I’ve finally emerged from my winter blogging hibernation. Long story short, I decided to move my blog over to self-hosted WordPress. By the time that whole shebang was sorted the last thing I wanted to do was spend more time on blogging. Anyway, now that’s all sorted (for the most part) I thought it would be nice to ease back into things with a little round up of skincare products I’ve been religiously using over winter. Not that we experience drastic temperature extremes here in Queensland that would affect my skin that much. But I do tend to pay a little more attention to my skin in the drier winter months. I’m also more open to adding ‘richer’ products like oils and serums to my skincare routine. These are the skincare products I’m loving lately.
Wear sunscreen. If there ever was a piece of beauty/skincare advice that needed to be reiterated, this is it. Especially so if you live in Australia a.k.a. skin cancer ground zero. Not all sunscreens are created equal, however, and since learning about the difference between chemical and physical sunscreens I’ve made a point to stick to physical sunscreens wherever possible. That said, my personal view is that any sunscreen is better than no sunscreen at all.
When it comes to physical and chemical sunscreens there are some very noteworthy differences. Physical sunscreens contain mineral ingredients and sit on top of the skin to deflect UV rays. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, work by absorbing and scattering UV rays. Physical sunscreens also generally have a much thicker consistency than chemical sunscreens and require more effort to blend in. For more of an in-depth explainer I suggest reading this.
You’ll probably notice that a lot of physical sunscreens are also labelled as ‘natural’ sunscreens. I’m very wary of greenwashing and if you want to verify a product’s natural or organic claims it’s best to do your research. I’m assuming since most physical sunscreens contain mineral instead of chemical ingredients that this equates to them being natural. Up until a few years ago, the range of physical sunscreens was quite limited in Australia. Compared to the range of chemical sunscreens, it still is, but these days physical sunscreens are becoming more readily available. These are a few that I’m currently using, and my thoughts on each product.
Cost: $19.99 for 75g or $32.00 for 150g (I usually buy a few when they’re half price/on sale)
Where to buy: most supermarkets and pharmacies
Invisible Zinc is one of the more recognisable physical sunscreen brands around. In the past I’ve used the SPF30+ but decided to give the SPF50 a go this time around. It has that classic zinc/sunscreen smell which I don’t mind but it might not be to everyone’s taste. Like most physical sunscreens, it does require a bit of effort to blend in. I prefer wearing this sunscreen as a base under my makeup (tinted moisture or a BB cream, concealer, blush) as it gives a matte effect and my makeup tends to stay put when I wear it. Perfect for sweaty summer days. I find that it tends to leave a residue behind, so I have to be extra vigilant removing it otherwise my skin can feel chalky afterwards.
Cost: $19.90 for 100g or $34.50 for 200g
Where to buy: online and selected pharmacies and health stores
If you prefer your sunscreen without that classic sunscreen smell then MooGoo’s natural sunscreen is worth a try. The fragrance is very mild and kind of oat-y/reminds me of almond milk. It applies relatively easily and doesn’t leave a noticeable chalky residue. I like to apply this sunscreen to my body and my face when I don’t intend on wearing any makeup (I have, however, worn it underneath makeup and it was fine). The SPF40 is a bit unusual as I’m used to seeing sunscreens labelled as SPF30+ or 50 but generally anything above SPF30 is good (see this explainer on SPF).
Cost: $15.95 for 100g
Where to buy: online and selected pharmacies
I hadn’t previously heard of this brand but spotted it in a pharmacy while I was doing a last minute grab for beach supplies. This sunscreen is probably my least favourite of the three. It has a lighter consistency and is much easier to apply than the other two, however, I found that on occasion white flecks would appear on my skin while swimming or sweating. The first time it happened I thought I didn’t leave enough time between application and activities but it’s happened a few times now. I also tried wearing this sunscreen under makeup and felt that my makeup slid off. While it’s an effective enough sunscreen, I feel that there are others that are much more up to the task.
First and foremost: all three sunscreens do their job. Sure, their SPFs differ but each product has the highest SPF rating for their respective brands. I’ve worn them in a range of situations from the beach to exercising to general everyday activity and have not been sunburnt once. That said, I do take care to stay out of the sun and cover up where I can. I personally prefer the Invisible Zinc and MooGoo sunscreens and will stick to using a combination of these products for the time being. Other physical sunscreens I’m keen to check out include those by Wotnot, and Coola.
Do you use physical or chemical sunscreens? Which do you prefer?
Disclaimer: the Moo Goo sunscreen was a free sample however all opinions and content are my own.
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.
I’ve only ever really needed one pair of glasses but lately I’ve been toying around with the idea of building up a collection, just because. I usually stick to black or tortoiseshell frames but when Firmoo gave me the chance to pick out new glasses I decided to branch out. These baby blue frames instantly caught my eye. I used to be hesitant about purchasing glasses online but once I knew the ins and outs of my prescription it was all pretty straightforward. I’m pretty familiar with what frames suit my face, and chose a classic wayfarer shape, but if you’re hesitant Firmoo have a virtual try-on system to help you with the process. I also compared the measurements on the site with frames I have at home. I received my glasses pretty quickly and they were exactly as described. The prescription was spot on. They’re a most welcome addition to my growing collection of glasses. If you’re on the lookout for new glasses Firmoo have a First Pair Free program, where first time customers can claim a free set of glasses. I also have five $25 vouchers up for grabs for Firmoo’s Classic Series, so if you want one just email me and I’ll pass along the voucher code. First in best dressed etc.
Also, any other bloggers wishing to collaborate with Firmoo can find out how to do so via this link. Please note that I don’t make any money from these posts but I did receive these glasses for free to review.
In the past few weeks I’ve had two very different experiences buying prescription glasses. The first involved visiting my long-time optician and the other was through the online service Firmoo. I’ve always been a bit hesitant about buying glasses online but when Firmoo approached me with the offer of new glasses, curiosity got the better of me. In my mind, glasses had always been something that required a professional, hands on approach but I found the online process to be quite simple and convenient. All I had to do was pick a style and provide my prescription. I went with these retro tortoiseshell frames, which were a bit of a change from my usual black frames. I received them within a week and was quietly impressed with the quality. Especially since these glasses only cost $8. EIGHT DOLLARS, PEOPLE. Firmoo also have an offer where new customers can receive their first pair of glasses free. Definitely something worth checking out if you’re in the market for new specs.