Why a blog?

Somewhere to jot down all things I am passionate about.
My little space to rant, rave and ramble on about this and that.
Most of all, just to share my thoughts with the world!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sun Protection - Staring ‘Oily Skin’

Hi there my peeps, after the mayhem of the past few weeks, due to an overloaded personal/professional life, I am back on track, so its about time I get my butt into gear and finish off what I started here. :-w  I am referring to my personalised skin care products, which coincides with my Serious Skin Care program, giving y’all a rundown on the secret weapons I use regularly, to maintain my ultimate anti-ageing skin care regime.  So far, I have covered  the basic three-step skin care routine of Cleansing, Toning and Moisturising, followed by Vitamin Therapy – Topical Vitamin A and C, so now I am moving onto a subject that I have developed a love/hate relationship with over the years, Sun Protection.  Yep, finding an effective sunscreen has always been a challenge, because most formulations are too rich and heavy, causing a greasy, shiny mess, which is that oily in fact, you could fry and egg on it, EEK!  :-S  That much excess oil causes sunscreen to pretty much slide straight off, rather than staying put to perfect the job at hand.  Not to mention, mismatched sunscreens also lead to congestion, generating breakouts or even worse provoking irritations and unsightly rashes.  :|  Trying to attempt wearing makeup in conjunction with the unsuitable sunscreens was an even bigger nightmare, because after a couple of hours (if that) not only would I lose the sunscreen, I also had to kiss my makeup goodbye as well. ~X(   Arghhh, Not Happy Jan! LOL ;)

These days, though, I have finally nailed my ideal sun protection products that compliment and support my oily complexion, instead of always enduring the former disappearing act that defeated the purpose of using sunscreen the first place.  I thought those side effects would always be part and parcel of safeguarding my oily skin. :-<  Wrong, after deciding that enough was enough and I didn’t want to persevere with looking like I belong in the deep fryer any longer, research led me to a greater knowledge of products that might accommodate my oily skin; what a relief I was finally on the right track.  #:-S   Naturally, like with any skin care product, it all comes down to trial and error and I have tried my fair share of sunscreens that claim to be fitting for oily skin, yet within hours an onset of the ghastly slick would surface, noooooo!   :(  Still to this day, I can count on less than 10 fingers, the number of sunscreen products I have tried that actually work and work well, minus the grungy onslaught I use to dread.  Here are the progressive products I am referring to, the ones that work, which I regularly use, as well as those that perform unchallenged and unrivaled, beyond conviction; I know I can rely on any of these SPF products to satisfy my oily skin needs. (*) 

This is different to any other SPF moisturiser I have tried, EVER!  So, what is different about this one?  Lots, it’s lightweight, non-whitening, water resistant, touch dry and ultra sweat resistant. With the extreme humidity, here in Far North Qld, I always battle with sunscreens sweating off, well not anymore! Phew  #:-S  This one actually stays put and I love that it comes in a low irritant, non-greasy formula that doesn’t seem to clog my pores or contribute to any breakouts.  While my sun protection preference is usually zinc, with its physical barrier, unfortunately the options are limited when it comes to finding a decent, formula, developed into a light enough cream for daily use underneath makeup.  I normally avoid chemical sunscreens, because they bring back memories of nothing but grief; however, I was surprised to find this chemical version is so complimentary and kind to my skin, that all reservations aside, I have instead, embraced its efficacy.  >:D<

This multi-tasking trifecta combines a moisturiser, antioxidant and sunscreen, boasting five, non-nano, broad-spectrum protection filters that absorb both UVA and UVB rays like a force field, before they can cause any damage.  The skin preserving antioxidants are beneficial in the fight against skin ageing and may reduce the risk of certain sun cancers. What’s more, it is water resistant for up to four hours, so I can enjoy water activities, like swimming, without worrying that my skin is exposed. \:D/   If you have an oily or combination skin type this is an ideal daily moisturiser for you, provided you don’t have any issues using chemical sunscreen filters.

I have been using the Alpha-H Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF30+ since it was first released, on a regular basis and I am impressed with its incredible staying power. My face is indefinitely matte after application and remains like that for the duration of the day, without any sign of that pesky shine.  Presented in a handy pump bottle, just two small squirts, delivers enough weightless, creamy fluid to evenly cover my entire face and neck. It blends well and melts away to nothing within seconds, leaving my face prepped, adequately protected and ready for my makeup application.  Overall, this is one of the best sun protection products I have tried that addresses oily skin, in addition to ALL of my regular skin concerns as well, without any notable cons. =D>  (Other than my own conscience reminding me that it’s still a chemical sunscreen, @-)  LOL).
Before and after applying to skin.

I even find the title is very fitting too, as it has become a ‘Daily Essential’ step in my skincare regime.  When Alpha-H developed this SPF moisturiser, I am sure they specifically knew all about my skin care woes, haha  :)) It targets each of my individual sunscreen dilemmas, whilst it also represents and acknowledges an awareness of our humid weather conditions, conformed with its unique ‘Australian friendly’ formulation.  I have never found an SPF moisturiser with the unsurpassed qualities of the Alpha-H Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF30+, which literally runs rings around its competitors with performance capabilities alone.  I rate it as a 4 ½ star creation out of 5, which only loses the ½ star because it’s not a physical sunscreen (See there I go again, damned integrity, =)) ROFL).  Maybe I might drop a hint to Alpha-H, claiming I would love them forever if they could possibly unite the superior advantages of a physical. zinc-based sunscreen, with the competence of the Alpha-H Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF30+'s unique, breakthrough formula, to cater for us chemical sunscreen snobs, haha. >:/   Honestly though, at the end of the day, I am thankful for such an awesome SPF moisturiser that is a pleasure to use, which exceeded my expectations, ten fold, despite my initial reluctance and scepticism.  :)>-

Until about 12 months ago, this WAS my ‘Holy Grail’ sun protection product.  What’s changed? Well as I pointed out in my Top 10 Award post, I found out that my ‘be all and end all’ was in fact somewhat of a fraud. :-O  Initially, I was extremely disappointed and as a consumer, I felt deceived and misled, no thanks to the deluding information available on the brand website and product packaging, giving the impression that it’s an all natural blend, with 18% zinc oxide minerals, along with two preservatives. :-L  There is nothing ANYWHERE on the packaging or website suggesting that it has any other ingredients infused in the formulation, whereas other declarations presented in capital letters, stating ‘No Chemical Absorbers’ for example, are blatantly obvious for all to see.  I would imaging that to the average 'Jo Blow', a statement of that nature would have them assuming, it’s a natural product without harmful ingredients, like chemicals etc on board, just mineral zinc and a pair of preservatives, that is it.  :-??  

The packaging details.
It bugs the life out of me, when I come across, company after company, resorting to the clever use of crafty wording and purposely withholding the factual product details when advertising their brands.  This kind of marketing, always gives me a hunch that they are intentionally misrepresenting the truth. [-X  Due to such loose labelling regulations, here in Australia, it’s not a requirement for certain products, such as sunscreens, to disclose ALL of their ingredients.  Therefore, as consumers, we are often none the wiser. :-/  In other countries, these regulations are much tighter, so if the companies in question wish to sell their products abroad they DO have to comply with those particular countries laws.  In this case, after a bit of online probing I soon found the entire list of Invisible Zinc Tinted Daywear SPF30+ ingredients, confirming the earlier allegations that I had learned about.  Considering there is over a dozen OTHER ingredients, most of those I can’t even pronounce, certainly validates their marketing tactics are not aimed at raising consumer awareness. [-(  It’s just the opposite, the joke is on us, the oblivious consumers who are frequently sucked in, time and time again, being wrongfully fooled by this untoward, yet common form of deception.  L-)

This discovery was the pits to be honest and for a while, I actually boycotted the product all together, refusing to touch it. :-t  Mostly because I felt used, abused and feeling the fool. :">  Over the following month or so, I conducted numerous internet searches, trying to find an alternative, void of nasties, but had little success; much to my dismay, there are very few unsuspecting, trustworthy, zinc-based sunscreens around.  Anyhow, in time I eventually returned to my ‘old faithful’ after coming to terms with the reality that I had never actually experienced any complaints at all, when I used the product. *-:)  One would think that a 3-year period would be sufficient to determine any problems, which would have surely reared their ugly head, if that were the case.  However, I didn’t experience anything even remotely negative, in terms of side effects.  Additionally, if I were none the wiser to the information uncovered, I would have continued on my merry way, singing its praise, as I always did.  With that said, an old saying came to mind, ‘If it ain't broke, don't fix it!’  Well, bearing in mind that I was impressed with the results I had previously achieved using Invisible Zinc Tinted Daywear SPF30+ and without a worthwhile replacement in sight, I had to take it or leave it.  I opted for the latter.  [-O<  Due to it’s physical zinc-based properties, it still remains my sunscreen of choice.  Because it sits on top of my skin reflecting any harmful rays before they cause any damage, which unlike chemical sunscreens, that enter into your skin, there is less chance of developing any conflicts like allergies and irritations that are sometimes associated with chemical penetration.  It is also a known fact that Zinc Oxide offers the best of both UVA and UVB protection, so it made sense to stick with it, especially for occasions where I was exposed to direct sunlight, i.e. a day at the beach.  B-)
Before and after applying to skin.
Invisible Zinc Tinted Daywear SPF30+ has remarkable coverage for a tinted moisturiser and it doesn’t cause my oily skin to develop into a grease ball after a few hours.  It’s a multi-tasker, combination tinted moisturiser/sunscreen providing a natural tint with a matte-like finish with additional anti-ageing benefits. Despite claims that it contains pore-clogging ingredients, I have never suffered from congestion and like how it keeps my skin nourished with increased hydration.  Finding such a decent tinted moisturiser that harmonised with my skin, empowered me, for the first time in my life, to scrap my full coverage foundation during the day (something I would have never dreamed of doing before, it's like being naked :-O LOL).  I can instead, apply the Invisible Zinc Tinted Daywear SPF30+ with a bit of concealer and a light dusting of translucent powder and be confident that my imperfections are disguised, without the need for loads of makeup.  Furthermore, the frequent application of topical zinc to my skin, has over time, improved the overall condition of my skin, preventing the onset of pimples and breakouts, leaving my complexion healthy and clear. :)

The formula, while very thick, takes some getting use to, but its actually rather lightweight, non-greasy and is easy to spread and blend, remembering that you don’t need much.  Begin with a small pea-sized amount, adding more as required until you achieve your desired, natural-looking effect.  The thick texture contributes to a slightly tacky feel for the first couple of minutes, but setting it with a powder helps to accomplish a flawless, shine-free finish, minus the ghostly white cast often left by certain sunscreens.  It’s a perfect solution to contend the conditions of our humid, tropical climate and even on the hottest summer days I can use it of a morning and know it’s not going to budge at all. ;)  Because of the impeccable staying power, it can often be difficult to remove with a normal cleanser, so based on my own experience I have determined that either an oil-based cleanser to break it down or a deep pore cleanser, such as an AHA formulation will dispel the normally stubborn remnants with ease.  The most important acknowledgement though, is that I have never sustained even a touch of sunburn, since introducing the Invisible Zinc Tinted Daywear SPF30+, to my daytime routine.  It really does impart the ultimate barrier between my skin and the sun to safeguard against its damaging UV rays.  =D>  I am the first to admit I am not thrilled about the realisation of the included hidden nasties, after I already had developed a love affair with the product. =((  For now though, I am comfortable enough to keep plugging on with it until a better option comes along. :)  If anyone can suggest a decent zinc-based sunscreen, I would love to hear about it.

My other Staunch SPF Products - Tried, Tested and Deemed Suitable for Oily Complexions (by yours truly)

Ultraceuticals Protective Daily Moisturiser SPF30+ - This is a creamy, lightweight, non-greasy, age defying moisturiser with the bonus of antioxidant goodies to combat free radical damage and a high SPF rating, consisting of both chemical and physical sunscreens. It combats dehydration and delivers a superb matte finish.
Before and after applying to skin.

Kosmea Moisturising Lotion SPF30+ - This lightly textured, delicately scented, oil-free moisturiser has excellent sun protection properties incorporating both physical and chemical technology, targeting prematurely ageing skin to promote a healthy, youthful complexion.  Featuring some super beneficial all natural ingredients, and no nasties, it’s everything like a gorgeous nourishing lotion and nothing like a sunscreen.
Before and after applying to skin.

Burts Bees Radiance Day Lotion SPF30+  - Infused with a subtle, sweet fruity fragrance the lightweight, ultra delicate, cream absorbs super fast with no greasy residue. The airy texture provides a matte finish and it remains shine-free all day, while the natural ingredients enhance the skins radiance and rejuvenate the complexion. It offers an adequate chemical and physical combination sun protection in a non-typical sunscreen formula that doesn’t leave a white cast on the skin.
Before and after applying to skin.

Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturiser SPF20 – This is a tinted moisturiser with a difference, providing super staying power and a fresh, dewy finish in a non-greasy formulation. It has a thick foundation-like texture, but blends with ease to achieve a the fullest sheer coverage tinted moisturiser I’ve ever seen, which is also buildable for extra concealment of any stubborn imperfections, ensuring an evenly toned, healthy, natural looking complexion. The one downfall is that I wouldn’t be inclined to reply it as my sole sun protection product because the chemical sunscreens, unfortunately don’t offer broad spectrum protection, so I like to use it in conjunction with another form of protection.
Before and after applying to skin.

Mukti Botanicals Tinted Moisturiser SPF15 – This non-nano, chemical-free, zinc-based tinted moisturiser offers decent physical protection, in an all-natural formula, that instantly sparked my attention.  It has a slightly herbal aroma and the texture, whilst thin and lightweight, is probably slightly too rich for my oily skin, due to the enticing blend of nourishing ingredients, which tends to get a bit shiny during the day. My other dilemma is the coverage is basically nada, it’s so sheer it’s invisible, therefore makes for a great base, preferably under a dusting of mineral powder foundation. Unfortunately, it doesn’t hide my flaws or even out my skin tone, so I dare not use it alone without the security of at least some extra cover.  10/10 for coming real close to the physical protection solution I am looking for.  ;)
Before and after applying to skin.

Philosophy Supernatural Oil-Free Tinted Foundation PrimerSPF 15 – This primer literally blew me away, it totally exceeded my expectations, as never have I tried a tinted primer, much less one that also has the benefits of broad spectrum chemical and physical sun protection properties.  It’s silky smooth in texture with added silicones that magically transform my complexion, evening the tone and hiding the imperfections for a flawless finish. My skin looks amazing BEFORE I have even applied any foundation. It keeps my makeup in place and looking matte all day, definitely the best primer I have tried to date. :x  I am sceptical on the effectiveness of the SPF, however, so if heading outdoors I just apply additional sun protection to be certain.
Before and after applying to skin.

Whoa, :-" that was one heck of a mouthful if I do say so myself, LOL. :)) Nevertheless, if you think about it, that is only eight sun protection products that I highly regard as worthy of recommendation to my fellow oily skinned sisters.  Over the duration of my thirty odd years, I constantly searched for a pertinent safeguard, in alliance with the ongoing Aussie health campaign I evolved with, 'Slip, Slop, Slap'.  Yet pinpointing the right sunscreen was never an easy feat, for someone with oily skin.  I learned quick smart that oily skin and sunscreen do not readily unite.  One fail would usually lead to another and then another and so forth, so having established eight amazing sun protectors that DO synthesise in accordance with my oily complexion is quite an achievement for me, hehe.  ;)) Seriously, you probably won’t believe this, but it has only been during the past four years or so that I have established every one of my SPF staples, when I finally got my skin professionally analysed and was educated about products and ingredients that compliment my skin type.  Prior to that, I was constantly at war with my skin, due to misuse of incompatible skin care products, so slapping on any old sunscreen didn’t do me any justice, and needless to say none of the products from the past three decades are still with me today, haha.  :))  Do you have problems finding a sunscreen product, which is compatible with your skin type?  Do you have any favourites you might care to share?  Hit me with your suggestions, I’m all ears.  :)

All images in this post are my own.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The people that you meet!

Image courtesy of tower.com
"Oh who are the people in your neighbourhood?
In your neighbourhood?
In your neighbourhood?
Say who are the people in your neighbourhood?
The people that you meet each day

Well they're the people that you meet
When you're walking down the street
They're the people that you meet each day"
(Written by Jeff Moss 1969 - Sesame Street)

Ahh!  Well that song certainly brings back many childhood memories.  I spent countless mornings and afternoons faithfully watching good old Sesame Street.  For some reason it was also the song that came to mind as I recalled my recent weekend in Sydney, where I had the opportunity meet with some locals.  Considering I know quite a few people that live in the area who have been online friends for many years, I was eager to arrange a hook-up with some of my Beauty Heaven advocates and fellow bloggers.  Meeting the girls turned out to be the highlight of my weekend away!  :)

Because I live in the sticks (think rural, FNQ), located in the small farming community of Innisfail, I always miss the benefits that come with living in a big city, the kind of things that you just can’t do living in a small town.  I am not the jealous type, but on many occasions, my already green eye’s often become even greeeeener with envy as I read about the city girls (the Sydneysiders in particular) meeting up for recreational days out, being invited to various PR events or just joining forces with other likeminded girlfriends on groupie style shopping expeditions.  At times it feels like I am an alien from another planet, coz living up here is just so isolating!  >-)  So, when my itinerary for the Sydney International Spa and Beauty Expo weekend arrived, revealing four hours to kill between checking out of my motel at the Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour and departing for the airport to catch my return flight home, I pondered the possibility of arranging a meet-up with some of my online buddies.  :-?              

I posted my thoughts of a meet up on Facebook, which sparked a bit of interest from my cohort of beauty aficionado comrades, however, unfortunately there were beauties that had already planned holidays, or had no access to babysitters etc, the usual dilemmas that arise when planning any type of get-together.  Nevertheless, as it turned out, three girlfriends confirmed that they were available to venture into Darling Harbour on Sunday and spend a few hours catching up.  In addition, another friend and blogger that I conjointly met on the Beauty Heaven website as regular participants on their Forum, who wasn’t able to make it into the city for our Sunday meet, just so happened to be attending the expo on Saturday as well, so we swapped numbers and decided to purposely bump into each other while there.  Yippee!!! I’m so excited, as plans were in place and it dawned on me that it was actually going to happen; I mean we had all talked about meeting each other one in person day, but now it was finally a reality, whoop, whoop YAY!  <:-P I’m literally doing a happy dance.   \:D/  Yeah boi, bring it on…..Sydney here I come!
View from window Darling Harbour Motel

After jetting into Sydney late on Friday night and making way to the Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour, my temporary abode for the weekend, I offloaded off my luggage and made a mad dash down the street to grab a bite to eat.  My eyes lit up as the city came to life at night, the beats were pumping from nearby live music venues as people scattered the streets with an appetite for activity.  As enticing as it was to stay and enjoy the entertaining nightlife, I was exhausted and needed to crash ASAP to manage just over four hours shut eye before the big day I had ahead.  Awoken by the ‘wake-up-call’ I requested at 5.45 am, I got out of bed looking like something the cat had dragged in, EEK.  :-O   I bee-lined for the shower with my Evo Soap DodgerBody Wash to spark my senses with the refreshing, uplifting natural aroma, which is an instant reviver and a great way to energise me for the new day.  I quickly washed my hair with my GoldwellDualsenses Ultra Volume Shampoo and Conditioner, that I fortunately had in travel sized versions, then prepped my skin using the Alpha-H Clear Skin Kit, which accompanied me to Sydney for convenience.  I love travel-sized products when going away, so much better than overloading my suitcase with all the products I normally incorporate into my Serious Skin Care regime, and not to mention the hoards of other beauty products I use on a daily basis LOL :))
Sarah, The Science of Beauty

Anyway, I made it to the breakfast briefing on time and then spent hours trawling around the stands at the expo.  Come mid-morning, it was time for my highly anticipated social engagement, where I was able to meet the first of my welcoming girlfriends, Sarah from The Science of Beauty.  We met up in the lounge but ended up wandering over to the designated cafĂ© seating area to grab a drink.  Finding an empty table, we sat down and chatted like a couple of excited school girls.  I don’t know about you guys but to me, it’s kind of funny when you meet your online friends in person, coz they don't exactly resemble the image etched in my head that they look like, LOL.  :)) Even though I have seen Sarah’s profile photo more than enough times, but she just didn't mirror the radiant, blushing young bride looking perfect for her wedding day, doh!  #-o  I knew she wasn’t going to come waltzing down one of the isles in her wedding dress or anything, bwahahaha  =))  But I think I envisioned her face and hair to have frozen in time and still exactly like that, haha. :D  Anyway, Sarah was gorgeous and I enjoyed meeting her in the flesh.  It felt like I was catching up with an old friend, as we practically new each other anyway, via emails, swaps, forums, blogs and of course Facebook, so it wasn’t awkward like meeting a complete stranger for the first time.  I humbugged her for a photo before we parted ways and, as always, Sarah was gracious enough to oblige. :)
Image courtesy of The Meat & Wine Co

That afternoon I attended a work conference, followed by dinner at The Meat and Wine Co over-looking over the harbour and afterward headed to the Capitol Theatre to take the enchanting ‘Supercalifragilistic Musical’ production, Mary Poppins.  The magical extravaganza was spectacular, I might add, how talented are those actors who sing with the most powerful voices and boy-oh-boy can they dance, the choreography was brilliant!  It’s definitely a Broadway Musical that would appeal to anyone, even if you’re not normally into that sort of thing, it’s absolutely mind-blowing!  I eventually crawled into bed just after midnight and was so relieved that checkout wasn’t until 11am the following morning, phew.  It’s finally, time for some decent shuteye.  I slept until 9am then got up and got ready to rock and roll out of there and head off to meet the girlfriends.  My makeup was a neutral look, which is not something I normally do, however my favourite bold pink lipstick would have clashed with my outfit :-O (we can’t have that now can we? LOL[-X  Here is a rundown of my natural-looking FOTD.
Image Courtesy of sydney.com
Sunday 14th August, 2011 - Sydney FOTD

Primer – Laura Mercier Foundation Primer
Illuminator – Benefit Girl Meets Pearl

Yes, actually, in case your wondering, I did mange to fit all that makeup in my suitcase and I will fill you in on a little secret, shhh :-$ That was only the half of it :">  Hmmm, I am renowned for taking faaaaaaaarrrrr too much makeup with me when I go away and remember a couple of years back I even had to pay extra to check my carry-on luggage in because it was too heavy :-S oops, LOL.  After applying my makeup, I tended to my hair, which was super easy, whipping out my Batiste Diva Dry Shampoo and my Redken Quick Dry 18 Instant FinishingSpray, I gave it a quick once over and slapped a hat on my head.  At five minutes to 11 am, I managed to jam everything back into my suitcase to take home, and despite only accumulating a Mini Haul at the expo, I still struggled to fit it in well enough to close it, oh,oh. :-L  But, plonking myself on top of the case did the trick, where I was able to manoeuvre the slider and force the zipper to close and the final result was a suitcase that was nearly busting at the seams, oops. :">  8-|  Note to one’s self, NOT SO MUCH MAKEUP next time, haha, :D I must invest in some decent travel sized makeup just for the sole purpose of going away, this was just ridiculous!  :P

I got out of the motel with only seconds to spare and immediately recognised one of my dearest mates, who like the others, I first met on the Forum as members of the Beauty Heaven website.  We regularly keep in contact, mostly on Facebook these days and also via email.  Christine, was the first to arrive and had walked from the train station to surprise me by waiting out the front of the hotel.  >:D<  Soon after, we met up with Su from My Perfume Diaries, who I have become quite close friends with over the past few years, regularly engaging in personal exchanges in addition to our usual beauty nattering.  ;)  The last to arrive was another beauty, Alice who I have always admired after becoming firm friends, once again thanks to our love of beauty and frequenting the Forum on Beauty Heaven, as well as connecting on more casual terms via Facebook.  Alice, who is also the author of Alice Jane in Newcastle, had me feeling super privy when I learned she was coming to the city, considering she lives a 3-hour train trip away; I couldn’t believe she came all that way just to meet me, so I was thrilled! ;;)
Clown in the Neighbourhood

Once together, we ventured around in Haymarket, finding an eatery in the Market City Shopping Centre, where we sat down for a meal and a big fat chat, LOL :))  I naturally swamped the girls, revealing my goody bag of products from my Mini Haul at the expo and showcased some photos that I had taken over the weekend, he,he. ;))  Afterward Su and I went browsing in the Cosmetics Fragrance Direct outlet, while Chris and Alice watched a table tennis tournament they were filming in the centre court.  I behaved myself whilst in the legion of all those enticing beauty products, despite the temptation before me; I resisted and only left with the one Rimmel Rich Moisture Cream Lipstick in Exquisite a pretty, pink shade, so dibs to me again for my exquisite display of self-control, phew. #:-S   We made our way downstairs and roamed around Paddy’s Markets for the rest of the afternoon, where I got some toys for the hard-heads (kids) back at home and some candy coated almonds (for mwah). ;)  I think I could have easily spent up big there too, but instead, I was just happy to trawl around eying off all the different stalls, especially whilst keeping with such great company.  :)

L-R Su, Chris, Me and Alice
The meet and greet ended with some happy snaps of us all together, which came about when we roped some poor woman walking by into taking for of us.  I bet she wished she had of walked in another direction at that point, as ambushed her with not one camera and a couple of photos, but all our cameras and several shots, LOL. :))  Soon after, we bid our farewells.  For me it would be at least another 12 months before the possibility of seeing any of them again, however, as for my Sydney friends, I’m sure they will all meet up again very soon, maybe even at IMATS, this coming  month??  %%-

Image courtesy of wifelysteps.com
Overall, What a great weekend!  =D>  I had an awesome time and loved having the chance to meet such amazing people, who all share the same interests as me.  It was a weekend to remember and one that I will cherish for many years to come.  I certainly hope to meet them all again next time I am visiting in their neighbourhood, along with some of my other online friends who couldn’t make it this time round.  It is great to have friends online but even better when you meet them face to face.  :)  Oh who are the people in your neighbourhood?  They're the people that you meet each day!  :-h
Have you ever met any of your online buddies in person?

All images in this post are my own, apart from any generic images, which I have given credit to the source in the caption below each image.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Beauty Expo 2011 - My mini haul.

Image c/o http://www.internationalbeautyexpo.com.au/
Hey there peeps! :-h   Well I am just back from my awesome weekend away, attending the Sydney International Spa & Beauty ExpoThis is the second year I have had the privilege of visiting the prestigious two-day event at the SydneyConvention & Exhibition Centre in Darling Harbour

The expo is the largest event in Australia for the beauty industry, featuring the latest and greatest in products, treatments and equipment from some of the best brands and suppliers in the country.  With over 250 exhibitors, let me tell you, this expo didn’t disappoint.  ;)  Including brands such as ASAP, Dermalogica, Ecoya, Jane Iredale, Orly, and Youngblood to name a few; it is a beauty connoisseur’s dream come true, with all that beauty stuff in the same place at the same time, yeah boi!!!. \:D/  I am talking skin care, cosmecuticals, natural & organic, makeup, haircare, tanning and all sorts of tools of the trade, you name it; 'Everything Beautyful' is all on display at the expo. yay :D

Image c/o http://www.internationalbeautyexpo.com.au/
This year I was more prepared than I was last year, knowing that there are certainly lots of bargains to be had at this event over the course of the weekend.  Therefore, I made sure I had a few $$$ spare for just a tiny little splurge, which is more than I can say for last year, d'oh!  :-O   #-o  Yeah, yeah I am 'unfortunately' on a super tight budget, being a stay at home mummy and all, but considering I don’t 'normally' go out and treat myself, this was classified as an exception  :-"  :>  I am quite proud of myself actually, because I didn’t really 'go to town' buying up a storm, as I have recently embraced a HUGE reality check and am avoiding any 'unnecessary' beauty purchases :-t (well TRYING to, LOL). :))  It had to be done, if you saw the amount of beauty booty I have laying around my house you would honestly fall over, ha-ha. :))  I could 'easily' open my own store :-O  But seriously, enough is enough!  I hate wasting anything and buying more stuff just for the sake of it, coz it looks so prrrretty, or someone else claims it's good... etc etc is how I landed in this boat in the first place, so it’s OFFICIAL, I AM ON A SPENDING BAN!!! [-(  :((  But……it IS cool to buy anything that needs replacing or things I don’t already have (phew, #:-S  it's impossible to just go cold turkey right, >:)  hehe). ;))

So now, onto the exciting bit, ha-ha, :))  Here is what ended up in my mini haul from the expo this year!

Beauty Expo, Mini Haul
Make Up Thing - High Grade Beauty Kerchief

Ok, What the???  :-/  Well as it turns out, the Make Up Thing - High Grade Beauty Kerchief is just basically a purple, cotton/elastic headband to use for makeup/bath/beauty.  It is one size fits all and has one of those velcro fasteners. Not exactly a fashion statement, LOL :)) but quite useful all the same and for $1.60 I took the bait and got reeled right on in, haha :))  Yeah well, I guess I am just a sucker for anything novelty, shh :-$  ;) 

Makeup Sponge Wedges

I have never tried makeup wedges before but considering I LOVE :x my Beauty Pod, which looks similar to the soft sponge of these wedges.  I thought these might be a super budget alternative.  There is like 32 in a pack, so talk about value, these will no doubt last me for forever and a day, ha-ha :))

Designer Makeup Tools - Brush Cleaner

Scandal - Nail Polish Remover

Natural Look - 8 inch Hinged Sleepers
Scandal - Oil Control Film
Red Eyelash Curler
Some Samples I picked up too :)
Eye Kandy - Basic Kandy Bag
I am loving the Eye Kandy Eye & Body Glitter. :x  With a stay-put base this glitter stays on all day with no flaking! (*)  I first saw this brand last year at the expo and wanted to get a demo done, but their stand was constantly jam packed with people congregating to have a test drive. :-w  I admired the legion of fans who were easily spotted flaunting their vibrant, colourful kandy liners as they made their way around the event.  I am sure every second person I passed was sporting this new-found bling, hehe. ;))  This year I wasn't going to miss out, LOL :)) so, I bee-lined straight to the Eye Kandy stand nice and early and this time I finally got my whack too, woo-hoo. <:-P  I was so impressed with the results so I purchased myself a basic starter set to take home and plan on getting some more gorgeous shades further down the track.

Slightly squashed brochure
Some of the intense glitter varieties available

I chose my favourite hue - Purple
Bright and Bold

Spicy Tart

The name seemed fitting also, ha-ha, :)) I believe I could be considered as a bit of a spicy tart myself, LOL   :-j   

Anyway, that is my Sydney International Spa & Beauty Expo done and dusted for another year.  Now time to kick back and play with some of my new beauty booty. ;)  Should keep me entertained for a while now and it will keep me satisfied so I need not dwell on my spending ban, LOL :))  Did anyone else venture to the expo this year too?  Have you ever been to a beauty expo anywhere else before?  Let me know your thoughts. Do you agree it's the biggest Temptation with a capital T or what?  hehe ;))  How good is your self control?

All images in this blog are my own, other than the two generic images from the Sydney International Spa & Beauty Expo website.