Sunday, 12 January 2020

SPOTLIGHT: Aluminium-free Deodorants, Part 3...

Well now, what an interesting exercise this is turning out to be. Quite frankly I'm staggered at the uselessness of some of the aluminium-free deodorants I've been putting to the test, so much so that I wonder why they're even on the market. I guess it's just that everybody's needs are so different, and the ones I'm classifying as duds must actually perform ok for some folks. Anyways, let's get on with Part 3, which will essentially complete my supermarket coverage ...

Six aluminium-free deodorant bottles


Weleda 24h Roll-On Deodorant - Sea Buckthorn (50ml, Website, RRP $16.95)

Weleda 24h Roll-On Deodorant - Sea Buckthorn, cap off

After giving this a go on both a 20 degree and 30+ day, the results are pretty much the same. Maximum four hours of worry-free protection, and about 1 hour before the sticky-pits scenario sets in, and that's without any exercise or exertion. Today was the lower temp day - it's now 7pm, and while I'm not exactly tainting the environment, I'm keeping my arms close to my sides as my pits are sour. Disappointing as I love some of their other products, but it might be ok in winter. The orangey fragrance is pleasant, the bottle is 70% recycled plastic, and it's made in Switzerland. I'll give it a 6.5/10 ...


Earth Purities Natural Deodorant - Nero For Him (50ml,  Nourished Life, RRP $12.95)

Earth Purities Natural Deodorant - Nero For Him, cap off

I mentioned in one of my other posts that I often prefer deos targetted for males because of the woody or musky scents they have, but I also go for them because I figure that they'll be a tad more potent, given that fellas often need a bit more help in the underarm department. Well this one is a treat for citrus lovers as it's scented with bergamot and lemon, and it worked well for me for 12 hours on a very humid day - it didn't keep me all that dry but I can live with that. Vegan, not tested on animals, Aussie made and owned, the container is recyclable glass, and it has a "best before" sticker on the base (June 2021). 8/10 ...


Redwin Sensitive Skin Anti-perspirant Deodorant (150ml,  Supermarket, RRP $5)

Redwin Sensitive Skin Anti-perspirant Deodorant, cap off

As promised this is a pump spray and a generous one for the price. To me, it smells like a generic men's aftershave or cologne, so it might not appeal to some of you gals. On the other hand, I'm not sure if anyone would benefit from this - I needed to reapply it every two hours, and squirting it on while dressed is not my idea of practical, especially as I had to wait 5 minutes for the spray to dry enough to put my top back on. While I didn't feel the need to re-shower, I ended up slicking on one of my success stories after the third respray. Sorry, no - 2/10...


Simple Pure Deodorant - Aerosol (200ml, Supermarket, RRP $7)

Simple Pure Deodorant - Aerosol, cap off

This started out really well, and then sadly faded after four hours, just like the roll-on variety with the same name. Same deliciously fresh scent, I enjoyed the sensation of the cooling, dry almost powdery spray, and it was much easier to reapply, so I'm giving it one point extra over the roll-on. However, that still doesn't give it enough of an anti-BO oomph factor to pass my test - I'll use it up on my feet. 5/10 ...


Sukin Signature Natural Deodorant (125ml, Supermarket RRP $6.95)

Sukin Signature Natural Deodorant, no cap

Another one that was recommended by one of you gals (). Sukin is such a terrific brand, and this is the best of the pump sprays so far (it comes with a protective cap on the nozzle, but I can't find where I put it lol). A fairly confident 10 hours without having to reapply, I love the scent of this one - a mix of mandarin, lavender and vanilla. Doesn't do much for wetness but the formula does a great job of neutralising odour.  It's a close call as to whether I would wear it on a work-day as I do quite a bit of running around and attend a lot of meetings in very small rooms. I think I'll keep it for the cooler weather, and give it a 7.5 ... 


Norsca Anti-perspirant Deodorant - Rosewater & Lotus Scent (50ml, Supermarket, RRP $4.99)

Norsca Anti-perspirant Deodorant - Rosewater & Lotus Scent, cap off

Quite a pleasant fragrance, but I hit the stink wall after two hours.  Maybe in the next life - 1/10.


Overall it's looking like 8/10 is about my threshold for what I would wear to the office - I'm confident with anything rated that or above. Between 5 & 8 I'll keep for the chilly season or around the house, and if it's less than 5, I'm giving it to the garbos (once emptied wherever possible of course). I would say that apart from the Sukin one, I wouldn't bother with those from the supermarket - they just don't cut it performance-wise. Having said that, perhaps I'm an overly stinky sweaty gal and they may, in fact, work for you - as always, it's best to try for yourself, deodorant is even more personal than perfume ...

Unfortunately, my research will slow down from now on as I'm back at work next week, and will only be testing new discoveries on the weekends. But Part 4 is in the pipeline, and already there are a few winners to bring to light, so hope you'll be back for a read soon ...

And if you missed them, here is Part 1 & Part 2.

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Thursday, 9 January 2020

December 2019 Empties & Giveaway!...

Another round of solid support for the retail sector! And getting in my December 2019 Empties post while the goodies are fresh in my mind, and before I resume the work routine, which will (sadly) restrict the frequency of my uploads, but on the other hand, will allow me to maintain my beauty addictions.  I've also included a few little extras in the giveaway at the end to keep the spirit of Christmas going into what has been a devastating start to 2020 here in Australia. Praying those of you in fire-affected areas are all safe, and sending heartfelt thanks to all the brave Aussies working tirelessly to defend our beautiful country, and all the kind and generous souls offering their much-needed support in whatever way they can to the families and wildlife that are suffering ...


Body

Antipodes Deliverance Kowhai Flower Hand Cream (75ml, RRP $32)
Oh, I do so love this hand cream! Every application has been an absolute delight for its nourishing & moisturising properties (avocado, marigold & macadamia oils), the total absence of greasy aftermath, and the scent is right up my alley - orange and cedarwood, which is both comforting and refreshing. Don't like metal hand cream tubes from any brand, but this one at least didn't split before I used the last ml. Wherever I bought this from I certainly didn't pay $32 for it ♥♥♥...
Repurchase?
Yes, but like most of my beauty purchases, I'm not prepared to pay full price, and probably not for a while as I have a stack to get through ...

Bosisto's Desert Lime & Eucalyptus Revitalising Hand Wash (300ml, RRP $6)
I think this is new - spotted it (and their body wash) for the first time not long ago at Coles, and pretty much any hand cleanser or shower gel that is SLS-free and not tested on animals will go into my trolley at least once. It's quite a pleasant scent, but the eucalyptus makes it a tad clinical - by that I mean a bit disinfect-y. Overall it's pretty good but has one flaw in the kats beauty ledger - it's too runny. When you depress the pump it has a tendency to squirt quite a long way (i.e. clean across the hand basin) unless you have your hand directly in front of it at the time. This happened in the rushing-out-the-door chaos of a workday morning and it landed on my top (grrrrr), so after that, I put it in the laundry to use it up ...
Repurchase?
No - it has a lot going for it, but the consistency is not what I could call user-friendly, and the marketplace has quite a few similar others that are way less squirty ...

Johnson's Pure Cotton Buds Applicators with Paper Sticks (Box of 150, RRP $2.69)
I used these for years then defected to another brand, but now I'm back and I'm staying. The only buds I (very carefully) insert in my outer ears because the tips don't ever fluff or fall off. They're also indispensable for cleaning my Bluetooth earbuds, makeup goofs, the insides of my lipstick tubes that get a bit mucky, and goodness knows what else. I keep the containers for bits and pieces like jewellery that needs repairing, collecting dead batteries for disposal, lipliner crayons that are too short for my standard holder etc. etc. They'll be in the Regulars section from now on ...
Repurchase?
For as long as I wash my hair or wear makeup, which will, of course, be forever ...

Swisspers Dual Cosmetic Tips (Box of 100, RRP $2.99)
Another indispensable makeup tool, I use the pointy end to flick off unwanted mascara bits, tidy up my lipstick outline, and to clean my crayon sharpeners. The paddle end is brilliant for applying an extra touch of concealer or absorbing excess moisture from the eyelid crease. They've appeared before but will also join the Regulars section next time ...
Repurchase?
They're sometimes hard to find so I stock up whenever I see them - currently four spares in the cupboard! ...

Regulars
Natures Commonscents Natural Goats Milk Body Wash (500ml, $8.00)
Reach Dentotape (20m, RRP $2.99)
SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Hydrating Body Wash (384ml, RRP $24.95)
White Glo Charcoal Total Mouth Detox Whitening Mouthwash (500ml, RRP $6.99)

Face

Klara Cosmetics Zero Pores + Primer (20ml, RRP $29.99)
Picked up two of these on clearance from Priceline without realising it was so expensive. It's actually a terrific primer and creates a beautifully smooth base for foundation, or I've even worn it on its own (around the house lol) - the clear silicone type but it doesn't leave any oily film on the skin surface like others I've tried, leaves the skin matte, smooth and even. It doesn't have any scent and it's not tested on animals. While Priceline no longer stocks the brand, they have a website, and this primer is listed as sold out ...
Repurchase?
While it's good, I doubt it - my fave one from DB Cosmetics is half the price ♥♥...

Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Oil-Free Acne Wash (175ml, RRP $14.99)
Every summer I switch to a cleansing gel - the oil production in my T-zone goes into overdrive and I need something to control the flow as well as keep the blackheads from taking over. This time around I've renewed my acquaintance with this highly effective yet gentle-enough-for-mature-skin cleanser PURELY because I needed the pink grapefruit fragrance hit! I love it soooo much, especially in the really hot weather when I want something super refreshing at the end of the day. I used to buy the same thing as a scrub but I haven't seen it for years so it's probably discontinued - this one I can only find at Chemist Warehouse ...
Repurchase?
Yep, bought another one 'cos I just can't get enough of the scent ...

Nivea Hyaluron Cellular Filler Day Cream SPF15 (50ml, RRP $27.99)
A bit embarrassed to say this was leftover from a beautyheaven trial in September 2018! I'd put it aside as I switched to retinol products and only just finished it now - no deterioration in the product though, and I gave it 5 stars in my bh review (about halfway down the page HERE). It's a beaut cream, but for me, its richness is better suited to cooler weather ...
Repurchase?
I'll think about it closer to April ...

Nivea MicellAIR Skin Breathe Expert Make-up Remover (400ml, RRP $13.99)
Interestingly, I wasn't all that impressed with this, either as the main cleanser or second cleanser, even though it was quite effective. But then again I'm pretty fussy when it comes to the experience of a product. So this worked reasonably well at removing makeup, although I went through at least six cotton pads per go - the problem for me is that there isn't enough slip. I can't bear the feeling of something dragging over my skin - lord knows I don't need anything to pull my already sagging face, and I found this just didn't cut it, plus the remover pad started to disintegrate after the 3rd swipe, and that just doesn't happen with other products. The absence of a flip-top lid also niggled so I left the cap off permanently. Anyways, it has quite a lot going for it, but not for moi...
Repurchase?
No - I prefer a regular cleanser, washcloth, and micellar 2nd cleanse...

Sukin Rosehip Rejuvenating Facial Scrub (125ml RRP $13.95)
LOVED this! I'm mad keen on all Sukin scrubs, and this one just hit the #1 spot. I was a little nervous as I've given up some other rosehip products (from a different brand) because the scent was making me feel peculiar - not this beauty though. Such a gorgeous delicate fragrance and I love the texture of the scrub - not too grainy, but enough ground rosehip seeds and walnut shells to leave my face feeling smooth and soft ...
Repurchase?
You betcha, and probably before any of the others from the range, that's how good it is ...

Regulars
Neutrogena Deep Clean Purifying Cooling Gel Scrub (100g, RRP $11.99)
Neutrogena Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes (Pack of 25, RRP $7.99) 
Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Make-up Remover (112ml, RRP $10.89) 
Olay Regenerist Miracle Boost Youth Pre-Essence (40ml, RRP $39.99) 

Face Masks
Regulars
Purederm Ginkgo Eye Puffiness Minimizing Patches (2 pairs, RRP $3)
Skin Republic Retinol Hydrogel Under Eye Patch (3 pairs, RRP $9.99)

Fragrance

Elizabeth Arden White Tea EDT (50ml, RRP $50)
One of my favourite spring/summer fragrances ever, I've decided I can't go through a sunny season without it. Bought this because of beautyheaven's review of it by @skincare junkie, and I was sold at first sniff. So pure, fresh and clean, my full review of it is HERE ...
Repurchase?
I had assigned it the kats-can't-live-without status months ago and bought the 100ml bottle on special from feelingsexy for half price - score! ...

Hair

Goldwell Kerasilk Control Intensive Smoothing Mask (200ml, RRP $42.95)
Last appeared in December 2018 Empties post - this jar has lasted 12 months (instead of the usual 6) because I've been trying a couple of others that I scored, but this one is the ultimate. Nothing leaves my hair softer than this powerhouse, which is well worth the $$$ ... 
Repurchase?
Picking up another one tomorrow ...

Hi Lift True Colour Hair Colour Creme - Light Ash Blonde (100ml, RRP $6.95)
Soooo, my plans to no longer dye my hair with a permanent colour have been shelved for the time being. Basically, colouring with semi-permanent turned out to be exceptionally high maintenance, the results weren't necessarily as expected, the finish was sometimes uneven despite all my care and attention, and going to work with greenish, purplish or bluish hair wasn't quite the right look for my role lol. So I've resumed the permanent regime, just adding the semis to achieve the silvery grey colour I'm after. How I wish I could buy a permanent silver hair colour in this country! As for this dye, the pigment wasn't as potent as the Salon Professional Brand (below), but hey it was half the price... 
Repurchase?
Nope - I only bought this because the store was out of the other brand...

Salon Professional Supplies Creme Peroxide 20 vol (200ml, RRP $5.95)
This is the developer for the hair dye I'm using - comes in various strengths and it's not too stinky... 
Repurchase?
I determined that I need the 30vol for the base, and 10vol for the toner, so no...

Salon Professional Supplies Pro-Colour - Extra Light Ash Blonde (100ml, RRP $14.95)
This wasn't dark enough, but I'm still experimenting to find the right intensity. In conjunction with the peroxide, it doesn't seem to be too damaging a combo, but I will still be adding my Olaplex every time I colour ... 
Repurchase?
Will buy the Light or regular Ash Blonde as soon as they are back in stock ...

Regulars
Salon Professional Supplies Pro-Colour - Violet Toner (100ml, RRP $14.95)
Schwarzkopf Live Colour Pastels - Cool Grey, Metallic - Lilac Chrome & Denim Steel (RRP $5.49)

Makeup

NYX Cosmic Metals Lip Cream - Fuchsia Fusion (discontinued...sob)
The pinkest, fuchsia-est, most metallic, most vibrant, most compliment generating, most comfortable lip cream ever. Sorry NYX but what is wrong with you? Why oh why was this range a limited edition? The tube is empty, and my heart is broken ...
Repurchase?
Would if I could, in a (broken) heartbeat ...

Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer (10ml, RRP $40)
Find of the month. Quite frankly, The Best Concealer I Have Ever Used. There...I've said it. This stuff covers ANYTHING and EVERYTHING and it doesn't crease, not even over and around my massive eye bags and the plethora of crinkles. At the end of the day, there is no change. Wow, I mean wow, the hype is true. I bought Light Neutral (22N) as it's a bit yellowy, perfect for my skin tone, and to cover the freckles under my eyes. I used to rave about IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye, but this Tarte is even better. Holey guacemoley, this is the one ...
Repurchase?
I have five other concealers, including two Kat Von D ones, but none of them is as effective, so yes, I just ordered another from Sephora ...

Regulars
Australis HD Translucent Loose Setting Powder (RRP $16.95)

Giveaway


Up for grabs are...
  • Olay Regenerist Pre-Essence
  • Klara Cosmetics Zero Pores + Primer
  • Elizabeth Arden White Tea Pure Indulgence Body Cream (100ml)
  • Essence Crystal Power Eyeshadow Palette
  • Essence Crystal Power Blush & Highlighter Palette (personal fave!)
  • Lovisa Something Special Pale Pink Swarovski Halo Silver-tone Necklace & Stud Earrings set
All items were purchased by me and the approximate value is $135.  The giveaway is open to...

Australian Residents Only! 
Here's how to enter...
  1. Leave a blog post comment on this page that answers the question inside the Rafflecopter (please note: if you don't leave a comment on this page, you won't be included in the draw!If you're unable to leave a comment for technical reasons, please email your answer to katshepsutt(at)gmail.com.
  2. Leave your email address inside the Rafflecopter so I can contact you if you win
  3. Follow my blog one way or another from the many choices listed
  4. Only one entry per person, please read the T's & C's inside the Rafflecopter
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a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Best of luck to all who enter!

Take care of you,
kats xxx

P.S. I've now included links to my reviews of the regulars wherever possible 

Saturday, 4 January 2020

REVIEW: L'Occitane Immortelle Reset Overnight Oil-In-Serum...

For months I've gazed longingly at the Immortelle Reset window display in my local L'Occitane outlet while riding up and down the escalator in the mall. There was something about the colours and harmony of the arrangement that was both captivating and calming in amongst the retail hustle and bustle, and I just kept thinking "one day...".  Well, that day finally arrived (24 hours after my tax return hit the account actually) and I entered the inner sanctum of the store to fulfil at least one of my skincare dreams ...

L'Occitane Overnight Reset Oil-In-Serum bottle sitting on the box

I resisted the urge to indulge in a whole bunch of their other magical lotions and potions and restricted myself to two bottles of this Overnight Reset Oil-In-Serum. Somewhere along the way I had scored a teeny tiny sample bottle (which was enough for almost a week) and fallen totally and utterly in love with the fragrance, the whole nightly application experience, and my rejuvenated appearance next morning. So it was kind of a done deal that the moment my budget would permit, this beautiful cocktail of skin-loving ingredients would take pride of place on my vanity ...

L'Occitane Overnight Reset Oil-In-Serum bottle in front of 3 flowers

The presentation is exquisite - the femininely curved glass is tinted ombre-style, starting with a deep blue at the top, shading down through a reddish-purple, with the bottom half clear so that you can see the golden orbs of Immortelle Oil Extract suspended in the serum. Every time I look at it, my inner bee sees those little yellow balls as pollen, and I can't help but buzz with excitement lol! The scent is one of the most beautiful I have ever encountered in a skincare product. To me it encapsulates nature's divinity - pure and natural, it's the perfect balance of honey nectar and floral bloom that's neither sweet nor sour ...

L'Occitane Overnight Reset Oil-In-Serum bottle plus box

Despite it being labelled as "oil-in-serum" I don't find it oily at all - it has excellent slip so massaging it into the skin is effortless, and the softening effect is outstanding. After applying, there's a very light and nourishing film left on the skin, which left alone, absorbs completely within 5 minutes leaving the surface satiny smooth (I usually hold off adding my usual moisturiser until the serum has sunk in completely). I've almost finished the first bottle, and my complexion has lost the dullness that has crept in over the years, plus I reckon my skin looks plumper and more vital, the sharpness of my lines has fuzzed, and there's not a hint of dryness in my cheeks any more ...

L'Occitane Overnight Reset Oil-In-Serum bottle in front of 3 flowers

I'm totally sold on this elixir from nature - the combination of oil and serum is a brilliant innovation, the best of both hydrating worlds. And my evening ritual was something I would often postpone until just before retiring, but now it's become a priority as soon as I'm home from work if for no other reason than the pleasure it brings me. The challenge now is to rework my budget ($95 for 30ml) so I can continue on with the nightly bliss and improvements this gorgeous product has already delivered ...

Have you experienced the joy of this serum yet?

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Monday, 30 December 2019

REVIEW: Colour by TBN Lipsticks...

Over the last six months, I've been gathering some Colour by TBN Lipsticks from their range to add to my (already ridiculously huge) lippie collection (oops), and I thought it was about time they had their moment in the spotlight because they really are something special ...


I found them in a perspex fishbowl near the counter in my local Price Attack store. For $3.95, they can't be beat for value. Vegan and cruelty-free (what?) there are 20 shades in the range - a mix of gloss, demi-matte and pearlised finish. No purple, but I won't hold that against them because the formula of these pout-paints is smooth and creamy, comfortable to wear, and they last well with little transfer. The packaging is amazing for the price - quite sturdy, colour-coded to reflect the contents, and the lids click firmly in place. The base is a clear box containing some of the product so you can see exactly what you're getting. What's not to love? ...


So let's get on with the swatches so you can see how gorgeous these shades truly are  (I'm listing them in order of their numbering). Some of these have already appeared in my monthly faves so the bullets aren't pristine, but I'm including them so you can see all the colours together...

Oh My Melon (924)


I adore this shade, but like many orangey ones, it's a bit streaky and doesn't apply (or wear) all that evenly. I get around that by applying a closely matching liner all over my lips and then slicking this over the top. It's more like a bright orange coral than a melon, but it's such a happy summery colour hey ...


Teak-alicious (928)


Quite a bright red that's softened by a tinge of brown, light enough to wear all year round though, this will go with anything except maybe pastels ...


Raisin Rage (930)


I've worn this one a few times already - similar to the one before, but more subdued and with more brown. Still bold enough and perfect if you don't want your lips to be too loud - this looks SO good with khaki and olivey shades ...


Vampira (931)


Mmm now you're talking - doesn't get much more blood red than this, and aptly named. The darker shades do stain the lips a little, which I prefer but it comes off easily with makeup remover ...


Blackforest Babe (932)


For those of you who love your lips all dark and broody  I'll probably put this aside till Autumn when I can pair it with black, navy and claret velvets - ooh yes, looking forward to it ...


Made in Magenta (935)


I have a stack of magentas in my kit, but none with quite as much depth and wow power as this one. Magnificently pigmented, I gave it a test run back in November with a black, white and grey outfit - totally lifted it out of the doldrums. Made in heaven ...


Love Seat (937)


The palest of this set, it's an unusual shade - kind of peachy with a tad more red than the other lobster or apricot ones in my stash. It also has a pearlised finish\ which I love - I think the soft shimmery formulas are so flattering to us older gals ...


French Kiss (938)


Well now, how pretty is this pink? This is what I would call a deep rose - a shade I rarely wear because I don't think it suits me all that much. But this one has changed my mind - I absolutely love it  It's also the most matte-ish of all the ones I have, but still moist enough to be comfortable ...


Caramello Qween (940)


Love me a soft juicy brown, and this one ticks all my boxes. It's deeper than it looks in the bullet picture above, but because it's a pearly one, the light bounces off and makes it look paler than it is. Toffee lovers rejoice! ...

Well, nine down, eleven to go lol! If you want to see the entire colour range, there are pics HERE although they're not all that accurate colour-wise. But I'll be buying more, so I hope you'll come back for the next round ...

Have you tried any of these Colour by TBN lipsticks? Which one of the above is your fave?

Take care of you, and Happy New Year lovelies!
kats xxx