracea extract, sodium lactate, dimethicone, glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, tocopheryl acetate, sunflower oil decyl esters, carbomer, methylparaben, propylparaben, allantion, stearic acid, BHT, essential oil, fragrance,