lifestyle

REVIEW: Biology Skincare – Bare Essentials Travel Kit

I love travel kits and travel-sized cosmetics and skincare in general.  They’re fun and cute and so handy! Knowing which of the many travel-ready products on the market are for you can be tricky! So let me take a little of the guess work out of it for you with a review of the Bare Essentials Travel Kit by Biology Skincare.

THE BRAND

Biology is an Australian body and hair care brand that specialises in “naked formulas” free from harmful chemicals and fillers; “it’s not just about what we put in, it’s about what we leave out”.  I am always keen to try out natural products! If I can overhaul my beauty routine completely and go au natural that would be fantastic! So let’s see how these stood up to the task…

THE PACKAGING

First of all, the packaging is just so damn cute.  I love it.  It’s got a olde timey alchemist vibe about it whilst also being fresh and modern.  How a product is going to look sitting in my bathroom is something I look for! Whether that is vain and pathetic or not.

THE PRODUCTS

The travel kit comes with 5 different products, for hair and body, and will set you back AU$50.

No. 301 Pure Hydration Shampoo & No. 302 Pure Hydration Conditioner


These were, I’ll admit, better than I thought they were going to be! My experience with natural shampoo and conditioners hasn’t been great; I’m usually left with dry and limp hair that tangles easily.  These were a pleasant surprise! Were they the best products I’ve ever used on my hair? No.  But they did the job! My Hair was left clean, somewhat hydrated and tangle free.  As an added bonus they smelled amazing!

Repurchase? For travel, sure! You can get the kit on its own for AU$24 here.

No. 303 Moisture Therapy Body Wash


This was kind of a miss for me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that it did anything bad, it just didn’t do anything right either.  My skin was clean, which I definitely want from a body wash, but it also felt dry and tight which is never a nice feeling.

Repurchase? I don’t think so. However, if you would like to try it out you can purchase it on its own in a larger form for $27 here.

No. 304 Moisture Therapy Body Lotion


I wasn’t expecting to like this after my experience with the body wash, but this lotion was lovely! It smelled like lemongrass and was so hydrating and soothing.  I ended up keeping it next to my bed to lather myself up of a nighttime, the scent was so calming and it left my skin feeling soft and supple without feeling sticky.  I actually miss it now that it’s gone!

Repurchase? Definitely! I am keen to try more of the lotions and creams from Biology after loving this so much. You can purchase the body lotion is a larger size on its own for AU$29 here.

No. 305 Moisture Therapy Body Bar

This really surprised me with how well it performed! My armpits in particular loved it; gentle exfoliation whilst maintaining moisture levels had my armpits looking straight out of a deoderant ad! I also randomly used it to clean my makeup brushes when i was in a pinch and boy howdy, it cleaned them AMAZINGLY! So quick and kept them soft, move of sold beauty blender cleanser, there’s a new sheriff in town.

Repurchase? Sure! You can purchase it on its own for AU$12 here.

THE CONCLUSION

Is this something I would consider investing in for travel? Yes! It’s lightweight, the products (for the most part) perform really well, and it looks cute af so that’s always a bonus. I definitely recommend this kit, especially if you’re trying to keep your skincare and beauty routine natural.

You can purchase the travel kit here.

Have you tried any of the Biology Skincare products? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Stay beautiful, N x

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Review: BH Cosmetics X Carli Bybel Eyeshadow and Highlighter palette.


My beautiful sister, N got me the BH Cosmetics X Carli Bybel 14 Colour Eyeshadow and Highlighter Palette for my birthday in June so I thought I would put it to the test and let you all know what I think about it. So, without further ado, here are my thoughts on the palette.

Price: 

This palette is so afordable! It costs $14.50USD and you get 10 eyeshadows and 4 highlighters! You do have to pay for shipping but I think all up it cost N around $20… Winner!

Formulation:

Hooly dooly, these are probably the most highly pigmented, buttery and smooth eyeshadows I own aside from my three Makeup Forever shadows! They seriously feel like powdery butter! There’s also hardly any fall out because they are so smooth, meaning you can happily apply your face makeup before doing your eyes without having to worry about an industrial size cleanup. They are super pigmented so you don’t have to use heaps but they aren’t hard to blend out at all which really surprised me when I saw how much shadow I picked up on my brush the first time I used the palette! The highlighters have the exact same, creamy formula too and are a delight to use!There are five matte and five shimmery shades – perfect! A lot of our other palettes tend to be either mostly matte or mostly shimmer so I love that this is perfectly centred! The shimmer shades also aren’t chunky or glittery at all which is always a winner in my books!


 Colour Range: 

What I love about this palette is the really catered for a lot of different skin tones, especially with the highlighters! They somehow managed to make four highlighters have the perfect shade range for super light to deep, dark skin tones! The eyeshadows also have a great range of matte transition shades meaning that you will pretty much find your crease shade no matter what skin shade you are.


 Longevity:

This is where things get exciting! I have pretty oily eyelids and my eyeshadows tend to get those gross sweaty blank lines within a few hours normally, especially if I don’t prime my eyes! During my move to Sydney I packed only this palette and completely forgot to pack a primer. I didn’t even know if it was worth wearing the shadows but was going out for breakkie with my cousin one morning at 7am and wanted to look pretty. The next time I looked at my self in the mirror that day was around 8pm (so I had been wearing them for at least 12.5 hours) and MY EYES STILL LOOKED INCREDIBLE! Like I’m talking, freshly applied amazing. These eyeshadows, even though they are super creamy, somehow stay on for hours and hours – probably days if you left them! Winner winner chicken dinner!


 Packaging:

The packaging is definitely a winner for me! Yes it’s big but it’s got 14 powder products in it so that doesn’t bother me! What I love so much is how slim it is! It fits in my toiletry bag so easily even though the actual size of the palette is one of my biggest!

Overall thoughts:

As you can probably tell I absolute love this palette! N and I are actually going to buy another one each for backups haha. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is on the market for eyeshadows or highlighters or generally is alive. Buy it now, thank me later.

Stay Happy,

-M xx

Spring Favourites 2015

Spring has sprung! Here are our must-have products to get us through the season.

BOBBI BROWN INTENSIFYING LONG-WEARING MASCARA

BobbiBrownMascara_Fotor

Most of you are probably going to consider this a total non-problem, but my eyelashes are long and it’s annoying. I intensely dislike (I would even go so far as to use the word hate) clumpy mascara, and with long, wispy lashes like mine it makes mascara purchase and application a real pain in the bum

For me, the spooly is what makes or breaks mascara and the brush of Bobbi Brown’s intensifying long-wearing mascara has nailed it. It’s odd-looking and tiny (it kind of looks like the brush has fallen off in the tube) but somehow it does its job perfectly! If you have lashes like mine, this mascara applies beautifully and the brush ensures that lashes remain separate, no more clumping! On top of that it lasts all day/night and doesn’t smudge. I really can’t rave about it enough. Ily Bobbi Brown mascara, I’m so glad you came into my life.

NB: Whilst it will work on short lashes as well, you may benefit from a mascara with a larger spooly.

CHANEL SOLEIL TAN DE

ChanelBronzer_FotorThis one was a bit of a splurge and took me a good ten months to finally pluck up the courage and fork out the almost $100 to buy a bronzer! But boy howdy am I glad I did! I use this bad boy with a big fluffy brush (my favourite is the Real Techniques Blush Brush) and put it all over my face, decollate, arms, body… EVERYWHERE! It is the perfect mix of warm and cool tones and I can’t go a day without it! The only down side is the size… It’s massive, making hard to travel with. But trust me, once you give it a go you won’t want to leave it at home! Plus the hugeness means it will last you a lifetime!

VASELINE SPRAY MOISTURISER

Vaseline_EditedOkay – truth is I’m pretty lazy. I’m that person who reads all the life hack posts to find an easier way to tie their shoes. I’ve never been very good at remembering to moisturise every day and my skin is super dry because of it. And then came along Vaseline Intensive Care Spray Moisturiser! Now I don’t only moisturise every day, I moisturise at least three times a day! It’s lightweight so it doesn’t leave you greasy and slipping around like a fish in a bathtub and it absorbs in a matter of seconds. They also have a twist lock so you don’t end up lathering up your drink bottle on the way to the gym. I’ve only tried the coconut scent and odourless versions but they have a couple of others. Let us know in the comments if you have tried any and what you thought!

MAC RAVISHING LIPSTICK

MACravishing_FotorSpring time calls for bright lips in our books and MAC’s crème sheen lipstick in Ravishing is our favourite every day spring shade! It’s a beautiful muted coral that can be worn sheer for an every day look or layered on to pack a punch! Either way this creamy coral lipstick is a must for sunny springtime!

FRANK COFFEE SCRUB

frankscruboriginal_FotorDo you want to feel smooth as a baby’s bottom, reduce cellulite AND smell like coffee?! Then Frank Coffee Scrub is for you! Apply Frank’s scrub all over your body (and face if you want), chill out for ten-fifteen minutes and VOILA! You are officially the smoothest babe in town! It’s also the perfect pre-tanning exfoliator to get off that pesky dead skin and help your tan last its longest. We love the original scent the most but they are all pretty sweet – what’s your favourite?

BONDI SANDS

BondiSands_EditedI’ll be honest I haven’t been fake tanning for long but I have fallen head-over-heels with Bondi Sands tanning products! I use their foam tanner in Light/medium when I’m feeling a little lacklustre in the tanning department (Tasmanian winter anyone?) and the every day gradual tanning milk (for face and body) every other day to keep that glow on fleek all week! The guide colour of the foam isn’t orangey so you can put it on in the morning, soak it up and wash it off at night without looking like an oompa loompa at work (do be warned– it does have an intense coconut smell. Take it from the girl who got questioned about the coconut scent on a midnight trip to Kmart). It also wears off evenly so you don’t look streaky after two days of beautifully bronzed skin. Stay tuned for a full fake tanning routine!

I’m keen to try other tanning products, what are your favourites?

BOBBI BROWN ROSE SHIMMER BRICK

Another Bobbi Brown product, we are loving her products at the moment.

BobbiBrownShimmerBrick_FotorThis is our favourite all in one face product. One swipe of this gives us a Beyonce-just-returned-from-a-tropical-holiday-glow with a perfect hint of pink. We’re super keen to try the other shimmer brick colours, what are your favourites?

Shimmer brick? More like shimmer sick! haha no but really, it’s great.

BB HEAT/UV PROTECTIVE PRIMER

All heat protectant sprays are not created equal.

BBheatprotectant_FotorM had been raving about this spray for a while and, to be perfectly honest, I was thinking she was being a bit of a sucker. What could this spray possibly do that my $7 heat protectant spray from the supermarket doesn’t? As it turns out, quite a lot!

Just a few quick sprays of this product before I dry my hair and the results are amazing. It makes my hair so soft I can’t stop playing with it all day, it’s really rather distracting, not to mention the volume it adds to my notoriously pancake-flat hair and the advantage of UV protection. An added bonus (and this may be all in my head, so don’t quote me on this) but I am pretty sure my hair dries heaps faster when I use this primer! Always a plus, drying long hair can be such a time-consuming drag. 10/10. Get on it. You won’t be disappointed.

GARNIER MICELLAR WATER

GarnierMicellar_FotorWe all know that dreaded feeling of coming home late at night, exhausted, and remembering that you need to remove your make-up. Let’s be honest, some nights we’re feeling so lazy we just skip that step and go straight to bed, always feeling guilty in the morning. So when I discovered a gentle and easy all-in-one product that was going to do this job in a simple swipe or two, my inner sloth rejoiced! Admittedly makeup wipes do the same job, but I am yet to find one that doesn’t feel harsh and drying on my skin. Micellar water is super gentle and removes all makeup (even that pesky waterproof mascara) with an easy wave of a cotton pad. It’s also super cheap, so there’s no excuse not to pick some up!

Problem solved, ladies. Never again will we wake up feeling guilty and looking like a hungover panda!

NARS PURE RADIANT TINTED MOISTURISER

I am a huge NikkieTutorials fan. I think the girl is a goddess. Consequently, when she loves a product I instinctively adore it, whether or not I’ve actually tried it. It’s a little pathetic but you know what they say, love is blind.

NarsTintedMoisturiser_FotorSo, naturally, when she tried Nars’ Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser and really liked it I had to get myself some of that action. I was not disappointed. This product makes my skin look flawless and youthful. A little goes a really long way and whilst the first layer gives a fantastic natural look, you can easily build on the colour for a fuller coverage. It does leave you with a dewy complexion, so if that’s not your thing or your skin is oily it may not be the product for you, but it can easily be powered down. I have been using this every single day and I still have a ‘wow moment’ every time I put it on. Definitely a new favourite.

Thank you, Nikkie, you glorious creature, for yet another wonderful recommendation.

What are your favourite products for spring? Leave us suggestions in the comments below!

-N&M x

 

Scrumptious Couscous Salad

photo 3_Fotor

This is no ordinary salad. It’s sweet and yet savory, easy and yet complex with flavor, delicate and yet filling, healthy and yet so very, very delicious. Since I first made this salad for a girls’ weekend, it has been my go-to recipe when I have to take a dish to an event; without fail, I will have at least one person ask me for the recipe. It’s great as a side salad, just with some leftover meat or even on its own! I personally love it for lunch with some tinned tuna or shredded chicken…yummo!

You can whip it up for an easy lunch during the week or as a quick dinner on those nights when you just want something that’s simple and delicious on the table in next to no time.

 

Scrumptious Couscous Salad

Ingredients

2 tsps olive oil

1 large red onion (finely chopped)

4 tsps balsamic vinegar

3 tsps brown sugar

½ cup couscous

¾ cup boiling water

400g can of brown lentils (drained and rinsed)

½ cup flat leaf parsley (chopped)

½ cup fresh mint (chopped)

½ cup coriander (chopped)

8 fresh dates (pitted and thinly sliced)^

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

250g cherry tomatoes (halved)

1 ½ tbsp lemon rind (grated)

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

80g Fetta (crumbled)

^I have also used dried pitted dates, and they are also excellent!

 

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occaisionally, for 8 minutes until soft. Next, add the sugar and vinegar and stir for 60 seconds. Remove from heat.
  2. In a heatproof bowl, pour the couscous. Cover with the boiling water, cover and set aside for approximately 5 minutes. The couscous is ready with the water has been absorbed and the grains can be easily separated with a fork.
  3. Add the onion mixture, lentils, parsley, mint, coriander, dates, sunflower seeds, tomatoes, lemon rind, lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Crumble feta over the top of the salad.
  4. Serve as desired and enjoy!

 

coucous_FotorFINAL

Give it a go this weekend, you won’t be disappointed! You probably have most of the ingredients in your kitchen already!

Pass this recipe on to your friends to share the yummy couscousy love.

 

-N x

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