Thursday, January 31, 2013

Review: Crabtree & Evelyn Avocado, Olive and Basil Hand Therapy

I received this travel-sized Hand Therapy for Christmas from J's sister and I love it. I'm already a fan of C&E hand lotions - so you can imagine I was pretty happy when I unwrapped this one! 

Avocado is well known for being good for your skin when you eat it, and apparently it's good for your skin when you apply it too! Olive oil is also a common ingredient in restorative skincare, so really it's no surprise that avocado + olive oil = ultra moisture. The Basil also gives the lotion a really nice scent, without being overpowering. That being said, I effing love Basil (true fact: even named my bird Basil when I was 11)

As far as the packaging goes, I really love it when companies put hand creams in this little metal tubes. Their durability means I don't have to fear them exploding in my handbag. I also like that as you start using up the cream, you can roll the tube up and save space! This is a small, 25g travel sized one, and it's so cute next to my full sized (100g) LA Source C&E hand cream. 

This hand-cream is really thick - as you can see from it being squeezed out of the tube in the above photo. 

Despite its thickness, it is not at all oily, and rubs in really easily. Exactly what I love in a hand cream. 

What's your favourite hand cream? Do you even use hand cream or am I just an old person trapped in a 20 year old's body?

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Monday, January 28, 2013

My Week in Pictures #22

I was a bit absent this week. Not to make excuses, but the boyfriend had the week off work so we spent some time hanging out together, which was really lovely.

Here's what I got up to this week:


Bought some hot rollers for my hair with the xmas money from J's parents, and have been having a TONNE of fun playing with them. (Thanks B&D if you're reading!!) Also started and finished the entire 'Dead Like Me' TV series. I love me some dark comedy. 

Went for a walk to get some iced coffee. Nom. 

Catching up on some journalling. 


J and I went rock climbing! Seriously, this was so much fun and I don't know why we have never been before. After you get over the initial trust issues, it's so easy to power on up to the top. We were both worn out after about an hour, and apparently that's because we don't use our legs enough. 

Skyped with my mummy. Who took a photo of the affair on her phone instead of just screenshotting it like I did. What a n00b (an insult she takes way too personally...)


J and  I also tried out the burgers at Grill'd. This place is well worth the hype, let me tell you. I also had a Rekordelig slushie - so worth the $8 I paid for it. 


Spent Australia Day at a barbeque with the extended family. Met my brand new baby cousin (she's now 7 months old...but still brand new for me!) Shirley (on the right). She's so well behaved - very alert and playful.   And I got to play with my other younger cousins. On the left we have Spencer. Such a cutie! I wish I could see these guys more often. 

In other exciting news - I got a promotion this week! Had my job interview on Tuesday and found out on the same day that they were willing to train me up for the position. It's still technically not official until I sign my contract in 6 weeks but I'm so, so excited. 

What are you grateful for this week?

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January Lust Have It

This month Lust Have It came in this really beautiful pink storage box. This is obviously their new collectible packaging, and I think it's really nice. I don't think the glue that they used was very strong though, because mine has come apart slightly but overall it's quite nice. 

I was a lot happier with this month's box than I was with Bellabox...but that really wasn't that hard. This has a good mix of make-up, hair care, accessories etc. 

1. Face of Australia Bronzing Loose Powder
20g = $12.95

I received a full sized sample. This bronzing powder is really pigmented and quite shimmery. The info card says it adds "instand radiance and shine" and I can definitely see how that's the case. I haven't had a proper play with it yet, but I'm guessing a light application is really all that is needed. I think I will do a proper review on this one later!

2. Lust Have It Kabuki Brush
RRP = $19.95

I usually don't like receiving products made by the beauty box company - I think it's kind of a cop out. That being said, this brush is such excellent quality I don't mind it too much in this instance. The brushes are synthetic, and really soft. And I know how soft the brushes are isn't really an indicator of anything. The brush bristles aren't too densely packed - in fact, this brush will be perfect for the light dusting of the bronzing powder I also received!

3. Nude by Nature BB Cream
50mL = $19.95

I received a full sized product. In medium. WHICH IS SO EFFING FRUSTRATING BECAUSE I'M SO PALE. This really disappoints me. I have contacted LHI about it, but received no response yet. All good, it's still the long weekend so I'll give them a break for now. 
(ETA: I have received a reply from LHI and included the reply in the comments down below.)

4. GKMBJ Lactic Hydration Shampoo &
GKMBJ Fortifying Honey Creme
280mL = $19.95 each. 

I received  a 30g sample of each. As soon as I opened the plastic shrink wrap on the S&C I could smell the product. I'm really not sure how to describe the scent, but it's not unpleasant. I love the packaging - I think it's really modern, and a great way to provide a sample. However, the bottles only have in tiny writing on the back whether they are the shampoo or the conditioner so I can imagine that being a problem in the shower with sudsy eyes. I have really been getting into honey as a skincare ingredient lately, so I'm definitely interested to try this out on my hair. Neither the info card or the bottles have any outlandish claims: all is said is that the high quality ingredients are for optimal ingredients. Uhh okay. 

5. Amuse Nail Lacquer
18mL = $13.95

I received a full sized product. Not gonna lie - I was disappointed when I first saw this. Bright, neon yellow is SO NOT my thing. But then I started thinking about what I could do with it in terms of nail art and I realised it's not so bad to add a yellow to my collection. The diamantes on the bottle are kinda tacky, but my nail polish sits in a cupboard so that hardly bothers me. 

This box is amazing value, and I'm really happy with it. Although the products were in the same "lower-end" price range as this month's BB, I received full sizes of everything except the shampoo and conditioner, meaning I got a lot more for my money. It's a shame the BB cream isn't in my colour, because if it was, LHI would have received a 5/5 and I would be using every single product in this box. 

What did you receive in this month's LHI? What do you think about the new collectible packaging?

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Organisation Tips: Bathroom Drawers!

Our bathroom has absolutely zero storage in it. So when we moved in, we put in some old desk drawers to go under the sink. Not ideal, but it works for the moment. Or at least until we move.

I didn't really have an organisational system in place, and over time, the top drawer ended up being a dumping ground for everything and anything. Last weekend I decided I was completely over it and cleaned and re-organised.

Our bathroom is really cramped, so the first thing I did was take all the drawers out into my living room so I had some more space to work with. After I snapped the below photo I literally took all the products out. I laid everything on the floor and loosely grouped everything into categories. I'm very much a visual person so with this method I could work out the best way to store everything.

So this is what I was working with. From left to right, is top drawer, middle drawer and bottom drawer.
I decided that these drawers were going to be a place for excess product storage.
Here are the before and afters:



The top drawer was the most convenient for me to throw things in that I use often, so I kept this in mind when deciding what to place in this drawer. I'm at my laziest at night time, when I just want to brush my teeth and jump into bed. I also have a lot of excess 'skincare' product, and so decided to dedicate this drawer accordingly. 


I didn't use drawer dividers for this one as all the products in here are bulky or in their own packaging anyway. I kept my toothbrush on top, closest to the front and the cotton buds in easy reach. Products I reach for less frequently were stored closer to the back. The great thing about these drawers though is that they aren't too deep so I'm not going to forget that I have things and never use them. 



This drawer is a little further out of the way than the top one, so it literally became a dumping ground for things I couldn't be bothered dealing with. Empty packets were thrown in here for later blog posts (I've never even done an empties post in my life), as well as other random bits and bobs. (You never know when you'll need some spare toothbrushes or extra gloves!) Knowing how I currently use this drawer, I decided to base it loosely around the same principle. 


This drawer became the place to store extra make-up and other misc items. Extra waxing strips and razors went in here, as did bottles for bath soak (I don't even have a bath....sigh) I used the packaging from an old Bellabox to keep smaller make-up items in and placed these towards the back. These are items that I don't use often enough to warrant having them in with all my other make up. Poor neglected eye shadows...



This drawer stored exactly what it looks like - extra make up bags and bits and bobs. This drawer is the most inconvenient for me to use, y'know having to bend down and all. So I've now kept all travel related beauty items in here. 

This drawer now not only houses all my travel bags, but also any travel sized containers. This way, when I do need to pack to head off somewhere everything is in this one place. Too easy! 

So far this system is working really well for me. Everything now has a home and I know exactly where to find things. Once things are in this state I'm quite good at putting things back where they belong so this will be an easy system for me to maintain; especially when I'm bleary eyed and ready for bed. 
The most important thing to keep in mind when re-organising a space in your house is how you use the space currently, and what you can do to make it not only more efficient, but easy to use without thinking about it. 

How do you organise your bathroom drawers? Anyone else cursed with absolutely zero space? What are YOUR tips?

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Monday, January 21, 2013

January Bellabox!

The January Bellabox celebrates all things Australian - a theme I can definitely get on board with. I tend to prefer products and companies that are Australian. I guess I feel like I'm going for the "little guy" - in such a globalised economy I realise how difficult it is for Australian companies to truly succeed so if I can do something that helps them get that bit further than sure, I'll help out.

Unfortunately, this box was incredibly disappointing, especially after last month's generous box.

1. Face of Australia Makeup Purifying Cleansing Wipes
25pack = $4.95

I received a full sized product. In fact, this is the exact full-sized product I received in November's Lust Have It. Now I know that's not BB's fault but it's really frustrating getting double-ups. Especially when they're not even a good product. I found these to be poor quality - they hardly budged the make-up I was wearing and I ended up using them to wipe down my make-up vanity table thing. 

2. You, Me and Every Body Cool It Aloe Vera Gel
100mL = $8.95

I received a full size product. This was probably one of the only items I was happy and excited to receive. I was first introduced to this product in September's Bellabox with their skin mousse, and I'm happy to report that this appears to be a much better product. The info card says they've included this for sunburn, but I'm so avid about sun protection that I don't get burnt. Aloe vera is a wonderful product to have, and I'm glad to have received this.


3. Natio Pure Mineral Skin Perfecting BB Cream
50g = $14.95

I received a 5g sample in medium. Natio must have an over-supply of these in medium because every single time I'm in Myer I get passed one of these. So pretty unimpressed.
I'm also very fair, so this is going straight in the bin. What a waste.

4. Swisse Body Wash with Vitamin B3 and Macrobiotic Sea Minerals
250mL = $14.95

I received a 30mL sample. I don't know what "macrobiotic sea minerals" are. But, don't worry too much about that - I'm not a scientist and I know nothing. So I googled it. Google only knows that it's contained in this product. And when I googled "macrobiotic" I got a lot of hits about the "macrobiotic diet". Not what I was looking for. I'm pretty keen to give this a go. It is of a gel consistency, and smells quite "summery". I suck at describing scents though (and identifying them) so I'm not sure if that's at all helpful. Sorry.

5. Mode Nail Polish Rave'N
15mL = $2.45

I received a full sized product. This nailpolish takes about 3 coats to achieve full opacity. Orange also isn't really my colour y'know, being so pale and all. But I appreciate the sentiment that this is a "summer" colour. I'm a bit pissed off that this is such a cheap product for what is supposed to be a sample box of luxury products.


I'm pretty disappointed with this box. I don't even think disappointed is a strong enough word. I've read other blog posts where some people also received a cute hedgehog decal. Not really sure what that's supposed to do with beauty, but it was cute and I'm upset I missed out on this "bonus" gift. Other boxes included Australis palettes. I feel like the stuff in my box was stuff they were just trying to get rid of. can Especially the Natio sachet. Everything I received had a full-sized RRP of less than $15 and this is supposed to be a "luxury" box. I can go trial any of this stuff at my local priceline.
Out of everything I received, I'll probably only use the aloe vera gel, and that's more of a first aid item for me - NOT a beauty item.
I'm not sure whether I can be bothered emailing the company and expressing my concerns.

What would you do?

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

OOTN: Night Races!

Last Friday night, J and I went to the night races with my dad and some of my family. The night races are a bit more of a family affair, so it's quite casual and laidback. It was pretty hot on Friday night so this is what I wore:


Top: Dotti
Shorts: MinkPink
Shoes: Corelli leather sandals
Handbag: Wayne by Wayne Cooper

I am seriously in love with this pleather shorts - I bought them at a warehouse sale for $10 a few years ago and wear them often in both Winter and Summer!

What's your most versatile piece of clothing?

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wordless Wednesdays: Lounging Around

Like Mr Furby here, I've very much been enjoying spending my Summer holidays lounging around, playing the playstation, catching up on youtube videos and TV shows and reading to my heart's content. 

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Review: Benefit "They're Real" Mascara

Mascara is probably the one make up item that I don't think I could live without.
I have quite squinty eyes - even more so when I laugh - so any product that is going to make my eyes bigger is definitely a plus for me.

I received a sample of this mascara in December's Lust Have It box and have tried it out on a few occasions so far. Overall, I'm not that impressed with it and haven't bought into the hype - I'll tell you why, but I've also included photos so you can make up your own mind:

So here's a photo of my eye with no make-up (yikes under-eye circles! On another unrelated note - does anyone have any brow specialist recommendations in Sydney? As you can see mine are kind of getting out of control...). My lashes are short, quite blonde (occasionally I get them tinted) and there's little curl to them.
After one coat of Benefit's "They're Real!" mascara (and a touch of eye make-up) they look like this:

- My lashes are visibly lengthened
- The formula is incredibly long-lasting, despite it not being waterproof.
- The brush is quite large so it's easy to get every lash.
- The rubber 'stopper' works quite well and there's no excess amount of product on the brush.

- The brush is plastic which feels really scratchy on my eyes and especially on the inner corners.
- I feel that it clumps my eyelashes too much, giving them that "spider legs" look. Personally, I prefer lashes with a bit more volume. I feel that this mascara just makes my eyelashes look too thinned out.
- Although it has great staying power, it is a pain in the ass to get off at the end of the day.

I was expecting great things from this "HG" ("holy grail" for those playing at home) mascara. I've read really great reviews of it online and was really excited when I opened my LHI box and saw I'd be able to give it a try.
If you have thinner, lighter lashes like mine, then I would probably stay away from this one and go with a more 'volumising' mascara.
If you have thick lashes and want a bit of extra length, then this could work great for you.

What do you think? Am I being too harsh? What's YOUR HG mascara?

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