Friday, 24 February 2012

Lest I forget

You know that smug feeling when you rediscover something you loved and had forgotten about and now that you have found it again it feels like you have both something new but never even spent a cent.

Well I've had whole load of said smugness lately

Having to pack up all mu cosmetics. Chuck what was chuckable, give good homes to stuff I would never use and then decide what to pack to bring to Tassie, what to live in storage for later in the year.

Sometimes I think the glee in rediscovering something you loved is almost better than when you first discovered because you know also have nostalgia alongside your refound win.

I've rekindled my love for these bad boys and wonder why I stopped in the first place!!

Kiehl's Creme de Corp.
Reviewed Here
It is simple, nothing fancy but rich as heck and makes skin very schmoft indeedio. Am slathering like a good thing. Greased up yellow love.

Al'chemy Avacado & Calendula Conditioner
Reviewed Here
I found a mini-bottle filled with this so started bringing it to the gym and I just love how this makes my hair feel, smell and behave. It's got a fab sandalwoody/patchouli earthiness, hair is silky and I can't help but keep touching it and its silky and feels gaurded against summer humidity and the woes that brings. I even went and bought another Al'chemy shampoo today as I have this weird thing about using shampoo & conditioner from the same family. Found it for $7.95 in Hobart, winning!

Orly VaVaVoom
Reviewed Here
You know I am obsessed with a polish when it gets two consecutive outings on my pedicured tootsie. It may even stay around for a third. Hot neon pink toes are freakin hot. Stat.

Vani-T Mineral Powder Foundation SPF15 (shell)
Reviewed Here
I'm not sure why this got cast aside but my BareMinerals ran out (as they do all too quickly) and this was knocking about so decided to use it again and I love it. It lasts really well during that day and builds really nicely. Its very well designed too - the powder holes don't seem to release powder until you tap it upside down off the lid. I'm not sure why or how but it's quite clean to carry around. Plus the lid is this big deep space to swirl your brush in making life easier and cleaner. Plus it is huge (20g - 8g in BM by comparison) A good value, functional performer.

Rediscovered anything lately?

Do you only from the use shampoo & conditioner from the same family too?

Sunday, 19 February 2012

The mother of all detox baths

I've posted before about my Saturday bath ritual. Even in summer I love it. It shakes of the week for me and cruises me gently towards Saturday evening. It's also my time in the week to do all the beauty duty- dry brush, exfoliate, coconut oil hair mask, face scrub, mask etc etc

I always make sure to throw some Epsom salts into  the bath mix- these salts help to draw out toxins and aid fluid retention (something Heidi Klum has cited in the past to use before shows - or perhaps she was just trying to get 30mins away from Seal as we now know!).

These salts add no smell, colour or texture to the water so don't get in the way of your chosen bath oil/bubble bath/rubber ducky.

But recently I've taken my bath to a whole new detoxing level.

Now I work on a credit system with my body. Detox to retox, that's how we roll. A backhanded deal exchanged deep down in some dark, bilious corner of m liver.

I giveth then I taketh away!!

So into my Epsom salts bath is now going the following for the mother of all detox baths

Macrobiotic Sea Salt Bath Crytals from the Great Barrier Reef

1. Echolife Australian Macrobiotic Sea Salt Bath Crystals*So I've raved about head under salt water being one of my secret hangover cures and there is some validation in that. Bathing in macrobiotic sea salt crystals helps you absorb some sea goodness minerals such as  magnesium chloride, potassium and calcium.

These salts are far superior to say just chucking in some Saxa - this pure, unprocessed, unbleached salt from the Great Barrier is made in covered pans, slowing down the evaporation process, protecting the precious minerals and trace elements contained in the natural sea salt.

It is then harvested by hand and allowed to drain (of excess sea water) in the sun before being packaged.

It is slightly salt pink in colour - testament to the high sea mineral content (just the same colour as the Himalyan salt I use on food/cooking for the same reason) and dissolved really easily in your warm running bath water- I chuck in half a cup.

Mojave Green Clay Powder 

2. Echolife Mojave Green Clay Powder
To my briney water i then add some green clay.

Initially I tracked down green clay on the Echolife website to use as an overnight spot treatment recommended by the knowledgeable lassies over at No More Dirty Looks. However on chatting with the  team at Echolife I learn that this clay makes an almighty bath too.

I mix 1/2 a cup of the green clay powder in a salad bowl with some warm water first and give it a swish with a balloon whisk. It blends perfectly. I them hurl it into the epsomy/salty running bath and it becomes murky and green and a little creamy on top.

Mojave Living Clay is a pure, non-gritty, calcium bentonite (green) clay also rich in trace minerals - making it uniquely effective at deep-cleansing the body of toxins and impurities and is sourced exclusively from the ancient calcium bentonite deposits of the Mojave Desert, South East California. Who would have thought anything Californian could be so pure!!

I love that this gives the bath an extra spa like feel.

There are some muddy clay remnants in the mixing bowl which I smear on my face and chest for a mini-mask.

Tisserand Detox Bath Oil
3. Tisserand Detox Bath Oil*

This bath is all very good and well in terms of detoxing properties now but needs some pimping, some fragrance oomph. Enter Tisserand's Detox Oil-  a blend of organic juniper berry (supports elimination), organic lemon (astringent) and organic black pepper (stimulating). Also cypress, peppermint and rosemary (all bracing and beneficial to circulation) It smells spicy and darkly herbal and almost piney.

Tisserand reckon it helps to stimulates sluggish circulation, encouraging the elimination of toxins and toning of the skin.

Bring it!

It's quite pungent but uplifting and invigorating all the same. I bang in some extra drops of pure juniper oil because I'm hardcore and I am a sinner, my liver needs it.

A quick all-over body dry brush before I plunge in makes for a great all over tingly rush.

Now was in this deep clay abyss you can start to feel all the actives in your surrounds. I've said before the Epsom salts do cause a sensation almost like a very weak magnetic pull.

I can feel it. That or I've been passive smoking crack. Again.

The clay  brings a whole new intensity and why the peeps at Echolife advise to start with smaller volumes and build up gradually. I can feel my circulation going and my heart is thumping. I was worried it may start to give me a headache which I'm prone to but I was okay. I stayed in there about 20minutes , you wouldn't want to stay much longer.

Once back on dry land I feel invigorated and energized and squeaky clean and virtuous with serious soft skin.

Am clean and ready to spend my new clean living credits on a vino.  Tasmanian Pinot Noir anyone?

Detox bathing- do you believe?

Ever had one of those natural mud baths like that dirty fun pair above? - I've always wanted to!

*Were supplied for consideration by the fabulous folk at . Detox sins and opinions were my own. I purchased the clay on Echolife. Free shipping, gotta love that!

Need more sleep, sorry can't help you but can make it look like you do!
Enter my Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Giveaway over yonder 

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Valentine's Day Strip

Happy Valentine's Day lovers!

Hope your February 14th is filled with more cheese than a Domino's meat supreme cheesy stuffed crust but maybe less calories.

Mine will probably exceed on both counts. My hubby is great for putting on the ritz on Valentines and has a mystery romantic restaurant booked which is exciting as we haven't eaten out much yet in Hobart. It is a set four-course menu with bubbles and we have a Moet on ice in the fridge so yes I shall be far exceeding a pizza calorie spend.

Tis only fair I return the favour with a Valentine's themed reveal.

On my nails that is.

Am thinking more Nailease than striptease here cupids, it is a four course meal after all ;)

Quite day appropriate with the red and white polka dots don't you think?

These self-adhesive polish strips are from the Nailease range and what I like about this brand is:

a) The massive colour and pattern range- that makes polka dot nails as easy as a five minute stick on job. Also for $11.95 they are not a huge outlay.

b) There are 20 nail stickers in the pack. Now the 20 come in two strips of 10 x different sizes but I can usually stretch or trim the sizes to work on my nails. Wide or skinny nail plated peeps may not have this luxury but for me it works. So the 20 pack means two outings and they supply a little foil sticky strip that allows you to seal the foil pouch with your leftovers. A lot of other brands give you 16 which shits me no end.

This is what they look like:

To apply you simply peel off the backing strips and align these little stickers to your nail base, and slightly stretch and press as you go until smooth, pulling the nail tip edge slightly taut and down over the nail tip and tuck under before using an emery board to file off the excess in a downward motion. The better you fold and tuck and file under the tip, the more secure these strips will stay

My problems with nailstrips seem to be climatic. I have had great successes. I have worn strips that have lasted for nearly the 10 day claim. The tips would just slightly recess as they days went by. No real lifting or chipping.

These were Sephora strips bought in Paris and applied and worn in Dublin. No major heat in that city let me tell you. I also had success last year with Sally Hansen strips (a scabby 16-packer) and got a good few days mileage, but that was Sydney winter.

And that is where my trouble lies with these strips - they don't work in warm or humid situations as well. Yes it advises you to work with this strips in a room temperature environment but when room temp is 25 degrees and humidity is high, strips (not this brand) have failed me. I've woken in the middle of the night with a sticky feeling on my nails and by morning the just scrapped off in a sluggish mess.

The application of these Nailease strips went really well, they behaved and applied beautifully but alas lifted after 24 hrs or so so once again I believe the climate has failed me.

So to surmise - go for your life in winter, in summer go all out with a funky pattern and rock it for a night , that is probably all you will get but your digits will look hot all the same - even if just for one night only.

*Nailease strips provided for review- Valentine's festivity & opinions my own

Need more sleep, sorry can't help you but can make it look like you do!
Enter my Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Giveaway over yonder 

Monday, 13 February 2012

Burning the Midnight Oil + Kiehl's Giveaway

So I am now living in Tasmania.

How the freak did that happen?

Two weeks ago I was Bondi till I die bro. Now here I am in uptown Hobart, Tasmania where I will be for the foreseeable on a work placement. 

Yes it is 20 degrees but feels like 15 degrees but it's pretty and quaint and friendly and I plan to eat and drink my way around the town. Yeah don't worry I'm already signed with a gym for my sins.

But moving cities so quickly aint easy and takes it's toll on one's beauty.

My nails have not been painted in 2 weeks- gasp and are chipped and broken and a week and a bit of meeting people for goodbye wines & dinners, staying up late packing and cleaning and living out of a bag has taken it's toll.

I moved with a sore throat, mouth ulcers, shadowy eyes and a fresh breakout from the stress and overindulgence of it all.

Not quite the glamorous arrival to a new job but I have spent the past week trying to get back on track with the help of the being back at the gym, early nights, hotel spa baths, and I've cracked open the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Duo

1) Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate 
This is my hero of the pair. I do love my skin oils for a little RnR but I have to say this serum is pretty up there with the bests I've tried.

  • It is a fatty acid mega-hit with Squalane (a very skin-compatible oil from olives), Evening Primrose Oil, and essential oils namely lavender. This serum is designed to work at night while you sleep so you wake up more radiant- a standard line right? Yaddayadda. But I can see and feel the effects in the morning after using this. 
  • You are supposed to use two drops (the dropper cap with button makes this very easy to administer) and cup them in your hands and inhale to get the sleepy essential oil benefits then pat onto dry skin. I've been playing along with this ritual 
  • What I particularly love is the texture. It looks and feels like an oil, but behaves and absorbs into the skin like a serum. There is no greasy residue at all once absorbed by the skin after about thirty seconds. 
  • In the morning my skin is not greasy, not one bit , even on my chin and feels super soft to the touch- my hubby has even noted this without a prompt! There is a dewy smoothness around my cheeks and forehead after washing my face. 
  • 99.8% natural ingredients, no parabens, fragrance, mineral oil or silicones get a tick from me.
  • I've just been using this over my Be In Awe Lightening Serum and don't need any moisturiser or night cream 
  • It has even prompted me to start taking Evening Primrose supplements again- I haven't taken these in about a year but liked the effects they had on my skin condition.
2) Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye
  • Now my eyes are notoriously sensitive and prone to dryness and puffiness particularly after anything more than one night out. My eyes are very fussy about creams but they like this.patted in around the 
  • The tube with super fine nozzle makes it really easy to dispense a teeny tiny dot, 
  • Now I learned at the launch that I apply my cream wrong - I apply a little bit underneath the eye up to the lash line , then all over my lid and up to my brow bone. The reps in white coats at Kiehl's reckon a teeny dot around the lower eye bag- just on your eye socket bone above your cheek is the only place you need to use this cream. They say the actives are absorbed by the fine skin here and carried to the rest of the eye and distributed where needed. I've tried this but can't get my head around it as my eye lids and corners always feel dry and I like the soothing effect I get from putting cream on them.
  • This cream has the same actives as the concentrate as well as Butchers Broom- a member of the lily family that is supposed to help with circulation and tightening capillaries. The cream designed for the delicate eye area promises to help the appearance of fine lines and reduce puffiness and dark under-eye circles. 
  • I can't yet comment on fine lines, however I have noticed a reduction in puffiness from the tired eyes I had at the start of the week (old fashioned sleep could be helping this too!)and I am usually not a shadow person under my eyes so can't comment on this either but can say my sensitive eyes like the formula and my eyes feel moisturised and soothed after using
Another simple but effective thing I've bought this week aiding the cause. A lavender eye pillow. I know - total Nana but humour me.

My old yoga studio in Bondi (sniff, sniff) used to provide these for savasanas (post yoga bliss snooze) and I loved them. They are usually silk or silk on one side and filled with linseed and lavender so they feel slightly heavy on the eyes, block out light and fill your senses with a soothing lavender fragrance.

Brilliant for nano-naps, I had a thirty minute one on the hotel floor (random??) last night before we went for dinner or I keep this beside my pillow so I can smell the lavender as I drift off to sleepytown.

I bought it from this really sweet, old couple in the local markets here who run a lavender farm, handmade with love for $8 aww!!.

So now sleeplovers you can also get peepers and win a 'well rested' pack including;
  • a full-size Midnight Recovery Eye of your own
  • a super cute Peter Alexander Eye Mask to help you catch some zzzs
  • I'll even throw in a Lavender Eye Pillow as well if I can hunt down Mr&Mrs Old McLavender at the markets again.
Well rested eyes will be guaranteed.

What you need to do to enter;
  • Get your creative prose hats on and draft a poem, any kind of poem will do. Be it a Limerick, a haiku, a sonnet!! Your pick, you just need to include "Midnight Recovery Eye' somewhere in it and add it to the comments box below
  • Post your poem on Kiehl's Australia's Facebook page wall with a link back to this giveaway 
(Sorry Australian residents only )

I'll pick my favourite poem and announce the winner on 1st March.

Good luck!!

(Midnight Recovery Duo were supplied for review- sleepless nights and opinions my own)

Friday, 10 February 2012

Shave Off

So I decided to a do a little tĂȘte a tĂȘte if you will. Blade versus blade, shave versus shave.

You see I'm torn between two razors and I don't know which is the one.

My suitors?

The gallant Gillette Venus and the the admirable Schick Intuition Natural.

So in true trump card fashion I decided to pit their vital stats against one another.

Shave off style.

In the purple corner we have Gillette Venus Breeze;

  • Historically my blade of choice. I once thought it's self-lubricating soap bar was the best thing since twin blades. I might still do. No more shave rashes ever.
  • Sleek head, rubber fins under the head to lift hairs and pivoting head to navigate nobbly knees and cankles. Three blades for a close shave, very, very close. In the first few days maybe too close, we have had some bleeders.
  • Soap bar lasts for ages once kept away from the main shower steam and stored in the blade packaging cap (unintentional from Gillette's perspective I think but I find if I keep the original blade casing to store the blade in, the soap part deteriorates much quicker.
  • Available in Breeze (can't for the life of me think what scent this is nor does any google search tell me) and Spa Breeze (white tea scent which seems to be flogged everywhere but yet no breeze scent description)
  • Sometimes on a new blade I get a nick or two, the soap does not make this blade foolproof
  • There is a finger rest between the blade handle and the blade that you use to guide the blade. sometimes with a bit too much pressure applied in the wrong spot you can detach the blade by accident which could prove a calamity in the shower. Trying to get the bugger on when soaped up ain't easy.
  • Synthetic fragrance and ingredients
  • The slightly more expensive of the two

And in the green corner we have the Schick Intuition Naturals

  • Chunky, sturdy, big grip, big swipe, big blade. A big bad ass chunky bar of protection. I've never nicked myself with a Schick. Ever.
  • 100% Natural Aloe Vera soap bar - no nothing added.
  • Design has ventilated lid that stands on its head that allows the razor to stand freely protected from water, but while breathing
  • Colour matches my shabby chic bathroom. yes vanity but a merit all the same
  • The blade dissolves unevenly, quicker at the leading edge of the blade
  • No rubber fins, not as much pivot on the head and not as close a shave as the Breeze
  • Soap panel probably disintegrates quicker than the Breeze
  • Not as close a shave - the shadow creeps back in quicker
What to do, what to do?

During Natural November I lamented how there was no natural option to replace my Gilette venus 2-1 blade and as if by magic by the time December rolled along Schick had this natural offering.  It seemed to answer my prayers.

However while I first started out using the Schick (non-natural) version many years ago when the 2-1 models came out, the Gillette Breeze was released soon after and  I left the Schick for dead, the Breeze outperformed.

So should I go back to Camp Purple - Gillette my way with a better performing, longer lasting (slightly) but synthetic soap shave.

OR reside in Camp Green - natural, no phthalates, no nick risks but not as close a shave or as long lasting soap bar function between blade changes.

Am foxed..... what say you shavers?