Current Favourites – February 2019

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Since I’m doing a no-buy this year most of my current beauty favourites are a bit of a re-discovery products. I have had all of these in my collection for at least a few months now but I just haven’t had the willingness to actually use them. There has always been something newer and more exciting that has taken over. Now, however, I have no excuses to push these aside and as a result I have discovered some real gems.

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Glamglow Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment (£16.00/15g) – probably the biggest surprise of the year so far. I have used some Glamglow products in the past and from what I can remember I wasn’t overly impressed so I was in no rush to use this mask. It does say ‘hydrating’, thought, which is something I always seem to want to have more of. I had a pretty intense ‘burning’ sensation when I first applied this (I suspect it’s due to the ginger being one of the ingredients). I didn’t think this would hydrate my skin in the slightest since hydration is something that usually feels quite comfortable and this did not feel comfortable at all. But I was wrong, oh so wrong! Once the burning passed my skin was left feeling smooth and supple. It’s now a product that I can’t wait to have on my face again.

Lipstick Queen Frog Prince Lipstick (£22.00) – even though it looks like a bit of a gimmick it actually is a superb lip product! This is everything every ‘my lips but better’ lip product has ever promised to be – slightly enhances my natural lip colour, gives my lips a good level of shine and feels very comfortable. There’s no patchiness or stickiness and it’s housed in a very nifty lightweight casing. Now only if they brought back the gloss version!

Hourglass brushes – very expensive but I reckon if I added up what I’ve spent over the years trying to find cheaper alternatives the Hourglass brushes would seem quite reasonable. I have the No.1 (£59.00) (I use to apply both pressed and loose powders all over my face) and the No.2 (£53.00) (I use for powder blushes). I have never once been disappointed with these and the application is always exactly what I expect. I’ve now got my eye on the No.3 (all over shadow), No.4 (crease) and No.9 (domed shadow) to ace my eye-shadow game!

Benefit Badgal Bang Mascara (full size £22.00) – Now I’ve got very high standards when it comes to mascaras! Give me all the volume and length, I’ve got no time for those ‘no makeup makeup’ mascaras. I want something that basically looks like fake lashes, every single time. This does exactly that. Definitely worth a repurchase.

Diptique Do Son EDP (AUD 227.00/75ml) – one that I would definitely describe as a winter scent. I moved to Australia just over a year ago and the fact that the seasons are the other way around is still something I haven’t quite got my head around. So my hand automatically reached for this. Who knew it also works well in the middle of summer. (It would work better in that crisp winter air to bring the full potential out of this, but hey-ho!) Tuberose is the dominating note and it’s fairly heavy (in a good way) and lasting scent. A less sophisticated version would be the original Gucci Bloom.

So there it is – my current favourites round up. What have you been loving lately?

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Current Skincare Routine – February 2019

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Here’s an update on my current skincare routines. I really enjoy creating and reading these to track which products have stood the test of time.

Morning

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CleanserOmorovicza Moor Cream Cleanser (full size AUD 103.00/150ml). I first discovered this cleanser back in December 2017 (it was included in the Caroline Hirons x Cult beauty box). It’s a very gentle non-foaming cream cleanser. I wouldn’t really use it for anything else than a morning cleanse (I once attempted to remove sunscreen with this cleanser and it did a horrendous job). At this point I’m not sure I would repurchase. It’s just a bit meh and I’ve been using it as my morning cleanser for over a year now so I’m up for switching things up a bit and trying something new. Not sure what that will be yet, though.

Toner – I’m still using the Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist (AUD 49.00/50ml). I’ve lost count how many bottle of this stuff I’ve gone through but it’s still the best! My initial review is HERE.

Serum – at the moment I’m using the Omorovicza Instant Perfection Serum (£85.00/30ml). I’ve only started using it about a week ago, but boy has it impressed me! It applies as a clear watery liquid and absorbs very quickly. The main benefits I have noticed are the hydration and brightening it provides. My complexion just appears fresher and more evened out in terms of both texture and any discolouration (of which I don’t have much to be fair). I also haven’t noticed any interference with other skincare or makeup products I put on top. A definite repurchase.

MoisturiserDrunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream (AUD 92.00/50ml). I’m very glad I decided to pick this up. I was very concerned since I had red quite a few reviews saying that this is a fairly heavy moisturiser more suitable for night. I personally haven’t found that to be the case at all. The texture is very solid, but soft and once applied it actually spreads out very thinly and looks almost matte on the skin. I have had zero problems with putting makeup on top of it and I have not noticed any greasy appearance or feel throughout the day. Big thumbs up and a very sure repurchase.

Eye creamMadara Smart Antioxidants Anti-Fatigue Eye Rescue Cream (EUR 31.00/15ml) – it’s good, but that’s more or less all I can say. Seems hydrating enough and I love the very sleek no-fuss packaging. The only con in my experience is the fact that it makes almost all of my mascaras to smudge a little on the bottom lashes. Other than that I would definitely consider repurchasing. At the moment, though, I have a bottle of Drunk Elephant’s C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream (AUD 98.00/15ml) lined up to try next. Once that runs out – I’ll have to reassess.

Night

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Cleanser – Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm (£47.00/100g) – it’s that solid but soft oil texture that I like so much. It melts beautifully once applied and destroys all makeup and/or sunscreen without drying my skin. It also doesn’t stick to your skin and is easily removable with a wet flannel.  An oldie but a goodie that I come back to time and time again. Packaging is not super travel friendly and the fragrance is not to my taste, but other than that I have no complains at all.

MoisturiserAurelia Probiotic Cell Revitalise Night Moisturiser (£58.00/60ml). Simple in packaging and texture but so so effective. I absolutely hate the smell, but the actual formula seems to do wonders for my skin and thankfully the smell doesn’t linger for too long. I always wake up with smooth, supple, well moisturised but not greasy skin. So far it’s the best night cream I’ve ever used.

Eye creamTata Harper Restorative Eye Cream (AUD 138.00/15ml) – by now it’s a staple and I can’t see myself switching to anything else anytime soon. I have really noticed a difference when I’ve stopped using it. If you’re up for my full rave head HERE.

Extra Steps

Since I’m pregnant at the moment I have removed most of the extra treatments from my routine for the time being in fear of using anything that could be harmful. The only “extras” I use are the odd sheet masks every now and then. I really like the Garnier Fresh-Mix Vitamin C Tissue Mask (AUD 6.99/per mask), these are an instant fix whenever my skin is looking particularly dry and/or dull. I have actually become very found of the whole sheet mask thing altogether. I know this doesn’t make much sense but in a way they seem a lot less restrictive than traditional masks (maybe because the sheet masks are so easy to pack for travel).

What is your favourite skincare product at the moment?

P.S. Don’t forget Space NK is running their £15 off for every £60 spent offer until 11 Feb. Great time to stock up!

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My No-buy Year – 2019

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I feel like I touched on this in my Beauty Resolutions post back in March last year but it’s taken me the most part of the last year to really hone in on what the actual issue is/was. If I’m really honest with myself overindulging in consumerism is something I have not been happy with for a few years now. Looking back at my journey I definitely can see how I got here and each of the phases was just a natural progression reflecting the places where I was both physically and mentally. Don’t get me wrong I don’t condemn that time by any means. Somehow, however, I’ve ended up in a place where I’m not entirely happy about how things are standing.

Having worked up the carrier ladder has meant that many of the things that I used to see as something that only happens in movies but not to real life people (like me) were starting to happen to me. And pretty frequently too. As far as shopping goes I was now able to afford that designer handbag of dreams and could easily afford luxury beauty products. I no longer had to rummage the shelves of drugstores to find the best savings. I worked hard to get there and I was truly enjoying every second of being in that position. Somewhere along the way, though, it all backfired. Just like with everything else in life having too much of the good stuff becomes not that good at all. What at first was a special experience soon became an everyday occurrence that instead of bringing me joy and excitement started to become very draining. I’m very fortunate that it never brought upon any damaging financial consequences so budgeting is not necessarily my main concern and the reason why I’m doing a no-buy (though, it still plays a role). It’s more the constant longing for that next best thing and not being able to enjoy the abundance of the beautiful things that I already own.

I also hope it will free a lot of my time because at the moment I spend so much of it looking for and researching things that I newer thought I needed. I’m just so tired of the endless search both online and within brick and mortar shops for something that I might want to buy.

In short – I want to become more mindful and appreciative of what I already have and be more present and spend my time on things that truly enrich my life (none of which are material objects).

In the past I’ve tried to cull my shopping habits by setting strict budgets and so far it hasn’t really worked. I’ve also been flirting with the ides of minimalism and I am constantly working on coming up with the best version of a minimalist lifestyle to suit my particular preferences. Again, though, I haven’t really been able to reconcile it all and come up with a workable plan to stop the mindless shopping. I would say that overall things have improved, however, I feels like it’s still not quite right.

Then one day more or less out of nowhere a video by Hannah Louise Poston popped up on my Youtube feed. It was her No Buy Year project and it instantly caught my attention. After a fairly short research to understand what it was and how it worked I spent a few days toying with the idea of taking up a no-buy myself. I had never considering something so radical but I just couldn’t shake the concept, something had just clicked. Long story short – I’ve decided to do a no-buy in 2019.

Everyone can come up with their own rules that will differ from person to person. I too have set my own parameters to make the whole thing more achievable.

My biggest tripping stones by far are clothing (including shoes and accessories) and beauty products. So these are the categories that I am targeting this year. For beauty products the rules are simple – no new beauty purchase except buying genuine replacements (when I run out of something that I can’t replace with another item that I already own). The only purchases here I can see are skincare, hair care and body care items because I really don’t see myself using up any make-up items that I have no alternatives for in my collection already.

For clothes it’s the same again – no purchases and here I’m not even anticipating having to buy any replacements. BUT – I have allowed for two exceptions. Firstly, I’m five months pregnant at the moment and even though I think I’ve got enough maternity clothes left from my first pregnancy I’m allowing for an extra item of maternity wear if I really start feeling I’m getting restricted in my choices. Also, I’m allowing for an item of clothing that makes me feel on top of the world to reward myself when and if I’ve lost the baby weight (which going by my past experience should be at some point later in the year).

Gift vouchers/rewards points/genuine gifts are allowed to be whatever I want. I’m also allowing a reasonable overspend in case I need to spend my own money when a voucher doesn’t cover the full price of a particular item. I’ve deliberately left this particular section of my no-buy rules very relaxed because I want it to be an overall positive experience and something that I can really gain from not some form of self punishment.

Buying things like home-wares, baby stuff, food, travel, beauty treatments and everything else isn’t a particular source of concern for me (and for many other reasons it is not feasible to restrict these categories at this time) so these are not affected by the no-buy. However, if I start noticing that I’m shifting my bad shopping habits to the “clear” categories I’ll review the rules.

I’m hoping to do fairly regular check-ins mostly to document my journey and have something more structured to look back at. I’m also writing down certain things to be able to draw some interesting stats at the end of the project, which I anticipate could be very surprising.

If you too are doing a No-Buy, congratulations and good luck! Please share your tips and progress in the comments section.

For inspiration see Hannah’s channel HERE (it’s also good for an insight of what happens after a no-buy). Rachael (HERE) has a very snappy, structured and realistic approach. And of course, lovely Ysis (HERE) for a feel good and mindful ideas on how to do a no-buy.

Also – to help with re-wiring your brain when it comes to consumerism try Eva’s channel HERE and, of course, the numerous resources available on the whole philosophy behind the Minimalists movement.

Beauty Resolutions for 2018

2018, March 2018

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I’m actually very big on new years resolutions. I think I must have been jotting down my resolutions every year since I was in my teens. It’s less of a list of must dos and more of general idea of where and how I see myself growing in the new year.

For the first time I decided to do a bit of a beauty themed list of resolutions. Having to pack all my belongings a few months ago to move across the world has really made me think a lot about my buying habits. I really had to weed my collection when I was preparing for the move. There was no way I could lug all those bottles and potions with me. And more importantly – there really was no need for it either. I think I am now at a point where I know myself well enough to accurately judge what suits me and what doesn’t and what works for me and what doesn’t. It’s also the sheer wastefulness – I must have thrown out close to half of my collection to prepare for the move. Most of them were things I really had no use for. If anything I’m glad they’re gone because all I felt when I looked at them was the guilt of time, money and space I was wasting.

I want to be strict with new purchases, but at the same time I don’t want to loose out on the enjoyment that beauty gives me. I’m not saying there will be no exceptions but I really want to think about my new purchases. I want to make less impulse buys and do a lot more research before taking the plunge. Putting things on a wish-list that I review every now and then (I use Pinterest), checking my current stash to see whether I already own something very similar (I own so many lipsticks that are essentially all the same shade) and referring to the list of product categories that haven’t worked for me in the past (read more HERE) has been doing the trick so far (it’s very early days, though). I also keep a track of what I use up (again I use Pinterest) to get a realistic picture of how many beauty products I actually need.

With that comes the natural step of prioritising quality over quantity. I really would rather own that one special item than ten meh ones. Given my current lifestyle (a new-ish mum) I have been gravitating a lot towards the skincare because it’s really all I have time for. So quality shouldn’t be hard to achieve – there are so many superstar products out there.

Another topic that has become increasingly important to me is testing beauty products on animals. By no means I’m planning to achieve a 100% cruelty free collection by the end of the year, it will take much longer to transition, but I want to make conscious choice not to buy from brands that test on animals. There are actually quite a few cruelty free high end brands to choose from – I’ve lately been particularly obsessed with Too Faced, but there’s also Hourglass, Smashbox, Urban Decay and Molton Brown to name a few. Plenty to choose from. I use Cruelty-Free and Bunny Free Apps for a quick reference when I’m out shopping.

I’ll update you in a few months time to let you guys know how I’ve been getting on with my resolutions.

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Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Lips in Pin Up Pink

March 2018

I started drafting this post a few months back so it’s probably a little less relevant now, however, I decided to still go ahead and post it. Even though I never really warmed up to the idea of matte liquid lipsticks I was very excited about this launch because I pretty much adore every single product I have tried from the Charlotte Tilbury range. If I had to limit myself to buying only one make-up brand for the rest of my life I would be more than happy for that brand to be Charlotte Tilbury.

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A word of warning on these – you should only buy after trying the shades in person. For some reason they look nothing like the photos on the website (and you will notice it is a common trend in the reviews) so I ended up with a completely different shade than the one I went in to buy initially. The shades are also extremely similar to one another with just slight variations in undertones that can really only be detected in person. The shade I went for in the end – Pin Up Pink, for example, is described as ‘shimmery coral pink’ and the picture on the website looks pretty darn pink. In real life it’s more of a dusky muted red. It also looks much darker on the lips than it does in the tube.

Shade issues aside the formula itself is quite unique as far as liquid mattes go – creamy is definitely the first thing that comes to mind. Think a much more pigmented NXY Soft Matte Cream. It’s also set and matte pretty much from the get go so there is no waiting around for it to dry (which can sometimes come with an annoying shade change). It still feels like a lipstick once applied but just a bit more powdery if that makes sense. Unlike other matte liquid lipsticks I’ve tried this one doesn’t completely zap the moisture out of your lips but there is still some slight dryness. The staying power is what you would expected from a liquid matte – quite a few hours before you need to touch up (and that’s with meals in between).

All in all I’m glad I picked it up but it’s unlikely I will go back for another shade. As comfortable as it is I still think Charlotte’s Revolution Matte lipstick formula is far more superior. Hollywood Lips come in a total of 11 shades and they are AUD 49.00/£24.00 each.

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Beauty Favourites of 2017

2018, January

It’s that time of the year again. I’m so excited to tell you about my favourite beauty discoveries of 2017. I no particular order this is what I have been obsessed with:

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Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder (£33.00/8g) – Why oh why did I wait so long to try this? It’s the best powder I’ve ever tried and one that I hope will never be discontinued. It’s so light and undetectable yet it takes away the shine instantly and is long lasting. It doesn’t come with a brush or sponge which is actually a massive positive in my books – they have kept the packaging very sleek and light and you’re free to use your preferred tools to apply (Kiko powder brush for me).

Le Labo Bergamote 22 (AUD 264.00/50ml) – I tend to stay very safe when it comes to perfumes. Every time I’ve gathered a courage to try a niche perfume I’ve ended up feeling dizzy and nauseous from all the ouds and musks. Le Labo offers a very handy trial set of their most popular fragrances that you can take home and try as you like. This is actually how I discovered their Bergamot fragrance. It’s such a happy, fresh, green and citrusy scent. Think a much more refined version of Dolce&Gabbana’s Light Blue. Probably best for spring and summer which is when it really comes to life.

Surrat Relevee Lash Curler (£28.00) – I used to think that my Shu Emura eyelash curler is the bees knees and I was convinced it couldn’t get any better so it took me while to bite the bullet. It really reminds me of the time when I used to think that Tangle Teazer was absolutely brilliant. And then I finally gave in and tried the Wet Brush. I haven’t touched my Tangle Teazer since. Surrat Eyelash curler get’s all your eyelashes in in one quick go. Even if you only have time for one gentle squeeze it will make the biggest difference.

Lancome Grandiose Extreme Mascara (AUD 54.00/10ml) – Another great mascara find from Lancome. I don’t care much about the curved wand handle. Because of the way I apply mascara it really makes no difference to me at all, but the wand itself is an absolute wonder-worker. It has varied length (mostly short) hard rubber bristles. It’s super black and one decent coat is all you need to separate and lengthen without any flaking even by the end of a very long day.

Hourgalss Ambient Lighting Bronzer (AUD 72.00/11g) – A shimmery bronzer that is so much nicer than any of the shimmer bronzers I’ve seen. It’s the Hourglass powder magic mixed with a beautiful gentle bronzer. It’s absolutely fool-proof. I often use it instead of a blush, it really does look that natural.

By Terry Baume de Rose (£39.00/10g) – This softens my lips instantly. It’s fairly thick but super soft. My only gripe with this is that you have to be apply with a finger, but this balm feels so nice and luxurious that I’m happy let that one go. A very special indulgence and it really works like nothing else to soothe dry and sensitive lips.

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Pether Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask (£55.50/150ml) – I mentioned it HERE. Still an absolute must have. This will wipe away everything you’re not happy with an will leave your skin feeling smooth and soft.

Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist (£25.00/50ml) – A staple in my morning skincare routine. For more details click HERE.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer (AUD 79.00/30ml) – I talked about it HERE. I still use it and still adore it.

Tata Harper Restorative Eye Creme (£86.00/15ml) – Undoubtedly one of the best discoveries of 2017! Read more HERE.

And a very honourable mention goes to the MAC x Fleur de Force lipstick –  hands down the best lipstick of 2017! It was a limited edition, however, so there’s not much point in me raving about it again (read my full review HERE).

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Charlotte Tilbury City Exclusives Lipsticks

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Charlotte Tilbury new-ish lipstick line-up has three shades – English Beauty, Shanghai Nights (Matte Revolution formula) and American Sweetheart (K.I.S.S.I.N.G formula) (AUD 49/each). Interestingly I noticed the Shanghai Nights first but then decided against it since I’m not a massive bold lip lover. I do, however, feel very comfortable wearing nudes so I did end up getting the other two lipsticks from the collection.

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American Sweetheart is slightly red-ish peachy nude. The formula is very pigmented and creamy. It has a nice juicy shine and is so comfortable on the lips. An absolute joy to wear, it’s a perfect everyday shade.

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L-R: American Sweetheart, English Beauty

I picked up the English Beauty mostly for sentimental reasons but it turned out to be an excellent choice shade wise. It’s a very pretty natural shade, brighter than your average nude with just the right amount of peach hues. As it was starting to wear off I noticed some golden shimmer particles, which must be why the colour looks so vibrant and not flat as most mattes do. The Matte Revolution formula is impeccable – it’s buttery soft and just glides on the lips almost like a balm would, yet the pigmentation is very strong. It’s one of my favourite formulas out there. I absolutely adore this lipstick!

It’s difficult to choose just one. If I absolutely had to I might lean slightly more towards the American Sweetheart because I do appreciate the shine. But really they are both so nice!

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Cult Beauty x Caroline Hirons Box

2017, September

So great news – Cult Beauty delivery doesn’t take that long – about a week which for Australia is definitely on the fast-ish side. I won’t go into too much detail as to why but I really didn’t have that much sleep in the last few weeks leading up to the Christmas. However, thanks to the amazing selection of skincare in the Caroline Hirons’ box (£220) my skin still looked amazing. The box included:

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Omorovicza Moor Cream Cleanser (£49.00/150ml) – Great size, so should last me for ages. It’s more cream than mud, not drying at all. It’s definitely gentle enough to take over your eyes but might not be the best for a deep cleanse so more of a morning or no-makeup day cleanser. It has a slight spa-like scent but nothing too intrusive.

Leahlani Champagne Serum (£34.00/30ml) – One of the lightest oil based serums I have ever used. It’s fine to use under make-up especially if you’re on the dry side.

Niod Fractionated Eye Contour Concentrate (£43.00/15ml) – It’s quite liquidy so application can be a bit tricky but it does absorb very quickly once applied. Perfect for daytime since it dries completely and doesn’t mess with products you might be putting on top.

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DCL Multi-Action Penta Peel (£58.00/50 pads) – Even the top pads are nicely soaked so you don’t have to worry about product distribution over time. There is a slight sting which is not unusual when it comes to acids. It’s a bit annoying that you have to rinse afterwards, but other than that pre-soaked pads like these are the easiest way to apply acids.

Oskia Renaissance Mask (£51.00/50ml) – I have a bit of disclaimer with this one – I never really got on with the Renaissance Cleanser in the first place and the mask too doesn’t seem to be that impressive. It might be that this line is just not for me but I really didn’t see any noticeable difference after I had used the mask. Definitely the weakest product of the box.

May Lindstrom Blue Cocoon Beauty Balm (£174.00/50ml) – The biggest mystery and definitely the most anticipated product of the lot. I really tried to find a better description than the official beauty balm. But I’m afraid I can’t be of much help – it really is very difficult to explain. I use it instead of a moisturiser in the evenings but it’s so much more than that. The texture is that of a solid oil but it melts instantly in your hands and it’s not as greasy as traditional oils, it turn’s into more of a serum if anything. I was very worried about the scent due to my experience with May Lindstrom skincare in the past (if you have ever smelt the Pendulum Potion you’ll know what I mean), but this is more of a very refined spa scent, it’s quite gentle actually. For me this is an absolute standout – eyewateringly expensive but so worth it! It’s a pleasure to apply and it really sorted my skin overnight. I could not believe how fresh and bright my face was the next morning. It also works wonders on sunburns.

Check out Caroline’s video on the complete routine. At the time this post goes live the box is still available for sale HERE – grab one if you haven’t already!

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Skincare Update – December 2017

2017, December

So I’m back! There have been some big changes in the last few weeks. I am no longer a proud Londoner. I am now Melbourne based. It comes with certain cons and pros as far as my beauty journey goes. Main perk is probably the fact that I now live only 15 minutes from a Sephora store! Don’t get too excited! It’s not the magical all-beauty-brands-you-can-imagine wonderland that is US Sephora, but it’s pretty good. I’m already stalking the Mecca Beauty website pretty much on daily basis (I suspect this will be of a great help to fill my Space NK void and then some). And if I really can’t satisfy all my beauty shopping needs locally there is always the good old Cult Beauty which shops internationally.

This post is long overdue and is a bit of a last minute affair because the newest Cult Beauty x Caroline Hirons Box of Dreams went on sale only a few hours ago. I so stayed up way past my bedtime to get my order in!!! I used to think people were crazy for doing that. Turns out it’s not that crazy at all. So there will be some newcomers joining my skincare shelf very shortly and depending on how long the delivery takes I’m hoping to get a review up very soon. For now, though, these are the stars of the show (three of which are actually from previous CBxCH boxes!):

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Tata Harper Restorative Eye Crème (£86.00/15ml) –  a real game changer! I mean – forget the painkillers, this is what you should be given when you leave hospital after having a baby. I am on my second bottle and I always keep a back-up handy because I just never want to be without it. I got it in CBxCH box earlier this year so it was somewhat easier to bite the bullet but even at full price this is worth every penny. It got rid of all the tiny and not so tiny dehydration lines around my eyes pretty much instantly. It has also helped to brighten my under eyes which I had started to think was a lost cause (so now I can really pretend the last 30 years never happened. Yay!). The texture is a cream gel and it absorbs quite quickly (it will sting, if it gets in your eyes, however). It’s housed in a beautiful glass bottle with a handy pump that delivers quite a generous amount of product.

Eve Lom Gel Balm Cleanser ($84.00/100ml) – this is everything I hoped Oskia’s Renaissance Cleansing Gel (£31.00/100ml) to be. It’s a bit sticky and honey-like in texture to start with, but it very quickly thins out in to a beautiful oil cleanser. It wipes away all traces of makeup but still feels nice and gentle on the skin. Best part, though, – it actually emulsifies so there is no need to use a cloth to remove it, which certainly saves some time. Packaging is very clean, simple and great for traveling. The smell is not overly strong, maybe a bit juniper-like, but even that does not linger for long.

Zelens 3t Complex Essential Anti-Aging Cream (£95.00/50ml) – this is lovely to use and I really can’t find any faults with this product (other than price, of course). It’s just a very straight forward and simple texture (no funny stickiness or greasiness), gentle fragrance and no fuss packaging. I’m not really in the market for anti ageing products so I can’t testify as to it’s anti-ageing properties, but it definitely works well for my dehydrated skin and doesn’t mess with any of the products I put on top (makeup, sunscreen). I would happily repurchase.

Zelens Provitamin D Treatment Drops (£110.00/30ml) – so I’m bit on the fence with this one. Given the price I was expecting to see a bit more. It’s one of those non greasy face oil type products (still a bit greasy for me to use under makeup, so I only use it for my nigh-time routine). It’s not bad and I really can’t report any major skincare concerns so it might be that it’s just a bit wasted on me because it is supposed to be a real skincare powerhouse. At this stage, however, I’m unlikely to repurchase and I’m definitely a bit cautious to recommend.

Hope this was helpful. I will try to keep the posts more regular from now on.

P.S. I would really appreciate tips from any Australian based followers on the best places to shop for beauty products.

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Dzintars Future Formula Black Caviar Face Serum

September

It’s time for the second review of my local brands mini-series.

So this is a very interesting product not least because it’s something completely different and new for the brand but also because the Future Formula is the last lifeline for the Dzintars brand facing a very real bankruptcy threat.

Future Formula skincare products are split in three different lines based on the main ingredients – apple stem cells, snail extract and black caviar. Apple Stem Cell line is designed to combat more advanced signs of ageing, Black Caviar line is for less visible wrinkles and dryer skin types, whereas the Snail Extract line will take care of the very first signs of ageing. All lines include a complete skincare routine and consist of a day cream, a night cream, a serum and an eye concentrate with prices ranging from €40.00 – €75.00.

I went for the serum from the Black Caviar line (€50.00/30ml) because even though I wouldn’t say that ageing is a particular skin concern of mine my skin does tend to get a bit dry. I’m also still on the hunt for that perfect facial serum so it was a good product for me to try. The texture of this is very different as far as serums go – it’s more like a moisturiser rather than the watery and wet serums I am used to. Not saying it’s a bad thing though. It absorbs well and it’s definitely not heavy on the skin so you will still need to apply a moisturiser. It smells fresh and a tad floral, very pleasant actually. Packaging is beautiful, definitely a massive upgrade from what we’re used to seeing from Dzintars in the past. As far as the claims go I can never really tell with serums, it seems to be the same catch as with the eye creams – you only notice a difference once you stop using the product. So far, though, I’m happy with the serum and I’ll definitely keep using it.

Availability of Future Formula products seems to be much better than I was expecting – apparently Dzintars delivers to quite a few countries, but I have never used their online services so I can’t comment on delivery times/charges/restrictions etc.

Are the products good enough to save the brand? They might as well be but for products that retail for up to €75.00 a pop the marketing is a massive let-down. These products are claiming to be equal with some very established global players who have very solid superstar endorsed campaigns. Dzintars’ marketing team has a lot of work to do to catch up with it’s competitors.

Have you tried any of the new Future Formula products?

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