Sunday, March 29, 2015

Jan - March '15 empties...

I am causing a serous dent in my beauty pile right now and soon will be able to unitize those drawers for other more important purposes like storing my gym gear. I will also include candles and beauty tools into my empties/discarded lot so I can let you know what I think about them.

1. Prestige Skin Loving Minerals powder foundation

My overall impression -  Finely milled powder with moderate to full coverage and slight radiant finish that makes your skin appear perfect and glowing without the caked-on look.
Would I buy it again? -  Yes! I've repurchased this product again and again and will continue to do so...I haven't found a better loose powder yet esp. for the price.

2. Clarins Multi-Active night creme

My overall impression - I adored the original formula of this night cream, I would wake up with glowing skin and the classic Clarins scent was very indulgent. "New" version replaced it and my first disappointment was very generic new blah scent. It didn't do much for my skin, Clarins...if it ain't broke don't fix it
Would I buy it again? - No, new formula was as good as any standard issue supermarket moisturizer that you can get for about 1/3 of the RRP.

3. Nivea Essential Cleansing Mousse

My overall impression -Mildly scented liquid that turns into a foam by a special pump. Did very little to remove make-up but was ok for clean skin as it was non-drying.
Would I buy it again? - Nope, it didn't perform well. I like my cleansers to remove my make-up without a trace.

4. Lancome Bi-Facil make-up remover TS

My overall impression - I got a trial size of this product from one of the GWP. It is your classic two-phase make-up remover and it supposed to be mixed well before use. It did leave oily residue and wasn't that great at removing my mascara.
Would I buy it again? - No, I would use it if I got it for free again but I definitely wouldn't splurge on it. There are more effective two-phase make-up remover out there that are a lot cheaper (e.g L'Oreal)

5. Ecoya Vanilla Bean candle

My overall impression - Straight up it smelled like a good-quality vanilla ice-cream so I got travel-sized candle to start with (why would anyone need a candle while traveling though?!). When lit it spread gentle warm vanilla scent within 1 m radius.
Would I buy it again? - No, it underperformed. I was expecting my whole room to smell like vanilla ice-cream for the amount you pay.

6. Garnier Body Tonic sugar scrub

My overall impression - Sweet citrus scented sugar scrub suspended in soapy base. It exfoliates well without a residue and is perfect before applying fake tan.
Would I buy it again? - Definitely, it is one of my favorite scrubs and it is budget-friendly.

7. MOR Sugar Rose Tiger Lily candle

My overall impression - I really liked this candle, it had well balanced slightly sweet floral scent and filled the room when it was lit.
Would I buy it again? - Yes, it was a nice candle. Not sure if it's limited edition or not.

8. Lancome Hypnose Mascara

My overall impression? - It has regular nylon bristle brush which I actually prefer and it gives me lots of volume and length. This is probably my fifth tube and I've been using on/off for 8 years.
Would I buy it again? - Yes, I keep coming back to this mascara as it gives me the results I want in just couple of applications.

9. Narsico Rodriquez for her EDT 5 ml decant

My overall impression? -  A softer and more floral version of my favorite NR for Her EDT. Musky note rests on a bed of roses in EDP version as opposed to white flowers in EDT version.
Would I buy it again? - Yes, even though I prefer EDT in black bottle this one is still gorgeous and will make a nice addition to my collection.
 10. L'Occitane Repairing shampoo

My overall impression? - I used to love this product when I first tried a small bottle of shampoo. So I got a huge 500 ml bottle...but half way through something happened and my hair wasn't responding well to it. It went from being silky and shiny to dull and dry. My friend recons your hair gets "used to" shampoo after sometime therefore you supposed to change your hair products every so often. Maybe she is correct.
Would I buy it again? - No, it stopped working for me.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Marie Claire The Parcel...Autumn 2015


I picked up my Marie Claire parcel the other day . It 8 items, of which 3 were luxury trial sized products,and 5 full sized mass - market products. 

1. Garnier Miracle Skin Cream. Full size, value $19.95
Looks greenish white in a tube but transforms into beige once applied to skin. Supposed to have anti-aging and brightening properties and has barely-there coverage. I am a bit wary of anti-aging products as they tend to be a bit too rich for my skin plus I would prefer something with a bit more coverage so I will give this one away to my mum.

2. Rimmel BB Cream Radiance. Full size, value $12.95
Not sure why they decided to include two somewhat similar products in the same parcel...but I like this one better. I am actually wearing it right now. It  looked quite grey when it first came out of the tube but then it adjusted to my skin tone nicely. I got medium and usually I go for light but it seems to look nice and natural on me. It is perfect for that "no make-up" look so hopefully my skin likes it.

3.Max Factor Masterpiece Transform Mascara. Full size, value $23.95
I have the original Masterpiece mascara and I quite like it, so I am looking forward to trying this one. It has slender wand with shorter bristled...YES, finally! Lately mascara manufacturers been producing huge brushes which I personally find more difficult to use.

4. Neutrogena Make-up Remover Towlettes. Full size, value $3.99
The pack only has 7 wipes but I guess less wipes = less drying out. My long-time favorite Nivea make-up wipes been changed and don't seem to be as effective so I am happy to give Neutrogena a go.

5. Schick Hydro Silk Razor. Value $14.25
I've been using Schick Intuition razor for many many years now. It gives me close shave and I don't need shaving cream as it comes with incorporated soapy block. I will try this one out to se how it compares. Might even save it for my next overseas trip as it takes a lot less space.

6. L'Occitane Shea Butter hand cream. Trial size (30 ml), value $12
I talked about this product before, it is one of my favorite hand creams out there. Even though I am not trying something new I was still happy to receive it as it will be liberally used during cooler months.

7. Lancome Advanced Genifique serum. Trial size, value $25
My skin tends to repond well to serums (i. e not break out), this one makes my skin look matte and feel silky plus it has very nice subtle rose scent. I was pleasantly surprised.

8. MOR Gardenia soap, value $10
Slightly smaller size of MOR's luxury Emporium soap. It smells like lush and creamy gardenias, it scented the whole room when I first opened the box so hopefully the gorgeous scent will last after the shower. 

The Parcel is a bit more expensive than other beauty boxes but it is still a great value. Like this lot is worth over $120. I wish they diversified a bit a maybe skipped one or two skincare products and included a perfume or nail polish instead. I also like the fact that it comes out every quarter so I am really looking forward to my winter box.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Frugal February results!

My Frugal February was a success. I did majority of grocery shopping at Aldi, limited my coffee and take-aways, went out only once and re-financed my mortgage which should save me thousands long-term.

I put saved chunk of money into an offset account offered by my new bank and feel like I am a step closer to financial freedom as mortgage is the only debt we have right now. Eventually I would like to work part-time (four days per week) so I have more time to enjoy life. I feel like I need three days off, one to run errands and do housework, one to socialize and one to relax. At the moment I feel like I can only pick two having two-day weekend.

I must admit that I wasn't perfect and did buy few things but I let myself walk away and think about them first. I am planning to continue saving money, accumulating less stuff and only buy things that I really want/need.