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.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Marie Claire The parcel - Autumn 2017

After few hiccups with the last couple of parcels this one was delivered on time and without any issues. I got it the day before I was heading to Japan (Japanese beauty products blog coming up) hence why it took me few week to write the review for it. Overall I must say I was very happy with that I have received in this parcel and will surely use every single product in this parcel.

1. Palmer's Cocoa Butter Night Cream...value $3.50
This cream is very moisturizing yet my skin soaked it up fairly quickly. It is packed with natural oils but I am a bit hesitant to use it on my face due to me being prone to breakouts. I might moisturise my chest and neck with it instead.

2. Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Skin Scent...value $2.85
I love Estee Lauder summer fragrance range. They been bringing out Bronze Goddess every year in slightly different packaging but the scent remained unchanged. You get a gorgeous but light tiare flower on the background of citrus and coconut. It instantly puts you in holiday mode.

3. Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules...value $16.35
You get a week supply of their new and improved ceramide capsules. I have seen them around but never tried them. I like the concept of the ingredients being preserved into single use portions that will minimize the exposure to air and prevent oxidation.

4. Jergens Hydrating Coconut Lotion...value $6.99
Inexpensive yet very good product. It quickly sunk into my skin without leaving residue or heavy scent. I will re-purchase once I am out of it.

5. Burts Bees Lip Crayon...value $16.95
It supposed to be made from all natural ingredients. I got mine in a shade Niagara Overlook which is a flattering reddish-pink nude.

6. Biore Baking Soda Scrub...value $10.99
In the past Biore been hit and miss for me but this scrub is good! It comes out as powder that gets activated into a paste. It left my skin super smooth minus any irritations.

7. Bioderma Sebium Pore Refiner...value $18.50
This product can be used as a serum or a make-up primer. Either way it was very light but I can't comment on how effective it is as I haven't used it for long enough.

8. La Roche Posay Miccelar Water Ultra...value $6.50
Micellar water for sensitive skin. I always thought that it was gentle enough as it is. Either way I think I got a yearly supply of them though parcel subscription.

9 & 10. John Freida Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner...value $6.50
I am not a huge fan of this brand but always appreciate free semi-decent shampoo and conditioner that I can take traveling with me. I hope it will keep my colour looking bright.

You get $90 worth of products in this parcel and the selection is quite good. I hope they keep it up!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

My adult tonsillectomy experience - a positive perspective

To cut the long story short my tonsils needed to come out ever since I was a child and I never grew out of having constant issues with them. So in my late 20's I saw two ENT specialists and decided to go on a public hospital waiting list as the issue wasn't too pressing. After three years I got the letter and a phone call and my surgery was booked three weeks later.

That gave me enough time to arrange some time off work (I was told to have two weeks but I was back on day 12) and also prepare for the surgery. A both ENTs informed me that there will be quite a bit of pain so I have decided to read some stories on the internet. In retrospect I don't think it was a great idea as most of the stories were of people complaining and describing it as the most agonizing experience and wished they never had it done. Let me tell you it wasn't too bad.

Day 1.
My surgery was scheduled for 12 but got moved to 2 and hospital sent me an SMS so I would get there a bit later. After a bit of paperwork and waiting i was given this nice blanket with heat packs and wheeled in into pre-op room where doctors and nurses explained to me what was going to happen. They put a cannula into my hand and wheeled me into the operating room. I wiggled my way onto the operating table and suddenly felt very relaxed and told anesthetist and I feel sleepy already. Next think I knew they woke me up and told me that my surgery went well. Then they wheeled me into my ward that I shared with four other people but we had curtains for privacy. I was very drowsy but had a bad night sleep because they kept waking me up to check my blood pressure etc. I also got given some regular pain killers. My tongue felt a but swollen and numb and my throat was a bit numb too. Very mild pain even though they took two big pieces of the tissue at the back of my throat. In the morning I finished all my breakfast and got sent home with some strong pain killers. I was well looked after and happy with how everything went at the hospital.

Day 2-4.
Plenty of naps and rest time. I was taking my pain killers every four hours (alternating between Panadol and Nurofen) even in the middle of the night. My throat looked quite raw but I was trying to keep my fluid intake up and eat as normally as I could. Anything salty or acidic was a no-no and I found that ice-cream or anything frozen didn't feel good. Lots of warm tea and nothing sticky either. My mother in law brought me some mashed potatoes and chicken soup and it went down well. On day two my uvula was very swollen and I couldn't sleep on my bak as it was blocking my airway so I had to be proped up with few pillows. Also I would get very unpleasant taste esp. after the sleep. I think it was mainly due to food getting trapped in the crevices of the wounds. I found the solution - gently rinsing the area with either water or Peroxyl mouthwash using blunt curved tip syringe.

It would aim the liquid exactly where I needed it to go but you have to be careful not to damage the delicate tissue. Also I was mute most of the time and communicated via messaging or nodding. I must also say that I had some swelling under my jaw and it didn't look very flattering.

Day 5-8.
As expected the pain intensified and I got referred pain into my jaw and ears. It was time to take some strong pain killed (Endone) to keep it under control. Long ice pack also helped a lot. I got one from the pharmacy and used a scarf to hold it next under my jaw. Eating would usually trigger the pain so I would try to take strong pain killers before I had a meal (it would take me ages to finish anything). The pain wasn't constant and I would distract myself with movies and games. Plus lots of love from family, friends and kittens. I got some bleeding couple of times too but luckily it stopped otherwise it would be another emergency hospital visit.

Day 9-12.
Pain got a lot more manageable and I was back on my usual pain killer schedule (I made a little 2 week plan for it and wrote exact times and the type of meds plus any notes). Still couldn't speak properly and my taste was funny but overall was healing well and as planned. I also skipped my pain killers one night and woke up in pain so lesson was learned. Stayed on pain killers for two and a half weeks.

I am now four weeks post-op and almost back to normal. The swelling and pain are gone and the back of my throat is almost normal. Did my first gym session today and been eating pretty much anything.

The positives
  • I can breathe a lot better and can feel more air going into my lungs even when I breathe through my nose.
  • Running felt a lot easier today due to improved breathing even after a long break
  • My breath is nice and fresh all the time. 
  • I have lost 4 kgs and can fit into a lot of my old "skinny" clothes so feel much happier about my body.
  • I've got more defined jaw line as my tonsils were permanently enlarged before and would slightly bulge out.
  • I am glad that they are gone and I won't have to worry about getting tonsillitis and other nasty issues associated with it ever again!

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Fragrant Acquisitions of 2016

I love my perfumes and I have quite a collection of them. Last year I've managed to acquire 12 new ones not counting hair mists from Byredo that I absolutely love and rotate in my handbag plus couple of minis.

I don't have a particular preference however I can't seem to wear heavy, overly sweet and potent scents. I do rotate them seasonally too. I go for citruses in summer, musky and woody scents in winter and florals in spring and autumn.

This is what I got my hand on this year:

1. Guerlain Idylle Eau Sublime
This version of Idylle has a lush rose and jasmine in the center, sweetened by lychee and peach and softened by musk. Guerlain knows how to make a good perfume! I imagine a huge spring garden in the evening, when the scent of flowers intensifies in the air.

2. Marc Jacobs Daisy
I must admit that it took me a long time to appreciate this fragrance. I think for a while I could smell it on every second girl and it delayed me purchasing it. I managed to picks it up for a very reasonable price and actually found it very easy to wear. I get wild strawberries, greenery and white florals with a hint of woody notes shining towards the end. It give me that feeling of being carefree and relaxed, just as you would be during summer holidays.

3. Byredo Inflorescence
This is an interesting take on the lily of the valley. Instead of being heavy like Diorissimo, it is very airy as if you are sniffing the flower straight from the forest floor. I don't get heady white florals it supposed to have, instead I get lots of greenery and delicate spring flowers. I really enjoy wearing this one but unfortunately it is super light and doesn't last very long on my skin.

4. Chanel Chance Eau Tendre
You get bright hyacinth and jasmine behind a tart citrus note. This fragrance is very easy to wear yet it lasts on me all day. It does have a nice projection yet it is safe enough to be worn to work.

5. Azzaro Twin for Women
On me this is a Dove soap/Body Lotion scent! You get very soft almond and peach in a musky base. I haven't come across anything remotely similar. It is a lovely scent to wear especially when you don't feel like anything too perfume-y.

6. Guerlain Pamplelune
Citrus scents are usually tame and safe, not this one! You get a hefty dose of grapefruit muddled with black currant leaf on patchouli and vanilla base. It has very polarizing reviews but I love it!

7. Sarah Jessica Parker Covet
This perfume disappeared from shops for a while but I've noticed that my local Chemist Warehouse was selling it for next to nothing recently and decided to grab a bottle. I swear this celebrity scent can easily pass as a niche. It is a very calming herbal blend of lavender, citrus and geranium with an unexpected twist of bitter dark chocolate and musk.

8. Guerlain Limon Verde
Imagine freshly sliced lime that has been sprinkled by sugar. This is what Limon Verde smells like. I find it super easy to wear in hot and humid weather.

9. Chanel Christalle Eau Vert
I fell in love with this scent when going through duty free shop at the airport after a 12 hour flight. It instantly perked me up and made me feel refreshed. Another eight hours later I landed at my home airport and the first thing my husband told me was that I smelled nice! This fragrance is divine, green and fresh yet it has a body and decent lasting power.

10. Dior Addict Eau Fraiche
Bright fruity aquatic scent that is suitable for adults. It is easy to wear yet it effortlessly adds that extra finishing touch. Think of freesias and pomegranate blended with citrus.

11. L'Occitane Fleurs de Cerisier L'Eau
My beloved cherry blossom has been sweetened with watermelon and black currant and deepened with rose and musk. This is easily my favorite version out of the whole Cerisier line so far.