Monday, 30 September 2013

Review: Eulactol Heel Balm Gold

It's heating up here in Australia (yay!). Brisbane has been having a string of high 20 degrees celcius days which I'm slightly jealous about, but it's okay Melbourne will get there soon enough! With the warmer weather means a few things 1. permission to eat ice-cream on an almost a daily basis (guilty as charged!) 2. trips to the beach 3. a change in footwear is required. It's the season where we have to store away our boots, leave our socks in our drawers and whip out those summer sandals. 

WARNING: Discussion of feet involved! 

During winter I don't take care of my feet's appearance as much, purely because I can hide them in socks and boots! haha. In order to get them in tip top shape and get rid of cracked heels and dryness, I use Eulactol Heel Balm Gold. When I first purchased this I had never heard of it and bought it on a whim. However, I'm so glad I did because I can't be without this product anymore. It's an absolute miracle worker at repairing cracked heels and dryness. I've never used a product that works this quickly. This is actually my second (or third?) bottle of the stuff. 

The consistency of the product is a mixture between a gel and a cream. When you apply it, it does leave a slight residue so I used put on some socks and let it do it's magic. The bottle says visible results in 3 days and I'd have to agree. My heels can be prone to cracking and dryness if I don't take care of them, and this product fixes that. 

The only downside to the product is not to do with the actual application or how it works, but the packaging. You know how when you use cream/gel formulas, some product can collect in the cap? Well with this product, it dries into a crumbly white powder like pieces, so that when you open it it may drop everywhere on your floor. It's a minor problem though and is easily fixed by giving the nozzle a quick wipe after each use. 

Hands down the best heel balm I've used and is a must if you suffer from cracked heels and dryness! 

What do you use to get your feet in tip top shape for summer?


Friday, 27 September 2013

Polish of the Week: Kester Black Peach Melba

I was over at my friend's house and being the nosey parker that I am, a teensy tiny raid of her beauty stash happened. She's not as into make-up; however, loves skincare and nail polish. The evening turned out to be a small pamper session with three of my really good friends. It included the Antipodes Grapeseed Butter Cleanser (oh my! That stuff is luxurious!), lashings of oils (Argan Oil in my case), and redoing my nails. She had quite a few nail polish brands but the one that intrigued me the most was Kester Black

Kester Black is an Australian brand of nail polish founded by Anna Roos. It's not just any brand though, it is a cruelty free, carcinogen free and vegan brand. They "use sustainable production methods including the use of recyclable materials and small batch manufacturing to minimise wastage". Not only are they environmentally friendly and use carcinogen free materials, but their nail polish is absolutely amazing. I'm talking like.. I want to go out and purchase multiple bottles of the stuff amazing. 

The colour pictured above is Kester Black Peach Melba (with a some OPI glitter nail polish on my fourth finger). That photo above is one coat! I was so pleasantly surprised when I applied it. It was easy to apply and opaque in one coat (even though it's a lighter colour). It lasted for longer than usual on my nails but I'm not sure whether it was the polish, the top coat I used (Butter London) or a combination of both. 

I highly recommended this nail polish brand. It's $17 for a bottle which is not the cheapest nail polish you can get, but considering Essie is $18.95 and OPI is $19.95 here it's not too bad!

Have you tried Kester Black before?


Wednesday, 25 September 2013

My Birthday Food/Drink Adventure

It was my birthday on Sunday.. I now feel a tad old *sigh*. To celebrate I did a whole lot of eating, eating.. and more eating haha. It's a little bit of a different post today, but I thought I'd share my food/drink adventure with you from the weekend that passed!

It started off on Friday night with laksa (centre photo) and a chocolate cake filled with cointreau cream and cherries (top left) which was made by my family. It was a total surprise as I wasn't expecting anything and laksa is one of my favourite foods ever! Nothing like home-cooked laksa :) 

On Saturday I went out with some friends to Chin Chin in the Melbourne CBD. Love that place! Good food, reasonably priced and a great atmosphere. The only downside is that you need to get there early... I'm talking 4:30pm-5pm early if you want a table within a reasonable time frame. We got there at 5:30 and had to wait for an hour and 15 minutes. The good thing is that they text you when your table is ready and you're free to roam until that text.. then you need to scoot off and get there within 10 minutes. Sounds like a lot of effort now that I'm typing it out but it really wasn't that bad! To kill the time we headed off to Gin Palace. I had never been before but I will be back! They had amazing, amazing cocktails..with Gin of course! (top right photo). 

On Sunday, I had pancakes for breakfast, dumplings for lunch at Hutong Dumpling Bar. If you feel like dumplings and are in the Melbourne CBD, I highly recommend that you check it out. For a little coffee and cake, we headed over to Manchester Press. Lastly for dinner, the boyfriend cooked me whatever I wanted. I chose Char Kway Teow (bottom right photo), which is a stir-fried Malaysian noodle dish. Nom, nom!

I think I ate through my birthday this year!


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Quick and Easy DIY Earring Holder

I made this DIY earring holder a while ago. It's a great DIY and could cost you less than $5.00, depending on the frame you buy! I picked mine up from Ikea for $2.99 and is an A4 size. So you know those tights which sit in your drawer with runs through them? It's time to put them to good use, so whip those out again!


Photo Frame
+ a lint roller (not pictured)
...that's it! 


Step 1
Remove the glass or in this case, the plastic from the frame.
Take one leg from your tights and cut a line straight across the thigh area (make sure you're left with a length that is long enough to fit the frame, plus 20cm each side.  

Step 2
Slide the tights over the glass/plastic.


Step 3
Make sure you have an even amount of overhang on each side of the frame.

Step 4
Secure the tights in place with a simple double knot. 


Step 5
Lint roller your tights to get rid of all those 'fuzzies', as I like to call them.

Step 6
Place it back into your frame and close it up!

Step 7
Flip it over and voila! It's a simple DIY earring holder which took you no time at all. 

Step 8 
Get decorating! Poke your earrings into the 'netting'. You can also hang your necklaces over the frame too. 

Step 9
Find your DIY Earring frame a home. Mine is kept on my 'jewellery dressing table'. 

Let me know if you guys try it! 
I have another DIY coming up soon, so keep an eye out! :) 


Sunday, 22 September 2013

Polish of the Week: Essie Merino Cool

Priceline is now stocking Essie and had an introductory offer of $12.95 (ends tomorrow 23/9), instead of the $18.95 standard price here in Australia. I took advantage of it and  chose Essie Merino Cool. It's a greyish purple that is opaque in two coats. This colour was perfect for the gloomy weather that we had in Melbourne this week!


Friday, 20 September 2013

Review: Daiso Cream Eyeshadow

I bought this Daiso Cream Eyeshadow about a month ago. I didn't really have an opinion when I bought it but was secretly hoping it would be like the Maybelline Colour Tattoos. If you haven't been to Daiso before firstly, what are you doing?! get your butt there! and secondly, everything is $2.80 (it varies country to country and of course Australia is the most expensive... naturally). You can find some amazing things there. They sell everything from organisational items, food, beauty (masks, body wash, cleansers etc.) and yup, everything is $2.80! 

Back to the eyeshadow, at $2.80 I thought this could be an amazing deal. The colour I picked up looked like a rose gold shade in the packaging; however, when swatched and applied on the eyes it has a duo chrome effect. In one light it appeared to be a light pink and in the other, a slightly orange-brown. There is obvious shimmer in this product and not the refined "oh, it gives a nice sheen" shimmer (like Maybelline Bad to the Bronze). It's a hey I got small glitter bits on my eyeballs. Pigmentation is average and I feel that it's only redeeming factor is the lasting power. Oh man, this stuff will.not.budge. It took some serious scrubbing to remove it off of my hand and some strong waterproof eye makeup remover on my eyes. 


I think the most disappointing thing about this product was how quickly it dried out. I swatched it once when I first bought it and when I came back to it 2-3 weeks later, the photo above left shows what happened. That's right, a massive chunk of it came out when I tried to swatch/use it again. The texture was so, so dry. Needless to say, this is in the bin and a product I would not recommend. Reading this back this is such a negative post.. I feel like a negative Nancy haha. Is it possible that I got a dud one, or have other people had similar experiences?


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

What's in my makeup basket #5

Time for another 'What's in my makeup basket' post! 

On my face is Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, with Topshop Cream Blush in Flush layered underneath MAC Well Dressed. I find this blush combination to give the perfect pink cheek. MAC's Well Dressed is actually too light for my skin colour so I love layering it over different blushes and also using it to blend out brighter colours. I used my ever faithful combination of Bobbi Brown Creamy Corrector in Peach and Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer under the eyes (surprise, surprise!)

On my eyes is a sheer wash of Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Tough as Taupe which has excellent staying power and therefore a eye primer is not needed. I used Prestige Waterproof Eyeliner in Black along the lashline and slightly smudged, with Maybelline Define-a-Lash Mascara (waterproof) on my lashes. 

I used the MAC eyeshadow in Coquette to fill in my brows and the Maybelline Colour Sensational Vivid Lipstick in Vivid Rose  layered on top of MAC Creme d'Nude to make it more wearable for daytime. 

I just realised how Maybelline heavy this post is! I clearly love a number of their products right now! 

What has been on your face lately?


Sunday, 15 September 2013

Polish of the Week: Inglot Nail Polish in 163

Another Inglot nail polish this week but this time in a light pink shade with a slight metallic sheen. This nail polish is the Inglot Nail Polish in 163 and the colour reminds me of fairy floss. Although the picture doesn't show it, the pink is quite subtle from afar. I like it because you can get away with it looking "neutral" at work. This was opaque in 2 coats but I applied 3 for good measure. I found that the pink really came through on the third coat. It was streaky after 1 coat, but I expect that with lighter shades. Really loving my Inglot nail polishes at the moment. They have been a little unloved, so it was high time I whipped them out again! 


Friday, 13 September 2013

Nitrogen Gelato: N2 Extreme Gelato in Fitzroy

So this happened last weekend...

This is arguably Melbourne's latest gelato craze. I actually first heard about it from my friend who had already visited in joint twice in 2 weeks which made out visit that night her third time in 3 weeks! You know how Heston Blumenthal loves that liquid nitrogen? Well, this is gelato made exactly with the stuff (N2, get it? Nitrogen! Ahh who remembers chemistry days and that periodic table?). It opened in Sydney first and is now in Melbourne.

It's located in Fitzroy and is open from 1pm-11pm every night. It gets super busy and the night I went, the line was out the door. Talk about crazy! Seating is also difficult to find since it gets so busy but we managed to find a spot. On a summer night this won't be such a problem though since I feel that everyone can just roam the streets instead. 

They have a whole stack of unique flavours such as Pandan, Buttered Popcorn, Earl Grey with Dulce de Leche, Strawberry & Pepper, but offer around seven of their entire range each night. My friends and I were super adventurous and had one scoop of Cookies and Cream and one scoop of Black Lava Salted Caramel between the 3 of us. The serving size is huge and one scoop is really one cup which they pack the cup to the brim, so 3 people with 2 'scoops' was plenty. One scoop is $6 and they don't offer 2 scoops. The board actually reads - 2 scoops: you don't need it. They're not lying! I definitely preferred the Salted Caramel over Cookies and Cream, but I'm partial to anything salted caramel so it's a biased opinion. 

From my visit, it seemed that each staff member had their own flavour to make. It's great because you know they're keeping an eye on your gelato at all times, but the downside is that your order comes out scattered. This doesn't actually bother me at all though. They add liquid nitrogen right before your eyes and you pretty much get to watch your gelato being made. It's kinda like watching a Heston Blumenthal show... minus the Heston. 

It was definitely a fun experience and I would go back. I think I'd try a more adventurous flavour next time! I would recommend going on a week night to avoid crazy queues. Below is a photo of your one scoop serving size. This image is actually taken from their website (here) because silly me forgot to take one! I took a photo of it being made (picture above), but not the final product *oops*

Have you been to N2 Extreme Gelato? 


Tuesday, 10 September 2013

CAVE or SAVE? In-shower Body Conditioners

Cave or Save. This is the blog post where I take two items that are marketed to do similar things, one inexpensive and another from the other end of the scale and compare them. I then give my 2 cents and tell you whether you should save and go the inexpensive route or cave and buy the more expensive item. 

The first two items I'm comparing are Lush Ro's Argan Body Conditioner and Nivea In-Shower Rich Body Lotion Skin Conditioner. Both products have the same concept - wash your body as per usual, apply the product to your skin, let it sink in and then wash off. You're meant to be left to softer, moisturised and smooth skin. The Lush body conditioner retails for $32.50 for 225grams while the Nivea body conditioner retails for $7.99 for 400ml. Now let's not get too mathematical here, but that means that the Lush one is 4 times the price for almost half the amount of product. Crazy stuff!

Let's start off with the differences between these products. These products look, feel and smell different. Lush's offering smells of roses, Nivea's smells like a typical Nivea moisturiser. The consistency of Lush's is likened to a body butter and applies quite thickly whereas Nivea's is more like a moisturiser and applies thinly. I find that in order to get the same amount of product on your body as Lush's, you need to apply two to three times more. On the skin, Lush's definitely feels more luxurious and is more of a pampering experience in comparison to Nivea's. So far, you'd think that Lush is winning the battle at this point.. 

Now let's get onto the effectiveness of each of the products. Now, I've done a little bit of research in my time (one thesis for my Honours and one for my Masters degree), so the researcher in me tried to be more objective rather than subjective and to reduce the confounding variables. So for the first trial I applied Nivea to the right side of my body and the Lush to my left (as opposed to applying one all over and then using the other product another day). For the second trial which I did a week later, I swapped sides i.e., Nivea on the left and Lush on the right. When I washed them off, my skin on both sides felt soft and smooth. In terms of the effectiveness, I felt that the Lush was ever so slightly more moisturising.. slightlyWe all know I love Lush's Ro's Argan Body Conditioner. After all, I raved about it here. But is this small difference enough to warrant the huge price gap. I don't think so. I am definitely pleasantly surprised by Nivea's offering.  

Overall verdict? I would honestly save and go for the Nivea one in this instance. Lush's Ro's Argan Body Conditioner feels more luxurious (and I'll forever love it); however, the end result is almost identical and you can't deny that price and quantity difference. 

Have you tried either of these products? What are your thoughts?


Sunday, 8 September 2013

Polish of the Week: Inglot Cosmetics 806

Another coat of red nail polish this week! This week's nail polish is from Inglot Cosmetics in 806. This is not a bright red, nor a dark red.. it lies somewhere in the middle making it perfect for the slight rainy, gloomy weather we had later in the week. The weather seriously teased us earlier this week with it's summer like days! This nail polish applies easily and evenly and is opaque in 2 coats; however, 3 coats will provide a slightly darker colour than pictured above. One of the nice things about Inglot nail polishes is that I find them to dry quite quickly which makes the waiting game a lot shorter when painting your nails! Anything to make the waiting game quicker is excellent in my books! 


Thursday, 5 September 2013

The Go-To Blemish Trio

Recently I posted that my skin has been breaking out a bit more than usual. Thankfully, this has cleared up now but I wanted to write about my go-to products for blemishes. Usually, I use a clay mask to draw out the impurities once a week, but if my skin is having a little freak-out I will take it up a notch and use the Aesop Parsley Seed Masque twice a week. This masque is a great all-rounder and brilliant for drawing out the impurities in your skin. It comes out of the tube as a brown-grey stone colour, applies like it appears in the tube, then dries clear and finally dries white. Confusing, I know! When it dries you can see where it has soaked up all the oil. Disgusting and satisfying at the same time. 

My go-to spot treatment is the Origins Super Spot Remover which is best for surface blemishes like whiteheads as opposed to those deep pimples under the skin (painful!). If you were after a more inexpensive spot treatment, I really like the Neutrogena Rapid Clear 2-in-1 Fight and Fade Gel. It comes in an orange tube and I found that it cleared the blemish faster and it did actually help fade the scars. In fact, there was a period where my skin was scarring whenever and wherever I had a spot, it didn't matter if I didn't touch it, it scarred. The Neutrogena product definitely help reduce the appearance of those scars so it'll always be a winner in my books for that very reason. 

The last product to complete my trio is the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo. I've had this in my stash for over a year now and purchased my first tube of it from National Pharmacies on a trip back home to Adelaide. I actually remember spotting it on the shelves and getting so excited that I could purchase it in Australia. Admittedly, I slacked off on this product and wasn't using it as frequently but when my skin began breaking out more than usual this went straight back into daily rotation and I haven't stopped using it since. Some people use this as their moisturiser but I layer this under mine. I find it keeps blemishes at bay and clears up the appearance of my skin. I find my skin smoother and brighter and just overall more healthy in appearance when I use this regularly.

What are your go-to blemish products?


Monday, 2 September 2013

August Favourites 2013

August favourites time! August was a good month.. primarily because we booked our holiday at the end of the year to Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan. So excited! All flights and Singapore and Hong Kong accommodation have been booked. We need to work out what we're doing in Japan first before booking the accommodation first. Japan will require more planning since it's where we are spending 3 weeks. I've been to Singapore plenty of times before, Hong Kong once but it'll be my first time in Japan! I'm excited to see all the sights and experience the culture, plus think of all the shopping (both clothes and beauty bits) I can purchase! I will be shopping my heart out, but that also means that wardrobe clearing and heavy saving must happen. I.must.resist.the.sales. It also means I will be 'shopping my stash' more and attempt to use up the products I have.  

The end of this month also means several things: 1. Spring is here - it's my favourite season! 2. I am now working only 5 days a week instead of 6 days. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my job, it's extremely rewarding, but 6 days a week was heavy. Hello weekends! I've missed you! Enough of the rambles, let's move on to my favourites. 

First up is my MAC Eyeshadow in Coquette. Ever since I finished my Maybelline Define-a-Brow I have used this to fill them in. Since my eyebrows are black, browns really don't look right - they're too warm for my eyebrows. This is a grey-taupe eyeshadow that looks natural in my brows. For cheeks, I have been loving my cream blushes particularly my Topshop Blush Stick in Sneakpeek. Perfect hot pink blush that blends in beautifully. 

I bought several tubes of  Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus during my last trip to Hong Kong from Sasa (gosh, I love that store!). It's a fibre lash mascara so it has little fibres that attach to your lashes, making them appear longer. I love this mascara for giving my lashes a natural look with added length. Best of all, it does.not.budge. Perfect for the warmer weather that we will be getting soon. Yay! Keeping with the eye theme, I have been loving my Rimmel Scandaleyes Shadow Stick in Bulletproof Beige. This is a light shimmery golden beige colour which I have been using across my eyelids most days. I find that it fades slightly on my oily eyelids if I don't use a primer, but with a primer it doesn't budge till I remove it. Such a great colour for summer as well!

I have two skincare items this month. The first is Emma Hardie Amazing Face Natural Lift and Sculpt Moringa Cleansing Balm (mouthful much?!). I absolutely adore this. It doesn't feel like it's stripping your skin nor it leave it feeling squeaky clean, which is a feeling I do not like at all. It cleanses well and your skin feels nourished after you remove it. Eulactol Heel Balm Gold is my go-to product for dry, cracked heels. I won't write too much about this stuff since I'll do a proper review soon but let's just say this is my third bottle. 

Last of all, but definitely not least I have been absolutely LOVING the warmer weather and longer days. I mean, it's 5:15pm right now and I still don't need to turn my lights on and the sun is still bright. Not to mention, it's 25 degrees tomorrow!

What did you love for the month of August?