Friday, 31 August 2012

Kosmetik: The Skincare Range from Romy

I recently introduced you to the Romy range, a toiletries range that was previously only available in hotels but is now being sold to the public. I had discovered this brand whilst holidaying in Palm Cove. The hotel I was staying supplied the Eucalyptus and Lemongrass range and I was shocked at just how nice it was - hotel toiletries are never nice!

What I didn't know at the time was that Romy also has a skincare line called Kosmetik. Each product in this range contain extracts from the Australian botanicals Quandong & Lilly Pilly. According to New Directions, Quandong fruit has a very high vitamin C content (higher than oranges) and so was also used for its medicinal properties to treat skin sores, boils and aid in the affects of rheumatism. In particular, Quandong extract was well known for its anti bacterial properties. Lilly Pilly is also high in vitamin C and has traditionally been used Lilly Pilly for its great healing and anti bacterial properties. In addition, Lilly Pilly has good astringent properties that improve firmness of the skin, while its high vitamin C and fruit acid content create great anti-ageing effects to keep skin looking radiant and youthful.

When I trial this range I used all products together (although alternated between using the cleanser or scrub).

Kosmetik Facial cleanser RRP $14.99 50ml
What they say: ROMY Facial Cleanser leaves skin feeling soft and supple. Its gentle formula is suitable for all skin types. The Pomegranate extract acts as a powerful antioxidant known to reduce the signs of aging and protect the skin against UV, particularly UV-B rays

What I say: I was a bit surprised by the size of the cleanser, with it being only 50ml. Cleansers usually come in larger volumes than this. However, as soon as I used it I realised this wasn't going to be a problem - this is the thickest gel cleanser that I have ever used which means that only a tiny blob is needed for each use. I actually always use this cleanser with my Konjac sponge (review to come) so I only needed to use a pea sized blob. I found that it cleansed my face effectively yet did not dry it out at all and there was no hint of tightness or squeekiness after use. It has a very pleasant, yet subtle herbally scent. I really enjoyed using this cleanser.

Kosmetik Exfoliant RRP $15.99 50ml

What they say: ROMY Exfoliant uses the crushed stems of Bamboo to gently exfoliate the skin. The Jojoba Seed Oil helps to cleanse the pores and the Macadamia Nut Oil soften the skin. Quandong and Lilly Pilly extracts further enhance this wonderful exfoliant.

What I say: This is a very gentle scrub suitable for daily use. I generally prefer my scrubs to be more scrubby - ie I'd rather use them once or twice a week and have a more intensive scrub experience. This would be perfect for someone who needs something with more oomph than a standard cleanser. The creamy based is lovely and the scrub particles are smooth so they don't scratch the skin at all. After using this exfoliant my skin felt thoroughly clean, beautifully soft and supple. Again, this is not at all drying.

Kosmetik Facial Toner Spray RRP $15.00 50ml
What they say: Romy Facial Toner refreshes, smoothes and illuminates the skin. The natural astringents clean the residue, dead cells and oil, improving tone, circulation and reducing the impact of fine lines. The natural extracts including Chamomile and Pomegranate heals and soothes.

What I say: I have to admit that that I am not much of a toner user. I personally don't see the point of them. My toner aversion aside, this is actually quite a beautiful spray. It smells lovely - kind of delicately floral with faint herbal hints. The spray nozzle is absolutely perfect for giving a light spritz to the face. For the purpose of the trial I did use it as a typical toner - I spritzed it onto a cotton pad and wiped any cleanser residue off. It felt nice doing this and it wasn't at all drying or stingy like some toners can be. However, I can see myself getting more use out of this as a hydrating spritzer throughout the day rather than a toner. I will keep it beside my computer to give my face a moisture boost when I am spending long hours on the computer.

Kosmetik Day & Night Cream RRP $39.99 50ml

What they say: ROMY Day & Night Cream is a rapidly absorbing moisturizer. Its active ingredients include Vitamin B5, which conditions and repairs, and Vitamin E, which is an antioxidant and is thought to have anti-aging properties. The Day & Night Cream also contains Quandong & Lilly Pilly extracts for their Vitamin C benefits and Nettle extract known for it's nourishing and toning qualities.

What I say: This was a rapidly absorbing moisturiser - within minutes of applying it, the moisturiser had completely absorbed into my skin. It was non-greasy and left my skin feeling well moisturised and also firmer and tighter - in a good lifting kind of way. It doesn't contain SPF so I had to apply sunscreen on top, but the plus about that is it meant that the product could be used both day and night. This is a very nice moisturiser that really suited my normal to slightly oily skin.

Kosmetik Eye Serum RRP $35.99 30ml

What they say: ROMY Eye Serum is for frequent use and contains Chamomile and Aloe Vera, which gently cool and soothe the sensitive eye skin. Quandong & Lilly Pilly extracts included in the formulation contain high concentrations of Vitamin C that can promote healing and skin regeneration

What I say: I loved this eye cream! Actually, it really is an eye gel. It felt very refreshing to apply and then instantly firmed up my under eye area. I used to have great skin tone around my eyes but between feeding Kiki during the night then dealing with The Crazy Kid during the day I am the tiredest that I have ever been and it is really showing in my eyes. I can't say that this serum completely eradicated my (not so) fine lines - only 15 hours of uninterrupted sleep will do that - but it definitely left the area feeling firmer and refreshed and it did make me feel more awake after I applied it.

I enjoyed using the Romy Kosmetik range. It left my skin feeling firmer, tighter and refreshed, and in my currently sleepy haze it is exactly what I needed! This range can be purchased online from the Romy website.
What do you use to give the illusion that you are not chronically sleep deprived?
All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. These products were provided for consideration.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

There's a new lip butter in town: 1 Skin Solution Guava Lemonade

A few months back the beauty world went a little bit crazy when Revlon released their lip butters. Well, there is a new lip butter in town and that's the 1 Skin Solution Lip Butter. The 1 Skin Solution Lip Butters come in 4 different colour/flavours: Guava Lemonade, Almond Biscotti, Coconut Plum and Strawberry Rose Champagne plus there is also Vanilla which is clear. I gave Guava Lemonade a road test.

What they say: This lip butter has a creamy texture, soft sheer coral colour that can be built up to vibrant glossy finish and delicious flavour of Guava lemonade. Great for every day use to keep your lips soft and hydrated.

Ingredients: Cocoa Butter, Coconut Oil, Petroleum, Shea Butter, Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride, Beeswax, Candelilla wax, Mica, F & C G Colour, Titanium Dioxide, Flavour, Sweetener, Vitamin E, Grapefruit Seed Extract.

What I say: The lip butter glided effortlessly across my lip - it really did feel like I was applying butter to my lips. It left my lips feeling moisturises and protected and I noticed that within a few days of using the lip butter they dry flaky bits that I had on my lips (thanks to sitting outside in the cold winter wind train watching with The Crazy Kid) had disappeared.

The Guava Lemonade lip butter is fragranced with lemonade but actually has no taste at all. This is fantastic for me as there is nothing that I hate more than a lip product that has a flavour that gets caught in the back of your throat. For the first couple of minutes of wearing the lip butter the lemonade fragrance can be detected but then it completely vanishes.

I found this colour to be incredibly natural looking - it was very complimentary to my skin tone. It is quite sheer and whilst the colour can be built up with a couple of coats it never becomes opaque - ie this is a lip tint rather than a lip colour.

The Guava Lemonade lip butter was a perfect everyday lip product for me. With two young bubs I don't tend to wear much makeup these days - in fact I am lucky to even brush my hair everyday (though, in all honesty, I didn't brush my hair everyday even before I had kids so I really shouldn't blame them!). When it comes to lip products I want something a bit more subtle - something to brighten my look without making me look too made up (bright coloured lips with fresh out of bed hair is a strange look and not one I am prepared to rock!). This met my needs perfectly, it gave me subtle colour, plus helped to keep my lips feeling nice and moisturised.  

In addition to Guava Lemonade, there is also Vanilla, Almond Biscotti, Coconut Plum and Strawberry Rose Champagne in the range.

The lip butters are $14.50 each and can be purchased here. In addition to Lip Butters, 1 Skin Solutions also has a divine sounding bath and body range.

Just a heads up, 1 Skin Solution are having their first giveaway and you can win two of these awesome lip products but some beautiful bath and body goodies. But get in quick as the giveaway closes on 1st September 2012. See here for more details about their giveaway.

All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. This product was provided for consideration.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Guest reviews required to trial skincare ranges

I have been sent some products to trial that are not suitable for my skin type so I need some guest reviewers to trial them for me. I have quite specific criteria for what I need in my reviewers so please only apply if you are fit the criteria and are willing to fully comply with the trial. I really want to know whether these products work so I need you to use them as per their directions  (ie use the cleanser morning and night, day cream in the morning, night cream at night etc). I will provide a routine to the triallers of what I want you to do throughout the trial. I have a few rules:

  • I will be providing you with a complete skin care range. I ask that you only use this range during the trial. If you have a specialty product you need to use, still apply as it may be fine to use (ie you might apply to trial the anti-ageing range but need to use a pimple treatment product - that is fine I just don't want you using another anti-ageing product during the trial)
  • If you are currently trialling products let me know when that trial ends - I need my reviewers to use this range for one month. 
  • Once you start your trial I ask that you don't trial any other facial skin are products until you are finished; however, makeup is fine - if in doubt check
  • You are free to wear your normal makeup and sunscreen throughout the trial 
  • I really want before and after photos for the reviews. They don't have to show your full face - whatever you are comfortable with. Have a look at the photos in this guest review. They are perfect for what I need.
  • Must be an Australian resident
I need guest reviewers to trial:

An acne range
  • any age
  • problematic skin (at least moderate acne - not just one or two pimples)
  • you can be on oral acne treatments but if you are also using topical acne treatments I ask that you stop using them for this trial

A skin maintenance range
  • aged in your 20's
  • your main skin concern is maintaining hydration

An age maintenance range
  • aged in your 40's
  • have concerns about wrinkles and uneven skin tone/discolouration

If you are interested in trialling one if these ranges please either comment below or send me an email letting me know your age, what your skin is like and which range you'd like to trial. If you are interested in trialling the acne range, I'd love it if you could email me a photo of your skin but that is not compulsory to apply.

If you don't fit into any of the categories for this trial but are interested in trialling products (and it doesn't necessarily have to be skin care) please comment/email me with your age and skin type and I will store your details for future trials (I currently have a ridiculous amount of products that I have dreams of reviewing but not enough body parts to apply them to do could do with some help!).

I'll accept applications until Wed 8th Sep and then will choose my reviewers that night.

Gelicious Hybrid Gel Nail Colour swatch guide

I have noticed on the Gelicious Facebook page people posting photos of how the Gelicious colours are turning out in real life. I thought that I would dedicate a page to these photos so that the colours can all be compared together at once to maybe make choosing a little easier (or perhaps harder once you see all the great colours!). I will update it with my photos as I add them but I would love it if you could email me or post on my Facebook Wall your swatches to add to this guide as I only have 3 colours so far (though have ordered another 4!). Please also let me know what name you would like me to credit the photo to. I won't post any photos without prior permission. I will also post links to blogs that have swatched the colours as I come across them so please feel free to send me your link.

99% Fat Free Fluoros
Photo credit: Natalie Heckman

  • Orange Sherbet

  • Lime Fizz

  • Strawberry Gelato

Photo Credit: Me

Boxing Day
Photo Credit: Me (centre colour)

  • Chocolate Binge

  • Sleep Till Noon
Photo credit: Natalie Heckman

  • Dip in the Pool

  • Lazy Days

Breast Cancer Awareness
  • Just
Photo credit: BeaJay

Photo credit: Sheryl Barton

  • Thankful

  • I Am
Photo credit: Jodi Nyskohus

  • Alive
Photo credit: Natalie Heckman

  • To Help
Photo credit: Natalie Heckman

Commoner Done Good
  • Our Mary
Photo credit: Sarah Em

  • Princess Fiona

Photo credit: Me

  • Princess Kate
Photo credit: Natalie Heckman

  • Queen of Hearts

Get Your Swerve On
  • Tamarama Slammer

  • That's So The Bomb

  • Recover

  • Alcopop Rock

  • Cosmopolitan

Spring Into Action
  • Open Toe

  • Fake Tan
Photo credit: me

  • Crash Diet

  • Bikini Wax

  • Hit the Gym
Photo credit: Natalie Heckman

Shag By The Fire
  • Hot Toddy

  • Lights Out

Photo Credit: Me

  • Snuggle

  • Blaze
Photo credit: Natalie Heckman

Precious Metals
  • Aphrodisiac
Photo credit: me

  • Antique rose

  • Gold diger

  • Mintium
Photo credit: Natalie Heckman

  • Gun metal

Limited Edition
  • Curiosity Does Mars
Photo credit: Natalie Heckman, two coats applied
  • Beachy Peachy Coral
Photo credit: Natalie Heckman

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Dermalogica Clean Bar and the Pre-Shave Guard

In Part 2 of my Dermalogica Fathers Day review I had my husband, Brett review two products - the Clean Bar and the Pre-Shave Guard. If you missed Part 1, have a look here as earlier today Camper reviewed the Daily Defense Block and the Daily Clean Scrub.

Unlike Camper, Brett has been using beauty products for a little while now. It took me a few years to convince him to look after his skin but now if the products are in his bathroom he will use them. He is a bit of a creature of habit though and tends to stick to products he knows, (quite the opposite to me who is on a mission to try every beauty product ever made - I guess that's why his bathroom is immaculate whilst mine is a tad over crowded!) so I was intrigued to see how he would go with his routine being shaken up!

Brett is 32 and has good skin. He doesn't break out anymore although does occasionally get shaving rash. He has a freakishly fast growing beard (he usually gets 5.00 shadow sometime around lunchtime!) so needs to shave every day. Also, having two young kids means that he is always tired so will sleep in as late as he can before he has to get up and get ready for work. This means that he needs products that don't add any time to his routine.

The Clean Bar RRP $39.00 142g

 What they say: A soap-free, acid-balanced cleanser in a convenient bar form. Fortified with Licorice Extract and Allantoin to help soothe skin, and Lactic Acid, Oat Kernel and Retinol to help exfoliate. Tea Tree, Lavender and a complex of botanicals maintain bar purity during use. Ideal for the most sensitive of skins, and for those who currently wash with traditional soap bars that are too high in skin-aggravating alkalis. Travels easily in a gym or travel bag. Formulated without artificial fragrances and colors.
Pre-Shave Guard RRP $32.50 74g
What they say: A beard-softening shave prep for tough, coarse beards. Cooling Camphor helps tone to lift beard away from skin for maximum razor closeness. Soothing formula ads an extra layer of defense during shaving to help minimize razor burn and bumps. Formula is free of high-alkaline ingredients that can aggravate and dry skin. Works best when used underneath Soothing Shave Cream. Formulated without artificial fragrances and colors.

 Brett is also not a beauty blogger so I have used the same interview format that I did with Camper.

Did you enjoy using the products/did you like how the felt on your skin?
I really liked how my skin felt after using the Clean Bar. I also like how the Pre-shave guard felt on my skin but shaving took a lot longer to do when I used it.

Was it easy to incorporate them into your usual routine?
The Clean Bar was - it was easy to quickly use it in the shower and didn't add any more time. The Pre-shave guard tended to clog up my razor. I had to rinse it more often so it took longer to shave. This made it harder to incorporate into my weekday routine.

Did the Clean Bar dry out your skin at all?
It left my skin feeling nice and no it didn't dry it out.

Did the Pre-shave Guard make shaving any easier?
It made the actual shaving easier - I didn't have to pull as much as the razor tended to glide over my face but then the Pre-shave Guard would clog my razor and it was difficult to rinse out so it made the shaving process take a lot longer. I didn't have time for this during the week but didn't mind it on the weekend when I had more time for shaving and to rinse the blade more thoroughly.

[Note the Pre-shave Guard comes with the following instructions: After cleansing, apply a thin layer to beard. Do not rinse off. Apply Soothing Shave Cream over Pre-Shave Guard. Shave, rinsing blade often. Rinse with warm water. For use only underneath Soothing Shave Cream. Brett didn't have the Soothing Shave Cream so used it with his normal Gillette shaving cream. This might explain why his razor kept clogging up and the shaving process took longer]

Did you notice any improvement in either the appearance or feel of your skin after using the The Clean Bar and the Pre-shave Guard?
It seems a bit smoother. 

Would you like to receive products such as these for Fathers Day?
I would like to receive the Clean Bar as that is not something that I would normally buy myself.  I could probably do without the Pre-shave Guard as this just added time to my routine.

In case you missed it in my earlier post, Dermalogica currently have a promotion where you can received 20% off if you purchase two or more products from the shave range. Hurry, this ends 1st September.


Does your man buy his own beauty products or are you in charge of that?

All opinions are mine and Brett's own and we received no remuneration for this post. These products were provided to Brett for consideration.

Dermalogica Daily Clean Scrub and Daily Defense SPF15

Fathers Day is this Sunday (2nd of September) so I have recruited my father, Camper (as nicknamed by The Crazy Kid who can't quite say Grandpa yet!) to review a couple of Dermalogica products for me.

A little bit of background on Camper - Camper is 61 and is of the generation of men who were not exposed to beauty products so did little more to their skin than shave it and perhaps splash a little after shave on. Camper is also an avid swimmer who notches up around 7km a day (in fact he is off to Hawaii on Friday to compete in an ocean swim!) so his skin is really put through its paces.

You might be surprised to learn that Camper isn't actually a beauty blogger himself. In fact, when I asked him what skin type he had, he looked at me funny and said Caucasian! As he has never had to describe his skin type before I guess this was a fair enough answer! Camper is asthmatic and has a few allergies. I learnt at a Dermalogica  info night that there is a link between allergies and sensitive skin so Camper most likely has sensitive skin.

I had Camper trial the Daily Defense Block and the Daily Clean Scrub.

Daily Defense Block RRP $56.00 100ml

What they say: This multi-tasking daytime lotion is the perfect finish to your Shave routine. Lightweight, non-greasy formula effectively conditions and enhances skin's protective barrier, which is critical post-shave. Extracts help fight ingrown hairs, breakouts, and skin-aging free radicals as non-greasy conditioners absorb fast for a shine free finish. Formulated without artificial fragrances and colors.

The Daily Defense Block can be purchased here.

Daily Clean Scrub RRP $43.00 120ml

What they say: Clear the way for a super-close shave with this beard-lifting cleanser and scrub, containing micro-fine Silica beads to help remove oil and dulling skin cells. Lather cleans deep to help keep pores clear and minimize ingrown hairs. Formulated without artificial fragrances and colors.The Daily Clean Scrub can be purchased here.
As Camper is not a beauty blogger, I decided to interview him on his thoughts of the two Dermalogica products that he trialled.
Did you enjoy using the products/did you like how the felt on your skin?
I wouldn't say enjoy but they were easy to use. Apart from shaving cream I usually wouldn't be bothered with using any other treatments.

Was it easy to incorporate them into your usual routine?
Yes - although did take a bit longer

Was the Daily Defense Block non-greasy as they claim?
It felt greasy at first but then it rubbed in easily and didn't feel greasy after that. My hands felt greasy after putting it on so I had to wash them.

Did the Daily Clean Scrub make shaving any easier?
I thought so - the blade felt like it was gliding over my skin rather than pulling it.

Did you notice any improvement in either the appearance or feel of your skin after using the Daily Clean Scrub and the Daily Defense Block, especially after swimming?
My skin appears to be clearer and less irritated with fewer ingrown hairs but perhaps that just my imagination.

Would you like to receive products such as these for Fathers Day?
In lieu of nuts, chocolates, sweets and ginger - NO; in lieu of underwear and hankies - YES!

So there you have it, if your Dad is anything like Camper then he would be happy receiving these products for Fathers Day as long as you remember to get him a Darrell Lea Dads Bag as well!

Just a heads up, Dermalogica currently have a promotion where you can received 20% off if you purchase two or more products from the shave range. Hurry, this ends 1st September.

Have you already got your Fathers Day gifts sorted?

All opinions are mine and Camper's own and we received no remuneration for this post. These products were provided to Camper for consideration.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Gelicious Hybrid Gel Nail Colour swatch: Yacht Race + Pedi-Sox review

It seems that Friday night has become my Gelicious manicure night with this being the third week in a row I have done my nails (if you missed my previous two mani's, here is Watermelon Gelato and Afterglow). However, as my Afterglow manicure was still chip free and looking great, I decided that I would give myself a pedicure and swatch my toenails instead. 
As I was getting ready to paint my nails, part of me was thing 'Stuff it. It's too cold, I don't want to take my socks off'. Then I remembered that I had some Pedi-Sox waiting to be reviewed. Pedi-Sox are a toe-less sock that were developed to encourage pedicures during the colder months. When I was first contacted to review them, I have to admit that I thought that they were a bit gimmicky and I couldn't really see myself using them. However, I have now been converted. I probably wouldn't have bothered painting my toenails as I didn't want my feet to get cold. Instead, the Pedi-Sox kept my feet nice and warm (although my toes were a little cold). In fact, I ended up leaving them on and sleeping in them! I am not sure whether I would take them to a salon with me. Though, I suppose if the weather was particularly feral it would be nice to be able to wear something warmer than thongs home (thongs are what we call flip flops in Australia - I am NOT referring to a g-string! ). However, I could see myself using them year round at home. If my feet were looking dry and disgusting, I could smother them in moisturiser and pop the socks on for a real at home pedicure experience without any mess. It is parenting Murphy's Law that as soon as I put moisturiser onto my feet, Crazy or Kiki would need me for some reason - with these socks I could still attend to their needs without making a mess in the process.
My tootsies being kept toasty warm in my Pedi-Sox
This was the first time that I used my Gelicious UV lamp for a pedicure and I am pleased to say that there was plenty of room in there for my toes - even when I had toe dividers on.

It seems that all Gelicious nail colours are really difficult to accurately capture in a photograph and Yacht Race was no exception. On my toes it looks navy blue. I couldn't photograph it to appear any other colour. But in reality it is a deep royal purple blue with subtle gold flecks throughout. I also painted one finger to try and get a truer representation of the colour (although I was lazy and just painted over Afterglow so perhaps it might not be completely true). I have taken a whole heap of photos but cannot capture the purple hue that I see in real life but hopefully you get a bit of an idea of the colour. I actually don't think that 'Yacht Race' is the best name for this colour - 'Yacht Race' conjures up images of a more greeny blue oceanic colour. If I were to name this one I'd call it 'Galaxy' as the deep blue purple with the gold flecks reminds me of images I have seen of the milky way!
Yacht race has great intensity. Two coats is all you need for total opacity. I love this colour on my hands and I will definitely get plenty of wear out of it. Its not a colour that I tend to wear on my toes - I usually go for paler colours like pinks and metallics on my toes - but I am not minding it. It seems more of a wintery colour to me, though could look quite striking if worn with white sandals or thongs. Actually, it would look amazing worn with gold sandals.







I have now swatched all the Gelicious colours I have so I think I will have to invest in some more. I am completely in love with how good the colours look and how well the manicures are lasting without chipping, especially with what I put my nails through. I am also really enjoying my Friday night manicure ritual. Now that I have tested all of my colours, next Friday I will do a full review of the whole process, going through application tips that I have learnt along the way as well as the removal process.

Of the three colours that I have swatched so far (Yacht Race, Watermelon Gelato and Afterglow), which is your favourite? Mine is Afterglow - I find this one to be the most wearable, although I do love the other two colours as well!

What are your thoughts on the Pedi-Sox? Would you use them? Would you wear them in public?

Pedi-Sox can be purchased here in Australia or here if you are overseas.

The Gelicious lamp and polishes can be purchased here.

All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. These  products were provided for consideration.