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! 

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!

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!