Tag Archives: beauty

Amazinger Face by Zoe Foster Blake

Amazinger Face

After pre-ordering it sometime back in March, this little beauty arrived on my door step earlier this week. Amazinger Face by Zoe Foster Blake is a revised and updated take on her popular beauty book Amazing Face. For those not acquainted with Zoe, she’s a former glossy mag beauty editor, author, and founder of skincare brand Go-To. When it comes to getting the down low on all things beauty and skincare, she’s pretty much my go-to source (her explainer on the difference between physical and chemical sunscreen is very very insightful). Much like her skincare line, this book features cute graphics galore, conversational copy that doesn’t take itself too seriously and, most importantly, relatable and easy to understand beauty tips for all.

Even though the title of the book alludes to only the facial region, it covers everything from hair to hands and nails. There’s information suited to all ages and skin types, as well as tips for VERY REAL LIFE SITUATIONS like how to fix a bad haircut (we’ve all been there) or how to do your face when you’re hungover (real talk). While I’ve only skimmed through the book so far, I can already tell it’s going to become a one stop shop for all my beauty needs.

What are your go-to beauty books? Any recommendations are, as always, welcome in the comments section.

Amazinger Face
Amazinger Face
Amazinger Face

Grown Facial Kit & Tinted Day Cream Review

Grown Alchemist

I rarely have allegiances when it comes to skincare brands. Having ~normal~ skin often means it’s hard for me to tell when skincare products are working or not. Occasionally hormones, stress and environmental factors will throw a spanner in the works but that’s about it. Not that I’m complaining. When it comes to skin type, I’ve struck it lucky. What it does mean, though, is sometimes I can be pretty lackadaisical with my skincare routine, especially in the summer months. Moving into autumn and winter, I thought it would be the ideal time to reasses my skincare routine. I decided to splash out and treat myself to a Facial Kit by Grown Alchemist. And by “splash out” I mean I had some credit remaining on a gift card and there was a gift with purchase deal so I ended up with $100+ worth of stuff for under $30. I’ve used Grown Alchemist products in the past so was more than happy to revisit the brand. Read on for my review of the Facial Kit and Tinted Hydra-Repair Day Cream.

Gentle Gel Facial Cleanser: Geranium Leaf, Bergamot & Rose-bud
In general, I tend to stick to mild cleansers that aren’t too drying on my skin. This cleanser hits the mark and smells pretty great to boot. However, I keep having to remember to rub it between the palms of my hands to emulsify the gel because I’m so used to foaming cleansers. If I’m feeling particularly spendy I might splash out and purchase the full-sized product.
Balancing Toner: Rose, Ginseng & Chamomile
I’ve never really gotten the point of toner. It always seemed like an unnecessary extra step and I’m all about simplifying routines wherever possible. I’ve never had problem skin and don’t wear heavy makeup so maybe that’s why I never had the need for it. I’m pretty indifferent to this toner but it does seem to work in harmony with the cleanser and day cream, leaving my skin looking and feeling bright and clean. 
Anti-oxidant Facial Oil: Rosehip & Camellia Seed
I first tried this Facial Oil a few years ago now. While I was quite happy with it at the time, I never restocked it after it ran out. I guess I just didn’t feel like my skincare routine needed a Facial Oil after all. The instructions recommend application morning and evening but I only apply it at night after using the Facial Cleanser and Toner. It leaves my skin feeling velvety smooth and is a lush treat especially now the autumn air is a bit drier and my skin needs that little bit of extra nourishment.
Hydra-Repair Day Cream: Camellia & Geranium Blossom
This Day Cream is probably my favourite product out of the bunch. It’s a treat to apply and absorbs into the skin easily. It leaves my skin looking matte which I really like too. 
Lip Balm: Watermelon & Vanilla
This lip balm was one of the first Grown Alchemist products that I tried. It’s basically an organic, cruelty-free version of the watermelon Lip Smacker of my childhood. The one downside is that the aluminium packaging means that if you’re not careful it can puncture and you’ll end up with lip balm leaking throughout your bag (speaking from experience here).
Tinted Hydra-Repair Day Cream: Camellia & Geranium Blossom
Look, I’m not well versed in makeup. My first reaction was to be sceptical of a one-colour-fits-all tinted moisturiser. In fact, I wasn’t even really sure what the point of a tinted moisturiser was? I usually use a BB Cream so I thought it would be somewhat similar to that. The formula is very sheer, which helps it blend into skin easily but doesn’t really do much in terms of covering up blemishes. I have noticed, however, that it appears to even out my skin tone although I don’t know if that’s due to the product alone or a combination of other factors. I’ve come to quite like it and use it for those no-makeup makeup days. If you’re looking for full or even semi-coverage this Day Cream isn’t for you. 
These days I’m making more of a conscious effort to support companies that are ethically responsible. Grown Alchemist is one such company that I’m willing to get behind. They are Australian Certified Organic, have a view to sustainability, and their products are free from animal ingredients and no product or product ingredients are tested on animals. The sleek, minimalist packaging will also appeal to the design-obsessed.
It’s understandable that not everyone is able or willing to shell out for the products at full price. The Facial Kit, at $69.95, is a great, albeit slightly expensive, taster of the products in the Grown Alchemist skincare range. If I didn’t have the gift card, I still probably would have bought the Facial Kit at full price as I was already familiar with the brand and looking to try new products. I’ll definitely be picking and choosing between what full-sized products I repurchase. 
Ultimately, if you like your cosmetics organic and cruelty-free, enjoy lush smelling skincare products, and are willing to spend a little bit extra on your skincare routine then these Grown Alchemist products are definitely worth a shot. Of course, it’s always worth taking your skin type into consideration and consulting with an expert to find out what products will ultimately work for you.

Grown Alchemist
Grown Alchemist

Kester Black Colour Collection, Part 2

New Kester Black Colours
Kester Black recently launched Part 2 of their 2015 nail polish colour collection. The colours in this collection are bold and bright, and perfect for pulling off a statement manicure. They include a berry pink Sorbet, a deep purple Sugarplum, a vibrant peachy-orange Coral, and royal blue Monarch. Now, I haven’t worn blue nail polish since high school but this shade of blue is one I can totally get behind. As with most Kester Black polishes you get excellent colour and coverage with just one coat. I used two coats of colour and a top coat for a full impact manicure, as you can see below. I think that the colours lend well to all seasons but I can especially see them getting a workout in the upcoming summer months.

New Kester Black Colours

Nail polish gifted by Kester Black. All content and imagery are my own.

Review: Sapphire 8 in 1 Curling Wand

When it comes to doing my hair, I prefer fuss-free styles that take the bare minimum amount of time to do. Mainly because I’m lazy and also because over the course of my life I’ve come to the conclusion that no matter how much time I spend on my hair, it always ends up looking the same. I don’t have a particularly good track record with curling my hair but when Irresistible Me sent me their Sapphire 8 in 1 Complete Curling Wand to review I thought it would be a good opportunity to try my hand at achieving the ultimate wavy ‘do, once and for all. Read on for my review of their curling wand and also for some before and after shots.

The curling wand comes with 8 different attachments, ranging from the weird bobbly “pearl” to a large 32mm barrel. So far I’ve tested the 25mm and 32mm barrel attachments as these are the ones I’ll probably get the most use out of. I also tried the “pearl” barrel for curiosity’s sake but that was a bit of a fail. Anyone care to tell me what it’s meant to do?

In addition to the eight barrel attachments, the curling wand comes housed in a roll-up pouch and with a heat resistant glove. The glove is a godsend if you’re anything like me and are prone to burning yourself. Also, as I’m located outside of North America, I had to use a plug adapter to make this wand compatible with Australian electrical sockets.

The barrels are secured into the handle via a simple twisting lock mechanism. My first impression was that the handle felt a bit flimsy as it’s made from a light plastic. However, it felt more substantial once the barrel was attached and I became used to holding the wand. The digital display is easy to read (although you can’t tell from this shot) and despite thinking the default temperature was set to degrees Fahrenheit, I accidentally pressed the up arrow for a few seconds and that did the trick of converting the temperature to degrees Celsius.

Before and after shots. I achieved these loose curls by wrapping sections of hair around the 25mm barrel, starting from the back of the head and moving to the front. I also hadn’t washed my hair in a few days and had used some dry shampoo previously, so I think that had a lot to do with the curl holding a bit better. All in all it took me under ten minutes for a full head of hair. Success!
NB: This curling wand was gifted from Irresistible Me and this review is based on my experience with the product.

Kester Black x Original & Mineral

Who doesn’t love a good collab? One of my favourite beauty brands Kester Black has teamed up with with Australian hair care brand Original & Mineral to create a collection of 12 unique nail polish colours. Inspired by the earthy tones and colours of nature, the O&M colours are a bit more subdued than what you’d usually expect from Kester Black polishes. Pictured here are (from top) ‘Queenie’, ‘Conquer Blonde’ and ‘Know Knott’. I’ve tested all three and like other Kester Black polishes these provide even coverage and last for a couple of days before beginning to chip, depending on how well you prep/seal your nails I guess. I’m a no base coat, two coats of colour and you’re done kind of gal, so pretty slack in that respect, but they still look good regardless! The collection is available for a limited time and can be purchased online at Kester Black or through selected retailers across Australia.

Nail polishes c/o Kester Black