Sunday, 23 December 2012

Review: Australis 10 Hour Wear Pencil & Colour Inject Gloss

Australis products are definitely becoming more popular with quality that doesn't disappoint! Not long ago I was lucky enough to win a Colour Inject Gloss in Fandango from Australis and claimed the the "buy one get one free" offer from Priceline for my 10 Hour Wear Pencil in Bombastic Bronze. I was quite excited to try these products out as I've heard great things about it!

Australis 10 Hour Wear Pencil in Bombastic Bronze RRP $9.95
After hearing a few raves about this, especially from Mishelle from Mishelle's Sleepy Time I knew I had to get this eyeliner! Australis says it is a pencil that applies like a liquid eyeliner, waterproof and lasts for 10 hours. It comes in two other shades as as well, Aqua Attack and Grape Cake but I'm not adventurous enough to use such bright attention-seeking colours! I love how there is a bronze shade, I find that black eyeliner is too harsh for me.

Creamy formulation
Excuse the wonky swatch!
Thie beautiful eyeliner glides on so smoothly and its formulation is creamy and definitely didn't disappoint! There are very subtle shimmers which I like, giving it a bit of iridescence. So does it live up to its 10 hour wear? I used it without a primer for a whole day, and let's say I am impressed! No smudging and the liner stayed put, although there was very minor smudging on my bottom lash line but it wasn't much of an issue. The quality of the packaging feels great too except for its clear lid which makes it look a little cheap- and it would have won more points if didn't need to be sharpened. Despite that, this will definitely be a repurchase (glad I bought two of them!) as it has a superb formulation.

Australis Colour Inject Gloss in Fandango RRP $11.95
Thanks to Australis again for this lip gloss! I'm actually not a big fan of lip gloss as the shine and stickiness puts me off, as well as it somehow exaggerates the yellowness of my teeth (yuck). I've heard that Colour Inject Glosses have a nice colour pay off, as well as being nourishing, and containing and "injection" of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Sounds like a fun gloss!

Fandango is a bright coral colour which is great for summer! The first thing I noticed about the gloss was its delicious scent- Australis describes it as lychee but I find it quite fruity in general. Unfortunately for me the gloss was quite sticky and glossy, although it is meant to be glossy so I can't fault a gloss for being glossy!

Fuzzy applicator
Very glossy!
The colour was very pigmented which is impressive for a gloss. The swatch looks very bright but on my lips it was a little muted (my lip swatches did not turn out well and shouldn't be seen in public so I haven't posted a pic of it here). I quite like this coral shade and would be great for a night out.

Have you tried either the 10 Hour Wear Pencil or the Colour Inject Glosses from Australis? 

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Review: Face of Australia Sheer Gloss Lip Crayons

Yes I am a little slow to try these hyped up Face of Australia Sheer Gloss Lip Crayons  but I wanted to wait until there was an offer before I purchased them! These three gorgeous lip crayons retail for $14.95, however I popped into a Priceline and its price was down to $9.95- add on a voucher I had that was for around $5, these lip crayons were mine for less than $5! However since these lip crayons were limited edition, you can't find them in stores anymore (good work Karen, reviewing something people can't buy anymore...)

How adorable is this cupcake candle? You open it up to reveal the candle!
 From first inspection, it seemed like Macaron would be the nicest shade of all; a nice dark pink, nearly red sheer shade for the lips and I absolutely feared the brown shade, Sundae. However I was pleasantly surprised! Sundae has turned out to be my favourite colour of the three as it didn't appear brown on my lips, but instead a nice nude-like shade! It seems like such a flattering shade for most complexions while being very modest.

These lip crayons can be built up to increase its pigmentation which I love! A thin layer for a subtle sheer look, or layer it again and again to achieve a stronger colour turn out. In terms of use, the wind up crayon is quite fun and cute, although the plastic packaging does make it feel a little cheap (but then again, it was cheap!). I wouldn't call these extremely moisturising but they are quite smooth and easy to apply.

L-R: Sundae, Macaron, Cupcake
Comparing these to the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm stains, the FOA lip crayons are much easier to apply and are much more sheer and forgiving to dry flaky lips. Revlon's lip stains however are much more pigmented and extremely long wearing (it was so hard to budge!) but tend to accentuate dry flakes. The packaging for Revlon's lip stains feels more sturdier than FOA's, however at $17.95 a pop, you would really hope so as FOA's lip crayons are just a fraction of that price (and for three of them too!). I am quite satisfied with this trio of lip crayons and I don't think I'll venture for Revlon's or Clinique's Chubby stick anytime soon.

Have you tried the FOA lip crayons before? How about the other lip crayons that are out?

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Review: Lush Sweet Lips Lip Scrub

What an irresistible name for a lip product- "Sweet lips." Now, who wouldn't want to have sweet lips? I had always known that Lush had amazing lip scrubs but I couldn't justify paying $10 for a measly 25g of sugar and oil! Previously I had tried to make my own lip scrub using raw sugar and olive oil but it became an oily mess and I had no where to store my product, oops. The raw sugar has quite large crystals compared to your normal refined sugar, and refined sugar has larger crystals than castor sugar (which is used in Lush's lip scrubs) which was a little too rough on the lips (the raw sugar, that is). After reading reviews here and there about how long a jar of Lush lip scrubs lasted and how well they worked, I succumbed and bought my own little jar of sweet goodness.

I thought this was a cute little touch instead of just stating an expiry date!

Sweet lips is described as a "lip scrub for chocolate fanatics" with vanilla extract to keep lips moist and a rich, deep cocoa fragrance to give an "irresistible touch". Lush lip scrubs also come in Popcorn which I initially wanted as it was so unique and had a salty popcorn taste, but I wasn't sure if I would use it as often as the Sweet Lips; Bubblegum; and Mint Julips which I was told by a sales assistant that will help plump the lips. It was hard to choose, but I thought I could not go wrong with a sugary vanilla flavour.

"Lick off the excess"?! I thought lip scrubs were meant to be wiped away along with the dry lip flakes! The Lush lip scrubs are edible but the thought of licking dry flakes off my lips was a little off-putting- but I tried it anyway and it didn't bother me at all! Yum, sugar.

It looks absolutely delicious!
The lip scrubs are such fun to use! Dipping my finger into the little jar of sugar and scrubbing away will never lose its novelty, and also results in smooth exfoliated lips! Very impressed with the lip scrub and I do think that $10 is worth the joy of using it (well, that is just me I think). This jar definitely seems like it will last a long time, as not much is needed! A great buy for those who tend to get dry flaky lips (wait, isn't that everyone?)

Have you tried Lush's lip scrubs before or any other type of lip scrub?

Monday, 26 November 2012

Review: Butter London in Pink Ribbon Nail Lacquer

Gorgeous packaging. Cute name. Free from formaldehyde, toluene and DBP (Dibutyl phthalate for you chemistry nerds out there... okay... *sulks away*) which are chemicals that may cause cancer (called carcinogens). Enough of the chemistry talk, but what's there not to love about Butter London nail lacquers? I got this as a freebie from the October's issue of In Style magazine (I briefly mentioned this in the previous post) and was pretty excited to try it out!

Butter London Nail Lacquer in Pink Ribbon
I had trouble opening the lid, I twisted with all my might but it didn't work. But alas, I had a closer look at the lid and it says "Lift to open". Who would have thought a nail polish would have a pull up lid?

Oh dear, Mr Butter London is naked!
Little bird with a crown

On inspection the shade "Pink Ribbon" is a sheer peachy pink, quite a nice neutral colour for the nails. The formula was runny- I had to take the photo really quick before it dripped everywhere- and easy to apply. However, I was extremely disappointed with how the colour turned out. I knew it was going to be sheer, but not SO sheer that my nails appear not to be painted at all!

Do you see it? No? Neither do I! The only thing "Pink Ribbon" offers is a nice shine to the nails. Perhaps this is the only disappointing shade in the Butter London range as I have only heard of good things about these nail lacquers! The other shades they offer look quite gorgeous so I definitely won't give the Butter London a miss- I'll just blame it on Pink Ribbon.

Have you tried Butter London Nail Lacquers? Which shades do you have? What did you think of them?

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Review: Lucas Papaw Ointment vs. Coco Island Paw Paw Ointment

Greetings everyone! I haven't posted in a while, mainly because of exams. But now I am free (yay freedom for more than 3 months!) I can freely blog :) Today I will be doing a review on Lucas Papaw Ointment and Coco Island Pawpaw Ointment, and comparing the two.

The two are packaged similarly and are bright and stand out in a messy bag. The Lucas Papaw Ointment and Coco Island Pawpaw Ointment are both are Australian made which is great.  For those who have been living under a rock, they are multi purpose- pawpaw ointments can be used for chapped lips, dry skin, minor burns and wounds, chafing, relieving symptoms of eczema and dermatitis, sunburn, nappy rash (let's hope none of us get that...), cuts and insect bites- something that will be handy to carry around with you!

Lucas Papaw Ointment 25g RRP $5.99
  • contains Carica Papaya 39mg/g Fresh Fermented Fruit
  • antibacterial and antimicrobial properties
  • has a tendency to "bubble" up, not a smooth consistency
  • unique subtle smell (of the pawpaw)
  • when used for dry lips, the ointment doesn't last very long
  • also comes in larger sizes 75g and 200g tubs

Coco Island Pawpaw Ointment 25g RRP $4.99
  • contains Carica Papaya fruit extract and Bioactive Manuka honey 16+
  • tropical treatment that revives, smoothes and moisturises
  • smooth consistency
  • no scent
  • ointment lasts longer than the Lucas Papaw Ointment when used for dry lips
  • also comes in a 100g tube
As I was browsing the shelves of Priceline one day, I stumbled upon the Coco Island's Pawpaw Ointment which I was excited to try- mainly because of the added Manuka honey in the formula (Manuka honey is wonderful, it is an antibacterial too!). Let's say lucky I bought it! I loved the Lucas Papaw and have used it for years as it was so versatile, but the Coco Island has won me over. Its smooth consistency and it's ability to stay on the lips to keep them moisturised for longer definitely gave it an edge over Lucas Papaw. I also nabbed a deal from Priceline where it was $9.99 for the 100g tube and a bonus 25g tube! Definitely a great deal. I remember the days when Lucas Papaw used to be $4, but I guess its popularity has made the price go up! All in all, a pawpaw ointment is definitely an essential with all its uses, it will always be handy :)

Have you tried any of these pawpaw ointments before? 

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Review: Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler

Ah the famous Shu Uemura eyelash curler. It has a huge amount of amazing reviews and a reputation for being a fantastic eyelash curler, as well as being a cult classic. After having my eyelids pinched by cheap eyelash curlers (eek $2 ones), probably about more than a year ago I decided to purchase the Shu Uemura eyelash curler! I got it off eBay but I can't remember how much for- but it was a bargain. Did I have qualms about it being fake? Definitely. But the performance has been excellent and my doubts subsided. I'm not too sure how much the curler retails for in Australia though (maybe around $30?), if someone can enlighten me then I can include it here in the post!

 Anyone read Japanese? :P Designed and made in Japan!

Oops the rubber is a little dirty!
The Shu Uemura eyelash curler is designed best for Asian eyelids but this does not mean that it won't suit anyone else! The curler is curved more than conventional eyelash curlers and this is what minimises and prevents any pinching.
Let's talk about the cheap eyelash curlers I have used before. Pinching was awful, and the curve definitely did not suit my eyes. When you attempt to "curl" the lashes, you have to apply pressure and the eyelashes  become kinky and very unnatural looking- it is obvious where the lashes have been curled at, shown by the kinks. Not only that- they had the tendency to pull out lashes, definitely not ideal! I got sick and tired of using a subpar curler, and after reading many amazing reviews for the Shu Uemura, I really wondered if it lived up to the hype. Here is what the website says it offers:
The emblematic, best-selling and award-winning shu uemura eyelash curler featuring enhanced design and upgraded features for ultimate precision that delivers the perfect curl.
  • upgraded silicone pad in a new "mushroom" shape provides a protective, stay-put edge for improved safety and optimum curl.
  • upgraded patented hinge with precise engineering applies perfect amount of pressure on eyelashes
  • curved angle suits all eye shapes
  • calculated shape and size of frame length and ergonomic handles ensure stability and control
What I like to do before using eyelash curlers is to heat them up a little by using my hairdryer. Before I curled my lashes I blasted the curler for about 4-5 seconds, tested the temperature on my hand then used it on the lashes. PLEASE don't immediately put the curler to your eyes without checking the temperature first as you might burn yourself! So here is a before and after shot (excuse the messy eyebrows- I got to do something about them....and the blurry shots, my phone isn't too good at close ups)
The photos speak for themselves. WOW! Such a dramatic difference in my eyelashes. It was such a pleasure to use the curler- absolutely no pinching as the shape was perfect and I did not have to apply pressure at all, which I did with the cheaper curlers. The curl was smooth with no sign of kinkage (haha is that even a word?!). How well did the curl hold? Very very well. I actually took several attempts to take photos of my eye but they turned out super blurry- so instead of using the other eye (I don't know why) I decided to flatten out my eyelashes again to take a before shot but they were very stubborn! The curl held very well (I ended up curling my other eye's lashes in the end haha).

After using the curler for more than a year, it is still in excellent condition! And if I ever need to replace the pad, the curler comes with one replacement one. Overall, a delightful eyelash curler to use with wonderful results.

Who's tried the Shu Uemura curler? If not, which curlers do you use?

Monday, 1 October 2012

Review: China Glaze Nail Strengthener & Growth Formula

My nails have always been in great condition- they never break or split, and aren't weak. However my index and thumb nails have been splitting a lot lately which is annoying the hell out of me! I think it might be because of me bumping my nails onto things and maybe from removing pesky staples from prescriptions at work....
Well anyways I went to Cosmetic Fragrance Direct at DFO the other day and found this little beauty! It was $10, and normally retails for $18.95 so I guess I did save a bit! It was an impulse buy, although I have heard great things about China Glaze nail polishes so I didn't think this strengthener would be any different :)

And as I always do, just a little description from its website:
Nail Strengthener & Growth Formula is vitamin and protein enriched to promote healthy nail growth
-Promotes the growth of healthy, beautiful nails in 8 weeks  
-Vitamin B and wheat protein strengthens and protects nails
-Protects against splitting and cracking
-Great after removal of acrylic nails
          -DBP & Toluene Free (contains Formaldehyde as a nail strengthener & hardener) 

 Lol the "formaldehyde" scares me... having dealt with it in labs at uni and having warnings about it being toxic if inhaled or consumed (not that I will be eating it anytime soon) but if you use it in a ventilated room I guess we will be fine! I've always wondered how nail strengtheners work and if they actually work. So I was eager to try this and see if my nails improved over time.

I have been applying this to my nails for a few days now and I am loving the sheen it is giving to my nails! It has improved the look of one of my split nails, and I can definitely feel an improvement in the hardness too especially in my "healthy" nails. Quite surprising results for something I didn't really believe in initially.

Do you use a nail strengthener? What brand is it and are you happy with its results?

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Review: Rose-Hip Vital Australian Certified Organic Cold Pressed Rosehip Oil

Rosehip oil! It's been all the hype lately and I have been very eager to try it. There are heaps of brands out there- Trilogy, Kosmea, Sukin, just to name a few. I've been meaning to buy the Trilogy one but when I was at work, there was a new order, and I found this! 30mL of organic rosehip goodness for RRP $19.99 (and $15 with my 25% discount at the pharmacy!). The Trilogy is only 20mL for the same price (although it's RRP everywhere else is $21.95 instead of $19.99). I was quite excited to give this a go!


 Such lovely packaging! If you read the claims, the product sounds absolutely amazing! Organic, cold pressed, and 100% rosehip oil. Definitely getting a tick in my books! Here is a little description from its website:
Rose-Hip Vital Australian Certified Organic Cold Pressed Rosehip Oil
Rose-Hip Vital Rosehip Oil is a 100% pure and natural Certified Organic skincare product, cold pressed from the seeds of the Rosehip (Rosa Canina) that helps to support healthy-looking skin for use on the face and body. Rose-Hip Vital Rosehip Oil is rich in naturally occurring vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids.
The benefits of Rose-Hip Vital Rosehip Oil
  • Reduces the appearance of stretchmarks & scars 
  • Maintains skin hydration and softness
  • Improves appearance of dry and sensitive skin
  • Minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Promotes skin elasticity & texture
  • Our formula
Rose-Hip Vital Rosehip Oil Contains 100% pure Australian Certified Organic Cold Pressed (Rosa Canina) Rosehip Oil. 

Cute little bottle :)

A nice easy to use dropper
 First thing I noticed was its scent. It isn't strong, but I didn't particularly like it. I've tried the Trilogy rosehip oils (the ordinary one and the one with antioxidants- hehe such pretty packaging!) and it didn't notice any scent so this is probably the only downfall to the Rose-Hip Vital rosehip oil.

One drop of rosehip oil goes a long way! It absorbed right into my skin which is great. Those worried about breaking out from the "oil" need not fear, as it doesn't cause acne or pimples at all, which I attribute to the natural oil. Definitely very happy with the product, apart from the subtle scent which I personally didn't like.

I've been testing and trying all sorts of different things on my dry and parched skin on my face, and I will make a post about it sometime! Stay tuned ;)

Any one interested in rosehip oil? Have you tried any of the other brands, and what did you think?