Skincare

Dry Skincare Routine

Finding the right skincare routine for you can be a drag. As most of you know, I suffer with super dry, dehydrated skin. It’s also quite freckly and dull and I’ve always struggled to find the right mix of products to tackle these issues. I finally feel happy with my skincare routine and thought I would share it with you with the hope that it will help some of you with similar issues.

Cleanser: 

 

I was sent the Skinstitut Glycolic Cleanser for reviewing purposes a few months ago and am pleased to say I think I have found the perfect dry skin cleanser! It is so brightening and I sometimes use it to remove makeup too (which it does an awesome job of)! I absolutely love this cleanser! Big thumbs up from me!

Scrub:

 

The Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Pore Scrub is another newer product that I love for my sin type! I use it about every second or third day depending on how my skin is feeling and it does a great job of cleaning my skin out without sucking all the moisture out at the same time! It has jojoba oil in it too which makes it nice and moisturising!

Toner:

 

I am absolutely in love with the Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater! It is super hydrating and I use it both morning and night (and sometimes during the day as a refresher) as toner and I’ll definitely keep repurchasing it!

Oil:

 

I have fallen in love with the Skinstitut Multi-Active Oil after I was sent it in a PR package! It contains lots of lovely oils that brighten and hydrate my skin unlike any other serum or oil I have tried! I apply it both morning and night to my face and neck and let that sink in before I apply moisturiser.

Moisturiser:

 

An old favourite of mine is the Cetaphil Moisturising Cream for dry, sensitive skin! I have pretty sensitive skin and suffer from a few allergies that make my skin flare up so this is my favourite moisturiser for calming everything down and keeping my face moisturised all day – especially with the help of the Skinstitut oil! It’s also super cheap so you can’t really go wrong!

Eye Cream:

 

The Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye Concentrate is, as you can tell from the title, meant to be only used at night but I find it so moisturising that I use it both morning and night! Kathleen Lights got me on to this just over a year ago and I haven’t looked back! Sooooooo good!

SPF:

 

I use the La Roche-Posay 50+ very high protection stick every morning because it isn’t at all sticky or greasy and doesn’t make my makeup look weird over the top! I can’t find the stick form online but I bought it at Priceline and you can buy the liquid version which is just as nice here.

Lip Balm:

 

The Vanny P lip balms are created by a small business in Western Australia with all natural ingredients! At the moment I am loving the Floral Passion scent for a bit of spring loving!

Night Cream:

 

You have most likely heard me rave about the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask before – but it’s for good reason I promise! This product has absolutely changed my skin! You will wakeup feeling so hydrated and refreshed after using this, I promise! I sometimes use it on days when I’m feeling extra dry and am not wearing makeup too, it’s just that good!

Cleansing Mask:

 

  

The Tru Self Organics Detoxifying Mask is my absolute favourite clay face mask of all time! If I ever have a pimple I mix this up, pop it on for 20 minutes and once I have rinsed it off my skin looks 1000 times better! It isn’t too drying either so it’s safe to use if you are really dry!

Moisturising Mask:

 

  

This is the final Skinstitut product in this post I swear! Their Hydrating Mask is out of this world! If you are having a flare up of flakeyness or skin irritation chuck this on and you feel at least a million times better!

I know it might seem like a lot to do but trust me, for anyone who has dry, irritated skin you know how much it is worth getting rid of dry patches! Using these products will not only make your skin more radiant and hydrated but your makeup will sit on it so much better and look amazing!

I hope this has helped at least some of you!

Stay Happy,

M xx

 

Review: Moreish Skincare

One of my favourite things about being a beauty blogger is having an excuse to try out new products, even when there was nothing wrong with the ones I was already using. In the case of Moreish skincare, all it took was a small sale at Priceline and some super cute packaging. I mean really, look at it, that was always going to look amaze in my bathroom!

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Moreish is a New Zealand brand making skincare from pure superfoods such as argan oil, avocado and kiwi fruit. The whole idea behind their brand? “It’s called Moreish because your skin can’t get enough of it.” They are all things I like in a skincare brand, so I bought up. I gave my skincare routine an overhaul with their cream cleanser, day cream, eye cream and argan oil. Keep reading to see what I thought…

 

Euphoria | Cream Cleanser 200mL

Of all the products I purchased this was the biggest let down for me. The reason? Well it claims to remove makeup…it doesn’t. It took me several washes and even then it wasn’t all gone, even when I added bi-carb as my exfoliant. If that’s not really your thing anyway, this was actually a really lovely cleanser. Light-weight, non-drying and my skin seemed to love it.

 

Would I re-purchase? No. But only because I’m lazy and want a one-step cleanser.

 

Daily Redemption | Day Cream

When I first used this cream I did not hold high hopes. It’s super lightweight, and I expected that to result in my skin feeling dry and irritated. I am pleased to say I was wrong! This product was great. I mostly used it mixed in with a drop or two of argan oil, and it kept my skin feeling lovely all day long. It also worked well under makeup, really moisturising and preparing my skin for the base products. All it all I really liked it. I probably wouldn’t recommend this to people with exceptionally dry skin (mine is dry, but not overly so), but everyone else, I really liked it!!

 

Would I re-purchase? Yep! Definitely keeping an eye out for the next Priceline sale.

 

Reawaken | Eye Cream

This is probably my favourite product of the lot. It is super creamy, and I thought that was going to make it greasy and unpleasant, but (as seems to be a theme so far) I was wrong! It absorbs easily and left my usually dry and irritated eye area feeling nourished and moisturised. Big thumbs up from me. The only slight annoyance (and it’s small), it that the shape of the lid makes it really hard to open when you’ve recently moisturised your face! But really, it’s no big deal in the big scheme of life.

 

Would I repurchase? Definitely. Love it!

 

Liquid Gold | Pure Argan Oil

I am a very vocal member of the rosehip oil fan club, so it took a lot for me to even consider branching out and trying other facial oils. Initially, I thought I’d made a huge mistake; the oil felt very heavy on my skin and I had a couple of breakouts. I was on the verge of sticking this in the “disappointing products” pile when my skin changed its mind! Well, what actually happened was that the weather started to cool down and my skin became drier. Boy howdy, does dry skin love this stuff.   It kept my skin looking supple and moisturised all day long, and helped to boost my skins moisture and appearance when I wore it over night under a night cream. I am still unsure if I love it as much as rosehip oil, but I certainly do like it. I think this may be really beneficial for any dry skinned gals out there looking for a boost to their skincare routine.

 

Would I repurchase? Definitely!

 

So there were some hits and some misses in this range, but all in all I’m a fan of this brand! Have you tried any products from this range? Which would you recommend? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Stay beautiful, N x

Grown Alchemist Skincare Review

I love myself a little luxury. Just the illusion of luxury and I’m a happy chappy. For me Grown Alchemist embodies that feeling. From their simple, too-elegant-to-try-too-hard packaging to the high-quality ingredients I’d always put them up on a pedestal as a brand. We’d had their hand soap and hand cream around the house for years and they are both amaze. So when I finally got around to trying out their skincare range I was a little worried that I was going to be disappointed by my high expectations.

So what did I think?…

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Cleansers

Hydra-Restore Cream Cleanser

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I have dry-combination skin, but this winter the dry side of that equation went to a whole new level. I have no idea why so I’m gonna go ahead and blame global warming, or the economy, or maybe Obama. Whatever the reason, it got dry and my pores became clogged and things on my face were just not going very well! So when I came across a cleanser with the term “hydra-restore” in the name I was obviously going to smother it all over my face and cross my fingers.

It boasts olive leaf extract, B vitamins, yarrow extracts, trace elements of zinc, and polysaccarides and fucoidans from Red Seaweed. The combination of which is deemed to help slow signs of aging, reduce fine lines, hydrate, visibly even skin tone, and reduce pore size! What’s not to love! But does it work?

I was not disappointed. This puppy cleanses, even removing most makeup, but also kept my skin felling supple and hydrated. I also used it in combination with bi-carb soda every 2-3 days as an exfoliator, and it worked really well! However, I saw no change in my signs of aging and, if anything, I think my pores may have become more noticeable. My one issue with cream cleansers is that they sometimes leave my skin feeling weighed down. On particularly dry days this feels nourishing, but on the average day it feels as though my pores are a little clogged, and this came across in the their appearance on my face. It is also AU$36 for 100mL of products, so it’s not cheap.

Did I like it? Yes, I really did. Did I love it? Hmm, I’m going to have to say no, but that I would keep it around for my periods of extreme dryness because it really did help remedy that issue. So if you’re a dry skinned gal or guy, this is probably for you!

 

Gentle Gel Facial Cleanser

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Gel cleansers have a special place in my heart. For no reason other than the fact that I just love the feel of them on my face. Whilst my rant above may not have shown this, I’ve had mixed experiences with cream cleansers. They have, on the whole, been very hydrating, but their cleansing effectiveness often leaves something to be desired. Gel cleansers seem to take that hydration that I so love and long for, but with the added boost of cleansing strength.

This particular gel cleanser is packed with chamomile, bergamont, willow bark, aloe vera, and polyphenols and mucilages from cold pressed rose petals. These ingredients blend to gently remove impurities from the skin without stripping it of natural oils.

Whilst I really did like with cream cleanser, I LOVED the gel cleanser. It was definitely my favourite of the two. Whilst the cream cleanser took two washes to really get makeup off, the gel did it in one go. My skin felt hydrated but also thoroughly cleansed. First possibly the first time in my life I noticed a difference in the appearance of my pores! YIEW! And in combination with bi-carb soda there was also a dramatic difference in my skin tone.

I really cannot rave about his enough. Even at AU$39.95 for 200mL I will still be keeping this in my life forever and ever and ever…I guess it’s time to start auctioning off my future children so I can fund this latest obsession. Does anybody know Rumpelstiltskin’s number?

 

Moisturiser

Hydra-Repair Day Cream

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This moisturising cream contains camellia, rosehip, aloe vera, jojoba oil and mayblossom to help combat hydration issues, softness, appearance and combat stress. Anything that combines my infatuation with rosehip and the term “hydra-repair” was obviously going to end up in my shopping basket.

I used this product in combination with one of Grown Alchemist’s facial oils (see below) and the result was fantastic. This was the luxury I was expecting from this brand. On it’s own it is still a great moisturising cream, but in conjunction with the facial oil it really takes it to another level. It hydrated my poor, dry skin incredibly without leaving my face feeling weighed down by product. The lightweight cream left my skin feeling soft and moisturised all day, something that other products (particularly those that are lightweight) have struggled to do.

Downsides? It is AU$34.95 for 65mL. It lasted me about 2 ½ months with daily use, which isn’t too bad I guess , but that adds up to about $209 a year. My old fave from Sukin is a lot less than that.

So if you can afford it give it a go! But there are other creams that give a similar effect for a lot less money.

 

Serum

Antioxidant Facial Oil: Rosehip & Camellia Seed

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Rosehip oil is one of my great skincare loves. It has transformed the appearance of my skin. So any product with it as a main ingredient is always one I am keen to try. This facial oil by Grown Alchemist is marketed to help hydrate, reduce fine lines, improve appearance, and soften. It did all these things. I used it both on its own (before night cream) in the evening and in conjunction with the moisturising cream (see above) in the morning, and both ways it gave a great result. The most prominent change was in the visible appearance of my skin; it became visibly lightened, rejuvenated and soft.

Some other facial oils, especially the more heavy alternatives, have had me break out initially (or the whole time in one case) but I didn’t experience that with this product. It is lightweight but also packs a punch of hydration. As far as facial oils go the price of this one is, unlike the other Grown Alchemist products so far, about on average at AU$24.95 for 20mL. I’m going to make a very bold claim and say that I may like this oil just as much as my all-time fave Trilogy rosehip oil antioxidant+…and that was not an easy feat.   Good job Grown Alchemist.

 

All in all I really enjoyed my experience with Grown Alchemist’s skincare range! Have you got any other skincare ranges that you would recommend? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Keep smiling, N x

 

 

2015 Favourites

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Foundation

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N YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat

No doubt you’ve heard about the wonders of YSL Touche Éclat concealer, but let me open your eyes to their foundation. It. is flawless; amazing and yet natural coverage and makes you glow without looking greasy. It’s worth the loan you have to take out to purchase it.

Honourable Mention – Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser

M Tarte BB Amazonian Clay Tinted Moisturiser

I know this technically isn’t a foundation but it’s been my favourite base ever since I got it. It has a light coverage and a skin-like finish, which is great for everyday wear or buildable if you want more coverage.

Primer

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N Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

I want to thank the girl at Mecca that turned me onto this primer. When I asked her opinion on a primer that would ensure my skin felt hydrated, evened out my skin and kept my makeup on all day she pointed me straight to the Hourglass display, and she was not lying. I ended up purchasing the full size despite the rather ridiculous price tag, and it was worth it.

M Nivea Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm

The Goddess herself, Nikkie Tutorials introduced me (and the world) to this and I haven’t been able to get enough of it. The manly smell can be a bit overwhelming to begin with but trust me give it a go, it’s worth it!

Concealer

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N Benefit Fake Up

I stumbled across this concealer by accident. I was purchasing some other things online and this was on sale so I popped it in my cart on a whim, not ever having heard of it. Best impulse buy ever. It offers both coverage and moisturisation, perfect for the under eye area! My fave every day concealer.

Honourable Mention – YSL Touche Éclat

M MAC Studio Finish Concealer Duo

I was always a bit scared to try the MAC Studio Finish Concealer as I had heard it was a bit drying but boy am I glad I didn’t listen to them! This is hands down the best concealer I have ever used! Each duo has a salmony shade, perfect for combatting dark circles under the eyes and a more yellow based tone, perfect for covering any pesky spots. It stays all day, doesn’t crease and covers ANYTHING. Love, love, love!

Bronzer

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N Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in Golden Light 1

This is a matte bronzer with the perfect bronze for my pale skin tone. It’s easy for me to come out looking ashy or dirty, especially in the winter months, but that is not an issue with this product. I am definitely glad I popped this in my shopping basket this year, my 2015 was all the more bronzed and babe’n for it.

M Amazonian Princess by Tarte

This quickly became my favourite bronzer and hasn’t left my side throughout 2015. I can see this working on many skin tones, but remember to keep a light hand if you’re as pale as I am, this baby is pigmented.

Honourable Mention – Dallas by Benefit

Blush

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N Luminoso by Milani

Milani baked blushes in general are amazing. Even if they weren’t so affordable I would still sing their praises, but they are. Luminoso in particular is incredible. I’m talking heart-skips-a-beat every time I apply it kind of blushing beauty. There are literally zero excuses to not have this in your life.

M Gina by Nars

This is my favourite every day blush colour. The Nars blushes pack a punch in the pigmentation department and Gina is no exception meaning this blush will last you a lifetime! It suits so many skin tones and is one that I use on most of my clients with so many different makeup looks! You’ll love Gina!

 

Contour

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N Paloma Contour Duo by Nars

Being a pale but freckly gal contouring can be a dangerous game if done incorrectly or with the wrong product. This duo made me a contouring convert. They work perfectly with my skin tone, blend like a dream and leave me looking like I am naturally sculpted like Angelina Jolie. Perfect for every day or an amped up night look. Love love love.

M Kat Von D Shade and Light Palette

There’s a lot of hype about this product and for good reason! Whether you are a contouring rookie or Kim Kardashian I can guarantee you this will quickly become your go to for contouring. It has the creamiest, most pigmented and blendable formula I am yet to try in any makeup product and I am dreading the day I run out. Thank you Kat Von D <3

 

Eyeshadow

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N Naked Basics 1 & 2 by Urban Decay

Urban decay really knows what it’s doing in the eyeshadow department. These are so fantastic we couldn’t even choose which one we prefer (although to be brutally honest – gun to our heads – the original slightly ups the sequel). They can easily be used for natural looks or glam night-time looks. If you are only going to buy one eye shadow palette, one of these should be it.

M Naked 3 by Urban Decay

Urban Decay was my original eyeshadow love and I certainly haven’t strayed far over the years. The Naked 3 palette has been my go to this year as you can create a simple every day look or amp it up for a night out! It also goes with heaps of eye colours so it’s been fantastic for my clients too!

Mascara

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N Covergirl Clump Crusher by Lashblast

Every other mascara-making company in the world needs to sit down in a room and get lessons from Covergirl on the art of mascara wand making. Seriously. The spoolys on every single one of their mascaras far and beyond surpasses any other. It lifts, separates, lengthens, and adds volume, everything you want from mascara. And as an added bonus you can pick it up from the supermarket. I will buy Covergirl mascaras forever.

Honourable Mention – Bobbi Brown Intensifying Longwearing Mascara

M Benefit They’re Real

It’s no secret that the Benefit They’re Real mascara is my all time favourite/holy grail! I can’t (and don’t want to) imagine a day without this baby! You can read all about my thoughts on the They’re Real mascara here.

 

Eyeliner

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Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner

Our friend got us on to this eyeliner last year and we haven’t looked back. We won’t lie to you, we don’t use liquid eyeliner a whole heap but that’s what is so great about the Stila Stay All Day eyeliner – it never dries out! We are still on our first pen and it is just as opaque, smooth and precise as is was when we first bought it! Definitely give this one a crack if you’re looking for a long-lasting and deep black liquid eyeliner!

Brow Product

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N Brow Satin Smoothing Duo by Maybelline

Props go to Shaanxo for getting me onto this product. It has a brow pencil on one end and a filling powder on the other. They are pretty great on their own to be honest, but the combo gives a finish to rival most high end products.

M MAC Velux Brow Liner

This takes me back to when I first started wearing makeup back in 2014! My friends bought me a MAC voucher for my birthday and this brow pencil was first on my list! It’s so smooth, opaque and has a spoolie on the other end making it the perfect travel companion. It’s also easy to build up but doesn’t set too quickly so you can make it look more natural if you like. This is the perfect brow product for beginners!

Honourable Mention – Tarte Brow Mousse

 

Lipstick/Lip Product

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N Pink Dusk by Tom Ford

Earlier this year I was on the hunt for the perfect nude lipstick. I am super fussy in this category, mostly because I just cannot pull off the lighter nudes. After much searching I came across it at the Tom Ford makeup counter. Pink Dusk, ily.

Honourable Mention – Le Orange by YSL

M Honey Love by MAC

We all know I love my nude lipsticks and Mac’s Honey Love quickly became my favourite of 2015! It is the perfect peachy-nude and lasts a super long time (thanks to it’s matte formula) whilst still remaining creamy so as not to dry out your lips. Snaps for Honey Love!

Honourable Mention – Plink by MAC

 

Highlighter

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N Bobbi Brown shimmer brick

There is a reason that one shimmer brick is sold every 2 minutes (or whatever that ridiculous statistic is).   This baby does its job. We have it in both Beige and Rose and both are beautiful. They add a subtle glow to your look that will have everybody commenting on your makeup.

 

M Becca X Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop

Champagne Pop makes you look like you have been kissed by one thousand angels and appointed the high priestess of the Glow Land. You need this in your life!

 

Powder

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Face of Australia Translucent Powder

This has been our favourite setting powder since we picked it up in late 2014. It has the perfect skin-like finish and helps keep oil at bay on those summer days. And for only $11.95 who could go wrong?!

 

Makeup Brushes

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N Zoeva 128 Cream Cheek

I can’t even explain why this brush makes me so giddy, but it does. The shape applies blush (cream or powder) perfectly. It just does. Get this in your life and be prepared for amazing things.

M MAC 135

I would like to say and big thank you to Desi Perkins, Jaclyn Hill and Nikki Tutorials for bringing this brush in to my life! This is the PERFECT bronzing brush and could be used for blush, highlight, setting powder, eyeshadow (you get the picture). It makes me feel like I am at a spa every time I use it! If you had to have one brush in your life, this should be it!

 

Fragrance

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N Daisy Dream by Marc Jacobs

This perfume is perfect all year round. It’s a beautiful subtle scent that picks up my spirits. And the bottle is gorg. 10/10.

M Si by Giorgio Armani

I picked up Si at the Boxing Day sales in 2014 and have never looked back! It has a deeper, floraly, musky scent (can you tell I’m really good at describing scents?) and is the one perfume that I get compliments on every time I wear it WITHOUT FAIL! 4 thumbs up!

 

Skincare Product

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N Bi Carb Soda (Baking Soda)

Years ago, I was reading Vogue and an interview with a model backstage at Sydney Fashion Week mentioned that she uses Bi-Carb with her cleanser to exfoliate. I am about 85% sure it was a young Abbey Lee Kershaw, but don’t quote me on that. A few months ago this popped into my head when I was baking and I decided to give it ago. It’s gentle, natural, affective, and (my favourite part) it has done wonders for evening out my skin tone. Thank-you probably maybe Abbey Lee.

M Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask

I have super dry skin and tend to get pimples from clogged/dry pores around my chin area. This mask has been an absolute lifesaver! I started using it as a night cream soon after I got it and haven’t looked back! I wake up every morning with supple, glowing skin and it’s all thanks to the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask!

Hair Product

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N NKD Hair

I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t think this was going to do a whole heap. I was wrong. This baby makes my hair smooooooooth. Yes all those o’s are necessary, it’s that smooth; zero knots, silky, shiny, amazing hair. I will be stocking up on this and giving it as gifts this year to spread the love. Well done Brittany Lee Saunders, you nailed it.

M BB Thermal Spray

We’ve spoken about the magical properties of this spray before so I won’t go on about it for too long. I will tell you this – if you use any sort of heat on your hair you need this in your life. Your hair will be 1000x smoother and glow like the rays of the sun. Get it!

 

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