Sunday, 17 June 2018

SPOTLIGHT: May Empties 2018 + Giveaway!...

Well now, May was a whopper for empties! I went through so many products I couldn't fit them all in one photo, so the masks are in a separate pic halfway down the page lol. I managed to clear five bottles of body wash, but before you start thinking I shower 10 times in a day, I must add that I didn't START them all in May - these all had an inch or two left in them at the end of Sydney's long hot Summer, and I decided to concentrate on using them up instead of storing them away to make space for my Winter faves. Also (unbelievably!) I finished off two foundations, so this really was quite a record month...


Body

Avalon Organics Refreshing Lemon Bath & Shower Gel (355ml, RRP $11)
I'd read such amazing reviews of the Avalon Organics range online, so I just had to try it and ordered this lemon gel from iHerb. If lemon is your thing, then you'll be in zest heaven with this gem - it actually contains oils from limes, grapefruit and oranges as well as lemons, plus the number one ingredient listed is aloe juice. It's vegan, not tested on animals, paraben-free and the bottle is made from 100% recycled material. Not quite as hydrating as I'd hoped, and it's a pain to have to order it outside of Oz, but it has everything else going for it! ...
Repurchase?
Yes, but I'll try the lavender one next as the lemon is a bit too zingy for the cold weather ha ha ...

Ecostore Coconut & Vanilla Gentle & Nourishing Body Wash (400ml, RRP $8.99)
I tell you what New Zealand is rapidly becoming THE most fabulous source of skin care products.  Absolutely love this range and the fact that I can buy it at Woolworths. The packaging is modern and stylish, it smells delish, and it doesn't dry my skin AT ALL. Cruelty-free and no SLS either ...
Repurchase?
I have several bottles in the cupboard, as well as three of the hand-wash - LOVE! ...

Estelle & Thild Fresh Water Lily Hand Soap (250ml, RRP $16)
Added this to my Sephora cart to qualify for free shipping, but I won't buy it again. Sure it's nice enough - made in Sweden and certified organic, but I really didn't enjoy the scent, and it's way too runny to be practical. Lost count of the number of times I depressed the pump and managed to squirt it past my hands and onto my clothing!...
Repurchase?
No...

Nature's Own Double Strength Cold Sore Relief L-Lysine 1000mg (50 tablets, RRP $25.99)
A while back I went through a period of recurring cold sores from stress - had 3 in a row so I figured I needed some biochemical support, and these were recommended by a dear friend (thanks hon!). Expensive, but I haven't had a breakout since ...
Repurchase?
Yep ...

Nubian Heritage Mango Butter Body Wash (384ml, RRP $14)
Another one that was raved about on iHerb, and I completely understand why - it's ah-mazing. Contains mango, shea and cocoa butter, Vitamin C & coconut oil - incredibly hydrating, lathers like crazy and the fruity mango fragrance is to die for. It only has one flaw - it's SO thick, I can only use it in the warm weather, almost impossible to get it out of the bottle once the temp drops below 20 degrees. No animal testing, fair trade & organic ingredients ...
Repurchase?
Absolutely! There are so many in the range that I want to try - all based on traditional African recipes, like Honey & Black Seed, Indian Hemp & Haitian Vetiver, Patchouli & Buriti ...

Sephora Hydrating & Energising Shower Gel (400ml, RRP $19)
Loved this, reviewed HERE - bummed that I can't see it on their website any more ...
Repurchase?
Would if I could ...

Swisse Women's Power Ultivite (40 tablets, RRP $33.95)
Went for these mainly because the label said "stress response" - well they sure helped, but they are SO HUGE and with a matte finish, I could barely swallow them...
Repurchase?
No, but only because of the above - most multivitamins are large, but I have to go for ones encased in easy-to-slide-down gelatin...

Thankyou Coffee Body Scrub (300g, RRP $14.95)
Love this, love what the company is doing, messy but supernally effective and I adore the smell of it. I'm actually using the empty jar to store one of my other body scrubs - can't stand sachets in the shower ...
Repurchase?
Affirmative ...

Thankyou Milk Body Wash - Botanical Lemon Myrtle & Goat's Milk (500ml, RRP $7.99)
Another of my repeaters - my fave from this brand, divine scent, non-drying and one I will be using all year round ...
Repurchase?
Sure bet ...


Face

L'Oreal Age Perfect Cell Renewal Night Cream (50ml, RRP $44.95)
A beautiful cream that came my way via the beautyheaven Trial Team. A stunning formulation that's perfect for dry skin, or if you're like me, skin that transforms into a flakey prune once the temperature drops. My bh review of it is HERE, about halfway down the page. Aimed at the 50-70 age market, it's a gem. I reviewed the original formulation back in 2013 (HERE) and this reworked version is even better with the inclusion of Black Truffles ...
Repurchase?
Definitely on my must-buy list once I plough through the backlog of moisturisers on my bench ...

Lush Dark Angels Fresh Facial Cleanser (100g, RRP $17.50)
This was #gifted to me in March last year (review HERE) and I put it aside due to the plethora of other charcoal products on my shelf but made a special effort to finish it off. It was well beyond its use-by date, and the only change was that the oil separated out a bit, but it still worked a treat ...
Repurchase?
Yes, but I'll have to clear the other products first - because Lush doesn't use preservatives, this baby only has a recommended shelf life of 3 months, and to use it all up in that time, it would have to be my only one ...

Mirenesse Endless Youth Pearly Glow Bubble Cleanser (60g, RRP $39.50)
Most of the Mirenesse products that appear here arrive via their VIP packs, and this one was a pleasant surprise, and the name says it all - soft creamy bubbles that melt away makeup, lovely fresh fragrance, contains centella asiatica, sage, green tea, tea tree & purslane. Mirenesse is a cruelty-free brand, and this particular product is made in South Korea ...
Repurchase?
Probably not - it's lovely, but I prefer a gel for Summer and a balm for Winter ...

Sukin Super Greens Detoxifying Clay Masque (100ml, RRP $15.95)
OMG I actually finished a tub of mask! I have about five part-used ones on my bench, but this one I've had for the longest period (about 2 years) so it was time for it to earn a place in an empties post - no change or deterioration in the product though, just as effective as the first application. Gives any clogged pores a scare and draws out the goop, leaves my complexion cool, calm, deeply cleansed and refined ...
Repurchase?
After I use up one of the other ones, for sure ...

Hair

Goldwell Kerasilk Color Intensive Luster Mask (200ml, RRP $42.95)
I found this in one of beautyheaven's beautoriums, and it was love at first application. It's the palest lavender cream that smells sensational, and given I have a Goldwell Kerasilk treatment every three months, I figured this would help maintain the smooth silky finish, and it sure does that. Only needs to be left on for 10 minutes, but sometimes I sleep in it (with a beanie) to give my tresses an extra conditioning boost ... 
Repurchase?
I actually bought the regular one this time around as I'm not so concerned about colour fade now that I'm no longer red/gold ...

Kevin Murphy Shimmer Me Blonde Repairing Shine Treatment for Blondes (100ml, RRP $42.95)
This is the "ash" version of the golden one I reviewed back in October (HERE) - not cheap, but it lasts me around 6 months and gives my locks that bit of extra glisten and gleam without weighing it down ...
Repurchase?
I've just had the Kerasilk treatment done again so I'll wait for a month before repurchasing as my hair doesn't need a shine boost at the mo' ...

Olaplex Hair Perfector (100ml, RRP $49.95)
This stuff is so good - everything I wrote about it in my February Empties post (HERE) still stands - can't live without it! ...
Repurchase?
Forever ...


Makeup

Covergirl + Olay Simply Ageless Foundation - Natural Beige (12g, RRP $25.95)
Bought this so long ago I can't remember exactly when, but it was back in the days when I was still trying to find the best colour and finish for my skin. This isn't the one, but I've kept using it as the coverage is 110%, and there have been days when I needed the complete mask-like end result. It's a bit orangey for my complexion, and it always ended up a bit cakey by the afternoon, but I appreciated the SPF28 ...
Repurchase?
Nope - see the Maybelline review below ...

Eye of Horus Goddess Pencil - Charcoal Obsidian (RRP $30.00)
Regular readers will know of my passion for this range, and this one was part of a prize I won back in 2016 (HERE) - as a rule, each colour lasts me around 2 years, I love this shade because it isn't black black, more like a graphite so it's not as stark on my old peepers, plus it has tiny little sparkles in it, which incidentally don't irritate my eyes (however do they do that?) ...
Repurchase?
I always buy a replacement when the pencil is down to one-third remaining, so I bought one a while back ... 

Maybelline Dream Cushion Liquid Foundation in a Compact - Sand (14.6g, RRP $26.95)
I bought several of these on special when they were relatively newly released because it suits my skin SO well in every department - gave it a whole lotta love HERE ...
Repurchase?
I have one more left ...

Rimmel Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liner - Eastend Snob (RRP $12.50)
One of the best nude lipliners I've tried - this one has lasted me 18 months ...
Repurchase?
Already have ...


Face Masks

These aren't in alphabetical order as I've fitted them around the relevant piccie...

Skin Republic Detox Charcoal + 10-Superfood Formula (25ml, RRP $9.99)
First tried this last July, and I have such a stash of sheet masks from a wide range of brands that I'm only just getting around to repeats of the ones I really liked, and this was one of them. Has all sorts of yummy stuff in it including Acai Berries, Chia Seeds, Quinoa and Avocado - deep cleans as well as nourishes. It also fits quite well and stays put, perfect for my multi-masking days (see pic below) ...
Repurchase?
Yes although it's a challenge as this amazing company keeps bringing out new varieties that catch my eye ...

Skin Republic 24K Gold Aquagel Under Eye Patch (2 pairs, RRP $12.99)
I do so love these - so cooling, calming and firming. Too expensive to use every week, and I keep hoping they'll be included in one of the Priceline special sales, but no luck so far. They slip and slide around so apply them under another mask, or lie down and chill ...
Repurchase?
Yes absolutely ...

LonVitalite C7 Collagen & Gold Lip Mask (Box of 5, RRP $35)
Have already raved about these a few times - LOVE! ...
Repurchase?
I need a truckload of these, so yes ...



Skin Republic Volcanic Ash Mud Sheet Mask (RRP $12.00)
Yeah, baby - one of three new mud varieties that came out recently. The others are Green Tea and Pink Clay, which I'm busting to try next. This one is utterly fab - the cloth is saturated with the clay/ash formula so you have to be careful applying it or it gets in your hair, not that it really matters. The flap that covers the nose is longer than others (yay!) and the overall fit is brilliant. The cloth stiffens as it dries (just like a cream mud mask would) and you need to rinse your face afterwards. Results are particularly awesome - my pores looked way smaller, my skin felt super clean and soft, and there was an overall radiance and refinement that I'd like to see permanently! ...
Repurchase?
Of course - actually, this one might just overthrow the gold collagen one as my fave from this brand ...



Skin Republic Collagen Hydrogel Under Eye Patch (3 pairs, RRP $9.99)
Revisited these as the cheaper Purederm ones were out of stock at Kmart for almost three weeks. They're so good, and I shudder to think how many I've bought since I discovered them ...
Repurchase?
Will always have some of these around ...

Skin Physics Advance Superlift 3D Deep Hydration Lifting Mask (Pack of 3, RRP $59.99)
Excellent product, just wish it fitted better - love that it has bits for my neck (which needs a LOT of work), but they just don't sit right ...
Repurchase?
Not unless there is a design overhaul ...


Skin Physics Instant Lift V-Shape Vitality Mask (RRP $14.99)
This slingy thing (pictured above underneath the other mask) is so effective, I would sleep in one of these every night if I could afford it. I swear it firms my saggy chin and jawline and the effects last for around 24 hours ...
Repurchase?
Just as soon as they're on special again, and then I'll buy lots ...

Purederm Ginkgo Eye Puffiness Minimizing Patches (4 patches, RRP $3.00)
At $1.50 a pop, these can't be beat - I sleep in them at least three nights every week ...
Repurchase?
Yes ma'am ...


Giveaway!

I've tried to keep the package lightweight so I can make the giveaway International, so there are only a few faves from May, but I've included some pretty jewellery items to boost the value of the prize ...

  • 1 x Skin Republic Volcanic Ash Mud Sheet Mask
  • 1 x Skin Republic Detox Charcoal + 10-Superfood Formula Face Mask Sheet
  • 1 x Sukin Super Greens Detoxifying Clay Masque
  • 1 x Nutrimetics rose gold-tone Necklace (49cm) and Earrings (6mm studs) set, made with Swarovski Elements
  • 1 x Colette rose gold-tone diamante & faux pearl ring, size L

Here's a closeup of the jewellery - the stones are clear crystal...


All products were purchased by me, and the total value is approximately $95.

And this giveaway is open...
INTERNATIONALLY! 
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!)
  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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    Best of luck to all who enter!

    Take care of you,
    kats xxx

    Wednesday, 13 June 2018

    SPOTLIGHT: Favourite April LOTD's...

    Unless I'm ill or on hols, I swatch at least 20 lip products every month, and it's SO hard to choose faves in each colour family when there are so many on the list, so I've decided to post a collage of LOTD's every month instead of quarterly - these are from the April assortment. Hope you enjoy seeing some of these shades and brands, and perhaps even be inspired to try something new ...


    Of course, some of these may not be your cup of tea, but I wear just about every colour imaginable, so hopefully, there's something to suit all tastes, and so it's on with the deets...


    1. I'm always hesitant to include lippies that are discontinued, but I just couldn't leave out this stunner from Milani - Chilled Brandy. It's beyond me why they canned this shade...
    2. Love Burt's Bees lipsticks - they include so much goodness and the intensity of this Russet River is fabulous...
    3. And what's an Autumn without Unicorn's Blood from Jeffree Star Cosmetics - one of the few matte liquids out there that I can wear all day with minimal lip withering...



    4. Raved about the Covergirl Katy Kat Matte range HERE - this is Crimson Cat, an exceptionally comfortable stunner...
    5. Another Covergirl winner is this one from their Colorlicious range, Succulent Cherry - love that its light and bright and full of cheer, and the shea butter content keeps my lips soft and supple from morning till night...
    6. Ahh, Bourjois - their Rouge Edition Lipsticks sont magnifiques, this is Brun Boheme, another Autumn essential...



    7. I'm really quite impressed with these MUD Full Colour Lip Lacquers - for the price (around $6) they're hard to beat, this is Vintage Pink...
    8. An oldie but a goodie - Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate #48. One of the Nude collection, quite a deep mauve in the tube, but for some reason, it turns out mushroom on me lol, love it...
    9. My only Shanghai Suzy lipstick (must do something about that) - Miss Georgina Pink Plum, plumtastic!...



    10. Another of my Bourjois loves, Rouge Edition Velvet in Plum Plum Girl  - this is literally velvet in a tube, adore!...
    11. So glad I revisited these Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid lippies - I have quite a few, crazy about the formula. This is Electric Pink, it's actually even brighter IRL...
    12. And lucky last is one of my most recent acquisitions - Maybelline Superstay Matte Ink in Creator - I wasn't going to buy any of these, but I caved for this wowser purple. So glad I did - if you're after a long-wearing formula, this is the go...

    Any faves here?

    Take care of  you,
    kats xxx

    Sunday, 10 June 2018

    REVIEW & GIVEAWAY! - Nutrimetics nc Hydra Brilliance 50th Anniversary Lipsticks...

    This year nutrimetics is celebrating 50 years in the beauty business, and one of the ways they are marking the occasion is through a special release of their stunning nc Hydra Brilliance lipsticks in the shades most loved by customers over the years.  There are six in the range, and having fallen big time for the two I recently purchased (review HERE) I jumped at the chance to pick them up at a special pre-launch pack price available to home buyers...


    The Hydra Brilliance formula is so creamy and long-wearing and contains Vitamins E & C to keep lips moist, soft and colour-rich all day. You can see how glam these "Fan Favourites" shades are below - SO gorgeous, from left to right they are Frosted Grape, Aztec Bronze, Cupcake, Marshmallow, Coral Silk & Lobster Bisque. And wait till you see the swatches! ...


    So let's get on with what they look like on the lips, well on my lips at least. I've done my utmost to capture the true beauty of these colours...

    Frosted Grape - I think this is my favourite mauvey pink ever!

    Aztec Bronze - a fabulous bold and intense deep red...

    Cupcake - a deliciously soft and delicate pastel pink...

    Marshmallow - adore this autumnal browny red...

    Coral Silk - top of the coral list in my collection...

    Lobster Bisque - the name is perfect, I can just taste it lol...

    This time around I was determined to photograph them before I used them, so they've been sitting in a box untouched (such self-control lol!) for a couple of weeks, and I planned to do the swatches this long weekend. And then to my surprise and absolute delight, a parcel containing a SECOND set of these luscious lip slickers was on my doorstep on Friday, courtesy of the generous marketing team at nutrimetics. Soooooo...I'm excited to say I'm giving away a complete set to one of you faithful followers - woo hoo! ...


    They're on special right now for $22.90 each - RRP is $30, the total prize value is $180, and this giveaway is open...
    INTERNATIONALLY! 
    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!)
    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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      Thank you so much nutrimetics for this ever so luxurious treat - I'm so loving my #nutrithrowbacks, and with this gift, you're going to make one of my readers deliriously happy ...


      Hope you're having a wonderful long weekend lovelies, and best of luck to all who enter!

      Take care of you,
      kats xxx

      Sunday, 3 June 2018

      REVIEW: Nutrimetics Fragrance Discovery Collection...

      I'm an unashamed lover of pretty things  Whether it be a shape or a pattern or a colour or even a fragrance, I appreciate the attempts of others to bring something into the world that's pleasing to the senses. Of course, what one person finds beautiful may not inspire someone else to the same extent, or maybe even not at all. And while I'm not necessarily drawn to girlie frills and flounces, if it's feminine or soft or curvy, or the hues are harmonious to my soul, it's safe to say you got me. So where am I going with this prattle? Well, while I can honestly say I've never purchased a perfume for the gorgeous bottle alone, I actually bought this Nutrimetics Fragrance Discovery Collection because I fell in love with the box lol!...


      When I saw the photo in the monthly Nutrimetics brochure a little while ago, my old ticker literally skipped a beat. It's not the box itself, but the colour and shape of the pattern on it - to me, it looked like a watercolour of a flower painted by a master, so serene, so beautiful. Weird huh? And then when I noticed that the box contained three rollerball fragrances, AND it was reduced by 60%, well the stars were obviously aligned and it was a done deal, so I ordered two ...


      Turns out this is a limited edition that was released last Christmas, and I guess the price reduction was to clear out the stock as it's no longer available on their website. I'm a bit sad because the scents are as stunning as the box...


      Rollerball fragrances are a personal favourite of mine - they're the perfect size for my handbag, so conveniently lightweight, and because there's no spray fallout, I don't even have to go to the ladies room to touch up...

      Love & Courage EDT...


      A lovely crisp and fresh scent, it's one of those that I call crystalline (like Bvlgari Omnia Crystalline or Versace Bright Crystal), my favourite fragrance family for a long hot Summer. It's an EDT so it doesn't last long, but it's perfect as an instant reviver. My nose picks up apple and lemon, but I'm pretty lame at identifying anything else ...


      Fleurever EDT...


      Fleurever is also a light fresh scent, but it's more floral with a zest of fruit when first applied, and has quite a bit more staying power. There's an almost herbal tang to it as well, but the flowers win after the drydown (I think it's daisy) ...


      Breathtaking EDT...

      Breathtaking is another floral, but this one has an exotic touch. It's more like a floriental, and while I love all of them, it's my favourite of the three. Rose is the standout, but there's some musk in there too, reminds me a little of MOR Marshmallow, but not as sweet or heady ...

      Giveaway!
      My shelves are starting to sag under the weight of my perfume collection, so I'm giving away the 2nd box to an Australian resident follower ...


      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!)
      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 Patrizia H. as the winner.  
        Congratulations gorgeous! 
        Pastrizia please respond to the email I've sent you by 
        Wednesday 13th June to claim your prize :-)
        Edit: Patrizia has claimed her prize 
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        Take care of you,
        kats xxx