Thursday, 30 April 2009

CO Bigelow Mentha Lip Tint Pink Mint

It constantly irks me that there are so many great products not easily available to us here in Australia. If I ever go to the US I'll go crazy with all the shopping, I'll want one of everything. If I do ever go to the US one of my first stops will be to Bath and Body Works, because they stock CO Bigelow products.

CO Bigelow Mentha Lip Tints are amongst my favorite lip balms/glosses. In fact, they're in my top five favorite glosses. One of the things that I love about Mentha Lip Tints is that they are a balm as well. I'd love if they were more easily available to Australia. The CO Bigelow site does ship to Australia, but the postage is $30 US, which I think is totally unreasonable.

Now that I've finished complaining about how difficult these are to get hold of, I'll tell you why I love them. They're a gloss and a balm in one, and they truly are moisturising. They have a lovely peppermint scent and a sweet flavour that Mr GQ loves. They're super glossy but not sticky, and the gloss lasts a few hours before it needs to be reapplied.

I've only tried Pink Mint, which is a very pretty soft pink colour that gives my lips a pretty wash of sheer colour.

Would I buy these again? Yes, I'm constantly hunting on ebay for them.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Y-Yo Colognes

The more I write this blog (and ingredients lists), the more I start to think about what I'm putting onto my skin. I'm leaning more and more towards using natural and organic products where possible. Whilst wandering about on the internet recently I came across this range of natural colognes. As it was only $6.95 (AUD) to get a sample pack of all three fragrances I thought I'd give them a go.

You get a little spray bottle of each scent, with 50 sprays in each one. I've tried all of them and they're really nice. My favorite is Glow, which is an earthy, floral scent. All three colognes are unisex and could easily be worn by a male or female. The prices are very reasonable too. A 15 ml bottle is $12.95 and a 50 ml bottle is $39.95. As they are colognes the scent only lasts a few hours on me, so need to be reapplied regularly throughout the day to maintain the scent.

From the Y-Yo website: Y-Yo (pronounced ee – yo) is a sensuous blend of oils extracted from plants used in the world’s most desirable fragrances for centuries. These oils, as well as smelling divine, have intrinsic properties that have been used, since forever, to perform beyond simply stimulating the olfactory senses.

First and foremost we want the day-to-day fragrance we wear to make us smell beautiful. With essential oil-fragranced products we can not only smell fabulous the organic, chemical free way, but we can derive other benefits too.

The proliferation of chemical based fragrances, particularly since WW1, has meant that the therapeutic benefits gained from many colognes and perfumes – as was the original intention centuries ago - has been lost. Today, up to 90% of conventional fragrances are made up of largely untested synthetic chemicals (Turin & Sanshez, 2008). It’s essentially the marketing of a product that makes us smell "alluring, uplifted, sexy, beautiful" not the ingredients in the product itself.

At Y-Yo we’ve harnessed the knowledge gathered over generations of Egyptians, Chinese, Indians and indigenous Australians (to name but a few!) to develop a range of certified organic essential oil-fragranced products that marry nature’s beauty and utility. Our forefathers, so in-tune with the healing powers of nature, understood the uplifting benefits derived from jasmine and citrus; energising peppermint and red thyme; and the mosquito repelling properties of lavender, rosemary and vetiver. Consequently the all-natural ingredients in Y-Yo Glow uplift if you’re feeling blue; Y-Yo Flow revitalises if you lack energy or concentration; and Y-Yo Original protects you against attracting mosquitoes at that next summer party.

There’s no nasties in Y-Yo. We’re chemical free. Y-Yo products care for you, your family, animals and the environment. We’re conscious of what we put on our skin and hope that you are too. It takes just twenty six seconds for the chemicals in most conventionally fragranced products to penetrate our skin, to circulate through our blood stream and get into every organ in our body. TWENTY SIX SECONDS. We therefore need to be aware – not paranoid – just aware of how many chemically-laden products we put on (and therefore in) our bodies. Make a point of being informed. Care for your body and your family.

We use certified organic ingredients from suppliers who have internationally recognised organic certification backed up with annual reviews by third party auditors. And because Y-Yo has been developed to not only make you feel wonderful but to perform a function, you can be sure that we don’t use any ingredients that we don’t have to. The highest quality ingredients have been selected because of their specific properties and purpose rather than being put in to the mix for mere aesthetics.

Would I buy these again? Yes, I'll definitely be getting a full sized bottle of Glow.

Ingredients: organic ethanol, aqua, plant based solubiliser and certified organic essential oils.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

The Face Shop Quick and Clean Blemish Balm

I read quite a few Asian beauty blogs, so have been reading about Blemish Balms for ages. In Australia they are really difficult to get hold of, I've been hunting unsuccessfully for at least six months. Now that we have The Face Shop in WA, to my great delight, I was finally able to get my hands on a Blemish Balm.

Blemish Balms are like oil free tinted moisturisers, with a heavier coverage. They are supposed to reduce pimples, and often come in only one colour. If you're pale skinned then you'll be able to wear Blemish Balms, but if you have darker skin you might have problems finding the correct shade.

I've been using my Blemish Balm for about two months now and I'm really happy with it. I can't say that it's made any difference to my pimples (but I think they are hormone related), but it's a great product. I often use it instead of foundation, as the coverage is enough that I only need a light dusting of powder over the top.

The coverage is closer to what you'd get from a foundation than a tinted moisturiser. I find it moisturising enough that I can use it alone, without the need to use a separate moisturiser. It's also good for those days when my skin is oily as it helps to keep the oiliness under control. It has a lovely fresh scent that fades quickly upon application.

Would I buy it again? Yes, it's a nice product.

Ingredients: water, cyclopentasiloxane, glycerin, dimethicone, cyclomethicone, titanium dioxide, talc, peg/ppg-20/20 dimethicone, methicone, bis-peg/ppg-14/14 dimethicone, trimethylsiloxysilicate, isohexadecane, gltcosyl trehalose/hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, magnesium sulfate, squalane, portulaca oleracea extract, iron oxides, c12-14 pareth-3, phenoxyethanol, peg-8, propylparaben, piper methysticum extract, peg-8/smdi copolymer, methylparaben, fragrance, butylene glycol, salix nigra (willowbark) extract, melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) leaf oil, citrus grandis (grapefruit) peel extract, chamomilla recutita flower extract, backhousia citrodora leaf extract, althea officinalis extract, silica, dimethiconol/silsesquioxane copolymer, malt extract, honey extract, propylene glycol.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Clinique Turnaround Instant Facial


I've never been a huge fan of Clinique skin care. The products that I've tried have been okay but not amazing. But they recently had a beautiful gwp that I really wanted, so I bought their Turnaround, cause I figured that I couldn't go wrong with an exfoliator.

Here's what Clinique says about Turnaround: High performance 5 minute facial delivers all the radiance and smoothness of microdermabrasion with significantly less irritation and stress to skin. An advanced cocktail of exfoliants promotes surface cell turnover on multiple levels to instantly unveil skin that's fresher, more vibrant and even tones. Oil free. Use 2 to 3 times a week as needed.

I wasn't expecting much, but I really like this face mask. It's a grainy mask and works as a mask and an exfoliant. You put the mask on, leave it for five minutes then rub it in before washing it off. I find that as I rub it in it balls up so a lot of the mask is gone and I just need to do a quick wash to get rid of the excess. After I've used it my skin feels soft and smooth for days.

I've been using this twice a week and my skin looks and feels great. I have sensitive skin and I didn't get any redness or irritation after using Turnaround. It's a lovely product that I will buy again. And the great thing is that as it costs $68, when they have a gwp it's enough to get you the gift.

Ingredients: water, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, dimethicone, diatomaceous earth, butylene glycol, methyl trimethicone, lauryl metharcrylate/glycol dimethacrylate crosspolymer, acetyl glucosamine, c12-14 pareth-12, sodium cocoyl sarcosinate, ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/vp copolymer, glycerin, salicylic acid, castanea sativa seed extract, laminaria saccharina extract, salvia sclarea extract, polygonum cuspidatum root extract, oryza sativa bran extract, creatine, saccharomyces lysate extract, yeast extract, ethylhexylglycerin, caffeine, allyl methacrylates crosspolymer, di-c12-18 alkyldimonium chloride, adeonsine phosphate, chamomilla recutita, arginine, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, alumina, pentaerythrityl tetra-di-t-butyl hydroxytydrocinnamate, disodium edta, sorbic acid, phenoxyethanol, chlorphenesin, ext.violet 2 (ci 60730), blue 1 (ci 42090), titanium dioxide (ci 77891).

Photo courtesy of Clinique.

Friday, 24 April 2009

The Face Shop Pore Minimizer Cover-Up

Wow. I just went onto The Face Shop's website and noticed that they've revamped. It's much nicer and more user friendly than before. Also, if you join as a member you get a 10% discount coupon. However, I can't find the Pore Minimizer Cover-Up on the new website. I hope this doesn't mean that it's discontinued, cause it's a wonderful product.

I've been using this for about two months now, with no ill effects. In the past I've found that pore minimizers dry out my skin, but I haven't had this problem with Cover-Up. It's a clear gel that can be used alone or as a base under make-up.

When I use this it does make my pores appear smaller. It's also great to use as a primer. The texture is smooth and gel like. I find this quite effective at keeping my skin shine free too. For those of you with enlarged pores Cover-Up is definitely worth a try.

Would I buy it again? Yes!

Ingredients: cyclomethicone, dimethicone, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, acacia senegal, crataegus monogina fruit extract, hedera helix (ivy) extract, phellinus linteus extract.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Burt's Bees Baby Bee All Better Balm

Now I know that this is for babies and I don't have a baby, but I really like it. I use it when I get those dry, red, flaky patches on my face. It heals them up really quickly and isn't at all shiny, so I use use it during the day over my make-up and it's not visible.

It has a lovely apricot fragrance, but it doesn't taste as good as it smells. I've tried using this as a lip balm and don't recommend it. It's way too slippery and it doesn't taste very good!

Ingredients: sweet almond oil, beeswax, cocoa butter, wheat germ oil, fragrance, tocopherol, calendula extract, chamomile extract, lavender oil, rosemary leaf extract.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009


I've written in the past about how I like Natural Instinct products. That was until I found out that they have been mislabelling their products. Thankfully they haven't gotten away with it and have the following information on their website.



Natural Products of Australia Pty Ltd (ACN 107 425 838) (Natural Instinct) is a manufacturer, wholesaler and distributor of a range of hair and skin care products and household cleaning products marketed under the names “Natural Instinct” and “Organic Instinct”.

Non-compliant labelling and misleading claims

Following an investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (the ACCC), Natural Instinct has acknowledged that it may have breached sections 52, 53(a), 55 and 65D of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (the Act) in the labelling of some of its products and in brochures distributed by Natural Instinct.

Natural Instinct underwent a change of management in October 2007. The ACCC acknowledges it is likely that some of the conduct described below was initiated by the previous management of Natural Instinct. Natural Instinct’s current management is working with the ACCC to rectify these matters.

Until on or about 30 June 2008:

  • Natural Instinct did not include sodium laureth sulphate (plant derived), cocamide DEA, cetrimonium chloride and citric acid as ingredients on the labels of the products listed in Table A, as required by the Trade Practices (Consumer Product Information Standards) (Cosmetic) Regulations 1991 (the Standard).



Products affected

Sodium Laureth Sulphate (plant derived)

Baby shampoo
Baby bath wash
Body wash

Foaming cleanser
Hand wash

Cocamide DEA

Baby shampoo
Body wash
Foaming cleanser

Hand wash

Cetrimonium Chloride

Baby conditioner


Citric Acid

Baby bath wash
Baby conditioner
Baby shampoo
Baby moisturising lotion
Body wash
Facial scrub

Foaming facial cleanser
Hand cream
Hand wash
Hydrating toner

  • Natural Instinct did not list ingredients in the correct order on the products listed in Table B, as required by the Standard.


Products affected

Aloe Vera Gel

Baby bath wash

Baby conditioner

Baby moisturising lotion

Baby shampoo

Body lotion

Body wash


Facial scrub

Foaming facial cleanser

Hand cream

Hand wash



  • Natural Instinct did not correctly name the chemicals and ingredients listed in Table C, as required by the Standard


INCI name

Incorrect name(s) used

Sodium laureth sulphate (plant derived)

Sodium Salt of Laureth 2
Sodium Salt of Sulphonated Laureth 2

Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate


Fragrance (USA)
Parfum / Profumo (UE)

Preservative T

Cetrimonium Chloride

Quaternised derivative of palm oil

The purpose of the Standard is to allow consumers to identify ingredients contained in cosmetic products and to compare products. This is particularly important for consumers with allergies and for consumers who wish to avoid the use of certain chemicals or ingredients.

Natural Instinct has acknowledged that it may have breached the Act and has entered into an undertaking with the ACCC to place this corrective notice; to cease the contravening conduct; provide refunds to affected customers; and to implement a Trade Practices Compliance Program.

Full details of the Section 87B Undertaking and a list of affected products can be found on the Public Register on the ACCC’s website at

To compensate customers who purchased Natural Instinct products and believe they have been misled, Natural Instinct is offering a refund for the full purchase price of affected products. For more information about claims for refunds contact Edwina Pearce of Natural Instinct on 1800 771 063 or at customerservice@natural by 6 June 2009.

ACCC logo CMYK option 3

This corrective advertisement has been paid for by Natural Products of Australia Pty Ltd and placed pursuant to an undertaking to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission given under section 87B of the Trade Practices Act 1974.

This information comes from the ACCC website:

ACCC targets blemish in cosmetics labelling

Australian cosmetics manufacturer Natural Products of Australia Pty Ltd will publish corrective notices in national newspapers and magazines this month, following action by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission about incorrect labelling on Natural Instinct and Organic Instinct hair and skin care products.

"Consumers should be able to rely on labels to provide accurate information about the chemicals and other ingredients in cosmetic products," ACCC Deputy Chairman, Mr Peter Kell, said today.

The ACCC was concerned that inaccuracies in Natural Instinct's labels would mislead consumers about the composition of its products and prevent them from making informed purchasing decisions.

"This is particularly important for consumers with allergies who need to avoid particular ingredients and chemicals," he said. "Further, consumers who are increasingly conscious of the kinds of chemicals in the home may wish to avoid certain ingredients.

"There is also a trend towards buying natural, organic and environmentally friendly products."

Natural Instinct did not list chemicals such as sodium laureth sulphate, cocamide DEA and cetrimonium chloride as ingredients on a number of its products.
It later listed ingredients including sodium laureth sulphate and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate by incorrect names. Natural Instinct also did not list ingredients from biggest to smallest as required by the applicable mandatory standard.

The ACCC also held concerns about statements by Natural Instinct that its products are "made with/from 100% pure oils and certified organic herbs" because a number of the products contain relatively insignificant amounts of herbs and oils. Natural Instinct has amended its packaging in response to this concern.

"The purpose of the mandatory standard for cosmetic labelling is to ensure that consumers know exactly what is in the products they use. The ACCC will take action against manufacturers which fail to comply with the mandatory standard and gain an unfair advantage over companies that do the right thing."

The ACCC acknowledges it is likely that some of the conduct was initiated by the previous management of Natural Instinct.

Natural Instinct's current management has entered into court enforceable undertakings with the ACCC and has agreed to:

  • relabel its products
  • provide full refunds to affected customers
  • publish corrective notices in the Women's Weekly magazine and the Body+Soul lift-out of the Sunday Mail, Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Herald Sun, Sunday Times and major newspapers in Tasmania and the Northern Territory
  • publish a corrective notice listing all affected products on its website (
  • endeavour to place corrective notices in all stores that sell its products, and
  • implement a trade practices law compliance program.

For information about claiming a refund contact Natural Instinct on 1800 771 063 or email

Release # NR 078/09

Issued: 16th April 2009