My current skin care routine

WARNING: Heavy artillery 

WARNING: Heavy artillery 

It was all about my hair last week, now let's talk skin care. My skin was pretty lacklustre for a while -- dull complexion, dry, flaky and dehydrated. Essentially, my skin was screaming, "give me some TLC, woman!" 

So I overhauled my skin care routine and chucked items that really weren't working.

Exfoliator 

Dr. Lewinn's Facial Polishing Gel ($39.99 AUS) - a gentle exfoliator that scrubs away the dry bits without tearing the skin's barrier. It's lightly fragranced, I get a nod to pineapple on the nose, but do note my nose has a tendency to grab onto some whackadoo notions. This particular exfoliator's ingredients comes at your skin on several different fronts:

  • Jojoba beads to exfoliate and moisturise
  • Algae extract to tone and firm
  • Aloe vera to soothe and moisturise
  • Matricaria a.k.a. chamomile to calm and soothe
  • Rosemary to firm, stimulate and tone

After using Dr. Lewinn's Facial Polishing Gel my skin feels smooth, soft and ready for the rest of the items I have left to chat about with you lovely folks.

Cleanser

Prior to my visit with a local day spa a few weeks ago I was pretty down in the dumps about my skin care regimen. Things needed to be revamped and fast, because my skin was looking mighty sallow. Upon addressing my skin concerns with a super knowledgable facialist, she then suggested I try Aspect's Gentle Clean Facial Cleanser ($44 AUS). Every morning and evening I dispense two pumps into the palm of my hand, bring the gel to a lather with luke warm water and gently massage my face for around thirty seconds. If I'm removing my makeup I make sure to wash my face twice in order to really get rid of the day's grime and dirt. It's been a fruitful switch for me as my skin hasn't freaked out whatsoever and this cleanser leaves my skin feeling squeaky clean without ripping away necessary natural oils.

Serum

Yet another recommendation from an unwitting saviour, Aspect's Extreme B 17 ($119 AUS, ouchie!) when used in tandem with the Gentle Clean Facial Cleanser, has really helped to make my skin glow. Vitamin B works to maintain your skin's moisture levels and even heightens the metabolism of the skin cells. Oh, and it also fights skin yuckies such as eczema, dermatitis and rosacea. I use this baby every morning and night after washing my face. 

Moisturiser

FAB or First Aid Beauty's Ultra Repair Lotion ($28 USD) was integrated into my current regimen in case my skin had a bad reaction to the cleanser and serum (it never did). Not only does the underlying goodness of this lotion hydrate, but it also waves laters to flaky skin. After a week of regular cleansing and moisturising, my skin was clear, soft and genuinely happy. With my skin's positive response to a few bits and bobs from Aspect, I've reduced the frequency of FAB's Ultra Repair Lotion and switched back to Ole Henriksen's Nurture Me (not pictured and it smells exactly like an orange creamsicle (icy pole)). That's not to say I won't use this little miracle to battle eczema whenever it decides to pop in and say hello. 

Sunscreen

Supergoop's Skin Soothing Mineral Sunscreen with SPF 40 ($28 USD) is lightweight and allows me to catch a few rays minus the guilt. Plus, this stuff gets 4+ stars over on Sephora - so, if it's good enough for you, then it's good enough for me. 

Eye Stuffs

Why stuffs? Heck, I don't know, but it's gotta be doing something right? Wrinkles have been creeping in near the corners of my eyes (don't think I haven't noticed you, cuz I have) from years of smiling; when you think about it, these sorts of wrinkles aren't the end of the world. You know, happiness and all, I wouldn't trade it for the world. To help spur these little buggers I use Jurlique's Herbal Recovery Advanced Eye Serum ($58 AUS / $48 USD). To be honest, I haven't noticed any massive improvements, but I'd like to think of this step as preventative skin care maintenance.

Well, that's about all I got. Here's to happier skin :)

 

*Jurlique kindly provided a PR sample  –  Thoughts and ramblings written here are completely my own.

New gal on the block: Dusty Girls

Night Fall Natural Mineral Mascara (bottom) and Pacific Ocean Shimmer Natural Shimmering Lip Gloss (top)

Night Fall Natural Mineral Mascara (bottom) and Pacific Ocean Shimmer Natural Shimmering Lip Gloss (top)

Why Dusty Girls you ask? Well this sister brand to Moogoo is emulating the skins' look and feel after spending a day in the country -- slightly dusty, but glowing. While I can't attest to this sort of experience personally having grown up in a fairly Americana suburb myself, I do, however, appreciate their ethos.

This petite makeup collection (eight items in total, with a few colour options) IMHO, targets three specific groups:

  1. A young demographic, e.g., tweens and late teens
  2. Makeup newbies 
  3. Low maintenance gals on the go

Imagine Britney Spears' "I'm not a girl, not yet a woman" country bumpkin charm prior to breaking up with Mr. JT.

The packaging

The packaging

The packaging is sweet and easy to bust into if you're impatient like me; colour coordinated boxes, complete with application tips, house these goodies. As for the tubes, they are rubberised (similar to NARS) in order to assist maintaining a proper hold during application (klutz-free, for the win).

Application tips

Application tips

Night Fall Natural Mineral Mascara

Night Fall Natural Mineral Mascara

Night Fall Natural Mineral Mascara - Ahh, pitch black, clump-free lashes -- it's a mascara that lengthens and plumps, it's practically a dream. Then the nightmare rudely interrupts, prepare yourselves for panda eyes! Dun-dun-dun!!

Over the past several weeks I've worn Night Fall Natural Mineral Mascara out and about with Scott and during the day to work. For short stints this mascara is perfect, but after hour five or so you've reached panda bear territory.

Wearing  Night Fall Natural Mineral Mascara

Wearing Night Fall Natural Mineral Mascara

From another view

From another view

Pacific Ocean Shimmer Natural Shimmering Lip Gloss

Pacific Ocean Shimmer Natural Shimmering Lip Gloss

Opalescent shimmer

Opalescent shimmer

Swatch of  Pacific Ocean Shimmer Natural Shimmering Lip Gloss

Swatch of Pacific Ocean Shimmer Natural Shimmering Lip Gloss

Pacific Ocean Shimmer Natural Shimmering Lip GlossAn easy-peasy gloss which leaves your lips looking like the crests on the waves of an ocean (hey, Hawaii). It's non-sticky, almost colourless, moisturising and lasts around three hours tops.

My lips, but better

My lips, but better

Dusty Girls does not test on animals.

The Bagful breakdown:

Total amount for Dusty Girls' Night Fall Natural Mineral Mascara and Pacific Ocean Shimmer Natural Shimmering Lip Gloss:

Value for money spent (performance and quality):

  • Mascara: 5 out of 10 bags — These eyes are crying
  • Lip Gloss: 8 out of 10 bags — Grab and go

Would another purchase be on the horizon?:

  • Wish I could test their products out in store as this range is exclusively sold online ATM.

*PR sample provided  –  Thoughts and ramblings written here are completely my own.

A glimpse at the lips: Go-To Skin Care's Lips!

Go-To Skin Care's Lips!

Go-To Skin Care's Lips!

Up until a year ago I hadn't heard of Zoe Foster-Blake -- blame it on my infatuation with US gossip periodicals, but slowly I've been learning from trawling the Internets on a local level. I now know Lara Bingle is dating Sam Worthington, Australian cricket player Shane Warne and Elizabeth Hurley were once an item and did you ever hear about that time when Zoe had a horrific massage in Amsterdam while on her honeymoon?  The story is hysterical, but I doubt she was laughing at the time.

Since reading about her cringe-worthy experience, I started following Zoe on Twitter and Instagram.

On top of being an author, a beauty industry veteran and cat mother to smush face Meowbert, Zoe let the cat out of the bag (no, not Meowbert) and announced the launch of Go-To Skin Care. It's release was slated for the 1st of April and Zoe held true to her word.

Thanks to her experience, trials and tribulations with all things beauty-related for the better part of a decade, Zoe set out to build the "scaffolding of skin care" by developing "five essential and easy to use" products for every woman.

For a little over two weeks I've been toting around Go-To's Lips!, "a deeply restorative, soothing and moisturising superbalm that rescues dry, cracked lips, and perfectly conditions happy, healthy ones."

While it's never washed my dishes, I can personally attest Lips! has helped to make my consistently dry and flaky lips soft, nearly flake-free and well-hydrated. With regular use I've even noticed I require fewer applications throughout the day thanks to (among others) the medical grade lanolin, avocado and jojoba oils. Can't forget about the fruit factor -- I'll never say no to pomegranate, unless, of course, I have to pick the kernels out myself.

Tip: A little goes a long way. Don't dispense too much onto your lips; for as tasty as it is you'll find yourself lapping up the excess product and then some. 

The peach hued packaging is unpresumptuous and the commentary sprinkled about the tube is very Zoe.

My satisfied pucker thanks you Zoe

My satisfied pucker thanks you Zoe

What about the rest of Zoe's Go-To Skin Care range? In the very near future I do plan on checking it out, because my cranky skin has stopped playing nice.

Here are the other four products, listed for your consideration:

  • Exceptionoil - body oil for almost everywhere, almost

  • Exfoliating Swipeys - single-use exfoliating face pads

  • Properly Clean - a facial cleanser

  • Very Useful Face Cream - moisturiser for the face, duh!

The Bagful breakdown:

Total amount for Go-To's Lips!:

Value for money spent (performance and quality):

  • 10 out of 10 bags Lips! Passed the Tin Man test with flying colours.

Would another purchase be on the horizon?:

  • The Exfoliating Swipeys will most likely be my next investment.

Don't fret, Go-To ships internationally as well. Zoe has even personally endorsed Gavin the carrier pigeon. You'll have your goods in no time!

Have you met Shanghai Suzy?

On trend, yummy and cheap, cheap, cheap!

On trend, yummy and cheap, cheap, cheap!

I've been known to talk about makeup from time to time, but when my friend Daniela mentioned Shanghai Suzy I knew I had to do a quick google to find out more!

Shanghai Suzy launched back in August by Melbourne-based Joanna Wheaton. She knows a thing or two about makeup as she was a cosmetics marketing maven turned model (and you think Blake Lively is beautiful). Joanna had her heart set on arming Aussie lipstick lovers with wallet-friendly hues.

Talk about a dream realised.

Can you hear the choir sing?

Can you hear the choir sing?

Shanghai Suzy's debut lipstick collection features eight eye-catching shades in two distinct formulas -- matte, creamy/buttery soft and nourish, moisturising with a touch of slickness. On Sunday I ordered five* of the eight colours currently on offer for S/S 13-14 and by Tuesday afternoon they were in my hot little hands.

Nourish from left to right: Miss Brooklyn (Rose), Miss Georgina (Pink Plum) and Miss Hannah (Blood Red)

Nourish from left to right: Miss Brooklyn (Rose), Miss Georgina (Pink Plum) and Miss Hannah (Blood Red)

Matte from left to right: Miss Sanja (Fuchsia), Miss Sally (Watermelon) and Miss Claire (Fire Engine Red)

Matte from left to right: Miss Sanja (Fuchsia), Miss Sally (Watermelon) and Miss Claire (Fire Engine Red)

Swatches from left to Right: Miss Hannah, Miss Georgina, Miss Brooklyn, Miss Claire, Miss Sally and Miss Sanja

Swatches from left to Right: Miss Hannah, Miss Georgina, Miss Brooklyn, Miss Claire, Miss Sally and Miss Sanja

Aside from being affordable, Shanghai Suzy smells good too. On my nose (you know, being a gum connoisseur and all) I get Grape Bubble Yum/Kool-Aid, but I read Grape Hubba Bubba served as Joanna's muse.

So far I've only put Miss Brooklyn* through rigorous testing, thankfully she yielded a great performance. On average Miss Brooklyn stuck around for approximately four hours and in that time she moisturised my lips with jojoba seed oil. My usual multiple helpings of Chapstick were minimised after introducing my lips to Miss Brooklyn.

IMG_5920.jpg

The packaging is by no means flashy, but I definitely appreciate its functionality. The cover firmly clicks back in place, leaving the bottom half of the tube locked and secured. I have no qualms about tossing a tube in my purse, in fact I already have :)

Be sure to check in soon, because I'll be wearing these shades in all sorts of looks to come!

The Bagful breakdown:

Total amount for Shanghai Suzy Lipstick:

  • $12.95 AUS and you get free shipping in Australia when you purchase two or more.

Value for money spent (performance and quality):

  • 10 out of 10 bags — move over, NARS and MAC!

Would another purchase be on the horizon?:

  • Miss Emma (taupe) and Miss Jade (orange) may've not made the cut, but I can always place another order!!

<3 Shanghai Suzy's doesn't test on animals and contain no animal-derived ingredients <3

 

*Miss Brooklyn was a gift from Joanna (thank you, thank you) and the rest were purchased by me.