15 June, 2016

Natio Bloom Eyeshadow Palette (swatches and review)

Well, hello yet again!

 I'm back from my unannounced blogging holiday and *hangs head* this post was sitting in rough draft form for 2 long months. I was toying with what to do but as I'd promised it on Instagram all that time ago I decided to honour that promise so I've finished it and here it is...

My eye shadow palettes have been multiplying like mushrooms in my collection lately - let's face it, isn't every brand bringing out new palettes? Anyway, I wasn't planning on buying any more leading up to my recent trip to Japan.  Yes, I went there again but that's not what this post is about.  This post is about my palette addiction apparently.  Regardless of my good intentions of restraint when I saw the new limited edition Bloom palette from Australian brand Natio's Naturally You collection I got a little irrationally excited, especially because I had enough loyalty points saved up at my local drugstore to score it for free...

Had I bought it, it would have cost me all of $19.95 which is still extremely affordable for a 12-pan palette of eye shadows...and the Bloom palette is full of dusty rose shades that remind me of a palette - which shall remain nameless - which is just a little more expensive, if you know what I'm talking about? Yes I'm winking at Urban Decay right now! So I was easily able to justify this little "gift" to myself without too much agonizing at all.

Okay, so for a 20 dollar-ish palette this is a very pretty and sturdily packaged affair, in a clear but quite weighty plastic case that lets you see all the shades at a glance.  The double-ended applicator included in the palette is something that I'd only use in case of an emergency and there's no mirror - but it's just under $20 so I'd forgive those little things because it's ultimately all about the shadow itself for me.

Onto the swatches in a little bit where you'll see that the pigmentation varies according to the depth of the shades.  The lighter shades are the sheerest on the skin but the intensity of pigment builds up as the shades get to the deeper, plummier end of the palette.  I found there to be a good mix of mattes and shimmers throughout, with a single sparkly shade - a light pink which turned out to be my least favourite.  I tried using it as an eye shadow topper but it resulted in quite a bit of sparkly fallout on the tops of my cheeks.

Other than that one pesky shade, overall I've been enjoying this palette.  The shimmery shades have just enough shimmer to impart a bit of glow to the lids but aren't OTT crazy so they're all daytime appropriate.  The shadows all blend out well, compliment each other, and the range is broad enough to do everything from a pink pastel lid to a deep plum smokey eye.  Wear time is pretty good too as they last all day on my eyes without fading.

The shadows are swatched on the back of my hand:

Anyway I apologise for the extreme lateness of this review but if you're interested I have seen the Natio Bloom palette on sale for $14.96 at the Myer website here. Yes, you can still snap this up if you're quick!

Talc, Mica, Magnesium Stearate, Dimethicone, 2-Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Polyisobutene, Synthetic Wax, Phenoxyethanol / Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylic / Capric Triglyceride, Tin Oxide. May contain: CI 77019, CI 77891, CI 77266, CI 77499, CI 77491, CI 77492.

Cruelty Free: Yes 
Vegan: Yes
Certified Organic: Yes

Until next time!

(This product was purchased by me)

11 April, 2016

Kester Black: Sugarplum

I'm really starting to embrace the autumn colour palette now so cue the purple polish.

Sugarplum is from Melbourne-based brand Kester Black who specialize in 5-free, vegan nail polishes in fashion-forward shades so they are right up my alley these days!  Sugarplum is a bright warm-toned purple that reminds me of a berry that fruits on the Lilly Pilly tree (now go Google that if you're interested). Being a warm shade of purple this doesn't drain the life out of my hands so it was very flattering to wear, and the application itself was easy - smooth, no flooding etc. The polish wore well for around 5 days before it started to look a little ragged at the edges. I think that's all you need to know!

All pictures taken in indirect daylight:

Cruelty Free: Yes (Leaping Bunny certified)
Vegan: Yes
Certified Organic: No

Until next time!

(This product was purchased by me.) 

08 April, 2016

Empties! March 2016

Hey there! I'm getting rid of more empty stuff and sharing my thoughts as per usual...

Skin care

Jurlique Purely White Skin Brightening Cleanser (80g/2.8 oz) - I bought this tube Duty-Free on my way to Singapore last year because I'd forgotten to pack a cleanser so decided to splash out on a luxe one. This foaming cleanser did feel quite velvety and luxurious but I didn't notice any significant brightening effect and Jurlique is off my purchase list these days.

SODA & Co Lip Balm (Orange Splash)* CF - These little balm pots are so much fun and I liked the orange/cocoa scent of this one.  I have a cocoa pot to get through and I'll consider getting some more in future once I dwindle my backlog a bit.  The formula is lightweight and melts upon touch with the fingertips so it's like applying melted butter to the lips.

Hand and body care

Bath & BodyWorks Maui Shea & Vitamin E Shower Gel (88ml/3 fl.oz) - These B & BW products were another old vacation purchase tucked away for a rainy day which finally came as I work through my stash of non CF products.  The shower gel lasted quite a while as I didn't need to use much to get a healthy soft lather and I enjoyed the summery floral scent.

Bath & BodyWorks Maui Shea & Vitamin E Body Lotion (88ml/3 fl.oz) - This was a nice consistency for a body lotion as it was easy to rub in yet substantial enough to provide lasting moisture for my skin.

Avon Nail Experts Rose Cuticle Balm (11.5g/0.406 oz) - This cuticle balm has been long discontinued so I won't go on about it.  It did the trick and smelt like - guess what? - roses!

Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Hand Therapy (25g/0.9 oz) -  I enjoyed the summery marine scent of this rich hand cream.

Hair care 

Moroccanoil Clarify Clarifying Shampoo (250ml/8.5 fl.oz) CF - Damn I love this shampoo! Not just because it deep cleanses buildup from my hair but because the scent is AMAZING! Have Moroccanoil thought to bring out a fragrance because if they haven't they need to! I will definitely buy this again.


My progressive tally in my 2016 Makeup Use Up is increasing oh so slowly:

8) Max Factor Masterpiece Glamour Extensions 3-in-1 Volumising Mascara (Black)* - Damn I wish this was a CF product because this has been my favourite mascara in recent times. It volumized and defined my lashes and the reverse cone-shaped brush was perfect for getting right down to the base of the lashes for separation and creating a fan-like effect. Sad. So sad.

9) Tom Ford Concealing Pen (02 Light Medium) - This was so expensive for such a meh product.  Would not repurchase even if I could. 

10) Rimmel Colour Show Off Lipstick (110 Pink Gossip) - This bright pink matte lippy is now discontinued.

I'm done and dusted for another month!

(Products marked * were provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

06 April, 2016

Essence Happy Girls Are Pretty Collection: 06 On The Choco Side of Life

This is a rather nice polish with a rather weird name.

I apologize for taking so long to getting around to wearing On The Choco Side of Life because I know the shelves have been cleared of the Happy Girls Are Pretty Collection.  Oh well, in the off chance you see it somewhere or wanted to track it down - here it is.  Chocolate is a theme that's being embraced this season, with some brands even launching full lip collections and this polish sort of taps into that without being too full on chocolate per se.  I think it's more of a bronze and it leans into neutral territory but that's what I like about it.  I applied two coats here and sealed with top coat.

All pictures taken in indirect daylight:

Cruelty Free: Yes 
Vegan: To be confirmed
Certified Organic: No

Until next time!

(This product was purchased by me.) 

30 March, 2016

Introducing Mia Höytö skincare

Mia Höytö is a line of organic skincare products all the way from Finland that has finally made its way down here to skincare lovers in Australia. I'm therefore pretty excited to be introducing the brand to you as well as sharing mini reviews of some of the products!

To give you a little bit of info about the brand - as I like to do - Mia Höytö Cosmetics was the brainchild of the Mia Höytö, a young Finnish woman, "...whose enthusiasm for organic food grew into an interest in natural cosmetics care."

Mia is a beautician who had difficulties finding products to protect her own delicate skin against the harsh Northern climate so she went ahead and developed her own nurturing and organic skin care line, which was initially launched in 2012 and is Ecocert-Certified.

Mia Höytö has only just launched in Australia and is exclusively available at Natural Supply Co. The lovely ladies very kindly sent me a selection of these quite luxurious skincare products to try so let me tell you a little bit about them...

  • Kaunis Facial Cleansing Gel (30ml or 150ml full size) - The best thing about cleansers is the immediate feedback you get from them and the immediate gratification you get from a good cleanser. This is a great cleanser and my favourite product from the trio I tried here.  It's a clear gel that manages to be refreshing yet gentle at the same time while thoroughly cleansing my skin.  The gel works into a low foam which has this amazingly light and fresh scent - I don't know is it marine? green floral? - that really appeals to my nose.  Most importantly my skin feels clean and not the slightest bit dry or tight afterwards.  Fun fact:  Kaunis means beautiful in Finnish.
  • Lempeä Uni Intense Repair Skin Therapy Multivitamin Oil Serum (30ml full size)  - This serum is very light feeling and easily absorbed and I find a single pump dispenses enough product for one application.  Again it has an amazing delicately natural scent that disappears all too quickly for my liking but I thoroughly enjoy the added sensory stimulation as I rub it into my skin!  The serum is enriched with Vitamins A, B C and E to boost elasticity and brighten the skin, and while it's a little early for me to talk about longer term effects this does immediately make my skin feel a little plumped up and as soft as the proverbial baby's butt. I do love that so I will religiously continue to use it!
  • Unelma Intensive Moisturising Cream (15ml or 50ml full size) - This is a very rich textured cream formulated to rehydrate dry skin.  As my skin is a comfortable combination of normal to slightly oily at the moment I prefer to use it as a night cream and it's perfectly suitable for that too.  It's unscented and is undoubtedly rich as you'll see from the picture below yet it absorbs nicely over an application of serum and leaves no greasy feel on the skin. I just wake up with soft skin in the morning.

And here they are on the back of my hand so you can see the different textures:

Overall I have found these products agree very well with my combination, maturing skin and I appreciate how the range has a minimalist yet luxury look and feel about it too.  If you are looking for new luxury organic skincare to try I'd definitely recommend the Mia Höytö range, especially as some products are available in the handy travel sizes so you can sample before you make the commitment.


Kaunis Facial Cleansing Gel Ingredients:
Aqua (water), Centaurea Cyanus Flower Water (cornflower water), Decyl Glucoside (sugar based cleanser), Xanthan Gum, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (aloevera leaf extract), glycerin, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Parfum, Geraniol, Linalool, d-Limonene.

Lempeä Uni Intense Repair Skin Therapy Multivitamin Oil Serum Ingredients:
Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil, Olea Europaea Fruit Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil, Ribes Nigrum Seed Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract, Vaccinium Vitis-Idaea Seed Oil, Rosa Canina Seed Extract, Tocopherol, Parfum, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool, Citronellol

Unelma Intensive Moisturising Cream Ingredients:
Aqua, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Glycerin, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil, Persea Gratissima Oil, Olea Europaea Fruit Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, Cera Alba, Centaurea Cyanus Flower Water, Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil, Ribes Nigrum Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Avena Sativa Kernel Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sodium Benzoate, Lactic Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Parfum, Citral, Geraniol, Linalool, Citronellol, d-Limonene.


Australian readers can find the full range of Mia Höytö skincare at Natural Supply Co

Cruelty Free: Yes 
Vegan: U/K
Certified Organic: Yes

(Products were provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

26 March, 2016

FABY: Sunglasses and Bikini

We're now well and truly into Autumn but a few weeks ago the weather still felt distinctly summery so I chose a manicure to go with those summer feels...

Sunglasses and Bikini is perfectly named and this blue cream lacquer from FABY reminds me of a cool, deep swimming pool.  Application was trouble-free and done in two coats.  Wear time was pretty good too with no chips appearing until day 4 and removal was nice and clean with no blue-green staining left behind on the nails or cuticles.  I must say that FABY nail lacquers have consistently impressed me and I find their quality comparable to other salon brands like OPI and Essie.

All pictures taken in indirect daylight:

Cruelty Free: Yes (PETA)
Vegan: No
Certified Organic: No

Until next time!

(This product was provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

21 March, 2016

Empties! February 2016

I'm later than usual so here we go...

Skin care

La Clinica Anti Ageing Stem Cell Complex 3 Day Cream (50ml/1.76 fl.oz)* CF - This made my skin feel firmer immediately after applying and I liked the non-greasy matte finish which provided an excellent non-slip base for makeup.

The Body Shop Camomile Waterproof Eye & Lip Make-Up Remover (150ml/5.0 fl.oz) CF - This is now one of my favourite removers as it's as soothing and refreshing as water but it shifts the most stubborn waterproof eye makeup. 

Sukin Micellar Cleansing Water (250ml/8.46 fl.oz) CF/Vegan - I liked this but didn't love it as it felt a bit astringent rather than refreshing on my skin.

NIVEA Vanilla & Macadamia Lip Butter (19ml)* - This used to be one of my favourite thick, emollient (and yummy) lip balms for overnight use but sadly I won't be able to buy any more until it's CF.

Hand and body care

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat (13.3ml/0.45 fl.oz) - Another ex-favourite off my list.  This did a great job of quickly sealing in my manicures but I'm switching back to China Glaze for now.

L'Occitane Karite Rose Shea Butter Hand Cream (30ml/1 oz) - I feel a bit guilty because this was a magazine freebie from earlier this year.  I still have a few more backups lurking around as I used to stockpile this stuff because it's so good *cries*.

Avon Foot Works Cracked Heel Relief Cream (100ml) - I haven't bought this in over a year but I still have 2 tubes left.  I mainly use it in the warmer months to keep my heels silky soft and prevent cracking. No repurchases after that though.

Crabtree & Evelyn Lily Gift Set (Bath & Shower Gel, Body Lotion, Body Cream, Fragranced Soap) - This was a set I received as a Christmas gift over a year ago and it's taken me so long to get through my backlog and use it (along with the soap not shown for obvious reasons).  The quality was typically good as C & E products are but the scent was a standard floral so I didn't hate it or love it. 

Sukin BioNatural Skin Oil (60ml/2.03 fl. oz)* CF/Vegan - This is a really nice body oil and so easy and quick for an after-shower moisturiser to replenish and restore youthful silkiness to the skin.  I can see myself buying more because it lasts ages and is very affordable too.

Rexona Clinical Protection Summer Strength Antiperspirant Deodorant (45ml/48 g)* - It worked very well as an antiperspirant but not so well as a deodorant. The search continues...

Hair care

Schwarzkopf Extra Care BB 11 in 1 Hair Beautifier (100ml)* - I actually really liked this as a detangler and softener for my hair as it did the trick without weighing down my fine hair at all and protected it from any hairdryer-induced frizzies.  Not a bad drugstore hair care product but this was the last of my non-CF hair products.


I'm back counting my progressive tally in my 2016 Makeup Use Up:

5) L'Oreal Miss Manga Mega Volume Mascara (Black)* - Some people don't like the flexible tapered brush but it was my friend once I got the hang of it and the volumising formula was great too for creating big lashes with minimal coats. Unfortunately not CF.

6) Benefit Stay Don't Stray Primer (Light/Medium) - Don't be fooled by the sample sized tube because this primer took months to finish.  It was a great brightening base for eye makeup and anchored it in place but Benefit aren't CF so this won't be on my repurchase list. 

7) Face Of Australia Eye Pencil (Brown) - Face of Australia used to be CCF accredited but sadly are no longer and I can't be sure of their CF status.  The pencil?  It was reasonably creamy and smudgeproof but I have a lot of dark brown backups in my collection. 

Now I'm off to toss out all the trash!

(Products marked * were provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)
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