skincarereview

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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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

 

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

 

 

EMPTIES – NOVEMBER 2015

Hair Care

QV Hair Nourishing Shampoo

IMG_0004_2I have a sensitive scalp so the QV shampoo and conditioner is great! The gentle range is definitely not made for anyone with more hair than a buzz cut so I like to use the Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner to keep my hair squeaky clean and luscious without irritating my scalp.

Repurchase? Yes – over and over again!

Skin Care

Clinique Liquid Facial Soap – Extra Mild

IMG_0001_2My skin went through a really bad patch a few months ago and I searched high and low for something that would save me from my dry-flaky hell. Quite a few people recommended that I try the Clinique Extra Mild facial cleanser so I picked it up from Myer. This did nothing for my skin. It’s not like it made it worse, and it did have a lovely creamy texture but it just wasn’t the saviour I was hoping for.

Repurchase? No.

 

Clean & Clear Morning Burst Exfoliator

IMG_0003_2This is a fabulous exfoliator! It has vitamin C in it, so I found it gave my skin a nice morning (or night time) glow and was gentle enough on my skin to use every day! I also have very sensitive and dry skin and I found that it neither irritated or dried out my skin! Thanks Clean & Clear!

Repurchase? Definitely!

 

Michael Todd Charcoal Detox Deep Pore Gel Cleanser

IMG_0009_2If you Google “Michael Todd review” the number of hits that involve this cleanser far outweigh any of their other products. The vast majority of those reviews are incredibly positive; I however have mixed feelings about it. It is formulated for acne and oily skin, not my combination skin type, and this is probably why this made my skin dry. Like, drrrryyyyyy. If I used it at the beginning of my shower by the end of it my skin felt uncomfortably tight and dry, even my oily areas felt too dry.

Repurchase? No. But oily skinned gals, this may be your lifesaver.

Dry/Combination skin types, check out their Honey & Oat cleanser here.

 

Michael Todd Jojoba Charcoal Facial Scrub

IMG_0010_2This scrub was gentle enough not to irritate my skin with regular use, but I just didn’t get the same results as I did with the Tropical Fruit scrub. I’m not saying I didn’t like it, I just didn’t love it.

Repurchase? No.

Sukin Facial Treatment Oil

IMG_0011_2I was really excited to try this product out. I’m a huge fan of Sukin products and love their rosehip oil. The packaging says that the combined argan, rosehip, maracuja, jojoba oils will leave me with brighter and softer skin within four weeks. The results were…meh. I mean, it worked I guess. It kept my skin hydrated and soft, but I didn’t get the same results in brightening that I did with Sukin’s regular rosehip oil or Trilogy’s Rosehip Plus (the latter in particular was like WOW).

Repurchase? No.

Fragrances

Si by Giorgio Armani EDP

IMG_0015I got my first bottle of Si at the Boxing day sales and Myer last year and instantly fell in love! It’s the perfect musky, yet sweet fragrance and one that I would literally get a comment on every single day I wore it. I was devastated when I ran out and am tossing up whether I should get the instense version or the normal Eau De Parfum for my next bottle… What do you think?

Repurchase? Absolutely!

Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker

IMG_0020This is not my first bottle of SJP’s Lovely and it will not be my last. I have been wearing this since I was 16 (at the birth of my Sex & the City love) and I am yet to stop loving the gorgeous soft, floral scent. It’s inexpensive and yet gorgeous. I highly recommend it! You’ll love it as much as I do.

Repurchase? Always. Forever. Yes.

 

Make-Up

The Body Shop Baked to Last Bronzer in Warm Glow

IMG_0008_2This is my go-to bronzer when I am seriously in need of a bronzed healthy glow. If I fall sick (and look it), this baby revives my poor sickly face. People actually compliment my skin tone on sick days – not a bad effort by this bronzer. When I started to hit pan I actually said “noooooooo!” aloud, I love this bronzer that much. Get it in your life.

Repurchase? Hells yes. Asap.

 

Stila One Step Correct Primer

IMG_0022This is one of the most hydrating primers I have ever used but I just don’t see any colour correcting properties using it! I’ve used it on days when my face almost looks sunburnt in some areas and there is no difference at all. I’m not sure if I wasn’t using it right but I wouldn’t really recommend it for anyone who needs big help with colour correcting.

Repurchase? No, sorry.

 

MAC Face & Body

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You’ve heard us talk about MAC’s Face and Body Foundation before and I am sure it won’t be the last time. It is our fail safe, holygrail foundation. You can wear it sheer for a natural look and build it up in areas where you need more coverage and it will never look cakey as it is water based! We have converted COUNTLESS friends and family members onto Face and Body and will forever wear this liquid gold!

Repurchase? Forever.

 

Plink by MAC

IMG_0017Plink! is my favourite natural lipstick of all time! If I don’t know what to wear I’ll always go for it. It’s like my lips, but better and never lets me down! You can read more about Plink! and my other MAC lipsticks in my MAC LIPSTICK COLLECTION post.

Repurchase? Already have.

MAC Bronzer in Matte Bronze

IMG_0016This is my favourite matte bronzer and I’m already quite far through my second pan. It was my first every bronzer and I did A LOT of research in to what I wanted so I didn’t waste my pennies and I was not disappointed in my decision! It’s not super pigmented so you can build it up to whatever kind of look you want and it doesn’t go patchy. Love, love, love this bronzer for an every day look!

Repurchase? Absolutely!

 

Until next time, stay happy!

N & M xx

 

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