Saturday, 29 April 2017

REVIEW: Vera Wang Be Jeweled Rouge EDP...

A number of Vera Wang fragrances have captured my heart over the years - I have two versions of Lovestruck (original and Floral Rush), and the most recent addition was Princess Revolution last September. Still exploring her range, so when I used up the last drop of the first Be Jeweled, I decided to replace it with Be Jeweled Rouge, which I love even more than the original ...


It's a similar theme of course - a fresh berry floral, but unlike it's predecessor, this one lasts a good 4 hours. Interestingly I usually keep my fruity florals for Spring and Summer, but this darling has enough oomph to survive the cooler months, I think because of the vanilla content. It starts off with a tantalising burst of red currant and pomegranate, but the fruit is almost instantly partnered with gardenia, pink peony, and vanilla, and they all live happily ever after on a base of praline, cashmere wood and musk. It's really quite beautiful - like other "rouge" fragrances, it kinda smells pink, if you know what I mean. Zesty and sweet enough for the young at heart, but the dry down is sufficiently sophisticated for more mature gals...

There's something about Vera Wang bottles that always appeal to me - they're girly, some might say gaudy, but when I reach for a perfume, I want to be reminded of my femininity even before I spritz, and this faceted crystal and bejewelled flacon does that every time ...

Classified as a floral oriental, I'm more inclined to say floral fruit gourmand. I bought the 50ml bottle last year at a local chemist for around $30, sadly I can't seem to find it anywhere online except on eBay or Amazon, so I guess it isn't all that popular- a pity as it's a gem of a scent ...

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Monday, 24 April 2017

REVIEW: Maybelline Dream Cushion Foundation...

My foundation collection is quite extensive, around 20 at last count, and that's after a cull of the ones that were past their use by date, or didn't seem to work for my skin, no matter what application technique or base I tried. Although most have a yellow undertone, the shades vary, as do the levels of coverage - some are long-wear, most have a matte or slightly dewy finish, and the prices range from $5 to $65. Why do I have so many? Because I haven't truly found one that I absolutely adore, and stuck with it. There's usually been a catch at some stage e.g. prohibitive long-term price, limited availability, poor performance when combined with my SPF etc. Sure I've gone through phases where I wear one from my kit more than any other, but eventually I move on, and keep searching for The One. My most recent discovery is Maybelline Dream Cushion Foundation, and I think this may be "it" ...


Admittedly I bought it on special (which is how foundations normally arrive in my kit), but given that it's by Maybelline (my favourite in the drugstore category), and various stores often have this brand on sale, I figure it's unlikely I'm going to have an issue with having to pay full price (RRP $26.95), or not being able to find "my" shade...


What gives this one the edge over all the others? Oddly enough I don't think I've quite worked that out yet - all I know is that the shade Sand becomes almost invisible on my skin, and yet it makes my complexion look the best it ever has. Being medium coverage, it doesn't completely hide my freckles, but rather softens their intensity so that they appear more blended in with the rest of the my skin. It also does a terrific job of counteracting the redness around my nose. In short it looks like I'm wearing very little foundation, and yet I have all the benefits of disguising a whole bunch of my flaws. Below are some unretouched before and after pics..


Left is bare moisturised skin, right is colourless primer underneath one layer of the foundation, and NO concealer - just some translucent setting powder to matte down the dewy finish. You can see below how well it has covered the broken capillaries around my nose and the dark freckles circling my mouth, and that's without any additional application on these troublespots. Another win is that my face ends up the same colour as my neck - yay!..


The presentation is practical as well as beautiful. The compact is lightweight and super convenient - with a mirror inside the lid, touch ups are easy peasy. I'm still recovering from a virus, which means that I'm still blowing my nose 100 times in a day, which means I'm reapplying my foundation over and over again around my nose and mouth. And with this formula, there is no line of demarcation, no buildup, no patchy bits to blend - I just pop open the lid and pat the liquid onto the areas that need it...


Peeling back the leaflet on the base reveals the ingredients, and some instructions. I haven't as yet used the sponge that's inside the compact. but it's there if I need it - I normally apply my makeup with a dome brush, and this usual technique seems to work just fine...


Another bonus is the SPF40 content. I don't know that I trust a foundation to give me the sun protection I need, but every bit helps. For the purposes of showing you just how well it blends into my skin, I didn't apply it over my usual IT Cosmetics CC Cream for this post, but the combination of the two gives me darn near complete coverage, and the ultimate in protection ...

Absolutely in love with this foundation - there's less content than in a standard pump bottle, so it will be interesting to see how long it lasts. But whatever the time frame, I don't give a hoot as the convenience and brilliant results far outweigh any product quantity deficit ...

Massive thanks to Beth from Almost Posh and Rachel from Rachel Beauty Style whose honest and detailed reviews convinced me to try this ...

Have you tried Maybelline Dream Cushion Liquid Foundation yet?

Take care of  you,
kats xxx

P.S. Linking to Ingrid's Monday Makeup Madness Link Up Party - quite a gathering of brilliant blog articles, so come on over after 6:30am ... 

Monday, 17 April 2017

SPOTLIGHT: March Empties!...

Not going to fall into the same trap I did last month, so without further ado, here is almost everything I finished in March, excluding some items that I've covered before of course. Did exceptionally well I reckon, especially as there is one product here that I've been using for over 3 years - OMG I was beginning to think I'd never get to the end of it!...



Nivea Pure & Natural Body Lotion (400ml, RRP $7.99)
Oh wow, a 400ml bottle of Body Lotion - now that's a challenge for me to finish. This came in my Blogstar prize box back in January 2014, and I've only just squirted the last drop! As you may have gathered I'm not a big user of body lotions - I tend to only apply them after showering when I'm not in a hurry to get dressed and racing out the door shortly thereafter, and that pretty much only happens on Sundays.  This was nice enough, contains none of the major nasties, but I found it took a while to absorb, and after all these years I'm bored with the fragrance....
Repurchase?
Noooo - I prefer my super-fast-to-sink-in BotanicES, plus I have the fabulous Lush Dream Cream on my bench, and Dove Silky Nourishing Body Cream in the cupboard...


L'Oreal Revitalift Laser X3 Dual Action Total Rejuvenation Moisturiser (48ml, RRP $49.95)
Beautyheaven sent me this to trial last Christmas, and it wowed me, especially as I only used it at night, and ditched my usual serum during the trial. They sent me more L'Oreal products to trial almost straight after this one, so I had to stop using it, and have only just finished it now. I really think this firmed my facial contours a little, softened even my deep lines, and made my whole face look fresher. The plan is to use another bottle non-stop, and then post a proper review here. For now my advice is if you're over 40 and ever see this on special, buy it ...
Repurchase?
Heck yeah already have, just finishing off the remains of another two creams, and then this might just be a staple ...


L'Oreal Revitalift Magic Blur Anti-Ageing Daily Moisturiser (50ml, RRP $34.95)
This came in the August 2016 Marie Claire Ageless Parcel and I love it - there's no SPF, but no drama as I'm using a BB cream that has 50+ as my primer. This is such a lovely cream - a waxy mousse consistency, lightweight yet enriching, smells lovely, absorbs instantly, and the big bonus is that it has a matte finish, which is how it kinda works to blur the wrinkles ...
Repurchase?
Would definitely buy this again, just haven't as yet as I have three others I need to finish first ...


Nivea 3 In 1 Micellar Cleansing Water - Sensitive (200ml, RRP $9.99)
Full review of it HERE as part of my Micellar Magic series - not my favourite, and I did find it a little drying...
Repurchase?
No - there are others out there that have the edge in effectiveness, comfort and value...


Manicare Artiste Professional Kabuki Brush (RRP $?)
I've been using this for just over 18 months to apply my bronzer, and it's just started shedding. Not one hair now and then, but several every time I use it, and they stick to my makeup grrrrr. Odd as it's excellent quality, and I only wash my brushes in water twice a year.  My previous one was an el cheapo, and it never shed - go figure?  I won this in a prize, and it doesn't seem to be available any more so I don't know the price, but there's a retractable version listed for $25.95...
Repurchase?
I won't let this experience put me off buying other Artiste brushes (I have several that haven't given me any grief), but I replaced this particular one with a little baby by Nude by Nature ...


Dove Triple Moisturising & Aqua Moisture Nourishing Body Washes (375ml, RRP $7.36)
Recently reviewed both of these HERE - LOVE! 
Repurchase?
Affirmative - one's in the shower stall, the other's in the wings, waiting for a space ...


Alpha Keri Anti-Cellulite Sugar Body Scrub (225g, RRP $14.95)
My very first sugar body scrub, and I loved using it. To test the anti-cellulite properties, I only scrubbed my left bum cheek and thigh. At the end of the jar there was not much difference between the two (although my right side is still jealous of all the attention ha ha), but it did seen to improve the general appearance of the orange peel texture, and it sure got rid of any flaky bits ...
Repurchase?
I reckon I will - I started another one during March, and while there's been no further dimple reduction, I do enjoy it because it softens my skin beautifully, and being colourless, hey, the shower stays clean ...


L'Oreal Age Perfect Golden Age Glow Re-activating Essence (125ml, RRP $39.95)
Did a rave review of it in January HERE - this is the original bottle I received for the trial, so it's lasted 6 months with every day use. Amazing value ...
Repurchase?
Yes, already sitting on the bench waiting for me to finish off four (four!) other serums I'm testing out ...


Urban Rituelle Reed Diffuser - Comfort (Sandalwood & Tangerine) (190ml, RRP $39.95)
Raved about this HERE - I've bought quite a few of these because I adore the scent combo ...
Repurchase?
Sob... This fragrance has been discontinued and I'm shattered. I've bought the Alpine Loft one which is lovely, but it's hardly a substitute...


Skin Republic Gold Hydrogel Mask (RRP $12.99)
Totally in love with this mask. It's in two pieces, and the shape of it actually fits my face, and even covers my nose - yay! It's not messy like the others as most of the serum is impregnated in the plasticcy material. Of all the face masks I've tried so far, this is my #1 - my skin looks SO good afterwards. It costs a little more than the others but it's worth it - actually I wish they made it in a complete body suit lol ...
Repurchase?
Affirmative - I've already bought three more ...



Skin Republic Collagen Hydrogel Under Eye Patch (3 pairs, RRP $9.99)
I went through two of these sachets, which means I applied 6 pairs during the month - need I say more? ...
Repurchase?
Ha ha silly question...


Kmart Nourishing Shea Butter Hand Sheet Mask (10ml, RRP $3)
This was pretty good considering the price - nicely hydrating, smells like coconut, and the gloves aren't too big. As I said about the Skin Republic ones, what I'm looking for is something super enriching, and these don't quite make the cut...
Repurchase?
Maybe, but I'm still looking for other brands to try ...


LonVitalite Coconut Milk Hydrating & Nourishing Facial Mask (5 pack, RRP $39)
I really enjoyed this mask again (first review was December's Empties post) - very cooling and calming, and used it in combination with the 24K Active Gold Eye Mask listed below. Wrapped myself up like a mummy (see piccie below), and took a half hour break to let these babies do their thing. My skin looked and felt fabulous afterwards, all redness gone, pores slightly more refined, just wish it had a nose piece as that's where I need lots of help ...
Repurchase?
Possibly - I have a stockpile of Skin Republic ones (about 12) so I'll use them up first to see if any of them are more effective...

LonVitalite 24K Active Gold Eye Mask (6 pairs, RRP $32)
I forget where I got this single sample from, but I've had it for a while - definitely saw an improvement in the eye area, firmer and fresher. The latest ones are gold in colour ...
Repurchase?
Yes - they only work out to be $2 each more than the Skin Republic ones, and I'm keen to compare the results between the two brands ...



Rodial Dragon's Blood Eye Masks (8 pairs, RRP $52)
Used two more of these - getting the hang of their odd shape now, but they're still the messiest eye masks I've come across. I'm persisting though as the results are a smidgin better than the Skin Republic ones ...
Repurchase?
Not at this stage - I still have four more sachets left in the box, and the fact that I literally get covered in the serum trying to remove all the backing sheets puts me off ...

Take care of you,
kats xxx

P.S. Linking to the Monday Makeup Madness Link Up Party - you'll always find lots of interesting articles to read, come say hello ... 

Sunday, 16 April 2017

REVIEW: Dolce & Gabbana Floral Drops EDT...

This Dolce & Gabbana perfume is one I've been longing to add to my collection for a while now - I was actually intending to buy the Dolce EDP, but selected the wrong product when I ordered online from Priceline during one of their sales, and ended up with this ever so pretty Floral Drops EDT variation. While disappointed to not get my hands on the more potent EDP, there was no way I was going to send it back lol! Besides this is perfect for Spring and Summer days in the office - fresh, crisp, delicate, and in no way intrusive ...


It's classified as a Fresh Floral, but to me it's opening notes have an Aquatic characteristic that almost conjures up the beach rather than a flower garden. The initial spray is quite green with an apple edge, but it's actually neroli leaves and papaya flower. After a few minutes, the white flowers at it's heart start to bloom - the main one is South African amaryllis, and this magnificent "lily" is supported by water lily & daffodil. Such a pretty and feminine scent, and despite a base of cashmere, sandalwood and musk, this is one perfume you could comfortably wear in close proximity to others as it stays quite close to the skin. I can still catch little wafts around me after two hours, and it's detectable on my wrist for at least another two...


The bottle is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen - palest frosted green glass with a creamy carved floral cap, and a black ribbon around the neck. This is not one to carry around in your purse though - the glass base is solid and thick, making the whole thing quite heavy. But the bottle is easy to grasp for decanting, and I actually love the comfort and luxury of its weight - no fear of it ever toppling over, and I think it would take a sledge hammer to make a dent in it lol ...


The RRP of this 75ml bottle is $133, but I paid half that on special. Now that I've done this review, I'll be putting this treasure away probably till September when I'll be even more appreciative of it's freshness and the lift it gives to my heart  Although it's most certainly wearable all year round, it smells exactly like a dew-laced Spring morning, and I've already trotted out my warming amber orientals to get me through the cold months...

Have you tried either Dolce or Dolce Floral Drops?

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Thursday, 13 April 2017

REVIEW: March Good Green Box...

Oh yay - had a lovely surprise last week when the March edition of the Good Green Box arrived in the post for me to sample, thanks to Bloggers United AU. I'd read reviews by other bloggers in the past, but hadn't gotten around to investigating it any further - silly me! Anyways I'm really impressed with the value ($65 worth for an outlay of $25) and it's such a cute and compact presentation of a variety of products with a focus on natural and vegan formulas - I can tell it's been put together with a lot of care. And I do enjoy the fact that if I fall in love with any of these goodies, quite a few of them are purchasable from the website shop. So...on with the contents...


The box is expertly packed with seven products, and there's a card with all the details. What's not pictured on the insert is the glue for the false eyelashes, but more on that later...



I'm starting with the Bondi Wash Body Wash because you know how I love body washes  This one is scented with Tasmanian Pepper and Lavender - oh yum! I haven't opened it yet as I'm riddled with a virus at the mo' and can't smell much at all, so saving this for a few days time when I can truly enjoy the fragrant experience. Also lists bergamot and cedarwood oils in the ingredients, plus it's anti-bacterial - absolutely busting to try it! ...




Next is an interesting one - a wipe infused with magnesium that you use for pain relief.  The formula is oil-based, and the recommendation is to wipe along the lower back or across sore muscles for instant results. Wow I almost wish I had something painful in my bod right now so I could try this out - definitely putting it in the medicine drawer for when I or anyone in the family have an injury ...


Well we all know how good Wotnot wipes are, and these are specifically for the face, and for normal/sensitive skin. Ingredients include organic aloe vera, rosehip & sweet almond oils, and the blurb says they will even remove waterproof mascara. I used one last night to cleanse my face after a day in bed - not much grime to remove, but it was a good test as my nose is red raw from tissue chafing, and yet there was no stinging sensation whatsoever. My skin felt soft and lightly moisturised afterwards - definitely getting myself a big pack of these and will report on the makeup removal effectiveness, probably in my April Empties post ...


For those of you with particular sensitivities, the reverse of the product listing card spells out the main ingredients of each of the items - now that's helpful ...



Next up is the MIOD Balancing Face Oil. Very happy to see a plastic seal around the top of the dropper, and what little I can smell of this is delicious. Started this last night as it's for all skin types, but especially for oily skinned gals and anyone dealing with pore congestion. That's me to a T - just about every time I try a new moisturising range, my pores react by getting all clogged up, so I'm delighted to have the opportunity to put this to the test...




Ahh yes, natural deodorants. What a challenge it is for companies to come up with a deodorant that's effective, but doesn't contain the usual array of harmful-to-good-health chemicals. I've tried this Earth Mumma Pit Paste once so far (love the name lol), and with reasonable success - a wee bit of wetness, but definitely no stinkies.  It's a paste made from all natural ingredients that you rub into your armpits like a moisturiser - recommendation is to use a pea sized amount, and its stain free. Even with my blocked nose, I can smell the delicious lemongrass oil. Haven't been game to wear it on a work day yet, but I'll test it out again over Easter ...



And lastly, the product I'm most excited about  - Sarah Jean False Lashes, and an adhesive that comes in a mascara style applicator. I'm hoping this will be a turning point for me as I've struggled in the past to get the glue part right. Also the lashes look so lovely and fine - last time I tried falsies they were a lot bolder than this, and despite giving myself a pat on the back for getting them stuck on reasonably well, the reaction from the fam was "what's wrong with your eyes?". Sigh... The glue is clear, water soluble, latex free, anti-allergenic, and made in Korea. Will give these a go shortly, so watch my Instagram page for an extra special EOTD piccie ...

Overall I think this is an inspiring variety of products, and excellent value. You can subscribe to the Good Green Box using the link HERE - there are three options, and a healthy discount if you sign up for 6 months. Also there's a current promo to receive the first box for $10 using the code TRYGOODGREENBOX10. Now that's an amazing deal - imagine receiving all of the above for a tenner?

Thank you again Bloggers United AU and Good Green Box for sending me this box to sample and review - I'm so looking forward to whatever surprises are in the April edition ...

What do you think of  the Good Green Box - is it something you'd be interested in?

Take care of you,
kats xxx

P.S. Happy Easter Lovelies!

Monday, 10 April 2017

SPOTLIGHT: My Everyday Makeup Essentials...

Hi lovelies! Was sitting at my bench getting ready for the day, and paused for a mo' to take a look at everything I used. Sure I change my foundation, blush, lipstick and eye shadows from one day to the next, but there are certain products and tools that I reach for every time I create my face, regardless of the colour scheme I've chosen. The process varies slightly for weekends (unless I'm going out, which is rare) - I usually skip a few items as I don't feel the need to be ready for a close-up at the supermarket, just decent lol. One of the items below is a recent acquisition (a gift!) that I wanted to let you know is brilliant, so here's a rundown of my daily makeup essentials (be prepared for a LONG post ha ha), and how and when I use them...



The IT Cosmetics - Your Skin But Better CC Cream goes on my face every day as my primer, regardless of the activities I have planned. It's a 50+ sunscreen with lots of benefits, and my full review of it is HERE...



To apply any foundation, I use this Chi Chi dome brush - have had it for almost 12 months, and it's not shed a single hair in that time. I use this dome type because it's soft and yet densely packed, and is the kind recommended by Wayne Goss as the best way to push foundation into enlarged pores to make them less visible, and I have a lot of those..



Next I add concealer, and I swear by IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer (review HERE). I have both light and medium shades, but tend to use the medium most of the time under my eyes, around my nose, and along my top lip as I have a couple of pesky freckles that I need to hide. I also apply this down the centre of my nose as part of my contouring technique because it doesn't budge throughout the day. The brush is an unidentifiable one I've had for years...



One of the major breakthroughs in the quality of my LOTD photos came when I started reverse-outlining my lips with this nifty little CROP Natural Concealer Pencil * in the light shade - stops the lipstick bleed, and gives me a crisp clean line. I don't use this on weekends as I take a break from snapping my pout (I'll mark the products I omit on Saturday/Sunday with an asterisk *)...



I've had a lot more success with contouring my nose since I switched to this Australis AC On Tour Contouring & Highlighting Kit - Cool Tone. Powder has a tendency to darken my huge pores making them far more obvious, but if I blend the cream (from the almost empty pan in bottom right of the photo) either side of my nose, I end up with a reasonably undetectable illusion of a thinner and smaller schnozz. As you can see I rarely use any of the other colours in the kit, but they're there if I need them. The brush is a soft angled one from MUA Cosmetics..



Before adding anything further, I press Australis Ready Set Go Finishing Powder all over my face (with special attention to my nose) with a velour powder puff. I have a ton of these puffs as I wash them every few days, and most of them are unbranded. This finishing powder sets my makeup for the day and controls shine...



My brows are sparse, blonde and barely visible. It's not an age thing, it's the way they've been all my life, so I draw them on every day. My favourite brow pencil is the Models Prefer Luxury Powder Brow Liner * in the Light shade. It's a cream to powder pencil that's cheap as chips, and gives me the most natural looking finish, and doesn't look plastered down. The light shade is a warm blonde, but for days when I wear cool toned makeup, I use the Crop Natural Eyebrow Pencil * in the shade Blonde. The brush at the top of the pic is an unbranded one, but I love it because the bristles are soft and flexible (the Crop brush on the cap is too small and stiff)...



For my powder blushes, I have three brushes - one each for pinks/mauves, oranges/reds/corals, and a third for anything outside those families, like purple. I store them in their sleeves and clean them every two weeks or so. The clear plastic handled one is unmarked, the black is by MUA Cosmetics, and the silver one is from BH Cosmetics. I've had all of these for years and they've never shed, so I see no need to replace them with anything fancier...



I apply my bronzer (Crop Natural Mineral Pressed Bronzer in shade Solaire) after my blush. This goes below the blush area as a contour and along my jawline. I've since bought a few other bronzers to try as I only ever use the bottom right pan of this palette, but it sure is the perfect shade The kabuki brush is by Nude by Nature, and only a recent acquisition as my Artiste one started shedding. So far so good! I also use this brush to blend where the bronzer and blush join, as well as tone down any excess blush colour if I've been a bit too heavy handed...



Moving onto the eyes, I tightline the upper lashline with Eye of Horus Charcoal Obsidian Goddess Pencil. These pencils are my favourites, and you'll find no less than 30 search references to them in the right side-bar because I use just about all the colours every week. This one replaced the Smokey Black I bought originally as it's not quite so stark, but gives me the definition I consider essential for my eyes. At the end of a long long day, it's still exactly where I placed it. I've included the sharpener as well - I've often said it's the best one I've ever used, and that's still the case...



For my eye shadows, I use these two BH Cosmetics brushes  - they came in a huge set I bought years ago, and still perform like new. They're slim enough for exact placement, and even pick up Colourpop shadows beautifully. I have others of course, but these I use every time without fail. I clean them after every application with Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes...



And of course there's the always essential cotton buds. I'm fussy and only buy Johnson & Johnson ones as they don't leave any fluffy bits behind when I tidy up the waterline, and the dual ended cosmetic tips are by Swisspers. The paddle end I coat in concealer to clean up my hoods, and the pointy end is perfect for picking up stray mascara bits...



Another product that I've been using ever since it was released is the Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Liner. I swear no other liner touches my lower lashline! It doesn't fade or smear or flake, and I smudge it a wee bit with eye shadow to soften the line...



These two look a bit scruffy, but that's because I've had them for years. The shadow is MAC Omega * - it's matte and I use it to add a teeny bit extra contour to my nose because it's just the best colour match. The brush is yet another one where the brand has rubbed off, but from memory it's by Models Prefer *. I keep the sleeve on it so that the bristles stay compact...



Gosh this is a long post - are you still here lol? The Rimmel Stay Matte powder is what I use to counteract shine on my hoods, and it's also what I apply during the day for anti-shine touchups, although usually only once or twice. I've had the Ecotools brush for over 5 years, but you'd never know as it still looks like new...



Absolutely LOVE this Eye of Horus Goddess Mascara. I only use this on weekends when I give my lashes a break from curling and several layers of waterproof mascara. This actually conditions my lashes, and the only reason I don't use it every day is because I need a mascara with fibres or else my lashes don't show up in the EOTD pics...



And now for the new product that I'm super excited about! Estee Lauder Little Black Primer *. It's a lash primer, which is something I've never given a thought to previously, and was sent to me by my darling friend Amy from Health & Beauty Girl  You apply it just like a mascara, it colours the lashes ever so slightly, and it's waterproof. I stroke this on before curling my lashes, then apply my usual mascara over the top, and I can honestly say that the curl is EXACTLY the same at 11pm as it is at 6:30am. Amazing!



I've lost count of the number of eyelash curlers I've owned in the past, but this Shu Uemura * one beats them all hands down. Can't for the life of me figure out why as it looks the same as any other brand, but hey, the result is far superior every time...



And finally, my HG mascara (has been for years) - Maybelline The Falsies Waterproof *. Nothing gives me the length and volume I need like this baby. To avoid clumping from the fibres I rotate the brush as I'm stroking it on, and I usually apply at least two coats without letting it dry in between...



So there it is lovelies - SO many products to create my face, but then I do take photos just about every working day, and I find I can't do without the majority of these. I guess you could say that this is an entire page of can't-live-withouts  Of course I've excluded foundation, lipliners, lipsticks, blush and eyeshadows, but if you're interested, I'll do some posts of my most regularly used ones from those categories in the coming weeks...

So how many cosmetic items do you use on a daily basis?

Take care of you,
kats xxx

P.S. Linking to the Monday Makeup Madness Link Up Party - it's the 100th edition, and likely to be an extra special one. Heaps of congrats to Ingrid on this winning series ... 

Thursday, 6 April 2017

REVIEW: Urban Rituelle Wellness Cleansing Bars...

Regular readers will know that I'm a big big fan of Urban Rituelle products - have been for years. They're a beaut all-Aussie company, their range is made with concern for the environment, they never test on animals, and everything feels like it's been injected with a whole lotta love. I've only recently become super excited about natural soaps, and I was so happy when I heard that UR was adding these very special Wellness Cleansing Bars to their range, and jumped for joy when they sent me all six to sample and review ... 
UR always manages to come up with stunning packaging, and these soaps are no exception. Each one is sealed and boxed in bio-degradable and recyclable paper/cardboard, and the top flap of the box is colour-coded according to the contents. They're huge too - 150 grams of finely milled fragrant cleanser that's made from 100% naturally derived ingredients. As you can see in the list from the back of the box below, there's no less than six oils in every cake - whoa!..



So I'll start with one of my personal favourites - Blood Orange, Papaya & Mandarin. The blend of these three fruits is tangy and exotic, refreshing and revitalising. Good enough to eat in fact, and I can imagine this will be a huge hit with all members of the family - nothing contrived or fiddle-faddle about this mix, it's a pure unadulterated tropical delight ...



If you're a berry-lover, then you'll be entranced by this mingling of Guava, Cranberry & Goji Berries. The fragrance reminds me of a mouthwatering dessert - as a matter of fact, every time I hold the cake to my nose, I start salivating, that's how realistic and delish it is lol. You may have gathered, this is also one of my top picks  All of these soaps are so enriching, and they lather like there's no tomorrow. Within seconds of water contact, you'll be rewarded with a super creamy and moisturising foam that will not only cleanse your skin, but add rich nutrients to it...



Next is probably the most potently scented variety of the six - Lemon Myrtle, Lemongrass & Muddled Mint. Does that sound fabulous or what? Well I reckon it's guaranteed to lift your spirits with its lemon zest and distinctively herbal tang. To me the fragrance is Mother Nature at her best - natural, organic, verdant, yes please ... 



Time to take a little pause from the heady scents - if you prefer your soap fragrance to be a little less intrusive, then the Coconut, Honey, Almond & Chia bar might be the one for you. This smells just as delightful as any of the others, but it's way more subtle. With coconut & honey in the blend, I was expecting something sweet, but it's more earthy, almost nutty with the vaguest whiff of licorice, well that's what my hooter picks up anyway. It's also the colour of milk chocolate, which I'm guessing comes primarily from the Chia seeds. I predict that fellas will love this ...


And what collection would be complete without a wee bit of rose - Rose Infused Coconut Water, Cucumber & Aloe. But this is not your standard girly romantic blend - imagine a sweet young rosebud in a zesty herb wrapper, crisp and fresh. There's a trace of coconut, and I can't say I can identify the cucumber or aloe, but I can imagine this being an invigorating start to any morning ...



And last we have the Grapefruit, Lemon, Pineapple & Celery - what a showstopper! Now this is zing, zing, and more zing - smells EXACTLY like freshly grated lemon rind, fabulously fruity and citrusy, and I do so love fruit fragrances in my bathroom. The pineapple nips any sourness in the bud, and the celery gives the lemon free reign to dazzle without any acidity - for lemon lovers, this is bliss all the way ...


Their catalogue is chock full of so many other delights, the photography is stunning, and if you're wondering what else to order, I can highly recommend their hand creams, organic lip balms and reed diffusers ...

Honestly, there's a flavour for everyone in this Wellness set. RRP is $11.95 and the bars seem just as densely packed as others I've tried from this brand, which means they'll last a long long time. UR regularly has specials, shipping is free for orders over $100, delivery is 3 days or less, and there's ALWAYS a free gift ...

Thank you Urban Rituelle for sharing the love, and congratulations on adding yet another top class product to your beautiful range ...

Which one of these scented soaps takes your fancy the most?

Take care of you,
kats xxx