27 December, 2015

Worth The Hype? Kiehl's Creme de Corps

Kiehl's is known for amazing skincare. Their Creme de Corps is their 4th best seller, celebrity favourite and original formula. I have 2 deluxe samples of this I have been trialing over a month because I wanted to know, is this worth the hype?

Starting from $30 for the smallest bottle available, this moisturiser has been seen everywhere from Miranda's night table on Sex and the City to Kate Moss, Nicole Richie and Katie Holmes. This all over body moisturiser is a cult favourite.
Even artist Jeff Koons has collaborated with the brand to make limited edition packaging as well as other artists.
When people are buying a product for the limited edition packing, then you know it has a dedicated following.

This cream is very thick and a little hard to get out of the bottle, so I would much rather a pump or a tube. There is no overwhelming scent, just a slight hint of cocoa butter.
While I found this very moisturising, it was hard to spread evenly and I felt like it took forever to absorb. I was left with that wet sticky feeling until my next shower which isn't the most pleasant feeling.
I didn't see anything spectacular in the ingredients list and it reminded me of the much more affordable Palmer's cocoa butter.
I could see myself using this at night during winter, perhaps on my legs or smothering my feet in this before slipping on a pair of thick socks. However, with the higher price tag, I feel there are better options that are a lot more affordable and more accessible.

Overhyped or Underhyped?

Kiehl's Website

23 December, 2015

December Empties

It might seem a little crazy to store empty bottles and tubes of beauty products but I can assure you there is a method to my madness.
With so many beauty products flooding the market and so many more avenues opening up for Australians to purchase from, one of the best ways to tell if a product is worth repurchasing or not, is to use the entire product and review it after I have squeezed and scraped every last drop.

Monthly Empties

Glam Glow Brightmud Eye Treatment 12 cells
RRP:$85.99 from MYQT
Repurchase? No
I love how these were individually packaged so I knew how much to use and didn't have to worry about these drying out. However I didn't really see any difference in my skin using these, instantly or long term. I also found it frustrating how the little grains in the gel seemed to get into my eye very easily. 

Benefit They're Real Mascara
RRP: $40.00 from Myer
Repurchase? Yes
I really do love this mascara, it has to be one of my most used. This tube has well and truly dried up and for some reason I have half a dozen of these mini tubes which is the perfect size for any mascara as they only have a lifespan of 3 months maximum. The brush on this is short and rubbery allowing me to get right to the root of the my lashes and it is almost budge proof, I do find on hot days I tend to get a bit of transfer but over all, I love this and would recommend this to any one. 

De Lorenzo Nova Fusion Shampoo in Copper Titan 250ml
RRP: $26.95 from Hairhouse Warehouse
Repurchase? Yes
I recently decided to colour my hair a copper and what they say is true - being a redhead requires more maintenance than being blonde. Almost instantly my colour fades and although I love the light strawberry blonde colour my copper fades to, this shampoo keeps me happy in between salon visits.
I do find it slightly drying so I mix this in with my regular shampoo and leave it in for 5 minutes or so once a week and find it freshens my colour and adds some depth.

Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Original Formula 5 Day Supply
RRP: $23.00 from Mecca
Repurchase? Yes
WOW! I was a little nervous about trying this, there is something scary about the word peel, especially when you are doing it yourself. I bought the mini 5 day supply from Mecca Maxima and I was wowed from the first use. This is simple to use, You just swipe the first pad over your clean face, wait a few minutes and then wipe the second pad over your face and applied my regular skincare over the top.
There was the slightest tingling but nothing uncomfortable. My skin instantly felt smoother, all those little bumps were gone and I found the texture became more consistent and my pigmentation soothed. I've already purchased the extra strength version for a little extra omph and I'm loving it.

Glam Glow Youthmud Mask 15ml
RRP:$25.00 from MYQT
Repurchase? No
I'm a fan of the white Glam Glow mask (who isn't?) but this just didn't live up to my expectations. I purchased the mini and I'm glad I didn't buy the large jar because not only did I not see any significant results but after 3 uses, my tub dried up! I barely had it 4 weeks before having to toss it. I'm also not a fan of the little stringy bits that seem to hang off and fall off staining anything in their path. 

Philosophy Purity Made Simple Facial Cleanser 90ml
RRP: $18.00 from Mecca
Repurchase? No
This is a lovely cleanser and I had no irritation or issues with my sensitive skin, however for the price tag, I would rather purchase Cetaphil, which while not being in such pretty packaging, is the equivalent to this cleanser. I don't think this would be suitable for anyone with oily skin and I found I could only use this in the morning as I need a deeper clean to wash the day off my face at night. 

John Frieda Precision Foam After Colour Conditioner 150ml
RRP: $16.99 from Priceline
Repurchase? Yes
I have gone through at least 5 tubes of this. It's one of the best hair masks I have ever used, even comparable to higher end brands. This leaves my hair silky soft ad has a great scent without being overpowering. The tube lasts me quite a while and I can often find it on sale which makes this even better. 

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water 400ml
RRP: $12.99 from Priceline
Repurchase? Yes
I don't see any difference between this and it's apparent expensive dupe (Bioderma), except for the price. This is often on sale and does just as good of a job as any other micellar water I have tried. I do find I have slight irritation around my eyes but I have found that with all micellar waters. 

Bioderma Purifying Cleansing Foaming Gel 200ml
RRP: $24.99 from Priceline
Repurchase? Yes
This is a good cleanser that foams up nicely. I found it kept my combo/oily skin clear and didn't leave me with that tight feeling. I love the pump bottle and that I can see when I'm about to run out. However, I would wait for this to go on sale before repurchasing.

Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Mask 250ml
RRP: $32.00 from Priceline 
Repurchase? No
I really feel this not worth the price tag or the hype. I didn't find it smoothed my hair enough and it still felt slightly straw like after. I tried massaging, leaving it in for almost an hour and even wrapping my hair in a warm towel but it didn't wow me. I've purchased better masks for a lot less and if I'm going to spend $30+ on a mask, I would rather buy a high end brand that I know works.

22 December, 2015

Too Faced Christmas in Paris

We can't all afford to spend the festive season in Paris, so Too Faced is bringing it to us!
I adore Too Faced products, I still have fond memories of my first ever eye shadow palette Too Faced "Natural Eyes Collection". It was my first high end makeup purchase and my first purchase from Mecca
To this day, it's still my go to palette and one I would recommend to anyone in a heartbeat.

Too Faced have become known for their coveted holiday collections, limited edition sets in adorable packaging and great quality products that suit almost everyone.
I have a review and swatches on their Le Petit Tresor gift set here.
I also splurged on 2 more pieces from the collection.

Le Grand Palais de Too Faced
Too Faced Le Grand Chateau

Mecca is the only supplier of Too Faced in Australia and the holiday range here was limited, so I used international shipping service Shop and Box to buy the Le Grand Palais de Too Faced.

 Le Grand Palais de Too Faced

The Le Grand Palais de Too Faced is a beautifully packaged large palette selling for $58 USD and exclusive to Sephora in the US.
Once opened, a grand foyer awaits, your shopping bags off to the side, a view of the sparkling Eiffel Tower out of the window and a grand staircase make this over the top set something special.
The palette includes 18 eye-shadows, 2 blushes, a bronzer, a highlighter and 3 deluxe minis of the best selling Better Than Sex Mascara, Long Wear Liquified Lipstick in the universally flattering shade Peony and a Shadow Insurance Eye Primer.

The palette itself is removable and contains everything you need to take you from natural looks to sparkly crazy nights or just a touch of shimmer to mix it up occasionally, you could easily take this travelling with you and not need to bring any more powder products.

The Too Faced Le Grand Chateau

This is one of my favourite holiday sets that Too Faced has brought out, available from Mecca for $70 AUD in Australia.

Once you lift the roof on this little pink french chateau, 3 mini palettes are revealed, each includes 6 eye shadows and a blush or bronzer.
In total there are 18 eye shadows, 1 bronzer (exclusive to the gift set) and 2 blushes. Of course a deluxe Better Than Sex mascara is included, any Too Faced fan knows you can never have to many of those!

One of the things that adds value to this palette is each mini is designed like a little present with a bow on the box and gift labels on the back, so if you can manage to part with them, they make excellent gifts.

The Black Palette

The Pink Palette
The Green Palette

21 December, 2015

Survival Guide: Boxing Day Sales

It’s the most wonderful time of the year... Sale time that is!

If you have been saving all year and patiently waiting for that sale that makes it all worth it, Boxing Day sales are the light at the end of the tunnel. 
Braving the Boxing Day sales can be a great experience, full of significant savings and plenty of treats or it can be a nightmare filled with damaged goods in the wrong size and sore feet.
The sore feet are usually inevitable but with a little preparation it can be a great day, so I’ve put together a few tips to make the most out of the most hectic shopping day of the year.

Be prepared
Start keeping an eye out for emails from your favourite stores leading up to December 26th. Most won’t advertise until the day before, so while everyone else is sleeping off Christmas dinner, hop online and check out what’s on offer.
If you're friendly with sales assistants, suss them out to find out what will be on sale.
Do a pre-run at your favourite stores a few days before to see what you like, try things on and have a look at your wardrobe to see if they will suit.
Make a list of your must haves and how much you are prepared to pay.

Take your pick
As much as you want to see and do it all, chances are you are going to have to prioritise your most wanted. Shoes, swimwear and ladies fashion are usually busy due to everyone wanting to try thing on. So plan to shop your most wanted first and keep in mind how long the lines for the changing rooms will be. Also, be aware of the dreaded "maximum items" rule in the change room!
It can be hard not to be dazzled by prices and get caught up in the crowd, if in doubt ask yourself “Would I buy this if it wasn’t on sale”? If the answer is no, then throw it back to the wolves.

The early bird gets the parking spot
If you're planning to get in early, consider driving. You will most likely score a parking spot (even if you have to pay for it), you will have more room to stash your goodies and your tired feet will thank you at the end of the day.

The buddy system
Gather one or two of your most patient friends and head in together. You can split the parking costs, share a change room and to have an extra pair of eyes to help you spot bargains as well as tell you the truth when you ask "do these make me look fat.... even if they are half price?"

Check all items for damage. People can do a bit of rough handling during sales so check for rips, stains and marks. If something is in the bargain bin or extremely discounted, ask the sales assistant why before you buy it. Gift packs can be missing items and some may be damaged which explains the low price tag.

Avoid the popular spots
Try a different approach this year. If you always head to the city for your sale fix, consider another shopping destination. Bondi Junction has great sales, you will get a little sleep in and it won’t be as crowded. If you're usually at the head of the line waiting for Myer in the CBD to open, try David Jones instead, you will get the same, if not better savings and it won’t be nearly as crowded.

Remember sales assistants are human too!
Be patient! Remember it is going to be crowded regardless of what time you show up. Sales assistants are there to help you, they have most likely worked late on Christmas eve and have had to start as early as 5am in some cases. They have probably been working their booty off for the last month, so don’t be rude to them and remember this isn't a market in Bali - don't give them grief trying to haggle and don't get snappy when they are following rules or things like technical difficulties happen. 
Most staff just want to help you as fast as they can so they can go home to their family.

What to wear
This isn’t the time to wear your skinny jeans that take a two-man team to zip you into. This is the one day of the year I think wearing thongs off the beach is acceptable, only because they will be easy to slip on and off when you are trying on shoes.
Skip the jeans and go for leggings and a light top (aka sports luxe), anything comfortable and easy to pull clothes over will help you today. Trying on clothes over your outfit will save you from the hour long wait for most change rooms.
Make sure you wear a flesh/beige coloured convertible bra, so you can adjust as needed while trying on strapless, one shoulder and racer back tops.
Stash a pair of socks in your pocket if you are shoe shopping, this will avoid the guessing game or having to wait in line again to ask for a pair. Tie your hair back, don't go overboard with the make-up (unless you want to stain anything slipping over your head) and keep it casual.
If you can, avoid bringing a handbag (I know, I’m insane right?) or at least bring your smallest bag or a cross over body bag.
You will need your hands free for all those shopping bags you are going to be carrying.

Eat up
Have a good healthy breakfast and keep a snack on you. It may sound extreme but the only thing more crowded than 80% off section will be the food court between 11am-3pm. Try to avoid it during those times and make sure you don’t pass out by keeping your energy up.

Work your way from top to bottom
When entering a department store, head straight to the top and work your way down. In my experience, the bottoms levels fill up first and escalators and elevators going up can come to a complete halt, so be strong and walk straight past the beauty counters (which rarely go on sale during Boxing Day anyway) and start off at electronics, working your way down.

Money talks
Paying cash can sometimes be a little quicker than using an overloaded EFTPOS machine. Withdrawing cash can help you stick to your budget and no go overboard. If you have to withdraw more cash it will help you stop and think if it’s worth it.
If you're using plastic, make sure your cards are in good condition and check your daily spending limit with your bank
If you really can't be trusted, leave some cash at home where you can't touch it, to get you through to next pay day, a new wardrobe won't look so great when you have to live off noodles and toast for the next month.

Shop in your PJ's
Sleep in and hop online, lots of stores now have online shopping and you might get a better bargain so check the websites for deals and avoid the crowds.

And remember it’s just shopping, there are always other sales, so have fun!

20 December, 2015

Last Minute Beauty Gifts

Left the Christmas shopping a little too late? I've complied a list of the best beauty gifts for any budget. If you're looking for stocking suffers and kris kringle gifts, click here for my under $10 gift guide.

Under $25

Tocca Mini Giulietta EDP $24
Kit Beach Fragrance Candle $24
Both from Mecca
Natio Tender Set $24.95
 From Myer

Beauty Blender Original $25

From Net-A-Porter

Under $50

Shu Uemura X15 $35
From David Jones

Too Faced Le Petit Tresor Lip Set $43
From Mecca. Full review here
The Body Shop Seasonal Body Butter Snowdome $39.95
From The Body Shop
Balmain Paris Hair Couture Set $39
From Net-A-Porter

Under $100

Ciate Olivia Palermo Smouldering Eye Set $66

Sarah Chapman Facial In A Box $76
From Net-A-Porter
Slip Embroidered Silk-satin Queen Pillowcase
From Net-A-Porter

Jo Malone Christmas Cracker $65
From David Jones

$100 and over

Tom Ford Lips and Boys 10 Piece Set $480
From David Jones
GHD Platinum Arctic Gold Gift Set $315
From Mecca
Artis Brush Set Elite Smoke $199
From Net-A-Porter
Tiffany & Co Zip Dome Pouch $320
From Tiffany & Co

19 December, 2015

Christmas Beauty Advent Calendars: Benefit

This calendar is fun from the first pop! When you open this brightly coloured box, a cheeky version of the "12 Days of Christmas" starts to play. This just screams fun, pop, clink, fizz! and and brings a smile to your face. I could hardly wait to get home and pop this open, of course I had to photograph it before I could play, so apologies for the awful lighting.

For the Party Girl Benefit Big 12 Party Poppers
RRP $78.00
From Myer in store and online

I wasn't going to buy this calendar, I had bought so many to review on The Loved Life that I didn't know if it would be worth it or not. The box looked small and only 12 goodies? hmm would it be worth it?
I'm so glad I bought this for myself and if I wasn't a compulsive planner who finished Christmas shopping weeks ago, I would be buying one of these for every female I know. There is the perfect balance of make-up and skincare, cult products included and I could see anyone from any age group or any skin type getting use from this advent calendar.
This is a party in a box.

Peek Inside
The POREfessional (7.5ml)
They're real! mascara mini
They're real! remover (7.5ml)
Lollitint (2.5ml)
High beam (2.5ml)
Ooh la lift mini
Watts up! (2.5ml)
Mini BADgal lash
Ultra plush lip gloss mini in hoola (6.5ml)
Ultra plush lip gloss mini in sugarbomb (6.5ml)
Rockateur blush mini
Total moisture facial cream mini

15 December, 2015

My Little Beauty Black Book

Being a well groomed woman is not easy. It can be hard to find the right person to do the right job and actually give you what you pay for.
Over the years I have been lucky enough to find some amazing people who are truly skilled in their niche beauty market and worth every penny.
I have visited all of these salon's on a regular basis and have always been ecstatic with the results, so I thought I would share my fabulous Sydney specialists with my readers.

Please note, all of these recommendations are suggested based on my own experience. I pay full price for these services and they are not sponsored.

Who: Vera Tanovic at V Beauty
What: Waxing
Where: Website
M: 0410 636 532
2/30-34 Kings Lane
Why: For a painless and perfect brazilian wax/bikini wax/or whatever you like wax.
Vera has lightning fast hands that cause minimal pain (I barely felt a pinch, honestly!).
Vera will also put you at ease as she handles the delicate situation perfectly and professionally (and will happily have a fun chat if you are a little nervous).
You feel strangely comfortable setting foot into this salon as you prepare for what is about to happen. The salon is hygienic, there is no double dipping of spatulas and Vera takes pride in making sure her clients are happy and comfortable and want to return.
Not only will you leave with your dignity intact but you will feel empowered and sexy stepping out of the salon doors. It's amazing what a little hair removal can do for your self esteem.
V Beauty also does most beauty treatments, she can do one hell of a leg wax and will give you a facial to leave you glowing.

Tip: Vera has seen it all, so don't be afraid to ask for what you want and if it's your first time, ask for some aftercare tips to keep the ingrown bumps at bay.

Who: Samantha at the Lash Lounge
What: Lash Extensions
Where: Website
P: 02 9818 8188
Shop 2/595 Darling Street, Rozelle
Why: Since 2009 The Lash Lounge has been setting the standard for eyelash extensions. Forget the horror stories of losing lashes, reactions to glue and overpriced jobs that fail to deliver.
The Lash lounge will leave you with nothing but impeccable lashes under the perfectionist eye of salon owner and founder Samantha.
I first visited The Lash Lounge in Petersham and was stunned with the results. The extensions lasted me for weeks and my natural lashes were left unharmed.
The salon has now expanded and is now located in Rozelle, keeping up to date with the latest 2-3D lashes, while also specialising in the classic extensions. The current staff have been carefully trained under the watchful eye and high standards of Samantha.
They even have lash rehab for those who have been through the nightmare of bad extensions! So don't be afraid to ask for a lash emergency repair.
The Lash Lounge also does a damn good brow too!
Checkout my interview with Samantha here.

Tip: Be warned once you go here, other lash extensions will look second rate! The salon is luxurious and relaxing, the application technique is so gentle and professional - you will most likely fall asleep during the application! Be sure to book in advance for special occasions.

Who: Martha B
What: Eyebrows
Where: Website
P: 0415 254 618
574 Crown Street, Surry Hills
Why: Eyebrows are often over looked, unless you have been plucked by Martha B! 
Martha a perfectionist and will make you realise how much a well groomed brow can enhance your appearance. She is an artist and with her trusty tweezers in hand, she tirelessly plucks away and you leave looking like a new woman (or man, don't be afraid to take your boy here if his brows are out of control).
Tip: Keep a standing appointment every 6 weeks to make sure you keep your brows in shape, Martha B is in hot demand.

08 December, 2015

Review: Too Faced Le Petit Tresor

I am beyond ecstatic with this gift set. The name translates to "The Little Treasure" I'm not sure why because this set contains 3 full sized lipsticks - 2 of their best sellers and 1 exclusive shade.
There is nothing petit about it!

What: Too Faced Le Petit Tresor
RRP: $43.00 AUD
From: Mecca Maxima in store or online

Review: This is a limited edition gift set from Too Faced as part of their "Christmas in Paris" collection. The glittery aqua pouch is adorable with a little Eiffel Tower charm attached to the zipper and this holds 3 full sized La Creme Colour Drenched Lip Creams.

If you haven't tried the lip creams before, they really live up to their name, they are so creamy and comfortable to wear, no bunching or feathering. It's almost like a tinted balm. Perfect for everyday wear.
The 3 colours are universally flattering and include Taffy, Nude Beach and Wham!
The lip creams retail for $32.00 AUD at Mecca, so the fact that you get 3 and a cute pouch make this one of the best value Christmas sets this year.

Top to bottom - Taffy, Nude Beach and Wham!

Close up of Wham!
I already own Taffy and I'm please to be able to have a backup. I can't get enough of Too Faced in general, and these Lip Creams are at the top of my list.

The pouch does have a little glitter fallout but it's not enough to bother me as they are larger flakes of glitter and not those tiny sparkles that get everywhere.