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 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 ;)

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~

New Goodies Post!

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Oh darling, do we have some goodies! :D Grab a cup of tea… relax… and enjoy the shiny, goodness of these goodies :)

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Let’s start with the little brown box which is at the bottom of the photo (above) as I was waiting for this goody for agggges and I was so excited to finally receive it!

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I stumbled upon Cap Beauty’s website some time ago, thanks to following a link from refinery 29. At that time they didn’t ship internationally, but I loved the aesthetic of their website so I signed up to their newsletter anyways (I love discovering little ’boutique’ online beauty shop, especially if they stock brands I have never heard of before) and low and behold they now ship internationally :D When i first saw this jar of cream on their site I couldn’t believe it. It’s an old-school pharmacy glass bottle – which I think is beautiful being the skin care fanatic that I am! *quick – prepare the horses!*  I obviously had to have it and I was in the market for a new night cream anyhoo.

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This gorgeous cream is from the brand Dr. Jackson *I’m sorry Miss Jackson – I am for reeeeal* I have to sing that line when I saw the name LOL! The ladies from CAP beauties are lovely! When you sign up to their newsletter, you get a code for 10% off your first order and as the code didn’t work for international orders, they manually changed the price of this Dr. Jackson 02 Skin Cream for me, without any hassles what so ever. I’ve used this cream a few times so far and my first impressions are good :) The cream is a touch expensive – $120 US – but the packaging wins me over without a doubt. Review coming soon!

Let’s look at the second skin care product I splurged on in the last 2 weeks – Medik8 White Blanace Click, Intense Brightening Serum.

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I use two serums currently which should firstly prevent any new pigmentation marks (especially from the sun) and secondly, even out my skin tone and any other pigmentation marks I may have acquired. I use a vitamin C & E serum every morning (my favourite is the one from Futurederm but they are currently out of stock so I went back the SkinCeuticals C & E serum, but just for the mean time) and every other night I use a chemical exfoliant serum (Ultraceuticals Even Skin Tone serum). They most definately prevent any new pigmentation marks and generally keep my skin tone even, but I still have a few pigmentation spots on my cheek from old acne scars and I just can’t get rid of them! While they are very very small – I know they are there. So much so, that I always cover them up with concealer when doing my makeup, as I think blush and other coloured makeup products make them more visible.

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I decided to try this Medik8 White Balance brightening system as a spot treatment for those pesky pigmentation marks. As this product works in a similar fashion to my Even Skin Tone serum, I will be using it in the mornings under my vitamin C & E serum (so yep, I will now be using TWO serums in the mornings lol but only as a spot treatment as I said). This way my skin won’t become overloaded with acids you see. What I liked about this product is that you get two small glass bottles (which are 10ml each) and this is so the product and ingredients stay fresh and potent for as long as possible. Interestingly enough, when you buy this ‘duo’ the active ingredients aren’t already mixed into the emollient serum base for you – the actives are ‘trapped’ in the cap and before using the product for the first time, you press down on the cap to release the active ingredients into the serum base. You then replace the cap with the dropper provided once the product has been combined. Will this product work? I sure hope so! It wasn’t the cheapest either at $98 (from Adore Beauty) but I decided to bite the bullet and buy it now as in summer it is definitely not recommended to over use chemical exfoliants and acids (as they make your skin super sensitive to sun rays). I’ve never used any products from Medik8, so I’m excited about trying this serum out!

Next up is another coconutty goodness treat – Frank’s coconut & grapeseed scrub.

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This scrub contains coffee, grapeseed oil, coconut oil, brown sugar, jojoba beads and vitamin E. 200g for $17.95 (there’s no shipping fee if you live in Aus!).

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Up next is a all natural deodorant. I don’t often buy into the hype of ‘all natural’ products, as I think it’s difficult to control the quality of totally natural extracts and they often use a lot of marketing based on fear (when a lot of natural extracts haven’t themselves been well researched) – BUT if I can find a natural based product, which actually works just as well as a synthetic counterpart, I don’t mind giving them a go!

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I was always curious about all natural deodorants and whether or not they actually work. This one from Lavanila isn’t cheap – $25 schmakos – but it looks lovely doesn’t it? :) I bought mine from Style Patisserie and I will do a review on it soon! :)

Now this next product is new technically because I haven’t yet used it, but I did buy it a while ago online. I wanted to use up a bunch of crappy lip balms before giving this famous French goodie a go :)

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I’m talking about Nuxe’s Reve De Miel, which is their honey based, ultra nourishing lip balm. I bought this because it’s hyped up so much I wanted to give it ago (talk about being left out!) and I love Nuxe’s honey based hand cream A LOT. I haven’t tried it yet, but I love that it comes in a glass jar that feels heavy and looks like it contains a lot of product! I was able to get my hands on the ’20th Anniversary edition’ – the only difference between this one and the original is that my lip balm comes with a coloured cap lol! They were doing green, yellow and I think pink caps for their birthday.

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On a whim this week I bought two Bourjois lipsticks from Priceline (that’s what Priceline is for right?). I have been so impressed with Bourjois’ makeup recently, that I thought their new satin slash matte lippies would be worth a try – especially since they share the same name as their liquid lipstick counterparts (Rouge Edition Velvet) which I love!

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I bought a pink (number #35) and a coral (number #29). They are bother meant to be very long lasting (12 hours!) so we will most definitely have to put that to the test!

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I wanted to do swatches for you because these colours are gorgeous. I needed to dim the brightness in the photo so that the swatches would reflect ‘real life’ – and the swatches really do come through in the photo below.

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That wraps up my new goodies haul beauties. Do any of these goodies stand out to you? Have you bought anything lately which you are excited about? Let me know in the comments below! :) There’s lots of reviews coming up as you can see, so join me on Facebook also and check out my Instagram so we can stay in touch! :)

Catch ya soon beauties!

Beauty Bee~

My New Spring Time Love: Shiseido Shimmering Eye Color in OR 313 Sunshower

I have stayed away from cream eyeshadows for a long, long time. While they were always simple in application – the creasing always drove me bananas. Even when supposedly crease-proof cream eyeshadows started to make their way onto the market I stayed away, far away. I remember years ago when a random sales assistant at a MAC counter told me that cream products will ALWAYS eventually crease no matter what the packaging says, because that’s just their texture and form – and that my beauties was etched on my brain. When I started hearing about how great the Shiseido cream eyeshadows were (as well as the Maybelline Color Tattoos) I figured that maybe – just maybe – cream eyeshadows had developed to not crease (it had been about 10 years since that very memorable visit to the MAC counter I mentioned). I was sceptical, but also very curious. Low and behold I ended up with a discount code for Fresh Fragrances & Cosmetics and so I bought just one Shiseido Shimmering Eye Color to test out the waters (They retail for $42 but I got mine for about $30!). Just on a quick side note while I remember – I found a new site (Cuponation) which seeks out all the current available discount codes for popular .online stores like Priceline, Kiehls’s, Surfstitch etc. so it’s worth checking in with them before going shopping online to see if you can bag for yourself free shipping or a discount etc – as every little bit counts doesn’t it ;) I’ve also noticed that they will tell you what current deals are on in Priceline (e.g. I think atm Priceline is having a sale on Bioderma products, 20% off the entire range) for which you don’t need a code for, but it’s handy to be reminded about what promotions are currently taking place. Considering the sites content is free, I thought it would be worth mentioning, so if you want to do some browsing, you can check out their site here :)

Before I start raving about the Shiseido Shimmering Eye Color, let me mention that at first I was shattered. This Shiseido cream eyeshadow does crease on me, if I am not wearing a primer underneath it. If I wear a primer – then it’s gold :)

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I quite like the design of the packaging. The pot that holds the cream eyeshadow is just made out of light weight plastic, but the symmetrical design of the lid and soft curves feel very Japanese like to me :) Minimalistic but different enough. The packaging sits in your hand quite nicely to.

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The texture of this cream eyeshadow is interesting. It has a lot of slip to it and so it blends super easily (I just use my fingers to apply the shadow to my lid). It’s easy to also build up the colour if you wish to do so. The colour itself is interesting because it’a not flat or your standard brown – it’s really beautiful beautiful <3 From what I can see online, most of the Shiseido Shimmering Cream Eye Colors come in really interesting tones and colours. Sunshower is no exception. This cream eyeshadow is a warm toned brown (perhaps with some slight red undertones). It also contains shimmer, but not chunky glitter – the right kind of shimmer. This shimmer is so super gorgeous as it reflects different tones (so it isn’t just your usual silver or gold shimmer). From what I can tell there’s some pale silvery/white flecks, lilac flecks and pale red flecks. The shimmer fleck colours are very pale, so they don’t appear to be ‘harsh’, giving more of a subtle look but with multi-dimensional shine (that may sound like I am contradicting myself, but it’s so difficult to describe!). It’s very hard to capture of camera, but believe me when I saw you should go swatch it at your local department store. Because it is a cream eyeshadow, there isn’t any shimmer fallout either. Now it is very shimmery (multi-dimensional shine remember!) so I get that it won’t be to everyones liking.

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Like I mentioned – I have to wear a primer underneath this cream eyeshadow to make it last. However, that’s not such a bother since I wear eyeshadow primer every time I do my eye makeup anyway (as I’m sure most beauties do now). If I wear an eyeshadow primer, I get a decent 8 hours out of this cream eyeshadow (now that to me – is amazing). Now the one interesting (and perhaps negative) that does occur, is that throughout the day, the base colour of this cream eyeshadow does fade ever so slightly. In saying that, it then tends to look more ‘wet’ in appearance on the eye and then glistens even more in sunlight. It’s such a unique texture and I don’t know of any other product that can give you a ‘wet eyelid’ look while lasting.

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Above: Swatch of Shiseido’s Shimmering Eye Color in OR 313 Sunshower. You can see the base colour of the cream eyeshadow really well in the photo above and even a little bit of fine shimmer – but the shimmer isn’t visible in all it’s glory in the photo. Hopefully you can notice however, that it isn’t chunky glitter by any means!

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I like that this brown is warm toned, because it makes the green of my iris’ pop more (contrasting colours and tones will do that). With a tan in summer and with some more bronzer, I think this colour would give you the most gorgeous sun-kissed bronzed eye makeup look ever! At the moment I am wearing it on my eyes paired with a matte medium-brown eye shadow in my crease (some of the shimmer does end up in the matte eyeshadow because the cream shadow blends so easily, but this doesn’t bother me to much – if anything the eye makeup becomes more seamless that way) and my Chanel Malice blush on my cheeks for a rosey flush :)

I would like to get more of the Shimmering Eye Colors but because so many of their shades are so ‘out there’ and vibrant, I’m not sure which one to go for next… I will have to give my next purchase some thought. In the meantime I do have 2 Maybelline Color Tattoos to play around with and review, so stay tuned for my thoughts on those in comparison to the Shiseido Shimmering Eye Colors :)

How do you like cream eyeshadows beauties? Are they something you run from or do you love them? Let me know in the comments below!

Catch ya next time,

Beauty Bee~

Nails of the Day: Tickle My France-y & Black Polka Dot

Morning beauty bees!

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I am not one for nail art. I just don’t have the patience and time to get it right and I think that if it’s messy it can just look bad. I saw in Avon’s last brochure that they had a nail art tool selling for only $2, so I picked it up just to see if I could work with it doing some very simple designs. It’s actually pretty great and for my first ‘design’ I went with a simple black dot (told you I was starting simple lol).

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Above: There’s a brush on one end (which is now discoloured slightly because I used it with black nail polish) and a metal ball tip on the other (perfect for creating dots!).

I’m actually super happy with how it turned out! I think it even looks quite sophisticated still ;) I used OPI’s Tickle My France-y all over the nail (a muted purple-taupe) and a regular black polish for the dots (I used a suuuuper old Napoleon Perdis nail polish for this – I can’t find a shade name on the bottle) and my favourite top coat, Sally Hansen’s Mega Shine Top Coat.

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What do you think of my design? :) Simplicity tweaked a little! And my new Pink LouLou ring <3

Catch ya next time beauties – let me know what you are wearing on your nails currently!

Beauty Bee~

Review: L’Occitane Shea Fabulous Oil

I love body oils <3 I fall into that category of beauty bees who looooves when a body moisturiser leaves a protective layer on the skin as well as sinking in to provide long term hydration. That is why I also love body oils, as you can feel them on your skin and when they do eventually sink in, your skin is left feeling oh so smooth! When I saw this new offering from L’Occitane, I was quick to grab myself a bottle. The Shea Fabulous Oil is marketed as being a multi-purpose oil, perfect for use on your hair and body. The main oils in this mixture are sunflower, baobab, desert date, carrot and shea oil. This is how L’Occitane describe their Shea Fabulous Oil:

“The Fabulous Oil combines Shea oil with 2 rare plant oils from Africa (baobab and desert date palm) to help moisturise, protect and soften body and hair. Its unique and dry-finish formula is quickly absorbed without leaving any greasy film, for satiny smooth skin that feels more supple and comfortable. When used on hair, it leaves it soft, shiny and delicately fragranced.”

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Let’s start off this review by examining the ingredients! What did surprise me is that this oil is marketed as a shea based product when really, only 5% of the formula is pure shea oil (though L’Occitane market this as a high concentration). I have been doing some research on shea oil and have found that shea oil makes up a small part of shea butter – but the more shea oil (olein) the softer the butter and higher quality it is (as then it absorbs into the skin more easily because it has less saturated fatty acids). The highest quality shea butters are found in Northern Uganda and South Sudan (because of civil unrest it’s even harder to obtain). You can see in the picture above that there are white floaty bits in the oil – I gather that is the shea butter because shea butter turns solid in lower temperatures. I have also realised that the words shea butter and shea oil are used interchangeably in most situations (including this one, as in the ingredient list, shea butter is listed not shea oil)Shea butter does have great benefits – it contains high concentrations of fatty acids (stearic and oleic acid, because it is essentially a plant fat), vitamin A & D, and allantoin. All of these nutrients mean that shea butter soothes the skin (it’s an anti-inflammatory) and neutralises free radicals while moisturising (it’s a humectant moisturiser – so it puts moisture back into the skin). I would have liked to see even more shea oil in this body/hair oil, but alas, it doesn’t seem to be an ingredient that is easily incorporated into liquid formulas.

What this oil does have a high concentration of is sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is easier to obtain than shea oil and also has some great skin benefits when applied topically. Not only does sunflower oil contain a high concentration of vitamin E, it’s great for re-enforcing the skins lipid barrier, so if you are prone to skin irritations, sunflower oil is great at protecting your skin when it comes to skin infections and rahes. This oil also contains desert date oil and boabab oil, which sound really exotic! Desert date oil is apparently quite a ‘dry oil’ and hence why I think L’Occitane has marketed this oil as a dry oil. I don’t think the Shea Fabulous Oil is an actual dry oil though, and this is probably due to the high concentration of sunflower oil and shea butter. I can most definitely feel the slip of the oil even after rubbing it into my skin. Desert date oil comes from the seeds of the fruit which grow on this particular tree (balanites aegyptiaca) and the oil has high concentrations of vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, zinc and thiamine. It has emollient properties, perfect for use on the hair and body. The antioxidant properties of this oil (thanks to it’s high concentration of vitamin E) make it highly stable, even when kept in very high temperatures. Boabab oil also come from the seeds of the fruit which grow on the boabab tree, and contains fatty acids, vitamin D, A, E and F.  I think it’s great that L’Occitane has included this nutrient rich oils into the Shea Fabulous oil. And lastly, the oil also contains carrot seed oil which might surprise a lot of beauties out there! Carrot seed oil contains vitamin C and E, and carotenoids which can help boost the skins own protection against UV rays.

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To me this oil smells very much so like a combination of sunflower oil and baby powder, so the sunflower oil is very noticeable. It’s quite lovely without being offensive. I also love that this oil is in a glass bottle. Glass bottles and jars aways feel so much more ‘luxe’ than plastic ever will. Glass also helps keep oils stable and ‘fresh’ as plastic can often make your oils go rancid (hence why you will almost never find cooking oils in plastic bottles). It doesn’t feel like a dry oil to me as I mentioned above, but this doesn’t bother me so much. You do need to wait a while for it to totally sink in and it does look quite shiny on the skin for a while. I love the sheen oils leave on your skin, especially in summer! It is very moisturising and I find that my skin is happy for a day or two after application. I have used it once on the ends/tips of my hair which worked quite well, however I personally wouldn’t put it through the lengths of my hair (like I do Moroccan Oil or Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment). In saying that, I have very fine hair, so if you have quite thick hair, this might work well for you!

Is it a body product I would repurchase? Probably not. It’s lovely, but it’s just not that highly memorable. I would love it if this oil had a higher concentration of baobab and desert date oils in it’s formula instead of sunflower oil, as then it would be something new and exciting to try. In saying that, it isn’t a bad product in any sense of the idea. Who knows, maybe during summer I will change my mind and grab another bottle if I feel like getting a simple yet hydrating body oil, which doesn’t contain ‘fillers’ within its formula. You can find this oil on Adore Beauty for $45 (free shipping is included).

Ingredients: Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Coco-Caprylate/ Caprate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Parfum/Fragrance , Balanites Roxburghii Seed Oil, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Coumarin Linalool, Citronellol, Limonene, Benzyl Salicylate, Geraniol, Citral.

Do you enjoy body oils beauties? What are your favourite highly moisturising body products?

Catch ya next time,

Beauty Bee~

P.S I decided to not do a monthly favourites post for September as I didn’t have to many ‘new favourites’ in my collection, but hopefully I should have enough for October if I give it some extra time :) Happy October beauties!

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Nails of the Day: Kook A Mango

Happy 1st of October beauties! The sun is shining in Sydney, so I was able to take some photos outside for you :) I bought a new nail polish last week because when I saw this coral in store I couldn’t resist! This colour is called Kook A Mango #560. I really like the nail polish formula of Sally Hansen’s Complete Manicure range and I wasn’t let down by this particular polish :) How great is the name of this colour? So kooky!

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It’s a gorgeous creamy and saturated colour – two coats gives you a vivid and shiny finish :) Of course I use my Sally Hansen Mega Shine top coat to add just that extra bit of shine ;) I find that the Complete Salon Manicure nail polishes will last a week on the nails provided you use a base and top coat. I haven’t been bothered (but I have been tempted) to try the new Sally Hansen gel nail polishes because they claim to last a week on your nails – so I don’t see what the improvement is? For me, gel nail polish should last about 2 weeks on the nail – so for the moment I won’t be buying the gel polishes (though I do love the finish they give). I can see myself wearing Kook A Mango a lot this spring and summer! :)

What are you wearing on your nails lately? Are you a fan of Sally Hansen’s nail polishes? Let me know in the comments below! :D

Catch ya next time beauties,

Beauty Bee~

Review: Lipstick Queen’s Liptropolis Lipstick Library

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I bought this awesome trio of lipsticks along with my Jungle Queen lipstick a little while ago, and I am now ready to review it for you lovelies :) Becoming reacquainted  with the world of Lipstick Queen means a lot of choice and so I had to make my decisions carefully ;) I bought this trio set because a) the packaging is awesome and it caught my attention straightaway – there’s something Gotham City like about it, and b) the word ‘Liptropolis’ reminded me of Janelle Monae who is the Arch Queen of the Metropolis and I have no doubt what-so-ever that she would approve of said three lipsticks! So the decision was pretty clear to me – I must get thee Lipstick Library set!

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Above: Janelle Monae – because how could I not include a picture of that lovely face? :)

 The concept behind Liptropolis is pretty cool, Poppy (‘The’ Lipstick Queen herself) is now based in New York (not Australia anymore :( ) and she wanted to represent the different ladies in her new ‘home town’ and their neighbourhoods. Each lipstick represents on area of New York and here is what Poppy says about the collection -

“I have often said I can tell if a New York subway train is going up town or downtown by the passengers’ lip color so I decided to put my money where my mouth is and create a trio of lipsticks inspired by the different neighbourhoods of New York City.” Poppy.

The Lipstick Queen website goes on to say -

“Liptropolis tells the story of Lipstick in the City and is a tribute to chic women in cities everywhere! Inspired by the Fritz Lang film Metropolis, with Manhattan as muse, the book opens to reveal a complete New York wardrobe of lipstick shades.

Liptropolis is the first edition in the Lipstick Library – a collectable storybook series of lipstick trios. And now, due to popular demand, these three ultra-wearable shades are available as singles!”

Now each lipstick is supposed to fall somewhere in-between a sheer lipstick and an opaque lipstick, very much like Jungle Queen. I would say like I did with Jungle Queen, that each of these lipsticks is almost fully opaque, but because of the hydrating glossy formula’s, the pigmentation is just a tad short of being fully opaque. The bullets themselves don’t show to much of their true colour – it’s until you swatch the shades or pop them on your lips do you see how different and gorgeous they really are!

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I couldn’t take a decent photo of the inside of the ‘book case’ as it’s all silver and to reflective. The inside contains little slots for all three lipsticks and a quick note from Poppy which goes like this:

“After years of living in New York I have noticed that each neighbourhood has its own signiture lip color that says something about the women who reside there. Lipstick is not just glamour, it tells the story of who you are and where you are going. One every New York street is a woman being sassy and strong, facing challenges, the excitement and the possibilities that make up New York. Volume 1 of my Lipstick Library is a tribute to the women of the city in 3 iconic shades.

SOHO – The Fashionable Red

UPPER EAST – The Elegant Nude

CENTRAL PARK – The Refined Peach

Make them your story. Your new chapter begins here. Lots of love, Poppy (a Lipstick Queen).”

Pretty lovely letter, no? Luckily the lipsticks are just as lovely to!

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From the bullets, all three shades look pretty similar tone and colour wise. When swatched however, they show their true colours ;)

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Left to right: Soho, Central Park & Upper East

Soho in my eyes is a deep plummy pink and super glossy. Central Park is more of a deeper pink than a red and also super glossy. Upper East is different in that while the swatch has a shine to it, I would say it’s the least glossy of the three (it’s almost matte on my lips). I love that all three lipsticks have no shimmer within the lipstick formula, so the colour of lipstick isn’t diffused by silver or gold micro-shimmer (don’t get me wrong, that also has a place in the lipstick world!).

I decided to take a few photos wearing the lipsticks so you could see the shades as they wear!

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 In the photo above I am wearing Soho. I think Soho is my favourite – I cannot lie! The colour is just so pigmented and hydrating that I cannot help loving it. I definitely have a ‘thing’ for brighter lipsticks and this one ticks all the boxes. the gloss does wear down maybe after 2-3 hours, but it wears down evenly and I quite like the stain it leaves on the lips!

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Wearing Central Park in the photo above. A medium toned pink and just as glossy as Soho. It may look slightly red in the photo, but I think what makes this colour interesting is that it is a deeper pink. Perhaps slightly peachy?

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Upper East on my lips above. I was worried that I wouldn’t like this colour at all. Anything that’s classified as a pale nude with a strong peach undertone makes me run for the hills! I think this particular peachy shade works because it is a touch deeper than a ‘traditional’ nude and does have a little pink in it. It’s not so far matte that it looks dry on the lips and it doesn’t feel drying on the lips but after wearing Soho and Central Park you can notice the difference in texture. I personally don’t mind the dryer texture – for a colour like this I think it works because it is so much more of a natural shade. I can actually see myself wearing Upper East to my surprise, though I will have to have a think about what to pair it with (since it is so different from anything I have owned so far!).

Am I happy with this lipstick trio? Hell yes! I also love collectables and even though I will be using the lipsticks so they won’t stay in mint condition, I think the idea of the collection is great. I did see this set at a Kit Cosmetics counter in Sydney CBD (in Myer) a little while ago, however it’s probably tough to find in stores here in Aus (they always tend to have extremely limited supplies which sux). By the time I was decided on buying this set it wasn’t there anymore and I couldn’t find it online (from Aus suppliers). I bought my Liptropolis set along with my Jungle Queen lipstick from SpaceNK. The set costs 40 British Pounds which is a lot (that’s about $75) so each lipstick ends up costing about $25 which is quite reasonable in my eyes. If you live in the States then you can order this set straight from Lipstick Queen’s official website (lucky you!) for $48 US.

I just saw online that a second Lipstick Library volume is available and it’s called Look of Love. I’m not as captured by this second volume as I was with the first (just by looking at the book case and it’s design) so I will have to have a good think about whether or not I will get the second one.

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What do you think of the Liptropolis lipstick trio? Do any of the shades jump out at you and pull your heart strings?

Until next time,

Beauty Bee~

Skincare 101: Three Sunscreens Put to the Test!

It’s been super sunny in Sydney these last couple of days (with today ironically being the exception) and so I think this post will come just in time for you beauties!

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This sunny weather is a reminder that we should be wearing sunscreen everyday (in winter I do struggle with this, which is so very bad of me!). Now might be the best time to really find out which sunscreen suits me best before the summer rays really kick in! I need a reliable every day sunscreen which I can wear under makeup as well as a sunscreen which can be used on the body (on parts which are often exposed to the sun but forgotten about – i.e. the hands, arms and chest area). Sunscreen formulas have become so innovative these days, that it’s worth investing the time and research to find one which will suit your needs perfectly (and maybe even go beyond what you expected!).

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I have three sunscreens which I have been testing out and wanted to share my findings with you. The Invisible Zinc sunscreen is a pure physical sunscreen while the Neova and SkinCeutical sunscreens are a combination of both physical sun blockers and chemical sun blockers. If you are a little confused as to what the difference is between a physical and a chemical sunscreen, check out my Sunscreen 101 post where I break down those difference for you! Today we will go through the plus and minuses of these three particular sunscreens :)

Invisible Zinc Environmental Skin Protector SPF 30+

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A totally physical sunscreen containing 20% Zinc Oxide. This Australian branded sunscreen is probably one of the best mineral sunscreens on the market. Physical sunscreens work by physically blocking out the suns rays (UV light) so sunscreens such as this will form a protective layer/barrier on top of the skin. Physical sunscreens can appear quite white on the skin, but this Invisible Zinc sunscreen isn’t to bad – the white cast of the cream disappears quite quickly. It isn’t super shiny and shouldn’t cause your skin to become overly oily. If you have very oily skin, you could use this sunscreen as your daily moisturiser.

The issue I have with this sunscreen is that is it difficult to blend out the sunscreen around the edges of my face (for example, around the hairline and around my eyes) so you can often see where the sunscreen ‘ends’. Makeup sits quite nicely on top of this sunscreen and it doesn’t slide around during the day. The only major flaw is as I mentioned, the fact that it can be difficult to blend and can thus leave streaky marks on the skin. It has that typical sunscreen scent, but it is quite light, so it isn’t overly offensive.

Pros:

  • Starts protecting your skin from the suns rays immediately after application.
  • Packaging comes with a pump dispenser.
  • Has a light airy texture, which is phenomenal for a mineral/physical sunscreen.
  • White cast disappears quite quickly after application.
  • Good base under makeup.
  • Zinc Oxide is great for sensitive skins (it’s often used in nappy rash creams).
  • Zinc Oxide stops even more UVA rays (the rays that age the skin – UVB rays burn the skin) from penetrating the skin compared to UVB rays, and thus protects the skin from pigmentation better than other sunscreens. In saying this, it is still a broad spectrum sunscreen, so you are protected from both UVA and UVB rays.

Cons:

  • Can be difficult to blend. Also leaves streaky marks on the skin/around the hair line.
  • Doesn’t contain any antioxidants in it’s formula – which would help to neutralise free radicals in the skin and help protect/repair cells from sun damage.
  • Has a light traditional ‘sunscreen scent’.

You can buy Invisible Zinc products from your local Woolworth’s and Priceline stores, or from Adore Beauty online for $35.00 for 50ml.

Neova DNA Damage Control Sunscreen Everyday SPF 44

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I would call this sunscreen a light lotion. It is the lightest sunscreen I ever used! It sinks into the skin so beautifully, leaving a silky, non-tacky texture on the skin, perfect as a base under makeup. It’s oil free but hydrating thanks to the inclusion of sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid) which acts as a humectant moisturiser – working in both low and high humidity climates by pulling moisture from the air and trapping it in the skin. It also doesn’t have that traditional sunscreen scent which is quite surprising. It feels like a regular light moisturiser which I know a lot of beauties will appreciate!

The SPF in this sunscreen is made up of both physical sunscreen (Zinc Oxide 8.5%) and chemical sunscreens (Octinoxate 6.5% and Octisalate 2.5%). Most dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen which is a combination of both physical sun blockers and chemical sun blockers when in a high sun exposure environment (like Australia :P) because you get the benefits of both types of sunscreen. Chemical sunscreens neutralise a larger range of UVA and UVB light, however you still get that extra protection from pigmentation marks thanks to the inclusion of Zinc Oxide.

The other major plus of this sunscreen is the inclusion of vitamin C and E – which if in the right concentration, work together to neutralise free radicals. Here is a great explanation from Futurederm of how both work together to get the job done right -

“When vitamin C is combined with vitamin E, it creates a synergistic effect that ends up being more than the sum of its parts. That’s because vitamin C loses electrons as it encounters free radicals and neutralizes them, and vitamin E provides a source of electrons to replenish vitamin C. In fact, as one antioxidant is depleted it can essentially “borrow” an electron from the other and vice versa, helping both antioxidants work better (Cosmetic Dermatology).”

The concentration of vitamin C needs to be higher than 1% in order to work effectively with the vitamin E, but it looks like the Neova sunscreen contains about 4-5% of the stuff! Neova have also gotten the ph levels right when it comes to these antioxidants, so they can effectively penetrate the skin and work their magic! It doesn’t stop there, the Neova sunscreen also contains L- Ergothionene which is also a powerful antioxidant and Photolyase which increases UV protection by 300%  (Photolyase is a type of plankton which are UV light resistant) AND helps repair DNA cell damage. Photolyase needs UV light to be activated and can take up to an hour to work ‘at full speed’ so just keep that in mind.

After ALL of those benefits and pluses, this sunscreen does have a minor flaw. After application I tend to see little white flakes on my skin. I contacted Nicki from Futurederm and she let me know that this is probably desquamation (exfoliation of the skin) caused sometimes by acidic products. It’s not a major issue but I do have to ‘sweep’ these little white flakes off my face using a makeup brush before makeup application. If i didn’t, it would look like I had little teeny tiny bits of paper stuck to my face. Luckily, I didn’t experience any irritation or reddening of the skin.

Pros:

  • Super light-weight, oil free, silky lotion texture. Blends beautifully and easily into the skin.
  • Moisturising without being oily.
  • Great base under makeup.
  • No traditional ‘sunscreen scent’. Only has the faintest scent and it smells like a regular moisturiser to me.
  • Protects the skin from a wide range of UVA and UVB light thanks to a combination of physical and chemical sunscreens.
  • Innovative formula – Contains antioxidant protection at the right quantities, as well as ingredients which help repair skin cells.

Cons:

  • Takes 20 minutes after application to protect fully from the suns rays. Photolyase takes about an hour to fully kick in and must be ‘activated’ by sun exposure/UV light.
  • Desquamation – the tiny little white flakes which appear on the skin after application.

You can buy this Neova sunscreen from the Futurederm shop for $39.00 US dollars  (you will have to add shipping on top of that). The only place where I have found Neova products to be sold in Australia – at a reasonable price – is Fresh Fragrance and Cosmetics. There this sunscreen retails for $64.00 (free shipping and you may be eligible for a discount if you are a member).  The Neova DNA Damage Control Sunscreen Everyday comes in a 74ml tube – so you get a little more product than the Invisible Zinc Environmental Skin protector sunscreen.

 SkinCeuticals Ultimate UV Defense Sunscreen Broad Spectrum 30+

P1010495

The SkinCeuticals sunscreen is another combination of both physical and chemical sunscreens (Zinc Oxide 7% and Octinoxate 7.5%). This formula is also oil-free – thank goodness the days of heavy, oily sunscreens are gone! It has a light cream texture and also has a light traditional sunscreen scent, like the Invisible Zinc sunscreen. It doesn’t leave a white cast on the skin and is easy to blend into the skin. I wouldn’t say it leaves a tacky finish on the skin, but because it is half a physical sunscreen, you can feel a light protective layer sitting on top of the skin, so it doesn’t feel ‘invisible’ say like the Neova sunscreen does.

Pros:

  • Protects the skin from a wide range of UVA and UVB light thanks to a combination of physical and chemical sunscreens.
  • Blends into the skin easily, oil free formula.
  • Good base under makeup.

Cons:

  • Takes 20 minutes after application to protect fully from the suns rays.
  • Doesn’t contain any antioxidants in it’s formula – which would help to neutralise free radicals in the skin and help protect/repair cells from sun damage.
  • Has a light traditional ‘sunscreen scent’.

The SkinCeuticals sunscreen can be purchased online from Adore Beauty for $61.80. It does contain a whopping 90ml of product, so substantially more than the Neova or Invisible Zinc sunscreens. You can also find this sunscreen at Kiss and Makeup NY for $40 US (plus shipping).

So which sunscreen wins out the prize for best everyday sunscreen? For me it’s the Neova sunscreen hands down! Not only does it protect from a wide range of UVA and UVB rays, it also contains antioxidants to help protect my skin even more from UV rays and prevents pigmentation. The innovative formula also helps repair skin cells which may already be damaged. I looove the texture of this sunscreen and the fact that it doesn’t feel like a sunscreen on the skin. Yes the desquamation (what a bizarre word lol!) is a little annoying, but I can live with it thanks to the great formula. The SkinCeuticals and Invisible Zinc sunscreens are still high quality sunscreens and as they don’t leave an oily residue on the skin, they would both work brilliantly on the body. I think I may give my Invisible Zinc sunscreen to my boyfriend and keep the Skinceuticals sunscreen to use on my arms, hands and chest area :)

One last note – it’s a great idea to use a Vitamin C and E serum in the mornings to help boost the UVA protection of your daily sunscreen (that’s the doing of vitamin C ;) ). I love my Futurederm Vitamin CE Caffeic Silk Serum (review here). The other goodie is the SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Acid Serum. Both serums have synergistic antioxidant capabilities which are also found in the Neova sunscreen (along with other skin benefits – check out the review to learn more!). There’s nothing like prevention when it comes to helping keep your skin UV damage free, plump and healthy looking!

I hope you beauties found this post helpful, let me know if you have any questions and what you look for in a daily sunscreen :)

Catch ya next time,

Beauty Bee~