Monday, 28 March 2016

SPOTLIGHT: Micellar Magic Part 1...

I'm always excited when Science meets Skincare, and I've been a huge Micellar Water fan for quite some time. While I will be forever grateful to Bioderma for (I believe) coming up with this awesome invention originally, I'm also thankful to all the other brands that have picked up on it, and are releasing their own versions at considerably lower prices. But are they all the same? A quick squiz at the ingredients on any of the bottles reveals they can't POSSIBLY be, so I set about trying eight of the "drugstore" ones on the market to find the best one for my particular needs. I don't use it as a primary cleanser as such, but ditched toner years ago in favour of this magical liquid for my second cleanse, and overall refreshment. Below are the ones I chose for my experiment, with prices ranging from $4 to $12.99, all available at supermarkets, Priceline and most chemists...
I've been using the majority of these in rotation for almost three months, and they sure do vary, so let's get on with the deets. I'm planning on doing a couple of reviews every few weeks or so, and I'll start with the ones that have been on my bench for the longest period...

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water 125ml/400ml (RRP $7.95/$12.95)

Hard to go past this one for value and performance - with regular specials, I doubt you'll pay more than $12 for the giant 400ml bottle. Garnier was the first to release a micellar water into the mainstream, and they've since expanded their range to include variations for different skin types (will review the one for oily skin down the track). It's colourless and fragrance-free, has plenty of slip, and doesn't leave my skin feeling either dry or with an oily residue - very refreshing, and I love that it comes in different sizes, this 125ml one is perfect for travelling. There's been a bottle (usually a BIG one) of this on my vanity for years ...



Nivea Sensitive 3 In 1 Micellar Cleansing Water 200ml (RRP $9.99)
Had reasonably high expectations for this offering from Nivea, but I was a tad disappointed. While it contains no dye or perfume, I found it to be quite drying even though I have normal to oily skin - the cotton pad drags and tends to ball up, and the liquid leaves my face feeling a bit tight, which is surprising given it contains Grape Seed oil. The drying effect isn't severe enough for me to toss it out, but I was expecting it to be more moisturising. Will not repurchase...

Already you can see that the ingredients vary from one brand to another, and believe me, it gets even more interesting, especially with one pictured at the top that's touted as "natural skincare", and yet it contains petrolatum and peroxide - eek! More soon lovelies 

Take care of you,
kats xxx

P.S. If you're a blogger, why not join in Ingrid's Monday Makeup Madness Link Up Party - if you're a blog reader, then there's a beaut selection to choose from ... 

Saturday, 26 March 2016

EOTD's: Autumnal Orange & Chocolate...

My long weekend didn't get off to the best of starts - was working (remotely) till 1am Friday morning, and the same today, but at least I could sleep in, yay! It appears to be all over and done with now, and I can resume my blogging schedule - which means that for me, Easter starts right now  The theme for these EOTD's is Autumn, and those magnificently rich and earthy shades that go hand in hand with this most precious of seasons...


For this look, I chose Sugarpill Flamepoint - a fabulously bright and stunningly pigmented orange, but I Autumned-it-up by patting it down over a base of Eye of Horus Bronze Amulet Goddess Pencil, and then added Tequila Sunrise from the Sleek Snapshots palette for some glisten and gleam. Turned out to be the perfect match for my hair lol! On the waterline is Eye of Horus Serpentine Sultry, a gorgeous olivey bronze...


My foundation was Rimmel Lasting Finish, got the glow happening with Maybelline Master Glaze Blush Stick in Coral Sheen, and added the middle shade from the BYS Coral Me In blush trio. Lips were W7 Fluorescent Orange lipstick...


And the matching jewellery - the big bracelet, ring and earring set was a gift from my parents ...



For look number two, I went for a brown and cream combo, and dived into my Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette, and chose a blend of Creme Brulee, Haute Chocolate & Amaretto, once again over a base of Eye of Horus Bronze Amulet Goddess Pencil, also on the waterline...


For my face I trotted out my old HG foundation, Lancôme Teint Visionnaire, with Australis Chocolate Truffle Creme Colour for my cheeks, topped with Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Luminous Bronze Light. Lips were Starlet Lipstick in Brown Sugar. I'm still working on my hair colour - a tad more brown in it here, and this week I have blonde highlights(!), so who knows where I'll end up, but it sure is fun experimenting...


The necklace and earrings are at least 20 years old! Forgot to include my watch in the picture, but as you can probably imagine, it was in brown tonings...


So there's a couple of my choices to welcome in the cooler weather - what are your favourite hues for Autumn?

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Sunday, 20 March 2016

REVIEW: Britney Spears Circus Fantasy EDP...

If you'd told me five years ago (even three) that I would be waxing lyrical about celebrity fragrances at a fairly steady pace, I would have said "not a chance!". But here I am with yet another Britney Spears EDP rave review - this time it's Circus Fantasy. The marketing genius behind this line of "fantasy" perfumes (an Elizabeth Arden employee I believe) deserves a hearty pat on the back - not only are the fragrances unique and appeal to most ages, this unbelievably cute bottle seems to lend itself to all manner of colour variations, and I'm so loving this cheerful mix of turquoise pearl with orangey-red Swarovski gems...
Although the perfume has an overall fun and festive air about it, I actually find it quite sophisticated, and 100% feminine. The opening notes are fresh and fruity, but there's an initial tartness to it that caught my attention when I sampled it in Priceline, almost like slow-baked oranges. Well I sure got that wrong - it turns out there's a few punnets of raspberries blended with masses of apricot blossoms, a most intriguing fruit/floral combination. The middle notes are orchid, peony and lotus (can't pick them, had to look them up), however I can detect a fair whack of musk and vanilla in the base, which has woody undertones. But there was something else that I couldn't put my finger on - something familiar and comforting. Naaahh...it couldn't be violet, could it? Well in fact yes, my research confirmed my most beloved ingredient is there, so it's no wonder I love this perfume 
Mind you I was somewhat puzzled by the name - it doesn't conjure up a circus to me, but then I read that it was inspired by and released to coincide with Britney's Circus album, and the tour of the same name. So don't let its moniker put you off - this EDP starts off a wee bit loud, but it softens into a sweet creamy floral spiced with musky sugared fruit. (Lol, where do I get these descriptions from?). The first bold burst lasts about 10 minutes, and then all the flowers come out to play and keep this ever so clean and pretty scent lingering on my skin for around three hours, up to five if I spray a bit on my clothing. It will be interesting to see how it goes in the cooler weather - I have a feeling it will adapt well...
In summary another winner from Miss Spears - it's remarkably different from the other Britney's in my collection, and I will repurchase, although at the rate I'm collecting her fragrances, it may take me a while to get through this big fat bottle. The RRP for 100ml is $79(!), but I picked it up on special at Blooms for $19.99 - now that's my kind of price 

Take care of you,
kats xxx

P.S. I'm listing this on Ingrid's Monday Makeup Madness Link Up Party - you'll find lots of beaut reads from some very talented bloggers ... 

Saturday, 19 March 2016

SPOTLIGHT: Autumn Bling!...

Time to reveal more of my bling discoveries! My mission? To find some new colours, and particularly ones to co-ordinate with my Autumn/Winter outfits. Degree of difficulty? Blimey, I'm giving it a nine out of ten on the exasperation scale. Didn't realise it would be so hard to find anything other than purples, blues, clear and red, but patience (and vigilence) is its own reward, and I scored these three pretty little darlings in the space of a few months. All within my $50 budget too, although I did make a concession in regards to the setting of one ring, but more on that later...

So here's the first - quite a realistic representation of a peridot, and the perfect hue to tone with my olivey wardrobe contents. Olive green seems to be quite big this season - lots of tops, pants and jackets in the stores, but I'm finding it a challenge to track down any jewellery in this autumnal hue. I guess the clothing people aren't talking to the accessory companies! Anyways, I found this at Prouds during their sale a few months back, from memory it was almost half price ...



And this little treasure is my latest acquisition - last weekend actually. A stunning cognac Swarovski crystal, and the photo does it very little justice. In some lights it's palest citrine, and in others it's a rich brown with flashes of golden fire (as in the pic). Lovisa has quite an extensive range of Swarovski crystal jewellery, which is where I found this for $25. Only one catch, it's not set in Sterling Silver. But...I fell in love with the way the light bounces of every glistening facet so I bought it anyway, and will be especially mindful to remove it when washing my hands so the silvery plating lasts as long as possible. This ring is especially dear to me already because it's smaller than any of my others, and fits on the ring finger of my right hand - it's nice to have a change of dolled-up digit 



And finally, my teal extravaganza. Could not believe my eyes when I spotted this in Prouds - you know I ADORE teal, and it's as if it was made for me! The original price was somewhat outside my range, but once the 60% came off, it was a done deal, and I even got five cents change lol. This is quite a knuckle duster - like my other multi-coloured Swarovski rings (here), it's a dome shape, but larger and more solid, and all the stones are the same glorious deep teal. It sparkles in a different way too as the crystals are a mix of tiny and large size (nothing in between), and the entire surface is covered, whereas the others have gaps between the stones. Out of all my rings, she is "my precious" 



Well it's pretty obvious that bling rings are an ongoing and escalating passion of mine, so you can rest assured there'll be more sparklers to show you in the months ahead. Wishing you a wonderful Autumn 

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Friday, 18 March 2016

EOTD'S: Purple - Colourpop Dare & Sleek Poptastic...

There's an old saying - "there's more than way to skin a cat". Love it because it reminds me there's usually always another solution to a dilemma, and I needed one for my decidedly sporadic EOTD posts. So starting this month, I'll be posting two at a time, and with a colour theme. And there's no better hue to start with than...PURPLE, and there's no better purple shadow in my kit than Colourpop Dare...


This fabulous eye shadow has starred in quite a few of my looks (examples here & here), and is it any wonder? She's just plain gorgeous - a pinky purple pigment with aqua sparkles, which combine to give an overall bluish purple result. Turns out a bit different every time I play, depending on the base I use - this one was Face of Australia Budgeproof Gel Eyeliner. It has no name on the container, but it's a stunning magenta-ish purple that seems to have been discontinued (sob!). On the waterline is Eye of Horus Teal Malachite Goddess Pencil 


Face was Maybelline Super Stay 24H Fresh Look Longwear Foundation (love it!), on the cheeks was Savvy Cheek & Lip Colour in Satin Magenta, and lips were my fave hot pink lippie, BOE Beauty Shocking Matte Pink...


And here's the jewellery I chose to go with the outfit...



This second EOTD features the other side of the purple fence - pink purple. I used to wear this particular shade nuance most of all, but now that my hair is not so red, I'm finding the blue purples are more flattering. Interesting hey? My skin is the same colour, and yet just changing my hair has taken me from favouring warm hues to the cooler ones. Both the purple and blue shadows are from the Sleek Poptastic palette ...


Once again I used the FOA purple gel eyeliner as my base, and on the waterline was Eye of Horus Scarab Sapphire Goddess Pencil...


My foundation was Mirenesse Liquid Silk, cheeks were Real Purity Frosted Orchid Powder blush, and my lippie was MBA Cosmetics Heliotrope...


Just as well I have some pinky purple accessories hey...


I'm so looking forward to putting together my next double eye look post - haven't decided what the colour theme will be, but I've quite a variety stashed away to choose from, and you know me, it's bound to be bold 

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Sunday, 13 March 2016

REVIEW: Maybelline COLORblur Cream Matte Pencils...

Being a lipstick loony, it's difficult to contain my excitement when a new pout product comes out, especially when it's by Maybelline - they seem to have their finger on the pulse of what I'm after in the area of everyday, affordable and accessible makeup, and their formulas invariably suit me to a T. I fell instantly in love with their COLORdrama Intense Velvet Lip Pencils when first released, and I have an equally all-consuming passion for their new COLORblur Cream Matte Pencils...
Matte lip products and I have a bit of a love/hate relationship. So many of the truly matte lippies are simply not comfortable for me to wear - they're way too drying (can't bear it when my lips feel tight), and they usually make my pucker look like a dried up prune. But these COLORblur crayons have a slight sheen, the formula is amazingly softening and hydrating, they glide on with no tugging, and so far they've even survived a meal! The pigments are bold and sassy, and while there's a limited colour range, I've bought five of the eight shades available in Oz, and adore every single one of them.

The smudger point on the other end is an interesting inclusion - it feels like it's made of the same plastic as a standard pencil eraser, yet it doesn't lift off the product. I haven't experimented with using it to create the recommended blurred look, and I won't as it's just not going to work for me (you apply the product to the centre of the lips and then smudge it outwards). My natural lip outline disappeared long ago, so I'll be giving this technique a miss..

For scent sensitive gals, there's no discernible fragrance or taste, and while they're almost double the price of the Velvet pencils, they're still a great buy for RRP $17.95, and of course I've already found them on special in a few outlets. There's no sharpening either - you simply twist the smudger end to wind up the lipstick. But enough of the specs, let's get onto the swatches!

Just for the record, I've taken all of these pics in the same location and lighting conditions, and yet my skin tone looks different in all of them. Annoyingly my camera seems to react to whatever colour clothing I'm wearing, but the product colours below are close to spot on. I'm thinking I may have to take future photos in the nude in order to get some complexion consistency lol...
So here's the very first one I tried - Berry Misbehaved. A gorgeously rich pink that's exceptionally versatile ...


And this is Plum Please - will be totally rocking this once Autumn arrives ...


Next we have Partner in Crimson - a deep and muted red that's sure to enhance my Winter outfits. Loving the cute as names too ...


And here's Orange Ya Glad - super excited about this one as I seem to have so much trouble with orange lippies turning out patchy and streaky, but not this stunner, it's as smooth as silk ...


And my most recent purchase (yesterday!) - Cherry Cherry Bang Bang. Soft and yet dripping with juicy fruit vibrancy ...

There are three other pinks in the range - I Like To Mauve It, Pink Insanity & Fast & Fuchsia. The mauve one is too pale for me, but the last two are lovely vibrant shades - sadly they've been out of stock in my usual haunts, but I'm hoping that the demand will slow down a little in the coming weeks so I can get my hands on them...

In one word, fabulous. Here's another word - amazing! My favourite (so far) is Berry Misbehaved - what's yours?

Take care of you,
kats xxx

P.S.Ingrid's Monday Makeup Madness Link Up Party starts at 6:30am every Monday ... 

Saturday, 12 March 2016

REVIEW: DKNY Be Delicious Skin Fresh Blossom EDP...

Mmmmmm, here's another fragrance that I've worn frequently this Summer - DKNY Be Delicious Skin Fresh Blossom EDP. The name pretty much says it all - delicious, fresh, blossom. My favourite DKNY fragrance will always be Be Delicious - Eau So Intense (reviewed just over 12 months ago here), but this is a very close second ...

I'm deeply regretting only buying the small bottle - on the other hand it sure is super cute, and being flat rather than round, doesn't take up nearly as much room as the 100ml size, and I have to say that perfume space is becoming a MAJOR issue in my room! The shape is also far easier to grasp when spritzing, and I do like the fact that it has a protective cap to prevent accidental squirts when it's in my handbag. Fragrance-wise, she's an absolute bliss bomb of grapefruit, apricot, lily of the valley and rose notes (lots of rose). There's jasmine there too, but it's been tempered by all the other participants - thankfully, as I'm not keen on that particular ingredient in products, although as mentioned in other posts, I adore the actual flowers on the bush. The initial burst is almost as zesty as the crisp apple of the Eau So Intense, but in a matter of seconds, the blooms whisk the whole affair out of the orchard, and into an English country garden. The fruit content is always there though as an underlying theme, and nestles beautifully into the blonde woods base...
I find this fragrance ultra-feminine, fresh and light - it lasts a good 3 hours with my particular skin chemisty, and is an absolute delight to wear in the warmer weather. I will put her away for the Winter though as I prefer ambery orientals once the chill sets in, and she'll be waiting in the wings all rested and ready for the next time the blossoms emerge 

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Monday, 7 March 2016

EOTM: "Your Favourite February EOTD" Giveaway...

Only posted four EOTD's in January, but hey, should make choosing easier  For this month's prize, I've selected two products that seemed to be very popular in previous giveaways, so if you missed out on these personal favourites of mine, here's another chance to score...
Up for grabs are...
Because of the postal restrictions on fragrance, this giveaway is open to Australian Residents Only.

Here's a reminder of the gorgeousness that's inside these boxes...

To enter you must nominate which of the February EOTD's is your favourite from the four pictured below, let me know in the comments section why you like it the most, then follow the Rafflecopter entry instructions below. Please note: if you don't leave a comment on this page, you will NOT be included in the draw...
When you enter, please make sure you read the Terms and Conditions inside. Leaving a comment on this page, providing your email address inside the Rafflecopter, AND following my blog one way or another from the many choices listed, are MANDATORY for entry.

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This giveaway is now closed - check back later tonight to see who won!
 


Woo hoo! - random.org has chosen the beautiful Fay W. as the winner.  
Congratulations gorgeous! 
Fay please respond to the email I've sent you by 
Wednesday 23rd March to claim your prize :-)
Edit: Fay has claimed her prize 
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Best of luck to all who enter!

Take care of you,
kats xxx

P.S. I've listed this on Ingrid's Monday Makeup Madness Link Up Party ♥- the best of the best blog reads, starts 6:30am... 

Saturday, 5 March 2016

REVIEW: Beyonce Midnight Heat EDP...

My very first Beyonce fragrance, and it's a darling. Thought it would be heady and intense with lots of orchid and maybe violet, but it's actually quite deliciously fruity and fresh, almost tropical. It has patchouli in the base, and the mix of a few precious blooms with plum, star fruit and dragonfruit is both sublime and inspired. Sort of sensual and fun at the same time...
Love the flacon shape, reminds me of a genie bottle, plus it's purple, which is what initially caught my eye. There's also sandalwood and amber on the ground floor which gives it pretty good longevity, although some gals say it's gone in 30 minutes - not on my skin though, I get a good 3-4 hours. It starts out quite sweet but settles down within a minute or so, and then the peony and orchid notes come through and balance it all out. There's black tulip listed in the ingredients too, but I have no idea what that smells like. The patchouli gives it a spicy tang but doesn't overpower the fruits or the flowers, so I'm going to categorise it as an oriental fruit floral - sounds a bit of an odd mix, but it definitely works 
In summary it's a sexy perfume, but not seductive enough to exclude it from office wear. I find it especially entrancing to wear to bed - it has quite a calming and soothing effect, and yet it has sense stirring qualities too. I don't normally go for fragrances that contain patchouli - so often they smell like incense, but the blend here is so well balanced, it simply smells delish. This EDP is quite strong at first, but mellows quickly, and stays mellow and almost woody for the next few hours. Despite being what I'd call "warm", the fruit content makes it wearable all year round. This is one I'll be buying again 

Do you have any Beyonce perfumes in your collection? Would love to hear which one is your favourite...

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Thursday, 3 March 2016

SPOTLIGHT: February Empties!...

Blimey these empties posts seem to come round so fast! By comparison I barely got through anything last month - had to happen eventually hey. Still it's all stuff that hasn't appeared here before, and some of these products I absolutely adore 

Original Source All In One Moisturising Shower Gel - Watermelon & Jojoba Oil
Reviewed here - I do love the formula of these Original Source gels, they hydrate my skin nicely, and I always feel refreshed. My only beef with this particular one is that the fragrance is a bit wishy-washy - I need perfume potency in the shower, especially in the hot weather...
Repurchase? I'll give this one a miss, there are other scent slam-dunkers in the range...

L'Oreal BaseMagique Transforming Smoothing Primer
My current favourite primer for Summer - interesting as it has no sunscreen content, and I normally go for Dermalogica Age Smart because it contains 30+. But there's no denying that Base Magique is the best mattifying primer I've come across in my travels, and it makes a HUGE difference to the shine content of my oily-T. It also has sentimental value as it was the very first primer I ever tried, way back when I had no idea what a primer was, and why the hell would I need one? Ha ha, my how things have changed...
Repurchase? Yes, there's still a few weeks of hot weather left, and I can't live without it 

Cutex Nourishing Nail Polish Remover
I always buy Cutex Nail Polish Remover, have done for years - not sure why but I trust it to always perform, and not be too harsh. My usual variety is the whitening one, but this is my 2nd choice if the other one is out of stock. Can't say it actually whitens my nails, or that this one nourishes them in any way, but it's a nice thought all the same. I only ever wear polish on my toes, and there may be better formulas out there, but this does the trick...
Repurchase? Undoubtedly - it's one of those beauty kit essentials I can't bear to run out of ...

NeoStrata Renewal Cream
Hmm the jury is still out on this one. I bought it after reading rave reviews on beautyheaven, and I saw a very promising reduction in the creases around my mouth in the first few weeks, but no further improvement since. It has a nice fresh fragrance and it sure is super softening, but for $54 I was hoping to be jumping up and down by now. It's a long term product though, contains Pro-Retinol and I'm onto my second tube - only applying it to my t-zone. I probably need something a whole heap stronger, but I'll persist - it does last a long time as so little is required...
Repurchase? Will see how tube #2 goes, but if there's no change, I'll move on to something else...

NeoStrata Daytime Protection Cream
Loved this cream, it's consistency and rapid absorption - light and yet enriching, and no problem with shine, BUT no obvious improvement in my ageing issues, although my skin did feel a little firmer. Was surprised it only contained SPF15. Another one around the $50 mark, and therefore a bit pricey for 40g. I have the Pigment Controller one to try next...
Repurchase? Doubt it...

Max Factor Colour Correcting Cream
A darling friend sent me this, and I am forever in her debt. Never been all that interested in CC creams, but this tube of fabulousness has earned a permanent place on my bench. The medium shade is my exact colour match, and the coverage is almost as good as a foundation - I've even been known to wear this alone to the shops! But my main use of it is underneath the numerous font de teints that don't quite cover my flaws - base perfection, it evens out my skintone and helps blend in my freckles...
Repurchase? Had quite a bit of trouble finding my shade, but eventually scored, so I can now relax 

Antipodes Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream
Well this was a massive surprise - a beautiful BEAUTIFUL cream! I think it's been in my drawer for around 18 months, possibly from a DJ's Beauty Tote. A most unassuming tube containing the most delicious night moisturiser - smells fantastic (organic but not stale like some others), amazingly hydrating, and every application was a joy. In fact I almost cried when I finished the last squeeze. Jam packed with natures goodness, and made my skin feel ultra-smooth with no gunk on the surface the next morning. LOVE this 
Repurchase? You bet - I've checked out the entire range at Priceline, doesn't come cheap, but I reckon it's worth it for the scrumptious experience...

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub
This is a regular in my shower stall - madly in love with the fragrance, and how it keeps my blackheads from taking over my nose. Reviewed here, I alternate between this and the Deep Clean one (also Pink Grapefruit). You may have gathered I have a thing for Pink Grapefruit...
Repurchase? Yes indeedy - several times a year 

Swisspers Dual Cosmetic Tips
Another of my "can't live withouts". Very hard to find (only at Priceline), and I recently had to make three trips before they restocked - so I bought six packs, and will replenish my supply when I get down to the last two! Nothing beats these thingies - I use the flat paddle end for cleaning up my hoods, and the pointy tip repairs my sloppy lip product applications in a flash. I live in fear that Swisspers will stop making them...
Repurchase? What a silly question ...

Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel
Nice fresh smell, low sudsing, non drying, but not "special" enough for me to spend upwards of $50 on a full size bottle. Forget where this sample came from, but I was very happy to try it...
Repurchase? No - there are lots of others in the market that are just as effective, and for half the price...

Garnier Olia Permanent Hair Colour - Intense Copper & Very Light Blonde
My new home hair colourant of choice - reviewed this last Sunday
Repurchase? Yup - two of each ♥ Not every store has the copper shade, but found it at Chemist Warehouse...

Till the next round of empties, keep well and safe lovelies!

Take care of  you,
kats xxx