Who hijacked March? Where did it go? I missed it! Here’s my (very random) assortment of beauty and foodie goodies I gave a good bash in February. Note, I would have put Vaseline Spray On Moisturiser and Avo Smash in here as firm favourites, but I’ve already raved about both of these (has anyone tried my Avo Smash recipe yet?) These two loves aside, here’s what else has been spinning my wheels lately.
Avon A-F33 Pro-Line Corrector Treatment – I’ve already raved about the Hydrating Cream from this range. Now I’m in love with the pro-line corrector treatment that my friend Toni thrust at me. “Try this” she said. Um, Toni, can I grab your bank account number? Coz you’re not getting this back, sorry. For the past two weeks I’ve smoothed this lightweight gel-lotion over my face and neck morning and night after toning (and before moisturising). Already I’ve noticed a visible reduction in fine lines and I swear the deep groove that runs through the centre of my forehead has diminished. Looks like Avon’s claim that the A-F33 molecule helps stimulate collagen carries some weight… I can see why this product has won a lot of beauty awards. Now I want my eye cream to run out so I can get A-F33’s offering.
Price: $60 for 30ml from your local Avon lady.
Balsamic Cream – I got this at my local Mediterranean food warehouse on a whim… I hadn’t heard of Balsamic cream before and there was a Greek lady who was doing a demo who convinced me it would be the best thing since sliced bread. I think, in hindsight, she’d excel selling ice to eskimos, damn, she was good! What the heck is it? It’s a syrup like concoction that is, surprise, surprise, a derivative of balsamic vinegar. It’s got a rich creamy balsamic taste that is surprisingly versatile in the culinary department. Any easy way to use it as a vinaigrette over a salad made of rocket, pear and blue cheese. I tried it like the Greek lady suggested with strawberries. Oh yes (an unlikely combo – but try it!). But the best way is to use it as a sauce: Pan-fry your meat. De-glaze the frying pan with a squirt of balsamic cream for an instant gravy. Better still, add a splash of cream or crème fraîche, some mustard and a knob of butter for a richer sauce. Once the meat has rested, drizzle the sauce over the meat. Yum.
Price: Around NZ$10 (I think). Buy from a Mediterranean supplier or specialty food shop.
Real Techniques Blush Brush (Your Finish Perfected Blush Brush) – I recently went away for the weekend and forgot to take this with me. I was subsequently reminded of how much I love it and how critical it is to my makeup routine! The brand Real Techniques is the brainchild of Samantha Chapman, one half of the beauty guru You Tube sensation ‘Pixiwoo’. This blush brush, is, hands down, my favourite of their blush collection (I own most of the brushes! Check out my review of their eye makeup brushes here) and I use it everyday for both contouring and blush. Made from synthetic taklon, the bristles are super plush, soft, gentle and feel luxurious on your face. I’m a bit of a makeup-brush-clean-freak (I wash my brushes with baby shampoo weekly) and I’m personally rapt at how, despite relentless cleaning, the shape of the brush is still firmly intact and that it’s never shed any hairs. If you wear blush or bronzer regularly, throw away your old scratchy Thin Lizzy brush and get one of these. You’ll thank me, honest. Actually, get two of them: Make a friend’s day.
Price: A very reasonably priced US$9 if you buy online from http://www.iherb.com (shipping will be NZ$6 and it will arrive in a week) or NZ$30 (available at some Life Pharmacies in NZ – not all, but some, I know some stores in Dunedin and Auckland stock them!).
MAC Omega eyeshadow – This matt taupe-ish gray-ish light brown could be the most boring eyeshadow colour I’ve ever purchased. But I didn’t buy it for me, nor did I buy it as an eyeshadow: I bought it to use as a powder to fill in the brows of clients who are blonde/have read or light brown hair: I was getting fed up of mixing eyeshadows to get the perfect shade. Pleasingly, it’s been worth the wait and I’ve used it a bunch of times in the last month already and three people I have used it on have been out and bought it (I should be on commission). It applies smoothly, there’s no ‘chalkiness’ and it’s got great colour pay-off. Bonus: Omega works really well as an eyeshadow in the crease, especially when paired with cooler-toned eyeshadows AND, it triples up as a contour powder in the cheek hollow for those with really pale skin tones. Money well spent, result.
Price: NZ$38 from MAC Cosmetics.
Revlon Colourburst Lacquer Balm in Demure – I needed a new lipstick like a hole in the head… It’s just I’m such a big fan of Revlon Colourburst lipsticks I just couldn’t help myself when I saw Farmers fancy-pants new display of their newly expanded Colourburst range. These crayon-like lipsticks are a strike of genius because a) You can apply them without looking in a mirror (making them practically foolproof) and; b) They are super hydrating on account of the “Triple Butter Complex of Shea, Coconut and mango butters”. I was instantly drawn to ‘Demure’ a neutral pale pink with a hint of sparkle. This struck me as the perfect everyday ‘work appropriate’ colour – and it is. The colour is quite sheer, which is what I was looking for, I wanted something neutral and easy to wear. The only downside is that it has sod-all lasting power which annoys me: I detest touching my makeup up during the day. However, on balance, it gets my thumbs up and I’ll be wearing it again tomorrow. There’s 10 colours to choose from, with several of them having a matte finish (next on The Wish List… Sigh).
Price: NZ$22, widely available from Kmart, Farmers, pharmacies.