Monthly Favourites | November 2013

Can you believe it!? We're at the end of the year and are knee deep in the holiday season! By the time this post goes up I'll be in my last Chemistry exam for the year, and have one more exam after - then I'm done for grade eleven! :O Pretty shocked and I am NOT ready for grade twelve, aaaaaaaahh. Anyways onto da faves. I don't have too many this month as I've been using mostly the same things as always (featured in previous favourites posts) and I didn't want to mention things again.

I've been really enjoying using the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening toner which I will have a review up for after ample testing time. This is really nice and has filled the gap in my routine for a chemical exfoliator (though I am also using the Garnier Dark Spot Night serum, which could be counted as one). It's very gentle and feels like any other toner, no stinging or tight, dry skin after use. So far, I fell like my skin's appearance is brighter and a little more even, but only time and continual use will tell!

Olive oil has been featured on quite a few Beauty bloggers and vlogger blogs and channels. I recently ran out of my waterproof eye makeup remover without a replacement waiting in the wings. I wasn't able to buy another so I decided to try out some Extra Virgin Olive oil which is known to be rather effective as a makeup remover. I have to say, I really like it! It removes waterproof mascara really well, gently and my lids and lashes feel nourished after. It is quite oily (that's a given) but I wash my face immediately after so it doesn't bother me. I've put mine in an old Rosehip oil bottle so it's easy to use too!

A new addition to my concealer collection is the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser in the Brightening shade. I really don't have any brightening concealers as I've not really had the need for them. I don't have terribly bad dark circles at all, however I've had quite little sleep lately staying up and studying so I've noticed circles appearing. That and one of my friends said I looked like I'd been punched in the eye :P ...(thanks Tam !) Anyway! This concealer is very light and pink toned so it's very brightening - especially on my medium, yellow-toned skin. I tend to use it under my base so it's not too stark, but I've been enjoying it! There's no creasing and it is a nice thin, slippy texture that doesn't cake up.

My most used blush is still probably my The Balm Instain one, but a close runner-up this month is the Napoleon Perdis Cream Blush from the Instyle magazine freebie. It's a lovely natural pink that looks nice and dewy on the skin. It also applies fine over powder, though I usually top it off with translucent powder to try and make it last longer. I typically find that cream blushes aren't typically long lasting on me, but I still really like them!

I received this Essence Sun Club shimmer Bronzer in the shade Sunkissed (for Blondes) in a giveaway pack I won (thanks Sarah!). I was going to give it away as it was too light for my skin (as a bronzer) but I thought I'd give it a go as a subtle, natural highlighter as it is pretty close in colour to my skin colour. It then dawned on me that I could use this in a similar way to something like an Hourglass Ambient lighting powder - as a light finishing powder. The shimmer is quite fine and is really more of a sheen than anything, so it's totally suitable all over. I have been dusting this lightly mainly over the typical highlighting spots, and blending it all over the face. It offers a really nice soft focus glow to the skin, and makes me look slightly glowy - and overall I think it just makes my skin look better! I don't think I ever would have bought this on my own, so I am very happy I got to try it and get a taste of what an Hourglass Ambient lighting powder might look like (I wish!!!). It is definitely a good shade for those of fairer skin - it's very natural, rather light and not orangey at all!

Last up for lips is the Australis Colour Inject Mineral Lip Gloss in Bellydance which I won from Candice's giveaway (thanks hun!). I've actually been reaching for this on the daily. It's a lovely pinky-reddy-coral that is quite sheer. I apply it very lightly to give the subtlest hint of coral to my lips, but the colour can be built up to be a bit more noticeable (but no real opacity). It's not too sticky (has a thickness but not sticky) and very comfy on the lips. It also smells EXACTLY like Lipton Peach Ice Tea - love! A full review of this will be coming up soon!

Dark Circle Eraser in Brightening, Shimmer bronzer in Sunkissed, Cream Blush

A movie favourite this month too! I saw Catching Fire last Friday and by God was it GOOD! It was pretty dang perfect if I must say so. They stuck extremely close to the book which is EXACTLY what I want to see in a book-to-movie production. The new director was great - no shaky camera business that makes me feel motion sick :D. The casting was awesome, I LOVED Sam Claflin as Finnick and Jena Malone as Johanna! I just, the feeeeeeels were all there and it was amazing! I'm very excited for Mockingjay pt 1! This video pretty much sums up all my feels about the movie. I also saw Thor: The Dark World at the beginning of the month, and we all knew I would love that one. Please, it has Tom Hiddleston in it - love me some Sassy Loki. It was amazing too (maybe even my fave Marvel movie :o I dunno, but very close to the Avengers), lots of unexpected twists that had me SCREECHING in the cinema - a must watch!

Anyways, what were your favourites? Have you seen Catching Fire yet? If not, DO SO ASAP!


NOTD | Sweet Coral

Time for my monthly NOTD! Have you noticed I've done them monthly? Haha, anyway, today's NOTD features a Witchery polish in the shade Sweet Coral. This shade is currently available and is perfect for the Spring and upcoming Summer weather!

Sweet Coral is a very vibrant, neon orange-y, peach, coral colour. This is actually my first neon polish! It is so bright that it practically glows in the dark, and is borderline blinding in the sun, haha - I love it though! I think it would make for an amazing pedicure shade and in general is perfect for the summertime. I love this particular colour too and I think it's quite trendy. I've seen a lot of clothes, accessories, etc in this colour.

Being a neon, I was actually expecting a nightmare of a formula. Suprisingly though, it was very easy to work with! It was a tad streaky on the first coat, but everything was evened out with a second. It is nicely opaque and looks nice and smooth on the nail! I have topped it with a topcoat (Revlon Colorstay) as it dried to a semi-matte finish (typical for neon polishes). 

Also this wore super well, keeping in mind it had the Revlon topcoat which works extremely well. I wore it camping (yeah way back then) and after the whole week of setting up tents and other camping, bush and beach activities it hadn't chipped horribly! It was passable actually haha, but the beauty obsessor in me couldn't wait to change it.

I'll definitely be pulling this out again to wear during the Summer!

What are your favourite neon nail polishes?


Skincare Routine | Morning

Hello all! Today's post will be the first in my skincare routine 'series'. There will be three; my morning routine, night routine and extra products I often use. In this post I'll be sharing the skincare products I use every morning!

Starting out with cleansers:

Clearasil Daily Clear Vitamins & Extracts Daily Wash
Lately, this cleanser has been my pick for morning time cleansing. It is a nice light, creamy texture that smells divine! I find it very gentle, and if I have any eye makeup that has appeared after sleep, I can remove it with this. It doesn't dry out my skin at all and in fact feels moisturising. My skin feels clean and refreshed! I also think that is does help somewhat with acne, my skin has been quite well behaved since using this consistently. It also functions as a mask, but I don't find it too effective in that regard.

Some other cleansers I like using in the morning are:

Clarins Cleansing Milk with Alpine Herbs
This is a really light, liquidy milk that is very gentle and can also be used around the eyes. In the mornings I look for very light cleansers as there isn't much dirt or makeup that needs to be removed, just the previous night's skincare and any yuckies that have accumulated overnight. This work really well!

Natural Instinct Foaming Cleanser (Full review)
When I feel like my skin is a bit oilier, I use this cleanser as it is foaming. It doesn't dry out my skin at all but it helps if my skin is feeling particularly oily. Like the others, it is light, refreshing and gentle around the eyes.

Toner time! I have full reviews of both of these toners which will be linked so I won't talk too much about them.

Natural Instinct Clarifying Toner (Full review)
This is my preferred of the two, but I'm running out of it! I'll probably repurchase it once I get the chance. I find this tones and refreshes the skin well, and doesn't leave the skin feeling dry or tight at all.

T.N. Dickinson's Witch hazel toner (Full review)
This one does contain alcohol so I do find my skin is left on the dry side, not tight or uncomfortable, but it is dry. It is an effective toner and I will continue to use it, but won't be repurchasing.

Indeed Labs Hydraluron
This is a hydrating serum that has gotten so much hype and good grace throughout the beauty community, particularly from Caroline Hirons ie. skincare goddess. To be completely honest, I'm not really sure I notice any difference in my skin when I use this, possibly my skin feels a little softer and slightly more hydrated, but nothing substantial. My skin is combination, oily in the t-zone and normal everywhere else. Maybe it's not really suited for my skin type, and I guess I was expecting miracles from this product.

Garnier Dark Spot Corrector Daily Illuminating Moisturiser (Full review)
I love this moisturiser, and this is my second tube. I find this helps brighten my face, even out my skintone and help fade acne scars. I have been using this for a long time (since the beginning of the year) and I can't really say that it totally makes my scars disappear, but it helps a lot. It's a nice moisturiser for day time too. It's lightweight and doesn't make my skin oily.

Lush Grease Lightning (Full review)
I don't hate this product nor do I love it. I find it works decently but not amazingly. I'm using it to finish it but won't repurchase. If you have spot treatment recommendations, let me know!

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Suncreen
This is my second mini sample tube. I actually got my mum to get the gift too haha so I've been scraping out every last drop. I really like this sunscreen and it's not greasy or thick like others can be. I would purchase the full size, but I'm going to Hong Kong later this month and would prefer to try out some Asian SPFs which seem awesome! This one is definitely my favourite that I've tried so far though.

I hope you guys liked my first installment of my skincare 'series'. The others will be up soon!

What are your favourite products for the morning?


Wishlist #4 | USA + HK

Greetings! I have another wishlist post for you all today. Later this year, actually quite soon, I'll be heading to Hong Kong and Vietnam (30th of November to the 15th of December). I'll be in HK for 3 nights and Vietnam for the rest. Also my best friend is going to New York and Florida in late December and kindly offered to pick me up some things (more like I asked her, eheheee). I've compiled a wishlist of a few of the things I really want. I mainly went high end with things from America, if there are any must haves you think I should get, please recommend them! I'm also not too sure what Asian cosmetics I should pick up, so any recommendations for those would be much appreciated!

1. Tarte Off the Cuff Amazonian Clay 12 hour Blush palette
This palette is actually sold out, and due to its limited edition nature, it won't be restocked :( This palette features four of their famous blushes and one bronzer. In any case I really want to try these blushes, so I would still like to get a single probably in Exposed.

I think it would be really great to sample a bunch of lip products through this set. It contains a lot of what I want to try like the Fresh lip treatments, Tarte lip surgence, a Buxom lip gloss and a few more from other great brands. Also, I just love me some lip products! This is also sold out online though...I'm not sure if they'll restock (hopefully!) as I'm not sure if it's limited edition?

I've heard a little about these polishes and they come in an absolutely HUGE range of colours and finishes. There are SO many that I want! I've settled for Demolition though because I think it's quite reminiscent of some of the Indie polishes. It is a glitter top coat type polish with a mix of matte pastel glitters - so cute!

Benefit is probably one of the most marked up brands here in Australia. They do a huge range of gift set type products and I've had my eye on this one for ages. It contains Coralista blush, Coralista lip gloss, cha cha tint and high beam - all of which I've been dying to try. They are all also smaller sizes which I think is better as I pretty much never go through a whole one of anything.

5. MAC MSF in Soft and Gentle
Probably the most popular Mineralised skin finish from them, and the one that has been on my wishlist forever. They are much cheaper in the US (obvs) and I just want to kill the lemming! 

Onto the things that I plan to get in Hong Kong, both of which are recommendations from Cherie over at Cherry Picking :D.

6. Biore UV Perfect Face milk
This seriously seems like the perfect sunscreen. It contains SPF50+ PA++++ (that is a lot of pluses!) and is apparently mattifying and the perfect base for makeup. I really hope I can pick one (or two) up in Sasa!

7. Kiss Me Heroine Make Long and Curl Mascara
Asian mascaras are the bomb! Especially as they are obviously designed for asian lashes, they work so well in keeping a curl, etc. This one sounds great from the reviews I've read and I'm excited to pick it up.

I stumbled across this palette after making the above graphic and I think this has gone straight to the top of my wishlist (especially since the Tarte palette is now sold out). It contains five of their convertible colour cream blushes in the shades Petunia, Rose, Gerbera, Peony and Kitten. I've been wanting to try these for ages! This palette contains all the shades I want and it's super good value for money. I only hope it's still available when my friend goes over after Christmas *crosses fingers*. 

Anyways, those are the main things I'm hoping to pick up! I would really love some recommendations for Asian makeup and if you couldn't tell, I'm pretty desperate haha. I should probably do some research but I don't really have any time. Are there any must-haves out there?


Bright at Night

Hey guys! Today I have a skincare review on a product I have been loving since I first started using it! It is the Garnier Dark Spot Treatment Night which is an intensive renewal serum. Keep reading for the full spiel! 

It is packaged in a small plastic tube with a thin nozzle that dispenses the product. At first I thought it would be a leaky mess like their oily/combo BB cream, but actually the product only comes out when the tube is squeezed, and quite firmly at that. I like the packaging, it is functional and practical.

This serum is designed to help fade and diminish dark spots in the form of sun spots, age spots and acne marks. It also claims to smooth and even skintone as well as improve brightness. To do this, it contains 4% Glycolic acid and Vitamin Cg. The Glycolic acid exfoliates overnight and 'regenerates' the skin to refine and smooth its texture. I'm not sure what Vitamin Cg is, but I'm assuming it's some sort of derivative of Vitamin C. It's known for its anti-oxidant and brightening properties. 

I've been using this for over a month and can say that I have noticed a difference in my skin. Within the first few nights of using the serum, I noticed an immediate difference. My acne scars were slightly lighter and the redness was reduced. It sort of surged in the beginning (in terms of fading dark spots, etc) and has since plateaued I guess. Because, since then the changes in my skin have been more gradual. Also I definitely notice that it has helped smooth my skin, the texture feels softer and more refined. After a month of use, my dark spots have actually faded quite considerably, there is little redness around old marks and they sort of look like they've shrunk (?). Their visibility has definitely decreased, and I've needed less concealer, which is always a good indication! Overall my skin appears more even and brighter! I actually have hope that, over time, this product will help fade dark spots totally. Keep in mind that I've also been using other products that help in this area.

The texture of the product itself is like a gel. It is clear and actually has a light, pleasant, citrus-y scent. I find it quite viscous and a little sticky - slightly hard to spread over the skin, but nothing major. It doesn't feel uncomfortable on the skin at all but the texture is interesting. I think it's a bit similar to the Peter Thomas Roth Camu-Camu Serum which claims similar benefits. I use a bit more than pictured below, after toner and before moisturiser.

Overall, I am thoroughly enjoying using this product and the effects of the fading of my acne scars are better than most products I've tried so far. I'll keep you updated, probably in an empties post or something, as to whether I will repurchase, but so far it's looking very promising! It retails for AUD$18.99 for 30mL of product.

Have you tried this product, do you want to? What are your thoughts?


Dreamy BB

Hey guys! Today I have a review on my current favourite BB cream, the Maybelline Dream Pure BB cream. This is Maybelline's BB cream designed for oily skin as opposed to their original one, which I've heard people complain is quite greasy. 

It is packaged in a plastic tube which is quite lightweight and travel-friendly. The product is easily dispensed through the top of the tube and it doesn't leak out or anything like the Garnier Oily/combo BB cream does.

The product boasts an eight in one effect; many of which are sort of the same thing. It claims to conceal imperfections, help protect against the appearance of blemishes, oil-free non-greasy, minimises the appearance of pores, clarifies the skin's look, conceals redness, hydrates and smoothes and complements skin tone. The product contains 2% salicylic acid. This is a nice addition, I guess, but I don't rely on makeup to really provide any skincare benefits. I don't really find or think that this has helped my breakouts or anything of that nature. So, don't be afraid of it drying out your skin or anything, because I don't find it does at all. I actually find it to be a little hydrating and very comfortable to wear. It also contains SPF 15.

The product comes in a very limited range of two shades; light and medium. Both shades are actually quite light. Generally in most BB cream ranges the medium shade is actually rather orangey and dark, this one isn't at all though. It is rather neutral in tone and actually a teensy tad too light for me, but it blends nicely into the skin and with powder it's fine. However, I don't think it would work for anyone darker than me. They should really extend the shade range! 

The texture is really nice! It's like a lightweight, airy cream that I find applies best with fingers. It also applies well with a brush but I prefer fingers. The coverage of this BB cream is rather light. It evens out the skin tone and corrects any redness, but for blemishes, scars or dark circles, a concealer is needed. I find it is extremely smoothing on the skin and makes the skin feel lovely! This BB cream has a satin finish that isn't at all greasy but not completely matte. With powder I find it lasts all day without getting too oily.

This is probably my favourite Western BB cream and has overtaken the Garnier Oily/combo BB cream mainly because it is a better shade than the Garnier one. I've been using this on the daily and it provides the perfect coverage for day wear and is super quick and easy to apply. It retails for AUD$15.95 for 30mL of product.

Have you tried this BB cream? What's your favourite from Western brands?


A Rosy Outlook

Hey guys! Today I have a review on a product, not necessarily this one, but in general that has garnered a lot of hype in the beauty community, and that is Rose hip oil! The one I'm reviewing today is from Kosmea, it's their Skin Clinic certified organic rose hip oil

Lately, rose hip oil has become super popular and in general a more mainstream and easily accessible product. As the name suggests, rosehip oil is the oil extracted from the hip of the rose and it is high in essential fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants. It helps moisturize the skin, fade scars, wrinkles and contains a multitude of other benefits for the skin. The Kosmea Rose hip oil contains Rosa Eglentaria oil, as opposed to Rosa Canina which is generally more common. I believe there is little difference between the two species, if you do know how they are different, let me know in the comments! 

The packaging is quite standard, but nice and practical; it comes in a glass bottle with a pipette/dropper. The only other Rose hip oil I've tried was from Trilogy and I found the oil would seep up from the bottle onto the cap and it wasn't very efficient. The Kosmea one though is much better, I've even travelled with it and it hasn't leaked at all.

The oil itself is quite a vibrant amber shade, different to any other Rose hip oil I've seen. It does leave a tint to the skin, but since I only use it at night I don't really care. Also it absorbs into the skin quite quickly, so it's not too noticeable. Speaking of, I found that it absorbed quicker than the Trilogy which tended to make me look oily without really ever fully feeling like it had sunk in (to the point where my face didn't look shiny). The Kosmea is shiny upon application, but I feel it sinks in really well, and my skin produces its own oils thereafter. 

I apply this at night by mixing 3 drops in with my moisturiser so that it is easier to spread over the skin. It's not that it's 'hard to spread' but I feel like I achieve a more even coverage of the oil when using a cream base. I find that the oil is very hydrating though, more so than if I were to use my moisturiser alone. I have been using this for a decent amount of time (2 months) and can't honestly comment on its effects on my acne scarring. This is due to the fact that I've been using a number of other products that help with fading scars. My current skincare routine (posts of that will be up soon-ish!) has been serving me well, and since using this oil, I've been noticing less breakouts and an overall healthier appearing skin. It is soft, smooth and supple and with this and a combination of other products, I do think it has helped reduce scars and redness - though not to the point of complete disappearance. My skin hasn't had a single dry patch at all!

Though it is one of the more expensive Rose Hip oils on the market at $21.99, I definitely prefer it to the Trilogy rose hip oil and feel it's more effective. Rose hip oil has become a staple in my routine, and I recommend everyone use it as it provides so many benefits - even if you have the oiliest of oily skin! From many bloggers' experiences, it can even help decrease oil production.

Have you tried this Rose hip oil? What's your favourite?


Shopping with RY.com.au

Hey guys! Recently I was offered the opportunity to have a little shop over at RY.com.au. I jumped at the chance as I have heard quite a few good things about the Australian based site! Being Australia's largest online haircare and beauty store, they sell a multitude of different brands, from skincare and makeup, to hair and nails and much more. They are generally at a cheaper price than if you were to buy instore, which is definitely a bonus!

The site itself is very user friendly. It is aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate! The site offers free delivery on orders over $100 (or $6.95 which is very reasonable), a price match guarantee, 120 day returns and free samples are included with every order! They also provide a rewards point system which is nice, but a little hard to earn without spending a ton of money. You earn 2 points for every dollar spent, and you get a dollar back for every 200 points. This equates to $1 back for every $100 spent, at least you're getting something back, right!

I purchased two products from the store; the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner and the Ardell 120 Demi lashes. These two products ended up being around $46. The samples included were the Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream and the Alpha H Balancing Moisturiser and Gentle Exfoliant, both of which I am very excited to try! 

They came well packaged with paper stuffing to cushion the products, given that there were no breakables this was quite good and it secured the products. 

Onto how the shipping and delivery went. I placed this order on the 15th of October and it arrived on the 31st of October. First of all I will say that I did change my order and the customer service was excellent! They did ring me and email me back pretty quickly and any issues were sorted out well. In my first order part of my order was out of stock, and when I changed a product, it was out of stock also (an email is sent out notifying the customer, but the product out of stock is not specified). However, when I looked back at the website (for both occasions), they were still listed as 'in stock'. I think that they should update these statuses on the products accordingly and regularly to notify the customers before they order. It also stated in the email that they would be back in stock by 3 to 7 business days, and mine took 8 business days to finally be dispatched. Once it was shipped though, it arrived the next day which was awesome! They are located in the same state as me, but it came super quickly, so I don't think express shipping would be required.

Overall, I think that RY.com.au is a really great place to source products, etc online. I do think that there are a few aspects that could be improved, but all in all, it was a very pleasant experience to shop with them. I would wholeheartedly recommend them, and would definitely shop there again myself!

Also, this is my 100th post! Wowzers! I am so happy that I've been able to keep at blogging so consistently as I really didn't know how I would go. I'm super glad that I've been able to keep at it, and here's to another 100 posts! Haha, cheesy, I know.

Products provided but chosen by me for reviewing purposes of the website.