Saturday, March 31, 2012

Book Review - The Murder Book by Jonathan Kellerman

The Murder Book (Alex Delaware, #16)The Murder Book by Jonathan Kellerman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Summary - "Alex Delaware's relationship with his longterm partner, Robin Castagna, is on the rocks. Still reeling from the aftershocks of the murder of one of his young clients, Alex is floored when Robin announces that she is heading off on a three month music tour in the aid of famine and child welfare.
But soon he has other things to think about. In the post, he receives a three-ring binder with gold letters on it - THE MURDER BOOK. The album is full of macabre pictures of murders taken at the scene of the crime, with brief descriptions of how, and why, the victims died. But only one picture is marked 'Not Solved' - the horrifically mutilated body of a young woman. What is the connection between this photograph and his friend, LAPD detective Milo Sturgis's past, and could the gruesome collection be the work of a police insider? If so, why has it been sent to Alex - and by whom?
I have to admit that I was a little disappointed in this book. It seemed to have such good potential but it just took so long to develop the story and some of the trails that were followed and assumptions made were just a little too far reached to me. I found myself thinking so many times "As if you'd just come to that conclusion so easily?" and this kind of annoyed me a bit. I like crime stories where the ending obviously isn't too easy to guess but I really don't like it when ridiculous conclusions are drawn to try and make the author seem super intelligent for coming up with the story because it's obvious that any normal person wouldn't even dream of making the same corrolation that they did and it just seems way too 'far out'.
The lead character, Alex Delaware, seems to have lacked any 'oomph' in this book and was kind of depressed during most of the story. His friend, Milo Sturgis seems to be a bit of a confusing character. He somehow comes across as a bit of a soft pushover in one way but then can be a hard police officer in another.
The story did finally pick up in the last 80 pages or so and the pace that it sets from that point was what I would have loved to be the pace for the whole book. I finally got interested towards the end once the truth started being uncovered and all the twists started coming together but the whole experience of reading this book felt a bit like a horse taking off real slow so that it doesn't get too tired and then finally making a sprint when it finally sees the finish line. Because of this slow pace I really struggled to get into this book for the most part and almost had to bribe myself just to keep picking it up to continue reading. I prefer stories that grab you from the start and keep up a good pace so that you feel a full-on need to keep reading.
If you're a Jonathan Kellerman fan and have gotten into his previous Alex Delaware books you may enjoy this a bit better than me. Overall, if you look beyond the slow starting pace it did have the foundations of a good crime story.

View all my reviews

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Personal Makeup Tutorial - Face Tips

Ok, so I thought I would share with you some of the tips that I learnt last weekend while having my Personal Makeup Tutorial. Some of these may be very basic to some of you but if there is anyone reading this blog who was like me and just knew enough of the basics to get by then hopefully you may also find some of these tips useful.

To make sure these posts don't end up too long I've decided to break them up into sections. Today will be about the face and tips to laying a good foundation for the rest of your makeup.

Step 1 - Primer
Starting off with a good primer is essential to creating a smooth surface for your makeup to adhere to. The job of a primer is to smooth out your pores and any other rough areas to ensure your foundation has a primed and ready base to cover. Think of it like an artist's canvas. Adding a primer ensures your foundation doesn't disappear into your skin, become patchy and uneven and it also helps to make it last longer throughout the day.

Step 2 - Foundation
Depending on whether you are a liquid, mousse, cream or powder kind of girl, the best way to apply foundation is usually with a foundation brush. I personally prefer to use a sponge but was told that sponges can create blotchy areas and also absorb a lot of your foundation which can become wasteful.
The makeup artist applied a liquid foundation on my face using a brush and told me that the best way is to apply your brush strokes in the general direction of the hair growth, ie, downwards on the cheeks, nose and chin and semi-sideways for the forehead. This keeps the application looking smooth and even and the same goes for whether you are a sponge or finger application lover as well.
To achieve a lovely subtle glow she mixed a small amount of liquid illuminator in with the foundation prior to applying it.
She told me that if your skin is fairly blemish free, it's best to apply your foundation as light as possible to start and then build up coverage on any areas that need a bit of extra help. This stops your foundation from having that heavy 'cakey' look. It's always easier to add more coverage if needed but not so easy to remove any if too much is used without having to start over again.
After using the foundation brush to cover my entire face, she then used a flat topped highlighting brush to lightly buff over my face in circular motions. She said she likes to do this to ensure the foundation is blended into the skin flawlessly and that no visibly brush strokes can be seen.

Step 3 - Concealer
One thing I was not aware of was that normal concealer is usually way too drying for use under the eye area and that a specific hydrating concealer is the best product to use for this delicate area. A hydrating concealer also won't highlight any fine lines you may have in this area as much as a regular concealer would.
The makeup artist told me that she prefers to apply concealer after foundation because it means that you won't wipe off all your hard work at concealing a certain area.
The main spots where most people need a bit more coverage is usually around the nose, the centre of the chin, the centre of the forehead and sometimes over any visible red areas that may be on the cheeks.
She used a small concealer brush (I never even knew these existed!) and just patted regular concealer onto the areas that I needed more help.
Using a hydrating concealer she covered the area under my eyes and pushed the brush virtually all the way up underneath my lashes.
After using the concealer, she then got the foundation brush that was previously used and without adding any more foundation, just lightly patted over the concealed areas to kind of blend and melt the concealer into the skin and ensure no visible concealed areas could be seen. This was a trick that I thought was genius and I've never had such a smooth and even looking face before.

Step 4 - Powder
Using a light dusting of powder over your foundation helps to set your base. She recommended a translucent powder which contains no pigment (it looks virtually white) to ensure you don't add any further unwanted colour onto your face once you've gotten your foundation how you want it.
She also recommended using a powder puff to apply the translucent powder because it gives you more control and helps the powder to melt onto the skin rather than just sitting on top of it. Using the powder puff she applied a very light coating of the powder in a kind of sideways rolling motion so there was no dragging on the skin and this also stops you from having a 'powdered' look.

The first three brushes in the picture below are what was used to create the perfect foundation base.  

(Foundation brush, Highlighting brush, Concealer Brush, Slanted Blush Brush, Kabuki Brush, Blush Brush)

So, hopefully I haven't bored all of you with this post and it gave you a new idea or two to use for yourself at home.

Next I will be going over bronzer and blush application.

Hope everyone is having a lovely week :-)

Michelle xx

Monday, March 26, 2012

Personal Makeup Tutorial FOTD

Yesterday I had a two hour personal makeup tutorial with a local makeup artist. This was a Xmas present from hubby because he was sick of hearing me say that I would love to do certain looks but had no idea of the techniques involved.

It was actually a bit daunting for me as I'm a bit funny with one-on-one situations and can get a bit uncomfortable when the spotlight is aimed directly on me but the makeup artist was absolutely lovely and did her best to make me feel comfortable and answer any questions I had while giving me plenty of hints and tips to take away and try for myself.

At first she showed me a simple but really pretty day look which involved a light pink blush along with a lilac lid with a coral coloured crease which sounded kind of weird but ended up being a colour combination that looked lovely.

Then, because I said that my weakness was a smokey eye look she showed me how to turn my simple day look into a more intense night time look without it being too overpowering (or unachievable for me to attemp again at home).

Here are the photos of the finished product. I totally forgot to photograph the day time look before she started changing it unfortunately but she shaded in a picture she had for me with all the relevant colours so I can remember how it looked and try it at home for myself.

Please forgive the awkward face angles. I still haven't mastered the art of photographing myself yet :-)

Over the next few days I'll be posting about the hints and tips I took away from this tutorial so stay tuned!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Book Review - Dead In The Family by Charlaine Harris

Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse, #10)Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ok, now I don't know if Charlaine Harris was just running out of ideas but this stage or whether I have just read too many of these books in quick succession but I must truthfully say that I didn't enjoy this one as much as any of the others.

This book is number 10 in the Sookie Stackhouse series and the summary is as follows:

"Sookie Stackhouse is dealing with a whole host of family problems, ranging from her own kin (a non-human fairy and a telepathic second cousin) demanding a place in her life, to her lover Eric's vampire sire, an ancient being who arrives with Eric's 'brother' in tow at a most inopportune moment. 

All as Sookie's trying to track down a distant relation of her ailing neighbour (and ex), vampire Bill Compton.

In addition to the family issues complicating her life, the Shreveport werewolf pack has asked Sookie for a special favour, and since Sookie is an obliging young woman, she agrees. But this favour for the wolves has dire results for Sookie, who is still trying to recover from the trauma of her abduction during the fairy war."

For some reason the story just seemed to chop and change way too much and didn't really follow just one or two plot lines which is the norm.

I just didn't feel like anything solid had developed by the time I reached the end of this book and yet again too many things are left hanging and I know it's obviously to keep more sequels happening and people buying future instalments but some closure and plot development at this stage would still be nice.

I did come across a favourite quote from this book where Sookie says at one stage "It's not that I approve of murder, but some people just beg to be killed, don't they?" This line really made me giggle because who hasn't thought this at one time or another when someone has annoyed you all the way to the bone?

Of course I'm still going to read the next instalment because that's the sucker that I am and I just hope that it does get a bit better.....

Has anyone else read this series? If so, what did you think?

View all my reviews

Friday, March 23, 2012

March BellaBox - Get Naked!

Well I was excited to receive the March BellaBox a couple of days ago and here's how it came:

Yes, in a bag instead of a box! I kind of like the idea although the bag is a bit small to really be all that useful. It's pretty much the size of those little bags you can buy to put your underwear in when putting them in the washing machine so they don't get damaged.

Their theme this month was Get Naked and is all about natural beauty. I'm actually extremely pleased with the natural path that BellaBox seems to have gone down as it's refreshing to get a good feel for some of the natural beauty brands out there rather than just covering yourself in chemical laden products all the time.

Anyway, here's what was in the BellaBag!:

1) Yes To Carrots Lip Tint - Ready Red (RRP $9.95) - This a really nice tinted lip balm that only gives a very slight hint of colour. I am a big fan of the Yes To brand so was really happy to receive this to try. It's got a very strong peppermint taste to it though so if you're not a person who likes peppermint too much then these aren't for you.

2) Pure Fiji Coconut Hydrating Body Lotion (30ml? sample, RRP $29.95 for $354mls) - This is a lovely lotion that leaves the skin feeling nice and soft but it has a very strong fake coconut smell that just doesn't agree with me. Most products that have that smell always seem to have the tendency to give me a migraine so I may be steering clear on using this. It may be useful on my feet (as long as I wash my hands very well afterwards). I have tried other Pure Fiji products that haven't been so strong in the coconut arena and have loved them so if you're a fan of this scent then you'll love this lotion.

3) U Little Beauty Natural Repair Hair Masque (100ml, RRP $19.95) - This is a full size bottle which is just awesome. I've actually never tried a hair masque before so am very keen to see what difference this will make to my frizzy hair. Other subscribers may have received a Hair Serum instead.

4) Vital Skin Care - The Eyelift Kit (3 pot sample, RRP $29.00 for 15 pots) - These look quite interesting. You're supposed to use a quarter of a pot on the eye area to achieve a smooth surface for up to 10 hours. I have a lot of fine lines around my eyes so if this stuff works I'm going to buy a trailer load!

5) Bellamer Eye Balm (Possibly a 5ml sample?, RRP $40 for 15gms) - This is a balm that is meant to relax the skin around the eyes. Apparently you apply it and then wipe off any excess after 15 minutes so its like a mask for your eye area. Very intriguing. I better have the best looking eyes around after using this and the eyelift pots!

Also included was a Carmen's Classic Fruit & Nut Muesli Biscuit. I can personally vouch that these are seriously yummo as I actually already buy these almost every week to take to work and have as a healthy snack sometimes. They are great with a cuppa for morning tea.

So there you go. What does everyone think of the March BellaBox? I'm definitely keeping my subscription to this one and Lust Have It. After seeing what was in the March GlossyBox this month I'm certainly not disappointed that I made the decision to unsubscribe from that one.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Review - MeMeMe Cosmetics Seventh Heaven Facebase

I received a deluxe sample pot of the MeMeMe Seventh Heaven Enriched Moisturising Facebase in a previous BellaBox and have grown to absolutely love it. I was always a bit lazy when it came to using a primer as it just meant another thing to make me take longer when getting ready in the morning but I actually look forward to using this one now.

A little info about this product:
"Rich yet lightweight, this Moisturising Facebase is enriched with Shea Butter, Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene to rejuvenate, noruish and hydrate skin. Active nutrients and extracts work to brighten, smooth and even out skin tone to prime and create the perfect base for makeup application.
Lightly scented with a zest of lemon, orange, lime and mandarin -this is a little piece of heaven you will want to treat your face to every single day!
Apply daily prior to makeup application or wear alone for radiant heavenly skin."

I love using this product in the morning, mainly because of the citrus scent. It is just so uplifting and when I'm tired and really just not in the mood to face the day the scent of this Face Base seems to wake me up a little bit and make putting on my makeup a more enjoyable excercise.

It's a very lightweight cream that sinks in virtually straight away and makes my foundation apply a lot smoother and more even. I've noticed that my foundation seems to stay put for longer when I apply this first as well.

Also, a little seems to go a long way so you only need to use a small amount to cover the entire face nicely.

I am now contemplating ordering a full size pot of this and have been perusing the MeMeMe Cosmetics website for ideas on other products of theirs to try next as well. The Goddess Rocks bronzing rocks seem to keep drawing me in so I may just have to also make them mine.......

Has anyone else tried anything from MeMeMe Cosmetics lately that they like and recommend?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lancome Juicy Tubes - A Sweet Surprise

When I saw in the February Lust Have It box this little tube of goodness I was ridiculously excited. You see, when I was at Uni (many, many, moons ago!) a girl who used to always join my friend and I for the group assignments used to whip out one of these cute and delicious smelling tubes on a constant basis, so much so that I found myself lusting after one of these to the point where I was dreaming about them!

Anyway, for some reason I just never actually got around to buying one for myself and then miraculously got over my fascination and moved on to whatever was the next craze I had at the time.

I had completely forgotten these things even existed until seeing it sitting snugly in the box and of course it was the first thing I grabbed, opened and tested! It was like I was 8 years younger again.....

The flavour I received was Strawberry and surprisingly it really does taste like strawberries! Lancome describe these as an Ultra Shiny Hydrating Lip Gloss and I now know why these created such a stir when they first came out because it is such a nice gloss that stays on forever and manages to keep my lips feeling super moist (haha, love that word!) for hours.

The gloss has a slight tint to it as shown above and it also has very small shimmery particles as well which is almost impossible to notice unless in direct sunlight but overall gives a lovely shiny look to the lips.

As you can see, it barely imparts any colour onto the lips except a very slight hint of a tint and I almost managed to capture a bit of the shimmer. I've been keeping mine in my handbag to use for touch ups during the day when I don't feel like reapplying whatever lipstick I was wearing because the slight tint still makes me feel like I have some colour on my lips.

Overall I'm very impressed with the Juicy Tubes and am now keen to actually go and buy at least one more to try.

Does anyone have a favourite flavour of these that would be worth trying?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Dear Gel Eyeliner, Where Have You Been All My Life?

Ok, I know the gel eyeliner is probably something that most of you have known about and probably used for a very long time, but, for poor little old sheltered me this is quite a recent discovery that I found when perusing through some other blogs one day a couple of months ago.

At first I was like "Gel eyeliner??? Geez, Louise! I can barely handle using a pencil eyeliner and heaven forbid I even try to pick up a liquid liner, imagine the mess I could make with a gel liner?"

Anyway, the last time I was at Priceline they were having a half price on all Physicians Formula products and one of the first things that caught my eye was their Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Gel Cream Liner pots. They just looked so cute and so cheap at half price and so worth grabbing just to see the mess I could make with them......

There were three pots in the packet. A gorgeous dark plum, an intense black and a chocolate brown. See photo below for swatches:

Personally, I love the plum shade and have been using it quite a lot lately with a pinky/purple eyeshadow look.

I am actually blown away at how easy this product is to use. It only took me one go at practising to get the application almost near perfect. They came with a small applicator brush which just makes it so easy to create a clean, crisp line on the lid. It's definitely not something that I would use when in a hurry though as it's a makeup look that I still need to take my time at applying until I'm a bit more confident and skillful at it.

The gel itself is super pigmented and has unbelievable staying power. I have hooded eyelids so am normally rubbing most normal eyeliners off the top of my eyelid after a few hours where it ultimately transfers to but I haven't seen these budge at all yet, even after a 14 hour day, the liner stayed perfectly put. I'm not sure if this is the case with most other gel liners or whether this is just a really good formula but to me it's something that is a godsend to us hooded eyelid sufferers around the world.

So, that's officially another makeup product fear conquered sucessfully. What do we think should be next? Who knows, maybe I'll try and tackle that mysterious product that goes by the name of 'Bronzer' next.........

Is anyone else a fan of the gel eyeliner too?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

March Lust Have It! - The Best So Far!

I was so grateful to receive my March Lust Have It box yesterday. Even though I was still in my worst looking pj's when I opened the door to greet my local postal delivery guy and hadn't brushed my hair I grinned at him like he was Santa Claus.

Why? Well, the past few days have been quite hard as bub has had a really bad case of bronchialitis and it got to the point on Tuesday night where we had to rush to the emergency section of our local hospital so he could be put on some oxygen and given a steroid and ventolin to try and help his lungs breath. It was not a fun experience I tell you. We were told that if his breathing didn't improve he was going to be transported to another hospital so he could be admitted overnight but something was in our favour for once and he miraculously improved to the point where they actually let us go home at about 1:30am.

Normally I work on Wednesdays and bub is in child care but I had the day off yesterday to look after him and that's why it was a nice surprise to receive such a lovely box of goodies when I was feeling quite low.

Here is what the March Lust Have It box looked like:

The contents for this month were as follows:

1) Davroe Moisture Senses Argan Oil (50ml, RRP $23.95) - Argan oils are taking over the world it seems so I don't think you can ever have enough of these and I am very excited to try this one and see what it can do for my fine frizzy locks. This product smells gorgeous and you only need 1-2 drops so it will last for ever.

2) Karpati DITO Nail Lacquer - Kiss Me Red (Full size, RRP $19.95) - This is one of the niftiest things I have ever seen. The polish bottle hooks onto your fingers to make application super easy. How cool is that?

3) 1Skin Solutions Lip Balm in Vanilla (Full size, RRP $9.90) - We seem to get a lot of lip balms in these boxes but I'm certainly not complaining because one can never have too many lip balms in my opinion. The vanilla flavour is only quite subtle and it seems to be a really lovely and soft balm.

4) Kosmea Replenishing Moisture Cream (20ml, RRP $49.95 for 50ml) - If anyone caught my January Addiction post you'd know of my love of this brand. Needless to say, I'm super excited to try this.

5) Mirenesse Pearl Crush Creaseless Shadow Trio in Baroque Pearls (Full size, RRP $29.95) - I love Mirenesse products and this is such a lovely looking palette. Mine is a nice selection with a pale pearly cream, a bronzey pink and a darker chocolatey plum. This will get a lot of use.

I am just in awe. Four full size products plus a deluxe sample. This bos is ridiculous value for money!

Even before this awesome box, Lust Have It were my pick of these monthly boxes. I love the way each box is the same so there can be no complaints or disappointment if someone gets a product that you would have preferred like what happens with some of the other boxes out there.

I just can't wait to start using every one of these products so am one happy subsciber this month.

What does everyone else think of the Lust Have It box this month?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Nails of The Week - Pink & Glitter

Today's nail of the week post is a little naughty I guess as I've decided to use one of my cheapy generic pink polishes from the brand Colour Co which may not ever be able to be found by anyone - Oooops! I think these polishes can actually be purchased in packs at Priceline. All I know is that I got a big variety pack of them for Christmas from the MIL (yes, she's a big spender all right!) and this colour stood out to me as one I might as well try.

Over the top of the pink polish I have used one coat of Ozotic in 530 which is a really pretty glitter that changes from pink to yellow to blue depending on the way the light hits.

I have done two coats of the Colour Co polish on top of a base coat.

Overall I think the look is actually quite striking. I'm not normally a pink person but the glitter seems to make me feel a bit better about wearing a colour such as this as it takes away the screaming "YES I'M A SUPER BRIGHT PINK" factor a little bit.

Here are some more photos:

It's ridiculously hard to fully capture the full colour spectrum of this glitter polish in a photo unfortunately.

At the time of typing this post I've had this polish on for 4 days and have only experienced very minimal chipping. This is amazing considering that I am in no way a delicate flower when it comes to protecting my finger nails.

There are so many combinations that I want to try with the Ozotic glitter polish. It's one of those glitters I think will go over almost anything.

I hope everyone is having a lovely week.

Michelle xx

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Review - One Skin System Daily Hydrate

I received some of this a while back in one of the monthly sample boxes I subscribe to and kind of forgot to post a review. This is mainly because I have been practically using it every day and I guess it just became like part of the furniture so I completely overlooked writing about it.

Anyway, now I have discovered the error of my ways I am finally telling you all about this amazing cream.

The One Skin System Daily Hydrate contains Desert Orchid and Wild Hibiscus and is a luxurious cream designed for daily use to retain moisture balance, enrich and protect.

I have been using this every morning now for a good couple of months and it's such a nice cream to apply and makes my skin feel soft and silky. It absorbs super fast and doesn't leave any greasy feeling behind. I seem to totally forget to use a primer before my makeup these days because this cream makes my skin feel like the perfect base for makeup already once it sinks in.

I've noticed that after I use this my fine lines seem to smooth out a little bit too which definitely makes me one happy little vegemite.

The One Skin System is a combination of 5 products that are supposed to work in synergy together. The Daily Hydrate is Step 3 in the system if you were to use all the products together.

I also have the Renewal Cleanse and the Active C scrub but have been a bit naughty and haven't been using them all together. In hindsight, this probably would have been a sensible thing to do.+

I also love the fact that this is an Australian made and owned brand who do not test on animals and they're even vegan friendly if you tend to swing that way.

You can find out more about this brand here.

Has anyone else used any of these products before?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Review - Clinique Take The Day Off Makeup Remover for Lids, Lashes and Lips

Historically I have been a big fan of the facial wipe to remove any stubborn makeup. But, since I received a bottle of this as a gift with purchase from Clinique I must say I am a little converted.

Here's a little bit about the Clinique Take the Day Off Makeup Remover for Lids, Lashes and Lips (Phew, I get tired just typing that huge name...):

'A unique, two-way formula that loosens the grip, then speeds the departure of the most persistent, eye make-up, mascaras and lipsticks. Offers superior, fast acting cleansing and make-up removal for the delicate eye and lip areas. Removes eye make-up thoroughly, without pulling or tugging eye area skin, even waterproof formulations. Ophthalmologist tested. Suitable for contact lens wearers.'

I have been using this makeup remover for a while now and am amazed almost every time at how effective it really is. I am also a contact lens wearer sometimes and love the fact that I don't get any irritation or dryness at all from using this makeup remover.

This baby can remove practically anything. I have used it on the most stubborn waterproof mascaras and eye liners and it cuts through these with ease. You don't need to use too much either for it to work it's magic.

It's even one of the best products I have ever tried against removing all traces of OCC Lip Tars. As anyone who has tried these will know, they can stain the life out of your lips (or arms, fingers, chin, whatever they may come into contact with while you are strategically trying to apply them) and this stain is a real bugger to get off. This makeup remover totally eliminates any trace of Lip Tar stain which is just amazing.

One thing I must say though is that it needs to be shaken really well prior to use as the oil separates in the bottle.

It can also leave a bit of a greasy residue on the skin after use which some people may not be a big fan of but I much prefer this feeling than having a that tight dry feeling you can get sometimes with other products.

Once my bottle runs out I will definitely be hot-footing it back to Clinique to get some more. I can't imagine ever using any other makeup remover now.

Has anyone else ever tried this and have liked or disliked it?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Review - Alpha-H Gentle Daily Exfoliant

I must admit I was a bit skeptical at first when I got this exfoliant because I just couldn't get my head around the fact that it was going to work without any hard 'scrubby' bits. Well, I have now been converted over to the smooth side and am absolutely in love with this product.

A little bit of info about the Alpha-H Gentle Daily Exfoliant:

"For brighter, younger looking skin, Alpha-H Gentle Daily Exfoliant exfoliates to help skin look younger. Contains crushed, water-activated fruit enzymes derived from green papaya and the skin and leaves of pineapple. The exfoliation, is not abrasive, but still effortlessly removes dead and damaged skin cells, sweeps out congested pores and blackheads, reduces inflammation and uneven pigmentation, boosts moisture retention and creates a soft light-reflecting sheen across the complexion to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and sun damage. The enzymes in the formula works to break down keratin protein, helping to reduce hair shaft diameter and density while weakening stubborn facial hair and reducing re-growth. Contains no synthetic or artificial ingredients and is packaged in a 50g bottle with a dispensing cap inside."

So, it's the fruit enzymes that do all the hard work instead of rubbing hard bits into your face. Makes more sense really.

I have been using this for a few weeks now and am amazed at how nice and smooth my skin is. I've never seen any redness, irritation or sensitive areas pop up and love the fact that it's not a race against time for me to get dry and get a moisturiser on my face after showering because I'm too scared my face will crack after using it (this is the problem I usually get with most exfoliators).

It's definitely kept my face feeling bright and less congested and is just an all-round pleasure to use.

It comes in powder form which needs to be dispensed onto wet hands and mixed until a paste forms. You then apply the paste to your face and exfoliate away. It's easy to spread around and rinses off completely without leaving any residue at all.

If you have sensitive skin like me I would definitely recommend trying this product out.

I'm very interested now in trying other products from Alpha-H as this is the first time I have used anything from them.

Has anyone else used Alpha-H products before? Are there any other gems I need to know about?

(This product was purchased by me and I am reviewing it because I just love to share!)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

February Addiction - Lip Gloss

I have a tendency to go through stages with my makeup just like most people probably do. Sometimes it's out of laziness and sometimes it's just because I get a bit of an obsession with a certain product.

The month of February for me couldn't be called anything else other than 'Lip Gloss' month. For some reason I went a little bit off wearing lipstick and became a little obsessed with wearing lip gloss instead. I can't really put a solid reason to it other than I am in love with the fact that they are so buildable, can be a great subtle addition when I'm not really in the mood for a full face of make-up and are also a bit more pleasant on the lips in my opinion when the weather is hotter and my lips have a tendency to dry out.

The products that I found I reached for the most this month were the following:

1) Clavin Klein Delicious Pout Flavoured Lip Gloss in Breathless - I have never done a review on this gloss for some reason and I really don't know why because it's one of my favourite all time products. It's a gorgeous bright but sheer pink that shimmers without being over the top. I love this on it's own to just enhance my natural lip colour and give a nice shine to my lips but it's also great to apply over the top of a pink or nude lipstick for an added element of shine. It tastes like lollies too which is always a bonus.

2) Maybeline Colour Sensational Creme Gloss in Sugared Honey - I have had this gloss for what seems like forever and I never tire of using it. It's a great all round gloss that doesn't feel sticky and has great staying power for a gloss.

3) Clinique Long Last Glosswear in Sunset - I actually reviewed this gloss here a little while ago. This is still a favourite of mine as it's such a nice shimmery gold that looks great in it's own or when applied over nude or even red lipsticks. It's got an SPF 15 too which I really like.

4) Ecotints Lip Moisturiser in Plush Red - I have also managed to review this one here previously. It's technically a lip balm more than a gloss but I still love it because it adds a nice red tint to the lips without being too over-the-top red. It also keeps my lip feeling super moisturised.

5) Sheer Cover Lip Gloss in Pink Praline - I haven't review this gloss yet as I still haven't made my mind up about it even though I've actually been using it quite a bit lately. I find the colour is virtually non-existent when put on the lips and it's got a taste that almost borders on being unpleasant but I keep going back to it because it actually feels quite nice on and seems to stay on forever. If only they could improve the taste I'd probably buy more or these.

6) Mirenesse 3D Forever Lip Gloss in Hot Kiss - I have previously reviewed this one here  and am still a fan of this gloss. It's a terrifying colour if applied too thick as it's a super bright purple but I've now mastered how much to use and love the plum tint it gives my lips when I'm after a gloss with a bit more of a noticeable colour.

7) Mirenesse Velvet Lip Lift Moisture Shine - I have no idea what shade this one was as the label has worn off a bit but it looks like a pale glittery pink in the tube and applies almost as a clear gloss with a touch of shimmer. I've only got probably another one or two uses out of this before I have to sadly say goodbye and I think it will definitely be a repurchase quickly after that. It's quite a thick gloss that makes me feel almost like I'm wearing a really moisturising lip balm and I like that it's practically clear but with just a teeny hint of shimmer because it goes with absolutely anything.

And here are the swatches. For once the lighting was on my side, yay!

(From left to right - Sheer Cover in Pink Praline, Calvin Klein in Breathless, Maybeline in Sugared Honey, Mirenesse in Hot Kiss, Ecolips in Plush Red and Clinique in Sunset)

Sorry, but there wasn't any point in swatching the Mireness Velvet Lip Lift Moisture Shine because it just kept showing up as a wet patch on my arm and not much else. It's way too clear to really work in a photo.

Has anyone else had a product they've been using over and over lately and just can't get enough of it?


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