Saturday, 25 October 2014

Beauty On A Budget: Australis AC/ME Eyeshadow in "Plum Diddy" And "Bronzonce"

If you're from Australia or read a lot of Australian beauty blogs then you would have heard about some of the great new products from Australis. A lot of beauties are hyping up the AC On Tour Contour & Highlighting Kit (seen here) as it's the drugstore/budget alternative to the Anastasia Contour Kit. There are 3 powder highlight colours and 3 powder contour colours. 

But for me the unsung hero has to be the AC/ME metallic foil finish eyeshadows. They're a cream shadow that has a similar texture to the Maybelline Bouncy Blush.

I bought these at the Priceline near my parents house when I was visiting. I was in a HUGE hurry and didn't get to swatch them so I picked up two of the colours based on the colour I could see in the packaging. 

"Plum Diddy" (top swatch) is a gorgeous plum with brown undertones. It has glitter in it, but it's not overpowering. 

I've found when I use this on my eyes, it becomes more chocolatey black the more layers that I do. 

"Bronzonce" is a stunning rose gold shadow that really lives up to the "foil" claim. 

The first day I wore them, I applied it with my Rae Morris Creme Shadow Shader (brush 8.5) instead of my fingers. I've found that the "Bronzonce" has more of a impact and I don't need to build it up as much as "Plum Diddy."

Because it's a "wet" formula, I ended up having my mascara smudge around my eyes. 

The next day that I used "Bronzonce," I set it with a powder eyeshadow. I used "Chopper" from the Naked 2 palette as they are very similar colours. I have also used "Half Baked" from the Naked 2 palette to set it too. This worked so much better and I didn't feel like my eyes were greasy or wet since the powder helped set it. If you have oily eyelids I would suggest setting these with either a eye primer or powder shadow. 

I haven't used a powder to set "Plum Diddy" as I need to go through my eyeshadows and find a similar colour to set it.

The final colour available is called "Jay Zed" which looks like a golden shade with a khaki undertone. I tried to buy it from Priceline yesterday, but the store near my work had 3 of them... which were all testers!! I'll try again on Monday to pick it up. 

At only $7.95 each, they're inexpensive enough to get all 3 colours!

Also available in the AC/ME range are 3 nail polishes (see here) and 3 Velourlips (see here). 

Have you been able to pick up any of the AC/ME products? I'm hoping to pick up the contour kit for a Christmas giveaway but am struggling to find it :(
Amy, XO

PS Both Priceline and Big W currently have a free clutch GWP when you spend $15 or more on Australis products. 

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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Nivea In-Shower Body Lotion "Cocoa Indulging" and "Honey Indulging" Review

I've mentioned countless times on the blog the Nivea In-Shower Body Lotions. I first reviewed it here and have bought so many of them in the last year that I actually can't remember how many bottles that I've bought. Whenever I see Priceline, Chemist Warehouse, Coles or Woolworths have them on special, I always stock up. 

They have recently added 2 new additions to the family and I have to say that these are even better than the original versions!!

They have released a cocoa version and a honey version.

The biggest change with these is the added scent. The original ones had a slight scent, but it had more of a bland moisturiser scent. These reflect the cocoa or honey scent. 

Just like the original versions, you apply them while your skin is wet and then rinse off. They're so moisturising that you can skip moisturiser afterwards. 

My skin has been so dry lately so I still actually apply a moisturiser afterwards for added hydration. I was using the Garnier Intensive 7 Days Rich Repairing Lotion (as seen here in my dry skin post) but finished it and am now using the Nivea Pure & Natural Body Lotion.* Both the Nivea and Garnier body lotions layer well with the in-shower lotion. 

The only drawback from this is the fact that it's only available in a 250ml bottle, unlike the original version which are 400ml. I would love for them to be released in a larger bottle.

They retail for $6.50, but are regularly on sale so buy up when you see them on special.

I'll be sticking to the new formulas from now on, especially the honey one. While I like the cocoa version, the honey one was love at first use. 

Are you obsessed with the in-shower body lotions like I am? 
Amy, XO

PS Chemist Warehouse currently has them on special for $5.39 until Sunday 2nd of November.      

*I was kindly sent these for consideration. All thoughts and views are completely my own, and are always 100% honest. See my disclosure policy here.

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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Pro's In The Know: Interview With PureTAN's Co-Founder Danielle Newton

Hi Lovelies,

I have a wonderful interview for you today that will give you tips and tricks to perfecting (and keeping) a great looking fake tan.

As someone who grew up in the late 90s - early 2000s, having sunkissed bronze skin was the in thing. Gisele Bundchen was the inspiration for a lot of my friends and she had gorgeous brown/bronze skin.

As someone who is deathly pale, I bought so many fake tanning products in the hope that I too would look like a gorgeous tanned beauty. Sadly back then the only tanning options were orange or dark orange. Also a lot of the formulas weren't what they are today and 99% of girls walked around with orange, patchy skin. 

Eventually I gave up and embraced my paleness. I do fake tan once or twice a year, but am still yet to find a tanner that looks natural on my pale skin. 

I was really excited to be able to e-interview Danielle, who's the co-founder of PureTAN. PureTAN is Australian made, free of mineral oil and is not tested on animals. 


What are your tips for perfecting a fake tan?
Preparation is the key
Exfoliate prior to tanning for a super smooth base to work from. Take your time and apply with a mitt for an even streak free finish. I always start with the legs and work my way up, finishing with my face , hands, feet last- to avoid over tanning and a beautifully natural sunkissed glow.

Now that you have the perfect tan, how do you keep it looking great?

Moisturise daily, morning and night, using a hydrating product like Pure Moisture Coconut Body crème for intense hydration and to prolong the life of your tan.

Should you do hair removal before or after tanning?

Always shave or wax 24 hours prior to tanning to avoid clogged pores or irritation.

How do you fake tan those hard places, like hands and knees, without them being patchy?
Always use an application mitt, such as our PureTAN Pro self tan application mitt. It gives flawless results and smooths product over evenly. When applying tan to hands and knees always use less product. A great tip is to apply to the rest of the body first and apply to knees , hands and feet last with remaining product on mitt, to avoid "over tanning". Also wipe inside of palms with a baby wipe or damp cloth.

Do you prefer to use wash off bronzers or developers? What are the benefits to either of them?
Using a product that develops gives you lasting colour - usually 5-7 days, which is perfect if you're on holidays or time poor and don’t want to keep reapplying a product.  Wash off bronzers are a girls best friend for last minute tanning emergencies, touch ups, or when you’ve  had no time to tan. A perfect last minute party fix!

What are the best ways of removing a tan?
Use a body exfoliator and a buffing mitt or loofah in the shower. Using a body scrub such as Pure Moisture Coconut Body scrub on dry skin with a loofah or buffer removes excess tan. For super stubborn stains, lemon juice or bathroom cream cleanser secretly works!

Which is your favourite Pure Tan product?
The NEW One Hour Rapid tan is amazing‼ I'm a big fan of a one hour tan- it saves my sheets‼ My second favourite is our Pure moisture Body crème. Its creamy texture is enriched with Organic Coconut oil and smells divine‼ I'm coconut mad which is why I developed the range‼


Hopefully you've learnt something like I have and will be rocking a perfect fake tan in no time!

What's your favourite brand of fake tanner? Have you used Pure Tan before?
Amy, XO

PS If you purchase off the PureTAN website (here), you can save 20% off your online order. A pop up will come up and you just enter your email address and they'll send you a coupon code. The 20% off offer has nothing to do with me or Bottled Beauty. I just saw it on their website and wanted to share it with you. 

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Friday, 17 October 2014

Christmas Gift Ideas: Batiste Christmas Pack (Under $10)

Can you believe that it's already nearly Christmas!!!

To stop you freaking out, I've got a Christmas gift pack that's under $10. It's perfect for those that are on a tight budget or need an inexpensive Kris Kringle. 

I picked up one of the new Batiste Christmas packs yesterday that I found in Priceline. 

This particular pack contained a Batiste XXL Volume Dry Shampoo (200ml) and a hair towel. The hair towel is a bit different than I was expecting. I was expecting a square microfibre towel. Instead it reminds me of a swimmers cap with a tail!!

There are four other packs available.

Mamba Dry Shampoo (200ml) and a hair towel

Mamba Dry Shampoo (200ml) with a shower cap
Cherry Dry Shampoo (200ml) with a shower cap

Wild Dry Shampoo (200ml) with a shower cap

 All of the packs retail for $9.95 and are so affordable that you should pick one up yourself too!! ;)

Have you started Christmas Shopping yet?
Amy, XO 

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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

"Don't Go To The Cosmetics Counter Without Me" Review + How Do My Beauty Products Rate??

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last decade, you would have heard about Paula Begoun (affectionately referred to as the Cosmetics Cop) and her own brand of skincare "Paula's Choice."

Paula started her cosmetics journey as a sales person behind a counter and hated the politics behind selling cosmetics. If a customer came to her and nothing in the brand she was supposed to sell would be useful, she would recommend another brand. She was told not to do this and it started her crusade of being a "Cosmetics Cop."

Over the years she has uncovered the lies and marketing BS that brands try to sell consumers. She's released dozens of books that explain simply and easily if a product works and if it matches up to what a brand is claiming. 

I first heard about her when I saw her book in the library back when I was a teen. I devoured the book and learnt so much about how sneaky some brands can be with the truth. As a teen that was working a few hours a week and spending my pay on beauty products, it really opened my eyes. 

Recently I've used her website in helping to decide if I should buy The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost as I was out of a vitamin C serum and had heard a lot of hype about The Body Shop Serum. In a matter of minutes I knew that it wasn't worth it. From using Beautypedia, I found out that it contains more fragrance than it does vitamin C!!! 

I was sent her latest edition of "Don't Go To The Cosmetics Counter Without Me" (her 9th Edition), which she has written with Byran Barron and the Paula's Choice Research Team.

I've been enjoying reading it as it's simple and easy to read, even though it's heavy and there's a LOT of reviews in it.

At the start of the book there's basic information on what every skintype needs, targeted solutions for particular skin types (eg acne, blackheads, dry, skin lightening) as well as creating a skin care routine for you. There's also information on how they do their skincare reviews and commonly asked questions.

The way that the reviews are structured, is that the brands are in alphabetical order and their products are grouped into categories (eg powders, mascaras, sun care, toners, etc). So it makes it easy if you are quickly wanting to find out about a brand or a particular product. 

The reviews are quick and straight to the point. They have 4 categories in which they rate a product. Best, good, average and poor. They also have 3 dollar signs next to the overall rating to let you know if something is expensive. 

And finally at the end of the book, there's a list of "The Best Products" that have been rated the best skincare and make up. It's still advised to read the review to make sure it's the right product for you and your skin. 

One thing that some people don't like about the book is that they review the Paula's Choice line. Personally, I don't mind. The PC range is rated highly and that's because someone who calls out brands on poor products isn't going to release their own brand and make sub-par products. Their products go through the same testing routine that any brand would.

I've used 3 PC products before and have loved them. I've even reviewed 2 products on the blog before (here and here). I've been meaning to buy some more of her products (a repurchase of the Resist C15 Super Booster and the Resist Youth Extending Daily Mattifying Fluid SPF50) but I really need to use up what I already have first. 

To put the book to the test, I thought that I would grab a few items out of my own beauty closet and see if they pass the Paula Begoun test.... 

Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Cleansing Pads

These were given an "average" rating. Aveeno claims the moisture-rich soy extracts are designed to reveal skins natural radiance, but the book reveals that there isn't enough soy to amount to a single bean.

I did like these, but I don't use cleansing wipes or micellar waters often as I prefer the feeling of washed skin and am more than happy to take the extra 3 minutes to use a cleansing oil/balm followed up by my cleanser. 

Benefit They're Real Mascara*

This was rated "good" in the book. They did mention that while the claims of looking like false eye lashes wasn't so, it does lengthen and thicken the lashes. It also mentions that the brush is larger and can be a little bit difficult to use.

I agree with their review. It does help to lengthen, thicken and give my eye lashes more "ommph." I do find that I get smudging underneath when I use this, but for most people they don't have that issue. 

Clinique City Block Sheer Oil-Free Daily Face Protector SPF25

This was rated "best" in the book!! Which makes me happy as I'm currently using it. The book suggests this is for those with normal to dry skin, sensitive skin and those suffering from rosacea. 

They also say that its "slightly tinted to offset the whitening effect from the amount of mineral sunscreens it contains." I actually thought that it was tinted so it could be used by itself while also giving a very small amount of coverage for those with less than perfect skin.... you learn something new everyday!

Dermalogica PreCleanse

This was rated "poor" in the book. The book mentions that it's just "a mix of trigylceride with several non fragrant plant oils. Also included are two forms of lavender and forms of citrus that serve to fragrance the product and irritate skin. For the money, irritant-free jojoba or olive oil is preferred."

I was really surprised by this rating. I've used this and loved it! It didn't irritate my skin and left my skin feeling clean. The only reason why I never bought it is because of the price. It's $52.50 for 150ml. I would prefer to buy the Dr LeWinn's oil cleanser which is only $30 for 200ml. 

Eau Thermale Avene Thermal Spring Water

This was rated "poor" in the book. The book says this is marketing at its best. That "there is no reason to consider this toner unless you believe that Avene's thermal spring water is the answer for your skin."

Personally I LOVE this! I use it as my toner as I find it feels refreshing and calming on my skin. While I know it's pricey for "water in a can," its something that I'll continue to use and love. 

Garnier Skin Renew Dark Spot Corrector Clinical (not pictured)

This was rated "poor" in the book. While it contains pure vitamin C, it was concerned over the amount of potassium hydroxide, which can cause dryness and irritation. 

I know quite a lot of bloggers loved this when it was first released but I had a reaction to it. After reading about it in the book, it's made me now look out for products that also contain potassium hydroxide as it can be an irritant for me. 

Paula's Choice also has an online beauty review on their website here. It's a useful tool, even if you have any of her books, as it has reviews of newer products. 

I would love for Paula and her team to do an Australian version, with only Australian and New Zealand brands featured. There are some incredible brands available here that I would love to get her opinion on. 

To sum up, this book (and her online Beautypedia) is a great resource tool. It won't make me not use/buy all the products that she deems poor or average, but it does give me the knowledge of knowing if a product does live up to its hype. 

I've found I use this more to check up skincare rather than make up. Skincare claims seem to be more "out there" so it's great having someones opinion on if the ingredients work or if there is enough of "x" ingredient to live up to the marketing. Make up seems to be a lot harder to review since it's such an individual feeling. One person may love a mascara, while it might not work for another. 

I'm now wanting to buy her other book "The Original Beauty Bible" to learn more about the science of beauty.

The PC team also has an AMAZING youtube channel that I've been subscribed to for a while. They have a mixture of talks on ingredients, reviews on products and how to's. I love to listen to the videos when I'm cooking dinner as I ALWAYS learn something new. If you only follow one youtube page, make it THIS!!!!

Have you ever used the online Beautypedia or read any of her books? Have they made you rethink a beauty purchase. 
Amy, XO

*I was kindly sent this for consideration. All thoughts and views are completely my own, and are always 100% honest. See my disclosure policy here.

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