Sunday, April 20, 2014

April Empties: Six Little Beauties!


Emptiness so good I've already replaced four out of the six, and considering the fifth. Just feeling a bit guilty buying beauty products, given the excessive haulage of late. I know replacing staples is a completely different ballpark, but I should utilise the large stash of products I have built up instead.




Alpha-H Liquid Gold
This stuff is crazy good! It's like..... well, liquid gold. Bahaha, that was shocking. And so was the difference in my skin after a few uses of this much-hyped cult product from Alpha-H. It stings a bit on application, but it's supposed to. It's a skin resurfacing treatment that claims to reduce wrinkles, sun damage, pigmentation and brighten your complexion. It did all of those things for me, plus my skintone was more even, and in general, just looked way better than before. I'm already on to my second bottle.

Maybelline Age Rewind Eraser Concealer
I've already replaced this but with the Light shade, because how hard is it to find bloody Fair Clair? IMPOSSIBLE! Same with the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer. Everyone has Light, but Fair Clair is as rare as hen's teeth! Fair Clair is lighter than Light. Since Light looked quite yellow-toned I thought it was worth trying for concealing blueish dark under-eye circles and it is doing a good job. I just wish Fair Clair was more readily available!

Maybelline Masterliner
I adore this creamy, easy to use retractable black pencil liner. It can be built up to create a dramatic line, and you never have to sharpen it. I love the results, and the fact that it doesn't budge, smudge or smear, all day. It's also quite inexpensive and Priceline always have sales and discounts, so it's not uncommon for me to get two for the price of one. A definite staple in my makeup bag!

Benefit Boo Boo Zap
I really liked this, but probably won't repurchase, just because I'm psychologically not alright with spending $28 on a zit gel. It did work really well at clearing up problem spots and was fast-drying and didn't leave my skin sticky like some pimple treatments do, meaning I could wear it under makeup without it rubbing off. Aargh, maybe I should consider getting another one?

Clinique Anti-Fatigue Cooling Eye Gel
From the Skin Supplies For Men range. So SO good. And it kills me not to repurchase, but it's $52 and I've been spending a lot lately. Also, it gives me a chance to work my way through all the eye creams in the cupboard and try some new products. Anyway, this eye gel is a wonder product, a multitasking little gem. It reduces puffiness, hydrates and decreases my dark circles. I've blogged about it before here.

Dermalogica Precleanse
This is a cleansing oil that kind of melts your makeup off, and at first I thought what's the point of adding another step, won't I just remove my makeup with cleanser anyway? But then I became a bit addicted. I'm using way more Dermalogica products than I used to, and I find them so effective (if not a little expensive). It feels odds rubbing an oil into oily skin, but apparently Precleanse is ideal for oily skin types. It also removes all traces of eye makeup quickly and easily. Unfortunately I knocked this bottle to the ground in the shower and it split on the bottom, so I had to store it upside down to prevent leakage until I'd finished it. I've replaced it with the 150ml bottle.

Disclaimer: Alpha-H Liquid Gold was won in a competition, all other products were bought by me.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Haulage Cubed!


Here's a tale of three hauls. The first was an online order I did when Priceline were having their 40% off sale, which I obviously couldn't resist. This is quite lipstick-heavy.

The next two happened when I finally got out of the house, venturing to a large shopping centre. I should get out more, because the Beauty section of Kmart was almost unrecognisable. I needed to make some snap decisions, because my husband and son were waiting for me in the toy section while I browsed. I bought some very cheap, plain-packaged Kmart-line cosmetics because I'm curious and I wanted to test the quality. I've photographed them packaged and unpackaged, so you know what I'm referring to.

Lastly, the obligatory trip to Priceline (instore, this time) as more sales were happening. It's like they always have discounts and specials, right? Anyway, I won't go into my annoyance at the excessive sticky tape/security seal fiasco (okay I will: ugly residue, labels/shades being sacrificed with eventual removal of tightly wound tape, damaged eyeshadow crayon tip as a result, etc), suffice to say 11 frustrated tweets to Priceline occurred on the 7th of April, @ShinyGlitterBug on Twitter if you want to check it out.

Haul 1: Priceline online


Products above:
Maybelline Mastershape Brow Pencil in Blonde
Australis Eyebrow Pencil in Blonde
Maybelline Color Tattoo Metal Eyeshadow in Electric Blue
Revlon Colorstay Makeup in Ivory
Maybelline Masterliner eyeliner in Black
Lipsticks, top to bottom....
Australis Colour Inject in Make A Wish
Australis Longwear in Trendy
Revlon Super Lustrous in Siren
Revlon Super Lustrous in Pink Velvet
Revlon Super Lustrous in Teak Rose
Revlon Super Lustrous in Fire & Ice

Haul 2: Kmart

in packaging

Products above:
Caviar Nails Rock 'n' Roll
Bright Nails nail polish in Lady Lilac
Eyes Eyeshadow (no further shade/palette labelling, lol)
Face of Australia Lip Crayon in Apple Crumble


out of packaging

Haul 3: Priceline instore



Products above:
2 x Batiste Dry Shampoo XXL Volume
Formula 10.0.6 Keep Your Cool Breakout Calming Mask
Scunci 32 pieces hair elastics
Max Factor Wild Shadow Pencil in Fierce Lime
Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeshadow Stick in Blamed Blue
Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeshadow Stick in Bulletproof Beige
Max Factor Smoky Eye Effect Eyeshadow in Bronze Haze
Savvy Mineral Baked Eyeshadow in Limestone
Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer in Ivory
Max Factor Max Effect Dip-In Eyeshadow in Ibiza Sunrise
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Smitten
Relvon Colorburst Matte Balm in Elusive

Needless to say, I'm self-imposing a bit of a spending ban. Except I'm still allowed to buy clothes, shoes and stationery. Just no new makeup!

Did you make it to the end? Go buy yourself a lipstick. You deserve it!


Sunday, April 6, 2014

REVIEW: Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime Biotin Volume Shampoo and Conditioner




I received these hair products to trial from BeautyHeaven, so I thought I'd also share my thoughts here.

Products:
Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime Biotin Volume Shampoo
Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime Biotin Volume Conditioner

Schwarzkopf say: "The unique formula with biotin-complex provides up to 80% more volume and fullness with feather-light effect. Essence Ultime contains a precious Ultime-4-Complex; a unique combination of pearl essence, panthenol, refined protein & keratin. Indulge your hair with luxurious care. Experience Claudia Schiffer's beauty secret."




These products were specifically designed for people with fine, flat hair (which I have!), so I was very excited to be accepted into this trial. I'm always on the look out for hair products and treatments that claim to give me volume, body, fullness and thickness.

First of all, the packaging is good. The bottles are slim and slide easily into my shower caddy, leaving plenty of room for a multitude of other products! The flip-top lid is easy to open and the hole dispenses a good amount of product, which comes out easily. The instructions and product information is stated clearly on the bottle, and is easy to read.



The fragrance is the high point of these products for me. I love it. It's subtle and lovely and almost like a beautiful perfume, leaving my hair smelling delicious.

Shampoo
Unfortunately, I haven't seen very much of a difference in terms of voluminous results, (maybe just a slight difference). My hair does look and feel healthier overall, though. I don't feel as though the product lifted my hair at the roots as it claims on the bottle. I normally use a volume shampoo and conditioner then follow up with a thickening foam (Sebastian Thickefy Foam) and scrunch while blowdrying, as I really need to do everything I can to avoid limp locks, but I skipped the thickening foam for this trial because I wanted to see how the product performed on its own. Maybe this is why my hair didn't look thicker and fuller, maybe my (admittedly expensive) thickening foam normally does a really good job. But I wanted to give these products a fair trial. I am pleased, however, that my hair seems healthier. As I say, it looks a tiny bit fuller, but I would have liked more volume at the roots.

Conditioner
As a person with very fine, thin hair, I'm usually wary of conditioners, as applying too much or leaving it in for too long will mean flat as a tack hair for me until the next wash. Having said that, I did experiment with applying different amounts of conditioner throughout my trial. It says to leave it in shortly, which I do anyway, so I was happy to not be directed to leave it on for any stretch of time. The product is a good consistency and isn't super-thick or excessively runny.
I like the way my hair felt after using the conditioner. My hair looked and felt healthier, but only appeared slightly fuller. As with the shampoo, I was hoping for more volume, especially at the roots. I did notice that despite the bottle saying "feather-light combing detangling" my hair still was tangled, as always (even using my Tangle Teezer, which significantly reduces pulling during combing, and is great for people like me who suffer from quite tangly hair). My hair looks silky and smooth and slightly thicker than normal, but overall, the product didn't really wow me. I'm happy that it looks and appears to be healthier, though. That can never be a bad thing!

Disclaimer: These products were provided for review on site as part of the Trial Team. No money was offered or accepted. This review is my honest opinion.