Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June Favourites: MakeUp Edition!

I haven't written a Favourites post in a while, so here's a fairly quick one based solely on MakeUp. These are the products I've been reaching for nearly every day throughout June. My reliable buddies, my go-to items when I want to slap my face on quickly without thinking.

I swipe on Korres Mandarin Lip Butter Stick SPF15 right at the start of my makeup routine because it softens and moisturises my lips and prepares them for the onslaught of plumper, liner and lipstick that's to come. At the beginning stages of my makeup, my reflection is looking quite pale and depressing, so a shot of flattering red balm is just what I need to pep myself up, even if I do wipe it off later!

I've been using the Maybelline Big Eyes Luminous Brown Palette, which I won from a giveaway on Kats Colourings blog, every weekday morning when I'm rushing to get ready for school drop-off. The shades in this eyeshadow palette are right up my alley and I know I can create a flattering, subtle look quickly and easily with the earthy nude colours.

I don't know why I haven't thought of this before? Since winning a Dettol prize pack from the Little Lioness blog I've plonked this mini Dettol Healthy Touch Instant Hand Sanitizer on my makeup table and have been using it in between makeup processes to disinfect my hands. So for instance, if I've used my fingertips to apply eyeshadow, I clean them off with hand sanitizer before applying moisturiser and foundation (yes, I do my eyes first, then work my way down my face). My blemishes are pretty much gone now, and I'm going the extra mile not to spread any germs over my face!

This little Australis Colour Corrector in Gold is a surprise packet! I bought it before discovering my Holy Grail dark circle cover, the Bobbi Brown Corrector (see Product Rave! Bobbi Brown Corrector. Just Wow) and I really like it. The thin, gel-like consistency means it glides on easily and it does a good job of illuminating and brightening the under-eye area and providing a great base for which to add my heavy duty, highly-pigmented Bobbi Brown Corrector. On days where I've managed a decent amount of sleep I can get away with using just the Australis Colour Corrector. This is inexpensive and would be great for people with mild darkness around the eyes.

How good are the Essence LipLiners? I've got three shades now, and I'm reaching for Wish Me A Rose the most. This is a great colour match for pink-toned nude lipsticks. I can't fault the formula, and at only $2 each, these lipliners are an absolute steal. Highly recommended!

I'm also loving the Physicians Formula Organic Wear FakeOut Mascara, which came in the Priceline Cosmetics Gift Bag back in May. This is a fibre mascara, but I mostly love the brush shape and the non-clumpy volume it imparts. The flat, curvy pink leaf design of the tube is novel, fun and super-cute, too!

Disclaimer: All products were bought by me with the exception of the Dettol and the Maybelline ones, which I won. All reviews are my honest opinion. :)

What products have you been loving in June?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Mani: Glitter Catastrophe!

There's a party happening on my nails and, quite frankly, I wish I'd declined the invitation. Actually, it's more of a Mardi Gras. Except most drag queens have classier nails than the ones I'm sporting. I chose the wrong background colour (Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Sugar Fix, which on its own looked Ah-mazing, by the way!) then followed that up with another bad choice, my Australis Glitter Top Coat in Fairy Bread. I've had this too long and it had congealed into a thick, sticky, blobby mess. I didn't find this out until I'd started applying it, and by that stage it was too late! Usually I grow to hate my bad mani's, but this time the regret was instantaneous.

Products Used (although unless you're a 10 year old girl, you're probably in no rush to recreate this look):
2 coats of Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Sugar Fix
Followed by one coat each of the following.....
BYS Glam Glitter in Dazzling

Australis Glitter Top Coat in Fairy Bread
Revlon Nail Art Moon Candy in Galactic

Guys, this is so bad I almost hate glitter now?

Linking this post up to Monday Makeup Madness at Fabulous And Fun Life! 

Disclaimer: This manicure was my idea. I am so, so sorry :(

What's a beauty choice you've instantly regretted making?

Friday, June 19, 2015

Free Samples, You Beauty!

Last week I was lucky enough to receive a press release from Lush inviting me to trial a couple of their face masks, and since they require refrigeration, I had to go in-store to pick them up. Now, I hardly ever venture into the city (there's only one Lush store in Adelaide and I have to take an hour-long bus ride to get there!) so I thought I'd make it worthwhile by redeeming all my saved up beauty sample email offers at the same time. I've found it's usually just the city department stores that redeem them, as I've tried at suburban ones, with only occasional success.

You may know that I'm on a never-ending quest to find my Holy Grail eye cream. This magical lotion will be a multi-tasking extraordinaire. It will improve my dark circles, puffiness and fine lines simultaneously and magnificently. I recently bought the Thalgo Exception Ultime Time Solution for Eyes and Lips (blogged in this SkinCare Shopping Spree post), and while it's good, it's not great. And it's nowhere near Holy Grail status. So I visited the beauty counters at David Jones and received fantastic, friendly and professional customer service (unlike this recent Bobbi Brown Customer Service Fail), gained a wealth of knowledge and came away with an array of beauty samples to suit my specific needs. My main aim is to try all these wonderful creams and hopefully discover a Holy Grail product that I fall in love with, because it just works that well. Trialling samples gives me the opportunity to discover if I like a product before forking out for the full size. Most of these products are quite expensive, so it's smart to try it first before buying! Yes, I scored a nice pile of freebies, but if I find something I can't live without, I'll go back and buy the full product. And then I'll cry, especially if it's the Chantecaille Stress Repair Concentrate, because that's $254 for 15mls.

I visited Lush in the Myer Centre first, to select my face masks for an upcoming blog post (look out for it in a couple of weeks!). The Sales Assistant was so friendly and helpful, trying out masks on my hands as we discussed my skincare concerns and what problems I wished to address. I didn't even ask for a sample, but she offered to include an Ultra Bland Cleanser sample for me, which is great because it's a cult product and I've never tried it before!

Next up, Mecca Cosmetica. This visit was to check out their eye creams, in particular the Perricone MD Cold Plasma Eye and the Blue Plasma Eye Orbital. When the Sales Assistant asked if I needed help, I told her I was looking for a multitasking eye cream that would first and foremost address fine lines, followed by dark circles and puffiness. She suggested the Chantecaille Stress Repair Concentrate and made up a little sample pot for me, which should last a week. All of these products have received great reviews on the Mecca site, so I can't wait to try the Stress Repair, and I'm still curious about the Perricone MD plasma products!


I had an email offer for a 7 day supply of Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules from David Jones, so off I went. I love the gorgeous gold packaging of this little flip-top pot, and I don't know what it is about those little capsules, but they just excite me. This sort of thing seems so luxurious to me, and they're just so motherflipping cute! I think it's the novelty factor, too. The Sales Assistant couldn't wait to show me the anti-ageing range (DO I LOOK THAT OLD?!) and lo and behold, led me straight to the Prevage range, which was on my list to ask about. She tried everything on my (by this stage, very well-moisturised and pampered) hands and then gave me a sample pot of Prevage Anti-Aging Eye Cream SPF15. I'm so happy, because I've been wanting to try this much-hyped range for ages! She did try to sell me a discounted Prevage gift set, but I'm not going to spend a lot of money on something I haven't tried out on my face first.

The Philosophy Sales Assistant was full of helpful tips, like applying an eye serum under your eye cream helps the active ingredients penetrate deeper into your skin, giving you better results, and that the only way to get rid of milia is via a Beauty Therapist, who will lance them out. The horror! We talked a lot about my skincare concerns and she gave me a range of product samples, called things like Time In A Bottle and Miracle Worker (lol) to try out.

The actual Philosophy samples I received:
- Miracle Worker Miraculous Anti-Aging Moisturizer
- Purity Made Simple 3-in-1 Cleanser for Face and Eyes
- Time In A Bottle Daily Age-Defying Serum
- Time In A Bottle For Eyes Daily Age-Defying Eye Serum

Lastly, I headed over to the La Prairie counter to redeem my email offer for a sample of the new Anti-Aging Rapid Response Booster. I was pretty excited because I love La Prairie products (the Skin Caviar range in particular) and the results it gives me, the only downside is the price tag, so I was interested to try the Rapid Response for free. I was disappointed when the Sales Assistant said the samples hadn't arrived in-store yet. She was so nice and very apologetic, as they were supposed to have arrived the week before. She took my number to call me once they arrived and gave me two samples of the Skin Caviar Luxe Eye Lift Cream and two of the Essence of Skin Caviar Eye Complex, which I was so grateful for. I love the Skin Caviar products (here's my review of the Skin Caviar Liquid Lift) and can't wait to try the targeted eye cream samples.

Have you tried any great samples lately? Have you loved a sample so much you went on to buy the product?

I'm linking up to the Monday Makeup Madness Linky Party over at Fabulous And Fun Life! Join in the fun!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Bobbi Brown Goodies & A Customer Service Fail

So you may know that I'm in love with the Bobbi Brown Corrector, after reading my rave about it here. In short, it's my Holy Grail dark circle obliterator and no other product has come close to giving me the same results. However, I wish I didn't love it so much, because after a disappointing customer service fail, I'm reluctant to hand over any more money to Bobbi Brown.

I'll start by saying I do love the little collection of goodies I acquired, and it was a great deal. I basically needed to replace my adored Corrector (yes, already!) and when the email offer of a free eyeliner and shadow stick with any BB purchase plus free shipping popped up, I was in! I was also pleasantly surprised to be able to choose four free samples to accompany my order as well. Having never ordered from the Bobbi Brown site before, I wasn't sure if this was right, but that's what happened during the ordering process, so who was I to argue? Here's what I got:

Corrector in Porcelain Bisque ($40)
Long Wear Eye Pencil mini in Jet (free)
Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick sample in Golden Pink (free)
Extra Repair Moisturizing Balm SPF 25 7ml (free)
CC Cream SPF 35 in Blushed Nude 5ml (free)
Extra Repair Moisture Cream sachet (free)
Hydrating Face Cream sachet (free)

And now for the complete lack of customer service. I received the obligatory automated email confirming my order, saying (and I quote) "we'll let you know as soon as your package ships in 1-2 days." Well, 7 days passed, and nothing. No email. So I called the 1800 number from the 'Have questions about your order? We can help' section of the email mid-afternoon (which goes through to Estee Lauder, who own Bobbi Brown), only to be put in a queue (normal), waiting, then hearing the message 'all our operators are busy, please leave a message and we'll call you back'. Annoyed, I hung up. I decided instead to ring again right on business opening hours the next morning, when surely not all of their operators would be busy. The same thing happened! This time I left a message with my name and phone number. Well that was 5 days ago and I have yet to get a call back, and I won't be holding my breath! Luckily, my order arrived in the meantime. They really shouldn't include "we'll let you know as soon as your package ships in 1-2 days" in the order confirmation email if they aren't going to, because when you still don't have the promised email a week later, that's when you start to worry (or I do, anyway!).

I also posted my review of the Corrector on their Facebook page in April and they never commented or liked it, but many brands ignore bloggers in that manner, so that was pretty much expected and only mildly annoying. LOL. More disturbing was when I contacted them through the Contact Form on the Bobbi Brown website in May and never got a reply. That's their official contact form on the official BB Australia website. It is unacceptable and extremely poor customer service to not reply to the queries they get through that form. I'm so glad I haven't had an issue with my order, because trying to contact and get a response from these clowns is an absolute fucking nightmare.

I wanna divorce!

Disclaimer: This post details my actual experience with this company with 100% honesty. As always!

Have you had a bad customer service experience recently?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Getting Dirty with New Lush Massage Bars!*

Drop everything, because Lush have released a bunch of new Massage Bars! They are self-preserving, packaging free and contain a mix of beneficial essential oils that Lush say will 'soothe, smooth and boost even the prickliest of moods'. How did they know I'd be trying them out on hubby? Hehe.

Lush have sent me 'Dirty' and 'Yes Yes Yes' to try out, because obviously they think I'm due for sexy times. However, the real winner here is my husband, because he gets to relax and be pampered while I massage this goodness into his...... hairy arm (see photo below). He didn't want any other body parts to end up on my blog! LOL.

Dirty unsurprisingly contains Lush's spearmint and herbal Gorilla perfume called Dirty. Fancy that! There's also cocoa powder and the dark brown LUSH circle in the middle is vegan dark chocolate. Sensing a theme? That's right, this baby smells chocolatey and delicious. Other ingredients packed into this bar include Fair Trade Shea Butter, neroli oil, lavender absolute, sandalwood oil and thyme and oakmoss absolutes. This is my favourite of the two bars, because chocolate. As I rubbed the bar over Rob Pattinson, I mean hubby's skin it melted in and the sweet aroma filled the air. His skin was left feeling soft, warm, moisturised and smelling delightful! I've also been using Dirty as a body moisturiser on my arms and chest each morning. It's beautifully soothing, leaves my skin nourished and I enjoy inhaling the chocolatey fragrance that lingers for hours.

Yes Yes Yes is 'made with Lust: our sexiest, sultriest, unadulterated jasmine fragrance' say Lush. Unfortunately jasmine tends trigger bad headaches for me, so I only had a little play with this one, mainly on hubby. It certainly has a strong floral aroma, and contains ylang ylang, organic almond and sandalwood oils, jasmine, vanilla and rose absolutes, as well as Fair Trade organic cocoa and shea butters, which are great for their moisturising properties. I really love how soft and moisturised these bars leave the skin. This is especially good in Winter, when skin becomes drier, quicker.

Other Bars in the new range include From Dusk Till Dawn (Sicilian lemon, orange oil, ginseng, ginkgo, guarana), Percup (coffee beans, coconut, jojoba oil), Shades of Earl Grey (earl grey, lemon oil) and Tender Is The Night (vanilla, shea butter, Murumu butter). These Massage Bars have a tendency to melt, so keep them in a cool place, especially if you've got warm air conditioning or a heater on inside! I keep mine in the fridge.

The Massage Bar range retails between $12.50 - $14.95, with Dirty and Yes Yes Yes for $13.95 each. They are available from Lush, in store and online now.

*Disclaimer: I was sent these products for editorial consideration. All opinions are my own. Please see the Disclosure section for more information.

Joining up to the Monday MakeUp Madness Linky Party at Fabulous And Fun Life!

Will you be indulging in a Lush massage this Winter?

Monday, June 8, 2015

SkinCare Shopping Spree!

I've bought so much skincare lately, it's actually getting ridiculous. I need an Intervention! I have two issues I'm trying to address; the fine lines and dark circles under my eyes and my annoying breakouts. 

I bit the bullet and forked out for an expensive eye cream, Thalgo Exception Ultimate Time Solution For Eyes And Lips. With a $79 qualifying spend, this came with a bonus six-piece Mystery Gift, which turned out to be 2ml sample tubes presented loose in a plastic zip lock bag! Tres disappointing, but you live and learn, right? I'm using Thalgo Exception Time Solution in conjunction with Paula's Choice Resist Intensive Wrinkle Repair Retinol Serum (not pictured as that came in a beauty box I won a while back) and I'm seeing a vast improvement under my eyes in terms of puffiness, fine lines and dark circles. It's not Holy Grail level, though, so the search continues. I really want to try the Perricone MD Cold Plasma Eye next, but will try to refrain from purchasing it before I've finished the Thalgo cream!

I absolutely adore the Paula's Choice Resist Retinol Serum mentioned above, so jumped at the recent chance for $15 off my first Paula's Choice online order. I got the Resist Daily Pore-Refining Treatment 2% BHA, bought a Retinol Serum sample as a back-up and got to choose three free samples, too. And to prove how much I need that intervention, I have since placed another PC order, this time purchasing the Clear Extra Strength Kit (it was 20% off with free shipping, plus I read the reviews and they were amazing, even clearing customer's cystic acne). I need a solution to my persistent breakouts and I'm hoping this is it. Again, not pictured, because it hasn't arrived yet!

Next up are some tea tree products which have helped a lot, but not completely solved my problem. I purchased The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Toner after my Lush Tea Tree Water Toner ran out, and the Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Face Wash For Acne (yay!) out of sheer desperation, a few weeks ago. Tea Tree is amazing for clearing blemishes and my skin has started to clear up since using it. Tea Tree Oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, acts as an antiseptic and is a great skin healer. My lumps and bumps have all but gone, but I'm left with red marks here and there that are stubbornly sticking around.

Okay, so I think I've got enough skincare in my arsenal now. I pledge to not buy anything else until Leo DiCaprio wins that elusive Oscar! Now you'll have to excuse me while I shed a tear for poor Oscar-deficient, millionaire Leo who is probably having a Cristal champagne-fuelled threesome with stunning, blonde supermodels on his luxury yacht in the South of France as we speak.

Disclaimer: All products bought with my own money, with the exception of the Paula's Choice Resist Intensive Wrinkle Repair Retinol which was in a beauty box I won. All opinions are my own. See my Disclosure section for further information.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Just Desserts!

My husband and I recently had a lovely (child-free) weekend city break, as I had won an accommodation voucher. It was wonderful! We ate, we walked everywhere, we shopped, gambled, explored our city and ate some more. I still have a restaurant review to finish writing and I hope to post that soon. Spoiler Alert! My upcoming restaurant review is for Jamie's Italian and two of the below Desserts are from our meal there! Let the deliciousness begin........

Banana Split from Cocolat
Choc Mint Dream from Cocolat
Minty mousse inside the Choc Mint dome - Cocolat
Serendipity Icecream with Smashed Honeycomb from Jamie's Italian
Amalfi Lemon Meringue Cheesecake from Jamie's Italian

Do you have a Wordless Wednesday post? Link it up in the comments, I'd love to read it!

Monday, June 1, 2015

June Goals

I plan to read this in June!

I've read monthly goal posts on a few different blogs now, and in my effort to become more organised, I've decided to set my own. I'm good at crossing items off my daily To Do list, however the 'bigger picture' often escapes my thoughts. So here goes nothing with my June Goals. I'm interested to see how many I achieve!

  • Create spreadsheet for beauty staples with dates, stockists and best prices
  • Plant bulbs in front garden (or pay someone else to do it)
  • Get kitchen totally clean including fridge clear-out and cupboards re-organised
  • Sort through entire makeup collection and toss, store or give away items accordingly
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes every weekday (doesn't include school drop-off and pick-up walks!)
  • Dine at a restaurant I've never been to before!
  • Read a book. Do not give up on your GoodReads Book Challenge!
  • Book an appointment to get the flu injection
  • Find your goddamn purple jumper. You can do it!
  • Watch five movies (cinema, DVD or Netflix)

What are your goals for June?