Friday, 16 December 2016

Beauty Gift Guide | The Natural Supply Co.



Hello!


I have some lovely Christmas gift ideas for you today from one of my favourite Australian online destinations, Natural Supply Co.

 Natural Supply Co launched in 2014 when three savvy women came together with the intention to make available quality, cruelty free, luxury natural products for body, bath and home. Catherine Brooks, Celeste Robertson and Sarah Scott are the women behind Natural Supply Co, and they share a passion for natural, cruelty free products from carefully selected brands that they themselves use and love.

I have discovered many new favourite products over the last two years, and though I am not what is commonly known as a  "Green" blogger, I am respectful of, and fascinated by the not only the beautiful products, but the artisans who create them.

I sometimes day-dream that I am one of those magical creators, spending the day in my kitchen whipping up a deliciously fragrant body butter, or blending a beautiful body oil...and when I'm not dreaming about that, I am dreaming about having my own online store... 

I digress!!


I have four gift ideas for you today which I purchased a couple of weeks ago. They are all beautiful, and come highly recommended by moi. Oh... and Catherine, Celeste and Sarah!




Babe Scrub BE RAD Organic Body Wash 500ml RRP $38.00AUD.

Not only is Australian brand Babe Scrub's BE RAD Organic body wash a beautiful product, it looks damn fine in your bathroom too. The low foaming, aloe and glycerin based gel feels lovely on the skin, whilst the aroma of lavender, mandarin and grapefruit is refreshing and uplifting. The scent is not at all sickly or overpowering, it is well balanced and delightful. I typically enjoy a lighter, fresher body wash for the warmer months, and this one is ticking all the boxes for me. It cleanses gently and rinses away easily, leaving your skin clean but not tight or uncomfortable. And I ask you...who doesn't want to Wake Up, Kick Arse, Be Rad and Repeat? *sassy finger snaps*.




DNA Elements Raspberry Antioxidant Body Oil 100ml $24.95AUD.

Another beautiful Australian brand, DnA Elements, have made this body oil exclusively for Natural Supply Co. The Raspberry Antioxidant Body Oil is a new favourite of mine, and is a product that has been on my wishlist for some time. There is a good reason this gorgeous oil has five star reviews on the NSC website. It is just beautiful. Don't be put off by thought of using a body oil in summer. I use them all year round, and this one is so delightfully lightweight and quick to melt into your skin... I promise you'll be a convert. 

" Nourish your body with this antioxidant rich body oil containing a base of sunflower, grapeseed and macadamia oils to soften, tone and rehydrate your skin. The signature ingredient raspberry seed oil is packed with vitamins A & E and essential fatty acids to help repair and condition your skin leaving it deeply nourished and luminous".

Not only is the texture glorious, the scent is too. Orange, lime, bergamot and juniper essential oils give it a sweet, citrusy, yet slightly earthy scent that is just divine. You may just have to gift yourself a bottle along with your loved one. Allow me to enable you...


Lanolips for Perfect Hands Trio 3 x 25ml $19.95AUD.

I am a little embarrassed by my Lanolips lip balm collection. I think I currently have five ( obsessed yes ) and I have either Lemonade or Banana on my lips most evenings, and Rhubarb in my handbag. Lanolips hand creams are equally lovely. Nourishing, protective, and healing, you need at least one these in your home. I have the  Rose hand cream permanently in my nappy bag. This gift set is brilliant value, and is ideal for breaking up into three separate gifts if you wish. Lanolips hand creams are 98.5% natural, and do not contain parabens, petrolatum, mineral oil, sulfates or artificial fragrances. I have not tried the lemon hand cream as yet...it might be a case of Merry Christmas to Lou, from Lou.




INIKA Naturally Delicious Lip Glaze Duo $34.00AUD.

The new to me, Australian mineral makeup brand INIKA have a lovely duo of their organic Lip Glazes especially for Christmas. Organic vegetable and seed oils, and carnauba wax make up the moisturising base, which is also contains organic vanilla oil, giving it a lovely soft, subtle fragrance.
The shade Lychee is a pale pink cream nude with no shimmer. It is quite pigmented, very pretty and looks to be quite a bit paler in real life, as opposed to the picture on the back of the packaging in which it appears more mauve/plum. Something to note.
Watermelon is a juicy, summer red with a subtle shimmer. Very pretty, and my favourite out of the two shades. The formula can be sheered out a little easier than the more white based creamy Lychee. You can also mix the two shades together, which gives you a third shade option! They feel very comfortable and nourishing on the lips, have a lovely shine, and certainly have enough colour pay off to wear on their own. I am eyeing off the 'Berry' shade...


Do head on over to Natural Supply Co here. I'm sure that you will enjoy browsing all of their lovely products as much as I do!


I can also warmly recommend the Yard Lip Bloss, a gorgeous gloss/balm hybrid that I ADORE which come in several different shades/flavours, and The Shore Soap Company Mermaid Kisses range...I have the solid perfume, and the lotion. Smells AMAZING! Think sweet, little bit citrusy, with the warmth of amber and musk...So Good!



HAPPY SHOPPING! 




Please leave any questions or comments for me below! Wishing you a safe and Happy Christmas!




Thanks so much for stopping by!




Blessings,




Lou xo










Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored. No affiliate links are present. Products purchased by me. Cheers xo


Sunday, 11 December 2016

Replederm Age Redefine Trio | Review




Hello Beauties!


I hope you are well?


I have had the pleasure of testing out a new Australian skin care range from the Decode Life Group over the last 5 weeks, and I would like to share my thoughts with you today.

The range is called replederm, and consists of three core products known as the Age Redefine Trio.
replederm was launched in November 2015, just over a year ago, and was founded and developed by Tania Tan of Decode Life, an experienced community and compound pharmacist based in Victoria.


"Decode Life, founded in March 2015 by Tania Tan, began with a passion to assist busy and active middle aged women towards a vibrant, radiant and natural looking skin by incorporating the holistic approaches of age-old wisdom, modern research, and an open mind".


From this passion, the simple but potent, artisan replederm skin care range came about, designed to restore and nuture healthy skin. 


I have been testing these products for 5 weeks now, using the transforming serum morning and night, and the dark spot corrector and anti-ageing creme in the evening.


Just to include a little background for you, I am 41 years old and have several skin concerns ( how long have you got? ha ha! ), including pigmentation from both previous sun damage and five pregnancies, fine lines and some deeper wrinkles, I am acne prone, and my skin type is combination/oily/dehydrated! Phew!



If you would like to hear my thoughts on the replederm Age Redefine Trio, then please read on!!







replederm Age Redefine Trio.


The transforming serum is a beautifully lightweight, refreshing serum that has slipped easily into both my morning and evening skin care routines. My skin drinks it up, and it immediately feels hydrated, soothed and comfortable. Absorption is rapid, with no residual tackiness.
One of this serum's star ingredients is honey. One of my favourite skin care ingredients, it is known for its natural anti-bacterial properties, and is very healing and soothing for the skin. I can detect the subtle scent of honey on application...it is lovely.
The serum also contains vitamins C and E for antioxidant protection, the moisture binding "magnet" hyaluronic acid, and marine collagen, which is believed to assist in the stimulation of collagen synthesis. With age comes wisdom, and concurrently, a great deal less collagen!! Collagen and Elastin are the building blocks of the skin, and as we age there is a natural decline in production. Give me all the collagen I say!
replederm transforming serum also contains soothing aloe, hydrating macadamia and jojoba oils along with extracts of kakadu plum, known to contain a very high concentration of vitamin C.
I have no doubt that this serum would likely suit most skin types. It has been an absolute pleasure to use, and is just lovely! 





replederm dark spot corrector.


The dark spot corrector is a treatment cream which targets blemishes and pigmentation. I have been using it in the evenings, applying it after the serum, and before the anti-ageing creme.
One of the main ingredients is Niacinamide, otherwise known as vitamin B3. I am quite familiar with good old Niacinamide, and tend to look for it in my skin care products as I find it to give me noticeably brighter skin with improvement in both texture and clarity.
Pracaxi oil is another main ingredient, and one that I was not familiar with. After a little bit of research, I discovered some rather interesting facts! Pracaxi oil is native to the Amazon and contains high levels of behenic acid, which is believed to be beneficial in reducing skin discolouration. Interestingly, behenic acid can be useful in reducing stretch marks, and is also used in shampoos and conditioners as it is known to make your hair soft and shiny!
Amazonian locals use Pracaxi oil as an all-purpose natural remedy to accelerate healing of skin damage from small cuts and abrasions, insect and snake bites. It is also anti-bacterial, soothing and healing. Due to its ability to aid in cell renewal, it has more recently become an ingredient of benefit in skin care formulations.
The dark spot corrector has quite a thick texture, however it smoothes easily over the skin. It has no discernible fragrance. It contains plenty of nourishing oils, and also contains Shea Butter. I was a little worried initially that it may be too heavy for my acneaic skin, which will often react and break out in cystic acne when I use products containing shea, however I am pleased to report that have not had any issues whatsoever!
Though I don't have any photographs to share, I have certainly noticed an overall improvement in  skin clarity, I feel that my skin tone is more even, and some areas of pigmentation are looking noticeably lighter. It is recommended to be used morning and night for 8 weeks to see full results, so I will indeed update you with any further improvements!





The texture of the anti-ageing creme is soft, pillowy and luxurious. Sensorially it is a pleasure to apply, not only because of the lovely texture, but also due to the inclusion of some lovely essential oils of Frankincense, Ylang Ylang, Rose Geranium and Sandalwood. It absorbs quickly and easily, leaving a satin matte finish...not at all greasy or shiny.
The hydration and moisture protective elements are taken care of thanks to its base of glycerin, sunflower seed oil, sweet almond oil, macadamia oil and shea butter ( again, no issues with acne break outs at all ). 
Again, hyaluronic acid and vitamin C are present, along with the anti-ageing heroes vitamin A and peptides to boost collagen and elastin production.
The anti-ageing creme is recommended primarily for dry, combination, and mature skin types, however my combo/oily/dehydrated skin likes it very much indeed! I have found all three of the products to layer nicely too. When I wake up in the morning my skin looks and feels hydrated without looking or feeling greasy. It looks plump and fresh. I have also noticed a happy coincidence of less pimples/acne, and generally much clearer skin for the last few weeks! 


I am happy to report that the replederm literature recommends the use of adequate sunscreen during the day to protect your skin! It has been said many times before, but the best anti-ageing product you can use on your skin is a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen every day!




Do head over to the Decode Life website here, where you can read all about Tania's story, and purchase some of these lovely products if you wish to try them for yourself!
replederm is eco-friendly, cruelty free, not tested on animals, and made in Australia.



I can happily report that replederm products are currently 30% off until 29th December 2016!


transforming serum - RRP $89.90 now $62.90AUD.

dark spot corrector - RRP $79.90 now $55.90AUD.

anti-ageing creme - RRP $89.90 now $62.90AUD.


OR


The Age Redefine Trio is normally $219.90, down to $153.90AUD.


You can also purchase a trial pack ( I LOVE it when companies offer trial packs!! ) which gives you enough of each of the three products for one weeks use, for $4.95! I'd recommend grabbing 2 trial packs...two weeks supply will give you a good idea if your skin likes them, and will cost you less than $10.00!! Shipping is currently only available in Australia, with hopes to extend to International in the future.




Do let me know in the comments below if you have any questions! I have really enjoyed using the replederm Age Redefine Trio, and would not hesitate to recommend it!







Thanks so much for stopping by!




Blessings,




Lou xo










Disclaimer: Products were kindly provided for my consideration. My experiences and results are my own. Products that work well for me may not give you the same results, and vice versa. This post is not sponsored. Do head instructions/advice on all skin care products and patch test prior to use! Cheers! xo










Thursday, 1 December 2016

Metta Skincare Must-haves!



Good Evening Beauties!

After quite a long hiatus, I am back on the blog! If you don't follow me on social media, I had a baby girl in August, and have taken some time to settle in and just enjoy her. Her name is Addison, and she is my fifth bubba! She is three months old now and is an absolute delight!

I was sent these two beautiful products from the Australian brand Metta Skincare toward the end of my pregnancy, and they have taken up residence on my bedside table ever since. Handmade with gorgeous nourishing ingredients, the Body Butter and Hand Balm have not only moisturised and cared for my skin, they have also been instrumental in helping me to relax and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

If you would like to know a little bit more about these two lovely products, then please read on!









Handmade in Melbourne, Australia, using certified organic ingredients, it is obvious that much thought, love and care has gone into these formulations. The Body Butter is available in two scents... Vanilla, and Lavender. I was sent the lavender Body Butter, and I adore it. It contains only six ingredients, Shea Butter, Grapeseed Oil, Cocoa Seed Butter, Jojoba Oil, Coconut Oil, and Lavender essential oil. Its whipped, fluffy texture is a delight to apply...it melts luxuriously into the skin, and a little definitely goes a long way. 

Now, being a butter, it is quite rich and protective, which is why I like to apply it after my evening shower. You have time to really massage it into the skin, whilst enjoying the gorgeous aroma. Having said that, it does absorb really nicely, and does not leave your skin feeling sticky or tacky. For me, there is just the right amount of lavender oil. It is bright and refreshing, not overly pungent or too floral, and lavender oil has a long history of being known to assist in feelings of relaxation and reducing stress. 

Butters, in my humble opinion, are not meant to be "light" or rapidly absorbed...they are designed to nourish and protect and feed the skin. Apply it mindfully, with intention, giving yourself some time to breathe and fill up your tank. I am now close to halfway through this rather large jar which contains a hefty 135gm product. Although I love it, I kind of want to try the Vanilla one too! It's on my list! Oils and balms are my jam...I simply have to try them all!







The beautiful Hand Balm is equally loved. It lends itself perfectly to the bedside table, and has been religiously applied to my cuticles, hands and feet for many months. Pregnancy puts a lot of pressure on your feet, and mine would ache terribly, particularly in the third trimester. A good massage with some of this balm would provide me with relief, and also helped to prevent my skin from cracking around my heels ( bit gross, sorry ). It is surprising how much tension is carried in our hands, if you have ever had a hand massage you would know what I mean...it feels so good! I also apply a good blob of balm to each cuticle and massage it into the skin and nail bed. If you are short on time, take a tiny bit of balm, rub it between your hands and then place them close to your face, inhaling the gorgeous aroma. I will often do this during the day if I am feeling a little stretched trying to meet the needs of my family! 

The Hand Balm has also been used numerous times on my children. It soothes and takes the itch out of mozzy bites, and gets rubbed into any part of them that feels a bit sore! If they are having trouble settling of an evening I'll massage a little onto the back of their necks and shoulders. It really is a great all-purpose balm to have in your cupboard.

This luscious balm contains Olive Fruit Oil, Shea Butter, Beeswax, Calendula Flowers and Lavender essential oil, and all ingredients are certified organic. Its' fragrance is just as lovely as the Body Butter.



You can find out more about Metta on their website here, including stockists. The Metta range also
includes a Lip Balm, Face Balm and a Body Oil...and yeah I pretty much want them too!


If you fancy heading to the online market Good Spender here, you will find the Metta Hand Balm for $24.00 AUD, and the Body Butter for $34.00 AUD. I think these are amazing prices for such beautiful products that will certainly last you a long time! They would also make a beautiful Christmas gift for someone special, and that includes you! You can also read about how Metta chooses to use a portion of its profit for a very good cause. Good Spender is a great place to shop online consciously, especially with Christmas so close now!




Have you tried any of Metta's products? Do you have a favourite body butter or balm that you think I should try? Do let me know in the comments below!






Thanks so much for stopping by!



Blessings,



Lou xo








Disclaimer; Products were sent for consideration/review. This is not a sponsored post. I am not affiliated with any brands or business mentioned in the above post. Always patch test products before use, and check with your doctor before using products containing essential oils during pregnancy.  Cheers xo.








Friday, 5 August 2016

Disney's Alice Through The Looking Glass Collection by OPI | Swatches



Hello Beauties!

I have the Disney's Alice Through the Looking Glass Collection by OPI to share with you today!

These gorgeous polishes were a PR gift, and I have very much enjoyed playing with them of late!


If you'd like to see these pretty shades on my nails, then please read on!



Disney's Alice Through The Looking Glass Collection by OPI




I'm Gown for Anything!


This beautiful creamy lilac is just as beautiful on the nails as it is in the bottle! I have dressed up this mani with some striping tape and some crystals from Sonailious Boutique. Two coats are shown, with top coat. Definitely one of my favourites from the collection, and a shade that looks lovely in all seasons in my opinion.

What's the Hatter with You?


Ok...so this one might be a favourite as well...how many favourites is one allowed to have? OPI describe this as a rich burgundy cream. The formula is stunning, two easy coats are shown, and this one screams Autumn/Winter to me!

Oh My Majesty!


Described by OPI as a supremely beautiful pearly alabaster, Oh My Majesty is certainly a unique polish to my collection. She has a slight, very subtle pink/gold shift and the pearly finish is not at all streaky. Beautiful. Again, I've added some silver striping tape to two of the nails as a feature, but this shade would look just as nice with gold accents.

Mad for Madness Sake.


An incredibly bright, warm fushcia pink, I'm not sure my picture captures the depth of this shade. She has a beautifully glossy finish even without top coat, and again, a great formula, with two easy coats shown.

Fearlessly Alice.


OPI describe this as a bold, cerulean blue with intrepid style... if you like bright colours on your nails you will love this one! An absolutely stunning blue that will have you unable to stop admiring your manicure! Do be careful with this one, she did stain the skin around my nails a little, and if you wore it as a mani for a number of days she may well stain your nails...use a good base coat! Oh...she's very close to a one coater as well!

Having a Big Head Day.


A gorgeous, glossy red that has an almost crelly formula that glides onto the nail like butter... I have only used one coat in the photo above, and no top coat! An absolute dream to apply, I would probably do another coat to completely cover the nail line, but I think if you were in a hurry, or didn't mind, you could get away with one. OPI always do red's in spectacular fashion.

A Mirror Escape ( Gold ) and The I's Have It ( Blue ).


The I's Have It is a pretty cornflower blue, lovely formula, and just an all-round gorgeous shade with a top formula. A Mirror Escape is the only glitter polish in the collection, and contains gold, silver and white glitters. She dries down a little dull on the nail, so definitely add a top coat to get her shining. I think she would look gorgeous paired with any of the shades from this collection!




The Disney's Alice Through The Looking Glass Collection by OPI is available from selected salons, MYER and David Jones, and is also available in a Mini Pack selection of four 3.75ml bottles.



Have you picked up any of the shades from this collection? Do leave a comment below telling me which one is your favourite shade!






Thanks so much for stopping by!



Blessings,



Lou xo





Disclaimer: As mentioned, these polishes were a PR sample. This does not affect or change my opinion of the product in any way. Cheers xo






Friday, 1 July 2016

Winter Beauty | Current Favourite Hair Care Products and Routine!


We are most certainly in the depths of winter here in Australia, and although it doesn't snow where I live, we have had a lovely dusting on two occasions only about 30 mins away!My children were most excited!!

With the colder weather, comes a drop in humidity, and an increase in indoor heating, both of which can rob our skin and hair of much needed moisture. I have several posts coming up focusing on Winter Beauty, and thought that I would start with some of my favourite products for keeping my locks, and my family's, clean and nourished this winter.

Let's get started...there are quite a few products to chat about, many of which have been favourites of mine for some time now.


The Hair Care Wardrobe...it takes a village you know.




I have featured the Australian hair care brand Affinage Professional previously here on the blog. They are a brand that I continue to enjoy using very much. The Moisture Max Shampoo and Conditioner are from the Essential Oils range, and are sulphate, silicone and paraben free. Enriched with essential oils, as the name suggests, they cleanse and condition my hair without leaving it feeling heavy with product. The Moisture Max Shampoo has a gorgeous velvety lather, which is often hard to come by with sulphate free products. It rinses cleanly, and never leaves your hair feeling squeaky or stripped. Love. A little goes a long way with the Moisture Max Conditioner. It has a thick, luxurious texture, and leaves my hair soft and manageable. I would highly recommend both products, and they smell just as lovely as the other Affinage products that I have tried. Have a look at their website here for stockists. 




Another Australian skin care and hair care brand, MooGoo, has impressed me from the very first use. Designed especially for people with sensitive skin, their products contain naturally derived ingredients to care for your skin and hair, leaving out the common irritants which can cause unwanted reactions. The Milk Shampoo and Cream Conditioner were sent to me for trial and review, and I have since purchased the Scalp Cream from my local health food store, which I discovered carries the MooGoo range! Hooray!
Whilst I have used and enjoy the shampoo and conditioner very much, the results that I have seen when using it to treat my daughters scalp have been incredibly impressive. Some months ago, she had developed an area of seborrheic dermatitis at the back of her scalp. It was inflamed, irritated, had a build up of dead skin ( sorry ) and was very itchy! I had tried many topical, over the counter products with very little improvement. 
When I received the MooGoo products, I started using them straight away on her hair and scalp, and could see a huge improvement after the first two uses. The Milk Shampoo uses coconut and glucose based cleansers, and does a brilliant job of cleansing the hair and scalp gently but thoroughly. The silicone free Cream Conditioner uses canola, jojoba and olive oils, and MooGoo's signature Milk Proteins to detangle and condition the hair without weighing it down or irritating the scalp. After two uses, the inflammation was markedly reduced, much less build up of dead skin, and the itchiness was subsiding. I was so pleased! Onto the website I went, and read up about the Scalp Cream, a protective cocktail of olive and coconut oils,Vitamin E, soothing Aloe Vera and Allantoin, and Tea Tree, Lavender and Rosemary essential oils. I gratefully found it stocked in my local health food store. We added the Scalp Cream to her regime, applying it daily. Within 3 weeks her dermatitis was completely healed. I cannot say enough good things about these products, and will continue to use them on all four of my children's hair! Highly Highly recommend!! You can check out the website here.



Treatments...

Keeping on the theme of great Australian brands, I have used and enjoyed the Lux Aestiva Endless Summer Hair Hydrator as both an all over intensive treatment, and also as a pre-wash, quick hydrating treatment just on the ends of my hair. I need to repurchase, as this pouch is now very much empty! This gorgeous, vegan friendly and cruelty free oil treatment nourishes the hair with a combination of Extra Virgin Coconut oil, Grape seed, Sweet Almond, Macadamia, Jojoba, and Pomegranate oils. You could certainly apply it in the evening and leave it on overnight if you wished. I find oil treatments to be particularly strengthening for my colour treated hair, and they also dramatically reduce static and flyaways, both of which can plague hair in the winter months. Oh, it also smells delicious! You can find Lux Aestiva's website here. Since their launch last year, they have also released a delicious sounding body oil that is on my list of things to try! 

The Pureology Instant Conditioning Whipped Cream is a lazy girl's dream come true! The lightweight foam distributes evenly through the hair, and need only be on the hair for 1-3 minutes prior to rinsing. Perfect for the shower! It is hard to believe that such a lightweight formula can work as well as this does, but mark my words, it is brilliant. It melts into the hair immediately, whilst its deeply floral scent transports you to a luxury day spa. It's conditioning oils and strengthening proteins leave my hair feeling soft, detangled and nourished. I have heard many great reviews on Pureology products, however this is the first one that I have tried. I'd love you to leave any recommendations in the comments below if you have a favourite product to recommend to me? I am LOVING this one!

Fudge Clean Blonde Violet Toning Shampoo has been a staple in my shower for about 2 years now. I have chemically lightened my hair for many years, and it tends to throw a very annoying gold/brassy tone on a regular basis. This highly pigmented purple shampoo chases away the brassiness, without leaving my hair feeling like steel wool! I will typically use my regular shampoo first to clean my hair, and then use Clean Blonde as my second shampoo, leaving it to sit in my hair for a minute prior to rinsing. Once, sometimes twice a week does the trick, and it really freshens up my colour. Be sure to give your hands a quick wash after you have lathered with Clean Blonde... it has a very strong pigment that will leave a hint of purple on your skin if you're not careful!!




After my shower, I will reach for one of these three favourite products to further condition and protect my locks prior to styling ( unless I'm too tired and can't be bothered and it gets thrown up into a bun! ).

Both the Dove Pure Care Dry Oil , and the Orofluido have been favourites for quite some time, and I find them to perform fairly on par. In fact, I believe the Dove Pure Care oil has slightly more nourishing oils, and slightly less silicones than the Orofluido, and is less than half the price... you're welcome! Both smell deliciously good, and I enjoy using both. If you are on a budget, definitely try the Dove!

The Affinage Essential Oils 24/7 Heaven Cuticle Sealer is a lightweight lotion designed to protect your hair from heat styling, whilst smoothing and adding shine. I reach for this on the days that I don't feel like using a heavier oil, and it does a brilliant job to smooth and condition my hair when blow drying. Highly recommend!




Stylin' it up!...

Dry shampoo. Haven't those two words transformed the beauty world in the last couple of years? I have tried my fair share of brands during that time, and have come to fall deeply and madly in love with the Marc Anthony Clear Dry Shampoo. It is indeed, clear. Tick. It cleans and refreshes my hair. Tick. It doesn't leave any residue. Tick. It doesn't irritate my scalp. Tick. It smells good. Tick.
In a recent special at Priceline I purchased 2 more bottles. A back up for my back up. It is true love.

Oh L'Oreal Elnett Satin... another love of mine. I could not count how many bottles of this hairspray I have purchased over the years. It holds my hair without being crunchy or clumping, it brushes out easily, it adds volume at the roots without irritating my scalp when I need to do a quick up-do... it doesn't cost an arm and a leg, it is just a fab little hairspray. Love.

Another inexpensive find is the V05 Give Me Texture Dry Texturising Spray. I will reach for this little gem when I need to do a quick up-do and my hair is too clean and slippery and needs a bit of grit and hold, or if I want to add some volume to my hair. A little goes a long way with this spray, and you'll get change from $10 for your troubles. Nice.




Well, that's a wrap loves! If you are still here with me then cheers to you!! I would love to know your favourite hair care products! Do we share any favourites? Please leave a comment below with any questions, or any product recommendations for me!



Do come back and visit again! More Winter Beauty posts are on the way!






Thanks so much for stopping by!




Blessings,




Lou xo








Friday, 20 May 2016

OPI Soft Shades Collection 2016


Good Afternoon Beauties!


I hope you are all well?


I was recently sent the OPI Soft Shades 2016 collection, a collection consisting of six beautiful pastels nail polishes that I have been loving. I seriously have a "pinch me" moment whenever these arrive in my PO Box! I have some swatches of all six shades, and one nail art mani to share with you today.


Let me know which is your favourite shade in the comments below!



OPI Soft Shades Collection 2016.


OPI Soft Shades Collection 2016.


Negative Space Floral Mani... Design by Maria from So Nailicious.

I am always inspired by Maria and her team from So Nailcious! When I saw her post a tutorial for this manicure on her You Tube channel, I knew the OPI Soft Shades would be perfect for it! I have used all six of the shades in the collection in this manicure. 
Now, as you know, I am a complete nail art newby... so please be kind! Regardless of the finished product, I really enjoyed doing it, and just giving it a go, and that is the main thing! Nail polish is like makeup... experiment as much as you like...at the end of the day, you can wipe it all away!
I will leave a link to the So Nailicous website for you below.



OPI - I Am What I Amethyst.
I Am What I Amethyst is a beautiful periwinkle blue/lilac cream. She has a beautiful, smooth formula, and was opaque in two coats. I have found with all of these shades, that to do your first coat a little thinner, and then follow with a thicker second coat gives you the best results. Love this shade... while she is a pastel, she has a lovely luminosity!


OPI - It's A Boy!
It's A Boy was again opaque in two coats, and is a beautiful baby/sky blue cream. A gorgeous blue that looks beautiful in the spring and summer months in my opinion. Gorgeous on toes too!


OPI - One Chic Chick.
One Chic Chick had me very worried following application. She has quite a thick formula, probably the thickest formula in the whole collection, and initially sat very unevenly and streaky on my nails. I'm not sure how... but as she dried it completely self levelled, and left a perfectly smooth finish. I was shocked!! And pleased!! This creamy, yellow pastel has a lovely softness to it, making it a little more wearable than some brighter yellow shades. It still pulls the pinky/red tones out in my skin though, so probably not the most flattering on my skin tone. You can't win 'em all!


OPI - It's In The Cloud and This Cost Me a Mint.
It's In the Cloud is a beautiful soft, ever so slightly off white. She makes for a beautiful mani on her own, or would be a perfect base for nail art! This was one shade that I felt needed three coats. It wasn't bad with two, there were just some very faint streaks, and I am a bit fussy! Lovely smooth formula though!
This Cost me a Mint ( my middle finger ) has a ridiculously good formula, two easy smooth coats. She definitely has a green base, unlike some mint greens that can pull more blue on the nail. I would wear both of these shades all year round. Love.


OPI - Stop it! I'm Blushing.

Stop it, I'm Blushing is a lovely soft, warm blush pink that took three coats for full opacity. Such a pretty shade, and again wearable all year round in my opinion. These sort of shades look beautiful paired with gold or rose gold accents... 




So... did you pick a favourite shade? I Am What I Amethyst, and This Cost me a Mint are probably my favourite shades, along with It's in the Cloud.



This beautiful collection is available to purchase from Myer, David Jones and selected online retailers for an RRP of $19.95 AUD.


You can find the So Nailicious website here for daily Nail Inspiration!! There are links on the website for their Instagram and You Tube accounts too!






Thanks so much for stopping by!



Blessings,



Lou xo







Discalimer; These polishes were provided as a PR sample. This post is not sponsored. I just love nail polish! Cheers xo



Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Braun Silk-Epil 9 | Review



Good Afternoon Beauties!

I hope you are well? Things have been busy here at The Beauty Vine HQ... though not particularly with beauty or blogging unfortunately! If you didn't catch a recent post on my Instagram account, I am expecting another bubba! A big surprise, but a happy surprise none the less! The first four-five months were a blur of nausea and fatigue, but other than the normal discomforts of pregnancy, all is going well! Do let me know if you'd like any pregnancy or baby related posts over the next few months, I'd be happy to chat about my experiences.


Anyway, back to chatting about beauty!


I have recently been trailing the Braun Silk-epil 9 hair removal system, and thought I would share my review with you today.

I typically vary my hair removal methods, depending on how I'm feeling at the time! I do all my own hair removal at home, because I find it more convenient, and less expensive than visiting a salon. 

This may be giving away my age a little ( not that I hide it! ), but I remember very clearly when the very first at-home epilator was released onto the market. It was an electronic, rotating coil that would spin rapidly, grabbing the hairs and wrenching them out by the roots... I have some very funny memories of my mum and I in the bathroom wincing and ouching our way through the experience!

Thankfully, times have changed, and the new technology which has developed over the last 20 years means that we now have much more efficient, and less painful gadgets to help us!

The Braun Silk-epil 9 has impressed me from my first use, and not only gives you an effective, relatively painless epilation, but offers an interchangeable head, giving you the option of an electric shaver, and trimmer as well. It really does function as an all-in-one system, and I have been loving it.



BRAUN Silk-epil 9


BRAUN Silk-epil 9


The Braun Silk-epil 9 boasts several design innovations, including a 40% wider head, and micro grip tweezer technology with wider, deeper and longer tweezers to increase the overall performance. The head also pivots, allowing closer contact with the skin, and it delivers a high frequency massage system that delivers pulsating vibrations to ensure a more comfortable experience.

Visibility is enhanced by the Smartlight, which will automatically shine whenever the device is in use. I have not used an epilator with an light before, and I can tell you it makes a huge difference! Those pesky little hairs will not stand a chance!
The Braun Silk-epil 9 comes with a shaving attachment, and changing the heads is quick and easy. The shaving head also fits the trimming attachment, which I find perfect for my bikini line.

The Braun Silk-epil 9 is, without a doubt, the most comfortable epilator I have ever used. It is comfortable to hold, glides easily over the contours of my legs with its pivoting head, and I feel very little discomfort, if any. Having said that, if you allow the hairs to get quite long, you will feel a little more discomfort on initial use. The trick is to not let them get too long in between sessions ( note to self Lou you lazy girl ). Braun recommends an ideal hair length of 2-5mm.

Once fully charged, I have managed to complete 3 separate sessions of hair removal on my legs before needing to recharge the device. You also have the option of plugging the unit into the mains power if the battery does happen to run low.
I typically find that the slower of the two speeds, speed 1 works well for me, I will turn it up to speed 2 if I have any areas that might be particularly stubborn, or if I just want to be quicker! I keep the area of skin I am working on taut to enable good contact at all times.
Worthy of note, I have also used the Braun Silk-epil 9 on my teenage daughter, who finds it a lot more comfortable than having me wax her legs... and we all know how dramatic and emotional teenage girls can sometimes be ( in the nicest possible way of course ).

I have not tried epilation in the shower as yet, mostly due to my pregnant belly being in the way. I generally find it easier to use whilst sitting down, however with the Braun Silk-epil 9, using it in the shower is certainly an option for you if you wish.

I combat any pesky ingrown hairs with regular, gentle exfoliation, using an exfoliating mitt in the shower. One of the best tips I have received over the years in regards to ingrown hairs, is to make sure you keep your skin well moisturised. If your skin is dry, it is much harder for the hair to emerge through the skin... keeping it soft and supple is the way to go. I hope you will notice a huge improvement like I did, when I combined the exfoliation with a good slathering of moisturiser every day. I know this is often a bit of a chore, especially as we are coming into the winter months here in Australia. I have a little trick to share with you... keep a body oil, or body butter in the shower. Your skin is warm and receptive, and the oils will naturally repel the water, meaning it will adhere to your skin and won't be washed down the drain. Apply your oil just before you hop out, and then pat your skin gently to dry. I might do a post soon which includes some of my favourite body oils, if that would be of interest to you?

Overall I have not a bad word to say about the Braun Silk-epil 9. It has slotted into my beauty routine like it has always been there. I have absolutely no hesitation in warmly recommending it to you, whether you are a seasoned, epilating goddess, or a slightly apprehensive beginner.



The Braun Silk-epil 9 is available to purchase from Harvey Norman, Myer and Shaver Shop, and is priced from $249.99 RRP. You can visit Braun's website here for more information.





Thanks so much for stopping by!



Blessings,



Lou xo












Dsiclaimer: The Braun Silk-epil 9 was kindly provided for review. My thoughts, experiences and recommendations are always my own, regardless of purchase or PR sample. Cheers xo





Friday, 26 February 2016

New IN! Sukin Hydrating Facial Masque




If you are a fan of the Australian, natural skincare brand Sukin, you will be excited to know that they are expanding their range of facial masks to include a brand new Hydrating Facial Masque.

I have long been a fan of Sukin's original, clay based Purifying Facial Masque, along with many of their other products, and have gone through around three tubs to date! I am a bit of a face mask junkie at the best of times, and I love having masks in my skincare wardrobe that cater to the different needs that my skin might have from time to time. Sometimes I feel that my skin needs a good cleansing and brightening mask, sometimes one with a kick of glycolic acid to exfoliate, and sometimes just pure hydration and plumping. The Sukin hydrating mask falls nicely into the latter.






The packaging is reminiscent of all of Sukin's face masks, presented in a 100ml tub. I like to apply my masks with an old, flat foundation brush that I use specifically for that purpose. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using clean fingers, it's just a matter of personal preference. Like all of Sukin's products, this one won't break the bank either, with a very reasonable RRP of $15.95 AUD.

The list of active ingredients in the mask are impressive. Skin softening Mango Butter, Olive oil, Avocado oil and Jojoba oil provide the skin with a good dose of fatty acids, giving the skin a cocktail of soothing hydration. Fruit extracts of Mango, Papaya and Pineapple not only provide essential vitamins A,B and C, they also contain enzymes known for their anti-inflammatory action, and naturally occurring alpha-hydroxy acids to brighten, exfoliate and encourage collagen production.

The texture of this mask is soft, light, and pudding like, and it smooths easily over the skin. It has a lovely fresh fruity scent, that is quite subtle and not at all overpowering. Applied to freshly cleansed, damp skin, I have left it on for the recommended time of at least 15 minutes, and find that it sets a little on the skin, but does not dry down completely.  I like to soften the mask with a couple of splashes of warm water, and then remove with a clean, warm flannel. My skin feels and looks fresh and hydrated, and I feel that any areas of dehydration and fine lines appear smooth and plump. A little tip I like to do when using a hydrating mask, is to apply a little to the backs of my hands to give them a bit of a treat as well, an often neglected area that certainly shows signs of ageing.

On one occasion, I used the Purifying Facial Masque first, and then followed it with the Hydrating Masque... a quick and easy double duty power facial at home! My skin glowed!

Worthy of note, I have only used the mask on two occasions thus far, and have personally not noticed any irritation from the product. I will keep it in rotation for the next few weeks and months, and keep you updated on my thoughts! First impressions are very good, and I can see this mask being of benefit to all skin types. To date, I have never met a Sukin product that I didn't love, from their beautiful body washes and lotions, body and facial oils, and haircare,  I warmly support the brand as a whole.



Due for release in April, look out for it at Priceline, Chemist Warehouse, major and independent pharmacies and health food stores!




Thanks so much for stopping by!



Blessings



Lou xo









Disclaimer: I was sent this product for review purposes as part of the Beauty Directory Expert Panel for 2015/2016. This post is not sponsored.





Tuesday, 23 February 2016

JetSet Gel | At-home Gel Manicure Starter Kit | Review




Good Morning Loves!


I hope you are all well?


I have a review for you today all about the JETSET GEL Nail Starter Kit. I was kindly sent this kit for review purposes and I'm ready to share my thoughts, and swatches with you today!


JETSET GEL are a new Australian company aiming to bring you a salon manicure in the comfort of your own home. Sound good to you? Whether you are a regular gel mani lover, or just like to dabble now and then like me, having your own complete kit at home is brilliant. We are all a little time poor these days, and having to fit in an appointment at the local salon can be difficult. Not only that, but the cost of regular salon gel manicures can certainly add up over time. Having everything you need at home will give you a gorgeous long lasting manicure, and you will be able to offer to do your friends and families nails too! Trust me, they will love it!



If you'd like to hear my thoughts on the JETSET GEL Nail Starter Kit, then please read on!



JETSET GEL Nail Starter Kit 

As you can see in the photograph above, the JETSET GEL Nail Starter Kit gives you everything you need to start doing your own gel manicures at home.

The kit contains an LED curing lamp, Base and Top Coats, three gorgeous shades in Cotton Clouds, Runway Red and Pink Horizons, Nail file and buffer, Metal cuticle pusher, Gel Polish remover and remover wraps, and easy to follow instructions.The kit is priced at $118.45 AUD.





JETSET GEL Cotton Clouds
Cotton Clouds is a beautiful, natural beige shade. I have applied two coats of Cotton Clouds in the photograph above. You can see that the nail line is still slightly visible, which I don't mind at all. I think a third coat would give you an opaque finish if that's what you would prefer. 
My nails were quite short, and not in the best condition at this time, so I found it difficult to wrap the tips with the top coat properly when I did this mani. Coupled with my dry, peeling nails, I still managed to get a good week of wear from this manicure before the tip wear and edges lifting got the better of me. I'm lucky to last a week without wanting to change my polish anyway, but had my nails been in better condition, and if i had wrapped the tips adequately, I think I would have definitely increased the wear time. I am very fussy with how my nails look in general, so at the first sign of wear or chipping I am compelled to do a fresh mani!



JETSET GEL Runway Red.
This gorgeous red mani belongs to my Mother-in-Law, whom I roped in to have her nails done just before Christmas last year ( it didn't take much convincing!) I ended up applying three very thin coats of polish for her mani, and she had gorgeous nails for two weeks before any signs of wear and tear. She loved it!
Runway Red is a beautiful red with cool undertones that would suit most complexions. It has a very subtle sparkle deep within, which gives it more of a glow, than obvious shimmer on the nail.



JETSET GEL Pink Horizons ( outdoor lighting ).
JETSET GEL Pink Horizons ( indoor lighting ).
 Pink Horizons is a very natural, warm pink translucent polish. It would be perfect for a French Manicure. It also has a very pretty subtle shimmer, which is just visible in direct light. It makes for a lovely fresh and natural looking manicure, with the lovely glossy shine that you get from a good gel polish. I have used three coats here.




The directions included in the starter kit are easy to follow for both application and removal. Do follow them! 

Remember that gel polishes give you plenty of play time, meaning that you can really perfect, and thin out your coats of polish without any worry of the polish drying whilst you are working with it. It is one of the great things about gel polishes!

Heed the directions and avoid leaving any polish you may have accidentally put on your skin. Again, you have plenty of time to clean up, and remove polish from the skin around your nails, and cuticles before you cure under the light.

The timer on the LED lamp that is included has three time settings, 30, 60 and 90 seconds. Do note that all of the JETSET Gel polishes, including top and base coats require a 2 minute  ( 120 second ) cure for each coat. This means you will need to reset your timer for each coat. I just do 2 x 60 seconds. 

When it comes to removal, be patient. You need to let the remover wraps sit on the nails for the recommended time. If you do, as you lift off the wrap, the gel polish will have lifted off the nail, and just be waiting for you to scoop it off. Don't dig or chip away at any areas that may be stubborn and still adhered to the nail... re-wrap and soak them, and let the acetone do it's job. If you start digging and picking, you will undoubtedly remove layers of your nail along with it. 

I also like to follow removal with a generous flood of good quality oils and balms for the next day or two, just to add some moisture back into the nail bed. Also, be gentle when you buff them prior to your polish application, you only need to do a light handed gentle buff.


Head over to the JETSET GEL website here to purchase your own kit, with free shipping Australia wide. I also have a discount code! Just use the code: 10%FORYOU to receive 10% off your order!



Are you a fan of gel manicures? Have you attempted to do your own before? If you have any tips or tricks that you find helpful please leave them in the comments below! If you have any questions, please leave them below too! 





Thanks so much for stopping by!



Blessings,



Lou xo










Disclaimer: The JETSET Gel kit was generously sent to me for review. This post is not sponsored. The links provided are not affiliate links. Cheers xo






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