Lou Loves April Faves

Cough. April finished up a wee while ago…  Sorry about that!  Better late than never with my April faves blog post though, right?

Trilogy Age-Proof Nutrient Plus Firming Serum

trilogy age proof nutrient plus firming serum

Trilogy’s Age-Proof Nutrient Plus Firming Serum was an impulse purchase during Farmers Beauty Week. Usual story: My self-restraint sucks… The discount was too good to pass up.  Standing at the Trilogy stand I vaguely recalled my friend Kellie had been waxing lyrical about a product from Trilogy’s Age-Proof range, only I couldn’t remember which one. So, I got this one.   I’d heard nothing about this product, so I truly was flying blind.  

I’ve been using this bad boy morning and night (after toning and before moisturising) all over my face, neck and decolletage for about six weeks and I adore it.  Packed full of natural ingredients this is a lightweight serum that’s a nourishing pick-me-up for skin.  What ingredients? There’s natural skin brighteners like green tea, licorice and mulberry. These extracts help to even skin tone so your complexion appears more radiant.  You’ll also find  hyaluronic acid, known as nature’s ‘moisture magnet’, which is deeply moisturising and plumps the skin.  Trilogy, by the way, uses hyaluronic acid derived from a process involving the fermentation of wheat (that’s all getting a bit beyond me…).

The packaging alleges the serum will soften fine lines and wrinkles and I reckon it does just that. My face definitely looks plumper and softer when I’m wearing this, like it’s had a bit of an energy boost.  Usually when I look at my face in the mirror, stripped bare, I think “dear God”. Lately I’ve been looking in the mirror when my face is all nudie thinking that I look a little better.  Given I’m not using any new products in my beauty regime, it seems fair that this serum could be the culprit.   Importantly for me, as I wear this serum under my makeup during the day, it’s non-greasy and absorbs well. My makeup sits ‘sweet as’ on top of it.

A repeat purchase? You bettcha.  If you want a list of ingredients and the full product description, click here. 
Price: NZ$48.90 (I got it for less as it was on sale).  

Black Opium (EDT)

black opium nz

After some point blank hints, like taking hubby to Life Pharmacy every weekend and spraying Black Opium on and declaring it “exquisite”, Santa got this for me for Christmas. I’m shocked I’ve not raved about this scent until now.   If you don’t like the original Opium, keep reading, because I don’t like it either.  Black Opium is nothing like the original perfume.  Actually, it kind of reminds me of Lancome’s La Vie Est Belle.

Black Opium’s  notes  include coffee, pink pepper, orange blossom, pear, jasmine, vanilla, musk and cedar. YSL Beauté labels it a “Floral Coffee”, it’s definitely a floral coffee with sugar, this is a sweetish scent.  Well, that’s about as far as I can go to describe this perfume, because, if you’ve read any of my other reviews on perfumes, you know that I’d never, in a million years, get a job doing PR for a perfume: I’m rubbish at describing smells.   I’ve read, somewhere, that Black Opium is a night fragrance, I reckon that’s bollocks. I wear it everyday to work.  It’s a sexy scent and it goes well with my condiment of body oils and lotions (namely Essano Rosehip Body Lotion or Soap and Glory’s body butter). I’d buy it again, in fact, at the rate I’m trucking through it it’s going to be a duty free purchase in October when we head to Melbourne for a family wedding. Or maybe I should go back to Flowerbomb…. Decisions, decisions.  
Price: I can’t find the price online for the EDT, but I can tell you the 50ml EDP is $NZ$165.

L’Oréal Brow Artist Plumper

Loreal brow artist plumper

Disclaimer, up front, I was sent this, gratis, as part of the Best Beauty Box Ever to try out.  But you know me: Just because I received something it to try out, doesn’t mean I’ll fake my love for it!  

I love brow plumping products like these.  They are like mascara for your eyebrows… L’Oréal’s Brow Artist Plumper couldn’t be easier to use: Simply comb the brush through your brow hairs for a fuller brow look. But it’s not just about plumping up your brows, this awesome product will tame and hold unruly brows in place.  Genius.  I’ve had four brow ‘mascaras’ now – this is the best one I’ve used, no contest.    Regular followers of this blog may recall I was less than complimentary of Benefit’s Gimme Brow a few years back (Verdict was: Great product but a bloody rip off).  This Brow Plumper from L’Oréal is, I reckon, identical to Benefit’s product, with a better brush (slightly bigger) and triple the product for a better price.  What’s not to love?  If you haven’t jumped on the ‘doing something about your eyebrows bandwagon’, hook yourself up with one of these. They are a great place to start (noting I fill my brows in first and then plump up my brow hairs with this because I have eyebrow OCD).  
Price: Not sure! Can’t find the NZ price online (and I didn’t pay for mine). I’d be surprised if it was more than $25.

Annabel Langbein – Share the Love

Annabel langbein share the love

This new-ish release cookbook from NZ’s blonde domestic Goddess Annabel Langbein is a feast for the eyes. It’s jam-packed full of wholesome and scrummy recipes that make me feel like chucking in the Weight Watchers Towel. Oh yes, I want to invite all my dearly beloved friends and family over to feast on a home-cooked delights, in a marquee under the stars. I feel like biffing work away and spending my days combing the Op Shop for funky retro and vintage cutlery and crockery so that I can style my trestle table to look like Annabel’s.   As an aside, whoever Annabel has employed as her Graphic Designer needs a gold medal: The graphics, layouts, fonts and all that bizzo are Next Level and make me feel totally inadequate with my food photos! I can’t rave enough , it’s a stunning cookbook that’s great bang for buck at NZ$24.95. There’s a heap of delicious recipes though I’ve only tried out a few (on account of WW and doing My Food Bag lately).  Look, just check it out next time you are at the supermarket (you’ll find it in the magazine aisle). Bookstores have it too.  

Natio Contour Palette

Natio Contour Palette

I’m so easily influenced… I blame my friend Portia, along with Bloody Farmers and their Beauty Week for this purchase. Portia sent me an excited text and pic showing me that she’d bought this Natio Contour Palette and she raved about it.  I got FOMO and had to buy it too   I’m a Natio fan, so I had high hopes – I wasn’t disappointed, especially for the price – NZ$28.00

The whole point of contouring, if you are raising your eyebrows in wonder at me, is to push back areas of the face, like under your cheekbones, to give your face more shape and definition. Since I’ve put on a few pies, I like contouring to make my face look a tad slimmer. One of my dear friends (who shall remain nameless) has, like me, lots of curves. After I taught her how to contour lots of people asked her if she’d lost weight. She told them “Nup! My mate Lou taught me how to contour”. Gold.

Natio describe this as a master basic contour kit. As you can see from the photo above it’s got three powder shades that all blend beautifully to sculpt and define facial features.  There’s a dark contour to warm and shade areas of the face like under the jaw line, along the jaw line and around the hairline (i.e. forehead).  There’s a medium shade to add natural depth to the cheekbones.  That both the contour shades are matt is great,: When contouring you don’t want to use any contour product containing any shimmer (so a shimmery bronzer is a no-go zone but a totally matte bronzer will be perfect).   The creamy-white shade is a highlighter. It’s stunning and  I’ve been using this everyday along the top of my cheekbones and as an inner eye highlight,  thus breaking my rule that contouring and highlighting is for special occasions.   I own (cough) quite a few highlighters, this is one of my favourites as it’s not too full on…. Some of them feel like I’m wearing a disco ball, I’m too old for that malarkey, anyhow, too much shimmer emphasises my crows feet.    As for the brush that comes with the palette, this is great, just the right size and shape for contouring. The bristles are super soft and do a great job of blending. I’d pay $28 just for this brush!

If you are still none the wiser about the art of contouring, check out this ‘how to’ video from my favourite makeup artist, Lisa Eldrige. As usual, she nails the explanation and the demo. Love her.  By the way, the palette does come with good instructions!

Price: NZ$28.00 Available from Farmers (some pharmacies also stock Natio).