Tuesday, August 20, 2013

REVIEW: Lush Therapy Massage Bar

LUSH say: "Therapy is 100% natural and preservative free. Frequent use of this bestselling massage bar through pregnancy can help to reduce stretch marks by increasing the elasticity of the skin. Therapy is a wunder-bar. First, it moisturises with cocoa and shea butters to make your skin softer. Then, it eases your tensions with lavender and neroli oils."

What's In It?
Lush's 100% Certified Organic, Vegan Therapy Massage Bar contains cocoa butter and shea butter which work to moisturise and soften the skin. It also contains lavender oil which is know for its calming and soothing effects (it also helps to ease muscular pain). And the happiest oil of all: Neroli, which is said to have an uplifting effect and induce euphoria! It's an essential oil that relieves stress and stimulates the growth of new healthy cells. And there's some sweet orange oil in there for good measure!

My Thoughts
This massage bar from Lush glides on so smoothly, with the product just melting into my skin. The fragrance is to die for, and I smelled good enough to eat after massaging this puppy in! The cocoa butter evokes a delicious white chocolate aroma which became a bit addictive after the first few goes with this bar. What I loved the most was how moisturised and soft my skin was afterwards. You know that type of soft where you just keep feeling your skin because you can't believe it's really that soft? That's how soft Therapy left my skin.

There are so many ways you can use this product, too. I used it straight after a shower to seal in moisture; on my elbows and knees to soften the skin, on my upper chest to relieve stress and anxiety with the Neroli aroma; on my sons chest before bed to help him sleep; and to massage hubby's back and shoulders! Pregnant women could use it on their baby bump to reduce stretch marks and new Mums could use it to instantly snap their sagging skin back into Supermodel shape. I apologise for that completely unfunny joke. Therapy is good but it probably can't perform miracles!

I'm pretty smitten with Therapy as you can tell, and it's quite hard to find fault with the product. The only thing I can think of is, if your house is warm, the bar can become slightly melty. Not losing-its-shape melty, just if-you-touch-it-the-bar-is-a-bit-moist melty. In this case, I found just popping it in the fridge sorted it out. If we have the heater on, I usually store it in the fridge, which doesn't compromise the integrity of the ingredients. Also, a bumpier design would have been good for a more massagey experience, however I'm just splitting hairs. Therapy is a lovely, pampering, luxurious massage bar with a delicious fragrance, and like many Lush products, I'm a bit addicted!

Disclaimer: This product was provided for review. No money was offered/accepted. This review is my honest opinion.

Monday, August 12, 2013

REVIEW: Lush Dreamwash Shower Smoothie

LUSH say: "Dreamwash is a soothing, healing cream body wash that helps reduce redness and works to soften and cleanse the skin. Its creamy formulation leaves the skin feeling super soft."

Texture, Consistency and Fragrance
Dreamwash is a light pink colour (for some reason it's appeared as white in my photo, above) and is certainly thick and creamy, just like a smoothie. The consistency is like a thick, smooth, airless whipped mousse, creamy and divine. The aromas that are most pronounced for me, are lavender and calamine. I remember having calamine lotion put on my itchy insect bites as a kid, and this really takes me back to those days. The fragrance is subtle and gently floral.

What's In  It?
Glad you asked! LOL. Lush Dreamwash contains calamine powder and aloe vera gel to calm and soothe the skin. There's also rose absolute and chamomile, tea tree, coconut, rapeseed and lavender oils. These ingredients work to balance the skin.

My Experience
I adore the creamy thickness of Lush Dreamwash. How I use it is to scoop up a portion then massage it in when I'm under the shower. As the product makes contact with warm, wet skin, it slowly melts away, and the fragrance wafts up as you cleanse. I tried this both with and without the addition of a bar soap, and found it to be quite an adequate cleanser alone. My skin felt soft, nourished and clean after using Dreamwash, and smelled lovely.

I like the gentleness of this body wash, and the soothing, calming and healing properties (particularly the calamine and aloe vera gel) mean it would be ideal for people with sensitive skin, redness or skin conditions such as Eczema. Going by the comments on the website, customers with rashes and chicken pox also swear by it! Dreamwash is also well-suited to children and babies as it's gentle and soothing. I do find I'm going through it quite quickly (compared, for instance, to the Lush Sweetie Pie and Whoosh Shower Jellies which are taking me ages to get through!), however it is a fairly big tub at 250g.

Lush Dreamwash shower smoothie sells for $25.95 (250g) instore and online.

Disclaimer: This product was provided for review purposes. No money was offered/accepted. This review is my honest opinion.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Health and Beauty Treat Haul!

I've been really good lately, shopping the stash instead of buying up in-store (or online!). So I don't feel bad at all about this little Health and Beauty Treat Haul. Some of the items were on special (YAY!) and I needed a new Witch Hazel, plus I haven't read a magazine in ages and sugar-free chocolate is practically good for you, right? Here we go ....

Products Purchased:
Who Magazine
T.N. Dickinson's Witch Hazel
Swisse Hair Skin Nails Vitamins (50% off at Coles: only $8.99)
Well Naturally Sugar Free Dark Chocolate Mint Crisp
Well Naturally Sugar Free Dark Chocolate Valencia Orange
Well Naturally Sugar Free Dark Chocolate Rich Dark (guilt-free treats!)
Covergirl Outlast Nail Gloss Out Of The Blue
Covergirl Outlast Nail Gloss Midnight Magic
Covergirl Outlast Nail Gloss Vio-Last (so pretty! And in the $2 Clearance Bin!)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

REVIEW: Maggi Stir Fry Creations

This is a Product Talk by Nuffnang post.

Maggi Stir Fry Creations

Thanks to Nuffnang, I was able to try the new Stir Fry Creations range from Maggi, as part of Product Talk. This range introduces us to a unique two-step process where you first coat the meat in Infusion Paste, then follow up with the Finishing Sauce right at the end. This is designed to create a depth of flavour, so your mid-week stir fry can still be quick and easy to prepare, but also be balanced and delicious.

The five flavours in the range are:
- Honey, Soy & Garlic
- Teriyaki & Sesame
- Sweet Chilli, Ginger & Lemongrass
- Chinese Five Spice & Soy
- Garlic & Ginger

I like the idea behind the Maggi Stir Fry Creations range, because adding flavour layering seems to raise the stir fry to a restaurant quality meal. However, in practice, I found that cooking it took me a bit longer than it normally does on stir fry night, due to working with a Paste and a Sauce (as opposed to just one jar of sauce) and the addition of more equipment, as the recipe asks that you cover the meat in the Infusion Paste in a separate bowl while you prepare the vegetables. This was extra washing up for me! The great thing about the stir fry is that it's a one-pot wonder. Chuck it all in the wok, cook it and you're done. I guess I just want my stir fries to be quick, easy and hassle-free, and having to use a separate bowl made it a bit fiddly. I'm a fan of the packaging; the packets are perforated down the middle and pull apart easily. The instructions on the back are clear and easy to follow, and they've even put a little Simply Add section that spells it out in case you don't know what goes in a stir fry (lol).

I really enjoyed the flavour of the Teriyaki & Sesame Chicken. It was delicious and much stronger than the flavours I normally create! I kept this meal simple by just adding chopped carrot and onion, and some 'peas, carrot and corn' from a frozen packet in the freezer. You can accompany the meal with either rice or noodles, and I chose rice. See how it turned out below!

Teriyaki & Sesame Chicken

Sweet Chilli, Ginger & Lemongrass Chicken had a much more subtle flavour, and wasn't as impressive as the Teriyaki & Sesame, but was still very nice. Hubby didn't like it much because he's not a big fan of ginger, however I hardly noticed the ginger! I took the liberty of adding some orange juice and the finely grated zest of an orange, because I have a ton of oranges at the moment and need to get rid of them and I thought the flavours would go well together. Vegetable-wise, I added carrot, onion, sugar snap peas and choi sum (I still don't know what this is, but it sounds fancy!). Finished meal is below!

Sweet Chilli, Ginger & Lemongrass Chicken

I didn't receive Garlic & Ginger Chicken (probably a good thing, given hubby's ginger aversion), but can't wait to try Honey, Soy & Garlic Chicken and especially Chinese Five Spice & Soy Beef, because a beef stir fry will make a nice change from the chicken ones!

These products are stocked nationally in Coles, Woolworths and Independent supermarkets for $3.29 RRP.

Disclaimer: This is a Product Talk by Nuffnang post. This is not a sponsored post (no money was accepted/offered). This review is my honest opinion.

Monday, August 5, 2013

July Empties Reviewed!

'Empties' refers to the beauty products I've finished. Here are all my empties from last month, with my thoughts on each!

This was satisfactory while I wasn't very active, but as soon as I increased my exercise level (walking to and from school for pick-ups and drop-offs and excessive housework, LOL) I noticed the performance of this deodorant rapidly declined. To the point where I could actually SMELL my sweat! This never happens and I was completely mortified! I will not be repurchasing this product.

I normally love Trilogy products, particularly their lovely Rosehip Oil, however I could only rate this as a satisfactory soap. Despite the inclusion of the aforementioned organic rosehip oil, aloe vera, carrot and chamomile, I was put off by the sharp and awkward edges of this product. It comes as a long bar with an obvious indentation line along the middle, where you are supposed to split the bar in two. However, the product was too thick to break with my hands, so I had to cut it. So I had the sharp hurty edges from the side I cut, plus the already abrupt edges/pointy corners from the other sides. This ruined my whole experience with the Trilogy body cleansing bar, and I probably would have a less harsh opinion if the edges were smooth.

I seriously love this clear cleansing gel from Dermalogica! It's gentle, yet effective, and my skin feels clean and healthy afterwards. I raved about this product in my May Faves, which you can read about here. I'm sad that its gone, and I'll be actively trying to win some more, and failing that, I will reluctantly purchase a bottle!

I was excited to win these through a Facebook competition, as I'm always on the lookout for volumising hair products and treatments. However, I didn't notice any difference in my hair or any real effect from using the product. This is understandable given the tiny sample size (I think I only got one use out of the shampoo and two out of the conditioner!). The aroma was interesting and somewhat masculine. To be honest, I'll probably forget about these products. Had they included a few more sample tubes or a larger size bottle so I could assess the product more effectively, things may be different.

I really like the results I get from this under-eye concealer. The thin consistency is perfect for the delicate under-eye region. I find the formula is really great at diminishing the look of my dark circles, and because the texture is light and thin, this allows for the addition of a little Benefit Erase Paste over the top, without any caking or product build-up. In other words, it provides a lovely base if more concealer is needed under the eyes. My only qualms are that the label on the outside of the tube rubs off over time, and I also had an issue with the foam applicator falling off! I'm already using my next tube of this stuff; it's become a regular in my daily makeup routine.

Disclaimer: Aveda, Dermalogica and Trilogy are prizes I won; Norsca and Maybelline I bought. All opinions are my own.