Tag Archives: beauty

Kester Black Hand & Body Soap

Kester Black nail polishes have long been a favourite of mine and they’ve recently released their first ever line of hand & body soaps. Not only do the soaps smell lush (helloooo gingerbread deliciousness) but they also contain nourishing Coconut Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Vitamin E and Shea Butter. If that isn’t enough to win you over, just look at that ridiculously cute packaging featuring special edition illustrations by the talented Dawn Tan (future collections will see Kester Black collaborate with a range of Australian artists and designers). I’ve been making more of a conscious effort to use beauty products that are ethically produced and the Kester Black ethos is one that really appeals to me. On top of creating some ace stuff, Kester Black products are CCF (Choose Cruelty Free) accredited and are free from nasty chemicals. Their new hand & body soaps stay true to that ethos and are free from palm oil, parabens, sulfates and petrochemicals. On top of that, Kester Black are Australian made and owned and employ sustainable production methods. I think that’s the definition of a feel-good product right there.

The soaps are available to buy through Kester Black’s online store or from selected stockists across Australia and New Zealand.

Soaps c/o Kester Black

Grown Rosehip & Camellia Seed Facial Serum

My beauty routine can be described as basic at best but I’ve recently decided to invest in more targeted skincare products. It’s probably just me buying into all that ‘you’re heading into your late twenties and you’re going to get wrinkles unless you act right this very minute’ talk but oh well. First up on my list of purchases was this Rosehip and Camellia Seed Facial Serum by Grown Alchemist. I’ve used Grown products in the past and keep hearing good things about rosehip oil so this was a bit of a no brainer. I was initially hesitant about using a serum, since I don’t really like products that are too oily, but I seriously love this stuff. It doesn’t feel greasy at all. I’ve been using it for a few weeks and my skin already looks a lot brighter. While I can’t comment on the effectiveness of its ability to reduce the appearance of fine lines (I don’t have any yet) in the meantime you can call me a convert.

Also, if anyone was interested, I bought the apothecary jars from Typo and you can buy similar ones at Molten Store.

Issada Aqua Series

Australian-owned boutique cosmetics brand Issada have recently launched a Limited Edition Aqua Series travel brush set, based on their original cult brush collection. The travel set features seven professional brushes housed in a duck-egg blue cylindrical container – perfect for jetsetters and those on the go. I’m pretty much a dunce when it comes to makeup and am usually swayed by price and packaging (making this set right up my alley). So who better to pick the brains of for beauty advice than Fiona Neale, CEO and founder of Issada Cosmetics? I asked her a few questions about Issada’s new Aqua Series travel brush set, what to look for when buying makeup brushes (this is a topic that has always stumped me), as well as some beauty advice for travellers.

1. What inspired you to create the Limited Edition Aqua Series Travel Brush Set?

The full-size Issada Couture Brush Collection is a cult phenomenon with a dedicated following; from Hollywood’s top film and TV makeup artists to celebrity fans like Angelina Jolie and Beyonce.
What makes these brushes so special is that they are individually handmade from the same virtually indestructible aluminum used in aeronautical jet landing gear, and they are specially weighted.
This means a full set can be a little heavier than a wooden or plastic handled brush set, and because of the materials, engineering and painstaking labour, the price point of a complete collection isn’t necessarily attainable for everyone. Our customers see the Couture Collection as a worthwhile investment, because of the unparalleled quality and lifetime of use, but many people do have to build their Issada collection brush-by-brush, which can take time.
I wanted to make an Issada travel brush range that maintained our uncompromisingly high standard of natural and synthetic bristles – but I wanted to make it lightweight for frequent flyers and priced for instant accessibility.
I also wanted the brushes to form an adjunct to the existing Couture Collection, so I made sure that the Aqua Series had 7 completely new brush shapes that we had never seen before at Issada, and I wanted it to look completely different from the Couture Collection. I was feeling inspired by Breakfast at Tiffany’s, so Tiffany blue was it!
The Aqua Series blitzes industry standards in terms of handle length, materials, hardware and hair quality. To create the perfect travel companion, I developed a compact and ultra-luxe cylindrical barrel to house them in, opening from the middle and splitting to form a stylish brush display perfect for your holiday destination. 
2. I consider myself a minimalist when it comes to makeup. What are the most essential brushes to own?
If you’re a minimalist, I would recommend brushes that perform double duty! A handy mid-size sable eye shadow brush that doubles as a concealer brush, like the #9 or #15 Issada Brush is a must-have, and a fine-tipped sable brush that covers gel eyeliner, brows AND lips with precision, like the #3 Issada Brush is a lifesaver. I would also recommend a great contouring brush, which can sculpt cheekbones, hairline, jawline and nose – the squirrel haired #21 Issada Brush is perfect. An Ultra-luxe Kabuki is essential for mineral powder application. 
The Travel Set is perfect to start your Issada brush collection as it contains the perfect balance of brushes required for all makeup looks. 
3. What advice do you have for buying makeup brushes? Is there anything in particular we should look out for?
Makeup Brushes should be a lifetime investment. When shopping for your personal set, carefully examine the quality of materials used, ask lots of questions and compare warranties and guarantees. Also check where they are made – Issada’s are hand crafted in Australia. 
The highest quality brushes will deliver the most beautifully blended and professional looking makeup. Natural bristled brushes are the best long-term investment as they breed and harbour less bacteria, are durable enough to withstand antibacterial sanitisers and are softer on the skin. 
Synthetic brushes are also useful for certain requirements such as working with wet products like gel liners, cream shadows and concealers so it is essential to have a mix (animal lovers note; ethical makeup companies like Issada obtain their natural brush hair from animals that are ‘groomed, not harmed’).
Hair should be dense and packed well to ensure you don’t end up with hair all over your face (a good indicator of the quality of the tools). 
4. This travel brush set is aimed at jetsetters and those on the go. How would you recommend properly caring for brushes while on the go, considering that time can be a major constraint?
Invest in a good quality brush cleaner like Issada’s Violet Infused Brush Cleaner. The spray formula is easy to travel with and kills bacteria removing makeup with a thorough clean. Also ensure your brushes are housed in a zip-up wallet or travel canister to keep them protected from the rest of your travel contents. 
5. What’s your best bit of beauty advice for travellers?  
Have some essentials in a beauty bag in your cabin luggage and duck to the airplane bathroom for a touch up before you begin your descent. These essentials should include: An undereye concealer (Issada’s Liquid Light is perfect), an skin-invigorating peachy Crème Blush that doubles as a lip tint (try Issada’s Mineral Lip and Cheek Crème in Mango Frappe) and some mineral powder foundation. Nothing beats minerals when travelling – the constant changing of external environmental factors combined with regulated air-conditioning in hotels and on planes means skin is prone to congestion, dullness and dehydration. By using good quality minerals (beware of cheap versions that claim to be mineral but contain nasties), your skin will be protected, nourished and repaired, actually improving with wear! Issada’s Mineral products are pharmaceutical grade and packed with vitamins, collagens, botanicals and antioxidants, so putting them on is like applying active, clinical skincare with flawless coverage.
You often end up indulging when traveling, tasting exotic foods and sampling wines. To create balance, I always make sure I drink lots of bottled water, make quality meal choices, take daily vitamins and walk as often as possible to energize my body from within. Stay hydrated and try to sleep on the plane – even if you just close your eyes and rest, it’s better than nothing!

The limited edition Aqua Series set retails for $89 and is available at selected salons, spas and clinics and the Issada Concept Stores.

[Images supplied]

an aesop aviary

I don’t usually like to use skincare products that are heavily scented but my friends recently got me onto Aesop, and I can say that I am now officially hooked. I used to walk past the store and be entranced by the aromas that would escape onto the street but had always put it in the ‘not for me’ pile. Oh, how wrong I was. The ‘Preen’ gift kit contains the Resurrection Aromatique Hand WashResurrection Aromatique Hand BalmGeranium Leaf Body Balm and Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser. There were also a few more sample sachets included in this kit but I’ve powered through the face masks and lotions already. I’m loving all of the products so far and can’t wait to work my way through everything Aesop.
In a little bit of housekeeping, I’ve also started a Facebook page for the blog, which I’ll probably use to share links and things I can’t fit into 140 characters or less. You can find it at: facebook.com/andotherthingsblog. Also, I had to call it And Other Things as Facebook wouldn’t allow the use of an ampersand in the title. Boo.

kester black’s supernova

If you’ve been following this blog for a while now, you’d know that I’m easily distracted by sparkly things and can’t say no to anything glittery. This Kester Black nail polish, which I received for my birthday, is my current glittery object du jour. While it looks like glitter overkill in the bottle, it’s the exact opposite when you apply it to your nails. One application distributes on average four of five glitter particles per nail. If you’re particular about the finish then I might suggest having a toothpick handy to quickly reposition glitter particles while the polish is still wet. I had previously tried applying a glitter layer on top of a plain gold polish but for some reason that took forever to dry and I ended up wrecking my manicure because of it. However, when applying this polish as is it dried pretty quickly. Just one of those things, I guess.

I quite like the sparseness of this glittery look. But mainly, how weird are hands/fingers to photograph?