Beauty Product Reviews

Lipidol Cleansing Face Oil Review

 If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know I’m obsessed with my nightly pre-cleansing routine. Pre-cleansing that is, to get rid of all ‘my face’, before embarking up on my regular skincare routine. I use either coconut oil or Clinique’s Take the Day Off Balm as my pre-cleanser before I launch into regular face cleansing (usually double cleansing!).

Well, in the interests of market research I’ve branched out to try some new  products.  On a trip to Farmers a wee while back, I stumbled across a rather modest looking stand from Lipidol.   I paused, intrigued, largely at the lack of prominent in-your-face signage and promptly discovered, thanks to some research on my phone, uncovered that the range is from Union Swisse, the makers of Bio-oil. Everything on the stand was $9.95: You know what a bargain hunter I am!   

lipidol cleansing face oil stand

There were six products to choose from:  Sunscreen Oil; Overnight Facial Oil, Cleansing Body Oil, Cleansing Facial Oil, After Shave Oil and After Shower Oil. $9.95? I wanted a piece of the action!

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Beauties and Foodies – Affordable Christmas present ideas

Not quite organised for Christmas yet?  Stuck for affordable Christmas present ideas? Keep reading!

Up until we sung Christmas carols at work yesterday I was totally in denial that it’s Christmas time (we don’t even have our decorations up yet at home!).  As a bit of a ‘last minute Charlie’ I’ve behaved slighly contra-personality this year and I finished the bulk of my Christmas present shopping by the end of November (go Lou, you polish that halo!). However, I’m starting to panic with the last few presents I need to buy as I’m totes stuck for (affordable) ideas (Note, If money were no object I’d be taking everyone on a holiday to a tropical island).  Unfortunately the people I have left to get pressies for aren’t into beauty or food  – and I’m stumped!  Anyhow, pondering this made me realise that I’ve got a bunch of good ideas for folk that ARE into beauty and food! (Disclaimer… I think they are good ideas)… So, if you are rushing around going “Oh shit, I need to do some Christmas shopping” and muttering swear words under your breath about what to buy, here’s a blog post that might help with shopping for any folk that are mad for all things beauty, or foodie.

I’ve put this blog post together based on gifts I’ve received that I’ve loved, or things I’m secretly lusting after!  Most things you should be able to buy locally, or online (if you get cracking, stat) and they won’t break the bank.  On the topic of price I’m getting endlessly frustrated at all the Christmas marketing suggesting you should remortgage your house and buy Dad a new 55″ TV, a $1000 food processor for Mum, or your best friend a $200 perfume. It’s the thought that counts, not the pricetag and I reckon the below options are both super thoughtful and not conducive to having your bum pucker at the cost.

Camembert Baker 

christmas present ideas

Cheese is, hands down, my favourite food.  I could give up all other dairy except cheese.  This Camembert Baking Pot therefore, was a perfect gift for me from Milly (my mother-in-law).  All you do is place a camembert in the pot, stab it slightly, put whatever seasonings (i.e. herbs) on it that you like and bake it for about 15 minutes (the pot comes with some recipes).  Hell,  keep it simple, add nothing and let the cheese speak for itself!   The result is hot, gooey, delicious cheesy goodness that’s the perfect accompaniment to crackers/fresh bread – and it’ll wow any visitors.  You can get these from specialist foodie shops (Hawke’s Bay folk get into TFE in Napier,  Rotorua folk Food Equipment on Hinemoa Street have these!). I have also spotted these in Spotlight.  Can’t get into the shops?  Buy online, there’s heaps of stockists,  just Google camembert baker NZ.  Price: NZ$30.

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector

christmas present ideas

I’ve bought this product so many times the Clarins’ lady at Farmers now asks me if I’m buying for myself or “is this another present?”. I’ve raved about this product here and here, so I’ll keep this short: It’ll be a winner. I got this for my bestie Rhonda for her birthday. She was pumped.  This is a winning product for a young lady (bit of luxe, spoil ’em), your sister/cousin/aunt, Mum, or Nana.  NZ$35 (don’t quote me!).  I like the colour 01  as I find it suits everyone, but there’s a bunch of other gorgeous colours, I just dare not deviate from what works!  Available at Farmers or your local Clarins stockist. (more…)

Keagan’s Pineapple Heads Review

My little guy, Keagan, is as much of a fan of the beauty aisle at the supermarket as I am. We spend ages sniffing shower gels and moisturisers to make sure we get just the right one and he loves trying out new products in the bathroom (the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, eh?!).

So, when an email popped into my inbox from Pineapple Heads, offering my little guy the opportunity to try out some of their all natural skincare and haircare products for kids, I was in like Flynn. I’d been eyeing up Pineapple Head’s products for a while now and I was thinking about getting him some! So I knew Keagan would be all over this and, sure enough, when the package arrived he shot off to the bathroom to have a shower to give everything a good test run. 

Later, after a decent period of ‘testing’, I sat him down to get the download of the Pineapple Heads range so I could write up my blog post. But, nope, turns out we weren’t just doing a blog post, he wanted us to do a “proper review” to go on You Tube! He was so excited he even tidied his desk to be the backdrop for the clip.  So, I relented and I’m really proud of him:  I think he did a great job!  So, here it goes, over to you Keagan for your product reviewing debut!

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Flash eyelash serum – Review

Flash before and after
Flash eyelash serum. Yeah, it works.

I’ve been faffing around with eyelash extensions in recent months. I totally loved the dramatic eyelash effect, along with the time the extensions saved me in the morning (no more curling and applying mascara). But, there’s a downside: Repeated extensions played havoc with my eyelashes, which were left brittle, snapped and sparse.  Dammit.

I’d seen a few promo pics on Facebook for eyelash serums like Revitalash and LiLash but my bum, frankly, was puckering at their NZ$120+ price tag. Then, purely by chance, I spotted Flash Eyelash Serum at Rotorua’s Life Pharmacy and, this time, the $59 price made me smile. I was super hesitant and skeptical that the serum would really work, but curiosity, urged on being troubled by my short and snapped eyelashes, I thought “stuff it” and dubiously handed over my hard earned cash.  Note, I hadn’t even heard of Flash at this point, I was buying ‘cold’. (more…)

Art Deco High Performance Eyeshadow Stylo – Easy, Quick, Gorgeous

Art Deco High Performance Stylo reviewI thought about popping this Art Deco eyeshadow crayon in my upcoming September favourites blogpost, but, frankly, it’s so good, I know I won’t be able to keep it short enough for a favourites mention: So it gets it’s own blogpost. Yeah, it’s that good.

Whenever I’m in Farmers I feel a magnetic pull to the Art Deco stand, which, sadly, is usually tucked away somewhere out of the way. I say, sadly, as everything I’ve bought from Art Deco makes both my cheque account and I happy (there’s bargains galore) and yearning for more.

I spied this NZ$22 new release eyeshadow crayon in Wellington’s Cuba Street Farmers and promptly tried out all six colours on my arm. I thought “oooh these are pretty, but I don’t need one” until I asked the sales assistant for a tissue to remove my sparkly art work.  Holy crap: I couldn’t remove said art work and that’s when I had a change of heart. Simply, I realised, I needed one of these. If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll be sick of hearing me bang on about my oily eyelids and the necessity for me to wear a decent eyeprimer. Well, these Art Deco High Performance Eyeshadow Stylos (crikey that’s a long name! I’m going to call it ‘the crayon’ from here) are the first eye product I’ve chanced upon that do not budge and, better still, do not require an eyeprimer as a base! This bad boy, applies super pigmented, sticks like concrete and doesn’t crease even after all day wear. What a winner!  I’ve got a feeling this product will come into it’s own in summer, I’m predicting it might stand up to swimming with my head under.

I have one grumble though – not all Farmers’ Art Deco stands are stocked with this goodness.  Rotorua Farmers, for example, doesn’t have them. I’m a bit dark about that.  Rest assured: They are worth trying to hunt down.

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For the love of: Zoeva Cocoa Blend eyeshadow palette

Palette Contains:  Bitter Start - Palest matte nude. Sweeter End - Shimmering duo chrome nougat. Warm Notes - Glittering cranberry purple. Subtle Blend - Metallic deep bronze. Beans Are White - Deep cocoa brown matte. Pure Ganache - Pure and luxurious metallic gold. Substitute For Love - Toffee brown with subtle shimmer. Freshly Toasted - Rich mahogany brown. Infusion - Matte dark brown infused with golden glitter. Delicate Acidity - Berry toned brown shimmer.
Zoeva Cocoa Blend Palette It’s as good as it looks…

Let’s cut to the chase: A photo of the most gorgeous eyeshadow palette that I’ve ever seen, Zoeva’s newly released Cocoa Blend, popped up in my Facebook newsfeed, on Beauty Bay’s Facie page. So dazzled I was, that I inhaled, sharply, and my stomach did a lurch. “Sod it”, I thought.  “I’ve got to have it”. So, for the absolute bargain price of AUD$33.20 (NZ$36.90), thanks to Beauty Bay, this bad boy from German cosmetics company Zoeva, was mine within two weeks (free international shipping).  I had a feeling I needed to act FAST, this palette is a thing of such beauty I knew it would sell out fast. I’m right – it did: I’m feeling slightly smug at my trend-spotting abilities.  

Sadly, as I write this blog post it’s still out of stock on Beauty Bay, but keep checking lovelies, it’ll be back.  I want to get another one too as this eyeshadow palette is as every bit as good as I hoped. In fact, I’m hoping it comes back in stock soon as I want to get one for a friend’s ‘zero birthday’ that is looming.  Note: You can buy this online from Zoeva directly, but you’ll get whacked with EUR16.00 shipping fee (NZ$26). Ouch. Beauty Bay seems to be the way to go.

Luxurious is the first word that springs to mind when I look at this. Oh, and good enough to eat. In fact, when I’ve showed it off to friends they’ve thought it’s a bar of chocolate as it’s about the same size as a bar of chocolate from Whittaker’s new Artisan range, actually, the packaging ain’t that dissimilar either.  When you open it up, the word ‘chocolate’ is the next word that’ll pop into your head: The colours range from chocolate tones, to rose gold shades. (more…)

Moreish Skincare – It just gets better

moreish skincare review
Ahhhh. Happiness.  LOVE Moreish’s re-branded look!

On the face of it, being contacted by a PR agency to see if you are interested in reviewing some natural, cruelty-free and Kiwi-made products for my blog sounds super exciting.  And, usually, emails of this regard cause me to do a little dance of joy (and it would be cool if it happened more often, LOL). But, here comes ‘the but’… On this occasion: I got really nervous.  What was my dilemma? You see the PR company didn’t mention what brand of products I’d be reviewing and I’ve got a reasonably long-standing love affair happening with Moreish, the NZ made, natural, cruelty free skincare range. Clearly I’m a loyal creature, because I got my tits in a right tangle at the prospect of potentially falling in love with a range from Moreish’s competitors. What happened if I loved Moriesh’s competitor’s products just as much, or even more? Then what?  Clearly, sometimes, I catastrophise and fail to consider the obvious. Because when the box of goodies arrived, guess what?   It was a sample of recently rebranded and relaunched Moreish goodies.  What a relief.  I’m such an egg sometimes.

I’ve waxed lyrical about Moreish before (see this blogpost, crikey, I wrote this over 18 months ago!), raving about: Their great price point, ethical practices, quality of product, and ‘no baddies’ approach to skin care. Yeah, I’m a fan and, to cut to the chase, I still am.  So, I’ll keep this post relatively brief (I can hear you all snorting in disbelief that I’ll ever have few words on any topic…).

I got three items sent to me (thank you PR Shop and Moreish!). Nothing disappointed, rather, all delighted. Here’s my thoughts. (more…)

Dry Shampoo – Save or Splurge?

good dry shampoo

Talk about frustrating.  I buy a ‘higher end’ dry shampoo and ended up having to buy a thrifty one… Sigh.  But before I tell that story, here’s some background…

I’ve already waxed lyrical ages ago about dry shampoo, declaring it the best beauty find, ever. I haven’t changed my position on this bold statement. It’s still the schizzle and, if anything, I am an even bigger dry shampoo fan now than I was way back when I wrote this blog post.

Are you a dry shampoo virgin? He’s a whistlestop summary:

  • It’s a tremendous timesaver: These days I stretch ‘hair wash night’ out to every three, if not four days.
  • It’s also economical: I use less of my $40 per-bloody-bottle ‘gourmet’ shampoo and conditioner AND I don’t need as many colour jobs.  

What’s not to like?  Incidentally, my oily hair has been the bane of my life (along with my oily eyelids) for years and discovering dry shampoo has been a gamechanger. I can’t believe that, pre-dry shampoo discovery, I used to wash and style my hair daily.  Nowadays washing and styling my hair is a complete chore (I’d far rather spend 20 mins doing my makeup!!).

Anyhoo, I’m rambling… You might recall from my recent Empties blog post that my beloved de Lorenzo et Absorb dry shampoo was all used up.  I’d decided to live on the edge and I’d subsequently bought a new (i.e. new to me) higher end dry shampoo from Joico their Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo.  I really wanted to get out of my comfort zone before buying my fourth de Lorenzo can of goodness.  What if there was a better product on the market?  Do you hear me?   

Before I launch in – you’ll see this blog post is called ‘save or splurge’. If you are wondering where I’m going with this, here’s the Exec Summary:   Either I got a faulty Joico Instant Refresh dry shampoo or I’m using it wrong. I can’t get it to work for me, at all. I’ve tried and tried – and I’ve admitted defeat. The roots of my hair look as oily after spraying as they did before. I’m super disappointed and my wallet is crying, for with a $25 price-tag, it wasn’t in the ‘cheap as chips’ category.  [insert grumble: Should have got a new Maybelline or L’Oreal mascara for that price…. Or some more Australis eyeliners.]    So, simply put, dear readers, this blog post is called ‘Save or Splurge’ as I had to buy another new dry shampoo because Joico didn’t deliver. (more…)