Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Aussie Brands I Love


There are some amazing Australian brands available, every few weeks I discover a new brand, it's so exciting. Today I thought I'd talk about a few lesser known brands that I don't see much about on blogs and social media.  


Audra James
If you want to feel like one of those rich people who have bespoke products made just for them, Audra is your go-to. Aside from being an all round lovely person, Audra hand makes beautiful, bespoke products. If you have a skin problem I guarantee Audra can fix it for you. Email Audra with your requirements and she'll find you a solution. When I was pregnant with Eljay Audra made me a morning sickness blend that I'd put on my wrists, temples and breathe in to help ease the nausea. Her custom blended perfume is the nicest scent I've ever used and her facial oils are amazing. 


Shanghai Suzy
I've used Shanghai Suzy lipsticks since they first launched. Back then I liked but didn't love them because they had a grape bubblegum scent that I wasn't a fan of. Fast forward a year and they introduced  a gorgeous strawberry flavour that I love. Shanghai Suzy lipsticks are a bargain at only $14.95, they're Australian made and owned, vegan and cruelty free. They have a range of eight permanent lipsticks and release limited edition seasonal ranges twice a year. The permanent range lipsticks are the matte formula, it's easily the nicest matte lipstick I've ever used. Despite being matte, they aren't drying and don't feel tight or uncomfortable on my lips, they're surprisingly hydrating. I can wear my Shanghai Suzy lipsticks daily without getting the dreaded dry cracked lips I usually get from wearing matte lipsticks.


The Physic Garden
I first discovered The Physic Garden on Instagram when I was searching for a natural deodorant that didn't contain bicarb soda. Whilst there are plenty of natural, bicarb free deodorants, finding one that actually works is difficult. The Physic Garden's Sensitive deodorant is one that does work, even through summer. For those who are interested in zero waste, their products come in reusable glass jars or little tins. 
I use and love their lip balms, Sleep Balm (it's magic for kids) and Sensitive Deodorant, they're all winners. 


Shanghai Lil and the Scarlet Fez
Firstly, don't you just love the name? I do, it makes me think of those awesome, retro 60's people. Shanghai Lil and the Scarlet Fez are a South Australian brand. They do a range of perfumes and skin care that all sound and look gorgeous. So far I've only tried the lip balms (no surprises there). 
I have no idea why more brands don't do caramel lip balm, surely they would be super popular. When I opened my package the first thing I could smell was the caramel lip balm, it smells amazing. The rose balm is just as good, rose and white chocolate are a match made in heaven. 
If you're a lip balm lover, do yourself a favour and buy some of these balms, they're perfection. 


Concordia Handcrafted Skincare
Concordia is another brand that I discovered on Instagram. Their products are hand made by a naturopath and designed for sensitive, eczema prone skin. Every product that I've tried so far is beautiful and I can't wait to try more of the range. If you only try one of their products make it the Brightening Moisturiser, it's beautiful. 

What are your favourite Aussie brands?

Monday, 17 July 2017

The Super Elixir by Welle Co

Image credit

Pre kids and Crohn's I always had plenty of energy. As long as I got eight hours of sleep a night I was good to go and woke up each day full of beans. After Crohn's and then having Chai I've turned in to one of those people who are always tired. I don't remember what it's like to wake up feeling rested and full of energy. I start each day feeling exhausted and wanting to go back to sleep. 

I've tried all sorts of things to fix it. I've been to five different naturopaths, tried exercise, acupuncture, all sorts of multi vitamins, diet changes etc but nothing worked. I'd resigned myself to living like that when I found The Super Elixir. I looked at it for months before I eventually bought it, mainly because it's so expensive, a 300 gram packet costs $85. I also have to be very careful with the supplements that I take due to my Crohn's. 

About four weeks ago my package arrived and I started taking The Super Elixir daily. I have it in the morning after my coffee and before I run out the door. At first I didn't notice any difference but then one day I forgot to take it and realised what a difference it was making. The day I forgot to take it I was ready to climb back into bed by lunchtime. It was then that I realised I'd been waking up feeling rested and hadn't been struggling to get through the day. 

Unlike other greens supplements I've tried, The Super Elixir tastes nice, it has a pleasant lemon flavour. It's also dairy and gluten free which is a bonus for people with allergies. 

I purchase the 300 gram refill pouch. I haven't purchased the caddy, paying $55 for a glass container seems pretty crazy to me, especially when you can purchase the refill pouch and just leave the product in the pouch. Plus, the caddy is quite big so would take up a lot more space than the pouch does.  

Now that I know that Super Elixir works I'll buy the Season Saver as it's great value for money. Luckily they have Afterpay so I'm not forking out $195 in one hit.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. I've been using The Super Elixir by Welle Co for three weeks now. It's amazing. I've finally found something that helps my energy levels! 
Since I had Chai I've struggled with my energy levels. Six years of broken sleep means that I'm always tired and lacking energy. I've tried all sorts of supplements but nothing worked for me until I found The Super Elixir. At $85 for 300 grams it's expensive, but worth every cent. Since I started taking it the only low energy days I've had were the two days that I forgot to take it. I have a full blog post coming tomorrow, but in short, if you need a good energy hit, check out Welle Co.

2. This weekend Mum and my Step-Dad (SD) came down to help Tiger put in our wood heater. Our house has been so very, very cold with only a small gas heater now we have a wood heater and I'm finally warm, it's lovely. I'm hoping that we won't get sick as often now that we are warm.

3. Friday I'm chopping my hair off. It's halfway down my back at the moment and I'm getting it cut to a collarbone length lob. Can't wait. 
I haven't told Tiger. He likes my hair long. Unfortunately for him it's not his hair so he has no say in the matter.  

4. Tomorrow is the last day of school holidays. I don't want school to go back.

5. That's all I've got today.

Friday, 14 July 2017

FFS Friday

Well would look at this. I have nothing to whinge about. How did that happen? I could tell you that we've all been sick the whole school holidays and Chai now has a horrible teenager attitude but I can't be bothered so instead I'll subject you to some of my random thoughts on minimalism.

Whilst I really like a lot of the principles of minimalism I do also think that there is space for some "wants". My Mum was always frugal with money. She didn't buy anything that we didn't need, she was careful with her spending and bought things on sale where possible. On the very rare occasion that I'd ask her to buy me something her first question to me was always "Do you need it?"

When I was around 11 we were on holiday. I was feeling very vulnerable and desperately wanted a soft toy to cuddle to help me feel better. I found a tiny teddy bear in the supermarket and asked Mum if I could have it because I wanted something to cuddle. Of course Mum asked if I needed it. Saying no was one of the hardest things I've ever done because I desperately needed something to bring me comfort. 

Looking back I should have just said yes. Even then I doubt that Mum would have bought it for me. But, it's this story that makes me realise that even living a minimalist life there has to be room for wants. Sometimes wants are important and that's perfectly ok. 

Monday, 10 July 2017

Antipodes Remarkably Red Moisture-Boost Natural Lipstick

The Antipodes lipstick range has recently become available at Priceline so when they were on sale recently I took the chance to pick one up.


I chose Remarkably Red, which is remarkable not for being red but instead being a gorgeous berry pink. Antipodes say that it was inspired by the theatre of bright blue skies against the towering peaks of The Remarkables.

Antipodes really got it wrong with their shade names. Most of the shades have a name that's nothing like the actual colour. The coral isn't coral, the sunset shade isn't anything like your usual sunset colour, the brown shade is mauve, they've got it so very very wrong. It's for this very reason I recommend looking at the testers for each shade. When they first arrived in Priceline I looked at the shade names, picked up a few that sounded like colours I'd wear and when they weren't I didn't look at the rest. It wasn't until I saw them on Instagram that I realised the shade names were off so I went in store and looked at every colour.

Aside from the shade names, this is quite a pleasant lipstick. Antipodes say that it's so healthy you could almost eat it. Whilst it's called Moisture-Boost, I don't find it very hydrating, nor do I find it drying. It has a long lasting, matte finish and lasts for around six hours before I need to reapply. I can't say I'll be rushing out to buy another one because funnily enough, there's nothing remarkable about it. It's a good, decent quality lipstick but nothing amazing. It's not bad, it's not great, it does the job and that's it.

Antipodes Moisture-Boost lipsticks cost $29.00 and are available from David Jones and Priceline.

Ingredients: castor oil, candelilla wax, jojoba wax, carnauba wax, ethylhexyl palmitate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, beeswax, avocado oil, calendula oil, alcohol, vitamin E, evening primrose oil, shea butter, cinnamon oil, sweet orange oil, linalool, d-limonene.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. This week I discovered that if you write a negative review of a product on the Priceline website they don't publish it. This means that the reviews on their site are worthless.

2. With that said, the Model's Prefer Samantha Jade Gold Leaf lipstick is truly awful. It's one of the worst products I've ever tried. It has a vile, overwhelming plastic scent that doesn't go away, I wiped it off after half an hour because I couldn't stand the horrible smell. Leaving the tube open overnight didn't help the scent fade. Added to that, it leaves a very strong, bitter taste on the lips which I could still taste even after washing my lips twice and totally removing the product.
As if that wasn't bad enough, there's no gold to it at all.
I returned mine to Priceline and got a refund.

3. Priceline are surprisingly good about refunds. The girl at the checkout was rather snooty and told me that "all the see through lipsticks smell like plastic" (I'm sure that's not true), but the manager was lovely and happily gave me a refund. 

4. Considering the snooty girl didn't even know where in the store they kept the SJ lipsticks, I have trouble believing that she's tried other see through lipsticks. Funny fact, I have and they don't smell like plastic. 

5. If you want a translucent lipstick, the Chosungah 22 Flavourful lipsticks are lovely as are the Duwop Iced Tea's. 

Friday, 7 July 2017

FFS Friday - Calamity

Last Monday started out like any other day. I had a busy day, raced around, got everything done and finally made it through the day. I was complimenting myself on making it through the day unscathed when it happened. 

As I do every night, I washed my face. I had the usual dilemma of which towel to use to dry my face. Do I use the hand towel that everyone uses and I have no idea what they've done with it, or do I use my towel and risk drying my face with the same part of the towel that I've dried my bum with? It's a tough one. I would have a dedicated face towel but with Tiger and the kids around any towel left around gets used for all sorts of unimaginable horrors. I went with the safer option of using my towel. I always dry my bum with the end of the towel, so using the middle of the towel to dry my face is a pretty safe option.

I dried my face and was about to leave the bathroom when I realised there was something very, very wrong. My face smelled like stinky armpit. Since Tiger was away I couldn't blame him and had to face the awful truth. 
It was my stinky armpit. 
Gross. 
I'd wiped my face with stinky armpit. Oh the horror. 
As if it wasn't bad enough that my face had been contaminated with stinky armpit and had to be rewashed, it also presented a whole set of different and equally awful horrors. 

Clearly I'd failed at the very basic task of washing myself in the morning. How I managed to do that is a mystery. It's not that difficult. It's not like I could have been distracted by anything else, my sole purpose of showering was to get clean, so how I failed at something so basic is an embarrassing mystery.  

Secondly, if I hadn't cleaned my pits properly it's highly likely that the deodorant I'd put on in the morning failed to hide my unclean scent, which means I went through the whole, busy day extremely stinky. I'd been all over the place. I went to school, to see my bff, to the Dr's surgery, for a massage, to two different supermarkets, to the chemist, the bakery and had a meeting with Chai's school teacher, all whilst smelling like the great unwashed. Oh the horror.

Questions have to be asked about how I failed to properly wash myself. I've had years of experience, I know what I'm doing, I wash myself every day. What went wrong on that fateful day? Was it user error, was it a failure of my body wash or was something more sinister happening?

I suppose we'll never know. 

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

June Empties

I'm pleased with June's effort, I finished quite a lot of products including a lipstick, tinted moisturiser, two body scrubs and two lip balms!

 

Don't they look lovely all together? I'm so pleased with myself. 

Divine Company Body Scrub
If you like gentle scrubs this is the one for you. It smells lovely and is very gentle. I prefer more intense scrubs so won't repurchase.

Brauer Paw Paw balm in Raspberry
This was lovely, it tasted great and kept my lips soft and smooth.

Burt's Bees Mango Butter lip balm
One of my all time favourite lip balms, I've repurchased it countless times and will continue to do so. 

SKII Eye Cream
I had two little tubs of this and wasn't impressed. Other than keep my eye area hydrated, it made no noticeable difference.

Jacqueline Evans Chamomile and Walnut Scrub
This is way too harsh for me. If you are a fan of rough face scrubs, you'll love it. 

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum
A definite repurchase, I really like this C serum.


Grant's Toothpaste
Our new family favourite toothpaste. The boys love the blueberry flavour, Tiger and I use mint or cinnamon. I have to hide the blueberry one because Eljay eats it.

Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser
Love, love, love. I'm sad to see the end of what is one of my favourite bases. I was planning to repurchase once I've used up a few other foundations, but now that Nars are no longer cruelty free I'm unsure. I haven't chosen cruelty free products in the past, but I'm thinking it's time that I did.

Clinique Moisture Surge
A good, lightweight boost of moisture.

Revlon Ultra HD lipstick
These have been discontinued so my thoughts are irrelevant.

Dermaviduals Cleansing Milk
It's a cleansing milk, not much else to say really. I found this to be gentle, effective and pleasant to use. 

Thankyou Coffee Body Scrub
Another favourite. At only $14.95 this is a bargain and the coffee rose scent is surprisingly lovely. 

Condordia Handcrafted Skincare Brightening Moisturiser
Love, love, love. All the Concordia products I've tried are beautiful. You can read my review here



Mor Almond and Vanilla Hand Wash
My bff gave me this beautiful hand wash for christmas. I've been savouring it and was sad to see it finished. 

Thalgo Smoothing Brightening Fluid
I'm surprised that there isn't more hype about Thalgo products, they're reasonably priced and lovely. The Brightening Fluid was great, I'll definitely be buying it again. 

Original Source Vanilla and Raspberry Shower Gel
The smell of this was amazing, it smelled edible and always made me hungry.

L'Oreal Botanicals Geranium Conditioning Balm
I'm really enjoying the new Botanicals range. I received the Geranium range to review for Beauty Crew. Surprisingly I finished the conditioner before the shampoo, that's never happened before!

Method Sweet Water Hand Wash
You can't go wrong with Method products. They're natural, smell great and are very effective. 

Concordia Purifiying Cream Cleanser
Another love and definite repurchase. Read my review here.


This months tosses are looking good. 

I've resurrected my Use it or Lose it pile and am slowly going through and tossing the products I don't love. Most of the products you see in the photo above are victims of the Use it or Lose it pile. A few of them are old, one of the moisturisers I've had for over six years, eek! There are also a few sample sachets, I hate samples that come in sachets, they always go straight in the give away pile.


A few weeks ago when Natural Supply Co had a free shipping promotion I bought a Salus face cloth, so tossed a few of my face cloths that are old, gross and really rough.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Younique Products to Try

Younique gets such a bad rap in the beauty blogging/vlogging community, they're a banned topic on a lot of Facebook groups and message boards. Very rarely do you see blog posts or reviews and the reviews you do see are usually by Younique presenters trying to sell their products. It's a real shame because some of the products are lovely.


To make things very clear, I have no affiliation with Younique. I'm not a presenter, this isn't a sponsored post, I paid for the products I'm writing about and I am gaining nothing from writing this post.

Out of the products I've tried so far, the stand outs are Moodstruck Opulence Lipstick and Touch Mineral Liquid Foundation. 

Touch Mineral Liquid Foundation is easily the best foundation I've ever used. It's long lasting, budge proof, matte without being drying, hides my imperfections and makes my skin look naturally flawless. It comes in a glass bottle with a dropper which makes it really easy to dispense the foundation. Naturally Younique recommend you apply with their foundation brush. I can't use their brush because it contains animal hair so I use a flat topped brush or beauty blender. One layer gives medium coverage, two gives full coverage. I love the way it makes my skin look naturally flawless.


The Moodstruck Opulence Lipstick was love at first application. It's so creamy that it feels like a lip balm. For a cream lipstick it's quite long lasting, I get at least four hours wear before I need to reapply. Like the foundation, the lipsticks are some of the nicest that I've ever tried. The only gripe I have is that because they are so soft they break easily (or at least mine did).  


All Younique products have a money back guarantee. If you don't like it you get your money back, even if you've used the product. One of the things that stops me from buying products unseen is not being able to return them so I love their no questions asked return policy. 

They have monthly specials (called Kudos) where you can pick up some great deals, so keep an eye on their website or Instagram to see what the latest special is.

Next time you come across a Younique presenter online, get in touch and give their products a go, you might be pleasantly surprised.


Note: I purchased all these products myself and have no affiliation with Younique.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. Nars have announced that they are no longer cruelty free. How disappointing. Due to the backlash this news received they released a statement on their Instagram. In my opinion the statement was pretty ridiculous and did nothing to justify their reasons for testing on animals. The Chinese market must be very lucrative.

If you didn't see their Instagram post, here it is:

We want you to know that we hear you. The global elimination of animal testing needs to happen. We firmly believe that product and ingredient safety can be proven by non-animal methods, but we must comply with the local laws of the markets in which we operate, including in China. We have decided to make NARS available in China because we feel it is important to bring our vision of beauty and artistry to fans in the region. NARS does not test on animals or ask others to do so on our behalf, except where required by law. NARS is committed and actively working to advance alternative testing methods. We are proud to support the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS), a globally recognized organization at the forefront of advancing non-animal methods in China and around the world. NARS is hopeful that together, we can work toward a cruelty-free world.

2. There are ways of selling in China without testing on animals, Adore Beauty manages it so I'm not sure why Nars can't. 

3. Lately I've been thinking about going zero waste. It's such a big thing to get my head around so I've decided to start small by taking my shopping bags with me. I have plenty of them but never manage to take them with me. I've put together two piles of them that I'll leave in both our cars so we always have bags when we go shopping. 

4. I've been looking at reusable produce bags and coffee cups, it seems like trying to be zero waste will be quite costly at first. 

5. School holidays are finally here, thank goodness! Here's to lovely lazy days with my babies.