Monday, 29 June 2015

CONFESSIONS: of a Body Washaholic (Part 11) - MOR...

Hard to go past MOR when it comes to hand and body washes. I treated myself to the Marshmallow one last Christmas and loved it, and as these were half price at the recent Myer Clearance Sale, there was not a chance of me letting them slip by without swelling the ranks of my ever-growing collection The formula is thick and concentrated, non-drying, the containers and pumps are sturdy, and the bottles are ever so pretty and classy to look at...
(If you're wondering about the back-lit photo, this was the only way I could capture them all lined up together, and still have the labels readable)...

Black Currant Iris
I've been buying this particular variety (and the Body Butter) for my Mum for years - her bathroom has blue accents, so that was my initial motivation, however she is so enraptured with the fragrance, the colour scheme match is no longer relevant, merely a bonus. A magnificent blend of Black Currant, Iris, and more than a touch of Rose, in fact I think the rose is the most dominant. There's a teeny weeny bit of zingy crispness as well which stops it from being too flowery - just gorgeous, verging on sensuous, perfect for Autumn/Winter, and I'm seriously thinking of keeping this one for myself (forgive me Mum!) 

Neroli Clementine

I have to admit I have no idea what Neroli or Clementine smell like, but what comes through is a unique and delicate scent of candied orange peel - you know the kind used in cakes. A clever balance of both sweet and mellowed citrus, there's also some Yuzu in the mix. I first discovered this delightful fragrance via the hand cream in the range - light and refreshing and a snippet away from being mouth watering, this is lovely all year round, but I'm stashing it away for hot Summer days when I crave a more fruity shower experience...

Basil & Grape
I actually bought two bottles of this Basil & Grape - the first because it was such an unusual but stunning scent when I sniffed it in the store (I'm one of those pesky customers that always takes the lid off things, but I always make sure I put everything firmly back together), and after washing my hands with it, I went back the next day to buy another. Love it! Found out later it also contains Violet, which probably explains why it captured my heart. Altogether the combo of fruit, herb & flower is quite magical - this is another I'll put away for the warmer weather, although I already have one bottle on the vanity because it makes my hands feel and smell so fresh and clean...

Sugar Rose Tiger Lily
How exquisite is this pink! I actually love the colour of this one more than the fragrance itself. It's predominantly rose (and a very pretty one at that), but there's a sour tang of something else that my nose (initially) couldn't identify, but I bought it anyway because I'm a total sucker for pink. At first I thought it was the Tiger Lily component, but then I wondered if it was just my expectation getting in the way - with a name like Sugar Rose I was anticipating something far sweeter. Being the curious Kat that I am, I went to their website and discovered that the recipe includes some "ripe Tropical Fruits" - hmmm I think the problem for me is that the fruit is a tad over-ripe. Anyways, it's unusual that's for sure, just not my favourite, but it certainly won't go wasted...

All these MOR hand and body washes contain tomato extract (cooling), peppermint and honey. The pump dispenses quite a modest amount with one press, but it's the perfect quantity for washing hands - for the shower I use about 10 squirts. Not a whole heap of bubbles, but I actually prefer less suds. All the liquids are clear and poured into divinely hued 350ml bottles, and none of them are tested on animals. RRP is $19.95.

Take care of  you,
kats xxx

P.S. I've just added this post to Ingrid's Monday Makeup Madness #12 Link Up Party - you won't be disappointed if you drop by and have a read of some of the wonderful contributions 

Saturday, 27 June 2015

REVIEW & EOTDs: bhcosmetics Dark Rose palette...

Around 3 weeks ago, I received the most wonderful surprise in the mail from my darling friend IndieAna - this stunning Dark Rose palette by bhcosmetics. It's something I'd wanted for months, but hadn't gotten around to ordering, so you can imagine my delight when it arrived out of the blue from my gorgeous pal who knows me SO well, and precisely the kind of eye shadows I love to play with 
It's a fabulous collection of 12 cool and warm shades (mattes and sparkling shimmers), and includes 3 blush pans, and a brilliant black liquid eyeliner - all encased in a sturdy book-style box. Love the presentation as everything is so well protected, and the lid folds back underneath making it that much easier to work with...


The shadow colours are ever so pretty, and as you can see from the swatches below, the pigmentation is excellent. I've numbered them so you know which hues I used for the various EOTDs below...


I've been having an absolute ball creating different looks, and of course, there'll be more to come 

#1 and #9...


#6 and #12...


#4, #8 & #12 (underneath)

I was already a fan of bhcosmetics blushes, and have quite a few in my kit, but none of these particular hues. Below are the swatches - I'll probably hit pan first on that shade on the right hand end, it's particularly gorgeous...


And here's the amazing smudge-proof eye liner - I've been buying this particular one for several years, and in my opinion, it's the best of it's kind on the market, as well as being cheap as chips (currently $4). It's the felt tip variety, a very dense and bold black, and doesn't budge once it dries after a few seconds...

All up a delightful pack of goodies, and highly recommended by this makeup lover. Thank you again my dear sweet Indie for this ever so much appreciated gift 

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Monday, 22 June 2015

EOTD & REVIEW: Makeup Revolution Give Them Nightmares Palette...

Do you love deep broody shadows, ones that are sensationally pigmented, blend like a dream, and have a particular passion for greens, blues, purples and blacks? Then have I got a palette for you! This is the Makeup Revolution Give Them Nightmares 18 Exclusive Eyeshadow Palette - hang onto your hat...

This is the most fabulous collection of 12 shimmers and 8 mattes, and I swear it's to die for This cost me the princely sum of A$11.68 (not including a portion of the $15.50 shipping for a large order) and I'm head over heels in love. It's a total hoot as well, with names like Pretty Zombie, Friday 13th, Elm St, The Hunger, Boo etc. I've been searching for a palette like this for many many moons, and I have the gorgeous IndieAna to thank for bringing this company to my attention - thank you sweetheart!

The bottom row are flat mattes, and there's a couple of semis (the blues in the top row) but the rest are all creamy, buttery shimmers. Only one leaves a helluva lot to be desired - the bright pinky purple 2nd from right in the bottom row - the surface was rock hard and I had to scrape it with a nail file in order to pick up anything on my finger for the swatch. Such a damn shame because it's such a sensational colour...but, the rest of the pans make up for this dud, they are truly amazing...


For this EOTD I used the 2nd purple (I Am Watching You) and the far right green (Wicked) in the middle row, over a base of essence Samba Green kajal, with Chi Chi Waterproof Gel Eyeliner in Caribbean Queen on the waterline...


And here are the labels - the white one that you can't quite read is White Noise...


And here's my Nightmare face lol - foundation is Mirenesse Velvet Maxi Lift (brilliant coverage), cheeks are bhcosmetics blush in Iris, and lips are Maybelline ColorSensational Fatal Red...


Expect to see quite a few more looks from this palette, in fact a whole lot more - these colours are PERFECT for Winter, and there's even a few I'll be playing with in the warmer weather - LOVE IT!

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Sunday, 21 June 2015

REVIEW: Urban Rituelle Fragrance Diffusers...

I'm relatively new to "natural" fragrance diffusers - I used to have one of those plugin types in every room in the house, until I read a few articles about the potentially toxic contents of some brands. So I ditched the electric supermarket variety, and started using fragrant candles. While I adore these for creating a relaxing atmosphere and specific mood, I really wanted something that would release a continuous fragrance even when I wasn't at home, and that didn't require monitoring. So I turned to a company that makes superb quality products infused with the gifts of nature, and that's also very dear to my heart - Urban Rituelle...
They currently have around 12 unique fragrances in their diffuser range, and I found it quite torturous trying to decide which one to choose for my first experience. In the end I went for Romance, an exquisite blend of Amber & Musk, two of my favourite scents of all time  I included this as part of the voucher prize I won last December, and it was the perfect choice, not only because the scent is truly magical, but also because it teams so decoratively with my charcoal, grey & white bathroom decor (see pic below). I have this jar of delight sitting on the edge of the spa, and the warming and calming notes of musk, amber and a hint of jasmine gently permeate the whole room. I actually wish they'd release this particular blend in their perfume oil range (hint hint UR!) - I'd be the first to line up to buy it, boy oh boy it's ever so sensuous...
My second choice (during their recent sale) was something for my blogging headquarters, and I went for an enlivening fruity tang - Creativity, the most refreshing and zingy blend of Pink Grapefruit & Lime Zest. When I walk into the office, it's as if someone has just cut some of these citrus gems for a fruit salad - very stimulating, and it's no wonder they gave it the name they did. Not as subtle as the Amber & Musk, but not in the least bit overdone either - just perfect in fact, crisp and tantalising, and if I get too close, my mouth waters ha ha!
The UR fragrance diffusers are all handmade in Australia, they're a very generous 190ml size, non-flammable, and the reeds are made of natural fibre. Life expectancy is from 4-6 months depending on the room air flow, and how often you turn the reeds. I'm always wanting maximum output so I flip mine over twice a week - I SO look forward to this little ritual as I end up with some of the gorgeous smelling oil on my fingers, which is always a fragrant treat ♥. 

UR does not test on animals and all their product packaging is recyclable, although I still have these boxes on my shelf because they're way too pretty to throw away. RRP is $37.50, but they're forever having sales - I don't think I've ever paid full price for anything! What fragrance will I choose next? Gaaaahhhh! What a dilemma, with names like Euphoria (Guava & Lychee), Balance (Fresh Fig & Melon) and Country Garden (Pear & Vanilla), but I can feel Comfort calling me - Sandalwood & Tangerine, mmmmm...yes please 

What's your favourite fragrance for your home?

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Saturday, 20 June 2015

EOTD: Illamasqua Fatal & Colourpop Dare...

On Monday I promised more purple EOTD's using some new palettes, but that was before I received a parcel from my gorgeous friend Kristine containing a whole heap of goodies, including two fabulous purple shadows - Illamasqua Fatal (my first EVER Illamasqua product!) and Colourpop Cosmetics Dare Super Shock Shadow (also a first from this company). Well I'm afraid I fell so deeply in love with the colours, the palettes got pushed to the back of the bench, and I just HAD to create a look using these gorgeous pans... 


I didn't want anything to interfere with the hues, so I used essence White Kajal for my base (and on the waterline), and then applied the (matte) Illamasqua purple over the whole lid and into the crease. Stunning pigmentation, silky texture, no fallout - in short, an eye shadow lovers dream come true!...

I then stroked the Colourpop shadow from the inner corner to just past the half-way mark, and took it underneath as well. Such a beautiful duochrome with tiny particles of pink and blue glitter. It's quite a loose powder, and a tiny amount goes a long way - makes my eyes look like they were kissed by a fairy! I'm totally in love, and even my camera loves it  


For my face I used L'Oreal Infallible 24hr Stay Fresh Foundation, cheeks were a base of Maybelline Master Glaze Blush Stick in Make a Mauve with a light dusting of the purple pan from the bhcosmetics Glamorous Blush palette. Lips were Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Violet Frenzy, and I added a slick of sparkly Chi Chi Chandelier Lips gloss in The Privileged...


This combination of shadows will definitely be going down in my book of personal faves - hope you like it too 

Take care of you,
kats xxx

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

REVIEW: Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate...

Eye creams - can't live without them! How many have I repurchased over the years because they were so effective? Very few, but I'm on my second bottle of this Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate. Don't be put off by the long name, although if it does impress you, you'll be equally impressed by the product...

As with SO many other brilliant skin care and makeup discoveries, I have beautyheaven to thank ♥. I trialled this for them back in March (review about half way down the page), and while I only gave it 4 out of 5 stars at the time, that was because I'd only be using it for a week! It's now 3 months down the track, and I'd give it 10 stars if I could. Initial results were mainly a freshening and subtle firming up of the eye area, but I've seen quite a bit more than that now...
The fine lines at the outer corners of my eyes have reduced in depth, and the skin on my lids and hoods is nowhere near as crinkled as it used to be - this is a MAJOR ACHIEVEMENT for a gal my age! Sagging and creased skin is the bane of my life, and taking close-up photos of my eyes almost every day means I have a limited career in the EOTD world. But I honestly believe this cream has extended the time that I'll be able to continue with my passion for eye makeup, and sharing what I do here on my blog and on Instagram...
But let's get on with the product itself! Stunning packaging and as you can see from the below pic, if you hold it up to the light, you can even see how much is left - score! (Left pic is empty, right is my new one). The pump is one of the best - you can control the amount dispensed precisely, so no waste or over-application. I use a quantity of about the size of a grain of rice to each eye, gently patting it onto the entire lid area, underneath as well, and it's so silky there's enough slip to take it right out to the temples and the deep creases between my brows. The finer wrinkles on the outside corners are now barely visible, and as mentioned before, the texture of the hooded area and actual lids is most definitely smoother. I can see the difference in the photos I take - overall my eyes look firmer and more youthful. The cream is white but instantly becomes invisible on the skin, and has a very faint floral fragrance. There's also a feeling of coolness as it's absorbed (almost completely) which is a welcome relief after a long day staring at a computer screen. The bottle is made of high quality plastic and barely weighs anything, which is a bonus for travellers...

I think this is "the" eye cream for me. Only time will tell if the improvements continue, but for now, I'm reworking my budget to ensure I have $90 available every 3 months to repurchase this beautiful product - my eyes are too precious to even blink about spending $30 a month to keep them looking fresh and vital 

What's  your Holy Grail eye cream?

Take care of you,
kats xxx

P.S. I've just added this Review to Ingrid's Monday Makeup Madness #11 Link Up Party - there's some brilliant contributions from other bloggers, do take a look 

Monday, 15 June 2015

EOTD: L.A.Colors Purple...

I create an EOTD every work day of the week and usually post the pics on Instagram, but I only upload my particular favourites here. And before posting, I check that I'm not going to bore you with the repeaters (my never-fail standbys for rushed mornings that I haven't had time to plan), but I noticed I didn't post a purple look last month, so here's one from last week...

Try as I might, there are just some palettes I simply can't let go of, and this L.A.Colors Venus Baked Eye Shadow Quad is one of them. Must be at least three years old and the lid is no longer attached, but the pigment is just as potent as the day I bought it, and I haven't found anything else that has such a gorgeous mix of purpley pink hues  

I laid down a base of Mirenesse Superlong Wear Gel Face Colour in Virgin Violet, and added this to my waterline as well. Didn't pat anything into to my crease except my usual NYX matte taupe that I use on the whole hooded area...


Despite finding some brilliant bargain foundations lately (by bargain I mean under $20), my Lancôme Teint Visionnaire remains my numero uno for finish and coverage. On the cheeks I'm wearing a purply pink from the bhcosmetics Glamorous Blush palette (I'll be hitting pan on this LONG before any of the others), and lips are Revlon Super Lustrous Seduction with a teeny bit of Maybelline Color Elixir Gloss in Petal Plush...


I've recently acquired some new palettes that are loaded with fabulous purples, so expect to see a few more looks using this shade family in the coming weeks 

Take care of you,
kats xxx