Skincare

Beauty Resolution for 2014 – GET BETTER SLEEP

Simple Beauty Sleep Aids
It’s 11.06pm at the time of this writing and I will hopefully fall asleep into the wonderful and exciting land of nod. I think sleep time is the best part of my day because it’s such a difficult process for me to even get into. The heart always loves what is hardest, or something along those lines.

My beauty resolution for 2014 is to get consistent, better sleep that will help me function and contribute to society as a whole, be it doing beauty things or traditional job things or raising a family or navigating through the web that is life…. You need good quality sleep in order to get your day done.

A mask is essential if you are sensitive to light. And lip balm can guard the dry nasties from crumbling the lush lips of yours over night.

You can use a good moisturiser under the eye, while you have your sleep mask on, of course, and this will only serve to help and not hinder, the cause of getting a good nights sleep (at least you will LOOK like you did at some point).

Any other tips you might want to share about getting a good nights sleep?

Bella Box September 2013 – First Impressions

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L to R: Bioderma Purifying Foaming Gel, Toni & Guy Creative Texturising Glue, La Clinica Rebalancing Vitamin A Eye Cream La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel for Oily Sensitive Skin, L’Oreal Base Magique Transforming Smoothing Primer & Model Co Cheek + Lip Tint in Rosy Red

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I was sent a sample Bella Box after someone contacted me via Makeupalley for my consideration. I have never subscribed to any sort of beauty / cosmetics box, but I have heard of Bella Box and others that cater for the Australian market and also the American / International equivalents. The idea of paying a fixed fee ($15.00 + free shipping for Bella Box) per month to try free beauty products is a good one, but the risk is you might get a box full of products that may not be interesting, although it seems that they cater the products in the box to your skin type (at least they seemed to match my makeupalley skin type to products they included in this sample box which was nice).

In this box I received 4 skin care samples, 1 makeup sample and 1 hair sample. The hair sample, Tony & Guy’s Texturising Glue, was the biggest sample at a whopping 100mL or 3.56 Oz, which is a mega sized sample! The smallest sample was the L’Oreal Base Magique primer, at 5mL. In total there were 6 samples included in this box, with the majority being skin care samples.

Unfortunately, I already have a very set skin care routine, so the skin care samples didn’t really excite me, and they make up the majority of the samples given. I have begun to sample the La Roche Posay cleanser and vitamin A Eye cream but haven’t yet formed an opinion on them, I also quickly tried the Model Co Cheek + Lips product and don’t like it very much, but I’ll give it a bit more time.

I’ll follow up with a meatier review post once I’ve given all the products a good try. Overall I think it’s a good concept but you do have to play a bit of a beauty sample lottery given the samples you receive may not be exactly what you expect or want. I think it’s a good range of different brands, both international and local, and the sample sizes are decent, especially if you consistently get a large sample like the texturising glue that was included in this box. If you play with beauty, hair and makeup a LOT and like to switch your products around and try out lots of different things, this could be a solution for your beauty cravings, but personally I already have a set skin care routine and don’t experiment with haircare that much. I would only be interested in subscribing to a makeup-only beauty box if there was one that catered to the Australian market, as cosmetics are the products I like to play around and switch up the most.

Have you tried Bella Box or any other beauty boxes? What are your thoughts / impressions on subscription based  sample boxes?

Collective Empties

Here are my collective hair, beauty, skin care and makeup empties I’ve been hoarding for the last few months – I am relieved I can now all put the containers in recycling. Yay!
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I have a few makeup empties, and as any beauty junkie knows, makeup can be hard to get through on a regular basis even if you are a regular user. I burn through mascaras pretty quickly and lip products slower, but was still able to get through my well-loved Revlon Lip Butter in Pink Truffle.

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L to R: Revlon Lip Butter in Pink Truffle, Maybelline the Falsies Volume Express in waterproof, Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara and Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara. 

My face skin care empties include Neutrogena’s Fresh Foaming cleanser and Paula’s choice toner and moisturiser from her RESIST line. I will rotate between Neutrogena’s cleanser and a Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing cleanser, whichever I have on hand as sometimes I can’t conveniently get my paws on Paula’s choice products straight after I’ve run out of them, and I tend not to buy backups because I’m afraid they’ll spoil before I can get to them. I prefer the RESIST toner and moisturiser over Paula’s other offerings because I find them to effectively moisturise and tone without causing breakouts. Her RESIST line is really remarkable, no matter what age you are and the packaging ensures that the product stays active and effective. Image
L to R: Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser, Paula’s Choice RESIST Advanced Replenishing Toner and  Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator

Next are a couple of body wash empties, one from MOR and one from Aveeno. I didn’t find the MOR one incredibly exciting although it had an amazing scent, the pump was horrendous so I replaced it with a pump from a different container which worked better to dispense more product more evenly. The original pump was cheap and crappy and dispensed very little product. The Italian Blood Orange scent was subtle and nice, but I don’t think I’ll repurchase the body wash again. I got in on sale which is why I tried it (and I do like MOR products). The Aveeno body wash is wonderful and I wish I could get it in a bigger size (I’m sure they sell it somewhere?). So moisturising and luxurious yet not obscenely scented (only very slight if any?). It would be my go-to body wash if I could get it in a larger size. Image
L to R: Italian Blood Orange Hand and Body Wash by MOR, Aveeno Daily Moisturising body wash

I clearly have a love affair with Garnier’s Clean Sensitive 2 in 1 Gentle Make-up Remover as demonstrated below 🙂 I love the stuff! It’s affordable and effective and comes in a decent size. I would LOVE if it came in an even bigger size but it works pretty well. It is one of the mix-em-up makeup removers and works very well to take off my waterproof eyemakeup. I tried Maybelline’s Total Clean City Rescue makeup remover which worked quite well too, but just not *as* well as Garnier’s. I tried it because it was on special and I was curious as to how effective it was. It works well but the bottle is too small and overpriced for what you get… but it *does* work.Image
L to R: Garnier Clean Sensitive 2 in 1 Gentle Make-Up Remover (x3!) and Maybelline City Rescue Total Clean Makeup Remover

Finally my haircare empties include the ever famous and well-loved Batiste dry shampoo, a ‘nasties free’ shampoo by giovanni, Dove’s intense repair conditioner and another ‘nasties free’ shampoo by Unite Eurotherapy. By ‘Nasties Free’ I mean, contains no sulphates etc. That doesn’t really bother me too much philosophically and on a practical level I don’t really find much of a difference… I actually feel like the ones that lack the ingredients feel hardly different to the ones with the ingredients that people dislike.  I will forever repurchase the Batiste dry shampoo and I love the Dove conditioner, but the other two are take it or leave it for me and I probably won’t repurchase because they were both pricey and offered nothing special for my hair.Image
L to R: Batiste dry shampoo in Tropical, Giovanni Smooth as Silk Deep Moisture Shampoo, Dove Intense Repair shampoo, Unite Eurotherapy Smoothing Shampoo

So there you have it, a whole bunch of collective empties that I can now retire to the recycling bin! What were your latest empties? Do you like reading about empties? I love seeing what people have hoarded and their mini reviews on those products. A great way of finding out what people really think of their products 🙂

Til next time!

Collective empties / products I’ve used up

Why hello there! Here is Millie presenting some collective empties I’ve hoarded collected over the last few months:Image

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L to R: Palmolive Naturals Shower Milk in Milk & Honey, The Body Shop Camomile Waterproof Eye Make-up Remover, The Body Shop Banana Shampoo, Garnier Clean Sensitive 2 in 1 Gentle Make-Up Remover, The Body Shop Earth Lovers Watermelon & Eucalyptus Body Wash, Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser, Garnier Clean Sensitive Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover, Colgate Plax Gentle Care Mouthwash and Colgate Total Toothpaste (front). 

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Palmolive Naturals Shower Milk in Milk & Honey

This is a really nice body wash, very creamy, moisturising and lightly scented (milk and honey, as described – but not in a sickly way) and comes in the convenient mega size of 1L which does last a while. Unfortunately I knocked this over in the shower and the pump broke off, which made it completely inconvenient (well, impossible) to use without it, so I just transferred product into a different container with a pump and chipped through it all until it was empty. Would repurchase.

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The Body Shop Camomile Waterproof Eye Make-up Remover

I bought this product with high expectations, and on a practical note, it works well; it takes off makeup fairly quickly and doesn’t leave a greasy or sticky texture behind. However, it does sting my eyes like a proverbial beeeeoottchhh! I’m pretty disappointed by that as I thought the Camomile aspect would actually be somewhat soothing, but knowing nothing about that particular ingredient (other than the promise of natural ingredients always sucks us into thinking we’re doing something good for ourselves, which isn’t always the case), I was completely surprised at the stinging aspect. It takes of makeup, doesn’t leave any residue yet moderately stings my eyes, which is a good enough reason to not repurchase this product.

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The Body Shop Banana Shampoo

Saw this bouncing around on YouTube beauty videos being raved about and I do like bananas, so I thought I’d give this product a go when it came on sale (which rarely happens with Body Shop products in Australia). I was surprised to find that it cleansed my thick coarse hair quite well without stripping or drying it, and it also smelled quite nicely of bananas… in a pretty artificial way, but not in a gross way (for me anyway!). It works quite well when alternating with other shampoos, as I find this is the best strategy for my quite oily temperamental scalp. I like the scent and it effectively washes my hair without drying it or weighing it down. It’s on my repurchase list!

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Garnier Clean Sensitive 2 in 1 Gentle Make-Up Remover

Two words: Holy Grail. I think this is a completely underrated waterproof makeup remover that’s suitable for the eyes and it’s a damned shame that it’s not more raved about (in my experience). It is a dual-phase eye makeup remover, which means it has half oily (not actually oil but the same slip factor) half water solution that needs to be mixed in the bottle (shake the bottle) before you apply on a cotton ball or pad and then gently swipe over the areas on your face that need makeup removal. I use this for my eyes only and it has never irritated or stung my eyes, but it does leave a slightly greasy feeling residue, as dual-phase makeup removers tend to do. The residue doesn’t bother me though, because I always wash my face after I’ve taken my eye makeup off first with this product. Such a good product and affordable. Always repurchase!

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The Body Shop Earth Lovers Watermelon & Eucalyptus Body Wash

This was a body wash I was looking forward to because of the promised scent (watermelon and eucalyptus – what’s not to love?) and the eco-friendly aspect behind it. It was disappointing at the very least. It’s a very thin liquid, basically too watery, and the scent was a really strange one… not at all watermelon or eucalyptus, but in my opinion, a custard apple type smell (which isn’t bad, it was just not what was promised). It didn’t lather, didn’t feel that nice to wash with and smelled mediocre. The cleansing aspect of it was fine, but everything else was a bit off. It wasn’t super cheap either, so I won’t repurchase.

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Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser

I ran out of my Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing cleanser one time and couldn’t afford to repurchase, so I had to get an affordable and good cleanser to replace it. I went to beautypedia.com (Paula Begoun’s baby – she runs Paula’s Choice) and found she had rated it well. I figured since I’d been using Paula’s cleanser for so long, that this would be similar, or at least do the job just as well. I was right about the latter. It does the job well, but by no means feels as nice as the Paula’s Choice cleanser, and there is a bit of a plasticy smell at first, which I guess I’ve now gotten used to as I don’t notice it much at all. The texture of the product is not as nice but the cleansing power seems to be the same. My biggest gripe with this cleanser is, that for the first month of using it, it made my feel skin really tight straight after washing with it. I would then proceed with my normal toner and moisturiser routine and this would minimise the tightness, and it only happened for about a month or so, but it was noticeable. Given that the tight feeling went away and that this product cleansed just as well as the Paula’s Choice one, I stuck to it and have been picking it up when it goes on sale here and there, so I’ve had no need to repurchase the Paula’s Choice one since I’ve always had this one ‘in stock’ so to speak. I will repurchase this but I’m not completely abandoning the Paula’s choice cleansers either; this Neutrogena cleanser is simply more convenient to purchase and more affordable at this time.

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Garnier Clean Sensitive Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover

This eye makeup remover, unfortunately, doesn’t have the same credentials as the previous Garnier make-up remover I described earlier in this post. It’s a creamy lotion essentially, that works to take off makeup for face and eyes, and it does it effectively, but just not as well as the 2-in-1 makeup remover. This lotion doesn’t dissolve makeup as effectively or as quickly and I find it has a mild tingling affect to my eyes if the product does get in there. It’s not as bad as The Body Shop one, but it’s still present. The fact that I’ve found my HG makeup remover in the 2-in-1 means I’ll never need to repurchase this.

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Colgate Plax Gentle Care Mouthwash

A mouthwash is a mouthwash is a mouthwash… right? Well, I thought so until my Dentist told me to avoid alcohol based mouth washes as they damage the gums (allegedly). I heeded his advice (I didn’t like my Listerine mouthwash anyway) and tried a non-alcohol based mouthwash. This one is fine, milder than listerine in that it doesn’t have the same sting, not flavoured grossly and washes my mouth out. I don’t have much to say other than that! It’s effective and apparently doing my gums a favour. Will repurchase when I need to.

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Colgate Total Toothpaste

It’s minty, affordable, cleans my teeth and gums well and leaves me feeling fresh and shiny in the morning, or ready to go to bed in the evening. Same as the mouthwash, you’d think all toothpastes are created equal, but I’ve tried a few that have tasted too sweet, not sweet enough, not minty enough, way too minty or just plain yuck. I have no negative things to say about this toothpaste, and the flip up cap makes it cleaner to put away. Will repurchase.

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Soooooooo that’s the end of my small, yet kind of lengthy empties / products I’ve used up. There are no makeup items included in this empties post because as most of us know, it’s usually a while before our makeup stashes get whittled down (if anything they grow, leaving us with more products to use and play with!). I have a couple of lip butters that will soon join  my box of empties, but for now I can finally throw this bunch into the recycling bin where it belongs… and start hoarding my new pile of trash! 😀

Until next time 🙂