Monday, November 21, 2011

REMINDER - Please update how you follow my blog

Dear MsSparkleArkle readers...

A few months ago I moved my blog off the Blogger platform.  While my domain remains the same, many of my readers have not updated their records to follow my new website.

Due to the recent announcement regarding Google Friend Connect's availabilty on non-Blogger sites, I will no longer support this method of subscription.  I've also done away with Facebook.

My website is located at

To make following me as easy as possible, please find a range of links to follow me below:

You can find me on Bloglovin here   bloglovin

You can find me on Google+ here

You can subscribe to my Feeds here

You can subscribe to my email updates here

Thanks for your support...  Karyn

Friday, October 28, 2011

MsSparkleArkle website has moved!

Hi Everyone,

Wow!  What a learning experience!  You may have heard me talk about this already, but now it is official.

I've moved my blog to a self hosted setup, and have moved all of my content to the new location.  I've redirected my domain to the new website, so when you click on you will reach the most current information.

Thanks for your patience while I update everything.  All new posts will be on the new site.  There are links to RSS feeds, Twitter and Bloglovin on the new site too.

If you follow me through BLOGLOVIN, please re-subscribe by searching for under the add blog function, or follow the link on my updated site.

If you were one of the 90+ people following me through Google Friend Connect / Google reader, please re-connect on my new site to ensure you receive the new posts.

I am still working on Feedburner, but hope to have it all up and running in the next week or so.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Beauty Confessions #1 - Frazzled Nails

You are in the car and called to an emergency meeting with an important client.  Your nails are absolutely atrocious.  Polish is beyond chipped, cuticles are dry and hangnail-ly.  You need a manicure - STAT!  What do you do?

The evidence.
If you are anything like me, you'll attend the meeting and hide your nails the best you can!   I did have a bottle of varnish in the car (true beauty enthusiast), but was concerned that if I slapped on a thin coat I would smell like a paint factory during the meeting.

When I arrived home that evening I removed the remnants of polish from my nails, and vowed to never let my nails be so unkempt ever again.

Have you committed a beauty crime this week?  We'd love to hear your confessions...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Alpha-H - Better skin in just 90 days?

Well here I am, naked.

Oh fine.  I'm not 'naked' 'naked', but I feel exposed without my usual modesty covering of foundation.
I suffer from pigmentation, and took some BEFORE photos on the 1st of October 2011 in preparation to unleash the Alpha-H Liquid Gold Skin Perfecting System on my blotchy skin. The pigmentation and broken capillaries on my face really stand out against my fair skin, which is why I prefer to wear a least a light smattering of foundation everyday.

To quote from the Alpha-H website, the brand has created 'a system of therapeutic cosmeceuticals which target the key factors of ageing as they manifest in the different layers of the skin'.  During the Australian Beauty Bloggers weekend, I was privileged to learn more about glycolic acid, and I also had the opportunity to take a kit home with me to try.  Lucky duck.

I'm not going to go into the finer details of the products just yet, as I'll include some comparison shots and lots of details of my experience with the Alpha-H line in a future post.  I am still in the first of three stages in my course of treatments, being 30 days using the Alpha-H Prep & Prime each morning. 

My teenage son is also using this product to help his skin through an acne breakout, but I won't comment further on that until he has used the line for another week.

What I would like to achieve during this program of treatments is a reduction in the obvious pigmentation on my forehead and under my right eye.  I'm not so worried about my freckles, but the larger blobs of colour are free to move on, no questions asked!  Any improvement in redness would be a bonus.

The Alpha-H Liquid Gold Skin Perfecting System including all three stages retails for AUD $99.50 and can be purchased directly from Alpha-H here, or if you have Foxtel you could watch the products being demonstrated on TVSN.

So here are the before shots...

 Stay tuned for an update!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

'Blogger' it is then... for now

Tonight, my lack of Napoleon Dynamite type 'skills' in the web / HTML / and all things Internet department got the better of me.  I cracked it.

Blogging is supposed to be fun!  I've wasted hours and hours of my limited personal time trying to create something spectacular - but now I've chucked a full blown tantrum and decided give it a rest.

My skin looks terrible, I haven't worn makeup all week, and my friends and family have all commented that I look 'like shit'!  So back to Blogger I go, head hung in shame...

I have so many beauty posts to edit, new things to talk about, and videos to upload to YouTube, and that is really what it is all about for me.

In a last ditch attempt to have a more interactive blog, I've installed a new tool, and hope that it allows me to respond to peoples comments.  Feel free to post a comment below so we can test it out!

Thanks for your patience!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

We are moving... or thinking about it!

I’ve toyed with the idea of moving from Blogger to Wordpress for a while now, purely on the basis of improved interaction with the wonderful people that take the time to read my posts. 

It may just be my limited knowledge of Blogger, but I have not been able to find a way to reply directly to people’s posts.  If someone has asked me a question, I take great pride in getting back to them with an answer, and I am not confident that the message gets through with my current set up.
I don’t have access to people to help me through web design process, and I’m finding it quite frustrating.  My background is in transactional accounting and people management, so I’m very proud of my setup on Blogger.  I’ve had to learn what Widgets are, how to email posts in, how to set up an RSS feed.  Moving to Wordpress will hopefully allow me to expand on my tech knowledge in this area.
So this will be my last post for a while... until the new site is up and running.  It’s been really difficult to make progress this week as our 50GB of downloads have been used, and the speed has been shaped down to less than dial-up (a common side-effect of teenagers on school holiday!) 

I’ll be ditching the pink border, and going for a style that more represents who I am.  My son has helped me brainstorm lots of words to describe me, and we’ll try and turn that into some kind of brand.  

Fingers crossed the migration goes to plan, and I’ll let you know when everything flips over.  My domain will remain the same, and my email is
Any advice or feedback you can offer is much appreciated!


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer - the bees knees?

It was only 18 months ago that I heard the 'buzz' about the Burt's Bees range.  It was by chance that I chose to order a starter pack with a voucher that was burning a hole in my wallet.  Immediately my entire family - teenage son included - were converted to cult followers of the brand.

You'll find my laundry peppered with the distinctly packaged yellow honeycomb patterned balms. They are rescued on a regular basis when plucked from pant pockets during my pre-wash pat down. Tissues? CHECK.  Burt's Bees balm? CHECK.  I'm happy to report that many a balm has made it through the wash unscathed, perhaps just with the label looking a little worse for wear.

During the Australian Beauty Blogger's Weekend in Sydney during September 2011, I was thrilled to be invited to the Maxted Thomas Blogger's Gala.  One of the attendees on the night was Burt's Bees. Yay!  I received a gorgeous pack of goodies to take home, and included was this Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer in RHUBARB.

Lip Shimmer in RHUBARB
This balm has a minty aroma on application, and your lips immediately feel refreshed.  The balm is not sweet or sugary at all, lessening the chances of me consuming the balm by surreptitious licking. Ladies, I know that you know what I mean...!

I already owned a Lip Shimmer in Champagne, which is a sheer nude colour.  The rhubarb balm adds nicely to my Burt's Bees collection and will be perfect for when I need that something in between lipstick and clear balm.

In the picture below you can see the colour of Rhubarb on my lips.  It's a fantastic stain colour, and I liken the colour to that 'just been stuck into a bowl of cherries' look.  The colour lasts past a mid morning cup of tea and a biscuit, and the conditioning benefits continue well into the afternoon.

One coat
I highly recommend the Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer range, and for just AUD $12.95 each you could easily convince yourself to grab more than one colour to try.  Check out the entire Burt's Bees range, ingredients lists, and a store locater at  Place an order online or visit a Priceline or Myer store near you.

What is your favourite product from the Burt's Bees range?

Do you have a Burt's Bees lip balm survival story to share?

Please post your comments below...

Disclaimer - this product was provided to me as a gift when attending the ABBW event.  For more information on my disclosure policy, please click here.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

When rollers go wrong...

As most of you will already know, I'm always up for sharing those little embarrassing moments in life.  We live for such a short time, we may as well have a good old cackle at ourselves!  My most recent beauty faux pas was a bad hair day, amplified by my own attempt at 'self improvement'.  Here's how it went down...

It all started on a Friday night, after watching one of my favourite YT Gurus, the Crazy Ms Tammy from uppiesbeads59.  Tammy has lovely long blonde hair, which always seems to have such a natural volume and bounce.  I diligently watched some of her hair tutorials, and chose whip to the shops for some largish Velcro rollers.

On the Saturday morning I washed and conditioned my hair, and then roughly dried it with my new hairdryer.  I then plonked the rollers in my hair, feeling rather confident that I had followed the instructions fairly closely.  WRONG!  Crazy Ms Tammy mentions several times how important it is to make sure the ends of your hair are nice and flat against the roller to avoid 'fish hooks'.  This is an instruction I overlooked.  I thought, 'Meh - that looks about right' as I stuffed my super wavy hair onto the roller. 

After waiting the required time, I gently removed the rollers from my hair, and was greeted with the following image in the mirror.  YIKES!

All I could do from that point was to shove my massive bundle of hair into a pony tail, and let the boofy-ness settle throughout the day.  My husband happened to think that my hair do was 'beautiful' which my teenage son found hilarious.  Even my Mum snickered when she visited later in the day to check out my pageant hair.

It was a great bit of fun for a Saturday.  While this attempt was a fail, I'm not giving up.  I'll have another crack at the bouncy hair look in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. 

Do you have any tips for using rollers to control super wavy whacky hair like mine?  Larger rollers?  No rollers on the top?  It takes an enormous amount of time to straighten my hair with irons, and the look I am aiming for is straighter, but not flat. 

Any suggestions are appreciated.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ulta3 Nail Colour - Mojito

This nail colour is a long way from a nail colour I would normally wear, so when I was unpacking my IMATS / ABBW goodies, I immediately applied two coats.  I could have improved the final look with one more coat to cover my very white nail tips.

I have several Ulta3 polishes in my collection already, as I had received several as giveaways when ordering from an Australian online store.   They last quite well for a budget brand, and I would recommend them for their range of fun colours.  I recently saw a big display of this brand of polish for sale at La Manna supermarket in Essendon Fields for just $2.95.  Baaaargain!

After two days of wear, I decided to remove the polish before an executive meeting.  Not sure my Kermit fingers would have been appropriate given the topic of the day!

ABC's of MsSparkleArkle

I recently saw these questions on the be-yewdy-full Molly Maquillage's blog, and thought it would be a good opportunity to learn a little more about me.  Feel free to do these questions yourselves!

A. Age: 37 eek!
B. Bed size: King
C. Chore you hate: Cleaning the slimy soap goop that collects under my attached sink plug things
D. Day: My favourite? Friday, 5pm
E. Essential start to your day: The moment I wake up, before I put on my makeup, I say a little prayer for you.....
F. Favourite colour: Indigo
G. Gold or Silver: White Gold
H. Height: Once I was 175cm, then from age 20 I was 173cm but my scoliosis is shortening me - 171cm at last measure but I refuse to accept it! (Shrieks) I'm shrinking........
I. Instruments: Piano, Saxophone, Clarinet, and I can rock 'Three Blind Mice' on the recorder!
J. Job title: Consultant
K. Kids: What the fudge have they done now?  Oh, you mean do I have any?  Two boys, aged 15 & 3
L. Lives: Melbourne
M. Mum’s name: Creena, but is most often called Pat.  I call her Patsy.
N. Nicknames: Kaz, Kez, Boss
O. Overnight hospital stays: Gallbladder surgery, one night.  Giving birth? - no stay - just plopped them out and went home.  My hyperactive nature has me struggling to stand, sit, lie still for any length of time
P. Pet peeve: Line cutters, just have some patience people!  I can SEE YOU side stepping into my line!
Q. Quote from a movie:  This is from a TV Show "Allow me to ladle you a piping hot bowl of This Is How It Is" - Sue Sylvester, Glee 
R. Right or left handed: A bit of both, but now I write with my right, but kick, throw, and high jump from the left - awkward!
S. Siblings: One brother, 15 months older than me
T. Time you wake up: 6:15am, but 8.00am in the weekends - can't waste the day!
U. Underwear: Granny Panties, tucked right up under my boobies.
V. Vegetables you dislike: No veges come to mind, but bananas should be outlawed.  Blurk!
W. What makes you run late: Nothing.  My military training has me super punctual.  20 PUSH UPS!
X. X-Rays you’ve had: Teeth (before braces), Skull (broke my face & nose in Primary school), lots and lots of spinal scans (scoliosis & osteo arthritis)
Y. Yummy food you make: Gluten free, fructose friendly, Spagetti Bolognese
Z. Zoo: Not sure what this question is, but apart from the fact that I live in a zoo-like household, I'll just tell you my favourite zoo animals are the giraffes and meerkats.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

MsSparkleArkle meets Pursebuzz at IMATS Sydney 2011

I ran into Pursebuzz from YouTube at IMATS, and had a quick snap taken with her... but alas I look like a greasy elephant next to her pretty little figure!   Time I bought an actual camera instead of using my iPhone.

More IMATS news coming soon...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

IMATS Sydney 2011 - Here I come!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Kiehl's launches Australian Website

Did you know that Kiehl’s now has an Australian website?  It is up and running now and I've already registered!

You can now happily research all the Kiehl's goodies and shop online from your couch!  Check out the website at  Australian customers can purchase all of their Kiehl’s favourites, including those iconic products recently included in the huge Kiehl’s Price Drop.

The price drop included my personal Kiehl's favourite - Creme de Corps.  I have been slathering my parched skin every day.  Not only is this body moisturiser full of goodies like cocoa butter and sesame oil, it is NOT TESTED ON ANIMALS.  It's done wonders for my chicken skin on my upper arms.  I'll never be without it again.

There is currently an offer available for my Aussie blog readers. When purchasing Kiehl's goodies online, simply enter the following secret code at the checkout – lipglossblog – and receive a free Kiehl’s Lip Gloss with any purchase.  In addition, all customers will receive free delivery for the month of June, plus complimentary gift wrapping and free samples with every order.  Do you really need any more incentive?  Not me!

I would love to stay and yakkity yak... but I'm off to place an order.

What's your favourite Kiehl's product?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

P100P #031 - Smashbox Lipstick in Attitude

This Smashbox lipstick in the colour Attitude applies remarkably well, and the hue is much less pink on the lips than it appears in the tube.  My mother spied it in the centre console of my car, and fell in love with it.  

"It will count towards your Project 100 Pan" she chirps and slots my lipstick into her handbag!

I don't mind parting with it, as compared to other lipsticks I own, the Smashbox has a more waxy consistency.  

Monday, May 30, 2011

P100P #030 - Joico K-PAK Reconstruct Shampoo

I can't believe I have finished, gifted, or tossed 30 products already!  I must admit I did a little happy dance in the shower when this bottle of shampoo gave me its last bottle fart, as I squeezed the very last drop out of it.

I bought this shampoo over the Christmas period when the bulk packs are discounted.  The kit contained shampoo, conditioner, treatment and an anti-frizz oil.  This is the only product that has been finished so far, namely because my husband and son don't use conditioner.  I usually have a few bottles on the go, which is how this shampoo lasted so long.

The range managed to control my frizzy out of control hair, but I wouldn't put it on the top of my haircare list.  It performed, but didn't have the 'wow' factor for me.

P100P #029 - Pur Minerals Eyeshadow in Clay

I purchased this eyeshadow from the Pur Minerals range about two years ago.  It may have been part of a set with the Mineral Pressed Powder which I love. I find the eyeshadow colour range from Pur Minerals is a little hit and miss.  This colour was a miss for me.  It wasn't pigmented enough to have an impact, and I found that I didn't reach for it for over a year.

This eyeshadow has been donated to my Mum to play with, and she will either keep it or dispose if it humanely. 

I won't purchase eyeshadows from the Pur Minerals range again, as there are so many beautiful brands that I prefer such as NARS, Urban Decay and Rouge Bunny Rouge.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

P100P #028 - CHANEL UV Essential Sunscreen

I have really enjoyed using the CHANEL UV Essential Sunscreen.  It offers SPF50, and does not cause irritation or breakouts on my skin like ya generic sunscreen does. 

I am parting with it as part of Project 100 Pan as I have owned it longer than 18 months, and I have been told that the active ingredients in sunscreen lose their effectiveness after a year.  It is now starting to separate, so it's time to go.

Of course price wise it was a bit extreme to turn to Chanel for sunscreen.  At the time I was desperate for something that worked without destroying my skin, and I was willing to pay upward of $50 for something would protect my freckles (that was my freckles - plural, not my 'freckle'!)

I have replaced this sunscreen with one from Murad which also works very nicely.  I would consider buying a similar product from Chanel again, if I could justify that I would use it up over a summer.

P100P #027 - Shiseido Benefiance Creamy Cleansing Foam

I never thought this day would come. 

My 125ml tube of Shiseido Benefiance Creamy Cleansing Foam has lasted about 9 months.  I have finally finished it during Project 100 Pan.  I used it daily with my beloved Clarisonic Mia, and just the tiniest, less than a 'pea sized' amount is all that's required to achieve fantastic results. 

The tube has lived in my shower, and I'm glad to report that the lid does not collect excess shower water.  To some that might sound like a trivial thing.  For us germaphobes there is nothing more revolting than opening a product to use it and having yesterdays cold water rush out of the lid after diluting and/or contaminating your product.

This cleanser has a very a slight fragrance, but nothing strong enough to unsettle my sensitive skin.  If you look at the beige coloured cleanser, you will find small granules which provide a very slight surface exfoliation, but not that you would notice them during everyday use.

I have a travel size of this cleanser, but once that dries up I will definitely repurchase a full size. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

P100P #026 - Clinique Colour Surge Duo - Mocha Berry

I received this eyeshadow as part of a gift with purchase a few months back.  At the time, my Mum eyed of the shades but I was unwilling to part with it - selfish me!  I've since found that I've used it just a handful of times, so I had better pass it on so it feels some love.

The Clinique eyeshadows are great quality, and the Berry shade really packs a punch.   Another nifty feature about the case is that it can double as a mirror for touch ups on the go.  The applicators are workable as they have long handles.

Note to self... I must check out the Clinique line in more detail when I am finished this project.  It's not a brand that I go to for makeup browsing very often.

P100P #025 - Pur Minerals 'Mineral Glow'

This product is a fairly good bronzng product, and I have no specific issues with it.  It has travelled with me to Sydney a few times over the last few months.  The reason why I am parting with it as part of my Project 100 Pan, is simply because I reach for my Nars Laguna over the Mineral Glow most days.   I'm trying to scale back, so there is no need to house two similiar bronzers. 

My Mum is all out of bronzer and will really appreciate the subtle glow this gives your cheeks.  It is sheer enough to use as an all over glow too.

Friday, May 20, 2011

P100P #024 - Chanel Mat lumiere - sample

I know, I know, it's only a sample, but this sample has been haunting me from my bedside table for months.

It's a shade too dark for me, but I have been keen to try it anyway so I could see the texture.  Sadly it has done nothing but gather dust.  One of my colleagues is shade 20 Clair in Pro Lumiere, and I'm sure she'll get a kick out of this sample when I fling it at her on Monday morning!

P100P #023 - Revlon Lipgloss - Peach Petal

This lipgloss was one of those purchases made based purely on YouTube raves.  I just can't pull of a shade this light with my pale skin.  On my lips it looks pastey and gluggy.  I have seen other people with medium toned skin wear this and it looks fantastic on them.  

I am certainly not poo pooing the product - just my own silly shade selection!

P100P #022 - Benefit 'Honey Snap Out of It! Scrub

Horrid.  That is the only way to describe this scrub. 

It was sold to me as a facial exfoliant, but it is way too chalky and harsh for my skin.  I used some of this on my body, and also tried to pass it on to my teenage son to use, but it quickly found its way back into the bottom of my shower recess.   I won't be replacing it yet, as I find there is no need to exfoliate now that I use a Clarisonic Mia every day.

Out it goes!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

P100P #021 - Lancome Hydrazen Moisturiser

This Lancome moisturiser is great if you have very sensitive skin, and you are in your 20's.  While the texture is lovely and the product is excellent quality, I found that it wasn't quite nourishing enough for my parched skin.

I moved it to my travel bag, and recently finished it off. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

P100P #020 - It's a 10 Miracle Hair Mask

This mask treatment was sent to as a gift by the lovely Tammy from UppiesBeads59 from YouTube.  You can check out her channel here

I used this treatment on a recent business trip to Sydney.  It did leave my hair soft and shiny after leaving it in for 5 minutes.  I can see that if left in longer it would have an even better effect.  I'm not sure that I would but the full size, but I am interested in trying the same companies leave in treatment.

I'm still looking for a brilliant conditioning treatment to tame the tangles, so any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated!

P100P #015 - #019 - Pur Minerals Eyeliners

Here are a few more items cleared out of my collection as they have aged substantially and haven't been used for years.  I had some of them in my emergency car makeup kit for a while, but these eyeliners don't really perform well enough for me to enjoy using them.

Out they go!

P100P #014 - Nars Orgasm Blush

I love this blush, but I have owned this particular one for over 10 years!  It is so old that the rubber casing is starting to breakdown and it is all tacky! 

It was hard to part with this blush, but I do have another one as part of an Orgasm/Albatross duo.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

P100P #013 - Manicare Nail File

This poor Manicare Nail File (Medium/Fine) has been used so much it has been stripped of every last scrap of grit!  It had to go as part of Project 100 Pan.

I must confess I immediately replaced this file with one of the same, although I bought the Manicare Medium/Coarse version while I am still dealing with acrylic/gel nails.  I debated whether I should count this in my project as it has been replaced, however this is the first time I have ever completely finished a file, so it's in.

I have tried loads of brands of nail files, and I prefer Manicare over all the rest.  They don't fall apart, and they are sturdy enough to deal with the bending and twisting I put them through.  My old pooch (no longer with us) preferred the Manicare emery board too, and they still filed beautifully, teeth marks and all.

P100P #012 - Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation

Ole Henriksen’s Sheer Transformation oil free moisturiser did nothing for my skin.  I really struggled to finish it.  It wasn’t moisturising enough and I can’t recommend it for dry skin at all.  I had seen another YouTube guru using it, and we tend to have very similar skin woes, so I was hoping I would see the same fantastic results on my skin.

I bought it as part of the 3 Little Wonders box set, which also included the Truth Serum and an Invigorating Night Gel.  This kit retails overseas for USD$70, but will cost you a whopping AUD$165 if purchased locally in Australia.  The products are aimed for the anti-aging market and promise to deliver ‘truly transformative results as they embrace your skin with protection, comfort and hydration. Every product works to defend against signs of aging by firming, lifting, retexurizing, tightening and evening out skin tone with light, oil-free formulations.’

Here’s what Ole Henriksen says each product will do: 
Truth serum-collage booster 1 fl oz / 30 ml - Provides skin with natures most potent anti-aging nutrients, deeply hydrates and calms with rose hips extract, green tea and Vitamin C
Sheer transformation 1 oz / 28 g - Feels light and silky as it penetrates, leaving behind a protective and restorative surface. Gradually reduces hyper pigmentation with licorice extract, actiwhite™ and Vitamin C and increases cell turnover rate with beta hydroxy acids and fruit acids
Invigorating night gel 1 oz / 28 g - This firming treatment contains botanical alpha hydroxy acids in concentrated amounts for rapid cell proliferation, exposing younger and firmer looking skin. Hydrates and prevents irritation with fruit acids suspended in purified algae extract, vitamins A, C and E, plus mucopolysaccharides

I cannot recommend the Sheer Transformation moisturiser and I am extremely happy to see the empty container in the recycling bin this week.  I’ll give the other two products another go in the next few weeks, and see if they survive Project 100 Pan!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

P100P #011 - MAC Rapidblack Penultimate Eyeliner

This liquid eyeliner in a felt tip pen style from MAC is horrible!  It is dry, and if you perspire or rub your eye at all this product will run.  When I got in the car in the afternoon, I had a black stripe where my eyeliner flick was earlier in the day.  Oh no!  I hope it had just happened and everyone didn't let me walk around like that all afternoon. 

I was going to bin this liner when a friend reminded me that I could Back2MAC it in exchange for a freebie.  Now all I need is another 5 empty cases to go with it!  Off to the bottom drawer it goes.

While I have some MAC blush, lipsticks, lipglasses and eyeshadows, I am not really a fan of the line overall.  They seem so focused on their limited edition lines at the moment.  I wish they would put some more effort into improving their foundations.  MAC has such a great colour range, but their foundations are below average.

Well that's enough of a rant.  Back to finishing off more products.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

P100P #009 & #010 - Avon Ultra Colour Rich Lipstick & Rimmel Exaggerate Lipliner

These products are both very lovely, and brand new.  I have gifted them to my mother as part of Project 100 Pan only due to the colours not really suiting me.

The lipstick is Avon Ultra Colour Rich in Crush.  A beautifully creamy lipstick which wears very well.  I bought this lipstick because I had a YSL Rouge Volupte lipstick on my wishlist but I knew the colour may not be ideal for my ruddy complexion.  Instead of forking out for the high end brand, I bought the Avon dupe.  I'm glad I did!  I've been reminded that the Avon brand is fantastic, especially when you want to try something a little wilder, and since the colour didn't really work for me, no major damage to the bank account.

The second items is a Rimmel Exaggerate Automatic Lipliner in 064 Obsession.  These lipliners are brilliant, but I bought this colour specifically to co-ordinate with the Avon lipstick.  Nothing else in my lip collection will go with this liner, and it's not something I would wear filled in on my lips.

My Mum's eyes lit up when I offered these barely touched goodies to her this afternoon.  I know they have gone to a good home.

P100P #008 - Crest 3D Whitestrips

If you read my original P100P post you'll know that I have pitched my number so high because I want to include some samples and smaller items in my tally.  Here is the first item out of the smaller bunch.

I was sent this set of strips to try from Bini from Bini Blogs Beauty some time ago.  I hadn't had a spare 30 minutes to sit down and not flap my gums.  I'm a yakker, and usually only silent when sleeping!  On a recent trip to Sydney, I had a hotel room to myself, so I tried them out!

It took me a while to work out how to get these suckers out of the pack, but when I did they were easy to apply.  It was a strange feeling and my mouth started to water right away.  I felt a bit dribbly and drooley but I could see that my teeth were slightly whiter after the first treatment.  Impressed!  I didn't experience any negative effects while using the strips, or in the days after.

I would certainly consider a whitening regime in the future, now that I know I can handle the product itself.

P100P #007 - Dr Bronner Soap - Unscented

This is the sliver of soap left, so I snapped a picture for Project 100 Pan before it dwindled away to nothing.  This bar of soap is from the Dr Bronner range.  Both of my children have used the range as it is suitable for the most sensitive skin.  This is the Unscented version.  My favourite is Peppermint.

You can check out the Dr Bronner range at the Lateral Food website here.

P100P #006 - Dr Bronner Pure Castile Soap - Hemp Rose

I adore this natural, organic, no nasties, liquid soap!  In fact, I like it so much you will see a giveaway on my YouTube channel in the very near future. 

I will not rave about all the details in this in this post, however I will say that the Peppermint version is my favourite body wash.  It's a multiple use product and can be used for a myriad of crazy things, such as a mouthwash and to wash makeup brushes. 

I purchased the Rose for my son to use in his bath.  It does not bubble, so is not useful if you are looking for a bubble bath product.  However I squeeze a little into my son's bath to help soak the dirt out of his kneecaps!  I use another squirt of the soap to wash him directly.  It is non-irritating and works effectively.

I will buy this product again, when I finish the Peppermint that is in my shower.  You can purchase this Castile Soap from Australian seller Lateral Food, check out their website here.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

P100P #005 - Laura Mercier Matte Bronze Light

The next item to be cleared in Project 100 Pan was a very disappointing product by Laura Mercier.  Usually an outstanding brand with exceptional products, but this one failed to please.  I decided this product was not fit for a blog sale, and has been discarded.

This product is exactly what it's name suggests, a light coloured matte bronzer, no shimmer.  When I first purchased it about a year ago I loved it.  Unfortunately after just a month the product developed a film on it.  It seemed like I needed to scratch the surface to get some colour payoff on my brush. 

I understand that you can have a build up of oil on powder products left by dirty brushes, however I am fastidiously clean with my brushes, and discount this as the cause.  The product seemed cakey, and not worth saving.

This experience does not damage the Laura Mercier reputation in my mind at all.  One of my all time favourite products comes from the LM line, and it is the Shimmer Bloc in Mosaic.  A divine glowy highlighter which surpasses Dior's Amber Diamond and Nars Albatross.  Definitely worth a look!

P100P #004 - Urban Decay Primer Potion

This miniature Urban Decay Primer Potion (otherwise known as UDPP) came with the Naked Palette kit.  I finished it on my recent business trip to Sydney.  I loved this product but have now moved onto a tube of Too Faced Shadow Insurance. 

The UDPP works beautifully and feels silky, almost silicone based when applied.  It certainly extends the wear of my eyeshadow.  However, in my opinion it does not cover my yellowness and red veins well enough, and I sometimes still revert to MAC's Painterly Paint Pot for full coverage.

I am undecided on whether I will buy this primer again.  I have so many still to try!

P100P #003 - Silk Oil of Morocco Shampoo & Conditioner

This shampoo and conditioner is packed with Argan Oil which is all the rage at the moment.  I tried the original shampoo and conditioner by MoroccanOil and liked everything but the smell. 

I then purchased this Oil of Morocco substitute thinking it would be as good, without the overpowering smell.  I was wrong.  It certainly doesn't have a fragrance but unfortunately this duo does nothing to tame my wild locks.  I have used about half of each, and it was very pricey at AUD $99 for the set. 

Save your money on this one ladies.  I have 'gifted' this into my son's bathroom as he was out of shampoo.  As he wears a ton of product in his hair, he uses loads of shampoo.  It will be put to good use.

P100P #002 - Blistex Lip Conditioner SPF20

I purchased this Blistex Lip Conditioner a few years ago, but never really fell in love with it.  From memory I bought it during a very cold winter when my lips needed some additional help.  I chose the Blistex brand thinking they were market leaders.

You can see that I haven't really used much at all.  I don't like the packaging or the smell.  To top it off the lid has been broken which really puts me off using the product.  I've had it in my desk kit, but it's time to go.

I won't repurchase this product, as there are so many better lip conditioners out there. 

This product has been binned as part of Project 100 Pan.

Friday, April 15, 2011

P100P #001 - Amarige de Givenchy Perfume

It's time to get the ball rolling on Project 100 Pan (P100P). 

I have been working on this bottle of perfume for months.  I really love it, and didn't want to waste it, but I was so sick of looking at the dribble in the bottom of the bottle.

Created by Givenchy in 1991, Amarige is classified as a sharp, oriental, floral fragrance. This feminine scent possesses a blend of violet, mimosa, soft sweet spices, and orange flowers.  I love it as a fragrance for work.

My tactic to finish this off was to wear this perfume consistently for weeks until it was finally gone.  I will repurchase this in the future, but I have a few more bottles to get through before that happens!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Project 100 Pan

I like to think big!
As I packed my overnight bag for yet another business trip to Sydney, I contemplated just how much clutter I could be free of by partaking in a Project 'X' Pan. The question was, just how far could I take it?
I hate clutter, but I have a knack of being able to ignore what's right in front of my eyes. I arrived home from work last night to find my adorable Mum clearing out my office. It still houses an old PC that pre-dates wifi and blu-ray. It weighs as much as a Ford Escort. To see everything neatly tucked away gave me such relief, even if it is stowed in the cupboard for now!
So here we come, Project 100 Pan.
I will include items that are finished, blog saled, gifted, thrown away due to aging, as well as small samples that I have been saving up over the years. I will review as many products as possible and post updates as I go.
No buying until this project is complete. None. Nada. Nix. Nothing. Nilch.
Now that I've said it out loud, I'm scared... GULP! Please support me during this cleansing process.

Friday, April 8, 2011

French Manicure with Gel Nails

Recently I had gel nails applied with a view to having instantly pretty nails.  It worked!

I have had acrylic nails applied once before and was thrilled with the results, but after my first 'refill' I decided that they were way too much trouble.  Sitting still in a nail salon for an hour every other week was much more than I was willing to commit to.  However a few years on I found myself going back for another session.  A set of gel nails with tips in a french manicure set me back AUD $50.  Refills will cost AUD $35 if I decide to maintain these nails.

I am not a big fan of the process.  The filing and picking at my cuticles was really annoying, and the smell in the salon was overpowering.  The service in the salon was not one that encouraged relaxation, as I was shuffled from one assistant to another during the application process.  Putting the process aside, I was once again very happy with the results.

Here are the nails just applied.  The assistant described this as 'little bit square, little bit round'.  You may also hear it referred to as 'squoval'.  These were a little to square for me, and I immediately noticed a deterioration in the accuracy of my keyboard skills.

Just applied

The photos below are my nails after two weeks of wear.  I filed the square edges down and was thrilled that my nails still look lovely two weeks in.  As the manicure was a french polish, the regrowth is a natural colour and not obvious.
Two weeks later, square edges filed down
Two weeks later, square edges filed down

I don't believe I will refill these nails.  I am more likely to continue filing them down and eventually soak them off with acetone.  However if I had a special event coming up I would consider having another set applied.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Haul - It's all about the lips!

Here is a little look at a haul that arrived at my office today.  Nothing better than a few lip products to brighten up your afternoon and completely distract you from your work...

These products are all new to me, so I will conduct a thorough review and post the outcome either here on my blog or on my YouTube channel (subscribe here).

Everything was purchased from StrawberryNet.

From Left to Right:
Guerlain - Kiss Kiss Gloss in No. 865 Rose Tenation
Estee Lauder - Double Wear Stay-in-Place Lip Pencil in Russet
Too Faced - Luster Liner Pearl Effects LipPencil in Tahitian (comes with a pencil sharpener)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

CHANEL - Precision Lotion Confort Silky Soothing Toner

Chanel says...

Contains the de-pollution power of tulip tree extract
Hydrating properties of arum lily extract
Comfortably soothes & tones skin
Offers deep moisturising effects
Leaves skin fresh & supple


Currently on Strawberrynet for about AUD $49


I have had my bottle of this softening toner for around 8 months. I am about halfway through the bottle. The reason for my slow progress with this product is my continuing debate on whether toner is a necessary step in our beauty routines.

The lovely staff at my local Chanel counter enthusiastically reassured me that toning was essential and this toner would suit me. It smells lovely and leaves my face feeling refreshed, however more often than not I breeze right past it and straight onto moisturiser!

I don't believe I will repurchase this product. While it is a high quality product, I would be more likely to a search for a toner which is known to be a hero product in it's skincare line, such as SKII Treatment Essence or Shiseido Softening Lotion.

Do you tone?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Concealer Showdown - Hourglass Vs. Cle De Peau

Here is a photo taken during my testing phase of the concealer showdown, where I tested the Hourglass Hidden Corrective concealer in Pearl against the very pricey Cle de Peau in Ivory.  I have insert a link to my YouTube video below.

The eye on the left of the screen (my right eye) is the Hourglass.  The right of the screen (my left eye) is the Cle de Peau. 

Can you spot the difference?

To me, the Cle de Peau eye on the right looks much drier, more chalky.

Here are the prices I found for the products mentioned, but please check your local area in case the prices have changed.

Cle De Peau concealer costs USD $65 for 5g and is available for Aussies on for around AUD $85.

Hourglass Hidden Corrective Concealer costs USD $32 for 3.5g. Aussies can buy Hourglass in store at Mecca Cosmetica or online at , and is currently priced at AUD $48.

The packaging has recently changed on the Hourglass. It looks less like a lipstick and more like a foundation stick, but I am told the formulation is the same.

Hourglass Hidden Corrective concealer currently comes in three shades, Pearl, Sand, and Warm.  I contacted the media department at Hourglass to ask about the colour selections.  The darkest shade is warm, however Hourglass says that there will be a wider range of darker shades later this year.  The darker shades will suit African American skin tones.

The Houglass Hidden Corrective concealer is on my HG list of beauty products. 

Please watch my video for the details of the testing process.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow/Liner

These buildable creamy eyeshadows look beautiful on your eye and last all day without creasing or fallout.  The consistency is smooth and silky, and as their name suggests they can be used for lid colour or lining the eyes. 

You can apply either a sheer wash of colour or dense application depending on your mood.  I prefer to use a flat synthetic brush to apply mine.  One reason I choose to use a brush is that I don't like to put my fingers in products.  The other reason is to ensure I can accurately manoeuvre the colour up to my crease.  If I am on the run I can use my fingers without any drama.

Some of the colours I own are now discontinued, but Birthday Suit, Strut and Get Figgy are still available.  The discontinued ones occasionally pop up on discount websites such as All Cosmetics Wholesale and StrawberryNet and even on eBay from time to time.

I have had some of my pots for around two years and they do not show any sign of drying out.  I just adore this product.

My least favourite from my collection is Recess, as it is too light for me.  My favourite is the bronze Marry Up, as it makes my green eyes sparkle. 
Left to Right - Recess, Birthday Suit, Marry Up, Strut, Get Figgy

The photo below is taken in full sun so that you can see the product at it's most shimmery.  There are no obvious glitter flecks in the product and consequently never any fallout.  There is nothing I detest more than unintended cheek sparkles!

Left to Right - Recess, Birthday Suit, Marry Up, Strut, Get Figgy