Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Priceline 40% Off Cosmetics Haul (November 2014)

Even though last week I was overwhelmed with the amount of beauty products that I own, I just couldn't help myself and I ended up in Priceline twice in the last 2 days. 

On Tuesday I went to the closest store near me, but it was a huge let down. It's a pharmacy and they only had 5 or 6 beauty brands there! I picked up 2 products, but knew I wanted more. 

So today I went into the city with my 3 year in tow and picked up some more goodies!

Here's what I bought...

Models Prefer Mineral Powder Soft Touch in "Photo Ready"
Models Prefer Mineral Powder Soft Touch in "Soft Focus"
Luma Natural Beauty By Jess Hart Illuminating Highlighter
Models Prefer Mineral Blush Soft Touch Mineral Blush in "Winter's End"
Luma Natural Beauty By Jess Hart Blusher in "Soft Peach"

Maybelline Matte Maker Mattifying Powder in "Classic Ivory"
Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation
Models Prefer Highlight & Contour Brush
Innoxa Skin Perfecting BB Bowder 5 in 1 in "Buff"
Luma Natural Beauty By Jess Hart Natural Shine Lip Gloss in "Sheer Red"

I can't wait to try out the Models Prefer products since they're so new that there wasn't even a description and price tag there! I've seen on make up groups that some people that bought them have said they're similar to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders. 

The only thing that I didn't get to pick up was the Models Prefer BB Brush as both stores had sold out. 

Now excuse me while I go and cut up my bank card so I can't do another haul for the rest of the year!!

Did you pick up anything at the Priceline 40% off sale?
Amy, XO

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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Back To Basics: Cleansing And The Many Ways To Do It

While it's easy to spend a lot of money on skincare and expect amazing results, there's so much more to it than that.

If there's only one thing you take away from this post, make sure that it's to be consistent and NEVER go to bed without washing your face.

Here are some of the ways that I cleanse my face...

If you wear make up or use sunscreen (which you should be wearing sunscreen EVERYDAY) then make sure that you double cleanse. Every night I do a double cleanse to get rid of the make up, sunscreen, grime and dirt from the day.

I love using a cleansing oil or cleansing balm. At the moment I'm obsessed with the Nilly + Booth Mandarin Chamomile Organic Cleansing Balm. I purchased this in my Natural Supply Haul (here) and boy am I glad that I did. It's incredible!!! I apply it to dry skin to help break up the make up. Depending on how lazy I feel I may just do a 20 second massage all over my face, otherwise I will do a minute or two massage to make sure the balm helps dissolve all the dirt on my face. I then use a damp cloth to remove it.

What I really love about this balm is the fact that it removes my make up and leaves my skin feeling refreshed and soft, without it feeling oily. 

I then follow up with the Antipodes Juliet Skin Brightening Gel Cleanser. The second cleanse actually cleanses my skin and makes sure that there's no left over dirt and grime. Even though this is a gel cleanser, it doesn't make my skin feel tight or dry even though it's being annoying and is dry one day and oily the next (ahhh the joys of hormones).

Another cleanser that I've really been loving lately is the Jurlique Purely Age Defying Nourishing Cleansing Oil.* I use this either as my first cleanse (since it's oil based and will break up the grime) or I can use it as my second cleanse and use it after the Nilly + Booth balm. It's a fantastic all rounder. 

I love the fact that it's in plastic packaging (and with a pump!) as I sometimes can be clumsy, especially when you add oil and water in a shower! 

Other cleansing oils that I love are the Dr Lewinn's 4 Fusion Cleansing Oil (reviewed previously here), Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm and the Antipodes Grapeseed Butter Cleanser (reviewed previously here). 

99% of the time I'll do a double cleanse, but on the rare occasion I feel too tired, I like to use a cleansing wipe. 

Newer to the market is the Crop Skincare Double Sided Facial Wipes. It's a new skincare brand that currently have 6 products. I picked up these facial wipes from Coles as I was interested in the fact that they have one side that exfoliates and one side that soothes and cleanses.

Another fantastic wipe is the Natio Gentle Cleansing Wipes. These live up to the name and are really soft and gentle. 

Micellar waters are another great option when you're in a hurry/feeling lazy. I really like the Bioderma and Avene versions, but have heard great things about the Embryolisse micellar water. 

There are a few ways of cleansing. Everyone is different and it's really about finding a method that works for you and your skin. I use a combination of my hands and cleansing cloths. I really like the Mecca Cosmetica Clean Slate Face Washing Clothes as they're double sided. One side is muslin, which is great for a gentle exfoliation, while the other side is microfibre and can be used every day. The Body Shop also has their own version that's similar. 

I've also used mechanical cleansers like the Clarisonic and the Olay Regenerist Advanced Cleansing System* (reviewed previously here). If you're looking for an alternative, then the Manicare Facial Cleansing brush is great as you do all the work. You can make it be as soft or as hard as you want, or fast or slow.

And that's the basics of cleansing!

Now who is brave enough to admit that they don't cleanse their skin every night before bed?
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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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Trash Or Treasure: Empties (Hair) October 2014

I haven't posted an empties post in ages, so instead of writing up a post that will take you 3 hours to read, I'm going to space the empties over the week into categories. 

Today I've got my haircare empties. Even though I only wash my hair 1-2 times a week (I depend on a lot of dry shampoo) I've gone through a surprising number of hair masks!!

Here's what I've used and if I would buy a 2nd bottle...

bHave Rescue Intense Repair Shampoo*

I adore bHave products and the Rescue Shampoo and Conditioner are AMAZING!! So amazing that I can't imagine that I would ever live without them. 

Will I repurchase? I've already got a back up!

Redken Diamond Oil Conditioner

I like Redken products but don't purchase them often as I already have quite a few haircare products in my beauty cupboards that need to be used first. 

The Diamond Oil range is really beautiful. It left my hair feeling really soft and healthy. 

Will I repurchase? Not until I need to purchase a shampoo and conditioner. 

John Frieda Sheer Blonde Everlasting Blonde Colour Preserving Shampoo*

I really like John Frieda products and this blonde shampoo was fantastic. I like that I can use this when I'm in a hurry and not have to worry about brassiness or a green tinge from chlorine. 

Will I repurchase? Possibly, although I currently don't need any blonding products. 

Redken Diamond Oil Deep Facets

This hydrating mask left my hair feeling soft and smooth while also helping to strengthen it. I was able to get 2 uses out of the sample and think that a fullsize version will be worth the money since I didn't use a lot to cover the ends of my hair. 

Will I repurchase? Yes, when I need a new hair mask. 

Fudge 3 in 1 Miracle Moisture Stuff

I really like Fudge products but sadly this just didn't do it for me. It's not that it's a bad product, it was just that I felt like it was a bit of a waste since I apply a leave in conditioner and a hair oil everyday.  

I also found the packaging a pain in the you-know-what. The pump didn't work well after a while and I had to keep taking off the lid to get out the creme. 

Will I repurchase? No

Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk

I like to use a leave in conditioner to help detangle my hair. This one smells AMAZING (like coconut) and helped to give my hair moisture and detangle any knots. 

Will I repurchase? Yes Argan Oil Repair Mask*

This is a really beautiful hair mask that made my hair feel soft and smooth. It helps to strengthen your hair while also minimising frizz. 

The mask is affordable and lasted quite a while with weekly use. I used this on my hair for 20-30 minutes to repair my hair from daily damage.

Will I repurchase? Yes

LÓreal EverPure Moisture Deep Restorative Masque

I like to have a inexpensive mask that I can use on busy mornings when I need to wash my hair. This one does the job and left my hair feeling lovely.

Will I repurchase? Only if it was on sale

LÓreal Ever Creme Deep Nourishing Masque

While this mask was nice, I preferred the EverPure mask. It worked better on my hair and I liked the smell more.

Will I repurchase? No

Royal Moroccan Hair Mask Treatment*

I adore this mask. It helps to give my hair a hit of moisture and also it helps to repair damage. This is the original version and they have now released a version for fine hair, which I find works better on my hair. 

Will I repurchase? No, but I would purchase the fine hair version

Royal Moroccan Nourishing Mask Treatment For Thin & Fine Hair*

While the original version is fantastic, I adore this version since it doesn't feel heavy on my fine hair. It still has all of the wonderful benefits of the original, like repairing damage and making my hair feel soft.

Will I repurchase? Yes

Original & Mineral Seven Day Miracle Moisture Masque

I adore O&M and this moisturising mask is my favourite. It's a holy grail mask for me. It smells incredible, is lightweight and still hydrating. 

The only downside is the fact that it's not easy for me to buy instore and I have to rely on purchasing it online, which can be a pain if the delivery driver doesn't leave the package (my local post office isn't open on the weekend, so it may be a few days until I can get in to pick it up and I HATE waiting!). 

Will I repurchase? Yes

bHave Deep Intense Conditioning Masque*

This is another holy grail mask. I've gone through 2 or 3 of these and they're wonderful. I can use it in as little as 5 minutes or I sometimes like to use it as a deep repair mask and keep it on my hair for 20-30 minutes. 

I'm always left with soft, frizz free hair after using this. 

Will I repurchase? I've already got a back up!

Toni& Guy Cleanse Dry Shampoo

This is my holy grail dry shampoo and I love how it leaves my hair feeling clean, without weighing it down or leaving a white residue. 

While I adore this, it's also pricey so I usually pick it up when I see it on sale or when Priceline have their hair goodie bag or 40% off haircare days. 

Will I repurchase? Yes, I already have one that I bought recently on sale

Eleven Australia Give Me Clean Hair Dry Shampoo*

This has a scent that reminds me of being on a tropical island. It smells beautiful and it's a fantastic dry shampoo for helping to get rid of oily roots, while not giving you weighed down hair. 

Will I repurchase? Yes

Tresemme Instant Refresh Cleansing Dry Shampoo

I picked this up from the supermarket as it was 50% off and I wanted a cheap everyday dry shampoo. I was really surprised at how lovely this was. It didn't weigh down my fine hair and didn't leave any residue. 

Will I repurchase? Possibly

Polished London Dry Shampoo in "Bristol Bloom"*

I ADORE these! At only $4.95 for 150ml, these are amazing value. Priceline often has them on sale for $3, so they're worth stocking up on when they're on sale.

I love how lightweight they feel on my hair. 

Will I repurchase? Yes

Fudge Dry Shampoo

I picked this up from the supermarket when it was on special. Sadly while I did like this, the nozzle jammed and I wasn't able to fix it. I only ended up using about 1/4 of the can :(

Will I repurchase? No. While I liked it, I'm worried if I got it again the nozzle would get stuck and I'd waste most of it. 

As you can see, I find it really easy to get through my hair products (especially hair masks and dry shampoo) ... unlike make up! 

I recently did a haircare routine post (here) if you want to see the other hair products that I'm using and loving.

What hair product do you use the most?
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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Saturday, 8 November 2014

Christmas Gift Ideas: Nude By Nature Brush With Success 12 Piece Brush Collection (Under $40)

I adore Christmas time because there are so many amazing Christmas packs available from so many beauty brands. 

Nude By Nature always knock it out of the park with their Xmas packs. Last year I bought 3 of them!!

This year they have 11 amazing gift packs. I've already bought 2 of them! Today I'm reviewing their Brush With Success 12 Piece Brush Collection. 

There are actually 3 different packaging available to buy. This one (pinky coral) is available exclusively from Priceline. There is a purple one (seen here) available at pharmacies and at the NBN online site. 

Then finally there's this one available exclusively at Myer.

I really like how easy it is to see what brushes are in the pack when you're out buying it. The brushes come in a case, which is fantastic for those that travel a lot or don't have an easy to store place for their brushes. 

I've previously purchased their brushes before in a set, so I knew to expect great quality brushes that feel soft and are cruelty free.  

Here are the brushes that are in the pack and what I thought of them.

The Applicator Brush is actually a "brush" that confuses me. The whole point of buying a brush set is so you don't have to use the eyeshadow applicators that come in a palette so I've found this inclusion a bit of a waste. 

I would have much preferred another brush or a pencil sharpener. Luckily this is the only brush that I didn't like in the set.

The Medium Eyeshadow Brush is lovely and very soft. It's a great brush for applying a soft wash of colour all over the eyelid. I have small eyes, so I love that the brush isn't too large (which is what I sometimes find in all over eye brushes).

The Angled Eye Shadow Brush is beautiful for both achieving a smokey eye and also for applying colour close to the lash line to intensify my lashes. It's not too stiff and yet not too soft. A stand out brush.

The Tapered Blending Brush is one of those brushes that every beauty needs! It's essential for the best smokey eye and for diffusing harsh lines, like contour lines. It's really soft and helps to soften harsh lines without feeling rough or uncomfortable on sensitive eyelids. 

The Angled Eye Shadow Brush is wonderful for both using on the lash line and also on your eyebrows. I like to use it on my lash line to "push" the colour down to create a more defined lash line. It's also lovely to use on your eyebrows if you apply a powder there.

The Eyebrow Comb Brush has 2 uses. It has a plastic comb that's great for combing through your lashes to separate them if you've gone heavy on the mascara. The other side has "hairs" to help separate stuck together lashes. I also like to use the hairs to brush through my eyebrows or use on my baby hairs around my hairline to flatten frizz. 

While I love that they included this (because it's rare for them to be included in a "drugstore" make up set) I would have preferred the comb to be metal (like this one) as I find that a metal comb works better to declump lashes.

The last eye brush is the Mascara Brush. I haven't actually used this as a mascara brush, instead I've loved using this as an eyebrow brush to get rid of any clumps after using a brow tint, like Benefit's Gimme Brow or ModelCo's More Brows. 

I don't use a lip brush often, but have found the Lip Brush to be really useful. I like to use it to apply lipbalm that's in a tub or when I'm feeling sick and don't want to cross contaminate my beauty products with my germs.

This brush is really easy to use and is a great shape and size for application on my lips.

The Powder Brush is so soft and is gorgeous to apply a translucent powder to help set my make up. It's also perfect for blending out any harsh lines from contour or blush. 

The Flat Foundation Brush is a small flat top kabuki brush that works in liquid foundation brilliantly. It's on the small side, so it does take a bit longer than some of my other foundation brushes, but I just adore this brush!

The Angled Blush Brush is lovely at applying both a striking stripe of colour to highlight your cheekbones and is also soft and fluffy enough for a soft wash of colour on your cheeks. I'm really glad that they included this brush in the set, as I prefer this shape over a classic rounded blush brush. 

The Fan Brush is actually one of the main reasons that I bought this. I love a good fan brush. This one is lightweight and is easy to use. I like to  use it to apply highlighter, or to remove (without smudging) eyeshadow fall out. 

As you can see from the above photo, the flat foundation brush is quite small. I've pictured it with the Real Techniqes Buffing Brush (left) and the Nude By Nature Mineral Brush (right) for comparison. 

Overall, I think this set is fantastic! The brushes are soft and easy to use. It's great for a beginner or for someone wanting a new set of brushes that normally don't come in a set (eg fan brush, eyebrow comb brush). And for only $39.95 for 12 brushes (and a case) it's wonderful value!

Is this brush set something that you would purchase for someone for Xmas? Or would you ask Santa for it yourself?
Amy, XO

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Thursday, 6 November 2014

Haul: Natural Supply Co (featuring mineral make up and organic skincare)

Natural Supply Co is a new website that went live in October and is your new destination for all things natural but also luxurious. Founders Catherine and Celeste wanted to have a place where you could buy natural and organic products from all different brands, all from the one site. 

Natural Supply Co stocks make up, skincare, body products and lifestyle products (like household cleaning products) that are safe for you and the environment that also make you feel glamorous. 

They stock well known brands like Bite Beauty, O&M and Eco Tan as well as many other smaller brands that I hadn't heard of before. 

I'm wanting to use more organic and natural beauty products. I took advantage of a blogger discount that I was given and I picked a mixture of skincare and make up that sounded beautiful.

I placed my order at about 5pm on the Wednesday and received the package on Monday.

It was beautifully packaged and wrapped all in recyclable materials. I loved the hand written note! It's the little things that make the difference. 

Here's what I ordered...

W3LL PEOPLE Natural Lover Starter Kit in "Light" (RRP $69.95)
Shore Soap Company Mermaid Kisses Soap (RRP $12.95)
Nilly + Booth Vanilla Chai Organic Lip Balm (RRP $12.00)
Nilly + Booth Sandalwood Vanilla Organic Body Butter (RRP $26.00)
Nilly + Booth Mandarin Chamomile Organic Cleansing Balm (RRP $40.00)
Nilly + Booth Berry Vanilla Organic Lip & Cheek Stain (RRP $18.00)
Love Soap Organic Mandarin and Argan Oil Hand Wash (RRP $19.95)
Bite Beauty Whipped Cherry Lip Scrub (RRP $24.95)

Other than the Bite Beauty Lip Scrub, I knew very little about the other brands/products. But I fell in love with them from the website. 

The Love Soap handwash packaging is just ADORABLE and it was the packing that actually made me want to buy it. How cute is the deer!!

I normally use a goats milk soap, but thought I would treat myself to something special. 

The scent of the Shore Soap Company is beautiful, but it's the fact that the packaging shows me exactly what's in the soap and when it was made that has won me over. I think that more companies should take the lead and include the dates of when it was made and needs to be used by. The idea of my skincare and make up sitting for months/years in a warehouse is slightly a little bit scary. 

I'm really excited to try out the Nilly + Booth products as they sound divine. The brand was created because the creator Sharn wanted to use only organic and natural ingredients in her skincare, that wasn't tested on animals and was in recyclable and reusable packaging. 

I love that this also came with an information sheet about the oil cleansing method. It's perfect for anyone that has never used a cleansing oil/balm.  

This actually sold out and I thought that I would miss out, but luckily they got a shipment in just before I ordered it. I was really tempted to buy some other Bite Beauty products, but first I really need to go through my stash and get rid of any old lip products. 

I did laugh when I saw the packaging vs the product. The packaging is 3 times the size of the lip scrub! 

And finally I purchased a W3ll People (pronounced "well" people) starter pack. 

The pack includes a mineral foundation powder, mineral bronzer powder and a kabuki brush. There are 4 kits available (light, light/medium, medium, medium/tan) to suit a range of skintones.

I'm actually really impressed with the kabuki brush. I'm a brush snob and some brushes can feel like you're being attacked in the face with a cat-o-nine tail, but this one is so soft and I can't wait to use it. 

The website is easy to use and navigate. Sadly for my bank balance, they make the products look (and sound) so good that I already have a wishlist with more goodies from the site. Some of the items that I want to get next are...

Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream in "Bordeaux"
Circle 21 candle in Garden Party or "Orchard Lane
Jacqueline Evans Rose & Vanilla Body Cream
Nilly + Booth Honey Apple Grapefruit Cleansing Nectar
Nilly + Booth Rose Chamomile Organic Face Scrub
Nilly + Booth Lemon Poppy Organic Soap
W3ll People Luminist Mineral Glow
W3ll People Realist X Mineral Primer/Polisher

Yes... as you can tell I'm having a love affair with this site!!

You can purchase from the website here. If you spend $99 for more remember to use the code FREESHIP for free shipping. 

What are your favourite sites or brands for natural and organic skincare and make up?
Amy, XO

*I was kindly given a blogger discount, but still purchased the items with my own money. All thoughts and views are completely my own, and are always 100% honest. See my disclosure policy here.

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