Monday, 24 December 2012

a little christmas pamper | Blogmas Post #23 (The Last One!)

It feels a little weird to not post about something Christmassy but I haven't many ideas! Luckily viviannadoesmakeup (one of my favourite blogs) posted a video about her Christmas pamper routine and while mine is nowhere near that extensive, it inspired this post!

I just tried this little trio and I can't believe I haven't before! My skin feels so soft and bouncy I'm definitely going to do it more often :D

Avene Thermal Water
I have sung the praises of this little beaut many times now so I won't go on too much, but I always use it with the Pangea Organics Mask now. You should use the mask with a moist face and since I don't tend to do masks in the shower I use the spring water. I spray it on before and after applying the mask.  Say what you will, but this is more than just water in a can!

Pangea Organics, Japanese Match Tea with Acai & Goji Berry
I don't use too many scrubs and what not since it doesn't suit my dry skin type so this is a lovely, gentle exfoliating mask that leaves my skin so smooth. I never understood what smooth skin meant until I used this mask (in this combo).  It's got a leafy smell and look to it, so you look like a baby hobbit in the garden with it on, but I wish I was from the The Shire so I don't mind!

Melvita Youthful Skin Mask
This is my first Melvita product and after today, I am so impressed I can't wait to try out more. I had tried this mask a few times after using an AHA mask but it wasn't until today after the Pangea one that I really felt a difference. My skin really does feel so soft and healthy. I love the idea of layering masks, especially following exfoliators with a nutrient one, it just feels like the ingredients can go deeper into your pores. I don't know if I'm right by saying it, but it seems logical! I think this mask would be perfect for those of you going through the colder months or with dry skin in general, it is so moisturising but doesn't feel heavy.

Now that I'm all clean and pampered, I feel pretty good going into Christmas celebrations!
I don't think I will write another blogmas post as I don't have any great ideas and don't want to post for the sake of it. I've really enjoyed Blogmas, most particularly because it's helped me figure out what this blog is about since my posts were few and far between before. Thank you if you are reading this and have joined this site. It's quite exciting to have any followers at all, but most of all it's fun to talk to other beauty and blog lovers :)

Merry Christmas everyone! What a wonderful time of the year... :)

It's a summer Christmas in Oz so I thought I'd leave you with summery thoughts. 
It's blimming over 40 degrees celsius outside today! O_O

lots of love,

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Thursday, 20 December 2012

a homey muse | Blogmas Post #18

i've been on a homey kick lately and can't wait to spend some time over new years to decorate, diy etc :)

went to my first coldplay concert. amazing. loved the colour palette of the stage
this is handmade?! linkcan't wait to do this. found this amazing blog when I found this picture :)
why don't you ship this to aus urban outfitters?!

Disclaimer: none of these pictures are mine, and are credited where I could (some pictures I've saved for awhile). Lots were also found on pinterest. I'm getting obsessed. 

What have you been musing lately? :)

mai-anne x
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Friday, 14 December 2012

An Unexpected Goodie / Green People 24 Hour Vitamin Fix | Blogmas Day 10 (Post #14)

I got way too confused with where I was up to with my not-so-clever way of numbering my blogmas posts since I started rather late, so I've re-organised them. I am still blogging everyday but am numbering each post, so I will rack up 25 posts until Christmas!

Today's review is of a day cream I did not expect to deliver something extra but this proved me wrong! I first got a sample of this in my Naturisimo order and while I was slightly curious about I didn't believe it would give me the hydration my skin needed, so when I slapped it on I thought nothing of it. The next morning, my skin felt hydrated and light. I decided that this might be a good day cream (as I like thick night creams at night) and proceeded to try it during the day and well, loved it. It provides a moisture without being heavy and sits well under makeup.  

This cream has a creamy, lotion-like consistency that isn't super-thin but with a more medium density. Good for dry skin during the day, and oilier skins at night as it doesn't feel greasy at all and leaves no extra sheen to the face. There is also no weird scent with this cream though there is a neutral fragrance option.

I love Green People for its simplistic and innovative approach to skincare. Their packaging is not fancy pants but I still find it cute and clean.  Their price range is also just above more budgety brands but is still affordable and worth it. 

You can purchase from Naturisimo (where I got mine) but they are also on FeelUnique and Lookfantastic.

Have you tried Green People before?

mai-anne, x

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Thursday, 13 December 2012

More TM than BB / Stila HD Beauty Balm Review | Blogmas Day 9 (Post #12)

BB Creams have been all the rage for awhile now, and I am definitely a big fan. I used to use various Korean BB creams and love them for their light, non-cakey coverage.  Plus I didn't have to worry about colour matching since it did it for me :D Before buying this product, I was on the look out for a light base on more relaxed days, with good ingredients and without nasties.  This one fit the bill and I was keen to try it!
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Saturday, 8 December 2012

Almost There / Mineral Fusion Concealer Duo Review | Blogmas Day 4 (Post #8)

I was super excited to try this concealer when theflaxenowl raved about it as I had been looking for a truly clean, green take on a concealer duo. I love the idea of a duo, palette, so that you can mix the colours to your skintone, problem areas and what not.  

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I have an iherb confession to make.. | Blogmas Day 4 (Post #7)

So as the title says, I have a confession to make. I just had a count of how many orders I've made at iherb this year, and this is my 10th one! How did I manage to rack up so many?! I guess I buy everything under the sun from iherb, and it's become quite a go to for so many of my beauty and personal care needs (plus not every order is huge.. :D ).  I've bought so many skincare, bodycare, haircare and personal care items from here. Not to mention vitamins (which need constant restocking), makeup, makeup brushes, presents (my mum loves her skincare) and even tea. It's really become my little green supermarket, and since you can more easily count your orders than trips to the supermarket, it seems like a lot! Plus, American pricing... :D

I ordered all these items during the Black Friday weekend and got an extra 10% off each item so this all totaled to $62.48 USD so I think it's quite bargainous. Here is a quick rundown of what I chose:

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Friday, 7 December 2012

It's Love - Antipodes Apostle Brightening & Tone Correcting Serum | Blogmas Day 2 (Post #4)

I have been interested in the Antipodes brand since I began learning about ingredients and went organic but after an unsuccessful spell with avocado oil, an ingredient many Antipodes products are based on, I refrained from trying.  Avocado oil just did nothing for my skin and hair when I tried it for months so I didn't think Antipodes products would work, but after a rave review by essiebutton, and seeing that this serum doesn't contain any avocado oil, I made it a mission to buy it.

After the first night of use, I work up the next morning pretty amazed. My skin looked so much more glowy and awake and as an extra bonus, plump. I was expecting the glowy part, given the name of the serum and rave reviews I've read, but I was not expecting a soft, hydrated plumpness to my naturally dry skin. The serum contains hyaluronic acid which can partly explain the hydration factor, but I use plenty of other skincare bits and bobs with said ingredient that don't quite have that effect as this serum.  I actually think this might even be good even through the winter, when I'm extra flakey, making it a good all year product. As it also sinks in very quickly, and is light in consistency, I think it would be suit all skin types.

For it's tone-correcting claim, it's right on the money with that one. This serum has definitely evened out my skintone a lot more and I feel more confident in my bare skin than before.  I've even been complimented on my skin since adding this to the routine so I'm rather pleased :) I don't have any major hyper-pigmentation to work on as I don't have acne-prone skin, but from what I've gathered, it seems to work well on those who do so I do think it's worth trying if that is your skintype.

This has become something I don't want to live without, even as a skincare junkie who likes to try new things and I am very tempted to repurchase when I run out though I'm not looking forward to the price. Antipodes pricing is rather weird in Australia, some are on par with overseas retailers, others are inflated.  This serum is the former, retailing for $59 in Myer, and 41 pounds on Naturisimo. I bought it for 25% off at Myer for $45 which is probably the best deal I can get. I didn't mind that price too much but I'm a bit nervous to pay full price when it becomes an empty.  This is the first high end skincare product I've really tried and it's made me realise that there can be a difference between budgety brands and higher end ones as this is the first serum that I've really loved (damn).

Since finding success with this product, I've ordered another Antipodes product with others on my wishlist! Have you tried any Antipodes products?

mai-anne :)
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Christmas Wish List! | Blogmas Day 2 (Post #3)

What's a blogmas without a Christmas list eh? :D

My family isn't big on Christmas unfortunately (I don't know of many Vietnamese families that are!) but I still love Christmas and give presents anyway. I'm not expecting any of these as gifts but I'm drooling anyway *grins*.

1. Stila Christmas Brush Set 2012
Now I probably have more brushes than makeup (!), well hopefully not but I love brushes! I don't know why, I'm just searching for the perfect brush set and staying cruelty-free. Stila is a cruelty-free brand and whilst these brushes are not synthetic Stila have confirmed that they are cruelty free. I don't own any non-synthetic brushes so this set would be nice. And look how purrty are they!

2. Sportsgirl Frappacino Cup, $14.95
I've been searching for a sippy cup like this! BHA free and with a straw that you can clasp down so that you can travel with these, mess free! I just saw that these are now sold out online so it might be 'merry christmas to me' pretty soon...

3. Sportsgirl Sewing Machine, $29.95
Now I can't sew to save my life but it would be awesome to have a little one to start. I could learn to do basic things and diy my clothes :D

4. Smashbox Limitless 15 Hour Wear Cream Shadow, $19 (
I tested a few colours on my hand the other day, and seriously these just didn't budge after several hand washes! I was so surprised! These colours as gorgeous and I'm lemming after Topaz or Quartz, not sure which one yet. These are also missing many of the nasties I avoid so woop woop.

5. Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask, 22 pounds (what is the apple shortcut for pounds!?)
Another rave by essiebutton, a fellow dry skinner so I really would like to try this! I haven't tried any honey based products before so I am very curious to try this out.

6. Illamasqua Powder Blush Duo in Lover and Hussy, $39
Whilst I don't love Illamasqua's ingredients (hello petroleum and parabens) I love that they put up the good fight and lowered their Australian prices to match their international ones. Whilst they copped some criticism for the way they did it (for creating a "marketing ploy" instead of just lowering them) I congratulate them on doing so and coming clean with why their previous prices and other international brands' prices were and are so inflated in Australia.
On a swatch happy trip to Myer the other day, the colour that drew me in the most was Lover, and 2nd was Hussy. Had I known they would come in a duo I would have snapped it up that day! These colours are beautiful and I may allow myself one junkfood purchase from them.. :D

7. butter LONDON The Glitter Lacquer Trio 1
I love Butter London, though I confess, I only have one polish of theirs (and it was a freebie). I've been lemming for 'The Black Knight' for ages and seeing that it's in a set just makes good sense.

What are you lemming after this Christmas?

x mai-anne
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Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Coupon Haul! | Blogmas Day One (Post #2)

Coupon / sale times, are the only times I shop in Australia.  It's not that I don't want to support the Aussie economy, but that I hate supporting inflated prices in Australia. Coupon time is the only time I can buy in a store and get as close to the US price as possible. So here are some of the things I picked up a few weeks ago (I had been meaning to post this up earlier *sheepish grin*).

I was debating between MAC's Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle or the Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Superb. I've wanted Soft and Gentle for ages and like starting with permanent products first but Superb looked beautiful and unique. Mineralize Skinfinishes retail for $47 in Australia, making it one of the less marked up products (a sad 60% mark up from the US price) and I had a $20 Myer voucher.  I decided to shop on the night of Myer's Christmas event which included a 10% off discount which would make either product a cool $22.30. Win!  After deciding on Superb since it was LE, I was saddened when it was already out of stock when I got there.  I decided to just buy Soft and Gentle instead of hunting Superb down at other retailers.  A sad story, but this is an amazing product nonetheless (and hopefully Superb will be re-promoted, soon!)

Priceline was having a 2 for 1 sale on Revlon lip products which is a deal I don't think I've ever seen.  Coupled with a $5 priceline coupon and $2 left on a Westfield gift card I left with an even better deal.  I picked up 2 lip butters in Tutti Fruity and Peach Parfait (love) and 2 Kissable Lip Balm Stains in Honey and Romantic, which was stupid since I've had Charm on my wishlist and forgot! These were a bit of a junkfood makeup purchase, but I'm still learning what lip colours work with me so I'm going with what I can swatch in real life. Word of warning, the Priceline cashiers will charge you by the top price of the two products, so I got charged for two lip butters, retailing at $22, instead of $22 and $18 (the price of the lipstains) which was what I thought would be the price purchased. *doh!*

I just picked up these two cute candles from Sportsgirl. I thought these were adorable and assumed they were paraffin candles when I picked them up to look at, but to my surprise, these are soy candles! I was so happy and proud that a commerical Australian retailer sold soy candles that I picked up two and almost a third. These were on sale, down from $9.95 to $4.95. I also bought them at a Westfields shopping event, so these were a further 15% off (that was a lucky coincident though!) :D I will never buy paraffin candles, I think it's genuinely dangerous to use them as they can be inhaled - that's the easiest passage to our brain.

here is a blurry pic of the ingredients. you're welcome.

So there you have it! My little cheapass haul! Have you found any bargainous bargains lately? :)

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