Wednesday, 30 August 2017

August Empties

After last months dismal effort, August was much better. I cleaned up my bathroom counter and found a whole pile of samples so made a huge effort to use them up. I have a few left, but most of them are done now. I also finished a foundation! I'm determined to get through as many of my foundations as possible.

I also had a clean out and tossed a few products that either don't suit me or are old. The ones that don't suit me were given to someone who'll use them and the old products were tossed. Did you know that most cosmetics packaging is recyclable? Just look for the symbol on the bottom.

Frank Bod Coffee Scrub 
I only use It's The Bomb scrubs now, however I found this lurking in the back of my cupboard so used it.  Whilst it's a lovely scrub, It's The Bomb ones are better. 

L'Oreal Botanicals Geranium Shampoo and Treatment 
These are both lovely and I'd happily use them again. 

Clarins Gentle Beauty Soap
I'm surprised at how gentle this really is. I can use it on my face with no irritation. Despite that, I mainly use it on my body as I just can't bring myself to use a bar soap on my face.

Clinique Turnaround Face Mask
Unfortunately it appears that this has been discontinued as it's no longer on their website. It was a lovely mask/scrub that left my face feeling very smooth.

Models Prefer Caramel Lip Balm
Caramel lip balm! How difficult is it to find a caramel lip balm! Whenever I find one I buy it straight away. The Models Prefer balms a lovely, next time you see them on sale grab a few. 

TBX Brow Brush
RIP brush. It disintegrated in my drawer, no idea why.

Simplicite Great Outdoors Moisturiser
My holy grail winter sunscreen, ideal for dry skin. I'll repurchase this next winter. It has SPF of 15, I like to use a higher SPF for summer. 

The Body Shop Cocoa Butter Lip Care Stick
Yet another product that is no longer available in Australia. Why do we miss out on so much? Life is cruel.

Clinique Superbalm
This is everything that I don't like in a lip balm and yet I love it. Bizarre. 

L'Occitane Hand Cream
These are my favourite hand creams, they have a range of beautiful scents, they're not greasy and are super hydrating. 

Buddha Balm Burnt Sugar Fig Lip Balm
I could tell you about this but there isn't much point as Buddha Balm are no longer operating.

Lush Rose Jam Shower Gel
If I could only use one shower gel for the rest of my life I'd choose Rose Jam, the scent is beautiful. A few years ago they released a Rose Jam perfume which I was lucky enough to get my hands on. I hope they release it again. 

It's The Bomb Body Scrub 
Perfection in a scrub and the only body scrubs that I use now.

Clinique Moisture Surge Foundation
I love this, it was great for travel, gave good coverage and was easy to use. I won't be repurchasing any time soon as I have a lot of other foundations that I need to finish.

Empassion Facial Scrub
I didn't find this scrubby enough for my face, but it smelled lovely so I enjoyed using it. 

Skinstitut Even Blend Serum
Those of you who have dark spots need to try Even Blend Serum. Combined with the Skinstitut Vitamin C, it's a miracle worker for dark patches. I will continue to repurchase this until the end of my days.

Maybelline One by One Mascara
Effective yet unremarkable.

So many samples, no wonder my vanity was a mess! The Concordia and Oils of Life products were winners. The rest were okay but not amazing.

Tosses. That bottle of John Frieda Ocean Waves is vintage. It's their original sea salt spray and would be over ten years old. It still smells great and works as well as ever. 

Monday, 28 August 2017

A few of my favourite cleansers

After many, many years I'm finally getting a regime of skin care products that work for me and I'm happy to stick with. It's such a relief having products that I know work for me instead of constantly searching for something effective. Today I'm showcasing the cleansers I love. 

Palmers Facial Cleansing Oil
An oil based cleanser is the first step in my night time routine. I'm currently using Palmers, however I also use The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil and MooGoo Oil Cleansing Method.

I love the scent of the Palmer's cleanser, it smells like chocolate! One swipe  removes all my make-up, including eye make-up. Unlike some oil cleansers, this doesn't leave a greasy film, my skin is left feeling soft and clean. 

Oil Cleansers are great for people with sensitive, easily irritated skin because they are gentle and yet still able to cut through layers of make-up and skin care. Ones designed for dry skin can also act as a moisturiser as they leave the skin feeling hydrated. 

Grahams Natural Daily Facial Gel Cleanser
I use this every night as my second cleanser. It's a light, gel cleanser that removes all my make-up, including eye make-up, without any irritation. On nights that I'm in a hurry I'll use this alone, however normally I use it after I've removed my make-up with an oil cleanser. I like that it removes all trace of the oil cleanser and leaves my skin feeling soft and comfortable. The pump top is an added bonus. 

Having dry skin I usually stay away from gel and foaming cleansers, but this is not at all drying or irritating, it's as gentle as a cream cleanser. 

Trilogy Cream Cleanser
This is my morning cleanser. I love it because of the beautiful scent and how gentle it is on my skin. Whilst it works well to remove make-up, I use it in the morning as I like to start my day with the lovely, luxurious scent. I'm all about nice scents. 

I could easily use this as my only cleanser, however due to the price ($38.95 for 200ml), I try to make it last as long as possible. 

Two other favourites not pictured as I don't have them at the moment are the Audra James 3 in 1 Skin Cleansing Balm and Concordia Natural Skincare Purifying Cream Cleanser.

What are your favourite cleansers?

Friday, 25 August 2017

FFS Friday - Why?

Do you ever wonder why we do things? Why we blindly follow a path just because it's "what you do"? I wonder that all the time. I've wondered for years. 

I also wonder how we know things are right. Just because everyone says something is right doesn't mean it is. For example. When I was seven my teacher told me my colouring in was messy because I didn't colour inside the lines. I wondered why we should colour inside the lines. I thought perhaps everyone was wrong and we were meant to colour outside the lines. How did I know she was correct? Just because it's always been that way doesn't mean it's right. So, I did a whole picture neatly coloured outside the lines, specially for my teacher. I gave it to her and she didn't say a word. Hah.

I regularly wonder if the rules we live by are correct. I struggle to believe that there can be a one size fits all rule. It makes no sense to me. Lately I've been thinking this about school. It's just not working for Chai. He doesn't fit the mould, he's struggling and it's turning him into an angry, upset little boy. So why do I send him? Because it's what you do. But that doesn't mean it's what I should do or what works for Chai. He's not ready for education. He has too many issues to be able to learn. He needs to get his sensory and physical issues sorted before he's ready to learn. If I take him out of school I'll be expected to homeschool him. Or what? What would happen if I took him out of school and let him be a free range child? I imagine nothing would happen. Sure I might get a few threatening letters and maybe even a visit but so what? My child would be happy and that's what's important. 

I can just imagine Chai when he's older wanting to know why I watched him suffer and did nothing to help him. It's my job to fight for him, even if that means that I fight against societal norms. 

As a child I didn't fit into the school system. It just didn't work for me, not because I had issues but because I was different to the other children and learned a lot quicker. Because of that I got bored. I wanted to be home schooled. I would have loved to be given my work for the year and left alone to do it. I reckon I could have finished the years worth of work in three months quite easily. I feel like the school system failed me. I didn't finish upper school and didn't go to uni because I didn't learn the way everyone else learned. 

I look at everyone blindly following the order of things and wonder what's wrong with me. Why can't I follow along and be happy with the way things are? But I can't. It just doesn't work for me because one size doesn't fit all and what's right for you may not be right for me.

As a society why do we blindly follow along with things that aren't right for us?

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. I've been thinking about my blog lately and I'm glad that it doesn't align with brand values. That's not why I blog and not what I'm aiming for. I'm aiming to align with consumer values. I want to be an honest voice that people can trust, not an advertisement for brands. 
Thinking about the blogs that I read they're all honest voices. That's what I value and what I aim to be. So if I'm not aligning with brand values then I'm achieving what I set out to do. Go me.

2. I do want to appeal to some brands. The brands that are homegrown, small, natural and organic brands. Boutique brands, small businesses, ones run from home. I'm talking businesses like Audra James, Concordia Handcrafted Skincare, The Natural Supply Co. Places like that. They're honest, genuine and they love what they do. When you contact them you talk to the person who makes the product or sources them. That's what I like. 

3. Whilst we're talking about blogging, I've also decided that I am going to continue. I enjoy blogging when I ignore the external crap that goes on (eg BeautyDirectory/Instagram etc), so I'm going to ignore that stuff and continue on.

4. My cousin has just started home schooling her son. It's making me consider even more seriously whether I should home school Chai. I know that it would benefit him in a lot of ways but I think it would be detrimental in a lot of ways too. The other huge consideration is whether I could cope with it. I've been looking forward to next year when Eljay is in kindy because I'll have a little time to myself. Being an introvert I desperately need alone time and I haven't had it for six years. I feel like I'm barely holding on to my sanity. If I home school Chai I won't get that alone time and I'm not sure I could cope.

5. I made banana ricotta bread this week. It was amazing. I used this recipe.

Friday, 18 August 2017

FFS Friday - Torture

I'm pretty sure Chai's school has a department who's job it is to come up with new and different ways to torture the parents. Dress up is one of their all time favourites. I hate dress ups, they suck.

Their latest one is a doozy. For Chai's assembly they had to dress up as a frog, echidna, kookaburra, wombat or snake. They gave us a little under two weeks notice and expected us to have costumes ready. WTF! We live in the country. There aren't many places to get costumes and with the amount of notice we had there wasn't enough time to order something as postage takes at least a week, usually longer.

It's not so bad when they have easy costumes, but the characters they chose were ridiculously difficult. I decided Chai would go as a frog so I could just dress him in green and make him a face mask. He was having none of that and decided he wanted to go as an echidna. FFS.

How the f*ck did he expect me to get him an echidna costume? I found one online for $40 plus $15 for fast postage. It was stupid. It was a dumb thing that wrapped around his waist, how they called it a costume I don't know cause it looked ridiculous.  There's no way I was going to pay $55 for a dumb thing to wrap around his waist.

Buying green clothes so he could be a frog was equally problematic. You'd think green clothes would be easy to find but they aren't. In the end I bought him a grey t-shirt (couldn't find a brown one), put pegs all over the back to make spikes, and made him a mask.

Some of the parents are so clever, there were a lot of simple but brilliant costumes. If I was arty and creative like some of the other parents dress ups would be easy, but I just have no clue. 

Poor Chai. He's destined to be the child in the store bought costume or the crappy home made mask.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

RMS Beauty Pop Collection Signature Set

I've lusted after RMS Beauty products for a long time so when I saw on Mecca's website that they had released two palettes containing five different products I bought one. I got the Pop Collection which contains Buriti Bronzer, Magic Luminizer, Demure and Beloved Lip2Cheek and Simply Vanilla Lip and Skin Balm. 

The palette is small so perfect for the handbag or travelling. It contains 1.1 gram of Bronzer, Luminizer and Lip2Cheeks and 1.5 grams of the Lip and Skin Balm.

RMS products are geared towards enhancing the natural beauty, so they apply quite sheerly and look very natural and undetectable on the skin. 

I love every one of the products in this palette. It's perfect for a quick, easy look. Because the products are so sheer I've even been highlighting and contouring! If (like me) you are a klutz when it comes to highlighting and contouring, this palette is idea because the products are foolproof. The bronzer and highlighter can also be used as eye shadow. 
From top: Buriti Bronzer, Magic Luminizer, Demure and Beloved Lip2Cheek

If you are after a very made up look then this is not the palette for you.

I paid $63 at Mecca Cosmetica for the RMS Beauty Pop Collection Signature Set.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil

It's fair to say I have a slight obsession for lip oils. In my opinion they're the greatest new addition to lip care in the last decade. I love how multi-purpose lip oils are. They're a balm, gloss and lip colour all in one. Technically not all of them are a lip colour, but a lot of them are, even if it's just a slight hint of tint. 

Of all the lip oils I've tried so far the Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oils are my favourite. I love them so much that I have all of the shades they've released. Aren't they beautiful!

Colours shown are Honey, Raspberry, Red Berry, Candy, Tangerine, Mint and Honey Glam. 

As you can see in the photo above, they leak when left on their side, so don't do that. 

Whilst some of the colours appear quite pigmented they are clear on my lips. On first application there is a slight hint of colour but it fades within five minutes. My lips are very pigmented so the colours might show up more on those with a lighter lip tone. 

Candy and Tangerine are supposed to react with the natural PH of your lips to create a pink and coral tone, on me they don't but I still love them. Honey Glam is the only one that isn't clear on me, it has a lovely hint of gold shimmer. 

There are several reasons I love the Instant Light Lip Comfort Oils. They're convenient for carrying around, have an extra wide sponge applicator which makes application a breeze, they're reasonably priced at $33 each, the finish is beautifully glossy (hahaha) and they have the hydration of a lip balm. I get about three hours wear before I need to reapply. They also make a great base for lip gloss or to hydrate lips before lipstick application. See? Perfect!

When they were first released only Honey was permanent however it now appears that all the shades are permanent, yay!

If I could only choose two I'd choose Red Berry and Mint as they're my favourite flavours. 

According to Clarins each shade has a different star ingredient as follows:
Honey - noisette
Raspberry - framboise
Red Berry - bixorellana
Candy - amaranthe
Tangerine - buriti
Mint - menthe des champs
Honey Glam - noisette

I have no idea what most of those things are but they sound fancy.

What's your favourite lip oil? Please tell me so that I can add to my collection :)

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. I've been thinking about the direction my blog is taking. Right now I'm not sure. I blog at my own pace and about the things I want to write about, however lately it's been feeling more of a chore than an escape. Whilst I don't want to stop blogging, I may blog less frequently for a little while. I'm going to put more effort into my other blog The Lip Balm Encyclopaedia as it's been sadly neglected and it's something I'm passionate about.  

2. Instagram is less fun for me now too. It seems to be full of people asking you to like their latest post and sponsored posts for brands. It used to be a fun, interactive space with lots of pretty pictures of make-up. That's what I want more of, pretty pictures of make-up, so if you have any suggestions on who I should follow, please let me know in the comments. 

3. My love for the Clarins Lip Comfort Oils knows no bounds. I now have every shade ever released.

4. After a lazy patch the last few months, I'm back into decluttering. I'll get the junk room sorted out if it's the last thing I do! I have an ulterior motive too. I no longer wish to hang our washing on the line as it's either too hot or too cold, so I now use clothes airers. Once the junk room is cleared out that room will become the clothes airer room so I don't have to see our washing sitting in the dining room. Hah.  

5.  I've decided I'm going on a low buy. I've been talking about it for a while. It's going to happen. I haven't come up with any rules and I'm not sure that I will. I just want to make less impulsive, thoughtful purchases. 

Friday, 11 August 2017

FFS Friday - Wow

Oh my goodness. 

I've been a member of BeautyDirectory for years. It's a resource for bloggers, journalists and people in the beauty industry. I mainly use it to get brand contacts when I need to ask them some questions for a review. 
This week I tried to log in and couldn't so I contacted them to ask why. I got the following email:

In order to ensure that the BEAUTYDIRECTORY Media Directory continues to be a valuable resource to the beauty and health industries, we’ve put in place a new set of criteria that aligns with evolving industry demands.

To be included in the Media Directory, we ask that all bloggers and influencers fulfil the following criteria.

  • Be based in Australia
  • Have a minimum age of 16
  • Provide quarterly updated analytics to BEAUTYDIRECTORY as a screen grab (to be provided for the periods January 1–March 31, April 1–June 30, July 1–September 30, October 1–December 31)
  • Must have been in operation for at least three months
  • Must have posted on their chosen platform consistently two or more times each week
  • Must post at least 50% beauty/health content on their chosen platform
  • Content must align with a wide range of brand values
  • To be listed as solely an Instagrammer (ie if you post on no other platforms), must have minimum of 5K followers
If you feel that you meet the above criteria please do let us know and send us the necessary screen shots so that we can add you to the Directory.

I provided my stats screenshot then heard nothing further so I contacted them again and got this:

Thanks for sending through the screen grab.

We did a recent cleanse for those bloggers that didn't fulfil our criteria that I sent through on August 7. 

After looking at your blog, unfortunately it doesn't align with brand values.

Wow. Just wow.

So my blog "doesn't align with brand values". What does that mean? I'm too honest? Not complimentary enough? Or not all styled and magazine like? Who knows?
This is the perfect example of my growing issues with blogging. Blogging used to be authentic and real. Now it's becoming increasingly commercial and untrustworthy. Brands expect bloggers to prostitute themselves in order to receive free products. No longer are blogs a place where you can get an honest opinion, instead a lot of blogs are just glorified adverts.

The beauty community used to be full of lovely people who all blogged for the love of it. That community is gone and it feels like the blogging world is full of people who are all out to make money. Whilst there's nothing wrong with making money, I miss the good old days where I could trust what I read.  
I've been seriously considering the future of my blog for a while now. I was considering ceasing blogging but now I'm thinking that honest, genuine opinions are sorely needed. Stay tuned.  

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

I've found the best magnesium cream

Magnesium cream is the product I didn't know I needed until I started using it.It's brilliant for sore muscles, helping kids sleep better and all sorts of other things I've not yet discovered. The only problem is it's expensive, which is fine if you only use a little bit but we go through a lot because I use it on my sore muscles and I massage the boys feet with it every night. 

I was using the Electra tubes because they're reasonably priced and come in different scents until Lisa started making a magnesium rub. Of course I bought a tub (okay, I've bought four so far) and unsurprisingly it's perfection. 

Since Lisa is my own personal bath and body product maker (okay she's not really but I like to pretend), she even made one scented with watermelon for me, it smells amazing. I use it on the boys feet at night and the room still smells lovely in the morning. 

Now here's the best part. The It's The Bomb magnesium rub is only $18 for 150 grams! The one I used to use cost $26.40 for 100 grams! 

If you'd like to purchase magnesium rub you can contact Lisa on Facebook or catch her at markets around the South West.

Ingredients: magnesium chloride flakes, coconut oil, shea butter, distilled water, jojoba oil, nipaguard preservative, lavender essential oil.

Monday, 7 August 2017

July Empties

My effort for July was dismal. Very dismal.

Seven products and one of them was a sample. Terrible effort. Thankfully August is looking better already. I've managed to finish two make-up items too, yay!

It's the Bomb Coffee Sugar Scrub - Lisa made this specially for me and it was amazing. I have one more stockpiled then I'll be begging her to make another batch.

The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter - One of my all time favourite cleansers. I can't decide if I prefer a cleansing oil or a butter, they're both awesome.

SKN Complex - This is a lovely, light, gel moisturiser. It doesn't contain SPF so can be used as a day or night cream. Despite being a light gel it was hydrating enough for my dry winter skin.

Skinstitut L-Lactic cleanser - I received this as a GWP from Adore Beauty and was excited to use it as I love Skinstitut products. Unsurprisingly it's lovely. It's a gel based, slightly foaming cleanser that's hydrating, reduces sensitivity and strengthens skin integrity. It was ideal for my allergic winter skin.

Skin Again AHA Exfoliating Cleanser - If I could only choose five cleansers to use for the rest of my life this would be one of them. It's not a product I'd use every day, but it's perfect to use every few days for an extra deep cleanse.

RMS Ultimate Make-Up Remover Wipe -  One use of a wipe isn't really enough to form a solid opinion. It was pleasant to use, did the job and felt quite hydrating.

Aura Raspberry Lemonade Lip Balm - Oh how I love these beautiful balms. They come in unique flavours, are super hydrating and all round amazing. 

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. This week two big things happened. Eljay turned four and he got accepted in to Kindy for next year. 

2. Mecca Max launched this week. I've purchased a few products from the range and look forward to trying more. There will be a review coming in the next few weeks.

3. There was an incident at Tigers work last week. If things had gone wrong he would have died instantly. I know he does a dangerous job, but every now and again it hits home. His company takes safety very seriously and there's an investigation happening which is great. Him being hurt at work is always at the back of my mind. Every time I get a phone call from his work I hope it's not bad news.

4. Pumpkin and lentil soup is amazing.

5. After cutting my hair to collarbone length I'm thinking of cutting it even shorter. It's so much easier than long hair was.  

Friday, 4 August 2017

FFS Friday - Support

Over the last few years I've noticed businesses talking about support. They complain when they don't get support as if the community as an obligation to them.

In my opinion it's a cop out. Since when is the community obliged to support a business? If you're providing a product or service that's needed, you have reasonable prices and good customer service, the customers will come. 

A few years ago there was a gorgeous homewares and furniture store in town. They had lovely, brightly coloured products but were ridiculously expensive. There was a cushion that I wanted, it was a regular sized cushion, for $60. What a joke! Even when they had their closing down sale it was still $30. I would have loved to support them, but paying $60 is just not in my budget. 

When they closed down they left a bitter sounding message in their window saying that they'd had to close down due to lack of community support. Their ridiculous prices had nothing to do with it?

Then there was the after hours Dr service. I called them on three separate occasions. Not once did they call me back. My neighbour called them, they came to her house, stood in the doorway and looked at her son (who was laying on the couch), told her he had tonsillitis and left. They didn't even get close to him!
When they closed down they said that it was due to lack of community support. Really? Funnily enough the other after hours Dr service is doing well, probably because they answer the phone and examine the patients they visit.

It seems to me that people are very quick to blame others instead of accepting that they have some role in things. That goes for a lot of people, not just businesses. So often I hear people laying blame. What's the point? Even if someone else was responsible, the situation is what it is. So instead of complaining, deal with it and move on. When we blame others we take away our own power. If we accept responsibility that gives us some control. I don't know about anyone else, but I'd like to have some sort of control over my life.