Friday, 18 July 2014

NUMBER 1 IN NAIL POLISH: KESTER BLACK

After applying my first coat of Kester Black 'Moss' Nail Polish, I'm hooked. I pretty much never have to buy any other nail polish brand ever again. No only does this polish not test on animals, and is free of most nasties found in other nail polishes (ticks my ethical product box), the actual product is fantastic! I make concessions for ethically made/natural and organic products. With Kester Black, I don't have to. The polish goes on smooth and evenly. The colour is dense and no streaky and the best bit, after two coats, it kinda looks like I just had shellac. Which I love!!!

The colours in the range are on the money and although they don't have a massive range, say like OPI, there is not a colour I'd want for that they don't have. Each bottle of polish is $20, but 100% worth it.

Check out the website www.kesterblack.com and see the range for yourself. I'm loving Snapdragon, which is a great substitute to Chanel's 'Rouge Noir' which has been pretty much the only nail polish I wore for a few years from 2006 - 2009. I also love 'Black Rose', 'Milky Way' and 'Nude'. DIVINE!!!!


Above image from missrenaissance.com


Kester Black polish in 'Moss'. My current colour. LOVE!


Thursday, 10 July 2014

BIN OR BUY?



I'm really excited to announce that I've found a hair conditioner that is AH-MAZING and contains NO silicones, NO harsh alcohols, NO nasty sulphates and for my dry hair, the results are fab. I've just jumped on this no silicone bandwagon and since doing research I've realised that silicone is in almost EVERYTHING. I have gone through all my hair product and thrown out anything I use on myself that contains any of the "bad" ingredients I mentioned above. I have a feeling these ingredients could be responsible for the troubling hair cycle I have been in lately. I use so many expensive treatments, don't shampoo all the time and wash hair about once a week, but my hair has been frizzy when dry and also my scalp gets irritated after about three days. Since discovering that silicone may be the cause, i've done a few clarifying washes with apple cider vinegar and been only using this Eco Store Conditioner for dry hair and my hair already feels a million times better. Best part is it's $9.95 from the supermarket. 

VERDICT: Leaves hair super silky and soft. For curly haired gals, curls are way more defined. It adds a lot of moisture and shine but does not weigh hair down. Need to use a fair bit in my experience. At least a golf ball size, which means you may get about 6 - 10 washes with it if you are heavy handed like me. Worth it for the money though. Stick with using it for at least four weeks to really start seeing results. If you have straight hair or fine hair there are other varieties in the range. Also the shampoo is fantastic, although I only use every second or third wash. 

BUY IT!!!! 

Sunday, 6 July 2014

BIN OR BUY?

So a lot of product comes my way which means I'm forever trying things and writing on them. I don't ever like to tear down a product in my reviews but I also know what it's like to buy something for $30 or more and get home and find out that you don't like it. I wanted to put together a quick and easy guide to buying product in a simple, 'love it' or 'leave it' format. No long winded descriptions, just simply my opinion on whether it's worth your money or not and a brief why.

I hope you find this helpful and I hope it spares you from wasting money on products that just don't cut it. When marketing is so powerful and we are led to believe that you need the latest and greatest product, sometimes it's hard to know what you need versus what your told you need. I hope this helps.

PRODUCT: COSMEDIX Eye Genius eye cream.
COST: RRP $81.40

VERDICT: I was really excited to try this eye brightening eye cream as I can sometimes suffer from darkness under the eyes and also I wanted to target the fine lines in my delicate under eye area. This product DOES brighten under eye with light reflecting particles, but is only really affective under makeup as I found that the whiteness produced by those particles made my under eye look greyish when placed just on skin. This does fade though.
As for softening fine lines, it does do work like any cream when you apply it and immediately notice an injection of moisture and softening of your fine lines. However, I found it wasn't enough hydration for my skin and after a while fine lines return as they were before you put the cream on. I don't think this product improved the condition of the under eye and lines over a period of usage, as it says it will. This product isn't worth the money, there are better out there, including from the Cosmedix brand.

BIN IT!

WHAT'S HOT IN HAIR THIS SEASON


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Hair trends fade in and out like the seasons, and now Winter is here, we wonder what to do with our locks? Well who better to ask than renown hair stylist Greg Conrad from Conrad Mace Salon.
When I spoke to Greg, I wanted to know what this season’s hair is all about. What styles should we have this winter, and more importantly, what should not be repeated from last season? So if you are in a hair limbo, or just not sure whether to bust out the hair chalk, then relax, because all your questions will be answered by our hair expert.
According to Greg, styles are going back to the “just been to the salon look” and DIY hair is gone. Styles and colour must look polished, not “tizzy” and hair, regardless of length is healthy and shiny. So ladies, that means your pastel dream hair is out!! So put down the bleach. Now, just because the DIY hair trend isn’t carrying over to this season, doesn’t you have to spend hundreds at the hairdressers or get a wash and blow-wave every week. It just means keeping things in check. In fact, doing a semi at home every few weeks or throwing a few hot rollers in your hair is perfectly fine. Whatever works for you and your budget, as long as hair is kept simple, relaxed and fuss free.
Colour, which has had major focus over the past few years with all sorts of pastels and neons gracing the runway, (not to mention the infamous balayage trend) is taking a back seat.  According to Greg, we are moving back toward one solid colour. “Stripey” or heavy over colouring is a thing of the past. You want to take your hair back to one earthy tone. Greg recommends honey tones, lush browns and coppers. Tones which make hair look healthier and richer.
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As far as styles go, Greg says fashion is nodding toward more classic do’s. We are talking waves in long hair, rather than curls. Water waves and vintage “Hollywood” styles, and of course you can’t go past the classic ‘bob’. Fringes are in, as is anything that is going to soften the face. The look is still urban and interesting, but not as harsh as the angular styles and hard edged colouring of last year.
As far as care goes, Greg says, invest in a wide barrelled curling iron to get the luscious loose waves he speaks of. Otherwise your GHD will do the trick, just brush through hair once you have curled the whole head. If you struggle with the back of your head, Greg suggests to “throw in a few rollers” at the back and let them cool. Make sure curls are not tight or springy but fall loosely.
To get hair into optimal health, Greg insists you can’t skip a deep moisturising treatment at least once a week. When styling is finished, put a dab of styling gloss, or coconut oil into palms and rub hands together and work lightly over the curls to add shine.
Try these products.
conrad mace
Goldwell Kerasilk Instant Silk Fluid – $21
A gorgeous leave-in for silky shiny healthy hair.
Goldwell Rich Repair 60 Second Treatment – $21
A quick deep moisturising treatment to get hair looking its best.
KMS California Free Shape 2-in-1 Styling + Finishing Spray – $28
Perfect hair spray to shape and hold curls without stiffness. Heat activated and reduces heat damage and breakage.
Cloud Nine Waving Wand – $30
The ultimate styling tool.
Thanks to Greg Conrad from Conrad Mace Salon, 299 Toorak Road, South Yarra ph. (03) 9827 8685www.conradmace.com.au 
For more information on Goldwell visit www.goldwell.com.au, KMS California www.kmscalifornia.com/en-au/default.aspx and Cloud Nine au.cloudninehair.com/
Images care of Conrad Mace, Goldwell, KMS California and Cloud Nine.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Colore Science: Not All Minerals Created Equal


I really love being surprised, and the best kind of surprises come in the form of a makeup or beauty product that is really, really good. This week was one of those occasions. I tried Colorescience Mineral Makeup range for the first time and to my surprise, it was not what I was expecting at all. It was better!!
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As a makeup artist, you are expected to be on the forefront of all the makeup trends and the latest products. There is no doubt that mineral makeup has taken the world by storm the past couple of years, and it seems as though this growing trend is here to stay as a perfectly valid makeup alternative.
I’m going to be honest and let you know that as far as mineral makeups go, I’m really not that into them. It’s not because I don’t approve of it. I think  the concept of mineral makeup is fantastic. I’ve used high quality mineral makeup before on myself and clients and I’ve even recommended it (the good ones) to friends who have been having skin troubles, or perhaps don’t need a full coverage makeup, but want something “good” for their skin. All in all, my experience has left me a little underwhelmed.
There is not a question about whether mineral makeup has a place in the makeup world. It does, and it’s a very special one. My reasoning for ignoring the vast majority of “mineral” makeups out there, is that not all mineral makeups are what they claim to be, and are, in-fact, capitalising on a trend with an inadequate product, that is misleading to the consumer. I don’t agree with this.
Minerals are touted as being “good for the skin”. If a company knows this is the perception held by a wide number of people, then to utilise this mindframe and to sell a poor quality product that is no different from a regular chemical based setting powder, is dishonest. Not only that, companies can get away with it through technicalities, similar to that of the food industry; claiming something to be “natural” when in-fact it may only contain one naturally produced ingredient and a whole bunch of chemically derived ones.  Companies also rely on the fact that the consumer is not a scientist, and probably doesn’t have time to research everything on the ingredients list. That’s why where mineral makeup was concerned, apart from a few brands, I viewed the whole thing as a bit of a hoax. Rest assured though, recently, through my introduction to Colore Science, my interest in mineral makeup has been piqued and I truly have been blown away. Colorescience brings to you an all mineral makeup range, that is of the highest quality, does it’s job, and you can feel confident thatColorescience has your skin’s wellbeing at the forefront of its concern.
The Colorescience range is free from harsh chemicals, dyes, talc, alcohol, mineral oil and fragrance. Products utilise peptides, liquid crystals, pearl powder, hyaluronic and salicylic acid to help treat skin concerns and manage skin health. Not only this, but Colorescience makeup truly creates an amazing flawless looking base with great buildable coverage. Which is really what anyone wants out of a makeup. It makes you wonder why you would use any other product.
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The range consists of four core products, dubbed the ‘Core 4′. First is the primer (rrp. $72.60). The primer glides on smoothly, instantly brightening and smoothing the texture of your skin, as a primer should. The scent is very clean, and herbal and you can choose between the brightening, calming, bronzing and balancing; depending on your skins needs. All primers contain SPF 20.
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Secondly is your mineral foundation. The range consists of Loose mineral powder (rrp. $79.20), Pressed powder (rrp. $79.20) , Sheer creme foundation (rrp $72.60) or loose powder in a nifty, retractable brush. For those who prefer liquid, this range has one (which is quite rate!) and for those who love powder there is two to choose from. I have always worn liquid or creme foundations on myself and only used powder for setting. I feel my skin is too dry and I’ve started to develop some fine lines under the eye, so a pressed powder foundation is a complete “no no” for me. On application, I couldn’t believe how lightly and smoothly the foundation glided on. It gave me excellent coverage without looking too heavy. I could build over blemishes and under the eye where needed and was super impressed with how my skin looked like I was barely wearing makeup at all!
mistcoloreAfter foundation, this uniqueSetting Mist (rrp. $57.20) is used to keep foundation in place all day. It’s hydrating properties give makeup an illuminated, youthful look by activating the minerals in the foundation.Setting Mistcomes in hydrating, calming or ‘Sunforgettable’ (SPF).colorescience-mineral-powder-sun-protection-spf30
Step four, is optional, but encouraged. It’s sunscreen for your face called  Sunforgetable (rrp. $79.20). The mineral sunscreens come in an amazing retractable brush which is perfect for your makeup bag. The sunscreen is SPF 50+ and is an incredibly fine dust that you can brush lightly over the face to keep skin well protected. This products is fabulous not only for makeup days, but keep on hand for no makeup days too.
Colorescience is beating most other mineral makeup ranges with its inclusion of cremes and liquids. It has also branched out into eye and lip colour, treatments to correct and conceal, as well as anti-ageing. After such a positive experience with my ‘Core 4′ products I’m slowly going to work my way through the rest of the range and i’m sure I will be equally impressed by each and every product. If you love a surprise as much as me, I recommend giving the ‘Core 4′ a try for yourself.
For Colorescience stockists, call 1800 648 851.
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Sunday, 22 June 2014

SAVE YOUR WINTER SKIN!!



Quick! It’s time to get your Winter skin care in order. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling the weather change already. My lips are dry, my skin looks dull, meanwhile I have a breakout in my chin area from wrapping my scarf around half my face, and I’m still using the products I bought three months ago when everything was sunny and warm. Now it’s time for me to replace what I’ve been using and make room for all my new Winter goodies.
If you are one of those people that walk around with tight dry skin and chapped lips and brave it thinking it’s all part and parcel of cold weather, then you deserve a slap on the wrist. You are neglecting your skin! In the cooler months, your skin has completely different needs than in the warmer months. For instance, when it’s hot, I’m much more focused on keeping skin clean and keeping oil at bay. Exfoliation is huge for me to prevent clogged pores and sun protection in your products is a must! In winter, we tend to be drier and our skin is more dehydrated, so oil is not a problem as much. Instead we are looking for heavier creams and hydration, hydration, hydration!
Now not all of us have the money to replace all our products halfway though the year, so at first, try replacing one or two items. Products typically last only a few months anyway, so when your moisturiser or cleanser runs out (as they will) replace it with one more suited to your skin in cold weather. If you find that your skin care is fine as it is, by all means, continue. It’s really about paying attention to what your skin needs and making sure you have the products to keep it looking good.
If you are feeling a little stumped then here’s a skincare guide that can point you into the right direction.

Peter Thomas Roth. Gentle Foaming Cleanser $39.95
peter-thomas-roth-gentle-foaming-cleanser
I’m a big fan of the Peter Thomas Roth products, for one, they are extremely effective and two, they are sold at a great price point. This cleanser is foaming, which is fab for those of you who really need a lather to feel cleansed, but the formulation is gentle enough not to strip already dehydrated skin. This cleanser uses wheat amino acids to help leave skin hydrated, whilst it also contains antioxidants from vitamins A, C and E, which we all know is very important to protect skin and fight ageing.
Peter Thomas Roth is available at Mecca Cosmetica www.meccacosmetica.com.au
deep_thermal_cleanser
Societe Clinical Skincare. Deep Thermal Cleanser $79.20
Wow what a product! Consider this deep cleansing treatment as your Winter miracle. The cleanser’s clay formulation self-heats which helps to go deep into removing impurities and exfoliating away all your yucky dead skin. Could you imagine anything better than getting home from the cold whacking a self warming clay on your face? AND it effectively keeps your skin looking soft and clear.
Even though skin is not producing as much oil in Winter, exfoliating is still extremely important in keeping skin looking youthful and clear of breakouts. We just need to be a little more gentle. This Deep Thermal Cleanser, is the perfect way to achieve that. This cleanser is best used once or twice a week depending on skin, so the infrequency of use is gentler than exfoliating daily. Regular use of this product and you will see your skin become brighter, less congested and the overall texture and tone of skin will be improved!
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Elemental Herbology. Cell Plumping Facial Hydrator $92.00
This rich hydrating cream contains large dose of antioxidants, helps reactivate collagen production in the skin and overall, helps hydrate and plump up skin, restoring a natural radiance to your complexion. This skin cream is perfect for those with sensitive or mature skin as well. It also contains SPF 8 which is extremely important. Just because it isn’t summer, doesn’t mean that we cut sunscreen. Infact, overcast and cloudy days can enhance the severity of UV rays on the skin. You see, it’s not an urban myth!
This product is perfect for the colder seasons, steer clear if you are prone to oily or combination skin even in winter as this product will be far too heavy.
Elemental Herbology is available at Mecca Cosmetica www.meccacosmetica.com.au


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Cosmedix. Eye Genuis Brilliant Eye Complex. $81.40
Now don’t forget your under-eye! It’s the most sensitive and delicate of all the skin on our body, therefore it must receive some special T.L.C in winter time. What’s special about this eye-cream is it not only protects the delicate skin under the eye, it utilises a whole host of powerful ingredients to hydrate, lessen signs of ageing and fine lines, firms, calms and reduces puffiness and dark circles. This is why the name Eye Genius is apt. Another reason this is my eye treatment of choice is the light-reflecting ingredient mica, gives the under eye area an instant boost of brightness.


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Ella Bache. Detox Aromatique Extra-matifying cream $69
This detoxifying and matifying moisturiser helps to hydrates, minimises pores, smoothes skin and creates a flawless, silky finish. The great thing about this moisturiser is that the active ingredients are grapefruit seed extract, green zinc and lentil extract and work naturally to regulate sebaceous gland activity meaning your skin will always be looked after if the climate is too cool or dry. The micro pearls help to absorb excess sebum.
Ella Bache is available at www.ellabache.com.au or leading Ella Bache stockists.
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Elemental Herbology. Wind and Cold Therapy $35.00
So we’ve talked skin on your face but let’s not forget hands and other sensitive areas of the body that get particularly damaged by the cold weather, such as lips, or elbows or anywhere where skin can become dry, cracked or inflamed. Not only does this cream nourish and help heal overexposed skin. It also creates a protective barrier from the elements. Now I’m not meaning a snowstorm trekking to Mt Everest base camp, I mean your every day, walk to work/public transport/turning heaters on/dehydrated skin aliments. This rich cream is a godsend, and a little goes a long way.
Elemental Herbology is available at Mecca Cosmetica www.meccacosmetica.com.au

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REN. Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil $66.00
The scent of the Moroccan Rose Oil is to die for! I use the body wash and moisturiser at home religiously. However, in the colder weather we are more inclined to take warmer showers or baths and stay in there for longer. A little tip that I have learned a long the way is to use a body oil whilst bathing so you are putting back oils into your skin the hot water takes out. It is also a really effective way to moisturise the whole body without having to lift a finger or stand out naked in the cold whilst trying to rub cream in places you cant reach. The water disperses the oil all over your skin for you and if you’re like me and want a shower hotter than most can handle, then you need to be putting back into your skin.
REN is available at Mecca Cosmetica www.meccacosmetica.com.au

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