Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Etude House Baking Powder Cleansing Foam Moist Face Wash Review

I bought this product in December last year in Japan as my HG Neutrogena Foaming Fresh Cleanser had run out and I needed to replace it with a face wash that would also take off my makeup in one wash. I have dry skin and also wanted the chosen face wash to be as non-drying as possible. I remember having a hard time finding a product to match my needs because all the product descriptions were written in Japanese, until I found this at an Etude House counter. 

It contains baking powder to cleanse deep within pores to remove makeup and residue whilst supplying a rich, smooth lather for moist sensation. 

Apologies for the beat-up state of the product, but can you believe this cleanser has lasted me for 8 months?! And it is still 1/4 full with (almost) daily use! I wouldn't be surprised if it lasted until the end of the year!

It has a simple snap lid and squeeze application which, as you can see, can become a bit messy over the months but I much prefer this to any screw top products. I have dropped the product a few times in the shower and this has resulted in the lid being unable to close properly now. Otherwise, everything is a-ok!

The product comes out as a thick, solid cream that looks and feels like a thick moisturiser. It actually smells like sherbet which is quite delightful, yet unusual!

This is the type of foam where you literally only need half a pinch of product to cleanse your whole face! Once water is added it turns into a rich, silky smooth lather that just spreads and spreads. The first time I used it at the end of the day, I remember being super disappointed because it didn't remove my makeup, which was the reason why I bought it. After 2 consecutive washes, there was still BB cream left on my face, not to mention most of my eye makeup. Thus, the claim that this product removes makeup is definitely not true

In terms of moisture, I found this face wash a little stripping. But then again, every foam cleanser I have tried is stripping- this is definitely on the lesser side which is good. Seeing as I couldn't use this as a makeup remover, I started using it in the morning instead. When used on bare skin, the cleanser feels like it really does penetrate into pores and deep cleanses. I welcome this on mornings when I wake up feeling greasy from heavy night treatments, plus the sherbet scent is so yummy and fresh!

Overall, this cleanser will not remove your makeup and is mildly stripping. This is an ok morning cleanser (more suited for oily to normal skin) and although I will probably finish the tube, I won't repurchase this. I would prefer my next morning cleanser to be more hydrating. You can buy this from Ebay for $13.65.

Can you recommend me any hydrating Korean cleansers?

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Pure Glow Cleanse (3 Day Cleanse) Experience

I was contacted some weeks ago by the lovely Annette, one of the founders of Pure Glow Cleanse, to trial a 3 day juice cleanse. We decided it would be best to commence my cleanse after my trip to Melbourne which ended up being a Godsend because I had gotten sick there and had gained a good 2-3 kilos from indulging in all the sinful food! I was feeling sluggish, heavy and grouchy and a detox was well in order.

First of all, let me just say Annette is one of the nicest ladies I have dealt with online! She replied to all my emails super quickly and I felt so supported during the process. 

*I was supplied the juices for free, but I am not being paid to write this post and everything said is my honest opinion.

About Pure Glow Cleanses:
"When you’re taking care of your health, the radiance and energy burst forth into all other areas of your life – no height is unscalable, no dream is unreachable. You feel irresistible. The truth is, when your insides are glowing, you can take on the world.
And the best way to get your glow on? Infusing your body with nutritional goodness, in the form of fresh-off-the-press, nutritionist-approved, 100% delicious juices that pack a serious punch. And that’s not all. We want to make sure that our program gives you lasting results and isn’t just a quick fix. That’s why we support you every step of the way. That’s why we turn the whole process into a full-blown wellness experience. This is about getting your glow on for good!"- PGC website
This information really resonates with me as a health student and beauty blogger. To me, beauty is health. And health is not purely physical, there is also mental, emotional and spiritual components that are usually forgotten. The cleanse was not simply about delivering your juices and leaving you to it. I received daily emails with helpful tips and encouragement and felt so supported the whole way through what might have been an emotionally taxing journey.

A peek at my favourite drink of the cleanse!
So, why do a juice cleanse in the first place?
According to Pure Glow:
1. You'll kickstart a healthy lifestyle change
2. You'll get more energy
3. You'll get seriously glowing skin
4. You'll clean out the crap
5. You'll release excess weight

It is important to note that juice cleanses are not specifically intended for weight loss. 
Please read the whole article for more detailed information!

I have successfully completed the cleanse without slipping once. I thought it would be good to get the important questions out of the way first, so here goes:

1. Were you hungry?
Not at all! The juices are very large and in some cases I couldn't finish them and gave the leftovers to my friends to try. I did experience that 'empty' feeling in my intestines but at no point did my stomach rumble. I have heard some people say that they feel a real urge to chew something, but I didn't feel that at all.

2. Did you lose weight?
I didn't do the cleanse specifically to lose weight, but I went from 50kg to 47.5kg, back to my pre Melbourne weight! My stomach looks flatter and my face thinner. 

3. Did you experience any adverse effects?
Only a minor headache that I would rate 2/10 on the end of the first day and throughout the second day. My stomach also made gurgling digestive noises throughout (not hungry rumbles!).

4. Are you glowing?
I was skeptical, but I have to say 3 short days did see an improvement in my skin! I had a minor breakout (diet related from Melbourne) on one side of my chin when I started. After the first day, there was a decrease in redness and by the next day, all my pimples were practically gone. What is this sorcery!

3 day cleanse of supplied juices taken every 2 hours, supplemented with herbal teas and water.

The Menu
1. Sunrise Elixir (juice) - Lemon, Cucumber, Aloe Vera, Filtered Water
2. Glowing Greens (smoothie) - Kale, Cos, Cucumber, Celery, Green Apple, Pear, Avocado, Parsley, Lemon
3. Green Guru (juice) – Kale, Cos, Celery, Cucumber, Green Apple, Mint, Lemon
4. Good Karma (juice) - Carrot, Lemon, Green Apple, Ginger, Turmeric, Grapefruit
5. Buddha Juice (juice) - Cucumber, Green Apple, Mint, Lime
6. Chai Vanilla Dream (nut milk) - Almond, Brazil Nut, Cashew, Medjool Date, Chai Spice, Vanilla, Filtered Water

If you live within the delivery zone, you can get your juices delivered to you bright and early on your first day. I even got a text telling me my delivery was right around the corner! Fantastic service. If you don't live within the zone you will have to pick your box up from their headquarters in North Perth.

I received a personally addressed envelope containing a sheet with tips and a place where you fill in your goals for the cleanse. They also included some funky straws and 3 herbal teas. 

1. Sunrise Elixir- Personally my least favorite and the hardest to get through. I am a lemon lover (I can eat slices of 'em) and I found this very strong! It's very watery, sour and certainly does taste like a 'kickstart your morning' drink. Drinking it ice cold makes it harder to drink and some mornings it took around 45 minutes of sipping to finish this. 

2. Glowing Greens- is the only smoothie of the bunch and it has a nice thick texture that's a bit gritty and somewhat chewable. I could just picture my intestines being cleaned out! I quite liked this one as it was super satisfying and was not too sweet. 

3. Green Guru- I'm not sure why none of my Green Guru jars were numbered. To me this tasted similar to number 5, Buddha Juice. This one was sweet and punchy with that yummy green apple sour taste that made my mouth water. However, at this particular stage of each day I felt really full and thus had trouble finishing it on all 3 days. 

4. Good Karma- when I juice at home, I always choose ingredients similar to this which explains why it was one of my favorites! I'm a sucker for carrot and ginger together- I love that spice! The grapefruit added an interesting bitter taste that prevented this one from being too sweet. I thought of this as my afternoon treat and looked forward to having this juice every day!

5. Buddha Juice- felt strange to be having at dinner time as it is again, slightly sour and sweet. For some reason I expected something more smoothie like. I did enjoy it although again, I had trouble finishing this one due to the time of the day. You might think I'm crazy for not being able to finish my juices but I guess I don't have a very big stomach? 

6. Chai Vanilla Dream- My favourite! I love love love chai lattes (with soy milk) and I looked forward to this nut milk every night. After the first night where I drank it cold, I shot an email over to the PGC girls asking whether it's ok to heat it up and received a reply mere hours later saying yes! I heated it gently on the stove and my goodness, it was heavenly. I wish I could have one every day. 

I took some advice from the girls on day 2 and had a wonderfully relaxing pink bubble bath to destress and try to forget that my third trimester starts the next week...

I came off the cleanse gently as suggested and had my usual meals of congee (Chinese rice porridge) and roasted vegetables the day after. At lunch time I actually began craving a juice! I didn't experience any stomach aches or headaches from coming off my juice diet. 2 days later I have found that I do not get as hungry as I used to!

Final Thoughts

From the middle of the first day, all the way through to the end of the cleanse, I felt a definite difference in myself, especially compared to my post-Melbourne slump. I felt so awake and alert and I swear I was seeing everything more clearly and with brighter colours *trippy*. My breakout had cleared up and I just felt happier. Again, I was not hungry at any point (although I have read other girls' reviews that say otherwise) so that may have explained why I was so happy, especially as I was expecting to be hungry. I also loved that I was able to keep up my karate training, which can be rather gruelling, throughout the cleanse without any negative effects except needing to go to the toilet more often. 

What I received was so much more than what I expected. Pure Glow honestly exceeded my expectations in terms of customer service, support and products (those free straws and teas!). For me, the whole experience was so easy breezy and the abundant health I can literally feel brewing inside has surprised me. 

So far the only negative thing I can say about my experience is the mild headache I had for 1 and a half days. That being said, I normally subsist on a minimalist diet of congee, roasted vegetables and vegetable noodle soups plus I do not drink coffee or alcohol. So perhaps I adapted to the juices better than some?

Another negative is that Pure Glow doesn't have a return system for their jars (yet!). 18 jars is a lot and I felt bad throwing them away so I found a solution! 

What to do with you?
On the 3rd day of the cleanse Yanto and I took a trip down to Bunnings and scoured their selection of indoor plants and came home with 4 new babies! We chose hardy plants that did not need much sunlight and repotted them into my used jars. The potting mix is to be fertilised regularly and kept moist, not wet, which is why we placed lots of drainage pebbles at the bottom of the jars. 

All 4 jars now live on top of my wardrobe and it makes me so happy when I see them. If they survive we are going to fill more jars with life and place them around the house. 

If you live in Perth, and are in need of a little boost, I highly recommend you check out Pure Glow Cleanses! Prices are:

1 day cleanse- $75
3 day cleanse- $195

Yes, it is expensive but I will leave you to do your research/read testimonials to decide for yourself whether a cleanse is for you.

Have you ever tried a juice cleanse?

Thursday, 14 August 2014

ChiChi Rich Gems Glamorous Eyeshadow Palette- Peacock Look and Review!

I'd seen ChiChi products in Myer before but never paid much attention to them until I heard they had a quality dupe for the Naked Palette, aptly named 'Nudes'. Then suddenly I was seeing pictures of their Glamorous eyeshadow palettes flooding my Instagram feed and I decided I would have to get one! 

I bought mine at Myer on sale for $19 (full price is $22.95, either price is a bargain!), and was tossing up between the Metallics and Rich Gems palette before finally deciding on the latter because the green and purple shades just looked so darn pretty! They have a whopping 12 palettes to choose from, so all bases are covered- check out the range here.

Rich Gems is "a collection of gem stone shades with rich metals".

The packaging itself serves as inspiration because I can see all the bright colours inside! It does feel quite plastic-y, but for the price and content, I really don't mind. The plastic lid is actually more sturdy than I thought it would be, but still, I wouldn't want to drop this! The arrangement and size of the palette is modelled after the Naked palette and I love that you get 12 large eyeshadows with no space wasted.

I chose this palette because it has unusual, rich colours mixed in with some everyday bronze shades which makes the palette much more wearable. I mean, even if I don't get much use out of the brights, I can still use the bronzes right? *Unsure if that justifies purchase*

As you can see you get a wonderful collection of shades- blues, greens, neutrals and purples. My eye is always immediately drawn to the bright green third from the left and the royal purple second from the right. 

ChiChi describes their eyeshadows as being 'velvety soft and highly pigmented'. All of the shades are definitely highly pigmented, but I would not describe them as being velvety soft. To me, they are notably 'harder' than Urban Decay's shadows and have more of a satiny smooth texture. The shades with the more metallic finishes eg. the bronzes and light green, are harder than the richer gem shades eg. the royal purple. 

All the shades pick up well with one swipe of a brush, but the softer more pigmented gem colours need a tap to shake off the excess powder. There was minimal fallout with these colours, but not with the lighter ones. Pigmentation is excellent, as you can see from the eye look below. FYI I do not use an eyeshadow primer, only a BB cream on my eyelids. 

I created this look using 7 colours from the palette and I love how the colours meld together so well! The amazing eyelashes I am wearing are from Ivory Lash, which I reviewed here

Wear time is good, and I only noticed some smudging of the greens on the lower lash line after 6 hours of wear which could have been from the usual rubbing, changing of contacts etc. 

It was so wonderfully refreshing to try a look that was different to my usual bronze, natural shades so I took lots of selfies!

Overall, I think this palette is fantastic! I don't wear the bright colours every day, but it is great to have the choice to wear something a bit crazy out for dinner and events. I would highly recommend this palette and yes, ChiChi does ship overseas! I have my eye on er... Well, all of them for my next purchase. 

Have you tried these? What did you think?

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Get a Free Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Palette!

I have teamed up with Physicians Formula again to give you guys a treat! And the good news is you only need a few clicks to receive your free gift! The bad news is this giveaway is only open to Australian residents

Some months ago I reviewed the Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips All-in-one palette for the face and eyes. Check out my detailed review here!

The palette contains 12 shimmering shades that can be used as eyeshadow, a highlight, blush and bronzer. My favourite way to wear this product is as a highlighter by simply swirling my brush within the top half of the product and swiping it on to my cheekbones and nose bridge for that beautiful high beam look. All of the shades are extremely pigmented. 

The only negatives about the product is that it comes with a brush that is largely useless to me and that the description claims the darkest shades can be used as eyeliner, when they are simply not dark enough for this purpose. 

Looks so natural on the eyes. Unfortunately the photo did not capture the shimmer!

The perfect high beam highlighter.

So, how do you get your hands on one for free?

(Open to Australian residents only)

Step 1- Go to the Physicians Formula website, scroll down and sign up to their Newsletter by entering in your email address! 
Step 2- Comment on this blog post stating your email address.

That's it!

The first 20 commenters will receive an email from me asking for your addresses. I will supply your details to Physicians Formula and they will check that you have properly subscribed to their newsletter and send you out the product! In case I am notified that anyone has not entered correctly, I will take entries 21 and onwards. 

Get in fast as there are only 20 products up for grabs! GO GO GO!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Ivory Lash Mink Lashes Review

Some weeks ago I won an Instagram competition by Ivory Lash, a new Australian company that sells cruelty free mink lashes. I was really excited to try them out as I am used to using cheap plastic lashes bought from Ebay so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about and I'll tell you now, the quality did not disappoint! Granted, they are costly for false lashes, ranging from $25-28 a pop, but with proper care can apparently last for 25 wears. 

Mink false lashes are sourced from the fur of Mink animal. The lashes are collected at a particular time during their natural shedding season. The furs are then sterilized to ensure that they are hypoallergenic and then handcrafted onto the cotton band. These mink lashes are free from any chemical dye. 
- Ivory Lash website.

In case you are wondering (I was!), click here to see what a mink looks like.

I was allowed to choose a lash of my choice and I went with the Burlesque lash style from their 'Plush' collection which retails for $28. I was really surprised and pleased when I saw the lashes came in such a pretty, luxurious box! I absolutely love mint coloured anything!

When you pull the ribbon you can easily remove the plastic case from the box.

Product information for the Burlesque lash:

This unique combination of crisscross that gradually builds to long luscious strands will give you an alluring frame to your eyes. An ultra-sexy look for a perfect girls night out. 

Band: Flexi Cotton Thread
Colour: Natural Black
Length: 5 -15 mm
Volume: High

As I always do with false eyelashes, I misjudged the length and they ended up being absolutely massive on my eyes. I'm not even sure if I could wear these to an event, they are so overpowering! Perhaps to a costume party or likewise. 

The first thing I noticed was that the lashes were very long lengthways and I had to cut off a lot more (from the inside portions) before they fit my eye. The band was super soft and I hardly flexed the lashes at all before gluing them to my lash line, yet they adhered to the shape of my eye perfectly. I did not need to fuss and reglue any portion of the lash, it was that thin and supple! 

I also found that the hairs were very curly to start off with- perhaps too much so as the ends of the lashes almost reach my eyebrows! A plus is that I did not have to curl them with my eyelash curler. I also did not need to line over the band with eyeliner because it was jet black, unlike plastic lashes where the band can be speckled with grey and white bits of plastic.

The thickening of lash volume at the outer corners is actually super subtle when worn on the eyes. In fact, due to the immense curl, the hairs appear to be of an even length the whole way around my eye. I would much prefer if the gradual change in length an thickness was more obvious so that it would give the lifted, sexy cat eye effect I love. Regardless, I love how natural and wispy the individual hairs look and feel. 

Due to the curl and volume, these lashes end up giving more of a 'rounded' eye effect, perfect for enlarging your peepers. 

When my sister saw these lashes on me, she asked 'aren't they heavy?' The answer is not at all! They are so light and comfortable, I think I could even forget I'm wearing them. Sometimes false eyelashes pull at the inner corners of my eye and it makes me tear up in pain. As expected, these do not. 

Overall, these are the best quality false lashes I have ever tried, and for $28 you would expect that. Ivory Lash gets full marks for the luxurious packaging, softness, flexibility and comfort of their lashes. If only I had picked a shorter, more natural lash that I could use daily or for night time events!

Have you ever tried mink lashes? Would you pay for a pair of these?

Saturday, 9 August 2014

I Got a Ring Light! And Super Late Thoughts on the Etude House Chocolate Kiss #2 Peach Kiss Lip Set

Hi everyone! I'm back from Melbourne and I may do up a small post on my experience there. When I came home I was so happy to see that my Diva ring light had been delivered! I set it up and decided to test it out- so behold, this is my first post using the ring light for my photos. There were some hiccups and I'm not very happy with how some of the photos came out, but I'm positive that I will learn how to use it with time.

The Etude House Chocolate Kiss set came out this year (2014) as part of their Valentines day collection, and now it is no longer available which is why I decided to name this a 'Late Thought' post as there is not much point in reviewing something that is no longer available! I received this item as a gift from Etude House and it is one of those products that I was a bit 'meh' about at first and then ended up liking many months later. 

As it turns out, I really like both of these on their own and together. You are supposed to apply the essence first to moisturise your lips then apply the tint on top.

Very girly packaging as always.

The tint comes in a chapstick form and is definitely not a peach colour. It's more like a fluorescent orange and very intimidating looking.

The essence is essentially a thick, sticky lip gloss that is surprisingly very long lasting. I have dry lips and I actually like sticky lip glosses because I feel more comfortable when I have something thick coating my lips! It applies clear with no discernible shimmer or glitter. It does a fantastic job of deeply moisturising my lips for hours and I actually use it as a base below other lip products because it helps them 'stick' better.

The tint, despite its scary orange colour applies as a medium pink shade on me. How confusing! It's called peach, looks orange and applies pink. Fortunately, I like the ease of use and the colour. It is lightly pigmented, especially when used with the slippery gloss, and the colour is buildable. It's not terribly moisturising, but that's what the essence is for!

Essence applied.
Tint applied over the essence. 
The effect is juicy, subtly tinted pink lips which I personally love because it's just so darn easy! I have been carrying these around in my make up pouch and the thick essence has been a godsend this Winter. However, if you are a lipstick girl, or hate sticky lip products, this set is definitely not for you. 

The following photos were taken using the ring light. I also had a problem with the focus in my photos- they were all very slightly blurry despite having macro on. Sigh.

I really wish I could tell you where to purchase this set but it doesn't seem to be available anywhere. I just feel like these deserved a post because I've been using them so much lately, especially the essence.

To other bloggers who use ring lights- do you have any tips for me regarding the colour and focus of my photos?