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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Belle's Beauty Bits: Product Buildup

Hands up if you have found a shampoo and conditioner that you have just fallen in love with only to find that a few weeks of even a few days later it seems to have stopped working on your hair altogether???

Using hair products like gels and hair spray and even shampoo and conditioner on a daily basis can take a toll on your hair in the form of product buildup. I wash my hair every second day and style my hair with hairspray every morning before I go to work, I also find that sometimes by the end of the week my shampoo just isn't leaving my hair in the silky state that it used to.

In steps my saviour the cleansing shampoo! I use Tresemme Deep Cleansing Shampoo every Sunday night on my hair before washing with my regular shampoo and conditioner. I find that this washes out any buildup that my hair has taken on during the week and gives me a fresh base to start working with Monday morning.

I think Tresemme is a nice cheap brand but there are plenty out there on the market. Bumble and bumble market a shampoo appropriately called Sunday Shampoo and it is designed to be used once a week to rid your hair of product buildup, hard water minerals and pollutants.

So next time the shampoo and conditioner you love suddenly stops working for you don't throw it out and buy a new one. Duck down to you local supermarket and invest in a bottle of cleansing shampoo.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Lush Caca Rouge Henna Review

My hair is my crowning jewel. I take really good care of it and spend lots of money making sure that it looks and stays healthy, I only use certain shampoos and always match all of my hair care products from within the one brand and range. I do colour my hair on a regular basis though, usually about every 6 weeks, which is not the best thing to ensure healthy hair but my natural colour is a weird cross between/ combination of mousy brown and dark brown...sort of like it can't decide what colour is wants to be.

When I was younger my mum always used to colour her hair with henna, she said that it was better for your hair than having it chemically coloured, and if done correctly usually turned out brighter. I remember her walking around the house for hours with brown goop on her head, sometimes running down the back of her neck, thinking she looked so silly!!!

Years on and I decided to try henna after my hairdresser said that she didn't think that she could get my hair the colour that I wanted it. I went to Lush and order one of their Caca Rouge Hennas.

The website says that this is the really red one for hair like sunsets. It's red and no mistake. This is the finest Persian red henna with cocoa butter to make it adhere better to the hair and bring out extra colour; lemon juice and rosemary give beautiful shine, and clove bud oil smells good and stimulates your scalp. You should use this if you want really red hair.

It came in a block of six chunks along with some instructions. I thought it would be best to use 4 chunks seeings though my hair is on the longer side. The instructions say that you need to grate it with a cheese grater but we only have one in our house and I didn't like the thought of using utensils that I use for my food to grate my henna up. So I popped the blocks into a freezer bag and smashed them into tiny little pieces with a hammer...same effect...less mixing henna with my food!!! You then need to mix the pieces with boiling water in a heat proof bowl and stir until you have the consistency of double cream...which for us beauty lovers is about the consistency of a medium thickness liquid foundation. You then sit the bowl in a simmering saucepan of water on your stove to keep it hot (NOT too hot though or you will burn your scalp which is never a good thing!!!) Pop on your gloves and scoop the henna up and apply it to your head starting with your roots and working your way to the ends.

Here is a before and after shot of my hair and in all honestly I can't really see one bit of difference and it definitely doesn't look anything like what I thought it would. 

I ended up leaving the henna on wrapped in glad wrap (saran wrap) for 6 hours so I was definitely expecting something a little bit redder. I was also really put off by the smell and even now 2 days on after washing my hair I can still smell it, it's a floral smell with something else that I can't quiet place mixed in as well it. In addition to this my hair feels like all of the moisture has been sucked out of it and is no longer smooth and tangle free. In short not only am I devastated that my hair feels terrible (leaving a hair mask on for an hour has done nothing to fix the smoothness issue) but my hair now has a terribly funky scent to it and it just stinks...queue the worlds smallest violin just for me :)

I'm not sure if I should have left it in longer or whether I should have used all 6 blocks but I am really underwhelmed with the results and overwhelmed by the terrible smell and will definitely be going back to chemical colouring in my quest to achieve the perfect red. I think that this product would work really well for people with blonde hair (and perhaps a not so sensitive nose) and they would definitely see better results but because I have died my hair dark in the past that might also have impeded the colour absorption process.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sigma Dry'n Shape Review

I hate cleaning my makeup brushes. I know I have to do it and I do, do it, but boy do I hate it!!! I think my hatred stems from the fact that once the brushes are washed they just take so damn long to dry and once I have washed them I always have this overwhelming urge to put makeup on...but because they are all wet I can't.

In steps the Sigma Dry'n Shape. 

The Sigma website says that the Dry'n Shape provides the necessary pressure to bristles to quickly and efficiently remove water from every fibre. The fabric used to shape the bristles was specially engineered to accelerate evaporation, resulting in a faster drying times for your brushes.

I think that this is a brilliant little device and it really does do exactly what it says.

The elastic loops at the top of the Dry'n Shape draw the water from your brushes bristles in an upwards motion leaving your bushes dry and shaped at the same time and all of this in just 4 to 6 hours, you can leave you Dry'n Shape sitting on your desk to dry of you can fold it up and place it in your make up kit and dry your brushes on-the-go. In addition to acting as a dryer for your brushes the Dry'n Shape also doubles as a brush holder. 

I washed my brushes today and placed them in the Dry'n Shape while I was out this evening when I came home 2 hours later my smaller face brushes like the F05 and F55 and my eye brushes where completely dry...2 HOURS!!! Normally it takes me all night. My larger brushes such as the F20 and F30 took 3 hours to dry mostly the whole way through and 4 hours to dry completely. I do live in the north of Australia where the whether is pretty much hot the whole year round so this may have had something to do with the speed in drying time but still completely dry brushes in 5 to 6 hours is just amazing!!! I have seen on a few blogs that if you sit the Dry'n Shape upside down this will make sure that all of the water is drawn to the bristles on the brush and none is left in the ferrel to loosen the glue.

I do have a two problems with the product, they aren't deal breakers by any means but just suggestions for a revised version of the product should Sigma come out with one. There are only 2 small brush loops and even these are too big to hold the eye brushes with any really amount of pressure to draw the water out. It's not really a huge problem because I just let my eye brushes air dry but with the time that it took to dry the smaller face brushes I would estimate that if Sigma were to add more smaller loops that eye brushes may in fact dry in as little as half and hour to an hour. That is however only my estimation. The second problem I have is that they website claims that the Dry'n Shape will shape your brushes. Now while I found this to be true for most of my brushes I did find that my F40 even without bring used has fanned out, I may have had some of the bristles caught in the elastic I am not sure but I will wash it again and see if that fixes it.

These two small problem though are far outweighed but the sheer effectiveness of this product and this ingenious invention retails at only $29.

All in all I would give this product a 4 out 5 and recommend it to anyone that hates washing their makeup brushes as much as I do :)


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

MAC Semi Precious Colour Collection Haul

When I first looked at MACs Semi Precious collection I didn't really see anything that jumped out at me. I waited a few weeks and had another look the other day and order 2 Mineralize Skinfinishes and the Mineralize Charged Water.

The Mineralize Charged Water is a refreshing, hydrating mist that hydrates skin and enhances makeup application.

I admit that since I have done some research and finally work out how it is that I am supposed to use my Fix+ I am obsessed. I love doing my makeup and then spritzing my face once it is all done. MAC charged water has a green tea and citrus scent to it with is nice without being over powering. I am going to force myself to wait until I have finished my currently bottle of Fix+ which has about a quarter left before using this one, but I honestly can not wait to see it how it feels.

The next two products are the Mineralize Skinfinishes in Semi Precious Rose Quartz and Semi Precious Pearl.

I love MACs MSFs and these two are no different. Semi Precious Pearl is a little more on the glittery side, and you all know how I feel about glitter!!!!!. So I don't know how I am going to work with that as yet but I am sure that I will get around it somehow :P.

MAC has got rid of the marble design that most of the MSFs have had and they have replaced it with a solid circle of colour with a heart of marble. They are gourgeous. One thing that you have to be careful about it that the colour payoff is huge so being heavyhanded will result in clown cheeks!!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Maybelline Colour Sensational Lipcolour

Hi my name is Belle and I am a lipstick whore. There I said it, I'm owning it. I love lipstick. All different colours ranging from nude to bright red and you can never have too many.

Big W was having a sale the other day. Maybelline Lipstick for $10.00. So I popped down and came home with these three babies...


Aren't they lovely!!! A red (fatal red) and two corals (coral pop and coral crush).

I love the texture of these lipsticks. They aren't drying at all and glide on easily all the while giving amazing colour payoff, I have MAC lipsticks that aren't as opaque and cost me nearly three times as much. They have a nice vanilla scent to them and because they contain honey nectar are really moisturising and don't dry my lips out at all. I also find that Coral Crush is a nice dupe for MACs Vegas Volt.

I had pictures of the colours applied to my lips to show you but my skin has reacted crazily with the Maybelline Fit Me Foundation and broke out big time (I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it is possibly the worst foundation ever!!!) so the photos all look terrible.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Maybelline Fit Me Collection

I am such a sucker for new products. Every time I see one I have to go out and inspect it and more often than not I end up buying it. I read reviews from other beauty bloggers and always convince myself that just because they have had a bad experience with it I won't, my skin will be just fine. But alas in this instance that was not been that case.

I never seem to be able to find a foundation that matches my colour perfectly, they always seem to be too pink or too orange so I was really excited when I heard that Maybelline would be designing a range that would have a wide selection of colours and would use a numbering system to make it easier for you to choose foundation, concealer, powder, blush and bronzer that will all complement your skin tone.

So I trotted down to my local Big W to check the collection out. I must admit that I was a little disappointed. Maybelline boast that there will be 18 different shades available; 6 light, 6 medium and 6 dark however here in Australia it looks like we will only have access to 12 colours. I was able to pick up a shade that looked like it would fit me and from there I chose the corresponding concealer and powder. I was going to get one of the blushes as well but when I attempted to swatch them the colour payoff was practically nothing.

I will admit that when I first applied the foundation I was really impressed. It gave me a smooth dewy finish but not too dewy considering that fact that I have oily skin. The concealer was nice, it was creamy and easily blendable and the powder applied to my t-zone mattified my face really nicely *queue obligatory poser photo*

That being said I went to an exam at uni for 3 hours and came home to this...

Look that that shine!!! That is terrible and quite frankly disgusting for the amount of money that I spent on this collection. The foundation alone cost me $26 in reality for the result it should have been more like $5!!! You can't really see it too well in the pictures above but the concealer had also settled into the fine lines under my eyes.

The look of the packaging it really appealing it's sleek and there isn;t too much information comepting for your attention. However the foundation bottle doesn't come with a pump which makes it messy and the concealer doesn't have one of those little stoppers at the top of the lid that wipes away the excess product as you pull the wand out meaning that there is a considerable amount of concealer all the way up the wand.

The foundation is light to medium coverage and I think that it would be more suited to people with dry relatively clear skin...oily acne prone skinned people need not waste their money as they will end up looking like I did above.

I am a real fan of most things Maybelline. I love their lipstick and adore their mascaras. I think that the concept behind this range is an excellent one but unfortunately in this instance Maybelline wasn't able to marry the concept and the practical together to create the amazing line that this should have been. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Dermalogica PreCleanse

Double cleansing is a habit that I think all girls should get into. As a girl who wears makeup on a regular basis and who seems to have a reaction to almost all of the makeup removers that I have come across, Dermalogica's PreCleanse is a godsend.

The product is designed to be used before you wash your face with your everyday cleanser. It is described as a lightweight Olive and Apricot Kernel-based cleansing oil, fortified with Kukui Nut, Borage Seed and Rice Bran oils, that gently liquefies sebum and oil-based debris from the skin’s surface. The hydrophilic (water-loving) formula enables PreCleanse and oil-based debris to be readily rinsed away without leaving behind any greasy residue. Follow with prescribed Dermalogica Cleanser for a thorough double cleansing. Contains no artificial fragrance or color.

It is an oil based cleanser that you start of by applying to dry hands and then massaging into your dry face. I usually massage it into for a minute of so making sure that I concentrate on my eyes to get all of the mascara off. Once you add water the oil will emulsify into a milky substance.

I like this product, however I do have a few things that I don't like about it. Firstly, I really like the smell, it's a nice mixture of lavender and sweet orange, and has a relaxing effect when you are using it. I find that my everyday cleanser is far more effective and produces better results when I cleanser with PreCleanse first. It doesn't sting if you get in your eyes while you are using it, but it does leave a residue behind in your eyes that gives you blurred vision for a couple of seconds. Another things that I don't like about this product is that I find that if I am wearing waterproof mascara (which isn't very often) or if I have more than 2 coats of mascara on I need to wash again with the PreCleanse to make sure that all of the mascara has been removed.

PreCleanse is sold as part of the Fyte Program meaning that any bottle sold comes with a code that you can use to activate a donation from Dermalogica that will help contribute to microlans for women entrepreneurs in developing countries.

I do think that the product is extremely over priced it's $65.50 for 150ml, that being said though the results that it produces means that I will continue purchasing it.