Sunday, 23 July 2017

SPOTLIGHT: 2nd Quarter 2017 Fave LOTD's - Part 1...

Crikey another three months have rocketed by, and here we are in the second half of the year already! Hasn't been long since I posted the first quarter faves, but I'm not falling into that "oh I'll squeeze them in somewhere" trap again lol...


Ok so these are the browns, oranges, reds and corals/nudes - actually hardly any nudes because I so rarely wear them, although next quarter will see a few more than usual...


The first two above are the same lipstick - Maybelline Color Sensational Chocoholic from the Bold range - love these new intense lippies shades, and the formula is super comfortable. The second pic is the same lipstick but topped with my fave Cosmoholic gold lip gloss - this stuff can inject life into anything! Third one is Chocolate by OXX Cosmetics from Kmart. Not the most moisturising lipstick in my kit, but for $2 I had to try it, and I love this rich dairy milk hue...



Next we have Colourpop Ultra Metallic Lip in the shade DM - a gorgeous gorgeous copper and my camera just doesn't do it justice. Glides on like molten metal and really quite comfy. Next is a David Jones one I've had for a while - Moisture Cream Lipstick in Honey Gold. I dig it out every so often because it's quite a unique shade and the only one in my kit that goes with certain pieces of my wardrobe. Last one in this row is Colourpop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick in Mama - I find these very drying, but I simply adore the colour range, and this one has Autumn written all over it...



First on the left is a liquid lipstick by Laritzy called Lola - came in one of my LipMonthly bags, lovely bright colour, but like a lot of oranges, it has a tendency to go streaky unless I'm careful. Next one is a darling by SAVVY called Watermelon. Came in a pack of 8 minis that I bought late last year - totally bummed that I can't buy this shade in a full size. No. 3 is a Vegan Berry Tint by Seraphine Botanicals called Cherry Cream - another LipMonthly find, blew me away because I wasn't expecting a lip tint to have so much coverage, or such a creamy texture - love it!...



And here we are with my precious reds - first on the left is MUD Make-Up Design Lipstick in the shade Red Roulette, a steal from Woolworths for $5. Next is an old fave, Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in Fatal Red - holey cow it's just so red!  Actually I thought it was my reddest red until I discovered  the one on the right, Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lipstick in Rebel Red - it doesn't get much brighter and bolder than this hot hot hot hue, and the formula is a dream come true for dry lips...



Moving onto the cherry reds, this first one is NYX Intense Butter Gloss in Cherry Custard. I think I've mentioned before that these glosses are my favourites of all time - so rich, so moisturising, so intense, so perfect. Next is another oldie but goodie - Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencil in Red Essential. I've been neglecting these crayons which is a pity as they are a brilliant formula and the colors are all stunners. This last one is by Sugar - Matte as Hell Crayon Lipstick in Poison Ivy - definitely not for the faint hearted...



And lastly we have the less intense corals and one nude. First up is a lippie I've loved for years - SAX Rich Lip Colour Lipstick in Coral. Beautifully moist and I so appreciate the fact that it's a pink coral rather than an orange one. You can still buy SAX cosmetics from their website, or in a local pharmacy if you're lucky enough to find them stocked. The second glossy one is Australis Pout Paste Intense Lip Colour in Make Me Blush. I don't think they make these any more, but I only recently received this sealed one from a friend, and loving it so much I'm really annoyed that I didn't explore them when they were hot off the press - very creamy and of course, super glossy.  And finally the last one in this part - NYX Cosmic Metals Lip Cream in Speed of Light. Totally in love with these liquid lipsticks and I'm so pissed off that my local Priceline no longer stocks them - "if there's no slot for them in the stand, then they're dumped" is what the sales assistant told me. Boo and double boo Priceline!

Well lovelies that's a whole lot of lippies hey? Part 2 will be up lickety split, which will be the Plums, Berries, Pinks and Purples ...

Any of these take your fancy?

Take care of you,
kats xxx

P.S. Linking to Ingrid's Monday Makeup Madness Link Up - why not come on over after 6:30am...

Sunday, 16 July 2017

SPOTLIGHT: June Empties!...

I know, I know, how crazy is this photo? Yes lovelies, I had a BLITZ last month on all my part-used products. To be honest I was running out of space in my shower caddies (where I keep washes & both face & body scrubs) as well as on the top of my vanity, so I made a vow to clear the decks a bit, and this is the result - slam dunk into the bin, and boy do I feel good! There were so many containers with just a few applications left, so I'm giving myself a hearty pat on the back. Mind you, the vacated spots have already been filled with newer releases and old faves, but that's what happens when you have a beauty product addiction...


BODY CARE

Dove Go Fresh Body Wash - Cucumber & Green Tea Scent (375ml, RRP $7.36)
Already lovingly reviewed HERE ...
Repurchase?
A sure bet ...

Du'It Tough Hands For Her Intensive Skin Repair (75g, RRP $9.95)
I received a sample size (20g) with my beautyheaven Beautorium order - never heard of this brand before, but I do love this hand cream. More of a gel than a cream, it smells quite pleasant (almondy), and absorbs reasonably well, and the softening and healing affect it had on my hands was quite amazing. My only beef is that for something so runny, it should have a nozzle rather than just an open top because I found way too much came out, and you don't need much of this to be effective. Mind you this may just be a symptom of the sample size ...
Repurchase?
Definitely ...

Natural Secrets Goats Milk Moisturising Shower Cream (500ml, RRP $11.99)
Full review HERE - love this stuff ...
Repurchase?
Absolutely ...

Nivea Happy Time Shower Cream (500ml, RRP $4.99)
Had this one for a while, the fragrance is a bit sickly sweet (Bamboo Milk & Orange Blossom) but the shower cream itself is lovely and hydrating...
Repurchase?
No - can't handle the smell any more ...

Thankyou Botanical Geranium & Rosewood Coffee Body Scrub (300g, RRP $14.95)
Ooh yes, on my list of can't-live-withouts. Supporting this company in what they do is on my list of priorities, and when they make a product I love, well it's a done deal hey. This smells FANTASTIC and leaves my skin ridiculously soft - the only thing that has me puzzled is that the label says "wait for 5-10 minutes to ensure your skin absorbs all the natural hydrating goodness". I haven't figured out how to do that in the shower unless I turn off the water, and I ain't gonna do that in Winter lol! ...
Repurchase?
Already have ...


FACE CARE

Alpha-H Instant Facial with Cypress & Barley (100ml, RRP $62 )
This was a 30ml sample that came in a Marie Claire Ageless parcel - it's nice, left my skin feeling soft and supple, but no other change was noticeable...
Repurchase?
Nope - I'm happy with the Liquid Gold one...

Antipodes Hosanna H20 Skin Plumping Serum (30ml, RRP $48.99)
Holey socks Batman! A 10ml bottle came in my DJ's Sampler in February 2016 - to think it's been sitting in my drawer for almost 18 months, when my face could have been basking in it's goodness long before now. I think this is THE serum for me - I don't know if I can express how much I love it, the smell of it alone feeds my soul. Is it a sin to adore a beauty product so much? When I massage it into my face, I can hear my skin cells singing hallelujah ...
Repurchase?
I bought the full size bottle as part of my qualifying purchase for the Priceline Skincare Gift Bag, and it's killing me to see it unopened on my bench - I promised myself I'd finish off another serum before I crack the seal...sigh......

Bioré Pore Unclogging Scrub (135ml, RRP $9.99)
I was happy to find out that the micro beads in this are not the kind that harm the environment, still I'm not so keen on this scrub - it's effective and good value, but I have issues with the fragrance which makes my eyes water a little ...
Repurchase?
Not this one, see below ...

Bioré Charcoal Pore Minimiser (92ml, RRP $10.99)
Very recent review HERE ...
Repurchase?
Affirmative ...

Jorel Parker Fango Mud Therapy Face Mask (200ml, RRP $27)
Scored this sample size from one of my first Lip Monthly bags - it's brilliant, very VERY green, one of the best masks I've ever used, and you only need 5 minutes for it to work its magic. Sweet Almond Oil, Avocado Oil, Green Tea Antioxidants, Volcanic Ash Minerals, 100% vegan ...
Repurchase?
Haven't been able to confirm where I can buy this as yet - seems to be a website called  harveyprince but the packaging is different as is the label, and besides, it won't let me add it to my cart, boo...

Natural Instinct Refreshing Foaming Cleanser (110ml, RRP $9.95)
I did enjoy this, and am starting to explore the rest of the range. While I'm a foaming cleanser fan, there's a limit to how much foam I can tolerate lol, and thankfully this one has minimal suds that are creamy and refreshing, the scent is floral and fresh, and there's none of the usual chemicals. It's actually vegan and of course not tested on animals, contains Goji Berry & Kakadu Plum ...
Repurchase?
Yes indeed, but not for a few months as I have a massive backlog to clear ...

Neostrata Ultra Smoothing Cream (40g, RRP $52.95 )
This is a lovely cream, but for $53, I expected to see some obvious difference in my skin texture by the end of the tube - hydrates very well and very softening, but no "...smoothing wrinkles from the inside..."
Repurchase?
Probably not - I should have started using this a long time ago...

Revo Lip Balm - Watermelon (10g, RRP $4.99)
This was really nice - loved the flavour, but after seeing the list of ingredients, I won't get it again - there are so many lip balms out there that are full of good things...
Repurchase?
Negative...

St. Ives Green Tea Blackhead Clearing Scrub (150ml, RRP $9.99)
Review HERE ...
Repurchase?
Never without this one ...

Swisse Bamboo Facial Exfoliant (125ml, RRP $9.95)
With bamboo particles, this really appealed to me, but it's so darn runny, I ended up using it as a body scrub - it just drips through my fingers and I wasted stacks the first few times I used it, so then I squirted it onto my flannel, and it worked just fine...
Repurchase?
No - I prefer my body scrubs to be creamy and more like a paste, and it's just not practical to use it as a face scrub...

True Essentials Deep Clean Face Scrub (150ml, RRP $4)
A reasonably new range from Coles, these are quite good value, but this scrub is another one that's way too runny for my taste...
Repurchase?
Shakes head from left to right...

SHEET MASKS

Skin Republic Collagen Hydrogel Mask (RRP $12.99)


Very similar to the gold one, not quite so glamorous (or scary for the cat). Love these ones that come in 2 pieces as they fit my face so much better, and I think it helps the process if the mask is actually touching your skin in all places. This one contains Sea Minerals, Collagen and Argan Oil, and it leaves my face plump, soft and supple ...
Repurchase?
Already have ...

Skin Republic Gold Hydrogel Mask (RRP $12.99)


Covered this one back in March - torn between this and the previous one, I think the gold has more of a firming effect, whereas the other one seems to hydrate and soften my skin just a tad more ...
Repurchase?
You betcha ...

Skin Republic Collagen Hydrogel Under Eye Patch (3 pairs, RRP $7.99)
...
Repurchase?
...

Garnier Skin Active Hydra Bomb Tissue Mask - Green Tea & Hyaluronic Acid (for normal/combo) - RRP $4.95 (not pictured above)

This isn't in the picture at the top of the page because I filed the empty wrapper incorrectly (duh!), but I definitely used it during June. Lovely - fits my face better than some others, although I found actually getting it onto my face a wee bit more challenging as there are two backing sheets which have to be removed. That annoyance aside, it sure is hydrating ...
Repurchase?
Maybe - I actually prefer the Chamomile one ...

Eaoron Instant Whitening Face Mask (25ml, box of 5 RRP $29.95)


Hadn't heard of this brand before - it's a relatively new Aussie skincare company (2015). Found this box at Chemist Warehouse and I'm so glad I took the plunge. These masks are a beautiful experience - calming, soothing and actually made my skin look lighter and whiter. White tea, apple, kiwifruit, melon, pine bark, bearberry, white mulberry & licorice root - sounds good enough to suck on it lol ...
Repurchase?
Yessiree - I need to use a whole box in the space of a month to see if they will permanently fade my freckles ..

Skin Physics Advance Superlift 3D Deep Hydration Lifting Masks (box of 3, $59)


Bought this box on special at Priceline, I think it was around $33, and for that price, I loved it. For the regular price of $20 each, I'm not so sure if they're worth it. LOVE that there's a bit that extends down the neck, but it doesn't work so well as it comes unstuck unless you lay completely still. But the mask itself is super hydrating and my face looked plumper and firmer afterwards ...
Repurchase?
Not unless they are on special again ..


MAKEUP

Eye of Horus Goddess Pencil - Teal Malachite (RRP $30)
Raved about it HERE ...
Repurchase?
Never EVER without this eye liner ...

Max Factor Kohl Pencil - Charcoal Grey (RRP $20.95)
One of the few eyeliners I use outside of Eye of Horus or Colourpop - this one lasts well on the waterline, and I keep buying it because it's the perfect medium grey shade for when I want something not quite so dramatic. Doesn't irritate my eyes, and I also use it as a base under eyeshadow ...
Repurchase?
Sure have - it's another of my can't-live-withouts ...

Maybelline Dream Cushion Liquid Foundation in a Compact (14.6g, RRP $26.95)
RAVE review HERE ...
Repurchase?
I stocked up the last time MNY was half price, I think I still have two more of these in reserve ...

Mirenesse Velvet Maxi Lift Supreme Antiageing Renovage 18hr Foundation (30g, RRP $89.50)
My favourite of all the Mirenesse foundations, the best coverage and totally TOTALLY flawless finish ...
Repurchase?
Undoubtedly - I have SO many foundations in my kit to get through, but I know I will cave ...


MISCELLANEOUS


Chi Chi Strawberry & Violet EDP Purse Spray (full size 50ml, RRP $19.95)
Reviewed HERE ...
Repurchase?
One of my fave Chi Chi fragrances, I've already bought the big bottle ...

Life Space Broad Spectrum Probiotic Capsules (30 capsules, RRP $23.99)
Can't for the life of me remember how I came by this jar, but I reckon it was free - anyway I took one capsule every day for a month. Must say I didn't notice any improvement in my digestive tract health or well being in that time. Mind you I'm a regular yoghurt consumer so maybe I'm getting what I need already? ...
Repurchase?
I'll think about it ...

Reference of Sweden Shine Spray (200ml, RRP $34)
Review HERE ...
Repurchase?
My hairdresser retired (gahhhhhh!) so I need to find another stockist - I've tried various "substitutes", but they all weigh down my hair ...


Phew! Well lovelies that's it for June - before I go I was wondering if you have a preference for the entries in my empties posts i.e. would you rather they were listed as per their appearance in the photo, in a single alphabetical order, or grouped in categories like I did this time around?

Take care of you,
kats xxx

P.S. I actually look forward to Mondays, thanks to Ingrid's Monday Makeup Madness Link Up...

Sunday, 9 July 2017

REVIEW: Optically Pty. Ltd - optically.com.au...

Do your wear glasses? Have you ever wondered about those websites that offer glasses online at heavily discounted prices? Well I sure did, so you can imagine my response when the team at optically.com.au approached me and offered to send me some free fashion eyewear made to my prescription - in short I was intrigued. I mean seriously, how on earth can you order a pair of glasses without trying on the frames?...


Well it turns out to be not only possible, but super easy in fact, and the process is fun too. First of all I had a look at their range of women's glasses - with over 700 styles, the hardest part is choosing  You can make it a bit simpler by limiting your search to price (starting from $19 including lenses and free coatings!), style, colour, material etc., and they also have designer glasses from top names like Benetton, Carrera, Marc Jacobs, Christian Dior, Jimmy Choo and Esprit to name a few. Once you've found a style you like, then the fun starts - you click on "Try On", and this will show you a photo of a model wearing the frames. However if you click on "Try on with a close-up pic", you can upload your own photo and see how the frames look on your face ...  


I had such a ball trying on all the different colours, shapes and styles, it was actually quite enlightening as some of the ones I thought would look lame actually turned out to be the most chic! Here is a smattering of some of my fun looks...


As you can imagine, there was a price limit on what I could choose for my free pair, so after much deliberation, I went with these practical and solid-state Walden Pristine frames...

Once you've checked the frame measurements and made your final choice, you click on "Buy Now" - this takes you to a page where they ask a series of questions, like what will you be using them for (reading/computer/distance), and this is also where you can choose special options (which cost more) like Kodak Lenses, multifocals, high impact thin lenses etc. You can also request tints or photochromic & transition lenses - honestly, there's everything you could possibly need in the selections...

Next phase is to enter your prescription - you may need to measure your pupillary distance if it's not included on your prescription, but that's no drama. Along the way they'll give you an estimate of how long it will take to make up your specs, and once you've entered in all your contact details and made your payment, you're done - all you have to do then is wait for your expertly packed and protected parcel to arrive...

I've been wearing glasses since I was 11 years old, and my prescription is very strong (-6), but that didn't seem to faze Optically - according to their FAQs, their range goes up to ± 8.00 SPH (sphere). Of course if I was actually purchasing a pair, I would choose a smaller and slimmer designer frame (like the ones pictured below) and the "world's thinnest lenses" which would increase the price significantly, but the calculation still works out heaps cheaper than what I find in my local optometrists. The only drawback I can see is that if you need them adjusted as far as sitting correctly on your face is concerned, you have to go to a store, but I find most places will do adjustments for free even if you didn't buy them from there...

Loving these frames by Emenegildo Zegna, Guess and that last pair is my favourite - Esprit!

My glasses took just under 3 weeks to arrive from Hong Kong - a bit longer than usual because Optically Pty. Ltd. kindly created multifocals for me (thank you ) which takes more time. The frames are high quality and sturdy as well as elegant, and they even have some pretty diamante trimmings on the side arms that I hadn't noticed in the online photo...

If you're still unsure, there is also an option whereby you can choose four frames, and have them sent to you for home trial, and you send them back within 15 days via freepost. I'm very happy with the experience of how the online ordering works, and as Optically Pty. Ltd. have a 90 day unconditional return policy, any concerns I had about buying glasses from a website have melted away...



In summary, I reckon this is a win-win situation for anyone in the market for a new pair of glasses, prescription sunglasses, fashion frames for any occasion, or just to have the comfort of a spare pair for emergencies. Thanks so much Optically for the opportunity to try out your services - I'm really quite impressed ...

Have you ever bought glasses from a website?

Take care of you,
kats xxx

P.S. Linking to Ingrid's Monday Makeup Madness Link Up Party - there's always a great selection of blog articles to read, and often some videos too ...