Makeup Look & Review: NARS Eye Paint in Solomon Islands

Oh how I would like to go away on an island holiday… Unfortunately I have to bring the island ‘feeling’ to myself as I won’t be taking a long holiday anytime soon (though I am going away for the weekend this coming weekend!). Coloured eye liner is an easy way to bring some colour into your everyday makeup look (especially in the warmer months). I wanted to use a bright blue which channelled the tropical warm waters found in the Pacific Ocean.

7680731448_e799cb5f9e_b

I got that ‘island feeling’!

While pale and bright blues aren’t traditionally a colour match made in heaven for pairing with green eyes, when I saw the NARS Eye Paint in Solomon Islands – I wanted to give it a go anyway because it just looked so damn gorgeous. Plus the name is just so well fitting! I’m such a rebel, I know :P NARS’ Eye Paints are an interesting product, because they are gel based cream eyeshadows slash eyeliners. Cream eyeshadows have to be very pigmented if you want to use them as eyeliners and these Eye Paints are just that – insanely pigmented!

P1030179

P1030180

The little pots of Eye Paints are quite small and very reminiscent of gel eyeliner pots. The cream slash gel product itself feels quite thin and dries pretty quickly (not to quickly though). I am just so so happy that when using this product as eyeliner, the cream does not go patchy or flaky. You can go over your original line numerous times, without worrying about the line looking uneven. It is incredibly long lasting. Regular eye makeup remover will not remove this baby (not even Bioderma will help you). You will have to reach for a waterproof, dual phase makeup remover (my pick is L’Oreal’s Dermo-Expertise Gentle Makeup Remover Waterproof). The odd thing though, is that while the eyeliner on my top eyelid doesn’t budge all day, it can slightly migrate onto my lower lash line. I think this could be just from blinking (if the product is in roots of your lashes on your top water line). It’s a little annoying, but manageable (I love the Almay Oil-Free Makeup Eraser Sticks for fixing up any stray makeup on the go).

P1030181

How amazing is this colour?!

P1030228

P1030194

I used a cool toned brown eyeshadow in the crease of my eyelids to give my eyes some extra definition. Lashings of waterproof mascara help frame my eyes a little better (so that the intensity of the blue doesn’t wash me out).The rest of my makeup is quite simple and bronzed, so that the eyes stand out (as they should!). I used my bronzer as a face warmer rather than contouring in the traditional sense (so I used the bronzer on top of my cheeks where the sun would naturally hit, rather than below my cheekbones). I’ve been loving Benefit’s Box O’ Powder Blush in Dallas paired with bronzer. The dirty rose colour just adds enough colour to the cheeks, without competing with the bronzer.

P1030223

Above: NARS Laguna Bronzer, Smashbox Full Exposure Waterproof Mascara, Lanolips Lip Ointment in Dark Honey & Benefit Box O’ Powder Blush in Dallas. 

P1030226

P1030233

Using the Zoeva 317 Wing Liner brush makes drawing liquid liner very easy. The brush itself is thin, perfectly angled and just so easy to use.

I’m so happy with the way this look turned out and I think it’s so fun and summery! I’d love to try and find a mid-toned purple liquid liner next (I know finding a pencil liner would be easier – but liquid liners tend to be more saturated in colour and pigmented). It’s to bad that NARS don’t do a light or mid-toned purple in the Eye Paints, because I am super impressed with the formula! The Eye Paints retail for $34 from Mecca Cosmetica here is Aus. 

Are you a fan of coloured liner? Let me know what you think of this look!

Catch ya next times beauties,

Beauty Bee~

Sheet Mask 101 & Review: Bel Mondo Beauty Facial Sheet Masks

After discovering Lonvitalite Sheet Masks (check out the review of their Coconut Milk Mask which I love here!) I was all for trying some more, high quality sheet masks. The reason I say high quality is because I have tried some cheaper alternatives (namely some drug-store Korean sheet masks) and they didn’t impressed me very much. Now I understand why this is – the sheet masks you choose have to be made using a material which adheres to the skin well and uses high-grade ingredients which work together to can actually penetrate into the deeper levels of your skin. Usually, facial sheet masks are made from these four materials – Fibre (cotton), Pulp (sometimes labelled as rayon cellulose), Hydro-Gel and Bio-cellulose.

Fibre masks are the cheapest sheet masks to manufacture and as a result, they don’t adhere to the skin very well. This also means that the ingredients embedded in the sheet mask serum will not penetrate into the skin very well because the fibre does not absorb the serum to it’s full capacity. They can also be a little course in texture. Cheaper drug-store sheet masks will most likely be made out of fibre and this would explain why they never blew me away. The ‘next best’ material to make sheet masks out of is Pulp. Pulp is also quite inexpensive to manufacture but it has better absorption capabilities than fibre. The downsides to pulp masks is that they can dry out pretty quickly and might also not adhere to the skin very well.

Premium sheet masks tend to be made out of Hydro Gel. Hydro-Gel masks are made from two different components, have excellent absorption capabilities and contour well to the skin. They are quite expensive to manufacture and hence the more pricey price tag that accompanies them. The other premium ‘material’ for making sheet masks is Bio-cellulose. Bio-cellulose was actually developed for medical applications (to cover burns and wounds, to aid healing) and as such, isn’t commonly used for sheet masks. It is expensive but it adheres to the skin exceptionally well (not an inch of skin is missed). It is actually an all natural material made by cultured bacteria (may sound funky – but I promise you it isn’t!) and as a result, is biodegradable. Bio-cellulose can hold 100-times its weight in fluid and so it makes sense that it would be a fantastic material for face masks! As you may have guessed, Bel Mondo’s sheet masks are made from bio-cellulose. The Bio-cellulose itself feels a little gel-like to me and is very ‘moldable’ – once it’s adhered to your skin, you don’t need to worry about it ‘flopping off’. It’s also flexible, so it’s not uncomfortable or tight feeling once applied to your skin. Along with a fantastic formulas – you can be sure you are getting salon quality face mask treatments at home if you use a bio-cellulose sheet mask. Let’s be honest – if we are finally setting some time aside during the week to use a face mask, well it better be good (says every city or busy girl out there)! I find it really difficult to schedule in some time at a beauty salon – and added to that, I haven’t found one which I am totally comfortable and happy with, so I’m all for salon quality, at home treatments! This is where Bel Mondo Sheet Masks tick all the boxes!

tumblr_mzvb4dLIQR1qjlsqio9_500

I found out about Bel Mondo sheet masks thanks to Futurederm, and I knew that if Nicki rated these guys, they must be good! At the moment, Bel Mondo offer three different types of face sheet masks, anti-ageing, calming and ultra-hydrating. 

P1020907

Let’s first take a look at Bel Mondo’s ultra-hydrating mask, as this one was the first that I tried!

P1020909

P1020910

Before I begin telling you how the ingredients in this face mask work and how wonderful it is – I have a confession to make. I was sooo excited to try these face masks that I didn’t quite read the directions on the box carefully enough and made a near fatal mistake. I decided to fess up to you beauty bees, so that you don’t make the same mistake I did! The directions clearly state to remove the mask from the individually sealed packet and to use the middle layer of the mask. There are two outer layers, which protect the Bio-cellulose mask. You will know which is the middle layer, as the Bio-cellulose face mask itself feels gel like and a little slippery. The two outer layers are more rough and have this lattice like texture to them. Discard the lattice textured outer layers. I of course, took the mask out of the packet and didn’t discard the two outer layers of the face mask and whacked the whole thing onto my face *face palm*. I obviously didn’t get the full benefits of the face mask during my first attempt, which annoys me greatly… Luckily, I learnt the second time around :)

P1020911

The Bel Mondo Ultra-Hydrating Mask is just full of amazing hydrators. Here is the full ingredient list:

Ingredients: Purified water, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, propylene glycol, sodium alginate, Dansonyl (plant extract), ceramide gel, chlorphenesin, Skinasensyl (acetyl tetrapeptide-15, sodium citrate), rice extract, Hydromanil (moisturizing compound derived from tara seed), olive oil, hyaluronic acid, biosol, panthenol, fragrance.
Hyaluronic acid is a well known hydrator, which holds up 1000 times worth it’s weight in water. Sodium hyaluronate is very similar, however is a little more stable than hyaluronic acid. Both are humectant moisturisers, drawing water from the air into the deeper levels of your skin. If there isn’t much moisture in the air however, they could potentially leave your skin dry if not paired with other types of moisturisers (such as occlusive moisturisers). Sodium hyaluronate is great because it works in both high and low humidity environments. While hydrators like this may not be anti-ageing as such (repairing damaged skin), they allow your skin to work at full capacity, renewing skin cells, stimulating collagen product etc. so inadvertently, if you want your skin to look and work it’s best – hydrators are crucial!  The Ultra-Hydrating Mask also contains ceramides, which I spoke about in my Skin SOS post. Ceramides are lipids which are found in-between 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. Rice extract is a new ingredient on my beauty watch list, as it’s moisturising (as an emollient – softening the skin) but also a anti-oxidant (gamma orzanol is the antioxidant name). Not only this, rice extract also stabilizes fatty acids and oils already found in the skin, optimising the hydration levels already found in your skin. Olive oil is another emollient and an anti-inflammatory, while Dansonyl (more commonly known as Baobab) contains water binding agents to provide even more skin suppleness!
How did I find this mask? If you suffer from any kind of flaky-dry skin, this mask is for you! It’s intensely hydrating, without any oiliness or grease. My skin felt soooo insanely soft after using this mask and I think I also looked less tired as a result. I love that the Bio-cellulose mask itself sits comfortable on your skin and also covers your under eye area. As I suffer from under-eye circles (and chronic tiredness) I know that my poor eye area is also being treated with this mask.
*Tip* Bel Mondo recommends leaving this mask on your skin for 20 minutes. Different ingredients and their delivery systems vary in the time they need to reach the deeper layers of your skin. All ingredients have a threshold when it comes to penetrating your skin, but it’s generally thought that your skin needs 5-60 minutes to absorb all the possible nutrients contained within a mask. After about 20 minutes, your skin should have absorbed about 80% of the mask nutrients, while at 60 minutes, your skin should have absorbed about 99% of the nutrients (I read this tip on Futurederm). Because these Bel Mondo masks are soooo comfortable, keeping them on for an hour isn’t to much trouble – it just comes down to how much time you have. I will definitely be trying to keep these on for and hour and hopefully life won’t get to much in the way ;) *Note* If your mask contains AHA/BHA or other acids, only leave the mask on for as long as the manufacturer indicates. Otherwise, you may over exfoliate your skin and do more damage than good!
Once you have removed the mask from your skin, massage in any of the product remaining on your skin. There’s always a little bit of serum left in the foil packet, and I use this extra bit of serum on my chest area and wherever else I can put it! A pack of four Ultra-Hydrating Masks costs $45 US from Bel Mondo official web shop.

P1020916

Bel Mondo’s next face mask offering is their Calming Mask. If I had known about Bel Mondo’s Calming Mask a few weeks ago, I would have included it in my Skin SOS post (How to Soothe Red, Irritated & Hypersensitive Skin). The Calming Mask contains some great soothing ingredients, to both calm the skin and reduce inflammation – chamomile, allantoin and green tea (also an anti-oxidant). The mask is of course very moisturising also, which is very important in rebuilding the skins lipid barrier (so that the skin can protect itself against external aggressors). Your skin usually becomes irritated or hyper-sensitive when your lipid barrier has been weakened. Sodium hyaluronate, glycerin, olive oil and rice extract will moisturise and rehydrate your skin. Biophytex on the other hand, boosts microcirculation and soothes the skin. Skinasensyl is a tetrapeptide that makes skin less reactive to external stimuli, and reduces sensations of pain and discomfort.

Ingredients:  Purified water, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, propylene glycol, sodium alginate, Biophytex (plant extracts), chlorphenesin, Skinasensyl (acetyl tetrapeptide-15, sodium citrate), Laricyl, chamomile, rice extract, green tea, Caresoft (purified curculigo orchioides root), olive oil, tocopherol, allantoin, biosol, fragrance.

P1020917

I gave one of these Calming Masks to a friend of mine who experiences hypersensitivity quite often. She said that this mask didn’t aggravate her skin (big plus there!) and so there was no stinging or discomfort. Some of the redness and swelling she was experiencing reduced and her skin felt a whooole lot more comfortable after using this mask. That constant tightness and stinging had subsided. If you are experiencing a bad episode of hypersensitivity, you may have to use this masks a couple of times a week, to help get your skin back into shape. I used the mask after spending to much time in the sun (I wasn’t burnt per se – but I think my skin was dehydrated and just stressed from the onslaught of the elements) and my skin felt soothed, hydrated and comfortable again. A box of four Calming Masks will also cost you $45 US from Bel Mondo’s official web shop.

P1020912

Last but not leat, we have the Anti-ageing Mask!

P1020914

You may be wondering why in the world I would be using a anti-ageing face mask when I am ‘only’ 25 (I’m turning 26 this week and have not accepted this fact just yet!). Smart skin care is all about prevention! With all the wonderful progress that has been made in dermatology, you would be mad to not take advantage of the high-tech ingredients and treatments out there. ‘Fixing’ damaged skin is so much more difficult than preventing damage, and using anti-ageing products suited to your skins concerns is more than ok! I don’t believe in ‘age appropriate’ skin routines or products, I would suggest that you use products that target skin concerns instead.

P1020913

Bel Mondo has utilizes some great actives in their anti-ageing mask. Syn-Tacks specifically, is a combination of peptides which boosts cellular communication. Syn-Tack has been shown to stimulate proteins of the Dermal-Epidermal Junction where the uppermost layer of the skin meets the underlying layers. This means that cells can communicate more efficiently and work on repairing the skins structure – skin tone, firmness and wrinkles. Orange stem cells have been included in the mask to help encourage the production of elastin. Tocopherol is a form of vitamin E and is a powerful anti-oxidant, which helps reinforce the skins lipid barrier. Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12 is a lipopeptide which helps form layers around and in between skin cells, creating a barrier that keeps natural moisture intact and prevents it from escaping. Palmitoyl Tripeptide strengthens connective tissue and lessens wrinkle effects. Your skin should also be incredibly hydrated after using this mask as it contains sodium hyaluronate (which hopefully you will be looking out for now ;) ), glycerin, soluble collagen (protein that draws moisture to skin while providing a protective shield) and olive oil. Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight free radicals and repair aged skin AND retinyl palmitate is a combination of retinol (Vitamin A) and palmitic acid. Retinyl palmitate is a skin cell regulator, and one of the primary antioxidants found naturally in skin.

Ingredients: Purified water, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, propylene glycol, sodium alginate, soluble collagen, chlorphenesin, Skinasensyl (acetyl tetrapeptide-15, sodium citrate), Syn-Tacks (palmitoyl dipeptide-5, palmitoyl dipeptide-6), Citrustem (orange stem cells), olive oil, tocopherol, palmitoyl tripeptide, palmitoyl hexapeptide, biosol, retinyl palmitate, alpha lipoic acid, fragrance.

I tried Bel Mondo’s Anti-ageing mask and also gave one to my mum to see what she thought (I’m pretty sure she will be using the remaining two from the 4 pack lol). My mum said her skin felt very smooth, plump and hydrated. She works outside a lot and unfortunately I don’t think she always wears sunscreen. The elements make her skin very dry and so if she says that her skin feels and looks hydrated (for longer than just an hour or two) than you are onto an excellent hydrating product! I’m hoping that with more uses of this mask, she notices a long-term difference in her skin. I of course love this mask also, even though the effects may not be as noticeable on my skin.

*Note* As this face mask contains vitamin A, I wouldn’t apply a chemical exfoliant to the skin afterwards (AHAs and BHAs do not mix with retinol or any kind of vitamin A). As this mask contains actives, apply a regular moisturiser over the top or a rich night cream. I would also advise to use this mask in the evenings as vitamin A can make your skin more sensitive to the suns rays.

A box of four Anti-ageing Masks also costs $45 US from Bel Mondo’s official web shop.

P1020915

You can also by the masks individually for $12 each (the box of four masks will save you $3). At the moment, Bel Mondo doesn’t offer international shipping from their web shop :( BUT they are working on sourcing an Australian supplier for their goodies and I have a *feeling* that this will happen very soon! As soon as it does I will let you beauty bees know :) Bel Mondo is a smaller brand which has a really enthusiastic and innovative team behind it. It’s obvious that they care about the products that they make and the quality of these masks is superb. I really hope you all get to try them soon!

Are you a fan of sheet masks beauties? Which one would be your pick out of the three Bel Mondo offerings? Let me know what masks you rate highly, as I am currently obsessed with face masks!

Until next time,

Beauty Bee~

My Hair Care Strategy 2.0

2015 will be the year that I achieve long, luscious locks! Haha On a more realistic note, it would be great to grow my hair past my shoulders, while keeping it looking great, healthy and strong. For fine hair (yet alone blonde hair along with it), this is really, really difficult.  I remember reading an interview where Naomi Watts also stated she experienced this problem (as in, growing her hair past her shoulders and hence usually settles for a bob slash lob) and I automatically felt like the two of us became instant bosom buddies (she understands me!).

golden-globes-2015-red-carpet-naomi-watts

Naomi Watts at this years Golden Globes. Didn’t she look fabulous? And her hair is beautifully styled!

Fine hair weakens due to everyday stressors (like environmental factors), diet, heat styling and chemical colouring, and hence becomes prone to snapping and split ends, so regular hair cuts are a must. However, did you know that hair elasticity, strength and vibrancy decreases with age? We often talk about ageing skin but ageing hair? Not so much. Even if you don’t have fine hair, you may notice that with age your hair falls out more easily and may grow more slowly.

284078688964727913bhfxjC2Ec

My dream hair! *Le sigh*

One of the most crucial improvements you can make is making sure you are getting enough fatty acids, minerals and ‘hair specific’ vitamins in your diet. Fatty acids make up about 3% of the hair shaft and are also found in the cell membranes in the skin of your scalp (a happy scalp means stronger hair!). Our body doesn’t make fatty acids by itself, so they have to be supplemented in our diet. If you don’t eat enough oily fish (a couple times a week) then taking fish oil capsules is a must. I love my salmon sashimi, but I can’t say that I eat it weekly (let alone a few times a week) so I’ve always taken fish oil capsules (more so ‘when I remember’) and flaxseed oil capsules. Fish oil is full of omega 3 (anti-inflammatory and great for your skin as well) while flaxseed is full of omega 3, 6 and 9. You can ingest as much omega 3 and 6 as you want to, as it doesn’t build up in our bodies over time (doing harm), but you should however, be more careful with omega 9 as this fatty acid can build up in your body. So the plan for 2015? Taking 2 x fish oil and 2 x flaxseed capsules daily. 

P1030124

If your hair has been falling out more than normal over the last couple of weeks, it may be beneficial to ask your doctor to test your vitamin D3 and iron levels. If we are low in vitamin D3 and iron, hair can become weaker at the hair follicle level, easily falling out. Zinc on the other hand, regulates cell renewal and supports healthy skin tissue. Dull, matte hair can be a sign that one is low in zinc. Zinc and magnesium are also needed for the production of hair pigments, so diet could help with keeping those greys away in some part! Seeing as my diet can be really all over the place (I know, I know) hair supplements can go a long way when it comes to strengthening your hair. The catch is, that you may not notice a difference in your hair strength and growth cycles until 3-6 months in after starting your supplements. Taking hair supplements has to be a long term project, so don’t expect transformed locks after 2 months. My pick when it comes to hair supplements is the Blackmores’ Nails, Hair and Skin supplement. I always look out for ingredients like zinc, iron, vitamin c (which helps the iron be absorbed), biotin and silica (minerals). I stopped taking the Blackmores Nails, Hair and Skin supplement a few months back and started taking a French brand of supplements, but the ingredient list was quite similar and it just became a hassle trying to source them.

P1030125

I can usually find the Blackmores supplements on sale either at Woolworths, Priceline or chemists. You need to take two of these a day and I usually take them after eating my lunch.  Here is what they contain specifically if you want to compare these hair supplements with others.

Silicon dioxide (Silica) 25 mg
Equisetum arvense (Horsetail) extract equiv. to dry stem 466 mg
Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) 30 mg
Folic acid 150 µg
Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) from calcium
pantothenate 21.8 mg, 20 mg
Iron (as ferrous fumarate 9.5mg) 3 mg
Zinc (as zinc amino acid chelate 37.5mg) 7.5 mg
Manganese (as manganese amino acid chelate 10mg) 1 mg
Biotin 1.3 mg
Betacarotene 1 mg

As we get older, the circulation in our scalp slows down, which not only means slowed hair growth, but hair can be weaker, dullers and brittle because it isn’t getting all the nutrients it needs to be strong. The other tactic I plan to employ is using products which strengthen the hair from the outside in. There’s nothing worse than using a shampoo which leaves your hair feeling tangled and dry like hay (I’m looking at you Moroccan Oil Volume shampoo!). Even brushing dry hair can make it snap and break, so it’s all about being super gentle with your hair. What ingredients should you look out for when looking for gentle shampoos and conditioners? Moisturising ingredients like glycerin, panthenol, ceramides, keratin, amino acids, zinc, fatty acids (yep – even in your shampoo and conditioner!) and oils like argan and coconut oil. Don’t forget to use UV filters when out in the sun for extended periods of time.

My products of choice at the moment?

P1030102

My everyday shampoo and conditioner are from Theorie. Their Argan Oil shampoo and conditioners are excellent! The first time I used the shampoo, I thought it was conditioner – that’s how rich and moisturising it is! They are designed for severely damaged and ‘unresponsive’ hair – but neither shampoo or conditioner weighs down my hair despite the rich ingredients (that’s a worry of mine, as my hair is so fine – and flatness is the enemy!). Argan oil is of course the main ingrendient in this duo (and it’s listed as ingredients number two only after water in the conditioner, so you know the conditioner is packed full of argan oil!) which is perfect as argan oil is full of fatty acids (omega 6 and 9 specifically), antioxidants (providing some protection from UVA and UVB rays) and vitamin E. Both products also contain silk proteins and grapeseed oil. They are formulated without parabens, sulfates, and phosphate which is good news. I love that they come in bottles fitted with pumps and they both contain 400ml of product. For the amount of product you receive, I think the price of $24.95 is very reasonable. I bought my shampoo and conditioner from RY. 

I recently bought a set of Kevin Murphy products (also shampoo and conditioner) which I plan to use interchangeable with the Theorie Argan shampoo and conditioner. They are from the Young Again range of products, designed for ‘mature hair’, but also for brittle hair. What drew me to them is that they contain 20 different amino acids PLUS lotus and orchid extract, bamboo extract (anti-irritant), kakadu plum (vitamin C and elastin) baobab oil (which contains vitamins A, D, and E) and mango seed butter (in the conditioner).

P1030115

I bought my Kevin Murphy products from Adore Beauty. They are more expensive and more of a splurge, with the shampoo costing $37 and the conditioner $38. I was lucky enough to buy them in a gift pack which always makes them a tad cheaper. Luckily Adore Beauty also don’t charge for shipping!

Treatment products like hair masks are just as important as picking a good shampoo and conditioner as the ingredients are more concentrated. If you colour your hair, they are even more important as the ingredients are usually chosen on their ability to help repair the hair structure – not just protect it. If you have the chance, also ask for an in salon hair treatment after a colour as any colouring will weaken the hair structure. The salon I visit doesn’t offer to many treatments, but they have one particular heated protein treatment which works like a bomb! It’s worth the extra pennies me thinks. For at home treatments, I’m loving these ‘three’ at the moment!

P1030108

Theorie Argan Oil Ultimate Repair Hair Mask is just as good as their shampoo and conditioner. Argan oil is the star ingredient of course and it works brilliantly at smoothing the hair and making it shiny. Grapeseed oil and shea butter also help ;) This hair mask smells sooo good. I’m not sure what the scent is, but it’s delicious! The mask contains these little beads, which I think may be the argan oil (or the shea butter) but I’m not 100% sure. They melt into your hair without a problem. This mask only needs to be left on your hair for 5-10 minutes. You get 300ml of product for $25, which again, is great value!

P1030110

P1030113

If you are often time poor, then the Evo The Great Hydrator Moisture Mask should be your jam! The glycerin and argan oil contained in this mask, only take about 5 minutes to work their magic. It leaves hair soooo soft and manageable, that really – you can’t go past it!

P1030111

P1030112

You receive 150ml of product for $30, which isn’t the cheapest. It is quick and easy however, and the tube would be perfect (and light) for travelling! Plus, everyone needs a good fro for the bus!

The next two hair masks are from Hello Hair. – their original Hydrating Mask and their summer version, Hydrating Mask Island Escape Edition. Both masks are very similar in how they work and how they leave your hair feeling. They both contain coconut and argan oil, olive oil (smoothing), olive leaf extract (antioxidant and anti-fungal) and castor oil (omega 9 fatty acid). Coconut oil can actually penetrate into the hair shaft unlike many other oils out there and I would say that it’s definitely the coconut oil which shines in these masks! The Hydrating Mask also contains sweet almond oil (which is abundant in protein and vitamin E) while the Island Escape edition leaves this oil out so that those with nut allergies have an alternative they can use. I actually reviewed the original Hydrating Mask, so if you would like more info check out that post here!

P1030126

The Island Edition also contains pomegranate see oil (great for boosting circulation on the scalp!) and grapeseed oil (light, yet moisturising and smoothing). It has a sweet scent, while the original mask doesn’t smell much (maybe lightly of coconut oil). These masks are more time consuming as you apply them before washing your hair (as a pre-treatment) and you should ideally leave them on to penetrate into the hair for about an hour. I do prefer these masks to straight coconut oil as they are lighter thanks to the carefully selected blend of oils. I do also apply a little conditioner to the ends of my hair after shampooing these masks out of my hair (twice) and if it works for my fine hair, then it should work for you also! These masks are a little heavier than the previous ones mentioned, but this isn’t a huge problem as they don’t leave your hair totally flat, especially if you shampoo them out and lightly blowdry your hair just to give the hair a little lift! The original Hydrating Mask is $15 for 100g while the Island Escape Edition is $18.

In my quest to achieve luscious locks – I will be trying to use as little heat styling as possible. As my hair is so fine, it usually air dries very quickly and once it is about 75% dry I quickly blast it with a hair dryer just to give it a little lift. I do like to curl my hair using hot rollers, but I don’t do that very often and I will try and steer clear of all heating tools as much as possible (velcro type rollers will be my jam for air drying my hair in the summer heat!). The two styling products I love (and don’t recquire heat) are the Kevin Murphy Shimmer Shine Spray and the Evo Salty Dog Salt Spray.

P1030118

I wasn’t sure the Salty Dog Salt Spray would work as it’s hold factor is rated as a 1 out of 5, BUT it does! It gives my hair a light wave, a *little bit* of grit and it smells amazing! I love to spray this into my hair (damp or dry), give it a good scrunch and then pin it up in a bun. When I un-do the bun, I’m left with gorgeous waves thanks to minimal effort ;) I’m not sure that this would work on thick hair, but Evo do a texturising spray (with added heat protection) called the Mister Fantastic Texture Spray which can be used like a sea salt spray. It has more hold factor (3 out of 5) and so should be more suitable for thicker hair. The Salty Dog Salt Spray costs $27 from Adore Beauty.

P1030120

Kevin Murphy’s Shimmer Shine spray looks amazing in the bottle! It contains little gold flecks, which of course, shimmer and shine! I picked this shine spray over others as it contains repairing oils within it’s formula – Immortelle, Baobab and Bamboo. It’s very light on the hair and yet imparts a healthy looking sheen (no chunky bits of shimmer to be seen – the effect it leaves on the hair is actually quite subtle). It’s very princess like if I say so myself :P It has an interesting scent – I would say it’s kind of spicy? Like cardamon or even pepper? I don’t mind it and it does fade away after a while. This shiny goodness costs $40 from Adore Beauty. 

P1020173

On days when I am at home and want to use a ‘leave in conditioner’ in my hair, I use this Potion Organic Argan Oil. What I love about argan oil is that it isn’t very heavy or greasy – I would even say that it is slightly dry to the touch.

That’s it beauties! It’s a rather large roundup of hair care products I suppose, but I did have to get serious if I wanna knock my locks into shape this year! I also probably should get a hair sunscreen type product as my current one is a little old and past it’s used by date. If you have any recommendations let me know (but don’t worry, I won’t be buying any until my $100 beauty challenge is over!). If you have any tried and tested recommendations for products which repair and protect the hair, do let me know! I will let you know how I am going with my hair care routine soon and update you with any new additions of products should they arise. I do also use a purple toning treatment on my blonde hair, but I want to write up a thorough review for you in a separate post.

That’s it from me beauties – don’t forget to check out my Facebook page here and join in on more beauty bee action!

Catch ya next time,

Beauty Bee~

Starting the $100 Beauty Challenge

That time of year has come again, where I will be limiting my beauty spending habits to $100 for four weeks. After a few *cough cough* weeks of overspending and excess, I really need to get into the habit of saving, appreciating what I already own and rediscovering forgotten goodies. Call it a spending detox if you will :P

url

I know that for some people, $100 is a lot in itself and I’m very lucky to be able to spend that amount on beauty goods & cosmetics, let alone more. Because I will need to buy some essentials and generally cosmetics and toiletries are more expensive in Australia, $100 should cover all the basics I might need over this time period. What kind of purchases will my $100 cover? Any kind of makeup, skincare, beauty tools (cotton balls, nail files etc), hair products and nail goodies!

large

I usually don’t mind spending a touch more on good quality skin care products because they are something I use everyday (or even twice a day) but luckily I shouldn’t run out of to many of my current skin care staples over the next four weeks (or else my $100 budget would be blown pretty darn quickly if I wanted to replace one of my ‘basic’ products). If I do need to purchase a product over the next four weeks (be it a skincare product or something else), I will try and make as many substitutions as I can so that I don’t fail the challenge (and I might discover some great new *thrifty* products!). I tend to over spend on makeup products which I then rarely use or forget about – and that is not good.

10353577_573806352721285_2172552608974446239_n

I will update you on what I have bought, my struggles and what substitutions I’ve made (if I need to do so). Feel free to do this challenge with me – the support would be amazing! I’m starting the challenge today, so for me the challenge will end on the 5th of February (eek!). My birthday falls on the 22nd of January, so whatever gifts I receive (if they are of the beauty kind) they will not count towards the challenge as I didn’t buy them :P

Would you consider doing this challenge? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Money Smart Beauty Bee~ ;)

Review: The Little Alchemist Cacao Banana Face Glow Revitalising Nutrient Mask

Since I am a sucker when it comes to skin care, when I see that a product has been painstakingly and lovingly made, I just have to try it! And if it works effectively in the way it was designed to – well, my heart just melts lol <3 The Little Alchemist is an Australian skincare brand, that makes artisan skin care products, body butters (which are being reformulated as we speak) and all natural perfumes. To start myself off, I decided to try their Face Glow Revitalising Nutrient Mask because it just sounded so delicious! When a product intrigues your senses, you know you are onto a goodie.

P1020963

The Little Alchemist makes products utilising ‘fresh’ and organic ingredients, in smaller batches, so that ingredient quality remains intact. For that reason, this face mask comes in a dry powdered form, so that you don’t need preservatives. It’s amazing that every single ingredient in this mask (and there is quite a few!) is not only identifiable, but not a ‘filler’, thickening agent, preservative etc,. because they just aren’t necessary for this type of product.

So what does this little pot of powder say it does? Here’s what the Little Alchemist tells us:

“Cacao & Banana Face Glow is an innovative dry mask with a special blend of super fruits & raw cacao that delivers powerful anti aging nourishment & antioxidant rich hydration to improve skin’s vitality, radiance & luminosity. It revitalises skin to reveal a smoother, softer glowing complexion. Zeolites & Clays deeply cleanse, exfoliate & remove toxins to create softer, smoother skin. Raw organic Cacao delivers essential antioxidants to provide the ultimate weekly dose of skin nutrition. Our special Super Fruit Blend provides vital nutrients & vitamins to keep skin healthy & radiant.”

And what’s it made up of?

Raw Cacao: High in antioxidants, vitamins & minerals. Nourishing & hydrating. Helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines.

Banana: Nourishing, softening & soothing. High in B vitamins & potassium.

Acai Berry: High in antioxidants. Free radical scavenger. Fights the signs of aging.

Green Papaya: non abrasive exfoliation, high in vitamins, smoothing & skin renewing.

Zeolite:  Powerful deep cleanser that draws toxins & impurities from the skin. High in minerals.

Turmeric Root: Skin brightner, cleanser. Soothes & helps to reduce inflamation.

P1020970

I didn’t quite realise it when ordering this mask (and yes I read the product description, but I must have been a little to excited – that happens to me a lot) but this mask is predominantly a clay mask (containing kaolin/ivory clay, yellow clay and zeolite, a volcanic mineral) infused with antioxidants and other ingredients which lightly exfoliate and fight inflammation. I guess I am used to seeing clay masks come in a tube or pot, where they are already mixed with water or other emollients.

The mask powder is super fine and mixing it into a paste isn’t to much trouble or difficult. I add one heaped teaspoon of the mask powder to a bowl and mix it with about 1 or 1 and half teaspoons of water (that’s all you need) to make a rather thick paste. The paste looks like dark cocoa butter and smells like it to! I was surprised that the banana scent wasn’t more prominent, but the cocoa definitely is which is great and would personally be my preference ;) I then apply the mask all over my face and leave it to dry. It dries in a similar fashion to other more ‘traditional’ clay masks, but the difference with this magical mask is that after rinsing it off, your skin isn’t left parched like it is with other clays. My skin felt so super soft, comfortable and clearer. Perhaps even plump? I can’t say all signs of fatigue were diminished (where’s my magic wand?!) but for me, this clay mask beats all others! I’m sure that with time and with more regular use the mask will refine my skin even more and a glow will appear* I need to literally write into my diary what nights I need to use a mask within my skin care routine or else I forget to use them (I said I was fatigued right?). Perhaps that will have to be a new year beauty resolution  – to schedule in face masks throughout the week so that they are used regularly! :) now that will mean a beautiful year!

P1020969

This little pot holds 60g of powder and comes in at $65.00. Because you only need to use a teaspoon per application, it will most definitely last you a good while. This is just a wild guess, but a teaspoon would amount to, say 5g of powder right? That’s roughly 12 applications which is pretty darn good! If you aren’t quite sure if you can spend so much or if the mask will work for you, you can purchase a tiny 15g mini cacao & banana glow mask for $16 (perfect for travel to!). You can find this mask on the Little Alchemist official website here. OH – I should also mention that products from the Little Alchemist are cruelty free and this mask is certified organic, and Australian made & owned :)

Full list of ingredients:

Kaolin (Ivory clay), Theobroma cacao (raw)*, Musaacuminate (Banana)*, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai)*, Lycium barbarum (Goji Berry 40% Polysaccharides), Morinda citrifolia ( Noni Fruit)*,Garcinia mangostana (Mangosteen )*, Lepidium Peruvianum Chacon(Maca Root )*, Emblica Officinalis (Amla )*, Arthrospira Platensis (Spirulina)*, Punica granatum (Pomegranate )*, Cordyceps Sinensis (Cordyceps Mushroom ), Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn ), Chlorella vulgaris (Chlorella – Thin Cell Wall), Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa Leaf)*, Carica Papaya (Green Papaya ), Withania Somnifera (Ashwagandha )*, Fucus Vesiculosus (Bladderwrack )*, Pink Clay, Yellow Clay, Zeolite, Cocos nucifera (coconut juice)*, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric Root)*

*Denotes certified organic

Do use use face masks regularly? Are you a fan of clay masks? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time beauties,

Beauty Bee~

December Favourites & New Year Update*

Hi beauties! I hope your new year was fabulous! I took a little time off over Christmas and New Years just to relax and regroup. I actually became sick over New Years and I’m only now starting to feel like myself again. While 2014 wasn’t terrible by any means, it was a little tough (everybody goes through necessary trials and tribulations I suppose!) so I’m a little anxious about 2015, but I’m *hoping* it turns out to be a touch easier than 2014. As long as we are kinder to ourselves (which can be super tough in itself!) and to others, I think we will do ok :)

kindness_250

All the commotion around Christmas and New Years has made me feel a little deflated and disillusioned by the beauty world  if I’m honest . Not only because I was sick, but I was a little sick of the advertisements, sales and bloggers blogging about shopping, christmas collections, gift guides etc. It’s so easy to get caught up in these perfectly portrayed ‘lifestyles’ in the bloger-sphere and youtube world, when really, it isn’t the ‘real’ world and it can become very materialistic and a facade. Makeup and beauty should be about discovering gems and finding the magic in makeup products and application techniques. Often this magic disappears when it’s all about new releases and limited edition products (which don’t end up being that great most of the time). It’s a never ending rat race and can become exhausting. Hopefully I can present product reviews, makeup and skincare techniques and news a little differently, to bring the magic back! I also will be starting the $100 beauty challenge sometime this week (don’t forget to like my Facebook page and Instagram account to stay in the loop!) so stay tuned if you would like to join in and go on a little spending ‘detox’ :)

Now back to the main discussion topic of this post – December’s beauty favourites! I was considering doing a post on my favourite products of 2014, but I figured there was way to many of those posts floating around and most of my favourites have already been mentioned in previous posts, so it would have been repetitive (my favourites don’t change around that often either, because you know, they’re my favourites lol). I decided to try and find some ‘new’ products within my collection which have been making more of a appearance lately, so here they are :)

P1030075

First up – face wipes. I tried these Wotnot facial wipes ages ago and loved them <3 The ‘cloth’ used in these facial wipes is sooo very very soft, that no other facial wipe beats it. There was a catch however, that prevented me from buying them on a regular bases – they had to be purchased online with an added shipping fee, making them twice as expensive compared to supermarket brands. Being the ‘savvy’ shopper that I am :P I stuck with Simple face wipes or the Olay variety. Now however, these babies are available at Priceline which is fantastic! It means you can pick them up easily in store for only $7.99 (25 wipes in a pack). I have the ‘original’ wipes which are suitable for normal and sensitive skin, but they are also do wipes for combination/oily skin.

P1030076

Wotnot wipes are 100% biodegradable and compostable, which is great news for the environment. They also contain organic rosehip and sweet almond oil, aloe vera, vitamin E and glycerin. I wouldn’t say that these babies remove all waterproof makeup well, but they are gentle and remove regular makeup and grime really well. These will be my staple facial wipes from now on (as long as they are available!) :)

Next up we have another easily accessible and cheap goodie from Woolworth’s own brand, ‘Woolworths Select’. These are clear hair elastics – not the most exciting product but if you have ever bought clear hair elastics before, you know that they are usually very thin and break/snap very easily (they also have a tendency to pull at your hair). These elastics are different because they are quite thick and don’t snap, so you can reuse them (less waste!). I believe you get 50 elastics in a pack for about $4.60 and you can find them at your local Woolworths supermarket – not bad!

P1030098

I wanted a summery highlighter and I happened to spot a Polish MUA on Youtube use this loose powder version from Laura Mercier, called Mineral Illuminating Powder in Candlelight. It gave the model such a subtle yet gorgeous rosey glow, so I decided to buy it online without checking it out in person first. I wasn’t disappointed either ;)

P1030093

Being a loose powder, you receive a lot of product (9.06g or 0.34 oz) so this pot will last me forever. It is very finely milled, without any obvious chunks of shimmer (especially once applied, the shimmer particles aren’t obvious or detectable at all). It’s a gorgeous rosey gold hue, which may be just a touch warm toned.

P1030094

P1030089

P1030091

If you have a fair skin tone (like myself) I would recommend using a fan brush to apply this highlighter so that you don’t over apply it. I couldn’t find the Laura Mercier Mineral Illuminating Powder on every website selling Laura Mercier products which surprised me, but you can find it at Adore Beauty for $60. The illuminating powder also comes in a shade called Starlight, described as a soft beige gold. I bet that shade would also be lovely…

Up next we have a makeup setting spray. I wasn’t sure about these types of products, but the Urban Decay version had lots of good reviews written about it so I gave it a whirl – and you know what, it actually works! lol While it’s from urban Decay, the spray is actually manufactured by Skindinavia who also do their own line of makeup setting sprays (and has a wider variety of them). I have the ‘original’ All Nighter Long-Lasting version of this setting spray, which keeps your makeup looking fresh, dewey and on your skin all day. Urban Decay also does a version for oily skins (I believe it’s called De-Slick Oil Control Setting Spray), which is meant to help keep your skin matte and keep your makeup from sliding around on your face.

P1030085

I have a small 30ml bottle of this spray, which is perfect for travelling (and for testing out). As Urban Decay products are difficult to obtain here in Australia, once I run out of this little guy, I think I will purchase an original Skindinavia setting spray from Adore Beauty (they also do mini-sizes).

P1030088

I really want to get my hair ‘into shape’ this year and grow it longer. To do that, my hair is going to need to be super healthy (if you have fine hair, you know how difficult growing your hair out can be!). I plan to do a thorough hair care post soon, but for now I wanted to introduce you beauties to Evo’s sea salt spray, Salty Dog Cocktail Beach Spray. I thought this guy wouldn’t have to much holding power and yet it does a mighty fine job at adding some waves into my hair without weighing it down. It also doesn’t add to much texture or crunch (to much ‘crunch’ makes my hair feel oh so dry) and works just as well on dry hair as it does on wet hair. It also smells delicious, perfect for summer! For $26.95, this guy is a summer staple for me (more details to come as mentioned).

P1030099

Toners – a controversial bunch they are! I think toners are great, especially before applying serums/oils/moisturisers to your skin (check out my Toners 101 guide here if you don’t believe me!) as they help provide a touch more moisture to your skin and help other products apply more easily and sink in more effectively. One of my favourite toners is Futurederm’s own 7 Wonders Antioxidant Rich Toner, which feels super refreshing on the skin and smells delightful.

P1030087

I’m a fan of all tea products, especially this one which uses a variety of teas (green, white and red) and grape seed extract to help deliver an antioxidant punch for your skin. I do wish this came with a spray applicator so that I wouldn’t have to use cotton pads and could instead spray it directly onto my skin (you could pour a little of the product into the palm of your hand and then slap it on, but that could potentially become a little messy and hurt lol) but that’s ok, because I still love it! You can find this toner in the Futurederm shop for $29.00.

P1030077

I’ve had this Benefit Bathina Take a Picture It Lasts Longer Body Balm for years. Not because I don’t like it, but because it’s my ‘special occasion’ body highlighter and it just seems to last forever. It’s a gorgeously packaged pink-gold cream, with quite a bit of slip to it. It doesn’t contain any glitter, but rather highlights the skin subtly, with a sophisticated gleam. It also smells like Benefit’s Bathina fragrance (all of Benefit’s body products contain the same signiture scent) which I swear smells like Gwen Stefani’s original Lamb perfume (which I was a huge fan of back in the day!), sweet yet a touch woody/oriental? It’s so cute and a little bit retro without being gimmicky (as some Benefit products can tend to be).

P1030078

I’m trying to use this body balm more often this summer, just to perk up regular summer days. I wanted to photograph a swatch for you, but it was to subtle to show up on camera. It is also a gorgeous body balm for colder winter months, as it isn’t over the top. This body balm would also make a gorgeous gift! At $55 it’s a touch expensive but very economical.

P1030084

Walter the super cute and festive wombat.

That wraps up my short but sweet December beauty favourites beauty bees! Let me know if there are any posts you would like to see on Beauty Bee Adventures in the coming months and I will do my best to make it happen :)

How are you going in the new years? Feel re-energized or perhaps run down? We got this, so let’s keep our chins up!

Catch ya next time,

Beauty Bee~

Makeup Look: Tropical Summer Days

Preview_Vintage_Beach-620x390

Now this is a summer makeup look which is out of my comfort zone, but I really wanted to do something different on a hot summers day. And I’m pretty chuffed with how it turned out :) I used three tones of purple (mattes) on my eyelid. Using the lightest shade on the inner corner of my eye, the purple shades progressively deepen towards the outer corner of the eye lid. As you can see, the bottom eyelid pops using some yellow and orange eyeshadow (also matte textures – the colours pop enough without having to use shimmer/glitter). Perhaps Brazil is calling my name??? :)

P1030024

P1030041

I used the three purple matte eyeshadows from the Sigma Creme De Couture palette – Violet Whip, Lavender Honey & Cassis. Even if you don’t have this palette, other purple matte shades will work just as well!

P1030045

The yellow and orange eyeshadows come from the Sleek i-Divine Ultra Matts V1 palette (shown below). The Sigma palette contains a yellow and orange eyeshadow, but they are to pastel for this look (pastel shades would just make me look washed out and I wanted that colour to pop). The Sleek palette also contains a bright vivid purple, so you could utilise that shade for this look to (as the ‘darkest’ purple shade).

P1030047

The rest of the makeup is very natural and only slightly bronzed. I didn’t want to make the makeup look theatrical by overdoing the bronzer. Of course you can adjust the level of bronze/tan accordingly to your skin tone and preference! I used my Anastasia Beverly Hills contouring powders and Becca Beach Tint in Fig on my cheeks. I used a little natural looking lip liner on the lips but softened the look using good ‘ol lip balm. A rosey lip balm may also work well here! Ground the eye makeup look by applying lashing of black mascara. I also tight lined my upper lash line using some black gel eyeliner. I asked my boyfriend what he thought of my tropical eye makeup and he said I looked like a toucan LOL apparently it was a compliment… Oh boys boys…

What do you think of this colour combination? Ever go for a colourful eye makeup look? I hope you have been having a fab holiday break beauties, I have been enjoying my break immensely :) I haven’t gone away for the holiday break, but sometimes it is nice to just be at home and enjoy the free time! I am most definitely a home body :)

tumblr_static_c0g9ilqfm0ows8ggw84wks8o0

Catch ya next time beauties!

Beauty Bee~

Review: Kosmea Moisturising Lotion SPF 30, Radiance 24/7 Youth Boost & Rose Hand Cream

I was lucky enough to get my hands on some Kosmea goodies recently and have been testing them out thoroughly these last few weeks :) All of Kosmea’s products harness the benefits of organic rosehip oil. Rosehip oil is full of omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids. Kosmea’s rosehip oil is made up of 80% fatty acids, which means that you can count on the quality of the oil. Fatty acids hydrate the skin and help support collagen and elastin. What else does it contain? Trans-retinoic acid, which is a form of vitamin A. As you know, vitamin A is one of my favourite ingredients because of it’s ability to repair sun damage and oxidative deterioration of the skin. Rosehip oil also contains beta-carotene and lycopene (antioxidants) which also help protect the skin against further UV damage. Perfect! The only issue you may have with using rosehip oil is that it can be a little unstable, so products should be kept out of the sun and must be used within 6 months of opening.

P1020938

I was super excited to try Kosmea’s Moisturising Lotion SPF 30, as they have recently reformulated their sunscreen. The packaging states that the sunscreen contains a ‘fresh new scent’. I was expecting a scent of cucumber or green tea (as they are in the ingredient list) but I have to say that the sunscreen just smells like rosehip oil to me (what does rosehip oil smell like if you have never smelt it before? Potpourri, to me it’s 100% potpourri lol). Now while this may not be the ‘freshest’ scent out there – it is natural as Kosmea doesn’t use artificial fragrances in their products. This is a big plus should you have sensitive skin.

P1020936

P1020875

P1020880

I was also expecting this sunscreen to be a tad heavy perhaps, as it is meant to work as a moisturiser also. It’s however surprisingly light weight and I would say that it’s finish is matte (big surprise there!). The cream does have a tint to it and I also suspect that this is from the rosehip oil (even though rosehip oil isn’t to high in the ingredient list). This isn’t a problem for me, as once the cream is applied to your face, there is no visible tint left on the skin *except* if you don’t blend the cream out well enough around the edges of your face (and around your eyebrows). I have a feeling that this is also because the sunscreen is a physical sunscreen – containing zinc oxide as it’s main sun blocker (and hence, will sit on top of your skin).

P1020876

Physical sunscreens are perfect for sensitive skins and zinc oxide is often used in soothing products (including baby products – even nappy rash cream!). If you’d like to read about the benefits and differences between physical and chemical sunscreens check out two of my Sunscreen 101 posts here and here. I think is great when sunscreens contain some antioxidants to counteract the oxidative stress your skin may experience when being out in the sun, and Kosmea have added green tea, rosehip seed oil and rosehip fruit extract into their sunscreen. The sunscreen also contains aloe vera and cucumber which are soothing. Caprylic triglyceride (a fatty acid derived from coconut oil) is very high in the ingredient list but as I mentioned, the sunscreen isn’t heavy at all, and doesn’t leave a film on your skin. I actually don’t think this moisturiser slash sunscreen would provide enough moisture for dry or even normal/combination skin, so I would definitely recommend wearing it over your daily moisturiser. This is also a great product to try should you be hesitant about trying pure rosehip oil on your skin if you suffer breakouts or acne. It’s a great sunscreen if you are looking for a physical sunscreen and if you have sensitive or oily skin. You can buy this baby online from Kosmea for $44.95 and the tube holds 50ml of product.

Ingredients: Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 200mg/g – Purified Water (Aqua), Isoamyl Laurate, Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride, Sorbitan Stearate, Sucrose Cocoate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Caprylyl Glycol, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Phenethyl Alcohol, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Seed Oil, Xanthan Gum, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Seed Extract, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, CI 77492, CI 77491, CI 77499.

Another product I was very eager to try was Kosmea’s Radiance 24/7 Youth Boost serum. This serum contains a number of oils, but Rosehip seed oil is the star ingredient of course! It’s meant to be very rich and hydrating.

P1020866

P1020867

P1020873

Here is what Kosmea says we can expect from the oil serum:

“This unique blend of antioxidant rich berry oils combine to give your skin a powerful hydrating boost, leaving skin looking radiant and youthful. Certified organic rose hip, sea buckthorn, and pomegranate oils rich in antioxidants to help protect against the visible signs of skin ageing.

  • Illuminates skin
  • Soothes fine lines and wrinkles
  • Protects against the visible signs of ageing”

I have to admit I was a little hesitant in trying this oil (just a touch though, as I was very curious). I did try a pure rosehip oil back in the day when I was fighting acne and it did make me breakout more. I think this is because like coconut oil, it can be a little heavy on the skin (and becomes solely an occlusive moisturiser if you apply to much). I think the blend of oils works better for me. What other oils does it include? Apricot kernal oil, camellia seed oil, seabuckthorn oil, pomegranate oil, rosewood oil, raspberry oil, rose geranium flower oil and rosemary oil.

It is still a touch to heavy for me (to use in the morning) but it’s not as shiny as coconut oil can be. It is very hydrating, so it would be a dream for dry or mature skin. I have found a way to include it into my skin routine however. How? by adding it to my foundation. I add two drops of this rosehip oil blend and a little liquid illuminator. The effect? Dewey, youthful, hydrated skin! It doesn’t leave my face excessively shiny or greasy this way. The other way to incorporate this rosehip oil into your routine if like me, you are a little worried about it being to heavy, is to add it into your daily or nightly moisturiser. It will boost the moisturising properties of your cream and add an antioxidant kick! Otherwise, using it like a serum (as Kosmea recommends) will give you the full effect of this little gem.

P1020589

My favourite base products of the moment? YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat foundation, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone and Kosmea’s Radiance 24/7 Youth Boost. Below you can see the three products on the back of my hand, and further below, the three products blended together on the back of my hand. You can see the gorgeous yet natural looking sheen left on my skin. I’m in love with the effect it gives! I was previously using Dior’s Hydra Life serum for this purpose, but as it’s almost gel like in texture, it wasn’t giving me the dewey finish I wanted.

P1020950

 

P1020954

The oil has the same scent as the moisturising lotion – so it smells like a rose potpourri. It does have that orangey tint to it, but when mixed in with other products, I don’t notice the tint transferring onto my skin. The bottle I have is 20ml and retails for $39.95 on Kosmea’s website. You can also buy a 10ml sized bottle for $21.95 if you are unsure if this oil would work for you but you still want to give it a go! The oil comes with a dropper dispenser and just be sure to close the cap tightly when you are done using the oil.

Ingredients: Rosa Eglanteria (Rose Hip) Seed Oil*, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil*, Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil*, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn) Berries Extract*, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Extract*, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Extract*, Pelargoniun Graveolens (Rose Geranium) Flower Oil,
Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, 
Linalool, Benzyl Benzoate, Citronellol, Geraniol, Farnesol, Eugenol, D-Limonene, Citral. *Certified Organic.

And last but not least we have the Kosmea Rose Hand Cream. I’m always on a look out for a great hand cream as I hate the feeling of dry skin on my hands. The Kosmea Rose Hand Cream includes in it’s formula nourishing oils like rosehip seed oil, jojoba, soyabean oil and olive oil. Other ingredients include, white tea extract (a great antioxidant), shea butter, carrot extract, aloe vera and rose flower water.

P1020956

P1020881

Again, I was expecting this hand cream to be very hydrating and possibly heavy because of the ingredient list. And it’s actually very ‘light’ texture wise. If you hate the feeling of sticky hand creams or even just the feeling of moisture residue on your hands – this cream is for you! It sinks in so very quickly and only leaves the scent of rose behind (rose potpourri if you will ;) ). It is quite a strong scent, so if you don’t like rose to much, it may bother you. It is a little to light in hydration for my for my liking, but my mum loves it!

P1020879

P1020878

P1020882

The Kosmea Rose Hand Cream sells for $19.95 on Kosmea’s website and you receive 50ml of product.

Have you tried rosehip oil or any Kosmea products before? Let me know in the comments below and join me and other beauty bees on Facebook if you haven’t already :) I should also mention that Kosmea is an Australian brand and I love supporting home grown and local businesses :)

Until next time,

Beauty Bee~

Back to Basics: Summer Skin Tips 101

As the summer sunshine heats up – sometimes we need to remember the basics (especially when the holiday season makes us all a tad cray-cray!). Today I have 3 basic but essential summer skin tips prepared for you by NeoStrata’s skin expert Karen Varker. NeoStrata is a brand I used to use regularly during high school when I was fighting against acne. My dermatologist recommended the brand and as it was no fuss and contained actives. One of my favourite products back in the day was the Ultra Smoothing Lotion (containing 8% glycolic acid). I stopped using the brand once my skin improved, however I have just recently discovered the brand all over again and was pleasantly surprised to see that they have grown their skincare line substantially! Check out Karen’s recommendations to get you started should the brand sound perfect for your needs and to keep your skin happy this summer :)

tumblr_morbdedjx21qa9o05o1_500

  • SPF – Using a moisturiser with SPF is essential all year round, however it is most important in the summer months when the sun is at its strongest. A product like the NeoStrata Daytime Protection Cream with SPF 15 ($49.95) is fantastic for everyday use, as it gives 94% coverage and its patented poly hydroxy acids work to hydrate and repair the skin whilst protecting it from further sun damage. Don’t let the sun steal your beauty!

364924_normal

  • Stay Hydrated – Dry, dehydrated skin is more prone to lines and wrinkles. Keeping skin hydrated means the cells are naturally more plump giving the skin a full and glowing appearance. Cleansers and moisturisers that act as humectants bind water to the skin cells keeping it naturally hydrated all the time. Other ways to keep skin hydrated are with a hyaluronic serum in your regime. Recommendations: NeoStrata Restore Facial Cleanser ($35.95) , NeoStrata Restore Ultra Moisturising Face Cream ($49.95) and Skin Inc Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($131)

725463_normal

844861_normal

Hyaluronic Acid Serum HR

  • Be Prepared to Repair –  Sun burns and blisters are unfortunately part of the Australian summer. It’s always best to prevent sun damage by applying and reapplying sunscreen, however in the occasion that sunburn happens it’s always useful to have an effective treatment on hand. The  Licorice Serum ($131) from Skin Inc has soothing properties that are packed with anti-oxidants to rehydrate and bring the skin back to its optimum health.

Licorice Serum HR

NeoStrata products are available at Priceline and from chemists nationally. Skin Inc products are available from their official website (how amazing do they look?!). I’m hoping that I will get the chance to review a few of these products soon, so hang tight beauties! Thank you Karen Varker for your great tips and product suggestions :) Check out NeoStrata’s Facebook page for more tips and product information, as well as Skin Inc’s.

What are your summer must haves and skin tips? I would just like to add, that awesome sunnies are also a must have! :P

sea-sunglasses-beach-summer-Favim.com-802720

Until next time beauties!

Beauty Bee~

The Beauty of Sea Salts

Sea salts are something special. Unbleached and unrefined sea salts contain a multitude of nutrients (vitamins and minerals) which our skin can actually absorb within a warm ‘salt bath’. Who knew that within a warm bath, our skin cells and pores expanded, allowing nutrients from the water to become absorbed. Our circulation also speeds up, which in turn means that the nutrients enter our body more quickly and actually speeds up our metabolism! After a salt bath, we can expect our skin to be more firm, hydrated and smooth. Seeing as the skin on our body can be exposed to just as much stress and aggressors as our faces, it’s worth investing a little time into treating our bods :)

tumblr_ljazf3sPzR1qazhcmo1_500_large

So what’s actually in these sea sats that make it so great and beneficial for our skin and health? Firstly – magnesium. 70% of adults are low in magnesium. This is because magnesium helps your body function in numerous ways and is quickly depleted in times of stress. Magnesium is needed in the formation of bone, proteins and fatty acid formation. It is essential in activating B vitamins (for energy), calcium and vitamin D (to also help strengthen existing bone). Magnesium contained in bath salts also deeply hydrates the skin, as it pulls moisture along with it into the deeper layers of your skin while helping to hold it there. Water is stored in-between cells in ‘canal’ like structures called aquaporin, delivering water to cell membranes. Magnesium helps unblock these canals so that water flows more easily to cells and hence your skin becomes smoother, wrinkles ‘fill out’ and skin is more hydrated and firmer to the touch. Magnesium works best when it’s paired with potassium, sodium and calcium, so check to see if your sea salts also contains these minerals. When magnesium is paired with these other minerals, it helps to speed up skin regeneration as new cells are then formed more easily (so it’s also anti-ageing!).

How to get the most out of your salt bath? Prepare your salt bath in the evening as a salt bath is warming and relaxing. The best results come from highly mineralised salt baths, so you need about 100 grams of salt for every 10 litres of water. So don’t be cheap with using that salt! The water should be heated to about 36-38 celsius and you should soak in the salt bath for about 20 minutes. After your salt bath, don’t wash your hot body with soap or shower gel, just give your bod a quick rinse with some lukewarm water. After drying off, it is a good idea to just a body moisturiser as you don’t want any left over moisturise on your skin to evaporate. It’s also good to drink some water (would you like a slice of lemon with that? ;) ) after your bath – you will notice that you are thoroughly heated and warm, so you don’t want to become dehydrated. Tip*: you can use your bath salts in foot baths and to soften your hands before a DIY manicure :) it’s best to not use a salt bath after hair removal as your skin may become irritated. If you have sensitive skin, use original, unscented and uncoloured bath salts.

One of the most highly mineralised sea waters out there is Dead Sea water, and Ahava (an Israeli brand) harness these minerals in their products. I looove their Dead Sea Salts. You can buy them in ‘original’ (so with no added scents/fragrances) or with added lavender oil (calming), eucalyptus oil (soothing and rejuvenating) or juniper oil (comforting). These salts contain all the above mentioned minerals and you can buy them in tubs containing 907 grams of product (so you will get multiple ‘treatments’ out of one tub!). The salts are ‘created’ using a natural evaporation process – so the dead sea water is ‘dried out’ or dehydrated in the desert sun, leaving behind these naturally forming salt crystals. That’s about as organic and natural as you can get! The cheapest place to buy them is from Fresh Fragrances & Cosmetics (from what I can tell) as they also don’t charge you with shipping :)  <3

P1020800

P1020861

P1020863

Salt bath are excellent if you have cellulite or if consume a lot of salt in your diet (ummm… this may be me – so put down those chips Beauty Bee!). Salt baths speed up your circulation (and so oxygen is delivered to cells more efficiently), metabolism and drainage, so fat cells are more easily burned off. Your skin is able to clear itself from toxins, regenerate and reduce swelling. Did someone say detox? Himalayan salt is excellent for this as it strengthens the skin whilst performing all of these functions. Babe scrub do a Himalayan Pink Salt Body Scrub, which can be also used as a bath salt. I reviewed this scrub a little while ago – so check out that review here if you are interested :) Other salts from warmer seas are also beneficial (e.g. like from the Mediterranean) especially when the salts are concentrated in various body products. I also found and really enjoy using the Soak Society’s Original Wellness Soak. They have combined unrefined celtic sea salt with epsom salt, bentonite clay and essential oils to help your skin and body to detox. I can smell the peppermint essential oil through the packaging, which I love as I am a fan of peppermint! One pack contains 250 grams of salt and I find this lasts me for about two salt baths.

P1020758

P1020762

I bought my Wellness Soak from Candour Store (an online shop specialising in natural goodies) but you can also buy the soak from Soak Society direct (and they offer free shipping).

Bath salts are used to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis and dermatitis. This is why many people in Europe who suffer from various skin conditions go on holidays to the Dead Sea or the Red Sea as the water there is highly mineralised. They come back with soothed and smooth skin! Funnily enough, doctors don’t actually know why this is, but they are constantly researching this area of dermatology. It’s not a good idea to soak your face in a salt bath as the skin on your face is to delicate .You can of course, use face products which have been formulated using the minerals found in bath salts. Ahava has formulated face care products and other body care products utilising water and salts from the Dead Sea. I’m itching to try their Dead Sea Plants Caressing Body Sorbet, Liquid Salt Treatment and Firming Body Cream :) Check out their products on Fresh :)

Have I convinced you that you can benefit from salt baths? :) I hope so, because I know I do! They are perfect both pre holiday season (to help get us in shape and look fabulous!) and for afterwards, when we are feeling sluggish and tired. It’s a great way to bring the sea to you, even if you live far away from the seaside or if you are missing summer. Let me know if you are a fan of salt baths down in the comments below or if any of the products I have mentioned above, have taken your fancy ;)

tumblr_mk3wv33eYB1qfyhg5o1_500

Until next time beauties!

Beauty Bee~

Warning*: If you have high blood pressure, heart problems or are pregnant, consult your doctor before using bath salts.