Saturday, June 02, 2018

May '18 empties

Boom and another month is gone! Another nine items are done and dusted. Here is what I finished in May.

1. Sephora Bi-phase Make-up Remover

My overall impression - very similar to lots of other bi-phase make-up removers out there and to be honest they seems to be phasing out (pun intended).

Would I buy it again? No. They don't work well in my opinion as I always seem to have traces of mascara left behind plus I always end up with a weird fild on my face that I need to wash off.

2. Lush Candy Cane Roulade

My overall impression - It came as a part of Christmas gift pack and had super strong smell but when I was using it it filled the shower with the most gorgeous sweet mint scent almost identical to candy cane. It also felt very creamy but unfortunately went a bit soggy.

Would I buy it again? Not sure, loved the scent but wasn't a fan of sogginess.

3. Kerastase Christaliste Shampoo

My overall impression - I fell in love with this shampoo as it seemed to be almost perfect for my fine hair. It is also free from silicones and and SLS which is a big plus in my books. It left my hair shiny and free-flowing.

Would I buy it again? Yes, in fact I got a back-up when I heard the news that it got discontinued.

4. Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Mask

My overall impression - I got it as a part of gift pack and it looked very luxurious in the jar. Felt like a jelly on my face that didn't set and i did feel slightly tingling sensation. It had a nice moisturizing effect but apart from that it wasn't super special.

Would I buy it again? No. By itself it is very expensive and I don't think it is worth the price.

5. L'Occitane Cedrat Shaving Gel

My overall impression -On the mass market out there you can only get two types of shaving gel. Super manly ones that smell like your dad or very girly ones that smell like faux floral arrangement. I like this gel because it doesn't fall into either category and has nice marine-lemon scent (in fact I love and use Cedrat perfume)

Would I buy it again? Yes and I have a back-up that is coming with me on a holiday.

6. Tarte Tartiest Mascara

 My overall impression -Oh no, it had one of those scratchy plastic wands. Otherwise the formula was good and gave me nice length and volume.

Would I buy it again? No, I don't do scratchy plastic wands. They hurt my eyelids.

7. Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Mask
My overall impression -Peter loves his gel masks. This one was a full-sized one that I got on special from SN. It took me ages to finish. I did enjoy using it but once again didn't see any magical results apart from moisture shot that you could get with lots of creams out there.

Would I buy it again? Probably not. I would rather spend my money on more effective products.

8. Estee Lauder Clear Difference Serum

My overall impression - I used to use the original Idealist and liked it. So when SN had this version on special I jumped and got it. To be honest I did rely on it to clear up my skin when it was breaking out and it didn't. I had to switch few different products and exclude some offenders to clear up my skin.

Would I buy it again? No. Didn't deliver what it promised.

9. Wotnot Make-up Removing Wipes

My overall impression - It promised to remove all traces of make-up and it didn't. Smelled very nice at the beginning but went rancid very quickly. I threw away 1/3 of the pack.

Would I buy it again? No. I am still on the hunt for good make-up removing wipes since Nivea ones got reformulated.



Saturday, May 19, 2018

April '18 empties...

April was very fruitful when it came to empties and as a result my drawers are looking a lot better.

1. Wella Hydrate Mask

My overall impression - I was recommended this hair mask few years ago when my hair was long, blonde, brittle and dry. I needed a non-bias advice so I went to the shop that had many professional brands. It saw instant results and haven't looked back. It infuses my hair with a lot of needed moisture yet it doesn't weight it down (fine and straight).

Would I buy it again? - Yes, this is my 4th or 5th jar.

2. Petitfee Gold Hydrogel Eye Patches
My overall impression - This was my first lot of Korean gel eye patches and I really liked them. I saw good reviews on iHerb and was sold. It fits under my under eye area perfectly and feels very nice and soothing. You do have to use them up withing three months otherwise the serum they are infused with is going to dry out.

Would I buy them again? - Yes, they didn't cost much but moisturised my skin well.

3. CLab Coffee Scrub

My overall impression - It is pretty much coffee grounds suspended in scented oil. It exfoliated skin well, made it feel went everywhere and stained my whole shower.

Would I buy it again? - No. Because the hassle of cleaning my entire shower after each use is not worth it. Plus it is not great for using before fake tanning due to high oil content.

4. Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel

My overall impression - I haven't quite used a make-up remover like this one before. It is a liquid gel that transforms into oil when you rub it on your face. Them it goes milky when you rinse it off and it removed all traces of make-up without drying your skin or leaving an oily residue.

Would I buy it again? - Yes, it did what it was supposed to do well and I much prefer it to solid and bi-phase make-up removers.

5. Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Scrub

My overall impression - I went to Mecca looking for a new scrub and was given a sample of this product. I loved it but got a mini version as it would be an expensive mistake if it didn't suit my skin. It delivered immediate results making my skin smoother and after few uses I noticed an improvement of my congested skin. I would usually follow it with a face mask for an ultimate in-home facial.

Would I buy it again? - Yes, it is expensive but it only needs to be used once per week so even a small tube should last 2-3 months.

6. By Terry Baume de Rose

My overall impression - I have heard a lot about this iconic product so when the miniature came out I had to try it. I did pay $17 for a tiny amount of product but it is still better than forking out $70 on a full size...and to be honest it didn't meet my expectations. It was just a pleasant lip balm that hydrated well but there is no way it should cost $70!

Would I buy it again? - Hell no, I can get Lanolips or even Blistex for a fraction of the cost and still get similar results.

7. Ma-Yu 7 Day Brow Tint

My overall impression - I got it a year ago when I was in Japan and was very fascinated with the concept. You paint it on with very fine brush, wait for couple of hours and voila, you have nice brows for few days. Then Maybelline came out with a similar product but I still prefer this version.

Would I buy it again? - Yes, if I can obtain it easily. 

8+9. Grown Alchemist Shampoo and Conditioner

My overall impression - I got it as a part of David Jones sampler tote. I really wanted to like these as they smell gorgeous but my hair was left a bit too greasy after using these.

Would I buy it again? - No, it didn't work for me.

10. Yves Rocher Tiare Self-Tanner

My overall impression - I got it in Europe because believe it or not it was the only self-tanner I could find. I was expecting gorgeous tropical floral scent but instead was hit to old-school fake tanner smell. To my surprise I also had to re-apply it daily for few days to achieve decent depth of colour.

Would I but it again? - No, I was saddened to see that Yves Rocher was so far behind self-tanning advancements.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

March '18 empties

It has been a while since my last blog post. So finally I got motivation to sit down and write a post about my recent empties and share my thoughts about them. This year I have also made a decision to minimize my possessions and use up the make-up and skincare products I already have. It also means that I have decided not to buy any more for a whole year to see what happens. I might do a separate post about it.

First quarter of the year in and my stash is already starting to look more manageable. This is what I have emptied in march.

1. Alfaparf Semi Di Lino Conditioner

My overall impression - I got this conditioner when I dyed my hair red to help with colour maintenance. It had light texture yet left my hair moisturised. The scent was nice too - very clean and subtle.
Would I buy it again? - Yes, it was a good-quality professional product and did what it supposed to. I would have to hunt it down in special though as it can retail for quite a lot.

2. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Caramel

My overall impression - Super fine pencil in very good warm shade, not too ashy like a lot of other similar products out there. The texture was good too - nice and soft yet non-waxy or sticky. It have me natural-looking and defined brows. Spoolie at the end was a nice bonus.
Would I buy it again? - Not sure to be honest. I like MAC Lingering pencil better as the colour is not as yellow and it is more pigmented.

3. GHD Final Fix Hair Spray

My overall impression - This stuff works so well at holding my fringe in place without making it sticky or piece-y. It has a nice scent and only costs $10 at Mecca. The only downside that it doesn't come with a removable cap so it is not carry-on friendly.
Would I buy it again? - Yes, it was my second bottle.

4. Schwartkopf Ultime Hair Spray 

My overall impression - Not bad for a supermarket product but I would only get it for its travel-friendly format. It doesn't hold as well as higher-end products.
Would I but it again? - Possibly, for my carry-on

5. Peter Thomas Roth Mask Moor Mud

My overall impression - Turns out like all other Peter Thomas Roth masks it was a gel mask packed with mud minerals. It didn't set and was super hard to remove as it was sticky.
Would I buy it again? - It's a pass from me. It would probably work better for dry skin but I prefer my mud masks to set and draw out oils.

6. L'Occitane Shea Butter Shower Gel

My overall impression - It almost felt like a mixture of body cream and shower gel. It left my skin super moisturised and comfortable.
Would I but it again? - Probably not. Even though it felt nice the smell was a bit weird and you can find nicer products around similar price point.

7. DHC Lip Balm

My overall impression - This product was recommended by many bloggers and YouTubers as something you should pick-up from Japan...and it didn't disappoint, Like many Japanese products it was unscented but felt very light and moisturizing on my lips. I found it to be a perfect lip balm to wear under lipstick.
Would I but it again? - Yes, it worked well for me.

8. Clinique City Block Purifying Gel

My overall impression - Charcoal based products were all the rage last year so I've picked up this cleanser. Whoa, it didn't foam but removed all my make-up with ease without making my skin dry.
Would I but it again? - Yes, definitely. It was a very good cleanser for my skin and it helped to keep it nice and clear.

9. Jack Black Lip Balm in Grapefruit

My overall impression - I loved Jack Black lip balms in the past for their moisturizing abilities, non-stickiness and subtle flavors. But I ended up throwing this one out half way through the tube because I just disliked weird grapefruit flavour.
Would I buy it again? - No, for the reasons mentioned above.



Wednesday, October 18, 2017

iHerb beauty purchases

I was recommended iHerb probably four years ago by a good friend who was regularly using it to get protein bars and other supplements. It is a US based web site that ships almost everywhere and unlike a lot of overseas retailers it charges very little for shipping. Ever since it has been by go to place for Method cleaning products (they make the best dish washing liquids and hand soaps) and teas.

Not long ago they have introduced a lot of Korean skincare brands as well as Real Techniques brushes that cost a lot less than they do over here. Recently they had a nice sale so I couldn’t resist trying few K-Beauty items. Most of these were blind buys but they didn't disappoint!
This is what I ended up with...

1. Petitfee Gold Hydrogel Eye Patch...$12.50
I was imagining soft moist sheets that you apply under your eyes in style of sheet masks. Instead I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were fine silicone sheets with very pretty golden shimmer. You get 60 patches suspended in liquid and it comes with a spatula so you can pick them up one by one without digging into the container with your finger. It had very subtle floral scent and felt like heaven on my skin. You have to apply in on cleansed dry skin and wear it for 20 minutes. Voila and you have refreshed look instantly. I would use it 3-4 times per week.

2. Holika Holika Smooth Egg Skin Peeling Gel...$13
I've seen this type of exfoliator over in Japan. in comes out as a thick liquid/gel that you supposed to massage into your skin until it starts to form little balls picking up dead skin cells with it. I've used it once and quite liked it, it was very gentle on my skin compared to traditional scrubs.

3. Tony Moly Magic Food Banana Sleeping Pack...$12.70
They stock this range in Myer stores now. I must say I am a sucker for nice scent and cute packaging. This product ticks all those boxes as it comes in a soft banana-shaped tube and smells like banana lollies we used to eat as kids. I assumed it was a night hand cream but turns out it is supposed to be used on the face. I will stick to using it on my hands only as it is a bit too flagrant for my sensitive face skin.

4. Skinfood Black Sugar Mask...$11.50
This is like a sugar scrub for your face that you supposed to leave on for 10-15 minutes and wash off. I was inagining it smelling like caramel but it smells fruity. Still keen to try it.

5. The Saem Gold Snail Bar...$6.40
I must admit that it was the packaging that caught my attention first. Who doesn't want to wash their face with the bar of gold (and it is supposed to be infused with gold)? But the product inside is quite nice and has clean scent.

6. Real Techniques Bold Metals Set...$36
I fell in love with Real Techniques brushes few months ago. The Bold Metals collection is gorgeous and looks nice on my vanity. Brushes themselves are very good quality and apply my make-up effortlessly.  I am very proud of Sam and Nic as I am their long-term YouTube fan.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Brisbane DFO Big Brand Sale...What I got

Every now and then I get emails from DFO notifying me of their latest shopping event. That's when majority of shops offer extra discounts to entice customers to shop big at the centre. I was after few thing and given that this weekend is a long weekend I have decided to spend my Saturday morning there. 

This is what I walked out with (in order of shops I went to)...

1. Fossil Sydney Crossbody Bag...RRP$199, paid $79.60 (60% off promo)

 I am usually not a huge fan of Fossil bags as they are not my style but this little crossbody bag was exactly what I was looking for. It is made from quality grainy leather, has two decently sized zip up compartments plus a side pocket, features a minimalistic design and black will go with everything.

2. MIMCO Kerfuffle Booties...RRP$229, paid $59.50 (50% off reduced price)

Whenever I go to Mimco outlet I always head to their "last sizes" section as they often have some nice shoes left in my size at 50% off reduced price. This time I have scored these booties/heels. I'm phasing out uncomfortable heels from my collection so these are a welcome addition. I love sturdy heels and well-fitted leather upper. It means I can still dress up and not injure myself during the event.

3. Levi's 721 High Rise Skinny Jeans...RRP$120, paid $60 (50% off sale)

Where have you been earlier??? I have been looking for a decent quality stretchy black jeans for sooo looong. I even splurged good money on J Brand only to get disappointed (luckily I got them online so I could return them). These are very soft, super stretchy as as far as jeans go they are on the thinner side. I had to size down 1-2 sizes in these because they run large. Otherwise they are perfect! They sit just below my bellybutton, hug my waist and hips nicely without being uncomfortable. Oh and the pocket placement is very good so my ass looks ah-mazing in these. I also had a whole pile of other jeans to try but unfortunately it was tricky to find the right size as they have limited selection there.

4. Lancome Amplify You Lashes Set...RRP$121, paid$ 51.75 (10% off already reduced prices)

 I currently use Grandiose mascara and I quite like it. Lancome makes good mascaras in general. I also read somewhere that their lash primer Cils Booster XL is supposed to be very good. So I was very happy to score this set for less than RRP cost of one mascara (they retail for over $50). Oh I got it from CFD and I believe you can also get it online.

5. Kenzo Flower L'Elixir Set...RRP$150+, paid $83 


 I have been craving this fragrance for couple of years but was refusing to pay full price as Kenzo fragrances can often be found of sale. L'Elixir version of their popular Flower range is my favorite. It is deep and gourmand yet it is not a sickly-sweet fragrance so many other brand currently offer. It has rose, raspberry and vanilla blended together and presented in a gorgeous tall deep red bottle. Another score from CFD.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Recent make-up empties

It just dawned on me that I haven't done empties in a long, long time and in fact I have finished a lot of products in the last few months. So it time I will do them by category. These what have been emptied in my make-up stash...

 1. Gurlain Noir G Mascara mini

 My overall impression - Look at that stunning packaging! My mini version came in a plain tube but the actual product was very good. Probably not as good as some other mascaras out there but it still gave me long and well-coated lashes.

Would I buy it again? While I did like the formula I don't think i could justify splurging $66 on a mascara even though it comes in the most beautiful case.

2. Buxom Lash Mascara mini

 My overall impression - Wow that brush is huge and stiff! It felt very scratchy against the gentle skin of eyelids but coated lashes well and gave them separation.

Would I buy it again? Nope, don't like the applicator.

3. Clarins Instant Light Lip Gloss mini

 My overall impression - Sheer, tinted and non-sticky lip gloss that applied evenly and had a sponge applicator. It had beautiful caramel hue and scent so was very pleasant to wear.

Would I buy it again? I got mine as a GWP so I would use it again if it was given to me but otherwise there are plenty of other more exciting products out there to try.

4. Clinique Quickliner in Sable


 My overall impression -At the beginning it ticked all the boxes due to its deep brown hue and good application. but it wasn't "gliding on" as I was told and still had a bit of drag. It got worse towards the end when the formula dried up.

Would I buy it again? No, there are way better performing eye pencils out there.

5. Korres Lip Butter in Guava

 My overall impression - I must admit I got sucked in by a gorgeous scent of this product. The formula was good too, light yet moisturizing. It left a sheer light tint on my lips making my pigmented lips a bit lighter.

Would I buy it again? Yes, I used it all up till the end and loved the formula. I repurchased it again in a more natural light pink "Jasmine" shade.

6. L'Occitane Brightening Touch Pen

 My overall impression - A copycat of the original YSL product that nearly every other luxury brand made at some point. It provided a light wash of sheer colour and was supposed to have skin-benefiting ingredients.

Would I buy it again? No. It was so sheer that it did almost nothing. It was an OK product to use with a super light make-up.

 7. L'Occitane BB Cream

 My overall impression - Prior to getting this product I've tried L'oreal and Garnier BB creams and wasn't a huge fan. But L'Occitane gave me a sample one day and I fell in love with this product. It makes your skin feel and look good! The coverage is very decent too and it leave behind a slightly luminous finish. No cakey face, just beautiful and even complexion.

Would I buy it again? Yes, already have! It is perfect when I have to do my make-up in a hurry as it is very easy to blend and I can even skip primer, sunscreen and moisturizer.

8. MAC Bronzer in Golden

 My overall impression - OK, I am a sucker for a beautiful packaging so I simply couldn't walk past this droplet covered blue compact. The product itself was very good too, it gave nice warmth to my cheeks and had a bit of shimmer but just enough to make it look less flat instead of frosty.

Would I buy it again? Maybe, it was a good bronzer but I still love my Guerlain more. In fact I have realized that the pan is the same size so I have dug out my new Gurlain pan and trasported it into MAC compact (some Teraccotas I've had broke half way through the use anyway).

9. L'Oreal Miss Manga Mascara

 My overall impression - This time I got sucked in by a beautiful ad. Add Priceline sale to that and Miss Manga was mine! It turned out to be a very good mascara that made my lashes super long in just few swipes and stayed on me all day.

Would I buy it again? Yes, it is probably my favorite mid-range mascara right now.

10. Lancome Air de Teint Foundation

 My overall impression - If you have been reading my blog you would know that I have already went through few bottles of this stuff. It is very lightweight foundation that still offers a medium coverage and makes my skin look beautiful. It can be a tad drying in winter but perfect during warmer months.

Would I buy it again? Sadly it got discontinued so I managed to stock up when it was on sale. It occasionally pops up online but they want very good money for it now. I still have one bottle left but meanwhile I will look for alternatives.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Marie Claire The Parcel - Winter '17 (Final Edition)

About a month before I got this parcel I've received an email saying they will no longer have that service. I felt a bit sad because I like the frequency of the parcels and the content was good too. I suppose if it didn't make them much money it was time to pull the plug.

So this is what I got in my last parcel...

 1. QV Hand cream...value $6
Gentle, simple and unscented hand cream that does a good job at relieving dry hands. I don't think its easy to find unscented hand cream these days so its a perfect option for those who don't like everything smelling like roses etc. It also absorbed really fast so I would definitely put it in my work drawer.

2. Revlon Uniq One Hair Treatment...value $29.95
I haven't seen this product before, maybe because on the box it says its a salon-only product. It is a leave-in treatment that supposed to repair hair, add shine, volume, make styling easier, act as a heat protector and make hair smoother. I like products that save time so looking forward to testing it out when I finish my other leave-in conditioner.

3. Jojoba Oil...value 9.95
You get about 15mls which is more that enough to try this oil. It contains nothing but jojoba oil and has almost no scent, It claims to have several healing benefits and can be used all over.

4. Philosophy Purity 3-in-1 Cleanser...value $3
I remember finishing this cleanser before. It removed make-up well without drying skin nor leaving a film behind. I always appreciate travel-sized cleansers to take with me on trips.

5. La Roche Posay Redermic C10...value $12
This is a concentrated Vitamin C cream that supposed to target several signs of aging. I don't use a lot of anti-aging products due to oily skin but would be keen to test this one.

6. Avon Matte Lipstick in Pure Pink...value $19.99
I haven't had any Avon products for years! It supposed to give you that matte look minus the drying feel. I got mine in nice muted pink shade.

7. The Body Shop Charcoal Mask...value $2.30
I had a tester of this mask before that I took somewhere with me. I liked it! I felt it was a good dupe for Glamglow Youthmud mask for about 1/3rd of the price.

8. Nivea Cellular Anti-Age Eye Cream...value $27.99
I would have preferred a trial-sized high-end eye cream to the Nivea full-sized one. Eye creams is one of the skincare items I don't really use much of.

9. Klorane Mango Butter Shampoo...value $13.95
This is one of the best smelling shampoos out there! As a bonus it is enriched with mango butter which supposed to nourish dry hair.

10. Avon Magic Effects Matte Top Coat...value 14.99
Can completely change the look of your nail polish! It looks somewhat iridescent in the bottle but dries clear.

You get a nice selection of products in this parcel valued just over $100 most of which are full size. In the past you would get deluxe sample of high-end product and that's the main reason why I signed up for The Parcel. Unfortunately that feel of trying high-end cosmetics was lost in this box as majority of the products here can be found at the Priceline.