Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The perfect stocking stuffer for a nail polish lover

Bloom have a massive collection nail polish colours - 80 to be exact (you can see all the colours here) which ordinarily retail for $19.95 per bottle or two for $29.95. However, just in time for Christmas, Bloom have brought out a couple of gift packs containing four mini bottles of their famous polish. These are an absolute bargain at $24.95, especially considering that the mini bottles are a generous 9ml each. I don't know about you but i have never ever finished a bottle of nail polish, therefore these mini bottles are perfect for me - more colour for my buck!

There are two packs to choose from:

Fashion Mini Nail Polish collection containing the following colours: Goldie, The Casette Society II, Kate, Sunday.

Classic Mini Nail Polish collection containing Millie, Kim, Edie and Toni.

I was sent the Classic Mini Nail Polish collection to trial. Prior to this I had not actually tried a Bloom nail polish before so I was quite intrigued to see how it compared my other favourite brands.

According to the Bloom website:

Natalie Bloom has always been obsessed with colour. In fact, some might say she has an unhealthy fascinations with the graduation of a Pantone swatch book! Natalie has collected fabric swatches, magazine tear-sheets and ribbons as inspiration for our 80+ Nail Polish range and the results are amazing. From sheer, seashell pink to that illusive petrol blue with a slight shimmer - Natalie wanted to create that perfect shade of nail polish that you've been searching high and low for.

With pigments sourced from around the world, a professional two-coat formula and an incredible 330-strand brush, our nail polish will hold its colour and shine for days.

The first colour I took for a test drive was Millie - a colour I would describe as a dark cherry red. My sister had a less poetic way of describing. On seeing me wear it she exclaimed 'OMG, that is the perfect whore red. I have been searching everywhere for that EXACT colour'. She then asked if she could borrow it...and took it with her when she moved to Japan. It is a great red after all! Two coats give total opacity. The formula is a dream to apply. I didn't find it streaky at all. However, it was fairly slow drying. It lasted three days before it started chipping and even then the chipping was minor. I did not apply a top coat over this - that is how shiny the polish is and the shine lasts until you take it off. I was hugely impressed with this polish.

I didn't get a chance to do a full mani with the other colours so have swatched them each on a single nail to show how the colour comes out. The second swatch is Kim, a taupey brown. I have to admit that this colour isn't my cup of tea. I just don't do anything that is even remotely a shade of brown. However, it is a colour that is really in fashion at the moment. I have seen a few blogs do nail polish swatches that are various shades of brown and the blog owners have all raved about the colour. I'd love to hear what you think of it. This is two coats. One coat gave me about 95% opacity and if you were in a rush you could get away with it as it only had the faintest 'bald spots' (a nail polish term I just learnt from Jacie at You've Got Nail!). Like Millie, it applied like a total dream.

The third swatch is Toni, though unfortunately it has not photographed as true to its colour as i would have liked. It has come out a lot whiter than in real life. Bloom describe the colour as 'a dew'...though that doesn't help me at all (I though dew was water so clear??), so I will include the official Bloom photo of the bottle to give you a better idea of its colour. The first application was very patchy so I was expecting this to be a minimum three coat job but surprisingly the second coat gave it complete opacity. I can see myself getting heaps of wear out of Toni, this summer, as it is one of those colours that really accentuate and and foot tan!

The final colour in the classic pack, and my personal favourite, was Edie. This is one hot red! Apologies for the colour of my finger, I think the blood must have been a bit cut off getting my finger to this angle. If you can ignore the purple finger take in the beauty of Edie. It is the perfect pillar box red. It is hot hot hot and demands attention. It looks like patent leather on. And the best bit - total opacity with one coat! Yep, this picture was taken after only one coat was applied, no top coat. Brilliant when you realise that you haven't applied nail polish and need to be out the door in five minutes (ok, fine, it won't be touch dry in that time but you get my point!).

The Bloom mini nail polish packs are such great value. You get four nail polishes for just over $6 each, and these are top quality polishes to boot. If you are after a Kris Kringle gift, or an extra stocking filler I can imagine anyone not being totally thrilled with a pack of these mini polishes. You can find Bloom online or in Myers and David Jones stores.

Have you tried Bloom nail polish before? If so, what are your thoughts?

Can you do a brown nail polish or do ou have a severe brown phobia like me?

All opinions stated in this blog are my own. I have no affiliation with Bloom and received no remuneration for my comments. This product was provided for consideration.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Who won the NVEY ECO organic makeup give away?

A massive thanks to everyone who entered my NVEY ECO organic makeup giveaway. I have used to pick a winner for me

And the lucky winner?


Congrats Magda. I have emailed you. I hope you enjoy the prize!

I don't think that I will manage to get another giveaway completed before Christmas but I still have a couple of prizes left to give away so keep your eyes out for some great giveaways of the new year!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Let's party on the Weekend Beauty Blog Hop

I have had a hectic couple of weeks and as such my poor little blog has been neglected. The older he gets, the more hard work The Crazy Kid becomes. The second I sit down at the computer he runs up and grabs my hand to drag me somewhere or other. That pretty much just leaves his nap times for blogging, but then that is also my only chance to get chores and work done so rarely blogging wins; the other chance is in the evenings after Crazy has gone down, but the these days I'm shattered, so fail again. I have that many blog posts written in my head that just need to make it to the computer...

As we get further and further into the party season, I can just feel that there will either be even less opportunities to blog, or more awesome topics to write about (I hope it's the latter). So, this week, instead of listing your blog, I want you to post a link to one of you blog posts that has a party element to it - whether it be a party FOTD, a perfume that puts you in the mood for a great night out, or some creative nail designs. Don't make reference to your blog but simply leave the title of your post so that it is a surprise to readers as to which blog they will end up at. I will post a link to one of my articles below so that you can see what I mean. If it is too hard to pick just one article to link to, you are more than welcome post more than once. In fact, I would love it if you did - lets get the party started!

I would love suggestions for themes to use in the coming weeks as well, if you have any.

If you missed my original post on The Weekend Beauty Blog Hop, here's a quick explanation:

What is a blog hop?

A blog hop is a linky list that is SHARED ON MULTIPLE BLOGS.

When several blogs put the same linky list code on their blog, the exact same list appears on each blog.

Blog visitors can submit their entries on any blog that contains the list. The entries will appear on each blog where the list resides.

Blog readers see the same list on each blog, and can "HOP" from blog to blog seeing the same list of links to follow: BLOG HOP!

So basically, its an awesome way to discover new beauty blogs or have new readers discover yours. Or in the case of Pimp Your Favourite Post, its a great way to get new traffic to your favourite post.

The only rule is that your post must have some beauty content. That's it! Once you have joined, why don't you check out the other articles posted in the list - you may discover a brilliant post that you missed when it was originally published. Please Tweet or share a link to your Facebook account as the more posts we can get to on the list, the better the Weekend Beauty Blog Hop will be!

If you would like to do a post about this on your blog, by all means grab the code below. Feel free to lift any content from this post, all I ask is that you link where you got it from.

Hop away my friends, hop away! This link will be open from 5.00pm on Friday 9th December until 8.00am on Monday 12th October (Australian Eastern Standard time).

In addition to the Weekend Beauty Blog Hop I have also set up a Beauty Blog Directory. If you would like your blog added to the Beauty Blog Directory leave a comment on that post or here with the following info:

1. Blog title
2. Blog URL
3. A brief sentence summarising the purpose of your blog (it can be your blog tag line if you like)
4. What country you are from. If you would also like to add your city and state, I will include that with your listing - that way you may be able to discover the fellow bloggers in your local area .

Once you have added your blog to the Beauty Blog Directory feel free to grab a button for your blog from the bottom of my right sidebar.

Enjoy the Blog Hop this weekend, beauty lovers!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

The acne series: Guest review of Aspect and Dr Aspect

In the first of my series of guest reviews on acne treatment ranges, I recruited Vanessa to trial some Aspect and Aspect Dr products. The products she received were:

Aspect Purastat 5 Cleanser which is described as 'an extraordinary one-of-a-kind cleansing formula that will exceed your expectations and change the way you think about the simple act of cleansing your face forever.'

Aspect Jungle Brew 'Chemical free because problem skin should be nurtured not tortured! If you suffer the misery of spotty, excessively oily or impure skin, you will no doubt have tried a myriad of cosmetic treatments with the hope of finding that magic clear skin solution only to find that the cure was worse than the disease'

Aspect Dr Exfol A Plus Serum 'A potent Vitamin A formula that has superior stability coupled with exceptional cellular renewal activity for clearer, smoother, more evenly coloured, younger looking skin.'

This is Vanessa's review:

My skin is troublesome to say the least. So when the opportunity came up to trial some acne-prone beauty products I jumped at the chance and boy, am I glad that I did! Why? Well, my skin is pimple prone – it always has been. 15-20 years ago I even went to a skin specialist and went on Roaccutane. My skin is stubborn so though this helped after a few months I found that my skin began playing up again after coming off of it. So my skin specialist put me on a second course of Roaccutane. This was great because this second course dried my sebum supply out enough to keep my skin under control – for quite a while at least. 

Enter my thirties: massive hormonal changes because I began a family – childbirth, breastfeeding played a big part in hormonal changes but luckily my skin stayed okay until my very late thirties when it started to get more oily – again!! Enter my fourties: increasingly oily skin for no apparent reason. Maybe the effect of the Roaccutane was finally wearing off!! So I was on the computer searching and signed up to several beauty blogs/website because I thought it sounded silly to head for the skin specialist again for yet another round of Roaccutane. But you know what? I would have been on it again if I hadn’t been invited to trial these truly amazing topical products by Aspect courtesy of The Science of Beauty blog.

So you probably have the picture of what my skin is like by now: pimple-prone, acne-prone, super duper oily t-zone, temperamental both to dairy products in my diet (triggered pimples!!) and also temperamental with hormones from the ‘monthlies’ which are sporadic at the best of times!! Genetically speaking, I got this annoying skin from my mum. Thanks Mum!! I watched her struggle with her pimple-prone skin all her life. So genetics, oiliness, the odd bad habit (like touching my face when I shouldn’t) and probably using the wrong products on my skin have made my skin the way it is. If I have a weak point then my pimple prone skin is my weak point. Everything else is great – it’s just that my skin is the pain and bane of my life.

As you can imagine I’ve tried and used many, many products which claim they’ll help control pimples and improve my oily skin type. (Though I’m dry on my upper cheeks and round my eyes and near my ears at my age now). Some products did help a little – just a little though and it was more for just ‘control’ after the next batch of pimples emerged but I have never, ever used anything as effective, gentle and downright amazing as these Aspect products (which I had never heard of by the way, before this trial).

The Aspect Purastat 5 Cleanser (240ml) slotted easily and simply into my ‘beauty’ routine by quite honestly being the most incredibly gentle yet anti-acne cleanser I have EVER used and I’ve used a couple of very good ones. This lime-scented and lime-coloured cleanser is so beautifully gentle that I can use it all over my face and there is not the least hint of dryness. It doesn’t strip my skin whatsoever. The pump top quality bottle is shaped like an upside-down cone. I’ve been using it for just over a month now and I estimate I’ve used only 40mls of this precious potion which makes it very very economical because it looks like it’s going to last me around 6 months! That works out around $10 a month or around $2.50 a week for the BEST cleanser I’ve ever used for my crazy skin type. It’s effect on my skin is highly cleansing and refreshing as well as calming – somehow it makes my skin feel more resilient against pimples and much, much less pimple prone. I’m honestly completely amazed something like this exists!

The other two Aspect products I received to trial for my pimple prone skin was two serums – one I’ve been using in the morning after cleansing – Jungle Brew (30ml) and the other I’ve been using at night after cleansing – Exfol A Plus Serum (30ml).

These fitted so easily into my normal routine – straight after cleansing and before I applied my moisturiser. In the morning I’d apply a sunscreen moisturiser after the Jungle Brew serum and in the night I’d apply an oil-free basic moisturiser after I applied the Exfol A Plus Serum. They both went onto/into my skin extremely easily – they both felt the same to apply. They are both a thin, slippery, easy-to-spread serum which, with one squirt from the pump pack would cover my entire face and upper neck area (as I was getting very stubborn pimple problems in the last year on my upper neck area too). At night sometimes I would apply the Exfol A Plus Serum without adding any of my nightly oil-free moisturiser on top.

These serums both are soothing, simple and effective. To me it seems like they have a compound effect with the use of the cleanser and so I love using these three products in unison on a daily basis.

These products are working for me like bottles of miracles! I would never have believed anything could help my skin as well as these Aspect products. After a few weeks of use my skin no longer feels pimple prone/acne-prone. It feels somehow stronger against pimples and doesn’t have that awful ‘just about to break out feeling’. Since starting these products my skin has had no further breakouts at all! My skin certainly looks a million miles clearer than what it did before I started using them too. My photos show the results! My face (and neck) is not congested like it was and I haven’t changed anything in my diet/nutrition but I still avoid dairy products. Maybe one day I will be able to eat and drink dairy again with the way these Aspects products are working for me!

I feel completely gob-smacked because I really thought I was going to be heading down the Roaccutane track yet again but after using these Aspect trial products I don’t have to.

I found these products to be very gentle but I did wear a sunscreen everyday as I normally do and I found that generally using moisturiser over the top of the serums, both for day and night, as my preferred way of using these. The night time Exfol A Plus Serum I found stronger than the Jungle Brew and I found that using the Purastat 5 Cleanser I didn’t need to rub at all and I used it for around 30 seconds to 1 minute to cleanse with and then I rinsed it off. I found it easy to rinse off. At night, after wearing make-up and sunscreens I would do a ‘double cleanse’ with it as the instructions say so on the website. This worked exceedingly well for me.

Something very worthy of mentioning is that these products are completely Australian and not tested on animals. It gets even better! They are wonderful cosmeceutical products which are free of all the nasties too – free of parabens, formaldehyde, sodium lauryl sulphate, propylene glycol, mineral oils, petrolatum, artificial colours and fragrances.

These unusual skincare products are truly what I’d call beauty products! Thank you The Science of Beauty and Aspect for allowing me to discover them through this trial. I am completely amazed with them!! They really work for me. I sit here typing this with absolutely no pimples!! I can easily say that they are the best products I have ever used in my entire life!

Before trial


After: close up

Aspect is a protected brand not available in department stores or online. For more information on salons that stock the Aspect and Aspect Dr range, check out their website.

Have you found your Holy Grail set of products to fix your problematic skin?

All opinions stated in this blog are my own (or in this case are Vanessa's). I have no affiliation with Aspect or Aspect Dr and received no remuneration for these comments. These products were provided to Vanessa for her consideration.