Monday, 27 March 2017

REVIEW: Revlon Ultra HD Gel Lip Color...

Time for truthies - I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I heard that Revlon had released this new Ultra HD Gel Lip Color range  I have no doubt I'm in the minority, but I'm hanging till this matte lip craze starts to loosen it's grip on the market. Oh I think it's a fabulous look for lots of gals, but for someone of my age whose lips end up looking like dried prunes, it's not so good. There's the comfort factor as well - my lips in their natural state are bone dry, and while I've found some matte formulas that are not quite so matte, and contain enough lubricant to keep my lips from literally sticking together, they are in the minority. So thank you Revlon for bringing out some non-matte ultra-moist lipsticks in stunning shades - I'm as happy as a clam, and even happier that I scored these for almost half price!...


I was SO  proud of my restraint at only buying four, but hey, I probably have enough lipsticks to open a shop lol. Absolutely adore the colours I chose - they are from left to right, Adobe, Vineyard, Dawn & Twilight. Beautifully moist, perfect pigmentation (not too sheer, not too dense), and the lippie tip is angled for easy outlining, although I always need a lip liner. The metallic tube finish is a pretty close match to the colour of the contents, ultra-thin and lightweight, (but a pain to photograph as they topple over at the flutter of an eyelash). There are 15 in the range, and six of them are the prettiest nudey pinks ...

Adobe

Vineyard

Dawn

Twilight

Being so moist, they don't last very long on the lips (which is why I only bought four), but the darker hues do leave a bit of a stain...



RRP is $24.95, but they're currently on special at Chemist Warehouse for $16 ...

Take care of you,
kats xxx

P.S. Adding this to Ingrid's Monday Madness Link Up Party - the page of fun blogs will be up just before sunrise ...

Monday, 20 March 2017

Bloggers United AU 2nd Birthday Bash at Lush!...

If you're an Aussie Blogger, and you haven't hooked up with Bloggers United AU yet, you're missing out on a whole heap of benefits, including invitations to fabulous events, like the one I attended on Saturday 11th March. To celebrate their 2nd Birthday, this powerful team of gorgeous gals (who incidentally are blogging experts and so generously offer their tried and tested advice) arranged a celebration at QVB Lush, and I jumped at the chance of wishing them a Happy Birthday, enjoying the unbelievably colourful and scented surroundings of Lush, and catching up with some of my beautiful blogging buddies ...


Absolutely tickled pink (and red, and green, and blue lol) to see my lovely friend Ingrid from Fabulous and Fun Life at the door. We first met at last year's November event, and it was so wonderful to see her again and have a chat. She's such a warm, wise, fun and friendly lady, and her blog content is world class ...



After exploring some of the sights and smells in this wonderland of scintillating scents, tantalising textures and riotous rainbow hues, we were warmly welcomed by the knowledgeable staff, and were treated to a guessing game of "what are the ingredients in the Cupcake Mask" (which I believe Ingrid won!). We then split into two groups, and watched in amazement as the Lush ladies made two of the top selling masks, right in front of our eyes. My group was observing the blending of the luscious ingredients that go into the Catastrophe Cosmetic Fresh Face Mask. Incidentally that vision of loveliness on the right in the pic below is Rachel from Rachel Beauty Style, one of the Sydney Bloggers United team, and an absolute delight to know ...


And here's the finished product we were given to take home - those purply blue bits are freshly crushed blueberries! There's also chamomile, rose, and almond oils included in the formula, plus calamine powder and this kinda weird Irish Moss gel. We were advised to keep the mask in the fridge (no preservatives), and I treated myself to it's cooling and calming effect earlier this week - it's especially effective if you're dealing with redness. My complexion is still feeling super smooth and soft, and I'm so looking forward to another dose of this brilliant concoction...



Another guest I was delighted to catch up with was the stunning Marisa from Marisa Robinson MUA - this gal knows her makeup craft inside and out, and if you're not following her blog, you're missing out on awesome makeup tutorials and brilliant reviews of just about any beauty product you can imagine ...



After the mask-making, we headed on over to the cosmetic section, and here's the Goddess that is Barbe the Babe from Fashionista in Suburbia ♥ getting herself all swatched with eyeliner, lip colour, concealer, highlighter etc. I had no idea Lush made makeup, and I was so impressed with the quality and pigmentation, I bought one of their Liquid Lipsticks - more on that later...



There was a whole range of yummy refreshments to nibble on, and all of us were gifted with a selection of Lush products, plus there was the extra special treat of choosing something (pretty much anything) we liked, and that went into the bag as well. Below is what I scored - all divine creams that I've been thoroughly enjoying sampling this week (reviews soon)...


My special gift was a no-brainer - I chose the Dark Angels Fresh Facial Cleanser, which is actually more of a scrub than a cleanser, but being pitch black and made from charcoal, rhassoul mud, black sugar and cold pressed avocado oil, there simply couldn't be another choice hey? Here's what it looks like in store...


...and here's what's inside my pot. It's dry and firm, and you pinch off a piece about the size of a pea, mix it with water in your palm till it's like a paste, and then massage it into your skin. Being black the drips are a bit messy, so I'm keeping this in the shower recess. It smells a bit like licorice, and oh, what it does for my face is a wonder - my skin felt like that of a newborn babe, complete with the healthy glow. LOVE!



And what a joy it was to spot the truly gorgeous face of Mel from Aussie Beauty Talk. This woman is a total doll, and I reckon I deserve a bravery medal for standing next to her radiant beauty for this picture. I've been following Mel's blog for a while now - she does the best, funniest, 100% natural videos in the business, and sometimes her cute-as bunny is in them too. I say again, a total doll ... 



Not content with the goody bag, there were a few other items I just had to take away with me on the night, and I was ecstatic we were able to make purchases. Below is what I bought - a cake of lavender, fennel & ginger Sugar Scrub, the absolutely fascinating Whoosh Shower Jelly, mouthwateringly berrylicious The Comforter Shower Cream, and the amazingly pigmented Liquid Lipstick in the shade Power Without Force...

And here is the lipstick on my pucker. Head over heels in love with the formula - creamy, smooth, non-drying, and I swear I reapplied it ONCE throughout the whole day. Hard to see in the pic, but it has the most gorgeous gold shimmer. Yes indeedy, I'll be getting more of these ...


What a fabulous night it was - I'm still on a high, and there are so many Lush products I want to try! Thank you Bloggers United and Lush for inviting me to this wonderful event ...  

Are you a Lush-aholic? What's your favourite product from their range?

Take care of you,
kats xxx

P.S. Come on over to Ingrid's awesome Monday Makeup Madness Party any time after 6:30am ...

Sunday, 19 March 2017

REVIEW: Estée Lauder Youth Dew EDP...

My first encounter with Estée Lauder Youth Dew EDP was in my mid-teens - we're talking around 45 years ago, yikes! One of my school friends was wearing it, and I was instantly entranced with it's beauty. In retrospect, this was my first ever experience of an "oriental" perfume, and quite possibly set the stage for my love affair with this fragrance category that continues to this day. She let me spritz a little of hers, and then promptly said "I don't like it on you, it smells different".  Needless to say I was shattered, and being the silly young thing I was, pretty much erased the thought of ever making this classic fragrance mine...


But I've never forgotten it, or that first impression, and finally decided to add it to my collection when I saw it on sale at Priceline late last year. I stashed it away with my other orientals, which I really only wear in the cooler weather as they're invariably so intense, but now it's time to make up for all those lost years, and make this passion-worthy elixir a part of my life ...

So what's so special about it? It's one of those scents I would classify as timeless - spicy, warm, sophisticated, complex, elegant, musky, earthy, powdery, and sensual. One of the longest lasting fragrances I've ever experienced, you need a good scrub to remove all traces of it, but loving it as I do, I'm not scrubbing anything! The list of ingredients is impressive as it goes on forever, but I've plucked out the most predominant ones: top notes of rose, peach, jonquil, lavender & orange, middle notes are jasmine, muguet, orchid and spices (clove & cinammon), base notes of moss, vetiver, amber, vanilla, ylang ylang & patchouli. It's quite a heady mix, but somehow it all comes together to create a heavenly masterpiece...


It was created in 1953, and first arrived on the scene as a bath oil, but with the intention for women to wear it as a perfume. Apparently back in that era, gals didn't buy perfume for themselves (can you believe it?) - they used to wait for their fellas to give it to them on birthdays, Christmas or some other special occasion. But Mrs Lauder got around that particular "taboo" by releasing the fragrance as a bath oil, so it was ok for any woman to just go out and buy it - genius! And there's another story on the net that to convince a retailer to stock it, she "accidentally" dropped a bottle on the floor, and the store was overwhelmed with women asking what it was, and could they buy it. Clever lady ...

To me, the bottle is the perfect representation of what's inside - stunningly feminine and opulent, the gold trim and bow contrasts magnificently with the deep amber of the liquid. It's not expensive either (RRP $80 for 67ml, but I paid half that on special), and it's one of those rare perfumes that smells the same intoxicatingly blissful from first spritz to dry-down, all the way through to up to 12 hours later...


If you love Obsession, Opium or Poison, this is a sure bet. Some folks have complained about the name, saying there's nothing youthful or dewy about it, but I don't care a fig - it looks and smells divine ...

Have  you ever tried Estée Lauder Youth Dew? Do you have any other Estée Lauder fragrances in your collection?

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Monday, 13 March 2017

CONFESSIONS: Of a Body Washaholic (part 19)...

Well at last the weather is cooling down a tad here in Sydney, which means it's time for me to start thinking about switching my body washes to something a little less tangy, and a lot more moisturising. And to my delight, one of my favourite shower product makers, Original Source, have come up with some yummy new concoctions to take me through to Spring. I tend to go for milky formulas rather than gels at this time of year as they seem to be more hydrating, and these flavours are right up my fragrance fantasy alley ... 



Green Banana & Bamboo
To be honest I was expecting this to be my absolute fave of the bunch, but that's not quite how it turned out. I DO love this, but I was a wee bit disappointed as the banana scent isn't all that strong - well not as potent as I was hoping for. Perhaps it's because they're green bananas, which aren't anywhere near as sweet or flavoursome as fully ripened ones, or it could be the bamboo content (does anyone know what bamboo smells like?). Anyways, I'm sure this combo will have lots of fans because it's not at all lolly-like. It's actually quite lovely - very creamy and soft and subtle, and the formula is terrific because it does give my skin that little something extra. Not enough to skip the body lotion step, but enough to emerge from the shower with supple, delicately scented skin that doesn't feel parched or tight ...


Lime & Coconut
This one scored second place because it has the perfect balance of tangy lime and warming coconut - neither one overpowers the other. Nowhere near as bold as the straight lime in the regular range, this one is also soft and subtle, although I expect that once I turn up the hot water volume, it will have more oomph. I reckon the fellas will enjoy this one too - it's not as girly as the others. By the way, Original Source use all natural fragrances and moisturisers in their products, they're vegan, and don't test on animals. However most of the formulas contain SLS, so if that particular ingredient gives you grief, then they're best avoided as it's second on the list after water ...

Sweet Apple & Vanilla
This one was the biggest surprise as I'm not a huge vanilla fan, but combined with the apple, it makes for a delish dessert-style experience - it doesn't quite get to the apple pie stage, but it's both refreshing and comforting in a home-baked kinda way. Incidentally I reckon they're red apples rather than green ones as there's not even a hint of tartness. All of these shower milks lather into a creamy foam rather than bubbles, and none of the scents linger for long, so they won't compete with your perfume ...

In summary, I'm pretty keen on all of these, and if you like your fragrant bath products to chat quietly in the background rather than hollering, I highly recommend them. Actually I bought all three of them again yesterday morning as they're on special at Woolworths at the mo' for $2 - absolute bargain!

Take care of you,
kats xxx

P.S. Hooking up with the always interesting Ingrid's Monday Makeup Madness Link Up - come say hello!...

Monday, 6 March 2017

SPOTLIGHT: Marie Claire Ageless Parcel - February 2017...

The latest Marie Claire Ageless Parcel arrived last week - as always I couldn't contain myself till I'd opened it, and as always, it was a delight to see what goodies were inside. Some of these boxes are a tad more exciting than others, but all of them are astoundingly good value, and this quarterly offering is an absolute delight. With four full-size products and one generous sample, the RRP of the contents is around $105, and for an outlay of $25, and specifically targeting my particular ageing issues, I expect to be subscribed to these forever ...



Revlon UniqOne Hair Treatment (150ml, RRP $29.95)
Only available in salons. this is a leave-in spray treatment that targets 10 problem areas, and having used it today after colouring my hair, I can certainly confirm there are immediate benefits from this potently scented (but dissipates quickly) formula - sure am looking forward to the long term ones. Instructions say to spray over damp hair, but it comes out like a foam, so I just mixed about five squirts in my palms and ran my hands over my hair, paying special attention to the highlighted sections which are the most damaged. After blow drying, my tresses are softer and silkier, with loads of shine ..

Just prior to publishing, I noticed that I'd accidentally photographed the Italian language side of the box in the pic above (whoops!), so here's the English translation, plus the list of ingredients...



Jergens Age Defying Multi-Vitamin Moisturiser (250ml, RRP $6.99)
The skin on my bod is pretty much dryish all year round, but during Winter, it becomes twice as moisture-starved. Having used this today after my shower, I reckon I'll have no such issues this cold season - LOVE the fresh flower scent of this body lotion, it absorbs completely after 30 seconds, and leaves my skin feeling supple and completely hydrated. According to the blurb, it triples (whoa!) the moisture content of the skin if you keep using it - yes please, I'm in! ...


L'Occitane Precious Cream (50ml, RRP $85, sample 8ml, value $13.60)

LOVE L'Occitane products, so I was super happy to find this bubby jar in the box. If this is anything like the stunning Immortelle range (the ones in the yellow packaging), which I trialled for beautyheaven some years ago, I'll be as happy as a clam. The container is too small for a list of ingredients, but here's what the box insert has to say ...
I have a stack of part-finished moisturisers to clear, so I'm saving this for a cold rainy day when I want to give myself a truly luxurious treat ...


 Redwin Coconut Balm (25g, RRP $5.99)

At first I thought this was a lip balm, but it turns out to be one of those multi-purpose healers - can be used on insect bites, burns, rashes and cuts. It's a thick clear gel that smells exactly like fresh coconut, and it's made with 100% organic coconut oil. There's also papaya fruit, jojoba, sunflower, marigold and carrot oils in the list of ingredients, plus it's 100% vegan friendly, and not tested on animals. There's a whole stack of horrors that are NOT included as well, like SLS, parabens, mineral oils and petroleum jelly. So far I've only used it on my lips, and they're thanking me for it already ...


Elucent Anti-Aging Eye Cream (15ml RRP $49.99)
Chuffed to see this old favourite included in the selection. Used this entire range some years ago and loved it, but you know me and how fickle I am with skin care, I moved on to trying out a whole heap of others from the gazillion available on the market. Still I'm delighted to have the opportunity to revisit this gem. It's fragrance-free and contains 4% glycolic acid, so it packs quite a punch in the battle against fine lines and wrinkles. There's also vitamins B3, C & E in the mix, and I love that there's an expiry date on both the box and the tube. Mine says Aug 2018, so I've plenty of time to get through all the part-used eye creams that are currently on my bench (four lol) ...

Another awesome collection from this resourceful and thoughtful panel - you can subscribe to the consistently brilliant Marie Claire Ageless Parcel at their new Beauty Crew home HERE...

What do you think lovelies - are you keen to try any of these products?

Take care of you,
kats xxx

P.S. Linking to Ingrid's very popular Monday Makeup Madness Link Up - come join me in the fun of discovering some new blogs to follow ♥...