How to Survive Winter Weather

Posted on Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The cold weather has well and truly arrived, and it has been quite a hit to the system! When you are used to high-30 degree weather on a daily basis, anything under 20 degrees feels like the Antarctic! Insert the 'Winter Saviour' post!

Winter for me means everything is dehydrated, so moisturising products are my go-to. Hand creams and lip balms are products most beauty-lovers own in abundance, but not all products work to really rehydrate the skin from its bottom layers. The Nuxe Reve De Miel Lip Balm* is a product I have been raving about non-stop. Unlike petroleum-jelly based lip balms that only coat the lips and require regular application, this balm really nourishes, repairs and soothes your lips. Its consistency is very unique; like a whipped, buttery pot of honey-smelling goodness. I lather it on every night before bed. On first try I knew I loved using the Antipodes Joyful Hand & Body Cream*. With ingredients like wild blackcurrant berries and hibiscus flowers it certainly smells lovely, pure avocado oil ensures it really hydrates dry hands and the quick absorbing formula makes it pleasant to use. Plus what gorgeous packaging! Antipodes is a brand that really does not disappoint, a second product that I use and love is the Joyous Protein-Rich Night Replenishing Serum. It is my go-to when my skin is giving me any sort of issues. This oil can transform the dullest of skin overnight and ensure you wake up with plump skin, boasting a healthy glow. This serum is an oil formula therefore I recommend using it at night. It has a strong smell that I cannot pinpoint but have grown to like. 

Sticking to the oil products, Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil* is a great body conditioner if you do not like thick creams. It has a spray applicator and hydrates really well without feeling overly sticky. I was pleasantly surprised by this multi-purpose oil which can be used on the face, body or hair. If my skin is really dry I like to spritz some oil into my bath while the water is running.

This past two weeks my skin has been in a terrible state; small bumps appeared all over my face from a combination of a product-intolerance and dehydrated skin. I decided to pick up the Avene Cicalfate Restorative Skin Cream. This super thick cream is meant to help restore the skin's cutaneous barrier. It is a hypoallergenic product formulated for sensitive and fragile skin. At first use this cream reminded me of that thick white paste that mothers put on babies' bottoms to prevent rashes, which I suppose is a barrier cream as well. I will have to keep you updated on this product but so far I have found using this at night helps protect my skin from reacting to dry conditions. 

As I mentioned in my hydrating skincare products post, serums have various purposes. The Indeed Laboratories Hydraluron serum is an essential during winter as it is the most hydrating serum I have found. The hyaluronic acid works to hydrate your skin from below the surface. It is a clear liquid that can leave your skin feeling tacky, but it goes away once you apply a moisturiser. 

A tinted moisturiser is the best base-product for dry skin during winter. There are options ranging from really affordable to the more pricey, trust me to fall in love with the latter. I tried a sample of the Hourglass Illusion Tinted Moisturiser purely for the sake of trying it - no way was I paying $74 for a tinted moisturiser. Famous last words huh? Even before my sample ran out I had purchased the full size. I love the dewy-finish, I love the luminous effect it has on my complexion and I love that it feels and looks natural! 

Lifestyle-wise a cuddly blanket, delicious-smelling candle and a good book is a must for cold nights in! This fluffy blanket is from Kmart and a total bargain as $20 (although it does leave fluff on everything it touches). I recently picked up The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins which is a thriller, a genre I haven't read since Gone Girl but I am excited to see how it is. On a side note, who else has been watching the TV show Stalker?! It is addictive. What are your Winter saviours? Now I think I need a cup of hot chocolate with mini marshmallows!

*Products that I have received as a PR sample. All opinions remain unaltered and I am not obliged to review these products.

Collective Haul & First Impressions

Posted on Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Despite my best efforts to save money, I purchased some beauty products last month of which I will be sharing my first impressions with you today. I also bought a few Hourglass products, but I want to save those for another post.

I made my first iHerb order and although I have been wary about ordering from them, everything went fine and I received my package within a week. The first beauty items which were included in my order are two Real Techniques brushes. I really wanted a makeup brush that I can keep in my handbag to touch up my base throughout the day and the Retractable Kabuki Brush is perfect for that. It is a super compact, angled kabuki brush that comes with a lid to keep the brush shape. I think this brush is a definite essential for makeup touch up's on the go and could be really handy for frequent travellers. I also purchased the Real Techniques Blush Brush as I wanted to try a different shape for applying blush. I do like this brush but it is nothing special. Randomly I also picked up an ELF Eye Shadow because it was too cheap to resist. I initially thought the shade Saddle would be a good crease colour, but I actually prefer the 'brown with a golden sheen' shade on my lid.

I was browsing Feelunique when they had a discount code and decided to finally try the Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush. I then impulsively bought the Watercolour Creme Bronzer too. The fluid blusher is in the shade Cherub; a peony-pink shade that I think would suit most people. This blusher is unlike any other due to its super watery formula. You have to shake it vigorously before squeezing a drop or two onto the back of your hand, which you can then apply with your fingers or a brush. Personally I prefer using a stippling blush as I found using my hand makes me apply the blush way too sheer. Once it has set it gives your cheeks a beautiful sheen of colour. For $28 you get 15ml of product that will no doubt last a very long time. The second product is a cream bronzer that comes in two colours, I got the lighest, Riviera. I am slightly disappointed with the packaging of the product. This bronzer is SUPER tiny (the same size as my ELF eyeshadow), $30 for 3.5g of product is not good value. Further the bronzer did not come in a box and neither was it sealed at all. The product itself is beautiful though, it is super creamy and applies really well (I use my fingers). It is a warm bronze (but not too orange) that works well as a bronzer or contour. The website also suggests you can mix it with your base product to add a tan-look to your face, but I am yet to try that.

I have clearly been loving blush & bronzer this month! The Balm recently had 30% off at David Jones and as a staff member I get an extra discount. Naturally, I could not resist that deal. I have a confession, I've never been much of a highlight fan. I feel like my face always ends up looking like a disco ball. With the discount I decided I had to try the very much raved about, The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer. This is a shimmery (but not glittery), champagne highlighter. Combined with the ELF fan brush (that I also got from iHerb) it applies really well and provides a beautiful glow. I have been searching for an 'Autumn' blush and though The Balm Instain Powder Blush in Pinstripe would be perfect. I adore the colour, a plum with (once again) a gold undertone. The problem I have had is that this product does not seem to last on my skin at all. I don't know whether maybe it doesn't work well with my base (a tinted moisturiser) because it is meant to be a long wearing, staining powder.

On first impression I was pleased with all these new purchases. They were products I wouldn't usually buy. For now, other than the Hourglass products I have purchased, I am trying not to buy any makeup until my Melbourne trip late-June… let's see if I can stick to that resolution.

Moisturisers, Serums & Hydrating Masks For Sensitive/Intolerant Skin

Posted on Sunday, 3 May 2015

Today's post, part two in this skincare series, will focus on all products moisturising. If you are new to the blog, this series discusses all things skincare for sensitive and intolerant skin. Last week I reviewed my favourite cleansing products and talked a bit more about my skin type, which you can read more about here

The first thing I do after I have cleansed my skin is apply a serum. Serum is a product you apply on your skin that packs more punch than a moisturiser. Some people may see no point in it but I cannot go without a serum. I have a range of serums that works to suit varying skins needs. 

The Antipodes Joyous Protein-Rich Night Replenishing Serum is a staple in my routine; a product I will keep repurchasing for years. It is an oil suited to dry and 'damaged' skin, which helps promote stimulation of collagen and elastin. I reach for this serum most often as it really helps revive dull skin and ensures I wake up with 'plump' looking skin. This serum will suit a 20 year old, the same as it would 40 year old skin. The glass packaging contains a dropper, which allows the perfect amount of product to be dispensed. It is on the pricey side but 100% worth the money. Another serum that I have repurchased many times is the Indeed Laboratories Hydraluron. This is an unimpressive looking product (comes out a clear gel) that has a mighty effect. The serum contains the highest pure amount of hydraluronic acid that can be found in a skincare product. This ingredient allows the serum to hydrate from below the skin surface, rather than just moisturising from the top layers of the skin. It has saved my skin from the most horrendous conditions (yes this sounds dramatic, but you'd be surprised what the dry conditions in an aircraft combined with cold weather and hotel room heating can do to your skin). The third serum is a newer addition to my routine and a product I bought to replace my Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Corrector. The La Roche-Posay Intensive Dark Spot Correcting Serum is meant to help reduce pigmentation and dark spots on the skin. While I have noticed positive results in my skin texture and the pigmentation of my sun spots, I admit that I prefer the texture of the Clinique Corrector and will be switching back to that once this product is finished.  All three of these serums can be found at Priceline and I'd recommend stocking up during the 40% sale. 

I've found French-skincare to work really well with my skin as it is often targeted towards sensitive skin. Further it usually does not contain any unnecessary ingredients or fragrance. The Bioderma Sensibio range is formulated for sensitive and intolerant skin, as it is fragrance free and hypoallergenic. I've used the Bioderma Sensibio Light Soothing Cream as my daily moisturiser for a few months now and I highly recommend it as a morning moisturiser. It hydrates well but is a light texture which sinks into your skin quickly. It leaves your skin really smooth and prepped for makeup. The only downside to this product is that I can only find it in a small 40ml tub, and need to repurchase a new one monthly. I am onto my third tube already! Also from the Sensibio range is the Bioderma Soothing Mask*. This mask has a similar consistency to a moisturiser but a little thicker. This is the perfect product if my skin is red and inflamed, I lather my skin with a thick layer of this mask and leave it overnight (although the instructions say to leave it on for 10 minutes). I highly recommend this range for any readers with sensitive and reactive skin. Sticking to the French-skincare, Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm* is a beauty blogger cult product. It smells amazing with notes of orange and honey, hydrates really well and leaves a matte finish on the lip. Yes it is pricey for a lip balm, but the pot contains so much product it will last you for ages and the matte finish that it gives is really unique. 

A second hydrating mask that I love is the Origins GinZing Drink Up Intensive Mask. This is an overnight, replenishing mask which provides serious hydration. This is THE nicest smelling skincare product I own, I think it might be the Apricot Kernel Oil & Mango butters that scent it. Just head into Mecca to smell it and you will be hooked! This product works really well to rehydrate 'rough' feeling skin due to dehydration. It ensures you wake up with a glow. 
There is a misconception that eye cream is only needed for older skin. Eye creams, however, are not only formulated for anti-ageing. In my twenties, I use the Origins GinZing Eye Cream everyday! It is a brightening and de-puffing eye cream that feels really cool on the eyes and actually helps to make your eyes feel less tired. It is a pink tone and has a sheen to brighten the under eye area. Origins is a brand I am really wanting to try more products from, as I've absolutely loved the effect of all the products I have tried. Please leave me any recommendations in the comments! 

The final two products are both facial mists, which are a great way to refresh and hydrate your skin during the day. The Uriage Thermal Wateris a great product to soothe and refresh skin as it has no fragrance. It works great on inflamed or red skin; a staple for me after/during a workout. The Body Shop Vitamin E Face Mist is also a great product as the rosy scent leaves you feeling refreshed (I use this face mist on non-makeup days).
Swatches; Left - Origins GinZing Eye Cream (luminescent) / Right - Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm (matte finish)

For convenience I have provided direct links to where the products can be purchased, which you can access by clicking the underlined product names above. Make sure to check back next Sunday for the final part of this skincare series!
*Products that I have received as a PR sample. All opinions remain unaltered and I am not obliged to review these products.