Review: Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant, Vanilla Lavender

Happy Monday beauty bees!

6c5905a2c94cf30fcfe6e1c56b304c53

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.

P1010879

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.

P1010880

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.

P1010878

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 :)

P1010884

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!

tumblr_static_flowers_oh_darling_text_darling_love_quote-06fd2c34e839ad5554b1c295972abcf6_h_large

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

P1010849

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!

P1010807

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.

P1010811

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.

P1010813

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.

P1010814

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.

P1010816

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!).

P1010817

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!

P1010820

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 :)

P1010850

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.

P1010854

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!

P1010829

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!

P1010826

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.

P1010827

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 :)

P1010685

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.

P1010683

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.

P1010686

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.

P1010721

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!

P1010757

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!

KW03b

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).

P1010659

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.

P1010654

P1010656

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.”

P1010697

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.

P1010700

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!

tumblr_ma16ijPisB1qgg6zbo1_500

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!

tumblr_mnqtxiOV641qcs8vmo1_500

P1010620

P1010613

P1010622

P1010627

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

liptropolis

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!

screen-shot-2013-10-27-at-8-27-38-am

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!

P1010443

P1010448

P1010586

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!

P1010450

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

P1010456

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!

P1010541

 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!

P1010567

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?

P1010580

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.

0

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!

Good day sunshine

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!).

P1010493

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+

P1010497

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

P1010498

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~

Nails of the Day: Trouville & Loop the Loop

Hi beauties! Today I have the quintessential spring time nail look to show you :)

I have only one Nars nail polish in my collection and it’s a creamy light pink (not quite pastel, a touch darker) called Trouville, which is a quaint little French coastal town (Google told me that lol). The pink can be a little sheer, so two coats is a must. On some nails where I had been a little messy (painting your nails in a rush never ends well lol) I painted on three coats in order to even out any ‘mistakes’. Luckily the nail polish formula is quite thin so you won’t end up with a gluggy mess.

The yellow nail polish called Loop the Loop is from Ciate, and it is the most gorgeous vibrant pastel yellow (or is that an oxymoron?). It isn’t streaky at all and also isn’t to thick or to runny. I reviewed Loop the Loop a little while ago as I received it in a set together with some nail caviars (check out that review here). Together, the pink and yellow make the perfect combination – perfect for sunny spring days!

P1010474

P1010477

Both nail polishes are high quality and last about a week on the nail (but they must be paired with a good base and top coat!). Nars Trouville isn’t a colour I would usually go for, but this salmon-y pink is quite lovely and I like it so much more than I thought I would (I think I originally bought it because it was on sale so I figured it would be a good way to try Nars nail polish!). I looove Ciate nail polishes – they call them ‘paint pots’ which is cute! All the Ciate colours I have tried so far have been outstanding (I’ve also tried a pastel blue called ferris wheel which I still need to review and a bright mid-toned blue called skinny jeans). Neither nail polish is cheap but they are very lovely to use. You can find Ciate paint pots at Kit Cosmetics and Mecca Cosmetica for $18.00. I bought my Nars nail polish from Kiss and Makeup NY however, because they release nail colours seasonly, they can be a little hard to get a hold of once a given season has passed. I always expect a decent nail polish to last a week on my nails and these do the job well :)

Have you tried any Nars or Ciate nail polishes? What is your go to spring colour? Let me know in the comments below! :)

Catch ya next time beauties,

Beauty Bee~

Coconut Magic: Lonvitalite C4 Coconut Milk Mask

Happy Monday beauties! <3

large

I recently found another great coconut oil based product thanks to Angie from the Maquillage <3 She was raving about these coconut sheet masks made by a company from Queensland (Lonvitalite) and I couldn’t resist trying them out for myself as they sounded delicious amongst other things lol

P1010380

When it comes to sheet masks I’m a bit ‘meh’ about them. I’ve tried a few Korean sheet masks before and the results were quite ‘modest’ (hydrating but not amazingly so). Angie mentioned that this coconut milk mask leaves your skin incredibly soft and smooth thanks to the inclusion of coconut milk and oil in the masks ingredients. Coconut oil is one of the few oils which is absorbed by the skin easily (oils like almond, avocado, castor and olive, are occlusive moisturisers which only trap existing moisture into the skin – so if your skin is dehydrated, they won’t do you to much good) as it acts as an emollient which increases the amount of water your skin can hold, while binding water and oil in the skin (argan oil also does this). The only trick to this is that you can’t go nuts with the oil as somehow if you apply it to liberally and thickly, the oil will bind to itself and become occlusive. This particular sheet mask is perfect because the coconut oil and milk is suspended in a light serum.

Here is what Lonvitalite claim the mask does:

“Lonvitalites C4 Coconut Milk Mask penetrates into the deep layers of the skin to strengthen the underlying layers. Coconut oil is well known for its highly effective moisturising properties, supporting the natural chemical balance of the skin. 

Helps to relieve and prevent dryness and flaking of skin, sagging of skin and age spots. Helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines by helping to keep connective tissues strong and supple. Assists with acne, helping to dissolve obstructions to the skin.”

tumblr_inline_mzx5r9Sl6K1sx903i

Each mask comes in an individual foil sachet/packet which means that the ingredients stay fresh. It’s recommended to keep the mask on for 20 minutes but you can most certainly keep it on for longer without hesitation. The instructions say to rinse the skin with clear water once you take off the sheet mask, but I don’t this – I leave the serum residue on my skin, massaging it in a little and then pop on a moisturiser on top. This sheet mask does leave your skin incredibly hydrated and smooth. Oh so smooth! The additional ingredients of allentoin and panthenol soothe irritated and inflammed skin (great for sensitive reactive skin types). Niacinimide (also known as vitamin B3) is one of my favourite ingredients because it epidermal barrier function (and hence is great for acne and inflammed skin) and helps diminish hyper-pigmentation with regular use.

These sheet masks have a light coconut scent to them and I find the scent to be quite lovely (I can’t stand the scent of over powering artificial coconut). The material of the sheet mask is super moist and soft, so keeping this mask attached to your face (lol!) isn’t a problem – it won’t suddenly flop off into your food should you be snacking/eating while wearing this mask :P They are also generous with the serum within each sheet mask, luckily so because it isn’t the cheapest mask on the market. In saying that though, I do think it is worth the pennies, especially if like me you don’t have the chance to have professional facials regularly (or ever). A box of 5 of these sheet masks costs $36 Aus gold coins. Each mask works out to cost $7.20 – not the cheapest but like I said, worth the treat if DIY facials/skin care treatments are your thing. As long as you cleanse thoroughly before applying this mask to your skin, your skin will be smoothed, soothed, hydrated and oh so happy with your efforts :) I’ve been trying to use one of these masks once weekly and so far I’ve been able to stick to this plan! In summer this mask will be lovely and soothing on parched, sun stressed skin while in winter the hydration would be very much needed.

palm-trees-the-style-riot

I bought my pack of Coconut Milk Masks from the official Lonvitalite online shop – but seeing as they charge postage, I recommend buying your Lonvitalite masks from Adore Beauty if you live in Australia (they provide free shipping on all orders). I wasn’t aware that Adore Beauty was selling Lonvitalite products when I ordered mine directly from Lonvitalite. In saying that, Lonvitalite ship internationally and they processed my order super quickly. You can also order a pack of all of their face sheet mask offerings for only $29.00 (the pack contains 5 different sheet masks).

Lonvitalite C4 Coconut Milk Mask Ingredients: Aqua, Butylene Glycol, Cocos Nucifera (coconut) Extract, Sweet Almond Oil, Sea Coconut Extract, Panthenol, Yeast Beta-Glucan, Allantoin, Carboner, Niacinamide, Ammonium Glycyrrhizate, Triethanolamine, Peg-40 Hydrogenarated Castor Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Parfum.

Along with my Hello Hair mask, I think coconuts are serving me well! Are you a fan of coconut oil or sheet masks? How was your weekend lovelies? Let me know in the comments below – I’d love to know! :) I spent my whole Sunday sleeping – literally. It was soooo good! I don’t have many weekends like that anymore, so it’s a lovely treat :) I actually feel rested for the week ahead and I haven’t felt like this in a while :)

Catch ya next time beauties,

Beauty Bee~