Skincare 101: Skin SOS! How to Soothe Red, Irritated & Hypersensitive Skin

Is you skin red? Does it hurt? Is it stinging? This beauties means that you skin is irritated and is currently hypersensitive – your lipid barrier has been compromised and your skin is reacting because it’s trying to protect itself, either from a foreign substance or harsh environmental factors which have broken down your lipid barrier.  Your number one objective is to reinstate the lipid barrier – this will automatically soothe all irritations and help your skin to begin to heal itself.

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How did this happen? This could be because of a variety of factors. Usually this occurs when a foreign substance has made contact with ‘mast cells’ within your skin (your lipid barrier usually protects these cells) and they set off a strong reaction signalling the release of particular chemicals (one of which is called histamine – this is why you can take anti-histamines from the chemist to block this reaction if you have experienced an allergy or hay fever, as these chemicals can go into overdrive). Histamine and your body’s defence system work a little in this way – when you skin has reacted with ‘a foreign substance’ – the skin swells, becomes inflamed and red. Your skin cells open up and the lymphatic system in your skin activates (hence the redness). The cells in the point of contact of the reaction (where the irritation first took place) becomes very pale, blood flow to this area is constricted so the irritation doesn’t spread.

More serious allergies (like the ones you can experience from food)  can overwhelm your body and take a while for your immune system to activate and ‘localise’ the irritation or allergen. This kind of reaction can occur up to three days after eating a particular food (and then it’s harder to work out what triggered the reaction slash allergy). Usually with skincare products, if an ingredient irritates your skin and sends it into a hypersensitive reaction – you usually know pretty quickly.

What do I do? If your skin has become hypersensitive because of a skincare or makeup product or seems super irritated because of environmental factors (sun, salt, snow, wind), stress or even perhaps free radicals (pollution) your number one priority is as I mentioned – to restore your lipid barrier and use ingredients which soothe the skin asap. If you think you have had an allergic reaction to food on the other hand – you must go an see your doctor immediately.

Don’t use any actives while your skin is hypersensitive (vitamin c, retinol, AHA/BHAs etc.) Apply a soothing mask to your skin. Your mask should be made up of soothing ingredients to help calm and minimise redness and irritation, plus moisturising ingredients, to reinstall your lipid barrier and protect your skin from further irritation.

  • Soothing ingredients include – panthenol, allantoin, thermal water, chamomile extract and sweet almond extract.
  • Heavy duty moisturisers will help reinstill your skins lipid barrier, so look for ingredients like sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid (both act as humectants), glycerin, shea butter, paraffin and ceramides (ceramides are lipids which are found inbetween skin cells – they’re often described as the ‘glue’ which hold cells together – so they help to make up your lipid barrier and keep cells strong). Ceramide 3 helps your skin to hold moisture, while ceramide 1 strengthens cells. Ceramide 6 exfoliates and retexturises skin – so stay away from ceramide 6 for the moment if you skin is irritated and hypersensitive.

Leave your soothing mask on as per the instructions on the packaging. There’s no point leaving the mask on for longer than the producer recommends, as ingredients loose their potency over time. Use the mask 3 times per week until your skin strengthens. At the moment I have the Bioderma Crealine Mask (I think it’s now called the Sensibo Soothing Mask, but it’s still the same formula).

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Bioderma’s soothing mask is fragrance and paraben, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic (so it won’t block pores). What soothing ingredients does it contain? Glycerin, capric/caprylic triglyceride (which is part of coconut oil’s fatty acids and is a great emollient and is non-sensitising), golden seaweed extract (anti-inflammatory) and Toléridine, which is Bioderma’s own patented set of ingredients which helps to decrease inflammation, strengthen the skins lipid barrier and make it more tolerant to external forces over time. You leave on the mask for 10-15 minutes and then rinse it off or wipe it away using a cotton pad. I find that Bioderma’s Crealine mask works wonderfully for restoring hydration levels, getting rid of itchiness and tightness, but I didn’t find it did much for my redness. It leaves a light residue on the skin and this is probably because the ingredients help to rebuild our lipid barrier (protective duties!). This would be the perfect soothing mask if you are concerned about breakouts as well.You can find this mask at Priceline and at Adore Beauty online, for $39.99.

As your skin regenerates at night (this is when your skin cells turnover quickest and your skin is busy repairing itself!) it makes sense to utilise a soothing mask which you can leave on all night (especially if you often experience hypersensitivity). The Ultraceuticals Ultra Replenishing Mask is the next soothing mask I want to try (especially for over the summer, when my poor skin needs more s.o.s treatments!) as not only can you leave it on for 10-15 minutes like you would a regular mask, but you can also massage it into your beautiful face and leave it on overnight :)

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This mask is more expensive than the Bioderma Crealine mask, but it contains so many wonderful goodies – Hyaluronic acid, ceramide 3, coconut oil and shea butter moisturise the skin, while panthenol, cucumber extract and jojoba oil (or ‘easters’) soothe. This mask is also fragrance and paraben free. Fragrances and artifical colourings can irritate the skin especially so, when it is hypersensitive, so make sure you choose products which don’t contain these. Again, if you are using an ‘overnight’ mask, makes sure you do this maximum 3 times a week.

Irritation can also occur around the eye area. This is because the eye area is incredibly thin and contains minimal sebum glands. Your skins natural oils (sebum) are naturally protective and help reinforce your lipid barrier, so it makes sense that this area of your face is even more exposed to external aggressors. The eye area still contains a high number of mast cells, which respond to irritants just as much as other skin areas. Give your eye area a break by using specially designed soothing eye mask, as most masks will stipulate to not use them around the eye area (except for the Bioderma Crealine/Sensibo Soothing Mask – you can use this one around the eye area as well as the rest of your face – bonus!). Two of my favourites are from Lonvitalite, in particular – their 24K Active Gold Eye Mask.

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The 24K Active Gold Eye Mask contains glycerin, azulene (which is a compound derived from chamomile, so it is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial – tick!), hyaluronic acid, niacinamide (vitamin B3) and propylene glycol (a humectant moisturiser). It also contains a few ‘anti-ageing’ ingredients (white mulberry extract, gold, collagen amino acids) and doesn’t contain fragrance.

The Collagen Crystal Eye Mask also contains fantastic ingredients to soothe and hydrate the eye area – but it does also contain fragrance. This is shouldn’t be toooo bad, because it is last on the ingredients list (which means it’s in the lowest concentration in comparison to the other ingredients) and this is a product designed for the delicate eye area. If your have very sensitive eyes, then you may want to stick to 24K Active Gold eye mask, while other beauties can give this one a go! The Collagen Crystal mask contains propylene glycol (a humectant moisturiser as I mentioned above), yeast beta-glucan (this is an interesting ingredient, because it is plant derived but stimulates the production of langerhan cells in our skin, whose job it is to protect and fight off bacteria and viruses, so it’s essentially part of our skin ‘immune system’ whilst instigating repair. As we age, beta-glucan helps our skins response system to activate and respond in a timely manor ;) ) and glycerin, panthenol, allantoin and green tea leaf extract. There’s also collagen elastin and coenzyme Q10 for added ‘anti-ageing’ properties. So you can see that the Collagen Crystal Eye Mask still contains some great ingredients! Both masks are available from Lonvitalite’s official website and Adore Beauty (who offer free shipping). The prices are a little different on both sites (cheaper via Lonvitalite but you have to factor in shipping, so make sure you compare both sites before ordering!).

Now once your redness and irritation has subsided, remember to be gentle with your skin. Use gentle products, stay out of the sun, wear sunscreen and use the masks a few times a week for about a month to really get your skin back into shape!

This gif will now teach us how else we can respond to respond to stressful situations :P

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Have you ever experienced hypersensitivity or irritation because of a product/ingredient or environmental factors?

Catch ya next time beauties,

Beauty Bee~ 

Nails of the Day: OPI’s Push & Pur-Pull

I’ve noticed that bright purple nail polishes are difficult to do. Even though I love the L’Oreal Colour Riche Le Vernis nail polishes, even their purple (Atomic Purple #829) nail polish was not crash hot. When I saw OPI’s neon collection (for summer 2014), I thought the nail polishes looked seriously fun! I originally just wanted to buy the shade Life Gave Me Lemons (a citrus colour somewhere in-between a lime and lemon lol) but then I gave in and bought the purple shade and the special base coat polish which is meant to make these neon nail polishes pop (if I’m buying two colours, I may as well get the base coat right?! :P)!

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Let me start of by saying that the base coat is terrible lol it’s super white and streaky (I expected the white to be a specific tone so that it could make other colours stand out) but the terrible consistency really threw me. Because the white base coat is so streaky and applies unevenly – whatever coloured polish you apply over it, also looks uneven. Push & Pur-Pull is already a little sheer itself, so I’m not sure how many coats I would have had to apply in order to make the white from underneath  showing through (I tried 3 coats, and it still looked awful and streaky, so I gave up and removed the polish). So the moral of my experience is – forgo the base coat lol

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The purple on it’s own is relatively good. It’s by no means terrible and I think the formula just gets a little getting used to. As I mentioned, the polish is a little sheer and can build up a little to much if you are not careful (the brush seems to apply to much product). But if you take your time, paint on a few coats carefully and as thinly as possible, the colour is quite gorgeous :) The more coats you apply, the darker the purple shade gets, but this I don’t mind. In the above photo I am wearing four thin coats. Yes it takes a little work, but as soon as you get a hang of the formula, subsequent coats are easy to paint on (and thiner coats dry more quickly!).

The finish this polish gives is a little strange (it’s actually very similar to the L’Oreal’s Atomic Purple) it’s almost matte and it reminds me of vinyl lol I dunno, I’m not a fan of the finish, but a regular top coat (mine is Sally Hansen’s Mega Shine topcoat) fixes that problem right up :) Do I think it’s a neon shade? Not really lol perhaps it would be if I could get away with just one or two coats but alas… Perhaps I should try it over another white nail polish and see how I go? To bad that white nail polishes are also uber difficult to get right lol But should I try this I will let you know!

For all the effort you put in to painting your nails, at least along with a good base and top coat, this nail polish still lasts a good week! Very decent longevity. I bought my nail polishes off Ebay, from a shop called outletnail.

What do you think of this shade? Have you had much experience with purple nail polishes? Please let me know if you have tried any of the nail polishes from this collection as I would love to know!

And finally – here are some extra shots of my garden – just because :)

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Let me know what you are currently rocking on your nails!

Until next time,

Beauty Bee

Review: Jurlique Sun Specialist Sunless Tanner

Hi Beauties! So it looks like the sunshine has arrived in Sydney (we are currently experiencing a ‘little’ heatwave haha)! Today it is currently 40 degrees where I am (that’s about 104 Fahrenheit I believe), so I am feeling a little pasty since technically the summer season hasn’t even begun and the sun is upon us in it’s full glory!

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Luckily for me, Jurlique have just released a new sunless tanner as part of their new Sun Specialist range. For me tanners should ‘undetectable’. They should impart just enough colour, without looking orange or over the top. And of course it should also not be streaky. Never be streaky!

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So what does Jurlique promise to deliver with it’s new sunless tanner?

“This lightweight, non-streaky tanner is designed to provide multi-benfits of a natural, golden sunless tan, protection from environmental aggressors and intense hydration. Specially formulated with Sweet Orange fruit extract to help gently produce a natural, bronzed glow, and new Superberry Complex, a fruit extract blend that delivers essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids to condition and protect the skin from environmental aggressors. With a hint of colour for an instant glow and Safflower Seed Oil to deeply hydrate, skin feels smooth, soft with a healthy-looking colour and luminosity. Creates a gradual, customised radiance that deepens with each application.

How to use this product - Gentle exfoliation prior to use is recommended. Apply evenly to clean skin as you would apply a daily moisturiser. For streak-free results, blend thoroughly to ensure all product  is absorbed and apply sparingly to elbows, knees, ankles and hairline. Allow to dry before dressing and wash hands thoroughly after use. Wait one hour before showering and swimming. Colour will develop in approximately two to four hours, depending on skin type and care. Reapply daily for a deeper colour and to maintain colour. Suitable for face and body.”

From the description I thought that this tanner almost sounded like a gradual tanning moisturiser (seeing as it’s build-able and hydrates deeply). As it is more on the expensive side, I hoped that it provided more colour than a gradual tanning moisturiser (this baby retails for $45). Luckily, it does provide more colour! I’ll start off by saying that while I am fair, tanning products usually work quite well on me because I have more of a neutral/yellow skin tone and I do naturally tan in summer. I think this tanning cream slash gel is yellow based and as such provides more of a golden bronze tan, rather than a red based chocolate tan.

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The cream feels very light and does feel gel like (but not completely). Now I’m no tanning pro – I can’t be bothered using a tanning glove or waiting 30 minutes naked for a tan to dry lol I like to apply tanning creams after a shower or bath (which I usually take at night) using them in place of my usual body cream or oil. I then wait an hour or two before going to bed so it settles and then wake up all sun kissed (well that’s usually the plan lol)!

I apply tanning creams where I would naturally tan quickly (i.e. my legs and sometimes my arms, shoulders and chest area). I never use fake tan on my face because I don’t think my other skincare products would work quite as well if they had to be applied over the top of tanning cream. Also, the tanning agent in 95% of tanning products (DHA) does naturally attract a few free radicals to the skin upon intense sun exposure and I’d rather not risk using it on my face (plus if I’m honest, it’s way to much effort for me – and more on the free radical business down below). If you are like using tanning product on your face, then this cream slash gel should work well both on the body and face because of it’s light texture. Luckily, applying this tanning cream after a bath or shower (once towelled off of course) applies very well without leaving any streaks.The application is ‘sweetend’ by the creams scent of sweet oranges <3 Love!

The tanning cream/gel has a light caramel colour to it once out of the tube, so directly after application your skin is automatically *subtly* sunkissed. One application results in a very natural light tan (perfect for those of you who don’t naturally tan in summer). A second application results in medium golden tan. I waited a day inbetween applications and I also shaved my legs in the bath right before the second application. While the colour slightly faded after shaving (since shaving naturally remove some dead skin cells from your skin), the second  application still layered beautifully.

At the moment, I think a medium golden tan is most natural looking for ‘spring’, but of course – you could keep building up the colour! Now during my second application, I did get a little lazy and I didn’t rub in the tan quite as diligently as I should have on one arm – so one of my wrists is a little uneven in colour (you can see where the tan ends and my natural skin tone begins). It’s not super noticeable because the tan does look so natural – but – being a decent tanning product that imparts colour and all, you still need to take a little more care when slapping it on (unlike your regular moisturiser).

Unfortunately, the scent of sweet oranges fades and once your tan has developed, and then your left with a pretty standard fake tan scent. I do love the sweet orange scent upon application however (and because the sweet orange is from an extract, it doesn’t smell artificial)! While I wouldn’t say that the product dries out my skin (like some tanning products can) I can’t say that I experienced ‘deep’ hydration. I think you should most definitely still use an additional body moisturiser/oil to help extend the life of your tan. Safflower oil and glycerin does impart some moisture into your skin, so after application your skin doesn’t feel dry at all. To keep your skin comfortable for a longer period of time, once your tan has developed, I would recommend using that additional moisturiser,

Note: Now I did mention that DHA can induce or attract free radicals (which it does) and these free radicals work by breaking down the amino acids and protein within your skins layers. Intense sun exposure does not help with this process. What is fantastic and quite innovative, is that Jurlique have added antioxidant plant extracts into their tanning cream to help counteract this process (most tanning products don’t do this). I still believe fake tan is better than a real sun tan – and like everything, if you use sunless tanner in moderation and stay out of the sun when UV rays are high to – extreme – you should be fine! Protecting your skin with sunscreen and moisturisers containing antioxidants is fabulous the best thing you can do for it long term. I keep fake tan around for the warmer months, and I give my skin breaks – as I said, moderation is key and be smart about your skin care ;)

Here is the full list of ingredients for the Jurlique Sunless Tanner -

Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Carthamus tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dihydroxyacetone, Heptyl Undecylenate, Saccharide Isomerate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, Behenyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Erythrulose, Hydrolyzed Citrus aurantium dulcis Fruit Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Echinacea purpurea Extract, Viola odorata Extract, Viola tricolor Extract, Trifolium pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Bellis perennis (Daisy) Flower Extract, Arctium lappa Root Extract, Stellaria media (Chickweed) Extract, Taraxacum officinale (Dandelion) Extract, Usnea barbata (Lichen) Extract, Tasmannia lanceolata Fruit Extract, Syzgium leuhmanii Fruit Extract, Kunzea pomifera Fruit Extract, Fragrance/Parfum*, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Caramel, SD Alcohol 40-A (Alcohol Denat.), Benzyl Alcohol, Sclerotium Gum, Lecithin, Myristyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Lauryl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Limonene*, Linalool*, Amyl Cinnamal*, Citral*, Citronellol*, Geraniol*.

You can find Jurlique’s Sunless Tanner on their official website here. Jurlique is becoming more accessible (boutiques and counters are popping up all around the world) so you should be able to find a stockist for their products on their webiste. Adore Beauty don’t seem to stock it just yet (but I’m sure they will!).

I thought this graphic was hilarious and is so spot on lol the sun is powerful! We don’t often think of it as a star – and it is :)

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Are you a fan of fake tans beauties? What are your go to products? I was always a bigger fan of gradual tanning moisturisers, but I’m loving this Jurlique tan at the moment! The Elle Bache Great Tan (another fab Australian skincare company) is another goodie I fell in love with last summer (I only tested a sample and that sample lasted me for aggges) so I might have to do a comparison with that tanning cream also :)

Now, don’t mind me while I pass out from the heat :P

Beauty Bee~

Open Discussion: Do You Prefer Online Shopping or Shopping in Department Stores?

Hi Beauties!

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For a change, I thought an open discussion might be nice – to gather your thoughts and opinions on beauty happenings! I recently popped by the shops to suss out what has come out for Chistmas and the holidays – but it left me with mixed feelings… So my question for you beauties is – do you prefer online shopping or shopping in department/drugstores? What are your pet peeves when it comes to online shopping or shopping in department/drugstores? We are now officially open for discussion!

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I will be blunt and say that I am totally in favour of internet shopping over visiting department stores. It’s just oh so comfortable! No masses of people, no one chewing with their mouth open and you can look as unkept as you like because there is no one to judge you :) I can sit in the comfort of my own home – browse for hours, do my own research and then shop around for the best deal. It is true that you can’t try before you buy or feel the product for yourself in person and then you have to wait for it to arrive, but I still think it beats schlepping it to the shops… I’ve also noticed that in the hype of being in a department store and those horrid lights, sometimes you walk away with a colour or product you wouldn’t have purchased if you were sane and saw the product in a different environment. So whether you are buying a new product from a department store or online, you always take a certain risk (unless it’s a tried and tested goodie).

Last week, I went into Mecca Cosmetica (I would call it a specialty department beauty store, for those of you who don’t live in Aus). I’ve been wanting to buy and try the Smashbox FullExposure Waterproof mascara for summer, so I figured that since I was there and had seen it on their website I may as well go in and pick it up  (I don’t want to pay for shipping if I am buying just one item, so it was either buy it from overseas and wait, or buy it instantly in store). It’s a new and big store and while they were somewhat busy, the amount of sales assistants standing around and watching customers was just overwhelming. Yes the Christmas rush is approaching, but it was a bit OTT for a weekday afternoon. In most department stores, if you want to have a play around with some products/test out some colours, I always feel like I am being watched and it makes me super uncomfortable. A little paranoid? Perhaps lol.

I couldn’t find the waterproof version of the mascara I wanted, so I asked one of the sales assistants to me help me. She looked uncomfortable, looked around for a little while and then ran off to find someone else who could help me. I find this happens all the time in most department stores – the sales assistants don’t know what’s going on or what products they sell. A second sales assistant came up to me and let me know that they were out of stock of the waterproof version of the mascara. Fair enough. They were lovely – don’t get me wrong, but I just found the whole process to be tiring. Then, the sales assistant started telling me that the waterproof version of the mascara wasn’t as good as the original, hinting to me that I should give up on my pursuit. This is my other pet peeve – when sales assistants assume you know nothing about the product that you want, and try and convince you that you want something else instead because it is better. Most of the time, I let them give me their spiel about how product B is more amazing than product A just because I’m to polite and can’t say no bluntly and walk away. I then muffle that I’ll have a think about it and leave.

Also, all the makeup stands were so close to each other, I couldn’t maneuver most of the time to get to the products I wanted to see anyway because while the store wasn’t packed, the bad design made it difficult to get around the 5 people standing near me. I think most stores have this problem.  Another pet peeve of mine is when shelves are not stocked or are very messy (helloooo, Priceline!). I swear I avoided Priceline (a drugstore) for years because of this and no, I’m not a perfectionist when it comes to cleanliness etc. I just don’t see how low and messy stock is meant to entice you to buy something. I go into Priceline these days and I do admit that seeing drugstore makeup in person before buying it helps a lot when it comes to colour selection.

And lastly, the makeup of a lot of sales assistants just frightens me (department stores win out in this category). I get that they work with makeup and need to wear the product they are trying to sell, but must the wear every product at once? It makes me trust them less when I can see that they haven’t been able to colour match their own foundation shade lol

So yes – I prefer online shopping! A lot of online stores offer free shipping these days and offer quite a lot of discounts throughout the year (Myer and David Jones never offer discounts on regular high end makeup). The customer loyalty programs offered by online stores also tend to be much better. I recently received a $20 Myer gift card because I had spend $2000 over the course of the year. That is ONE percent of what I spent. What an incentive huh lol I do admit that sometimes the ritual of going in store to shop can be pleasant when  your goodies are wrapped up all nice and when the shop assistant has been more than lovely and helpful (and when the transaction has gone smoothly). Unfortunately I think the art of customer service is dying.

I thought I would mention some of my favourite online shops (perhaps this will help you if you don’t shop online very often for makeup and skincare products) :)

Adorebeauty.com.au - An Australian online beauty retailer, selling both Australian and international brands. They offer free shipping on all orders and their customer service is excellent! The place to go for both makeup and skincare goodies. If you are not sure how to introduce a product into your regime, or if you are not sure about the ingredients of a product and if they suit your needs – you can send them an email and you can expect a detailed and sincere response! Processing and shipping is quick and easy. They regularly update their Facebook page and run competitions often (yay!). *They are currently holding a 10% off flash sale store wide*

Freshfragrancesandcosmetics.com.au – Again, free shipping on all orders and a very large selection of brands. Most products are cheaper than standard Australian retail prices. If you sign up to their loyalty program, you automatically receive 5% off all orders and as you shop with them, over time your discounts increase. Apparently they are having some super sale tomorrow from 5pm, so sign up and like their Facebook page to stay in the loop! I have called their Melbourne office a few times with some order issues (which doesn’t happen often and I’ve been buying from their site for years) and they were quick and happy to resolve my problems. They don’t carry say the full coloured makeup lines when it comes to Chanel, Dior etc but they still have a wide range of products and colours and are always adding more products to their site.

Lipstickrepublic.com.au – A smaller online retailer, that sells niche makeup brands (OCC, Lime Crime, Beauty Blender etc.). They offer free shipping on orders over $95. Prices are very reasonable, and their online blog features some really interesting articles and tips! I love discovering smaller brands which are still ethical and creative – so if that sounds appealing to you and you love coloured makeup, check out their shop!

Kissandmakepny.com – This is an online store which is an actual boutique beauty shop in New York. They offer brands such as Laura Mercier, Nars and Smashbox (everything is in US prices accordingly). International postage costs just $10 (flatrate!). Because they are a small shop, getting through to them via email can take a while – but if you are patient, you will get a response. I’ve never had an issue with any of my parcels (they generally take about 2 weeks to arrive) and I’ve been ordering from them for years also!

Obviously, there’s pros and cons to every shopping ‘style’ but I would love to know your preference and what are your pet peeves when shopping, so leave me a comment below! OH – and do let me know if you know of any gems when it comes to online beauty shops :)

I’m always posting about online sales and competitions via my Facebook page, so be sure to like me there (please be my friend!) so you don’t miss out on all the news!

Catch ya next time beauties,

Beauty Bee~

Glorious Coral & Orange-Red Lip Products

Great style is about being fearless!

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That my beauties, is a beauty and style motto to live by! When the weather starts to warm up, it’s about bringing fun, light and colour to your gorgeous face. There’s something tropical about corals and orange-reds, maybe because these are colours associated with the sun, flustered cheeks, burnt earth, sand and fruits? The contrast and pop of colour they provide on a backdrop of bronzed or highlighted skin is gorgeous <3 Bronzed/illuminated skin, minimalist eyes and bright lips will always be considered quite a modern yet youthful look (it shouldn’t look ‘overdone’ or overcomplicated).

My favourite formulations when it comes to corals or orange-red lipsticks is matte and satin finishes, because they not only pop against your skin tone, but the formulation contrasts hydrated and illuminated skin. Here are my favourite picks when it comes to corals and orange-red lipsticks :) Each lipstick texture and colour is different.

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Above from Left to Right: Bourjois Rouge Edition 12 Heures in no. 29 Cerise sur le Lipstick, MAC Lady Danger, Lipstick Queen Jungle Queen, Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Muse, OCC Lip Tar in Psycho. 

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Above: This blue toned effect randomly occurred when shooting photos, however it really brings out the coral tones of the packaging/lipstick without distorting them! Awesome :)

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 Above from Left to Right: Bourjois Rouge Edition 12 Heures in no. 29 Cerise sur le Lipstick, MAC Lady Danger, Lipstick Queen Jungle Queen, Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Muse, OCC Lip Tar in Psycho. 

Bourjois Rouge Edition 12 Heures in no. 29 Cerise sur le Lipstick – This lipstick’s shade name translates to ‘best of lipstick’. The texture of this lipstick is wonderful – it’s creamy, smooth, feels comfortable when applied and is matte – so the colour can do the talking for you! It’s a light medium toned coral (pinky orange) that should look great on most skin tones as it’s more pink toned than orange – but still has that coral-y freshness to it. This lipstick is part of Bourjois’ 12 hour lipstick range, and while I wouldn’t say it lasts for 12 hours, it does last a decent 5-7 hours on your lips. The lipstick mattifies down as it is worn, so your lips could potentially become quite dry (unfortunately this is a given with most matte lippies), so you may want to load your lips with lip balm the night before wearing this lippy. Smells sweet and fruity, but the scent is pretty light and non-offensive. This lipstick retails for $19 from Priceline.

MAC Lady Danger – This is a loud orange red lipstick! It is also very matte, meaning it goes on matte and stays matte alllll day (a lot of matte lipsticks go on like satins with a slight sheen so that they feel more comfortable, but then ‘wear down’ and then shine disappears quite quickly)! Because of this, it isn’t the most comfortable lipstick in the world, but it has great staying power as it’s texture is quite thick. It almost looks like a fluorescent orange-red. Has that wonder MAC lipstick scent of vanilla and caramel.  MAC lipsticks retail for $36 Aus coins.

Lipstick Queen Jungle Queen – If you want to be brave and try and orange red lipstick without wanting to resort to Lady Danger – Jungle Queen is the shade for you! It’s a mid-toned orange red which is a shiny satin. It’s comfortable and it’s not totally opaque because of it’s gloss formula. It has some slight transparency to it, which means you won’t feel overwhelmed by the colour. It’s still surprisingly long wearing (I’d say 3-4 hours) and it wears down nice and evenly. No lipstick scent as such – smells a little like plastic. Lipstick Queen is available at Mecca Cosmetica (currently in stock which is a surprise!) and retails for $27 Aus coins.

Hourglass Opaque Rouge Lipstick in MuseAnother lipstick which is totally matte but is more coral than orange-red. If anything, the pink is more noticeable in some lights, while in others the orange shines through more. It’s quite thin texture wise(as it’s a liquid lipstick) but ‘sets’ on the lips making it long lasting. It lasts on the lips alll day, however if you eat a very greasy or heavy meal, it could start to wear off and it is a little tricky to reapply and ‘fix’. In saying that though, the colour stands out so much and because of the cool toned pink in the shade, it will contrast and pop like no other shade! It doesn’t have a scent as such… perhaps it’s a touch artificial-plastic smelling? Hourglass products can also be found at Mecca Cosmetica and retail for $38 in Aus.

OCC Lip Tar in Pyscho – Another liquid lipstick which I will never ever use up in one lifetime lol This one is orange-red but leans more orange. You need the tiniest amount and it glides over your lips like a dream! It’s very shiny upon application but mattifies down during wear. It’s not as long lasting as say MACs Lady danger or Hourglass’ Muse liquid lipstick, but it’s easy to touch up and reapply. It smells like mint if that’s anyone ‘thing’ (I love anything mint or spearmint!). You can find OCC’s Lip Tars at Lipstick Republic for $19.

Are you going to give corals or orange-reds a go this spring/summer? :) Any favourites from my list? Let me know in the comments below! :D

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Catch ya next time beauties!

Beauty Bee~ 

Review: Dr Jackson 02 Skin Cream (Night Cream)

I have to admit that the first time I saw the Dr Jackson 02 Skin Cream, I wanted to buy it purely for it’s aesthetics lol The cream is housed in an old school, heavy glass, pharmacy bottle. Back in the early days of skin care, if you wanted an ‘ointment’ for your face, you would have to go see your local pharmacist who would then mix something up for you. Funnily enough, technically this still happens – the ingredients of the skin care products you own at home may have been mixed together by big machines, but they have been skilfully and selectively composed and created by chemists. I didn’t just buy the cream upon seeing it for the first time (I saw it on Cap Beauty) but I looked up the brand, how the skin cream worked and how it was created – and this intrigued me even more.

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Dr Jackson is a cosmoceutical brand created which doesn’t only harness the power of synthetic ingredients – but rather, studies natural ingredients within their natural environment so that they are extracted and harnessed correctly. I think a lot of marketing jargon follows ‘trendy’ all natural skin care brands, when really, a lot of natural ingredients haven’t been studied in depth and added to that, aren’t extracted or processed correctly (because of this their quality can vary greatly). Apparently it took 19 years of research to come up with Dr Jacksons first skin care cream (called fittingly 01) and I can see why it would. As an ethno-pharmacologist, Dr Jackson travelled to remote parts of the world to see where particular plants and herbs grew in order to learn from their environment and their biological properties, often spoken about by locals (they would then go back to the lab to be studied). This all sounds rather adventurous and romanticised – but hey, if skin care can not only engage your senses but also your imagination, then I’m all for it!

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Dr Jackson’s 01 cream is a day cream, while the 02 cream is a night cream. I went with the 02 cream because I needed a new night cream and I liked the sound of the ingredients. 89.1% of the ingredients in the 02 cream are natural ingredients, while 100% are ingredients of natural origin. A lot of the time we don’t refer to natural ingredients as ‘actives’ and I think that’s because like I mentioned, natural extracts aren’t understood very well and aren’t studied or utilised to the best of their ability.  What are the main ingredients in this night cream and why were they selected? Dr Jackon’s website is actually quite thorough and descriptive with the ingredient listing (a good thing of course!) so be prepared!

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 “Dr Jackson is a Pharmacognosist* and has formulated this cream using natural extracts of Kigelia, Baobab, Frankincense and Mango Seed Extract. Kigelia is traditionally used to repair and ensure blemish free skin, Baobab helps to alleviate dry and damaged skin, improve skin tone and elasticity, Frankincense for its reputed anti-inflammatory and skin healing capabilities and Mango seed extract for its superior moisturising properties.

Learning from traditional healers, Dr Jackson’s natural products, mimic as close as possible to the way that these natural ingredients are harvested and extracted at source.”

Key ingredients:

Kigelia:

Kigelia pinnata (Bignoniaceae) is a tree found in parts of Sub Saharan Africa. Traditionally extracts from this tree have been used by tribalwomen to ensure a smooth, blemish free complexion and as a skin and breast firming remedy. The fruits from the tree are used to treat excema, psoriasis and many other skin irritations. Compounds identified within the plant attach to dark pigmentation and stop melanin production, thus diminishing sun spots and liver/age spots, especially effective on sun damaged skin. The Bignoniacea species, to which the Kigelia tree belongs, contain iridoids and napthaquinones and phytosterols, which are antimicrobial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory, therefor reducing redness, puffiness and minimise blemishes.Isoflavones and steroid saponosides present in the fruit are known to have a firming effect on the dermis, skin drainage and a restituitive effect, restoring elasticity and firmness. TheSapononosides found in Kigelia inhibit degradation of the skin tissue structure that supports biomolecules such as collagen and elastin through a protective action from its plant hormones.

Baobab:

Adansonia digitata, (Malvaceae) is a tree native to Madagascar, Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and Australia. Baobab is known in Africa as The Tree of Life because there are many traditional uses for every part of it, from the leaves to the roots. The seed oil is used by African women to protect their skin and hair against the harsh savannah environment and to prevent and treat dry skin conditions. Baobab seed oil contains almost equal measures of palmitic acid, oleic acid and linoleic acid as well as some small quantities of stearic and cyclopropenoid acids, it is prized as a moisturiser, and used as a lip balm for anti-chapping and used on nails against breakage. The fruit has six times as much vitamin C as an orange, is a plentiful source of antioxidants it combats skin aging by improving skin firmness and strength by boosting the elastic quality of the skin and encouraging cell regeneration. Tightening of the skin diminishes the look of facial lines.

Mango Seed extract:

Mangifera indica (Anacardiaceae). Mango seed oil is obtained from the Kernels of the mango tree, and it has a high content of stearic acid. The Mango is one of the largest fruit trees in the World and can grow fruit for hundreds of years.It is cultivated all over the tropival regions. It is used traditionally in the rainforests and tropics for its skin softening, soothing, moisturising and protective properties. The kernel is a good source of gallotannins and the seed kernel contains 9-13% oil and yields a valuable emolient oil that is used in cosmetics. Its main components are hydrocarbons, wax esters, sterol esters, fatty acids, including, oleic acid, linoleic acid and palmitic acid, the main sterols are β-sitosterol, stigmasterol and campesterol. Mango seed oil is a semi solid at room temperature so melts on contact with skin it provides moisturising, wound healing and regenerative activity to the skin. Flavonoids found in the Mango called Mangiferin are strong anti-oxidants, and have health benefits such as antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial activity.

Frankinscence Oil:

Boswellia carterii (Bursuraceae) Frankincense also known as olibanum, is one of the oldest aromatic substances used by mankind, already in antiquity it was used as incense in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome. The genus Boswellia comprises of different species, some of which produce aromatic resins, commonly known as incense. One of these is Boswellia carterii, and when the bark is cut, a gum resin oozes out. The dried resin, known as Guggul in India or Frankincence in Western Countries has many medicinal proerties. The use of the plant is common in the African, Chinese and Ayurvedic traditional medicines. Olibanum oil is obtained by steam distillation of the Boswellia resin, and has a woody-balsamic scent with citrus tones. It has been used traditionally for the treatment of acne, wound healing, bacterial and fungal infection treatments and minimizing scars. The oil contains Boswellic acids (pentacyclic triterpenic acids) the most powerfull being AKBA and ABA which have powerfull anti-inflammatory activity, it provides for an ideal facial toner, smooth’s wrinkles and calms troubled or inflamed skin conditions.

Full list of ingredients:

Aqua (Water), Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Andansona Digitata (Baobab) Seed Oil, Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula) Seed Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Mangiferaa Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Glycerin, Kigella Africana Fruit Extract, Olea Europaea Leaf Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Sympthytum Officinale Leaf Extract, Alcohol Denat., Benzyl Alcohol, Dehyroacetic Acid, Boswellia Carterii Oil, Organic Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Organic Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Limonene.

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Night creams should help your skin along in their repairative functions and regeneration. I love that this cream targets inflammation, skin tone and elasticity. The fatty acids and oils help to moisturise skin. I have come to expect that most night creams will be quite heavy and almost greasy in texture, and although this cream states that kigelia helps reduce blemishes and enhance elasticity, I still thought it would be heavy (suitable for combination and oily skin, but ‘heavy’). I was very wrong in that presumption – the texture of this cream isn’t greasy or sticky at all. The cream itself is quite thick, but it spreads easily and nicely over the skin. It almost feels like it ‘seals’ in any products you may have layered underneath it. My skin feels automatically soothed and moisturised. It hasn’t broken me out and I haven’t experienced any negative side effects from this night cream. You only need the tiniest amount, which is great seeing as it is expensive (around the $120 Aus mark) :P

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The only issue some people may have with the packaging. is that because it is a glass jar slash bottle, you need a little spatula to retrieve the cream from the bottle (you also don’t receive a spatula with the cream which is a shame). This is somewhat inconvienient, but at least the cream stays more bacteria free this way. You can also buy the Dr Jackson cream in a standard small round jar for ‘travel’ or everyday use if that suits you more.

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I’m very happy with my purchase and while Dr Jackson’s skin care line is quite minimal atm, I will be interested to see what else they come up with! You can find the 02 cream at Cap Beauty (they now provide international shipping!) or on Dr Jackson’s official website here (they also ship worldwide and shipping is free once you spend over 80 GBP).

Speaking of all that is exotic – it’s almost passionfruit season! Our passionfruit plants are blooming atm, which means that fruit should be growing any day now… Here are some garden shots :)

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Are you currently using a night cream? If your not sure what products to use when check out this Skincare 101 post which tells you when to use your serums and skin care creams. Let me know what night cream you are currently using and if you are happy with it down in the comments below! :) I’d love to know ;)

Catch ya soon beauties – bzzz!

Beauty Bee~

Skincare 101: Introducing Facial Oils into your Skincare Routine.

Hi beauty bees! Today I have a thorough skin care post for you on facial oils :) With every new season, it is good re-assess your skin and your skin care products to see how your skin is changing and what you can do to help keep your skin in top condition! I’m a little bit in shock that it is actually November, as that means the year is almost at an end 0 _ o ! So let’s get started!

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Facial oils are great – there’s definitely been a lot of hype about them in recent times. This post will discuss three of the most popular oils out there and what they can do for you. I will also outline how you can introduce them into your skincare routine so that they are more effective and perhaps not so overwhelming (especially if you have oily-acne prone skin!).

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I’m not going to talk about the oil cleansing method because a) It’s not something I personally do and b) I think it can get very tricky and it’s definitely not something that will benefit everyone. Mixing oils and trying to find the right compositions which can actually be absorbed by your skin is super tricky (hence why when products are created, chemists decide on the composition of ingredients). Mixing oils can also become super expensive if you are trying to find the best quality oils and a variety of them! Investing in 1-3 pure and high grade oils will see you through many different skincare concerns.

It’s important to note that not all oils moisturise in the same way. A lot of oils are actually occlusive moisturisers – meaning that they form a protective barrier on your skin, keeping nasties out. It makes sense considering that the primary function of your skin is to keep infections and bacteria at bay, and your skin lipid barrier performs this key function. If you skin is dry and irritated, it means that this barrier is compromised. Occlusives are great for those of us with normal skin types, as you will already have some moisture in your skin and your skin is more likely to already be feeling ‘comfortable’. Occlusive moisturisers will help in keeping this equilibrium. The issues to consider are these – if your skin is dehydrated or extremely dry, applying an occlusive moisturiser won’t be enough, as it’s not actually adding moisture back into your skin. For this task you need a humectant moisturiser (they draw moisture out of the air and put it back into your skin, so they enhance your skins capability to hold moisture) or emollients (most plant oils are emollients – they lubricate the skin, fill in the gaps between skin cells and as such feel soothing – they can also act as humectants). Here is the catch though – add to much of any one oil to the skin, and it can become solely an occlusive moisturiser. The chemical structure of oils is very difficult to break down and they easily bind together, so it’s best to know which oils can perform what jobs, as they aren’t all the same. So which oils are solely occlusive and which are emoilliants/humectants?

Occlusive – almond, apricot, avocado, castor and olive oil. If you are adding any of these oils into your skin care routine, you want to add them last, as whatever treatment products you lay on top of them, simply won’t penetrate into the skin.

Emollients – palm, coconut, pequi, jojoba (I added this into the list even though it isn’t ‘technically’ an oil) and argan.

The three oils I think are most multipurpose and beneficial for the skin (especially for beginners) are jojoba, argan and coconut oil. Let’s go through each of these and talk a bit about how best to apply them!

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Argan oil I believe was the first ‘miracle oil’ that people became obsessed with! Because it is only found in Morocco and can be quite expensive, many hair care products and facial treatments only use a touch of argan oil mixed in with other ingredients. Using the pure stuff will obviously give you a bigger hit of nutrients and moisture! It is important to find argan oil which has been cold-pressed, is organic and is stored within a dark glass bottle. While argan oil is quite stable (more so than say olive oil) is best to tread carefully and keep it away from direct sunlight. Argan oil contains unique plant sterols (schottenol and spinasterol – about 0.8%) which increase skin metabolic rates (so skin regenerates better), collagen and reduces inflammation. Argan oil also contains high levels of vitamin E  and ferulic acid which act as anti-oxidants (help prevent cellular ageing). Not only this, the oil is high in omega 6 and 9 which are fatty acids, excellent for moisturising the skin! It can be a little heavy texture wise if you are not used to using oils, so I would recommend argan oil for those with normal to very dry skin.

*Tip* If you want to use it as a serum underneath your moisturiser, spray your skin with a skin mist before applying the oil. Damp skin will absorb the oil more easily. Massaging the oil into the skin will also help it absorb. If you don’t have very dry skin (or mature skin), it’s probably best to add a drop or two into your nightly moisturiser. Your skin won’t feel quite as ‘weighed down’ as it might if you were to directly apply the oil to your skin. The argan oil I currently own and am liking is from Potion (they also offer free shipping on all orders! Win!). Argan oil is of course great for your hair and your nails, but I will talk about body oils and their application in a seperate post!

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Jojoba ‘oil’ isn’t really an oil but a wax ester (this is what our skin naturally produces in the form of sebum). Because it mimics our skins own hydrating mechanism, it is very easily absorbed and regulates sebum production, making it great for normal to oily & acne prone skin. It’s quite light and absorbs well. It actually helps deliver other products/ingredients into the skin, so using this ‘oil’ before applying serums and moisturisers, means that you will benefit even more from their ingredients. The only exception is when applying AHAs and BHAs, because they exfoliate the skin and need to be applied to the skin directly – so apply them first to your skin and the put your jojoba oil on top, followed by a regular moisturiser. The reason why jojoba is also great for acne prone skin is because it helps to reduce swelling and inflammation (a major factor in acne). Acne and oily skin types also need moisture – but just the right kind. Because jojoba not only moisturisers but also helps heal skin, it is perfect for more trouble prone skins. Just remember that you only need a tiny amount, otherwise like I mentioned, it might just sit on top of the skin and become an occlusive moisturiser. Jojoba oil is very stable compared to other plant oils, so a clear glass jar is fine for storing the ‘oil’. Just make sure that you find one which is cold pressed and pure. I will also mention that I don’t find jojoba to be moisturising enough to use it on it’s own (I have normal to combination skin) and so I have to use it underneath my moisturiser (and I only use it at night). I reviewed the Jojoba Company’s 100% jojoba oil here if you’d like to find out more about this particular jojoba oil.

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Coconut oil is the third type of oil I think gets high praises for the right reasons. I would recommend that it be used for more normal to very dry skin types, because it can cause your skin to become extra shiny. If you already have shiny/oily skin to begin with, it will be a little counter-productive in this respect! If you are prone to breakouts, coconut oil can trap the oil within pores more so than other oils, so I’d be weary of using it on acne or oily skin types (only use it occasionally and sparingly). Now you must use virgin coconut oil (unrefined)- the processed stuff won’t contain all of the naturally occurring nutrients otherwise. Coconut oil contains capric /caprylic/lauric acid which contain antimicrobial properties – perfect for treating/preventing skin infections for those with sensitive skin (in some experiments, coconut oil was found to have antioxidant enzyme activities which sped up skin healing). The proteins in coconut oil help keep connecting tissue in the skin strong, so it is a wonderful moisturiser for mature skin types. The saturated fats in coconut oil (triglycerides) make coconut oil a wonderful emollient and help keep skin from cracking. Because coconut oil blocks pores to a certain degree  moisture loss is minimal. For this reason, it also should be applied directly onto clean skin (damp skin is even better!). If you love minimalistic skin care routines, this is one of those products that can be used as on its own after cleansing.

Facial oils can be beneficial in both summer and winter seasons, as our poor skin is constantly under stress and vulnerable to the elements. It’s all about picking the oil that will suit your skin care needs the most and fit in with other skin care products.

That wraps up the post beauties :) What are your thoughts on facial oils? Have you tried using coconut oil, argan oil or jojoba before? I will be doing another post on body oils, so stay tuned for that one coming soon!

Join me on Facebook and Instagram, so we can stay in touch :)

Until next time,

Beauty Bee!

 

 

October Favourites

Hi beauties! As I didn’t do a monthly favourites post last month, I have a few new favourites to share with you this month. I also have two ‘disappointments’ in my bag, which I thought I would just briefly mention :)

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First up – Nuxe! I’ve been loving my Nuxe products lately, but more so these two goodies.

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I hate the feeling of dry, parched hands. I’ve spoken about the Nuxe Reve de Miel hand cream before (here) and this is my second tube. I love it because it isn’t greasy or sticky, but rather quite light in texture, fast absorbing and actually moisturising! The moisture doesn’t disappear after a few minutes but rather lasts and leaves my hands feeling comfortable. This effect is probably thanks to the inclusion of coconut oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, beeswax and acacia honey in the formula (there’s also a touch of argan oil and shea butter). The scent of this hand cream is floral and slightly sweet. I love this hand cream and I don’t think I will be searching for another any time soon!

A new discovery for me, is the famous lip balm from Nuxe’s honey line (just like the hand cream) Reve de Miel, called their Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm. The texture of this balm is wonderful! It’s thick but it isn’t sticky like say the Lanolips balm is (the Lanolips balm is so difficult to get out of the tube when it’s cold and it is majorly sticky!). I just looove applying this balm to my lips. It’s nourishing, smells slightly sweet and soothes my parched lips. I also love the heavy glass packaging. Beeswax is the number one ingredient in this lip balm, so it deserves it’s honey like name! :) It also contains sweet almond oil, acacia honey, shea butter, grapefruit and lemon peel oil. Usually the lip balm comes with a white cap, however I was able to score a coloured birthday cap for my lip balm :) Apparently this baby is 20 years old this year :) That’s one good formula!

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You can find both Nuxe products on Adore Beauty or from Look Fantastic (they still have the coloured caps available if you are interested).

My third monthly favourite is also a lip balm (this was clearly unplanned lol) but this one isn’t ‘new’. I’ve been using it for weeks and weeks and have finally finished up the tube! I am talking about Hurraw’s Moon Balm (Night Treatment Balm).

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I love the oval shape of this lip balm, it’s actually quite novel! The balm itself is quite light, clear, non-sticky and moisturising! It’s not as thick as the Reve de Miel Nourishing Balm, but it still moisturises well (Reve de Miel Nourishing Balm is probably a bit more heavy duty). I hate when you apply a lip balm, only to have the balm disappear from your lips, leaving them even drier than they were to begin with. The fab ingredients prob have something to do with why this lip balm works so well! Take a look :)

Ingredients: Persea gratissima (avocado) oil, Prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil, ‡Euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax, *Theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, *Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, *Ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, Olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, *Argania spinosa (argan) kernel oil, *Rosa rubiginosa (rosehip) seed oil, *Limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil, Tocopherols (sunflower), *Vanilla planifolia (vanilla) bean, *Myroxylon balsamum (peru balsam) oil, Matricaria recutita (blue chamomile) flower extract

*organic & cold pressed ‡wildcrafted

“Avocado Oil: Thick and vitamin rich, exceptionally high in Vitamins A & E. Highly recommended for sensitive and problem lips; rich in essential fatty acids.
Rosehip Seed Oil: Combats dry lips and has amazing anti-aging and rejuvenation properties. Proven to regenerate skin, reduce scars, knock out wrinkles and UV damage.
Meadowfoam Seed Oil: Amazing moisturizing and rejuvenating capabilities. Loves to adhere to lips making it a great assistant in preventing night time moisture loss.
Argan oil: Berber women Fair Trade harvest this amazing oil while the profits go back into preserving the argan forests. Super restorative; perfect to use at night!”

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Oh – I also should mention this. I recently tried another all natural lip balm which had a high percentage of caster oil in it’s formula. I found that with that particular lip balm, if I happened to lick my lips (while eating or drinking etc) it made the back of my throat dry. I know that sounds odd, but it’s the only thing I can put it down to (the castor oil). Luckily, I don’t have that same problem the the Hurraw Moon Balm :) This one is super handy to have lying around the place! Oh – and I don’t only use it at night, it works fantastically as an everyday staple lip balm! You can find Hurraw lip balms from Biome (an Australian online shop) or at Hurraw’s official website! They have so many great ‘flavours’ available, that I really want to try more (green tea and the lip balm with spf are on my wish list)!

Moving on, we have Smashbox’s Photo Finish Under Eye Primer. This is a primer for your under eye concealer. Because I have bad under eye circles, I figured that anything that could make my concealer look better, would also make my under eye circles look better…

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I’ve never used an under eye concealer primer before, so this was a total newbie for me. It’s a little ‘silicone-y’ in texture, but still has enough slip to it, in order to spread it comfortably around the eye area. It’s light pink in colour, but goes on clear and blends out nicely. I place it directly over where my under eye circles are (which is exactly where I also place my concealer).  I then let it ‘set’ for about 30 seconds to a minute. This really does improve the look of my concealer. My concealer of choice atm, is the Balm’s Time Balm concealer. Depending what eye cream I am using and how it sinks in, the concealer can look a little patchy. This drives me crazy, but because it otherwise covers well and is a great colour match, I used to sometimes spend up to ten minutes trying to perfect my under eye area. When you are rushing in the morning this is NOT ideal. With this under eye primer, I don’t have that issue anymore! My concealer lasts all day (I also set it with a little translucent powder) and doesn’t look patchy! Winning! Smashbox also says that you can use this concealer primer on it’s own, on top of eye cream. I haven’t noticed any difference to my under eye area doing this, so I will stick to using it as a primer, rather than a brightener.

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Next up, another now famous makeup product, Bobbi Brown’s gel eyeliners.

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I bought these two gel eyeliners duty free when I was coming back from my Japan/Korea trip. That was… about 3-4 years ago (probably leaning towards 4…)? And these babies have not dried out at all! I obviously don’t use them daily, let alone weekly, so I do not want to be spending money on buying gel eyeliners frequently. I am so so happy with their consistency, lasting power and their opaqueness. They are easy to use for beginners and dry semi-quickly so you still have some time to play with the formula before they set. They are also more matte in finish, rather than shiny. To me they are everything a gel liner should be and hopefully they last me a little longer ;) I have them in the colours Black Ink and Sepia Ink.

Next up we have Shiseido’s Shimmering Eye Color in Sunshower (OR313).

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I won’t spend to much time talking about this cream eyeshadow as I did a thorough review of it recently (here). I’m still loving it and it has most definitely been a staple of mine. It brightens my eyes on sleepy mornings – and paired with an eyeshadow primer it last all day :) For swatches, check out the full review!

Now to move on to two disappointing products…Firstly we have Napoleon’s China Doll Gel Eyeliner in Yang (a matte white). The reason I bought this is because I thought I had a brilliant idea – to use a white gel/liquid liner and then to go over it using bright eye shadow to create a coloured eyeliner look. This idea was a total fail! It didn’t help that this white eyeliner, even though it is described as a ‘opaque white’ – it isn’t opaque. It is patchy and when applied, it looks like liquid paper lol

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Not only is it not opaque, the colour doesn’t look evenly applied on the lid. So when I tried applying coloured eyeshadow over the top of it, it only semi stuck to the ‘liner’ and adhered to some places better than others. Fail. A big complete fail which cost me $39.00. The only redeemable feature of this gel eyeliner is that you can use it as an eyeshadow base all over your lid. Because it isn’t opaque, it doesn’t wash out your lid completely and doesn’t look stark white.

The second disappointing product was the Laura Mercier High Coverage Concealer for Under Eye concealing. I have it in the shade 1.5. I sooo wish I had read Karen’s review of this product before purchasing it (check out her blog here, her blog is wonderful!) as she suffers from under eye circles and her reviews are very thorough .

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This concealer is soooooo dry, it’s really difficult to even get it out of the tube. It is super concentrated so you only need the tiniest amount. Unfortunately the colour of my shade is way to yellow (I prefer neutral undertones – I hate it when under eye concealers are way to peach toned or pink and end up looking unnatural, bringing more attention to your under eye area). The coverage is good, but it isn’t the easiest concealer to work with because of it’s texture, so this will end up getting wasted and never used (if I’m honest) *sigh. If I had a suitable colour then maybe I could play with it sometimes but the colour is just not workable for me (and I even researched the concealer colours before ordering it online, so I have no idea where I went wrong :( ) It wasn’t the cheapest either, coming in at $28.

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Above: Swatches of Napoleon’s China Doll Gel Eyeliner in Yang and Laura Mercier’s High Coverage Concealer for Under Eye in 1.5.

That wraps up the month of October :) I don’t feauture to many products in my monthly favourites posts because my staple skin care and makeup products don’t change around to often. Hopefully you enjoyed this post anyway and perhaps read something new when it comes to some of these tried and trusted favourites!

Do you love any of the products I mentioned? Disappointed by any of your recent purchases? I’d love to know, so leave me a comment! :) :) :)

Catch ya next time beauties,

Beauty Bee~

Two French Body Lotions: Nuxe Reve de Miel & La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP

Hi beauties! I’m sorry I haven’t been around as much as I usually am. Funnily enough, my schedule freed up some time for me last week and I think I needed a little bit of time to just do nothing lol. I was still working, but I didn’t need to also work from home last week (like I did in the previous weeks). Now that it’s a new week, it’s time to get right back into it!

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Today I have two body lotions to share with you and review. Both are from French pharamacy brands, which are now becoming widely available in Australia (thankfully!). I love body creams and body care products. I think we tend to forget about our bodies a little bit because we take so much time taking care of our faces instead. Body care products and specifically body lotions, are still important because they reinforce your body’s lipid barrier and helps protect your skin from not only drying out, but also from infections and irritations. Your skins lipid barrier is it’s defense system! So let’s first start with Nuxe’s offering!

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Nuxe pride themselves on using naturally derived ingredients, and this honey based body lotion is no different – 95% of the ingredients are of natural origin. I love the Nuxe Reve de Miel hand cream, so I thought I’d give their Reve de Miel Ultra Comfortable body lotion a go (honey based products always have to be good, right?). Here is what Nuxe have to say about their offering:

“This rich, delicious Body Cream replenishes lipids, soothes irritation and tightness and repairs the skin barrier. A truly pampering treat to wave goodbye to crocodile skin. This body cream replenishes lipids (Sunflower and Sesame Oil and Rice Bran), soothes (Barley Extract, Argan Oil and Shea Butter combined with Allantoin), repairs (Acacia Honey) and protects the skin’s barrier function (Vitamin E, Sunflower Extract).”

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I was surprised at how light this body lotion felt but yet how hydrating and nourishing it really is! It doesn’t sink in, only to disappear without a trace – it really is wonderfully hydrating. It won’t leave your skin sticky, so if that is a pet peeve for you, you should be happy with the texture of this body lotion! It sinks in quickly and leaves your skin feeling silky smooth. This particular body cream would be a great option for summer when you need something to relieve dry, sun parched skin, without any oiliness. There is one down side to this body cream however. Unlike the Reve de Miel hand cream which smells quite floral with a hint of honey, this body lotion smells a little funky. It’s a very peculiar scent. It has that same hint of honey like the hand cream, but it isn’t floral in any way. It’s almost herbal like and it is a little strong. You can get used to it, especially since in it’s function, the body lotion ticks all the boxes.

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I’ll also point out that the body lotion also contains some other interesting extracts, like tomato and carrot extract (for their licopene properties I imagine) and coconut oil. The other slight negative of this body lotion is that it only comes in a 200ml size and I tend to go through it quite quickly. It comes in a hand pump bottle, however remember that once there’s little product left, the pump may not get all remaining product stuck to the sides of the bottle, so it’s worth unwinding the pump and shaking out what might be left.

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Nuxe products are now available at all Priceline stores (a drugstore here in Aus) and online at Adore Beauty (who offer free postage on all orders). Their Reve de Miel body lotion retails for $29.95. If you  don’t mind waiting for your Nuxe order to arrive, check out Look Fantastic. They are an online retailer from the UK and their Nuxe offerings are much cheaper compared to Australian  retail prices. They offer free worldwide postage on all orders, but you may have to wait for about 2-4 weeks for your order to arrive via standard postage (if you live in Aus). They don’t currently have the Reve de Miel body lotion in stock, but I’m sure they will eventually.

Pros:

  • Light texture, sinks in easily, leaving no sticky residue.
  • Very hydrating and nourishing.
  • Comes in a handy pump bottle.
  • Contains lots of soothing plant extracts and moisturising oils.
  • Widely available in store and online.

Cons:

  • Strange scent – it will bother those with sensitive noses.
  • Comes in only one size (200ml bottle) which is quite small.
  • Expensive for the amount of product you receive (especially in Aus retail prices).

Next up, with have another French body cream to take a look at! La Roche-Posay’s Lipikar Balm AP is another very rich and hydrating body cream.

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I wanted to try this body cream, not because I suffer from any skin rashes or severe irritations, but because I wanted to see how different it would be to a regular drug store body moisturiser (being more of a ‘medicated’ body cream). Here is what La Roche-Posay say about this particular body cream:

“La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP is an ultra absorbing cream designed to rapidly replenish lipids in severely dry and irritated prone skin for 24 hours. Adapted for use on babies and children. Packed with Shea Butter and Niacinimide, the La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP breaks the vicious cycle of itchy skin for 24 hours and keeps skin nourished. This cream can be used all over the body and is fragrance-free and paraben-free.

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Sometimes, as the hair on my legs grows back after shaving, my shins can get super itchy. I figured that this body cream would be perfect to relieve that itchiness, plus give me the hydration I can’t get enough of! This body cream did surprise me. It is super thick. It’s not a body body butter, so it’s not ‘packed in’ into the packaging if that makes sense – it still comes in a pump bottle so it is a little more air rated. It’s not sticky, but it’s very emollient and balm like, so it will leave a moisturising barrier on top of your skin. The richness of the body cream comes from the ingredients (shea butter, glycerin, paraffin, rapeseed oil and a type of wax called microcrystalline). It doesn’t haven’t a scent per se, it’s more ‘clinical’ smelling if that makes sense.

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Because it is so rich and emollient, it will be to rich to use in summer, except for maybe on my shins after shaving etc. I love rich emollient body creams, but this is soooo rich, that even I would feel a little suffocated by this cream if I applied it all over when it is hot. This would be the perfect moisturiser for those with skin conditions, those who experience irritations a lot and have severely dehydrated skin. This body cream also comes in a pump bottle, but because the cream is so thick, it does take some effort to pump it out. I will most definitely need to cut open this bottle once the pump stops working, in order the get out the cream that has stuck to the sides of the bottle etc.

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While this body cream is a touch more expensive than the Nuxe body lotion, you get twice the amount (400ml) for $39.95 and so I think it works out to be more economical. La Roche Posay’s products are also now widely available in Australia, both from Priceline stores and online from Adore Beauty.

Pros:

  • Extremely rich and emollient. Perfect for those suffering from skin irritations and severely dehydrated skin.
  • Large quantity (400ml) and more economical than the Nuxe’s Reve de Miel.
  • Widely available in store and online.
  • Paraben and fragrance free.

Cons:

  • In this instance I think the pump bottle works as a negative because the body lotion is just so thick. A lot of product is still left in the bottle once the pump stops working.
  • The thickness of this cream won’t be to everyone’s liking. In saying this, this is more of a body cream targeted to those with problem skin.
  • The ‘clinical scent’ of this body cream. It isn’t very strong, so it shouldn’t bother those with sensitive noses.

There you have it beauties – two French body lotions put to the test! They are very different to each other but they do their assigned tasks very well! I know that for some, applying body lotions and creams after a shower/bath is bothersome, but once you get into the habit of doing it, you won’t believe that you used to skip that step – that’s how much of a difference it makes! There’s nothing like moisturised and comfortable skin :)

Have you discovered any fab products from Nuxe or La Roche-Posay lately? Let me know if you have any recommendations! Hope you are having a good start to the week beauties!

Catch ya next time,

Beauty Bee~

 

Review: Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant, Vanilla Lavender

Happy Monday beauty bees!

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As I mentioned in my previous new goodies post, I decided to try out a all natural deodorant for the first time, to see if they could possibly work just as well as their aluminium counter-parts. Regular deodorants work using aluminium salts, which block the sweat glands under your arms from producing sweat and stinky B.O. I’m not one for using scare tactics, because in reality, aluminium salts haven’t been proven to cause cancer or any other scary illnesses. Plus, the amount we use on a daily bases is actually extremely low (it would be different if say you were applying it to your lips and then eating it subconsciously or consciously). However, if I can find an alternative which works, I’d happily switch over because my under arms can get quite irritated and so the thought of using something gentler is quite comforting. You still have to be careful when using products which use ‘all natural ingredients’, because natural ingredients can still irritate your skin. After looking at a few different natural and aluminium free deodorants, I settled on the Lavanila branded one as aesthetically it was the most pleasing to my eye (I know I know haha but I appreciate well thought out and well designed packaging!). And I also found it being sold on an Australian online shop, Style Patisserie.

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I wanted to try the regular vanilla scent, but Style Patisserie was out of stock of that one. Then I decided on the Vanilla and Blackberry deodorant scent, but they were out of stock of that scent also (I hate it when that happens!). Soooo, I finally managed to settle on the lavender scented deodorant. Lavender essential oil can be quite potent, but luckily this lavender scent is quite subtle and ‘powdery’, so it won’t make you pass out  (lavender is calming right? :P).

How does Lavanila’s deodorant claim to work? Here is what they say about their Healthy Deodorants:

“This All-Natural, freshly scented deodorant provides superior, long-lasting odor protection. Soothing essential oils blend with powerful anti-oxidants and beta glucan technology for daily defense and nourishment. Clinically Tested. Dermatologist Recommended. No Aluminum. No Paraben. No Propylene Glycol. No Harsh Chemicals.

Traditional Deodorants and Antiperspirants can contain ingredients including aluminum, Propylene Glycol and Parabens that could potentially absorb into the delicate underarm area.
The Healthy Deodorant is a 100% Healthy solution. Completely free of harsh chemicals, it’s a safe, effective and luxurious way to fight odor. Our health-promoting formula is packed with anti-oxidants and a proprietary beta glucan technology to not only fight odor, but nourish, strengthen, and soothe the skin.”

And here are the ingredients, which I admit sound pretty lovely and are of course all natural:

Aloe barbadensis leaf juice (Aloe juice, water/aqua), Propanediol (Corn derived), Zea mays (Corn) starch, Sodium stearate (Coconut derived), Silica, Carrageenan (Seaweed derived), Stearyl behenate (Coconut derived), Citrus medica limonum (Lemon peel oil), Inulin (Artichoke derived), Saccharomyces ferment, Alpha-Glucan oligosaccharide (Sugar derived), Yeast beta glucan, Lonicera caprifolium (Honeysuckle) flower extract, Usnea barbata (Lichen) extract, Valeriana officinalis root extract (Valerian), Hydrastis canadensis (Goldenseal) extract, Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea tree) flower/leaf/stem extract, Lycium barbarum fruit extract (Goji berry), Botanical fragrance blend.

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So how did I find this deodorant stacked up against my regular ‘traditional’ deodorant? Well upon application, I find that this deodorant feels incredibly cooling and soothing on my skin. I was really surprised by this effect and I think this must be due to the high concentration of aloe vera in the formula. This is a major plus, especially as I mentioned, my under arms can become quite irritated and it’s so nice to feel a soothing and cooling sensation (regular deodorants don’t do this in my experience) – after all, the skin under your arms is quite thin and prone to irritation. At first it doesn’t look as if the deodorant leaves any trace on the skin, but after application once the deodorant ‘settles’ on the skin, it does turn white and slightly powdery. Not majorly so though, so I don’t find it rubs off onto clothing.

I assume that instead of blocking sweat glands, the corn starch and other corn extracts ‘dry out the skin’ instead and soak up moisture, ‘preventing’ any wet feeling under the arms. I think it does this task quite well. I applied the deodorant one morning before work (and I do a lot of walking at work and to and from work) and it did manage to keep me quite dry (to my surprise). I don’t think it covers odour quite as successfully though. Yes, I wasn’t as stinky as I would have been had I not applied any deodorant, but it still didn’t minimise odour as much as my regular deodorant would have (that would be the Mitchum Clinical cream deodorant). I kind of expected this, but  wouldn’t say that this deodorant is a complete fail – it keeps me dry and feels oh so soothing. I think this will be a deodorant I will wear when I’m just at home or when I know I won’t be doing any ‘strenuous’ physical activities.

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Pros:

  • Soothing and cooling on the skin.
  • Formula is light and the deodorant doesn’t transfer onto clothing.
  • Scent is very subtle and not artificial,  smells powdery and fresh.
  • Keeps me quite dry, I’d give it a 7 out of 10 in this department.
  • You do get more product than in a standard deodorant, 57 grams to be exact (I get 45 grams in my Mitchum Clinical cream deodorant).

Cons:

  • Doesn’t prevent body odour as much as I would have liked. I’d give it a 4 out of 10 in this department.
  • More expensive than my regular deodorant (which is still pretty exxy compared to other supermarket brands) and not as easy to get a hold of – you have to order it online and factor in postage costs.

I bought my deodorant for $25 at Style Patisserie and I paid about $10 postage (so yes, $35 for deodorant is expensive!). I just realised that Lavanila products are available from Sephora (in the US) so next time I think about purchasing a Healthy Deodorant, I might order it from the US where it retails for $14 US. I have a feeling the deodorant I have now will last me a loooong time though, especially since I won’t be using it after every shower/every day. As a comparison, I can buy my Mitchum Clinical deodorant from my local supermarket for about $15 Aus dollars.

Have you ever tried any all natural deodorants before beauties? Would you consider switching? I noticed that on Sephora’s website, Lavanila have some really nice ‘scents’ for their deodorants, like vanilla summer and vanilla lemon :)

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My boyfriend has lavender growing in his garden, so I thought it was quite fitting to add in some lavender shots into the post for you :) How is your Monday looking beauties? I’m just sitting in the office (I don’t have any natural light or windows in here either since my office happens to be in a basement LOL) so I’m dreaming of being out in the garden right about now *sigh…

Here’s to a good week though! :) <3

Beauty Bee~