Bioderma Crealine H20: the best makeup remover EVER.

There’s a beauty secret the rest of the world has been keeping from us, that has only just been Chinese-whispered in our direction. It looks like water and has the consistency of water, it’s fragrance-free, alcohol-free, soap-free, hypoallergenic… And the most gentle and effective makeup remover I’ve ever seen or used. It’s the Bioderma Crealine H20 cleanser and make up remover… it’s an EXTREMELY sublime find and it’s now available in Australia!!

Bioderma Crealine

Back up, you just described water. Is it water?

Kinda! It’s a micellar water!

Huh? You lost me.

Micelles are molecular microstructures that allow impurities, dirt and excess sebum to be removed without the need to rinse off your skin. Suspended in water, they only disband when in contact with the skin. The are made of two parts, one is a hydrophilic component that likes water, the second is a hydrophobic component that attracts oil.

Micelles

The Micelle!

Science?? Huh?

As we know oil and water usually separate, so micelles are super special because they enable oil to be suspended in water. The fact that micelles have both oil and water loving components means that they can lift makeup from skin easily! The oil-loving bits are in the middle of the micelle and therefore suck the dirt away from your skin. It won’t need washing off and won’t dry your skin out!

Holy cats! Now I’m with you! This sounds amazing! 

It IS sublime seekers!

Micelle water first became a thing in Paris where locals sought the opportunity to avoid the bad effects of the city’s famously hard water had on their skin. Micelle waters (specifically Bioderma’s) became a staple among models who were walking 7 or 8 shows in a day, with different make up for each. Bioderma’s alcohol-free, soap-free product offered a solution that was quick, easy to use without a sink and importantly, kind to even the most sensitive of skins.

Ruby Aldridge

Some people, including Brisbane’s hair and makeup maven, Jo Twidale, wouldn’t exclusively use it as a makeup remover, but rather as an ‘eraser’ to delicately and effectively shift makeup when a look needs to be adjusted. The top of Bioderma’s cap is conveniently the perfect shape and size for a q-tip; the perfect tool to fix a winged eyeliner look gone awry.

If you’re using Bioderma’s Crealine H20 to remove makeup on your whole face (it’s safe for the eye region) soak a makeup remover pad to about 70% capacity and gently wipe over your face. Depending how much makeup you have on, you may need a second pad. I am utterly AMAZED how effective AND gentle it is. I wish I could take back so many years of using makeup remover wipes and other products… or no products, you know, back when I was a dirt face.

Where can I get it? 

Bioderma is a French product, and until recently was very difficult to get the world over. Jo recalls asking friends to stock up on the product to smuggle back to Australia. No more, sublime seekers! A little while back adorebeauty.com.au became the exclusive Australian stockist… and now it’s hit the shelves of Priceline!

A 250ml bottle will set you back $29.95 at Priceline (or $23.99 when this post was published… it’s 20% off!). The price point felt expensive to me when I first bought it, but I think that’s mainly because I felt like I was buying a bottle of water. Having used it for about 6 months (and still being on my first bottle) I would not hesitate to purchase again. In fact, I wouldn’t not purchase again, it’s a buy-again-before-you-run-out kinda product.

Screen Shot 2014-05-25 at 3.55.11 PM

Run, don’t walk! 20% off at Priceline (making it $23.99) for a limited time!

And so I recommend it highly and give it the sublime find stamp of approval! Do yourself a favour and grab a bottle while it’s on sale now!

♥AS

Have you used it? Tell us below! 

Chubby never looked so good!

Short, sweet and good news today, gang! I was cruising over at The Style Insider recently and came across a VERY welcome discovery! Clinique have released a new range of their now-famous chubby sticks… in INTENSE colours!

The Chubby stick originally rose to fame for it’s innovative lipstick design, delivering their new product in a crayon-like shape dubbed the ‘chubby stick’. Packed with shea butter and marketed as a ‘moisturising lip balm’, Clinique’s original range of colours were quite sheer. But not this latest batch… the new colours pack a punch! Available in eight mostly-great shades, there’s a bold lip for everybody:

cliniquechubbystickintense swatches

After hearing the intense news (see what I did there?), I wasted no time on hotfooting it to my closest Clinique counter to smear chubby stick all over the back off my left hand in exaggerated testing of every colour. They did not disappoint! I settled on Plushest Punch as my pick! Here’s a peek:

Chubby Stick Sublime Finds

I’ll be honest; I’ve always felt a teeny bit clumsy with a lippy in my hand… and I feel way more ‘in control’ with a crayon! (Perhaps this is the real reason I’m also in love with Revlon’s Kissable Balm Stains which are in the crayon-shape too.) Either way, the chubby stick is suuuper easy to use and now Clinique really do offer a great range of colours! I’m thrilled to get a true lipstick look in the easy-enough-for-kindergarten-kids-to-use design.

I want one! 

Ok! Your quickest route is to your local Clinique Counter at Myer/DJ’s/Mecca Cosmetica or online from Clinique where you’ll pick one up for $35. If you’re happy to wait a little, try strawberrynet.com where you’ll pick one up for $23. If you’re happy to wait a little longer again or have some other online purchases you’ve been deliberating over… consider including it with your freight forwarding order ’cause you’ll get one for $17USDs outa the States from Sephora! (Sidebar: MAJOR “squeeeeee!” for Sephora coming to Australia! Let’s cross our fingers and toes they come with USA pricing!!)

I am a strong believer that a bold lip is a good pick-me-up! Moisture + bold + crayon-shape = winning!

♥AS

Tried the chubby stick? What did you think?

Got to have Go-To: Zoë Foster Blake’s new skincare range reviewed!

April is shaping up to be a very exciting month, sublime seekers! The excitement kicked off on April 1, when much-famed Australian beauty expert, Zoë Foster Blake released her Australian-designed, New Zealand-made range of skincare, Go-To. After a decade of beauty devotees asking what her ‘Go-To’ products were, Foster Blake created her own, focusing on five essential products that can fit in around your luxurious favourites.

Because Zoë‘s tried everything, I like many other Fruity Beauty devotees, put the Go To range up on the pedestal before a single item was released. The verdict is in and here’s the hot tip: they are sublime finds! Each and every bloody one! HUZZAH!

 

Go To Skincare Sublime Finds

Brand New! The Go-To skincare range!

 

Tell me more!

All the prodz have very lovely packaging, super dreamy scents and arrived quickly from the Go-To team with great service! I’d expected they might be a little cheaper than they are, but after using them over the last week, I feel like they’re good value. Let’s talk through them!

 

Exfoliating Swipeys

Exfoliating Swipeys: 50 pads for $45.95

Exfoliating Swipeys are my introduction to the world of chemical exfoliants and what an intro it is! Each tub contains 50, single-use, lightly grooved swipes, saturated in exfoliating STUFF; naturally occurring AHA’s as well as hydrating essential oils. My skin likes them! It could be because they seem way gentler than a scrub (my previous exfoliator), it could be because they smell like orange sherbet, which is extremely lovely if I don’t say so myself.

 

Properly Clean

Properly Clean: 150ml (℮5.07fl.oz) for $29.95

Properly Clean is Zoë’s answer to cleaning the skin of a modern day gal (or guy! Apparently Hamish “loves the shit out of it”!)… she who is using many layers of serums and primers and pastes and goo to make herself even more pretty. The foaming cleanser is soft and gentle and lovely as well as packed with more light citrus-y scents that smell like clean! I asked the Go-To team how the cleanser goes with the Clarisonic, they said fine, I tried it out, it was fine. I don’t feel like it’s the perfect product for the Clarisonic, it’s almost a bit too light, a bit like the Clarisonic isn’t necessary to get the clean you want. I’m sticking with my regular (previous?) cleanser + Clarisonic for the morning and using Properly Clean at the end of the day.

 

Exceptionoil

Exceptionoil 85ml (℮2.87fl.oz) for $49.95

Exceptionoil is a multi-purpose product, suited to dry skins, rough bits (think elbows, heels, cuticles), soothing scratches and calming flyaway hairs! Not surprisingly, it has the consistency of oil, and deserves consideration before laying the tube on the side without a lid like I did (exception-oiled floor). The tip from the Go-To team is pop it in the fridge to help it firm up. Zoë has shared she’s using Exceptionoil to ward off stretch marks during pregnancy and that one customer said she put a few drops in the bath for super soft skins! Smartie. This one smells good too! (Spoiler: they all smell good!)

Update, 9 May: it seems a few Go-To customers have had some challenges managing their Exceptionoil in extreme climates. The super high content of coconut oil and other amazingstuff (its a new word)  means it doesn’t necessarily behave as well as liked. If it’s super cold and your Exceptionoil has gone a bit hard Zoë recommends running the tube under some warm water for 20 seconds or so – don’t manhandle your tube too much, it might crack! If your exceptionoil is super hot and runny, put it in the fridge for 20mins. 

 

Very Useful Face Cream

Very Useful Face Cream 50ml (℮1.69fl.oz) for $39.95

Very Useful Face Cream was the product I was least excited to purchase, skimming over it in the pre-purchase sale and only picking up a tube after the full launch. I just feel overwhelmed with face creams, thick ones, light ones, day ones, night ones – so many creams! That said, I’m really glad I did the double back for this product – it comes out thick (a bit like Crabtree and Evelyn hand cream) but despite first impressions almost melts into the skin… in a totally breathable way. Very Useful Face Cream is designed with antioxidants, including Alma Berry (30 x more vitamin C than oranges) plus vitamin E and other impressive ingredients. It too has a light and lovely scent which I couldn’t quite pin down, Zoë has revealed it to be rose and fig! I’ve used it at night as well as during the day under my BB cream, it left me with super smooth skin all around. I can see my addiction to this product growing quickly!

Lips!

Lips! 15g for $14.95

Last but most of all, Lips! is the jewel in the crown of Go-To goodness (as declared by me!). Fruity Beauty disciples know, Zoë is a demanding mistress when it comes to all things lips and (rightfully!) critical of products that dry lips out when promising to do otherwise! The word on the streets I’ve been walking is that the people expected the balm to be GOOD. And joy of joys… it is! Combining SEVEN oils, medical-grade lanolin, butters, beeswax and anti-oxidants, it isn’t too thick, isn’t too thin and will leave your lips feeling moisturised for hours. It’s a winner! 

You can be a winner too! 

In anticipation of it’s exquisite loveliness, I over-ordered on Lips! so I could give one away to one of you delightful, sublime seeking lovely-things that have joined me here during the first 100 days of Sublime Finds. Winning is easy! All you have to do is ‘like’ the Sublime Finds facebook page and share the link to this post on facebook before midnight! The winner will be announced tomorrow!

I’m confident you’ll agree with my sentiments on the Go-To range! Pop over to the Go-To website (where they are sold exclusively) and consider investing in one or two (or all five)!

♥AS

Tried Go-To? What did you think? Tell us below! 

The Electric Toothbrush for your Face

We’re talking pretty skins today, sublime seekers! More specifically, Clarisonic’s range of cleansing tools and why they might be Sublime Finds! 

I will disclose upfront that I am one of those very bloody lucky gals who has never had toooo many problems with my skin. So much so, that about six-ish embarrassing years ago I was *tricked* into declaring I pretty much did not have a skin care regime to speak of, which prompted AW (of Midi-Skirt Madness fame) to start referring to me as ‘dirt face’. Suffice to say this was motivation enough to look into this whole skin care thing a little more. 

Fast forward to my late twenties and several things have happened: 1) My skin ain’t the skin of my early-twenties. The nectar of youth is starting to dry up. 2) I tried a plethora of products, some of which were expensive and crap (I’m looking at you, Chanel Foaming Cleanser). 3) I succumbed to the hype bought myself a Clarisonic!

My face and it's new bestie; the Clarisonic Mia 2

My face and it’s new bestie; the Clarisonic Mia 2

What’s a Clarisonic? 

The Clarisonic is cleansing brush originally developed for skin-care pro’s…. then, following it’s success, was made available to regular folk like you and me. It looks like a bit like a face-sized electric toothbrush. However, the Clarisonic uses sonic technology (did ya see that one coming?) to create oscillation (back and forth movement) of 200-350 movements per second. Even though it looks like it’s vibrating and spinning, it’s not! This alternate movement is designed to work with your skin’s elasticity and be uber gentle! It’s also the reason you should possibly not be as concerned about using it on your pretty, delicate lady-faces.

The Clarisonic is designed to work with your existing cleansing product and will probably be great with yours! The fine, shiny-skinned people at Clarisonic do also make a cleanser (a sample is included in your pack). Most regularly, I use mine with some ultra gentle Cetaphil. I tried it with a foaming cleanser once, bit of a froth-fest, but still ok. Wouldn’t recommend it as a starting point.

The tool is designed to be used for one minute, up to two times a day and claims to be six times more effective than cleansing with your fingers.

Clarisonic have kindly prepared this chart to enable us to compare their products:

Clarisonic Comparison Chart - Sublime Finds

Reasons I’m calling the Clarisonic Mia 2 a Sublime Find: 

  • Not sure about you… but for me both the shower and the morning are vortexes in which time moves at a deceiving pace! The Clarisonic Mia 2 does not leave you wondering how long you’ve been cleansing, it gives a little pulse when it’s time to move onto the next section of your face.
  • For this reason… there’s a little bit of smugness to enjoy in knowing you’re doing it right!
  • They’ve really nailed the shape in terms of making it comfy to hold and use.
  • It lasts A MONTH (of once-a-day cleansing) before it needs a charge! (Clarisonic, please share you secrets with the iPhone peeps)
  • It sends you morse code with it’s light. I didn’t know morse code before, but I now know that several regular flashes of light means ‘charge me soon’.
  • It’s totally waterproof; mine lives in the shower. It also comes with a handy-dandy travel case!
  • The reason that counts: I am certain my skin is better for using it. I have visibly less black heads, as well as smaller pores. I have less ‘zones’ and my skin is more consistent. And it feels smooth. It’s a better base for make-up and I think I’m now getting more mileage out of my other skin products. I did change a couple of other things at the same time I procured the Mia 2, but I’m pretty sure it’s a key ingredient in the improvements I’ve seen.

Things that make the Clarisonic Mia 2 a little bit funny: 

  • It makes a clearly audible vibration-like sound. Of the nature that caused JS to burst into the bathroom the first time I used it to see what I was up to! “Making my skin sparkle, JS, what are YOU up to?”

Some tips: 

  • I read a number of posts when I got mine suggesting it was a good idea to slowly ease into use of the Clarisonic. I started out a few days a week, and gradually worked up to using it daily. This seemed to be the consensus among the advice I’d read, and worked for me. Some people report their skin breaking out in the first month to six weeks… I had this on a verrrry minor scale. Certainly not anything that would make me reconsider use. And it did calm down after four weeks or so.
  • Be sure to clean your brush head weekly and change your brush head three-monthly! This is why:
New brush head VS old brush head! Maybe AW was right about me being dirtface!

New brush head VS old brush head!
Maybe AW was right about me being dirtface!

  • I went through a bit of experimentation on the best spot to apply your cleanser (to the skin? to the brush head directly? Somewhere else?) and have eventually nestled into a routine of applying cleanser directly to my face, then Clarisonic-ing. I found this to be the best method to ensure cleanser is evenly applied.
  • I regularly use the Clarisonic on my neck and décolletage too. Your face stops at your boobs, right Zoe Foster-Blake?
  • Move the Clarisonic in very small circular motions on your face. This is what the girls on the video do.

Want one? 

Get one online from clarisonic.com.au! You can also pick up replacement brush heads, cleansers, replacement chargers there too. I got mine at Myer, I’ve also seen them in David Jones and Mecca Cosmetica.

At $175-ish, it is probably the most expensive skin-care tool you’ll buy in a long while. I was dubious… but I’d certainly replace mine immediately if there was a tragedy and it was no longer available to me. I’m calling it a small-pore, black-head-free, shiny-skinned Sublime Find!

♥AS (formerly known as dirt face)

Tried the Clarisonic? What do you think of it?  Tell us below! 

Six Products for a Perfect Pout

Romance is in the air, sublime seekers! So today we’re talking kissable lips; more specifically, six products to get you on your way to your most perfect of pouts!

Moisturise!

Until recently, I was one of those gals using Lucas’ Papaw Ointment on my lips religiously every night and wondering why they were still dry. It feels so silky and smooth going on, the sensation itself is addictive. Then a couple of months back, I was having a whinge about my forever-dry lips when VM tells me my beloved red tube’s product base in petroleum jelly. While it’s safe and proven to be a great barrier product, it ain’t moisturising my lips.

On AW’s recommendation, I switched to Lanolips and ladies, this shizzle be good. Lanolin (of sheep’s wool fame) is somewhat obviously the main ingredient and it proves to be all-natural goodness… no wonder this product has a bunch of awards to it’s name!

Lanolips 101

Lanolips 101 Ointment $17.95 at Priceline.

Exfoliate!

Do you exfoliate your lips? Just like the rest of your face, exfoliating your lips can help clean away dead skin cells and make way for a soft, smooth smooch. Flakey skin can be particularly troublesome under your lippy, so exfoliating is well-timed before making yourself up. Don’t over do it though, scrub gently – once a week should be plenty enough. My product pick is Lush’s Popcorn Lip Scrub. This product is not only great for a gentle lip buff, it’s DELICIOUS. Made with castor sugar, jojoba oil, coconut butter and popping candy, it’s all natural AND tastes like salted caramel!

Lush Popcorn Lip Scrub

Lush Popcorn Lip Scrub $9.95 (at this price for a limited time) online at Lush.

Start with a good base! 

We know the secret to long lasting lip colour is starting with a good lip liner. My pick is MAC’s lip pencil, it’s creamy texture is makes it uber gentle and easy to use. I chose Hip N Happy for it’s inoffensive colour; it makes a great neutraly-pink base.

Mac Hip N Happy

MAC Lip Pencil $30* at your nearest MAC counter or online.

Long lasting colour!

I’ve never been a huuuuuge lipstick fan, I’m more a gloss or balm girl with the occasional dabble in lipstick. The evolution of the ‘cubby stick’ (as Clinique have dubbed theirs) was made for girls like me. Looks like a crayon, glides on like a balm, gives you colour like a lipstick. I think Revlon’s Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain is the best of the bunch. It moisturises and still gives you a flush of colour. It’s super easy to get a great looking lip and the colour lasts (and lasts and lasts). I bought bold hue ‘sweetheart valentine’ (how fitting!)… I’m pretty in love with it. Still easing my way into the world of bold lips, I’m planning to treat myself to a softer shade like ‘honey’ soon too.

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain $17.95* at Priceline.

A little bit of shine! 

I think gloss is a must for that extra polished lip-look. There’s a gazillion glosses on the market and every gal is sure to have their favourite. My pick is Clinique’s Long Last Glossware in Air Kiss. I’ve been a decade-long devotee to this classic, there is just a hint of hue, just a smidge of shimmer and it isn’t sticky like lots of other glosses. Better yet, it’s got the rare (in gloss) quality of also having an SPF15. Lips get burnt, lovers. Don’t underestimate the importance of having them protected.

Clinque Air Kiss

Clinique Air Kiss $35* at your closest Australian Clinique counter or online.

Cleanse!

I have been reading lots of recommendations saying an oil-based cleanser is the most gentle way to take lipstick off your lips. Beauty Demi-god, Zoe Foster-Blake even suggests a bit of olive oil as a would-be cleansing solution if you wake up on the other side of a successful Valentines date, but nowhere near your beauty supplies (oh behave!).

After hearing allll the hype, I bought a bottle of the French-pharamacy-icon; Bioderma’s Crealine H20. I am a total convert! It’s uber gentle, has the consistency of water, but is a great erasing. Its not a thorough cleanse, but it’s great on a cotton bud to clean up a little eye-makeup mid-application, or to remove the chance of any remaining lippy smudging across the face during your slumber.

Bioderma Crealine H20 Cleanser & Make Up Remover

Bioderma Crealine H20 $29.95 for 250ml (which lasts a surprisingly long while).
Priceline have just started stocking it! Whoop!

These are my sublime finds for 24 hours of fabulous and lusciously kissable Valentines-y lips! Lover in tow or no, I hope your V-Day is a good one. Mwah!

♥AS

p.s. Are you freaking out V-day is tomorrow!? Check out gift-guide for last minute ideas!

* zomg at least half this price in USA. Did someone say freight forwarder?

What are your go-to products for a perfect pout? Share your recommendations below! 

Dry Shampoo Reviewed!

Those who know me well, know I’m a HUGE fan of dry shampoo. So much so that I founded the “Dry Shampoo changed my LIFE!” facebook group and have been known to whip out a round of dry shampoos for everyone on girls night if I’ve seen a new brand on special at Priceline.  I have neverrrrr been a morning person and I’m not ashamed to say that I choose another 15 mins in bed over getting up to wash & dry my hair before work at least once a week. Dry shampoo has made this possible! All hail dry shampoo!

Back in the day, the only brand a sleepy dame could easily get their hands on was French product, Klorane. Fast-forward five years and there a BUNCH of options available on the market. Are all dry shampoos created equal? They are not, sublime seekers. But! I’ve road-tested ELEVEN of the most readily available and today I’m sharing the results with you!

The Criteria

My rigerous testing has revealed that dry shampoos have six points of difference:

  • Price
  • Oomph (a technical term) – sometimes an aerosol has a huge amount of volume come out (excellent oomph), other times it feels like you’re spraying for aaaages (bad oomph)
  • Scent
  • Landing (how does it look/feel when its first sprayed on your hair?)
  • (Post-dry-shampoo) Look & feel – how does your hair look after you’ve brushed the dry shampoo out? What’s it like to touch?
  • The 2-day test – could you use this dry shampoo two days in a row? 

Without further ado… to the findings! You dirty-haired dames!

V05 Plump It Up

VO5 Dry Shampoo

Value: $7.99 for 200ml (3.9c per ml) = cheap!
Oomph: good
Scent: Don’t love it. A tiny bit… glen 20. Doesn’t linger though.
Landing: white/talcy (as in talcum powdery) consistency
Look & feel:  hair looks and feels pretty natural. Perhaps a teeny dusty to touch.
Day-2?: Yes. Hit snooze two days in a row.
Verdict: 7.5/10 Great value and good finish! Lost marks only for scent and feel.

Toni & Guy

Toni & Guy Dry Shampoo

Value: 250ml (the biggest of the bunch!) for $10 (4c per ml) = cheap!
Oomph: good
Scent: nice, clean
Landing: looks clear and wet when first sprayed on
Look & feel: hair looks dull and feels tacky afterwards. Really sticks on the hair in a way that could be good for styling, but bad for… touching. Or looking at. Erk.
Day-2?: Nope, too straw-like to do twice.
Verdict: 5/10 If you’re styling for a teeny bit of volume, this is probably reasonable value. If not, you might be disappointed with how your hair feels afterwards.

Cedel

photo 3

Value: $7.99 for 70ml (8.76c per ml)
Oomph: good
Scent: smells a bit chemical-y like hair spray
Landing: white and wet
Look & feel: Hair looks a little bit dull and resists sitting really naturally.
Day-2?: Maybe. If you were desperate.
Verdict: 5/10. It’ll do the job, but there’s better products out there, especially for the price.

Bastiste – light & blonde 

photo 2

Value: $12.95 for 200ml (6.475c per ml)
Oomph: pretty good
Scent: talcy and sweet smell, I like it
Landing: mostly talcy and a little yellow (not offensive yellow, just blonde-powder yellow)
Look & feel: Pretty good look and movement. Hair feels a tiny bit powdery to touch, but mostly good. Not too dull or shiny.
Day-2?: Yes
Verdict: 7.5/10 – a solid contender. Good value for money. If you’re red-headed, there’s a version for you too! Plus Brunettes, you don’t miss out.

Garnier Fuctis Pure Volume

Garnier Fructis Dry Shampoo

Value: $8.99 for 150ml (5.99c per ml)
Oomph: Poor. I felt like I was spraying and spraying and getting not much.
Scent: not offensive, very slightly fruity
Landing: clear and wet
Look & feel: hair is soft and shiny. But shiny like oily. Oily like it’s not doing much. ‘Pure Volume’ is a blatant lie.
Day-2?: Nope. Didn’t do much on Day 1, don’t bother on Day 2.
Verdict: 4/10. If you’ve got only verrrrry slightly oily hair, maybe it’s ok.

Polished London Bonny Blonde 

Polished London - Bonny Blonde Dry Shampoo

Value: 150ml for $3.99! Outstanding! (2.66c per ml)
Oomph: LOTS.
Scent: unoffensive scent
Landing: very verrry slightly yellow but mostly clear… kinda like… nothing
Look & feel: I sprayed and sprayed and brushed and brushed and feel CERTAIN my hair was not any cleaner. At all. What is in the can? Dust? Dust would make my hair cleaner, surely.
Day-2?: No. Didn’t work on Day 1. 😦
Verdict: 2/10 I was so excited when I saw the price and SO disappointed when I tried it. Save your $4 for a coffee.

Fudge Dry Shampoo 

photo 1

Value: 150ml for $13.29 (8.86c per ml)
Oomph: Poor. Not much coming outa the can.
Scent: Like coconut and stale bread. Highly offensive. I swear the smell of this gave me a headache. On the plus side, an incentive to *actually* wash your hair immediately.
Landing: wet and clear
Look & feel: hair looked a bit dull and was a big stiff and unnatural to touch afterwards, like a coating that wouldn’t come off.
Day-2?: No. Even if you liked the smell, the consistency of your hair afterwards could only go 1 day.
Verdict: 3/10 it’ll get you through a day. If you’ve got a cold and can’t smell it.

Eleven – Give Me Clean Hair

Give Me Clean Hair Dry Shampoo

Value: 130ml for $22.95 (shite value, it was an up-sell at the hairdresser’s… 17.4c per ml)
Oomph: not much at all.
Scent: smells very slightly chemical-y. Not overpowering.
Landing: talcy and wet
Look & feel: hair looks and feels ok, after LOTS of spraying and LOTS of brushing. Doesn’t do much if hair is really oily.
Day-2?: You could. Maybe. Not if you’d been at all hot or sweaty on day 1.
Verdict: 4/10. I kinda still wanted to be given clean hair after using it. Worst value of the bunch, say no to the up-sell!

Lee Stafford 

Lee Stafford Dry Shampoo

Value: 200ml for $16.99 (8.49c per ml – it’s the travel size in the pic)
Oomph: Lots
Scent: This is my favourite smell, it’s kinda sweet but not overpowering
Landing: little talcy and white. There are also brown and black-haired versions in the range, which I presume present dark rather than white when sprayed on.
Look & feel: It’s easy to brush out and leaves hair pretty clean and easy to work with. Overall = good!
Day-2?: Yes!
Verdict: 9/10 – I really like this dry shampoo! If you’re a dark-haired dame, consider having a run at the coloured versions.

Bastiste XXL Volume 

Bastiste XXL Volume Dry Shampoo

Value: 200ml for $12.99 (6.49c per ml)
Oomph: Medium, does the job. Wouldn’t want more.
Scent: Sweet, pretty strong
Landing: bit white and talcy
Look & feel: Hair is really straw-like afterwards & a little dull. Certainly won’t leave your hair oily. If you’re styling for mega volume, maybe ok. But not soft and natural. Definitely only use at the roots!
Day 2?: A firm no. Hair would be very difficult work with, certainly couldn’t wear out.
Verdict: 6/10 IF you’re styling your hair for volume. If not, give it a miss.

Klorane

photo 5-1

Value: 150ml for $12.99 (8.66c per ml)
Oomph: Awesome. It’ll move your hair around without you having to.
Scent: Pretty much nothing. It’s not offensive.
Landing: white & talcy
Look and feel: It works! Your hair is ever-so-slightly dried out afterwards, but isn’t that what we’re going for? Clean, workable, moveable hair. Winning.
Day 2?: Yes. And day 3. (Don’t judge!)
Verdict: 9.5/10 For blonde haired lasses, the original is the best. If you really struggle with the powder-finish discolouring your dark locks, consider another brand. Or get your fingers into the roots where the talc-y-ness isn’t moving. Klorane have now released a dry shampoo specifically for oily hair too!

So much info! Just tell me what to buy! 

  • You’re safe to hit snooze if you buy Klorane, Lee Stafford, Bastiste (in your hair colour only, I hear the scented versions can really linger all day) or Vo5.
  • If you’ve got dark hair and you’ve found some brands leave your roots looking a little… grey… hit up Lee Stafford or Bastiste in your colour. Or get your fingertips into the roots to get rid of the excess powder!
  • If you’re styling for a little volume, do Klorane, for a lot of volume, do Bastiste XXL.
  • If you’re trying to recover from a visit to the gym, Klorane (maybe even in the Oily Version?) or Lee Stafford (perhaps only after yoga.. that’s regular yoga with a nap, not hot yoga).
  • If you’re looking for something for your handbag, Klorane and Lee Stafford both have 50ml versions.
  • Prepare to be comparatively underwhelmed by other brands.
  • ALL of the above (except Eleven’s Give Me Clean Hair) are available at Priceline! Lots elsewhere too.

Shop smart for extra sleep sublime-seekers! And may no-one ever be able to tell it was 5 days since you washed your hair!

♥AS

Which brand of dry shampoo do you use? Leave a comment below! 

Road Test: SK-II Facial Treatment Mask

After hearing lots of good things about the luxurious SK-II Facial Treatment Masks, I lashed out and bought myself a pack in the Americas late last year. Yesterday I cracked one open and today, sublime seekers, I’m giving you the goss.

The Hype

1) Japanese brides are known to follow a tradition of daily SK-II Facial Treatment Masks for three months before they are married in order to to guarantee glorious, hydrated, glowing skin.

2) Australia’s Cate Blanchett is a spokesperson for the brand and has admitted her secret to conquering the jet-lagged looks is to bust out a SK-II mask in-flight.

Cate Blanchett SK-II Spokesperson
Cate in all her dewy and majestic glory!

3) Also, I read an article where the author said it was the only beauty product she took to hospital when she had her baby. The plan was deliver baby, apply mask, sleep, meet relatives with glowing skin and new bub. Some of you might think this dame has her priorities alllll wrong, but who can really blame a gal for wanting to look, or more importantly feel good on such a monumental day?

Anyway you get the upshot – brides go gaga for them, celebrities rave about them, it’s the cure for feeling less-than-bedazzled after childbirth. I’m in.

What’s in it? 

The key ingredient in the mask and in SK-II’s Facial Treatment Essence is Pitera; a blend of vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and organic acids that allegedly work together to renew and rejuvenate the skin’s outer layer.  Pitera is a naturally-occuring liquid that comes out of the yeast fermentation process. It was discovered when scientists noticed that elderly workers in a saké brewery in Japan had wrinkly faces but oh-so-lovely, beautiful, youthful hands. The scientists decided they wanted saké hands on their faces and figured they’d bottle the miracle juju. Fast forward a little while, and now we alllll can have beautiful saké hand-faces via SK-II’s Facial Treatment line. (I can hear the booziest amongst you asking “will drinking saké make me look younger?” I don’t know. I suspect that’s possibly not how it works.)

How do you use it? 

The mask should be applied to a clean, dry face. I did my normal skin routine + exfoliation, then applied the mask. Each single-use cloth mask comes in a little foil sachet where it’s neatly folded up, marinating in all the saké juju (Pitera).

SK-II Facial Treatment Mask Sachet

And there is LOTS of juju in the sachet, 30ml to be exact, which I’m sure you’ll agree is a bunch. I wish I’d squeezed more out, it felt so generous and indulgent. SK-II say start by placing the mask over your eye area and then spread outwards. The mask feels cool and a bit gooey going on and I found took a bit of sliding around in front of the mirror to position correctly before getting the best spot with maximum coverage.

SK-II Facial Treatment MaskHot damn! Me, channeling an in-flight Cate Blanchett.
(I suspect Cate would have done a better job of smoothing out the creases than I did.)

They say leave it on 20 mins or more if you can. I left mine on nearly 30 mins and felt all the better for it. When I removed the mask, it left some gooey Pitera on my face and as I had the luxury of not needing to see anyone, I left it to marinate on my skin. The mask was still lovely and moist and I wanted to get some mileage out of it, so I then applied it to my décolletage because as beauty goddess Zoe Foster always says: your face stops at your boobs. JS came home from work at this point and was confused.

Later, the last of the Pitera had dried on my skin and looked a little flakey so I washed it off gently with some warm water.

Is it good?  

It IS good, sublime seekers, great even. My skin looked lovely immediately after and felt even better. Today it’s still totally smooth and as an added benefit, it feels as if the mask has had a pore-shrinking effect, particularly around my nose and chin. My skin is plump and dewy and feels like it’s screaming “make me up” because it’s certainly in optimum-hydrated-makeup-base mode. I can see why the masks are a go-to before special events. I really wish I’d used one night-before-wedding-day.

You haven’t mentioned the price… 

You’re right. I haven’t. In Australia, you can visit your local SK-II counter at Myer and pick up one mask for $28, or 6 masks for $140. Yes, they be expensive. At Sephora in the States, 6 masks will set you back $90 USDs and 10 masks $125 USDs, so if you’re gearing up for some freight-forwarding and want to give these a go, that’s probably the way to do it. Or even better, in duty free!

SK-II Facial Treatment Mask

I procured a variety of professional facials in the lead-up to getting married last year, and feel like after this mask my skin is probably 70% as good as it was after any facial, but at 15% of the price. In post-wedding year where super-regular facials are a little harder to justify, I’ll gladly suggest to myself that this is an economic alternative. (See what I did there, how I turned something expensive into something cheap? That’s how you max out your credit card, kids!)

The verdict? 

If you’ve got a special event coming up, need a facial but can’t afford/justify/be bothered with one, have subjected your skin to some harsh cold/wind/burn OR have just got done with childbirth (!?)… I’d say it’s worth it. Perhaps not every day like the no-doubt-spectacular Japanese brides, but a one off will set you well on your way to sublime skin!

♥AS

Have you tried the SK-II Facial Treatment Mask? Or the Facial Treatment Essence? What’s your go-to skin solution? Tell us below!

Gel-ous of my fab manicure? Get your own!

Occasionally, you come across one of those items that is both fabulously exciting AND virtually guaranteed to save you money. These finds are most certainly of the sublime variety and today I’m serving one up to you, sweet readers: the DIY at home gel nail polish kit.

DIY gel nail polish kits have been slowly seeping their way into being readily available in the Australian market over the last year or so, but buying colours off-the-shelf remains difficult. For those not familiar with the technology, gel nail polish (by nature if not by name… shellac falls into this category) is basically a blend of UV-cured and regular nail polish that sets under an ultra violet light to form a hard, glossy, fabulous finish that’s completely dry, lasts up to two weeks (even more on your toes!) and DOESN’T CHIP. *gasp!*

Shiny Glossy Gel Polish Nails!Shiny glossy gel nails! (With stripey nail-art! That’s a whole other post!)

Your local mani-pedi place has been offering this service for a while, likely with a +$20 per set fee, bringing your gel mani-pedi to a rock hard price of between $60 and $100. However now you can have a full setup at home, for the price of around 40 salon nails (two-ish mani-pedi’s… $160). How does this black magic work? Essentially it’s paint and set, baby. Each nail is painted, like normal, with a (clear) base coat then set under the UV lamp. Next, a coat of colour then under the UV lamp. Repeat colour coat + UV lamp for richer colour or more coverage. Then top coat… and you guessed it… set under the uv lamp!

UV light Gel Nail settingGetting my UV set on!

Nails can be a bit tacky afterwards, so most packs will include an alcohol based spray that can be used with a makeup wipe to remove any residue. Then voila! Glorious, glossy gel nails! Terrific tips for perfect paws: There are a few tricks. To save the trial and error, I’ll give them to you straight.

  1. Very lightly buff your nail and wipe your nails prior to starting.
  2. Be very careful to paint only on your nail, not the cuticle or the sides of your nails. As the polish sets in one piece, any coat that lands outside the nail bed becomes a spot likely to lift and ruin your mani early. Your kit will likely come with a little stick like this one (Pic) to wipe off any polish prior to putting your paws under the light.
  3. Avoid thick coats – the polish may not set in the time allotted by your lamp and is more likely to peel!
  4. When setting your coats under the lamp, take four fingers of one hand and the thumb of the other. Fingers and thumb of the same hand won’t sit properly under the UV light.
  5. Never everrrrr peel off your colour. Resist, my pretties, or your nail bed will peril!! Gel polish comes off when soaked in an acetone based remover. Kits are readily available, but essentially you can put your regular acetone-based remover on a cotton ball and secure it to your nail (with alfoil/tape/mini bandage) for 10-15 mins, then the polish will lift off in one or more pieces. Alternatively, you can put some cotton balls soaked in your acetone-based remover into a small bowl and rest your nails on them for removal. Or, my new fast track method… try this: Gel Polish Removal The acetone is obviously a downside to this shebang. Remember to treat your cuticles to some cuticle-oily goodness to make up for the madness.
  6. The other downside is that the UV lamp is essentially a teeny, tiny, barbie-sized tanning bed. Allegedly “studies” have shown that the risk is of cancer is equally teeny, tiny – but not risk free. To protect yourself, don a pair of these stylish mitts or use sunscreen.

Gimme, gimme, where do I get one? 

  • This blogger procured Sephora’s OPI gelshine kit but rumour has it it’s likely to be discontinued. SEPHORA gelshine lampI’ve used Sephora’s gelshine colours with it, OPI Gel Color colours and the odd shellac colour in between OPI base and top coats. I believe you’re pretty right to mismatch your polish brand with lamp brand, but probs best sticking to the same brand of colour and top and base coats.
  • Priceline are stocking the OPALLAC starter kit for $99, it’s receiving great reviews so far:OPALLAC starter kit
  • Beware any lamps that only fit one finger! They are out there, but it will obviously take you seventeen hours to do your nails.
  • Lots of brand-new gel polishes are available via eBay. I’ve had success via that medium, they usually ship out of the USA.
  • Last but most of all… the messiah of all things gel nails is gel-nails.com. They stock squillions of brands, gazillions of colours and ship to Australia in as little as 10 days! (Remember you may need a US to AUS power adaptor to get your lamp working.) Be careful if choosing a LED lamp that isn’t necessarily a UV lamp. A UV lamp will set all gel polishes, but an LED lamp will only set LED-compatible polishes

The upshot: gel’s the future and the future is now! A purchase of an at-home kit will likely prove to be an addictive product for those who like classy claws. Meeeeow!

♥ AS

What’s your experience with gel polish? Have a favourite brand or colour? Tell us below! 

The secret’s out: VS Curl Secret review!

Straight-haired dames who never quite got the hang of the GHD curl… rejoice! Our curly-haired prayers have been answered! After spending A MONTH on the waiting list, finally in my hot little hands is Vidal Sassoon’s latest and greatest styling tool: the Curl Secret. 48 hours in I’m singing its praises and declaring it to be a super sublime find!

Curl Secret

Back up, what’s the Curl Secret? 

The Curl Secret is a heat-based hair styling tool that turns straight hair into curly hair in a matter of seconds, by automatically drawing in hair to curl it, heating the curl through, then releasing it. It is a major step forward in the world of hair-curling as it’s the first tool that doesn’t require you to twist your hair around the tool/roller, or twist your wrist in circles around your hair (GHD stylz). Its brushless, has a double heating system to create your curl faster and uses a series of beeps to let you know when your curl is ready so you don’t overcook it!

Check it out in this 37 second video:

The Curl Secret has three settings according according to how tight you’d like your curl to be (loose, medium or spiral), and two settings that relate to how hot the curl chamber gets (easy-to-curl/fine hair or hard-to-curl/thick hair). I found that the amount of hair you asked the curl secret to curl in one go has a big impact on the curl you got back (more hair = looser curl).  

But does it really work? 

YES. For the benefit of this review I captured my first Curl Secret experience in pics!

1) I washed my hair, put a bit of mousse through it and blow-dried it straight. Mousse was a bit heavier than is ideal but I’m yet to source another product. Observe: straight, underwhelming hair + underwhelmed expression (try not to observe my super-flushed post-blow-dry face).

photo 1

2) I presented my hair to the Curl Secret, it slurped it in then… voilà! Curls! It took about half an hour to do my whole head as the curl chamber (it’s a thing, I swear) can only take little pieces of hair at a time. Observe: post curling Shirley-Temple-esque locks!

photo 2

3) The curls need a bit of shaking out to look natural so that’s what I did before heading out today. I was nervous about the curls falling out (though I didn’t need to be!), so I did a little half-up, half-down do. Observe: styled curls!

photo 3

4) Nine warm, coastal hours later the curls had dropped a little but have left in their wake some kinda sexy bed-hair (I mean this figuratively, I’ve never quite understood who actually has hair that looks like this out of bed?!). Observe: 9-hour-later hair and how I wish my hair looked like out of bed:

photo 5

I’m worried my hair might get stuck in it! Will my hair get stuck in it? 

I want to say no. Before getting the curl secret (in a rather cavalier manner) I declared “surely not”! I continued to believe it wouldn’t when I first started very cautiously trying it out. But then I got a bit lax with my approach and my hair did get stuck in there… three times. *major wince*

The Curl Secret comes with a set of instructions. It includes things like; make sure your hair is straight and doesn’t have lots of flyways, make sure there are no knots in your hair, hold your hair before it gets suckered into the curl chamber. I (foolishly) interpreted some of these as general recommendations rather than specific instructions.

The first time my hair got caught it had a teeny tiny knot I hadn’t noticed in the strand I was feeding in, my hair was tacky from the mousse and it all went wrong. The second time I had the curl secret at an awkward angle and wasn’t holding my hair straight. The third time I didn’t clamp down on the curl properly and it twisted my hair instead of sucking it in. I know it sounds scary. It was scary.

But my struggles will not be in vain! You will benefit from my learning! Here’s what you won’t read on the box… some tips on how to get your hair out if it gets stuck:

  • Don’t panic (I tried panicking, it didn’t help).
  • Turn the Curl Secret off. Your hair is trapped in a super hot thing, you want that hot thing to become less hot as quickly as possible. And you maaay have to stick your fingers in there!
  • Stop and look. Where is your hair really caught? Time spent planning is seldom wasted.
  • Gently, gently unhook it. A little bit of tugging, a little bit of unhooking and your hair should come free without too much hassle.

It’s important to note: none of these omg-my-hair-is-trapped incidents would have happened if I’d followed the instructions properly. It was user error. Keep your head in the game and you’ll have pretty locks sans the hair-caught drama.  It really is very very easy to get very lovely looking curls. And there’s pretty much no chance of burning yourself like you might with a GHD. Winning!

I want one! How much and where from? 

The RRP is $172.95, but you should be able to pick one up for $150ish at one of the Australian stockists: Shaver Shop, Priceline, Big W, Myer, David Jones, Target, Harvey Norman, The Good Guys, ry.com.au. I’ve added links to those online stores who look like they’ve got stock – lots of places are sold out. The Shaver Shop were taking orders for their next shipment in mid-Feb!

And you don’t want to wait ’til Feb, sublime seekers. If you’ve been lusting after curls and never found the right gear to get the look you want – give the Curl Secret a go, follow the instructions and be delighted with the results!

♥AS

Tried the Curl Secret? Want to try it? Tell us below! 

The world’s most iconic beauty finds!

I can (and will) harp on about the things I think are fabulous, but aren’t you curious to know what the people of the world love most? Today, sublime seekers, I give you: the world’s most iconic, best-selling and clearly sublime beauty finds of all time.

It’s likely many of you will own at least one item on the list below, and very possibly all seven! Either way, read forth (is that a thing?) to learn the stories behind these cult products!

Benefit Benetint Rose-tinted Lip and Cheek StainBenefit Benetint

Who doesn’t love a two-in-one? Created in the 1970’s for an exotic dancer (allegedly to colour her nipples!), the original potion is still what’s on sale today. Benefit’s benetint is a kiss-proof, water-proof and incredibly sheer wonder for both your lips AND your cheeks! Brush or dot on and blend quickly for that “what has she been up to?” glow.
$55* in Australia available from Adore Beauty or your Benefit counter at Myer.
How popular? One sold every minute around the world.

Nars Orgasm

Nars Blush in Orgasm

This cult classic was designed by makeup artist François Nars designed in 1999 he “wanted something audacious, yet easy for everyone to wear” and allegedly spent months tweaking the levels of pink pigment and gold shimmer to create the final product that flatters every skin tone. No doubt bouyed by it’s cheeky name, the women of the world agree; if you don’t have your own orgasm, you’re doing it wrong.
$45* in Australia available at Mecca Cosmetica or your local Nars stockist.
How popular? Two orgasms every minute.

Chanel No. 5 Eau de Parfum

Chanel No. 5

The world’s most popular perfume is unsurprisingly, the iconic Chanel No. 5. In the summer of 1920, Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel asked perfumer Earnest Beaux to create a “fragrance for a woman to smell like a woman, not like a flower”. Named “No. 5” as Coco allegedly preferred the 5th scent Beaux presented to her, it’s derived from over 80 notes! In the height of her stardom, Marilyn Monroe was asked what she wore to bed and famously replied “Chanel No. 5, of course”.
Available everywhere but beware imitations! $250 (approx) for 100ml. Also available in 25ml, 50ml and 200ml varieties.
How popular? Two sold every minute.

YSL Touche EclatYSL Touché Éclat

Invented in 1991 by YSL’s Terry de Gunzburg, Touché Éclat (pronounced toosh eh-clae) was the first under-eye brightener and highlighter of its time. It works by reflecting the light to leave your skin looking radiant and has been described as “like 8 hours sleep in a magic wand”. Most commonly used around the eye area, there are lots of tips available on how to make the most of this famous product.
$55* and available in 22 shades at David Jones.
How popular?  Six sold per minute.


Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising LotionClinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion

Clinique launched their Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion back in 1968 following an article in US Vogue discussing whether a proper skin care regime is the secret to great skin. US Vogue editor Carol Phillips, Evelyn Lauder (daughter-in-law of Estée) and dermatologist Norman Orentreich worked together to bring cosmetics and dermatology together. The original formula prevailed for more than 40 years until it received an update last year in response to the different environmental needs of skin today compared to the 1960’s.
$49* for 125ml or $25* for 5oml at Clinique online or your nearest department store.
How popular? 14 sold every minute!

Loreal Elnett HairprayL’oreal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray

At it’s invention in 1960, the Elnett Satin hairspray became the first hairspray on the market that could be easily brushed out. It’s clean, soft and shiny finish makes it a favourite for red carpet events. For a long while it was only available in France, forcing hair fanatics to sneak the aerosole home in their luggage… but now you, dear reader, can source it here at home.
$9.95 for 400ml at Priceline.
How popular? 20 sold every minute!


Maybelline Great Lash Mascara Great Lash Mascara

With an untouched receipe more than 40 years on, Maybelline’s Great Lash Mascara was originally launched in 1971. It’s water-based formula gives you the ability to lengthen and build quickly to get anything from a lash-tinted look to full house glamazon. Maybelline credit it’s wet consistency and glossy blue-black colour as the secret to its success. And success it is; this is the world’s most popular mascara.
$12.95 at Priceline.
How popular? More than 40 sold every minute! FORTY! That’s one every 1.5 seconds!


Honourable Mentions:

  • Crème de La Mer was invented more than 50 years ago by a NASA scientest searching for a way to recover from his chemical burns and is infused with Sea Kelp. Celebs (Blake Lively, Mariah Carey, Nicole Kidman, Halle Berry ad the Jolie-Pitts) admit to using it by the bucketful. Lucky for them! 30ml of moisturising cream will set you back a cool $220. But don’t worry, the shipping is free.
  • Chanel Le Vernis “Vamp” is (surely?!) one of the only nail polishes to have it’s own wikipedia page. Launched in ’94 in at Chanel runway show, the polish was created to be the same colour as dried blood. It flew of the shelves, waiting lists followed and by the end of the year it alone had netted Chanel $1 million. The colour was discontinued then re-launched as “Rouge Noir”, a permanent colour in Chanel’s collection.
  • MAC Russian Red lipstick has become an iconic shade due it’s celebrity devotees. First donned by Madonna on her Blonde Ambition tour in 1990, the bold shade has since touched the lips of Dita Von Teese, Kim Kardashian, Gwen Stefani, Angelina Jolie, Christina Hendricks, Scarlett Johannson, Christina Aguilera and Anne Hathaway. Wanna look like the famous ladies? Get yours now for $36* at your nearest MAC counter or online.

♥ AS

*Cheaper in the USA, peeps! Did someone say freight-forwarder?

Own any of these products? Are they worth the hype? What makes icon status in your beauty cupboard? Tell us below!