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!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Australis Curve Ink Eyeliner

Hi friends everywhere!  :-h   The next post is about a trendy new eyeliner from a popular Australian cosmetic company.  I was sent this product from Tammerly to trial and review for her lifestyle, fashion and beauty blog Spoilt.  Read on to find out about my experience.  \:D/

The innovative Australis Curve Ink Eyeliner is an ergonomically shaped liquid eyeliner for ease of use, precise application and most of all for maximum comfort.  Ideal for both left and right handed folk, its paraben and formaldehyde-free, claims to be water-resistant, fast-drying and smudge-proof.  :)

I received the Australis Curve Ink Eyeliner attached to a fold-out cardboard that includes product information, including features, benefits, availability and an instructional guide to achieve the trendy cat-eyed look.  The 9gm plastic packaging is black and bright pink, reflective of the Australis brand, which presents as modern and chic.  B-) The applicator has a curved handle that fits comfortably in my hand and boasts a grip zone to place my fingers on to ensure the ultimate in control.  =D>

The Australis Curve Ink Eyeliner has an ultra-fine, pointy, felt pen-style tip is firm and easy to apply.  The fluid-like formulation is not as runny as most liquid liners and therefore glides on smoothly and dries almost instantly without running or feathering and stays put for hours before it starts gradually fading into more of a grey shade.  The colour is a very intense black and I only needed the one coat to achieve a thin solid line, but it also layers well if I want to create a thicker, more defined line.  I am pretty sure black is the only shade that it comes in at this stage, but I would definitely be keen to see it available in a greater selection of colours further down the track.  ;)  The only downfall in these felt tipped liners is they do dry out faster than other liquid liners, but considering this product is available in Priceline, or via Australis Cosmetics online for just $14.95, it’s affordable to replace when needed. 

The packaging, including how-to guide.
I am a bit awkward when it comes to applying liquid eyeliner,   #-o   so normally opt for the pencil varieties; however I highly recommend the Australis Curve Ink Eyeliner to those who have difficulty using regular liquid liners, or particularly if you’re a beginner.  The applicator shape allows my hand to keep steady and the finely tapered, pointy tip makes drawing straight lines easier than ever.  #:-S   I like how fast the formula sets, which is so handy during the warmer months when all my makeup wants to slide off and head south just as quickly as I apply it.  :-O   However, in this case, once it’s in place it doesn’t budge, even in the humidity, thanks to the water-resistant factor that even prevents smudging.  <:-P  My eyeliner is still in place at the end of the day, despite fading somewhat, and yet it comes off effortlessly with my cleansing oil or makeup remover.  If you want to get the hang of recreating the ‘purr-fect’ fool-proof, feline eye look, then this is one liner you will want to try.  ;;)

Tip – Use a cotton tip dipped in cleansing oil to make corrections.

Rating – 3.5 out of 5 (Published for Spoilt. Click here to view)

Have you tried this eyeliner yet?  :-/   Do you like the felt-pen style eyeliners, or do you prefer a different type of liner?  :-?  If you're worried about using liquid liners this might be a good way to learn. Interested or.....please comment below with your opinion.

The images in this post are generic.

Aromatherapy Associates

Hi again beauties! :-h  This next post features a couple of hair care products that were sent to me by Tammerly, who is the talented author of Spoilt.  She asked me to test drive a shampoo and conditioner from a company I’d never heard of before, so I could then review them for her blog.  I’m always happy to try out new hair care brands, especially when they’re a little bit different than the norm, but of course, who wouldn’t hehe   ;))  Anyway, here’s what I though: 

Aromatherapy Associates Balance Shampoo

( $28.80 per 300ml –  I received the 40ml Travel Size )

Aromatherapy Associates is a UK brand focused on delivering effective and luxurious aromatherapy experiences.  Their Balance Shampoo claims to be mild, gentle and suitable for all hair types.  It’s enriched with pure essential oils to maintain optimal hair and scalp health.  :)

I received this shampoo in a small, squeezable tube, which is lavender in colour and has a clear plastic flip-top lid.  The generous size makes it ideal for travelling and reminds me of the amenities that are usually supplied for guests to use when staying at certain motel/hotel chains.  ;)

The clear, gel-like shampoo has a thick consistency and a very prominent herbal scented aroma,   @};-  due to rosemary and ylang ylang being the two key ingredients.  I’m not sure if it’s the sort of smell that appeals to everyone, however I found it quite soothing and relaxing, yet considering it was quite strong initially, the scent eventually faded.  I needed to dispense about a 20c coin worth of product to massage into my scalp and lengths, which developed into a very light, somewhat creamy lather that left my locks feeling squeaky clean and instantly refreshed.  It rinsed completely out of my hair, leaving no oily residue, but I did notice my strands were quite tangled and feeling a little parched.  :-S

I then used the Condtioner in the same range, with the combination resulting in shiny, lustrous tresses that ended up feeling adequately nourished.  I was really disappointed to discover that the second ingredient listed on the back of the shampoo was SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate)   :-O   which I really didn’t expect to find in an aromatherapy range.  I originally assumed the brand supported the use of natural ingredients, considering the company philosophy includes ‘Pure natural and effective’ and especially since it didn’t work into a very foamy lather either.  But after using both the shampoo and conditioner several times, I noticed that my scalp had become irritated and itchy, only since introducing these products.  This triggered me to check the ingredients list and I know based on past experience that the SLES in the shampoo was the most likely culprit to cause the scalp aggravation.  ~X(  What a shame, in my opinion that alone, spoils the whole experience for me and I don’t understand the sense in using nasty ingredients in a product that claims to keep the scalp in good condition?  :-/  It goes to show, if you’re concerned and have sensitive skin then always check the ingredients labels, despite what the product name suggests.  /:)

Travel Size Shampoo
Overall, this shampoo was a let down.  :(  It’s rather costly like a high end salon product and while it promises to deliver healthy, strong tresses and to keep the scalp in good condition, I guess it would be better suited to those without sensitive skin issues.  My hair was soft, smooth and healthy after using the Aromatherapy Associates Balance Shampoo and Condtioner combination, however because I determined that the detergents in the shampoo were upsetting my scalp so much, I had to discontinue use.  Unfortunately, this product was not for me and based on my own personal views, I would only be comfortable suggesting it to people who are keen on the therapeutic benefits of essential oils and don’t mind the distinct fragrance they produce.  :)>-

Rating - 2.5 out of 5 (published for Spoilt. Click here to view) 

Aromatherapy Associates Balance Conditioner 

($28.80 for 300ml - I received the 40ml Travel Size)

Aromatherapy Associates is a UK brand focused on delivering effective and luxurious aromatherapy experiences.  Their Balance Conditioner claims to be enriched with pure essential oils and suitable for all hair types.  It maximises smooth, soft glossy hair.  :D

I received this conditioner in a small, squeezable tube, which is pale grey in colour and has a clear plastic flip-top lid.  The generous size makes it ideal for travelling and reminds me of the amenities that are usually supplied for guests to use when staying at certain motel/hotel chains.  ;;)

The white, creamy conditioner has a smooth, rich consistency and boasts a distinct herbal fragrance,  %%-  based on the key ingredients of ylang ylang, geranium and patchouli.  The smell may not appeal to everyone, but I find the aroma uplifting and it stimulates the senses and leaves me feeling revitalised.  I use a small amount of conditioner, around the size of a 20 cent coin to massage into my scalp and distribute it throughout my lengths.   It washes out with warm water and instantly detangles my long straight locks, which were all tangled after the washing process.  =D>

When dry, my mane is left soft and shiny, with no greasy build-up weighing it down, instead it’s more balanced and effectively nourished.  It works well at taming my frizzy flyaways, resulting in smooth, sleek strands with a more definite shine.  After using the conditioner, in conjunction with the shampoo in the same range, unfortunately my scalp became itchy and irritable as a result of the detergents in the shampoo, so I was unable to continue using the combination to determine if over time the products do in fact improve the strength and condition of my hair.   :|  I’ve been using the conditioner alone as an occasional treatment and I have not experienced any discomfort to my scalp, so I can vouch that it is in fact suitable for those with sensitive skin too.  :-*

Travel Size Conditioner
The conditioner has wonderful detangling and smoothing properties and did moderately care for my overall hair health.  It’s quite expensive, in line with top-shelf, salon brands and based on my personal experience, I highly doubt I would consider spending that much on what I consider to be more of a mediocre product.  The Aromatherapy Associates Balance Conditioner may appeal to anyone who appreciates the therapeutic benefits of essential oils, particularly those who don’t mind the aromatic qualities and can afford the cost.  It’s really a better option for those who wish to team it with the partnering shampoo, otherwise if used on its own; it could make for a nice moisturising treat that delivers soft, sleek, more manageable tresses.  :)

Rating - 3.5 out of 5 (published for SpoiltClick here to view)

Have you heard of this brand or tried it before??   :-?  Have you tried hair care products that you assumed were natural, based on labeling, only to discover they were not quite what you were led to believe?   :-/  Please feel free to comment with your thoughts.

The images in this post are generic.

Neutrogena Naturals

Hello there friendly people!  :-h   I would like to firstly apologise and I hope you will excuse me for not being around at all last month.  #-o   My excuse is that I was up to my eyeballs with things happening, to the point where I was just so busy that I didn’t get enough free ‘Me’ time to catch up with my blog.  [-X   So, after the neglecting, it’s now time to add some of the backlog I’ve built up over the past few months….(so many reviews that I’ve completed yet, still need to be posted that it’s not funny   :-"  )   :-w  Well, embarrassingly for me,  :">  even after blogging for all this time now, I’ve still not developed an easy way of uploading and arranging the layout of each post and it takes me literally aaaagggeesss just to get one published, oops!!   :-<  So, hoping my loyal followers will be able to dig these random ‘whenever’ postings and have the patience to bear with me when I go AWOL:-t

Ahh well enough of that, it’s not my intention to chew your ears off   :-@   about my personal blues.  Anyway,  I’m here now and I’m about to introduce you all to a few products that I was offered to try out from a newly released skin care collection that hails from a very well-known personal care company.  The products in this post were sent to me for consideration by Sarah at Platinum Media & Communications Pty Ltd.   B-)

Neutrogena have jumped upon the more natural skin care bandwagon with their latest ‘Naturals’ range, which features a line-up of products that are infused with plant based botanicals, minerals and vitamins and are free of the nasties such as parabens, petrochemicals, dyes, and phthalates.  The sustainable packaging is even greener, made up with post-consumer recycled materials that they claim is the most responsibly produced packaging in the world.  The products are definitely not 100% natural but I like that they are not trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes either; honestly disclosing the naturally derived percentage of each product.  Well I personally agree that being mostly natural is all about being kinder to the skin, so that has to be a plus.  =D>  Apparently the products do contain synthetic fragrances, so once again, I appreciate their honesty and think it’s a good thing to let people know what they are getting and as a warning to those who may be sensitive to that sort of thing.  The natural approach is said to focus on skin health and boosting resilience by supporting the skin’s natural functions, with replenishment and detoxification to help deliver healthy-looking skin.  :D

Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser 

($14.99 per 177ml)
Made with 90% naturally derived ingredients, the Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser is rich in Willowbark bionutrients, which is a natural form of Salicylic Acid, as well as Vitamins, designed to penetrate deep down, detoxifying the pores and removing impurities to ensure fresher, cleaner skin.

It comes in a stubby, compact translucent plastic bottle with a pump-action dispenser.  The design is simple and fuss-free, reflective of the greener, more natural direction of the range.  The label on the back of the packaging is also very informative with a list of all the included ingredients, along with their source.

The clear, gel-based liquid cleanser is of a medium consistency and has a fresh, sweet, apple-like fragrance that I find clearly plastic-y and artificial and far too strong for my personal taste, however I’m sure the fruity aroma would be appealing to certain folks who appreciate sweet ambrosial smells.  The scent, whilst initially a bit pungent, definitely disappears completely after cleansing, which is a relief.  #:-S   I only need one pump to adequately wash my whole face and neck and once the gel mixes with water, it lathers up into a rich, creamy foam that effectively provides a deep down cleanse, removing all traces of dirt, grime, surface oils and most of my makeup.  It rinses off with warm or even cold water, leaving my skin super clean and instantly refreshed.  <:-P

Over time, I have noticed that because this cleanser does such a good job of washing my skin, it’s sometimes feels a somewhat taut and on the dry side, so it’s important that I use a replenishing moisturiser to rehydrate after cleansing.  :)>-  I have oily, sometimes sensitive skin and have not suffered any adverse reactions from using this cleanser.  The gentle formulation is non-irritating to me, although the scent could be bothersome or may trigger sensitivity issues for anyone who can’t tolerate overpowering fragrances,  :-S   nevertheless I didn’t have any worries myself.  Based on my own experience, I’ve found it’s a great cleanser, especially for using during the hotter months here in FNQ, when the humidity can sometimes take its toll on my skin and make it excessively oily during the day.  Since using this cleanser, I’ve been pleased that it helps combat any greasy build-up and keeps my pores looking clear and blemish free.  ;;)

The Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser makes a great all-purpose, budget priced cleanser for both males and females of all ages.  It’s perfect for anyone who prefers more natural ingredients in their skin care, but can’t afford the expense of high-end brands.  I wouldn’t recommend it so much for those with dry complexions as it may not by moisturising enough, therefore suggest it would be better suited for normal, combination or oily skin types.  ;)

Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover 

($14.99 per 177ml)
Made with 86% naturally derived ingredients, the Neutrogena Fresh Cleaning + Makeup Remover is rich in Peruvian Tara Seed bionutrients, as well as Vitamins and Complex sugars, designed to boost moisture and prevent dehydration, while strengthening the skins natural barriers.  The dual-action formula removes makeup and cleans the skin in one easy step to produce softer, cleaner skin.

Like the Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser, it comes in a stubby, compact translucent plastic bottle with a user-friendly pump-action dispenser.  The design is simple and fuss-free, reflective of the greener, more natural direction of the range.  The label on the back of the packaging is also very informative with a list of all the included ingredients, along with their source.

The light, creamy, gel-like solution is pearlescent in colour and reminds me of a shampoo.  It’s heavily scented with a fresh, sweet, apple-like fragrance that I personally find too overbearing; however people that like really fruity perfumed products will probably be thrilled.  Unlike most makeup removers, this one is used just like a cleanser and one pump provides enough gel to wash my whole face and neck.  It gently lathers and melts away my makeup, although it doesn’t quite cut through my heavy eye makeup and despite claiming to be suitable for the eye contour, I find it stings slightly and is rather uncomfortable,  :-O   so I prefer to do that area separately.  With that in mind, I wouldn’t recommend it to those with really sensitive eyes or for use specifically as an eye makeup remover.  The cleanser rinses off easily and doesn’t dry out my skin or create any greasy surface residue; instead my face feels soft, supple and for the most part clean.  :)

I think the Neutrogena Fresh Cleaning + Makeup Remover is ideal ‘go-to’ product for when I’m in a hurry and want a quick wash to get rid of my daily makeup, yet can’t be bothered going to the trouble of completing a two step process.  I-)  That said, because it doesn’t work ‘wonders’ on my eye makeup and it doesn’t feel like my skin is thoroughly clean, like the regular cleanser does, hence it’s not going to be my first choice to use on a regular basis.  Whilst it’s a bit irritating to my eyes, it doesn’t upset my skin at all; therefore I imagine its gentle enough for most skin types.  It’s a neat, time saving, cleanser combination makeup remover that is kind on the wallet and a handy option for folks who don’t wear a lot of makeup and want a fast, super convenient cleansing solution -  worthwhile to have on hand!   

Tip -  *-:)  It can also be used to clean makeup brushes without damaging them..

Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Pore Scrub 

($14.99 per 118ml)  
Made with 94% naturally derived ingredients, the Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Pore Scrub is rich in Willowbark bionutrients, which is a natural form of Salicylic Acid, as well as Vitamins and Jojoba, designed to slough away dead, dulling skin cells and clear congested pores to deliver smoother, fresher, cleaner skin. It’s gentle enough for daily use and even suitable for acne prone skin.

It’s presented in an easy-to-use, plastic, squeezable tube with a flip top lid and a design that is simple and fuss-free, reflective of the greener, more natural direction of the range.  The label on the back of the packaging is also very informative with a list of all the included ingredients, along with their source.

The scrub features a translucent gel-based, liquid formula has fairly watery consistency and for that reason, it needs to be shaken really well before dispensing.  The fluid contains tiny granules, which work to physically exfoliate the skin.  The fragrance is similar to the two cleansers I’ve tried in this range, with a slightly overwhelming, sweet apple scent that I find noticeably artificial, but thankfully it doesn’t linger once applied.  #:-S   It foams gradually upon contact with water and then melts into my skin as the beads go to work on the surface, gently removing the old cells, without rubbing my skin until it becomes angry and red raw.  Instead, it provides a deep-pore cleanse that washes off easily, revealing a new complexion that is smooth and supple, taking on a fresh, healthy glow.  \:D/

I usually always avoid manual scrubs, because the scrubbing action generally aggravates the areas of my skin that are quite fragile.  :(  I was impressed with this scrub though, as the actual exfoliating beads appeared smooth and polished off around all the edges, making them completely non-abrasive.  Due to not being rough, they didn’t scratch or aggravate my skin at all.  :D   The delicate areas that are around my nose and inner cheeks, still experienced a bit of mild redness after each application and while it isn’t extreme, that is exactly what happens to me when I manually exfoliate in those spots.  ~X(  Now, when using this product, I simply avoid that area and concentrate on the rest of my face, which is more tolerant and doesn’t become dried out or irritated by scrubbing.  ;)

This is a very decently priced facial scrub for those who love the feel of an exfoliator that physically renews their skin and prompts a thorough but gentle, deep-down clean that you can really feel.  The Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Pore Scrub is suitable for both girls and guys of all ages and all skin types, particularly as it’s so affordable and readily available at leading supermarkets, variety stores and pharmacies Australia-wide.  I consider it to be a worthy little investment that will help to brighten up the dullest complexion and keep it looking constantly clear and radiant.  :-*

Have you tried this new range yet?  :-/  Which of these three products do you think is most appealing?  :-?  Let us know your thoughts by commenting below.  Cheers heaps for that! xx oo

All images in this post are generic.