Sunday, 23 May 2021

REVIEW: Judith Leiber Topaz EDP...

The addition of a Judith Leiber perfume to my collection is literally a dream come true. She's the lady who makes all those stunning bejewelled clutches you see accessorising the stars at the Academy Awards, and I've been wanting one of her fragrances for at least 10 years - but at $120 a pop (and hard to find), I could never justify the outlay. That was until last December when Feeling Sexy had Topaz in stock and on special for $64.95, and at that price, I couldn't justify NOT buying it, especially as of the three I was lusting after (Amethyst & Exotic Coral are the other two), Topaz was a sure bet to be the one I would love the most considering its high wood content ...


Just look at that bottle - it's absolutely exquisite  The gems on the cap and centre base of the bottle were what piqued my interest in this set all those years ago - I'm totally obsessed with bling (oh really?) and this would have to be one of the most glam flacons on my shelf. The glass is thick and solid and tinted roughly the same pale amber as the gems, which means that the fluid is a deeper shade of amber. In the pic below you can see the inside of the box has a cutout base (a throne!) to hold the bottle securely in place, and the top of the box also fits snugly to protect the precious contents during transit...


And what of the fragrance? Oh my gosh - it's divine of course! I can't believe it's been sitting in its box at the back of my cabinet for five months - well actually I have amazing self-control in some areas (and absolutely NONE in others ha ha) and stashing a fragrance until the right time of the year is something I've practised religiously, and I wasn't about to spoil my pre-winter pleasure by getting stuck into this precious gem before the cooler weather hit. But it's here now and at last, I can indulge my passion for this golden elixir ...


The opening notes are quite fruity and fresh, thanks to black currant, bergamot, mango and kiwi fruit. The fruit actually holds its own right to the very end, but the heart and base are what sends my pulses racing. There's jasmine, frankincense, ylang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley, violet leaf, rose and myrrh to create a warm and exotic caress, and the base intensifies the mystery with a sexy and smoky blend of musk, patchouli, guaiac wood, vanilla, cedar, oud and sandalwood. Holey guacemoley, I think I have a new winter signature scent! It's just SO classy, sensuous, elegant and unique, and lasts on my skin for around six hours - an absolute gem, the contents are a perfect match for the packaging ... 


The good news is that this amber elixir is still available from Feeling Sexy for $69.95, and given how long I waited to embrace this jewel (and given I spritz it every night before retiring), I'll be securing another bottle stat. If you love woody orientals with a touch of fruit and flowers, then you won't be disappointed. Sigh...I'm besotted ...

Take care of you, and keep safe,
kats xxx

Sunday, 9 May 2021

March 2021 Empties & Giveaway!...

Before I get started on the March Empties, I thought to let you know that my work life is still impacting my personal world in a major way - I was kinda hoping that after 31st March the pressure would ease a little, but I'm still waiting for that to happen lol! It's a bummer as I have lots to share with you as well as on Instagram, but after long and stressful days, I have very little time or energy left to put it all together. But I know how much you enjoy the Empties and I'm up to my neck in throwaway containers (!), so instead of colouring my hair (whoops), here we go...


Body

Glow Lab Blackberry & Bay Body Wash (400ml, RRP $9)
I do so enjoy these Glow Lab body washes. When I first bought this one I tagged the scent as winter appropriate but it was so enticing I couldn't wait, so I washed my bod with it over the summer. It's crisp and spicy rather than fruity, although it has heaps of citrus essential oils, and they're balanced with floral & herbal extracts. Quite distinctive and one I'll continue to enjoy in the cold weather, but I'll add a few extra drops of shower oil to boost the moisture content ...
Repurchase?
Yes indeed ...


White Glo Professional Choice Extra Strength Whitening Toothpaste
 (100ml, RRP $5.99)
Ever so slightly different taste to the others, but the same level of whitening power on my old choppers. It's good to know it doesn't matter which one from the range I buy - they're all as good as each other ...
Repurchase?
For sure ...

Regulars

Colgate Plax Alcohol Free Gentle Mint Mouth Wash (500ml, RRP $6.49)
Reach Dentotape (20m, RRP $2.99)
Schmidt's Charcoal + Magnesium Mineral Enriched Natural Deodorant (75g/92g, RRP $13.99/$19.95)
Swisspers Makeup Pads (Pack of 80, RRP $3.99)
White Glo Toothbrush (free with the above toothpaste)

Face

Breeze Balm Lip Balm - Birthday Bash (15g, RRP $19.95)

I'm crazy about these balms - far superior to anything else that's crossed my lips over the years. Not so keen on this "flavour" though - supposed to be pink lemonade, but it just smells super sweet to me. Same fabulously enriching formula though, and the good news is they've made the hole slightly bigger so it's an easier squeeze in the cold weather ...
Repurchase?
Not this one, but I'm hooked on the watermelon & pineapple variety ...

Regulars

Neutrogena Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes (Pack of 25, RRP $7.99) 
Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Oil-Free Acne Wash (175ml, RRP $14.99)
Olay Regenerist Miracle Boost Youth Pre-Essence (40ml, RRP $39.99)
Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Serum (30ml, RRP $59.99)
Skin Physics Dragon's Blood Facial Sculpting Gel (50ml, RRP $59.99)

Fragrance

Vera Wang Lovestruck EDP (100ml, $89)
Well now, this fragrance is proof that if you keep your perfumes in a cool dark space, they last a long time. Bought this in 2015 and it was almost perfect until the last half dozen spritzes. I reviewed it at the time and I still feel the same way about it, click the name above to go there direct ...
Repurchase?
Tempting, but there are so many others I want to try ...


Hair

Regulars

Goldwell Kerasilk Control Conditioner (250ml, RRP $34.95)
Goldwell Kerasilk Control Intensive Smoothing Mask (200ml, RRP $42.95)

Makeup

Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil - Grey (RRP $45)

I bought this in a fit of desperation during a relatively fruitless search for a grey eyebrow pencil (to match my hair) - in hindsight the price was ridiculous. Yeah, sure it was good quality, but too dark and stark for what I'm after, which is a  light to medium grey that I can build up ...
Repurchase?
Not unless I'm totally desperate again ...

ModelsPrefer Contour/Collection - Ultimate Higlighting + Contouring Palette ($16.99)
My local Priceline has stopped stocking this, but it seems to still be available online - thank goodness as it's the best colour scheme for my complexion (which means not orange!). Mind you I only use four of the six pans, but by mixing them together I can create a blend that suits me to a tee and doesn't look weird. Great price too. Powders are fine for my cheeks and jawline, but they seem to exaggerate the craterous pores on my nose, but I can smudge the cream ones so they're effective but not obvious. So hard to find cream contour kits! ...
Repurchase?
Definitely, online ...

Revlon Colorstay Life-Proof Matte Foundation Stick - 180 Sand Beige (RRP $25.95)
Ahh, Revlon - you were one of my first loves, and you're still delivering the goodies. My current numero uno foundation. This is the one I wear to the office or for special occasions. PERFECT colour match to my skin, blends to a perfect finish, lasts ALL DAY, doesn't transfer, SPF 27, slight sheen finish - it doesn't get much better than this ...
Repurchase?
Forever ...

Regulars

Australis HD Translucent Loose Setting Powder (RRP $16.95)
Maybelline Brow Ultra Slim Eyebrow Pencil - Blonde (RRP $15.95)
Maybelline Master Precise Allday Liquid Liner (RRP $15.95)
Maybelline Volume Express The Falsies Mascara (RRP $19.95)
Natio Define Eye Pencil - Charcoal (RRP $14.95)

Giveaway!!!

Totally bummed that I didn't get to do a special Mother's Day gift in time, but hey, it's only May so I'll no doubt make up for it. For now, here's what's in the bundle...


  • Makeup Revolution freebie comprising:
    • Revolution Pro 4K Bronzer Palette - Warm
    • Unicorns Heart Rainbow Highlighter
    • 5 Eye Shadow Palette - Raspberry Icing
    • Intensely Pigmented Foil Shadow Palette
    • The Liner Revolution Waterproof Smudgeproof Eyeliner - Intense Black
    • Semi-Permanent Brow Tint - Taupe
  • Lovisa Rose Gold Tone Silk Square Earring and Necklace Set,  & Diamante Crossover Ring - Size M/L
The makeup was a Gift With Purchase - I thought it was so awesome I placed another order so I could get a set for this giveaway. Here's a pic of a couple of the items I opened from my pack:



And a closeup of the gorgeous jewellery:



Approximate value is $85, and this 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

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

    a Rafflecopter giveaway
    Woo hoo! - random.org has chosen the beautiful Anna M. as the winner.  
    Congratulations gorgeous! 
    Anna, please respond to the email I've sent you by midnight
    Wednesday 19th May to claim your prize :-)
    Edit: Anna has claimed her prize 
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Best of luck to all who enter!

    Take care of you, and keep safe,
    kats xxx

    Sunday, 18 April 2021

    Chi Chi Eau De Parfums - Peach & Mango, Strawberry & Violet...

    Oh, summer - what happened to you? Sadly El Niño hit us hard here in Sydney, and we didn't have our usual blast of seasonal heat to warm our bones (or melt our lipsticks). In some ways, it was a relief to not have too many stinkers requiring full-on air-con, but I feel a bit cheated that I didn't get to wear my cute little sun-suits, in fact, I didn't even unpack them from the 35 degree+ box that I store them in for the rest of the year. To compensate I treated myself to two of my fave summer fun fragrances - Chi Chi Peach & Mango & Strawberry & Violet EDP. While I've reviewed the Peach & Mango before (HERE), that was six years ago, and I didn't ever aim my spotlight on the Strawberry & Violet stunner, so here's an update of these two fabulous scents that will keep the warm weather spirit in my heart as we head into the winter chill ...



    Peach & Mango EDP (50ml, RRP $19.95)...


    This was the first Chi Chi perfume I ever bought (over 6 years ago) and it still has a special place on my shelf. In a word, I'd say "joy". It's just so fruity, fresh and fun - every time I spray it on, it's guaranteed to put a smile on my dial, and a 100% sure bet to lift my spirits into the stratosphere. It's like a holiday in the tropics! Lasts amazingly well and by that I mean it's quite distinctive for around 3 hours, but actually stays on my skin till well into the afternoon, which is astounding considering the price. Undoubtedly aimed at a market decades younger than me, but who cares - I choose fragrances for how they make me feel and this one takes me back to the 80's when the Body Shop first brought out Dewberry, which took the world of fruity fragrances to another level ... 


    The first spritz is literally an explosion of citrus - not for the faint-hearted, and not if you want to blend in. But if you are looking for a mood changer, then this is for you. On a hot day it takes me on a stroll through a shady orchard of juicy fruit ripe for the picking and cools me down in a flash. I adore it, and never tire of its freshness ...


    Strawberry & Violet EDP (50ml, RRP $19.95)...


    I call this "my darling", and she's one of the most romantic fragrances in my collection. The combination of strawberry and violet is pure genius - to be honest, it surprised the hell out of me as I thought it would be overly sweet, but these two scents are amazingly complementary and were made to be together. Maybe it's because neither one overshadows the other, and their partnership creates an aura of femininity that I've not found elsewhere. On some days I want to make an impression or a statement, and then I choose one of the wowsers from my collection. But there are days when I just want to smell gorgeous, and for those, this is the one ...



    Interestingly, I've had more compliments and queries about this fragrance from women than fellas. But in any event, it's a beauty and quite remarkable, and like the Peach & Mango, not even a whiff of vanilla or caramel, which makes a lovely change. Mind you it also has Pink Grapefruit, Gardenia, Jasmine, Musk, White Woods and Vanilla in the formula, but the blend has been done so expertly, I can't pick anything except enchantment ...

    Overall, if you're looking for a scent that is different from anything else out there, I reckon you can't go too far wrong with either of these, especially given they are both long-lasting EDP's for a very low price ...

    Have you tried any of the other Chi Chi fragrances? Any favourites?

    Take care of you, and keep safe,
    kats xxx

    Sunday, 28 March 2021

    February 2021 Empties & Giveaway!...

    Hope March has been kind to you - it's the busiest time of the year for me workwise as my employer has a 31st March End of Financial Year. So it's been 12-hour days for me for the last three weeks, and not much left in the tank for personal activities like blogging - boo! But the end (of the month) is in sight, and I've managed to put together my smallest Empties collection in a long, long time. I guess it's because there were only 28 days in February - either that or I have way too many products on rotation. Anyways, here we go with a very limited post, but a nice little collection of Nutrimetics goodies in the giveaway...

    Body

    Help@Hand 100% Pure Cotton Tips (200pk, RRP $2?)
    I bought these because at the time they were the only ones available at Woolworths. Almost as good as Johnson's, which I don't seem to be able to buy anywhere any more. They are quite good quality, and the recyclable box has a hinged click-down lid, which I'll use to store broken jewellery or other bits and pieces ...
    Repurchase?
    Out of stock at the moment (which is why I'm unsure of the price), but yes ...

    Regulars
    Colgate Plax Alcohol Free Gentle Mint Mouth Wash (500ml, RRP $6.49)
    Natural Secrets Goatsmilk Moisturising Shower Gel (500ml, RRP $9.95)
    Reach Dentotape (100m, RRP $9.99)
    Schmidt's Lavender + Sage Natural Deodorant (75g, RRP $13.99)
    Swisspers Makeup Pads (Pack of 80, RRP $3.99)
    Weleda Lavender Creamy Body Wash (200ml, RRP $19.95)


    Face

    Bioré Yuzu Lemon + Dragon Fruit Brightening Exfoliating Scrub (103.5ml, RRP $9.99)
    Absolutely crazy about this scrub - the lemon & dragon fruit scent is so tangy and refreshing in the morning, totally wakes me up. The beads are firm and fine (I think they are made of wax) but have enough oomph to shift any flakey bits without causing any irritation, and my skin feels super smooth afterwards. Didn't notice any brightening effect, but I never really give a scrub a chance to perform as advertised because I use a different one each day. In summary, this is a winner ...
    Repurchase?
    Ooh yes ...

    IT Cosmetics Confidence in an Eye Cream (15ml, RRP $59)
    I won this in a set from an Adore Beauty Instagram comp. A wondrous cream that improved the appearance of my under eye area from the first application. The pale apricot tint instantly neutralises any darkness (which I didn't realise I had) and brightens and refreshes the skin. Overall I looked less tired, and that's certainly a bonus. I found it to be sufficiently hydrating for my dry skin, my concealer sat nicely throughout the day without any creasing or flaking, and it even seemed to firm my eye bags a little. My only beef is that once the level drops, it's quite difficult to extract the cream without a spatula due to the squat shape of the jar. A minor irritation though, this is a beauty ...
    Repurchase?
    I'm going to try my fave Olay one again for comparison - depending on the results I may well buy this one in future ...

    Regulars
    Olay Regenerist Miracle Boost Youth Pre-Essence (40ml, RRP $39.99)


    Fragrance

    Chi Chi Strawberry & Violet EDP (50ml, RRP $19.95)
    The next empty bottle of this beautiful scent will be in the Regulars section. Adore this, and it's one of the few fragrances that I buy over and over again. Review from when I first discovered it back in 2015 is HERE ...
    Repurchase?
    Already have, I can't live without this sweetheart in my life ...


    Hair

    Regulars
    Hi Lift True Colour Hair Colour Creme - Extra Light Intense Ash Blonde (100ml, RRP $7.50)
    Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector (100ml, RRP $49.95)
    Wella Koleston Perfect Permanent Creme Colour - Special Mix Clear (60g, RRP $19.97)


    Makeup

    Real Techniques Expert Face Brush (RRP $22.99)
    I used this to blend my foundation (stick or liquid kind) - it was excellent for literally pushing the cream into my gaping pores, and left me with a streak-free flawless finish. Bought it 12 months ago and was quite impressed, but it started to shed badly, so I switched to a Manicare Glam one, which is going splendidly so far ...
    Repurchase?
    I've not found a foundation brush that survives longer than a year, so...maybe ...

    Sephora Color & Sculpt Stick - 01 Clear Light (5.5g, RRP $19)
    One of the more successful attempts I've made at finding a cream contour that's a suitable colour for my skin tone. Most on the market are too orangey, and my favourite Australis palette that had the perfect shade has been discontinued. This one worked quite well, although I still had to mix it with a lighter yellowish pan from another brand. The search continues ...
    Repurchase?
    If I'm unable to find a better colour match, then probably yes ...

    Regulars
    Maybelline Brow Ultra Slim Eyebrow Pencil - Blonde (RRP $15.95)


    Giveaway



    A truly pampering treat for any of you wanting to try some Nutrimetics products...
    • Blossom Bouquet Fragrance Diffuser
    • Magic Eraser Body Exfoliating & Polishing Cleansing Glove
    • Nutri-Rich Bathing Bar
    • Nutri-Rich Gentle Foam Body Wash
    • Nuri-Rich Nourishing Body Butter
    All items were purchased by me and the approximate value is $160.  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
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This giveaway is now closed - check back later tonight to see who won!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway
    Woo hoo! - random.org has chosen the beautiful Tracy M. as the winner.  
    Congratulations gorgeous! 
    Tracy, please respond to the email I've sent you by midnight
    Wednesday 7th April to claim your prize :-)
    Edit: Tracy has claimed her prize 
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Best of luck to all who enter!

    Take care of you, and keep safe,
    kats xxx