Thursday, 28 August 2014

Lets chat about skincare!!!

This is a bit of a chatty blog post analysing my current skincare routine and the products I am lusting after for when these run out! Enjoy!

I am currently using four different cleansers for different purposes (I know, it sounds crazy!) but it seems to be working well for me! My current morning time face wash is the Colleen Rothschild Balancing Cleansing Gel, which is great for refreshing my combination skin, although it is slightly stripping.  Bioderma Cleansing Water is my absolute favourite 'after work' make up remover followed by Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil to remove any remaining 'gunk'. Once a week in the evenings, usually after applying a clay based face mask, I will use Colleen Rothschild Cleansing balm to nourish and massage my face as a pampering treat. Overall, I quite like my current cleansers but next I will be looking into the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel to use once my balancing gel finishes and I will also be hoping to purchase the Eve Lom Cleanser for the evenings!

I struggle a bit with enjoying using toners and I seem to just grab whats lying around! I tend to use Alpha H Liquid Gold instead ever second night before my serum and moisturiser, but once a week I use it alone for an intense treatment. I am loving this and it genuinely does leave an amazing glow! Check out my rave review on my YouTube channel if you want to learn more:

I am definitely on the lookout for a new morning serum and I have a couple in mind (Paula's Choice Antioxidant Serum & Juice Beauty Anti Blemish Serum) but my evening serum Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Complex is working an absolute dream! It plumps up my dull, acne prone skin without causing breakouts and leaves my skin feeling hydrated and soft. This is definitely a keeper!

I swear by the La Roche Posay Effeclar Duo Plus as a light moisturiser that helps to unclog my pores and clear breakouts, but for some extra hydration in the evening I am still looking for something great. I have my eye on Origins GinZeng, Eve Lom TLC Radiance Cream and the Re-Gen Moisturiser. Has anyone tried these moisturisers?

This area is a huge struggle for me! I was using the Mecca Cosmetica Sunscreen SPF30 but it was causing my face to get oily throughout the day so I have since stopped using it. I would love to buy the Keihls Ultra Light Daily UV Defence SPF50 but they don't sell it in Australia so I am still on the hunt! Does anyone have any recommendations?

Eye Cream
I absolutely love my Keihls Avocado Eye Treatment for the evenings, as it is so thick and creamy I can really feel it moisturising the eye area. However, for the daytime I think I could do with a lighter texture to sit nicely under my concealer and for that reason I am considering purchasing the Origins GinZing Eye Cream for a 'wake me up' refreshment in the morning!

Face Mask for breakouts
I have a problem with hormonal acne and for that reason, I swear by clay based or charcoal based face masks to sooth the problem areas at least twice a week. I am currently using the Colleen Rothschild Detox Mask which is a great charcoal based mask that really draws out my blemishes and reduces the size and redness of spots as well as combatting oilyness. Since I have almost finished this mask, I am looking into purchasing the Aesop Chamomile Concentrate Anti Blemish Mask or the Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment. What do you guys think?

Face Mask for hydration and radiance
As I use quite strong products to deal with my acne, my skin can start to look a bit dull and dehydrated. I have been using the Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask to help with this issue and whilst I love the product, it really does break me out in cystic pimples. I am thinking of replacing it with the Dermologica Multivitamin Power Mask or the Perricone MD Cold Plasma Treatment (eek - $200!). The reviews of both of these products claim to hydrate and plump skin whilst healing blemishes and not cause breakouts - sounds ideal right?!

Spot Treatment
I swear by my Clinique Anti Blemish Spot Treatment Gel which i have used for years. It really dehydrates the blemish and is great to apply after extraction. It can cause dryness around the area, so the next day I simply put a blob of moisturiser around the area to combat this and it works a treat!

Shower Gel 
I have about 5 shower gel's going at any one time because I like to switch it up depending on my mood. My favourite formula's are the creamy ones that contain moisturising elements so that I don't feel stripped after washing. My all time favourite is the Soap and Glory Clean on Me because it smells heavenly, it is so moisturising and it comes in such a handy pump bottle which lasts forever!

Body Scrub
I have previously adored the Burt's Bees Cranberry and Pomegranate Sugar Scrub but I felt like a bit of a change and have switched back to my old fave the Soap and Glory Flake Away. I highly recommend both of these because they are so good at exfoliating but also moisturising the skin!

Body Moisturiser
I have always been a fan of Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula and The Body Shop Body Butters, but I have been totally converted to my new holy grail body moisturiser Lush Ro's Argan Oil Body Conditioner. I did a rave review post on this so definitely check it out if you like the idea of an amazing  body moisturiser that is a wonder to apply and saves you time in the morning!

I hope this post gave you some insight into some much talked about products and I really hope i'll get some suggestions from you guys about my next purchases!!! Have a great weekend,

Love, Catrin xo

Friday, 22 August 2014

Product EMPTIES! Would I repurchase???

Happy weekend everybody!!! Today's blog post is a few months worth of empty products that I've saved up to share my thoughts with you guys! I personally enjoying reading/watching other 'empties' reviews because I think a judgement can only be made after you've really given a product a go! Enough blabbing, lets get on with it!

Make Up Empties

Benefit 'They're Real' Mascara: I don't understand the hype around this product! The wand is quite innovative and I did like being able to get into the corners of my lashes with the sprouty (technical term!) end, but it was simply average. I didn't hate it but I personally find that Maybelline Falsies and Dior Iconic Curl have a significantly greater effect on my lashes than this product and I will not be repurchasing this mascara!
Lucas Papaw Ointment: This is an old fave for my dry lips and I always have one lying around! It is a lovely thick ointment with very little taste or fragrance, which I quite like. It is a great multitasker and it leaves a nice clear sheen to my lips and whilst I tend to own about 10 lip balms at any one time in different handbags, I will probably repurchase this!
Mac Studio Fix NC20: I used to absolutely love Studio Fix during my oilier teenage years because it has such full coverage but I have recently steered away from it. I tend to like a slightly lighter foundation nowadays, still with full coverage but with a more emolient texture. Despite this, I always like to have a Studio Fix lying around for those pesky blemish days when I need that extra layer for confidence!
Mac Blush in Sunbasque: When I first started wearing make up I wasn't quite aware of the purpose of blush and purchased two of these in the same bronzy colour, which have existed for close to ten years - eek! This is a nice dark blush with a bronzy tint, a great first step into the blush land if you are used to just wearing bronzer! I will not repurchase this as I already have another :/ Whoops!
Real Techniques Stippling Brush: Yes i know, not an empty! But the hairs fell out of this after over a year (which I think is great for such an affordable brush especially considering I clean them with shampoo) and I felt the need to give it a mention. This is such a great brush to apply liquid foundation with. Depending on the product, I alternate between this and the Expert Face Brush which is more dense and therefore better to use with a creamier foundation. I have already repurchased this!

Haircare Empties
Kevin Murphy Balancing Wash: I have a very sensitive scalp but also quite damaged hair due to years of bleaching and finding a shampoo that sorts both issues can be a struggle! For years I swore by the Kerestase Dermo Calm shampoo for sensitised hair, but my scalp simply got used to it and started playing up again so I needed to switch. This shampoo balances the pH levels of your scalp, whilst also moisturising damaged hair so it was the perfect choice. I did enjoy using it and I did repurchase it, but I have since become bored and switched to another Kerestase shampoo! It just didn't leave my hair feeling shiny or soft and I am a haircare floozy, what can I say!
Polished London dry shampoo: I tend to just pick up any dry shampoo that's on sale because I haven't found one that I swear by as of yet! This did the job but I have since purchased a different brand to continue my search for a holy grail dry shampoo. 

Skincare Empties
Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula body butter: This is one of my favourite body lotions of all time. I absolutely love that it is such a nourishing, thick body butter that comes out of a pump instead of a tub! It's genius for those of us with longer nails and it's also so quick and easy. This stuff smells heavenly and is such a bargain compared to most others. I have already repurchased another value size and will continue to use this!
Burt's Bee's Cranberry & Pomegranate Body Scrub: I absolutely loved this product because it smelt so fruity and was just beautiful to use in the shower. It definitely did the job of exfoliating and left my skin feeling silky smooth due to the oil in the product. I would not recommend using this before applying fake tan due to the oil residue that is left to moisturise your skin, but I would definitely recommend it when maintaining a tan or just for regular body scrub usage! I have since purchased the Soap and Glory Flake away, an old favourite of mine, because I like to switch it up but I will definitely repurchase this in the future!
Lancome By facial cleansing water: This stuff was good but it didn't change my life! I got it in a gift bag when purchasing some other products and whilst I did enjoy using it, I wouldn't purchase it simply because for a much lower price I feel you can get similar products from the drugstore. 
Dove Gradual Tan for light-medium skin: I have loved this product for years and I will continue to use it! It gives a beautiful yellow based glow in just one use and i've actually moved onto using the one for medium-dark skin because I think it is a step closer to a fake tan, but still not obvious on the skin! It does leave the usual biscuit smell, but I like to apply it at nighttime and then wash it off in the morning so it doesn't bother me!
Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Hand & Cuticle Cream: I loved this mini tube to keep in my handbag for a regular pick me up. The scent is divine as usual with this range, but it is also unbelievably nourishing. I currently have way too many hand creams but I would definitely purchase this again because it is such a bargain and it really does work!
Clinique Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector: I was quite disappointed with this product because I didn't notice a change in my under eye circles, although I didn't use it religiously morning and night like recommended. It did a nice job of moisturising my eye area and it had a slight nude colour so I enjoyed wearing it under make up, but I felt that it was pretty average for the price. I have since purchased a different eye cream and will continue on my dark circle journey!

I hope these reviews were helpful and do let me know if you have any opinions on the products mentioned or any alternatives you think may be better! Have a wonderful weekend 

Love, Catrin xo

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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

If Money Were No Object...

I spend hours on hours researching products and reading beauty blogs and as a result, I have developed an endless wish list of products I would purchase if money were no object. The order of preference changes every month depending on my urges, but all in all there are usually 5-10 items I need to have at any one time. If I’m honest, probably more… Sigh. This post is going to be a regular occurrance of my Ultimate Wish List for the month, where I share my desires and hopefully relieve some of the urges I have! Without further ado, lets get started!

My August Ultimate Wish List
1.     By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Misty Rock: this has been on my list for months but every time I go to fork out that $62 price tag, I spot something else in store that is cheaper and my impulses get the better of me! If this was $50 or under I would not be talking about it today because it would be in my Beauty Haul post! I just think $62 is absurd for an eyeshadow but yes, it bothers me daily that I do not own it. (This has JUST been reduced to $56…oh dear!)
2.     Hourglass Ambient Light Powder: I am not much of a powder wearer but this product has caught my eye on multiple occasions. The endless list of beauty bloggers who talk about it hasn’t helped much either! It seems to offer the perfect glow that keeps shine at bay without making you look too matte. I blame Alix from ICovetThee because I just need it. Now please!
3.     Too Faced Natural Eye Palette: I love a good neutral eye and since Urban Decay is not stocked in Australia, I am lusting after the Too Face Natural Eye Palette. It has the perfect combination of neutrals for both the day and the night and the formula feels lovely and soft. I suspect I’ll be giving in to this urge pretty soon!
4.     Clarins Radiance Plus Golden Glow Booster: Whilst I am relatively comfortable with being on the fairer side of the skin spectrum, that does not mean I don’t lust after a natural glow! With spring on its way here in Sydney I have found myself eager to bronze up and this just seems fabulous! I have acne prone skin and do not like the idea of using a gradual tan on my face, but this means I can stick to my usual skincare regime but still get a glow! Genius!
5.     Sigma Large Powder brush F20: Yes I know, not a very luxe product but whenever I go to splurge on a make up brush I think, “wow! I could buy a lipstick for this price” because it is such a boring thing to buy! However, I recently did buy a Mac 217 brush and my eyeshadow has never looked better. Lesson learnt – brushes are a sensible investment!

I hope you enjoyed my ultimate wish list! Let me know what is on your mind this month and what you think of the products that I’ve been craving. Goodnight/good morning wherever you are!

Love, Catrin xo

Monday, 18 August 2014

Ro's Argan Body Conditioner - Holy moly is this a RAVE review!

This has caused quite a stir in the beauty blogger community recently and I simply had to give it a try! The thought of an ‘in shower’ body lotion to me seemed absolutely ridiculous and I had imagined it to be quite messy and just pointless! My-oh-my was I proved wrong.

This body conditioner has instantly become my all time favourite body moisturiser and I honestly considered throwing all of my others away! Essentially, you wash with a regular body scrub and shower gel like normal, then whilst still in the shower (I turn off the running water) you apply the body conditioner, massaging it in as you go. Once you’ve applied it all over, you simply rinse it off like you would a hair conditioner. Your skin is left feeling absolutely sublime and smelling like heaven!

A little goes a long way with the product, and yes it is quite pricy (around $35 in Australia) but it is going to be a forever favourite of mine. It smells of roses and it literally makes me salivate because it has such a delicious fragrance! After using this conditioner I simply cannot stop stroking my arms all day and I absolutely love not having to stand in the cold applying my body lotion and waiting for it to dry before getting dressed! Plus, it helps to maintain a tan wonderfully! All in all, I highly recommend the Ro’s Body Conditioner to everyone – you simply must give it a go. I actually love it so much that this morning I accidentally dropped a little and honestly considered lying down on the floor of the shower like a slug to get it on my body…I may have a problem.

Love, Catrin xo

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil - Is it worth the hype?

I will start by saying that I am a huge floozy when it comes to cleansers. My skin has always been quite troubled and it seems to me that no matter how much I spend on skincare, my face will never quite be perfect. Thus, I decided to lower my expectations and realise that we aren’t all Jennifer Lawrence and perhaps my products were good enough after all. That being said, I can never quite settle on a cleanser. About six months ago I took an interest in the Shu Uemera cleansing oils and decided to give one a try.

I used it for a few months but, as usual, boredom struck and I replaced it with a Colleen Rothschild cult product (review to come). However, I saw this lonely product shoved in the corner of my cupboard last week and was overwhelmed with an urge to remove my make up. Holy moly why did I ever put this away? Within 3 seconds of it being applied to my makeup-laden skin, it instantly broke down my foundation and with only two pumps; it can remove my entire face. Seriously. Unlike cleansing balms, oils like this one require much less massaging into the face, which I actually prefer because being an acne sufferer my skin can be quite tender and sore to push on. The cleansing oil has definitely reclaimed its place as my favourite make up remover and it is the perfect way to remove the dirt and grime accumulated during the day, before thoroughly cleansing my face and continuing with the rest of my skincare routine.
I hope this helped any of you fellow cleanser floozies and perhaps helped justify the dear expense of this cult product! I can confirm that it really is worth it.

Love, Catrin xo

*note: the cleansing oil is not appropriate for eye make up removal, so I use Bioderma to take off my mascara before removing my face make up. 

Monday, 4 August 2014

Finding the PERFECT foundation!

Every girl knows the struggle involved with finding the perfect pair of jeans and the same applies to the search for the perfect foundation! There are so many options on offer, yet every girl’s skin is unique. My search for the perfect coverage lasted ten years and I still was not satisfied - so I set on a mission!
Step 1: Researching all options online based on what I thought would suit my skin type (normal to combination with hormonal acne), reading countless reviews and articles to create the ultimate shortlist of about 15.
Step 2: I dedicated an entire day to traipsing around department stores and beauty counters, with my shortlist, requesting each one be applied to my face and comparing them to one another. This helped me narrow down the list more and left me with a list of about six pretty great foundations.
Step 3: At this point, I requested a take home tester for those shortlisted so that I could test them at home with my usual primer and day to day make up. Many ladies were supportive of my research and totally understood the struggle, although some were slightly unimpressed with the time they had dedicated to me for me to just leave with a tester. Oh well!
Step 4: Each day for the next week I did my usual skincare routine, followed by my usual primer and concealer and topped with a foundation tester. I would complete my usual make up so that I could compare like with like and I wrote a diary entry for each day recording; longevity, colour, shine, coverage etc.
Below are my brief notes on each foundation

Day 1 РLaura Mercier Silk Cr̬me foundation
  • ·      Hot summers day: 28 degrees
  • ·      Great to apply, has a lovely texture
  • ·      By about 1pm I was shiny and by 4pm it was extremely shiny
  • ·      It oxidized throughout the day and was the wrong shade by the time I got home
  • ·      Conclusion: Not suitable for daywear during the summer, however it had great coverage and I would definitely buy this for an evening or winters day foundation. I have since purchased this for evening wear and winter days and I do really enjoy using it because it has fabulous coverage, but it is definitely not for summer because it is quite thick and creamy!

Day 2 – Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation
  • ·      Hot summers day: 27 degrees
  • ·      Very full coverage, I look a bit 2 dimensional
  • ·      Quite pink in tone, did not suit my cool skin tone
  • ·      Creased during the day around my ‘smile lines’ and forehead (and I am 23 years old!!!)
  • ·      Conclusion: Really not impressed with this. Too fake looking and not the right colour tone for my skin.

Day 3 – Chanel Perfection Lumiere
  • ·      Hot summers day: 30 degrees
  • ·      Medium coverage but very shiny
  • ·      ‘pathetic attempt’ my slightly harsh words read…
  • ·      Conclusion: This clearly was not for me, however I have heard many great opinions on this foundation and I would like to try it again in winter. I think this would suit people with dry skin perfectly!

Day 4 – Hourglass Veil Fluid Foundation
  • ·      Hot summers day: 29 degrees and humid
  • ·      Very full coverage, lovely to apply
  • ·      Oxidized and changed shade throughout the day
  • ·      I was quite self conscious wearing it and could definitely feel it on my skin
  • ·      By 6pm I was patchy
  • ·      Conclusion: This foundation was a bit ‘blah’ and did not wear nicely. I would however love to try the immaculate liquid to powder foundation by Hourglass!

Day 5 – Shu Uemera Face Architect – HOLY GRAIL!!!
  • ·      This day changed my life!!!
  • ·      Perfect full coverage yet glowy
  • ·      Great colour for my skintone
  • ·      At 5pm it had come off slightly but didn’t leave me patchy or shiny, there was simply slightly less product on my face – perfect wear!!!
  • ·      Conclusion: I purchased this foundation the very next day and have since gone through 3 tubes!!! I absolutely love it for the summer, as it feels very light yet has full coverage and is very buildable. In winter, I prefer a creamier foundation but will definitely keep this for summer days and more natural occasions where I still want full coverage. LOVE IT!!!

Thank you for reading my very first blog post!!! I really recommend this technique to finding your perfect foundation – it is truly worth the time and effort it takes!!! I hope this helped and please remember that each skin is unique and what may look crap on me, may look lovely on you!!! 

Love, Catrin xo