Friday, 24 April 2015

First Impression: NARS Light Optimizing Primer

Hello Princesses!

Today I'm going to be talking about the NARS Light Optimizing Primer! I picked up a couple of these samples when I purchased the NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation and the NARS Soft Velvet Loose Powder in Taipei. All of the stores in Taipei and Kaohsiung were so generous with their samples, I wish NZ stores were like that too! ><

What Does It Do?
"Primed. Revived. Radiant. NARS Light Optimizing Primer SPF 15 dramatically extends and transforms the appearance and vibrancy of makeup. Weightless and oil-free, it minimizes signs of fatigue to leave the skin luminous and revived. May also be worn alone as daily sun protection and/or to create a natural luminous complexion." (1)
I was really surprised with the thick creamy texture of this primer, and the radiant appearance it had when blended into the skin! It seems to have a golden sheen, with small sparkles in purple and pink (ish) which is a new look for me, but interestingly I cant see any pink and purple glitter on my face at all, just a lovely golden sheen on the high points of my face.
I don't quite agree that this product dramatically extends the appearance and vibrancy of makeup, in fact apart from the lovely luminous look I got from the golden sheen, I didn't see any difference with the longevity or appearance on my foundations. It did make my skin look quite moisturized and plump though, which was quite nice. It was easy to apply and didn't leave a greasy feeling on my face like a lot of primers do.

Would I Purchase This Product?
At $54NZD for 30mls I would struggle to purchase this primer. For $30NZD I would have already purchased it by now, but for the extra money it's just so expensive and doesn't provide $54 worth of effects in my opinion. It's a lovely primer, giving my plump, luminous looking skin, I love that it has a bit of SPF in it, but it doesn't make my foundation or BB Cream last any longer, which is what I'm really looking for in a primer!
Have you tried any of the NARS Primers? What's your favourite primer?

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Review: LUSH Life's A Beach

Hello Princesses!

Today I'm going to be talking about a new LUSH product called Life's A Beach! This product is just an Australian and New Zealand release, specifically fund-raising for two separate issues that we sadly both have. I will be touching on the New Zealand Seabed Mining below, and you can read about the Australian Grave Barrier Reef here. 100% of the proceeds of this scrub (minus GST) is donated to each cause.
"LUSH joins fight against seabed mining
Between April 7 to April 15 LUSH Cosmetics are joining Kiwis Against Seabed Mining (KASM) to save New Zealand’s natural coastlines. KASM and LUSH are aiming to put pressure on legislators to implement a moratorium on seabed mining operations, pending the commission and completion of thorough scientific research into the impacts and implications of such industrial activities. KASM has been already successful in blocking past seabed mining operations in the courts.

Some industry estimates claim as much as a third of future mineral production could come from beneath the oceans. It is therefore crucial that we learn to curtail destructive and environmentally irresponsible operations, which have the potential to eradicate marine life from huge stretches of seabed and cause massive habitat degradation.

Phil McCabe, founder of KASM, says ‘New Zealand is an Island Nation full of Coastal People. We love our marine environment and will not allow it to be damaged by an unproven industry called Seabed Mining. Our government has underestimated the destructive nature of seabed mining as well as the commitment of New Zealanders to protect our oceans for future generations. We’re stoked to have LUSH standing beside us as we call on our government to place a moratorium on seabed mining.’

The campaign aims to spread awareness and also to demonstrate public support for an immediate ban on seabed mining. Throughout the week-long campaign LUSH will be donating all proceeds (minus GST) from the sale of our exclusive, Limited Edition campaign product, Life’s a Beach body scrub (RRP $10.90) to KASM in support of their legal work against seabed mining." (1

 "Life's A Beach is an ocean inspired, brightening and uplifting body scrub. Full of fresh sea salt and sand, this limited edition body scrub has all the exfoliation power to smooth and rejuvenate all skin types. Scented with a fresh summery Melon fragrance, this fruity and light scent will perfume your skin and turn heads. Use sparingly after cleansing your skin to feel squeaky clean. Life's A Beach body scrub was created exclusively for Australia and New Zealand to support our campaign to Stop Seabed Mining. Whenever you buy a pot to scrub with, 100% of the proceeds (except for the GST) goes to Kiwi's Against Seabed Mining to help fund their campaign to Stop Seabed Mining!

Fine Sea Salt (Fine Sea Salt), Sand (Sand), Sodium Bicarbonate (Sodium Bicarbonate), Perfume (Perfume), *Limonene (*Limonene), Gardenia Extract (Gardenia jasminoides)" (2
Ok guys, lets get real here. This is a $10.90 pot of salt, sand, and smells. I struggled to get my head around the thought that I'm purchasing a tub of sand (my home town is a beach town, so sand is usually free for me) but it's just so convenient and smells so lovely!
The lovely LUSH ladies recommended mixing this Body Scrub Powder with a body wash so it forms a paste, and I think that it's a great idea! It works really well this way, because otherwise the sand tends to fall straight off instead of sticking to my body. You also get more product for your money by mixing it yourself! I prefer to mix this scrub with a more neutral smelling body wash (shea butter, coconut or vanilla) rather than a stronger or sweeter smells (I used LUSH's Snow Fairy in these photos) because the mix of strong smells is a little weird!
The scrub itself it so lovely! The Melon scent makes it smell quite summery and beachy, without smelling gross and salty. It's super easy to use, I mix mine before I get into the shower (I make the mix a littler drier because my hands will already be wet) but make sure to rinse the shower out after using it because it will be sandy!

The million dollar question is, does regular sand from the beach do just a good a job? Obviously self harvested sand from the beach is free, thus there is no money going towards stopping seabed mining, and it also doesn't smell nearly as nice. You might need to sift the sand to pull out any small or broken seashells/glass, and potentially boil it to get any nasties out of it, but in all honesty it works just as well!
What I Love
- Smells lovely, beachy and summery without being salty and gross
- The tub will last quite a while
- Inexpensive at $10.90 for 225g
- Works really well

What I Don't Love
- Regular sands works just as well, minus the lovely smell

Final Thoughts
I really like this scrub! It's more exfoliating than LUSH's other body scrubs or exfoliators, but it's not so harsh that I cringe while using it. It's easy to use, the scent is lovely, and you can mix it up with your own body wash to make it smell even nicer! It is $10.90 for a pot of sand, and in all honesty a jar of sand from your local beach will work just as well. If you would like a sand scrub that smells delicious and want to join the fight against Seabed Mining, then grab a pot of this gorgeous scrub! ^.^

Monday, 20 April 2015

Store Review: IBuyBeauti

Hello Princesses!

Today I'm going to be talking about the Korean Cosmetics store IBuyBeauti! I discovered this store while I was on the never ending search for the Etude House Etoinette Lipsticks, and after verifying that it was a legit store I decided to make a little purchase with them!

 Website Practicality
IBuyBeauti has quite a nice website with a great search bar and easy to create account. I really don't like unnecessary abbreviations (like choc, I HATE the abbreviation choc) so the store name IBuyBeauti looks really unpleasant to my eye. This is just for me personally though. The rest of the website is easy to navigate, add items to your cart and check out. Easy peasy.

Price Comparison
IBuyBeauti has competitive prices and quite low shipping costs, putting it firmly in the middle of most Korean Cosmetic stores I've shopped from recently. If you make a purchase over $100 you will get a further 5% off (at the moment anyway) which is pretty great too!

IBuyBeauti Rosy Tint Lips $7.30 + Shipping $1.90 = $9.20
Cosmetic Love Rosy Tint Lips $8.50 + Shipping $0.00 = $8.50
Roseroseshop Rosy Tint Lips $6.47 + Shipping $3.49 = $9.96

Shipping and Packaging
I paid $1.90 for shipping and my package took one day to be shipped. My order was shipped on the 2nd of April, and it arrived at my house on the 10th! If we exclude Easter holidays, it took an amazing 4 working days to arrive at my house in New Zealand from Korea. For $1.90. That's amazing to be quite honest! 
 My product arrived in a bubble sachet, with bubble wrap around the product. There was a fair amount of samples thrown in there too, including a full face mask! However, the face mask leaked during transit and make everything a wee bit gooey ><

Apart from the generous amounts of samples I recieved, I only purchased one product from IBuyBeauti, which is the Etude House Etoinette 2 lipstick in PK005. I really regret not buying these lipsticks in Taipei because they are pretty much all sold out online now which totally sucks!
I absolutely love the packaging of this lipstick (of course) but am resisting swatching or using it until I can hunt down the other two colours! If you know where I can find them, let me know! ^.^ 

What I Love
- Cheap Shipping
- Ridiculously fast shipping
- Well packaged products
- Regular sales and well priced products

What I Don't Love

- Free facemask leaked in the package
- Slow to stock new releases
- Not a huge amount of choice in products 

Final Thoughts
I really enjoyed shopping with IBuyBeauti! I cannot believe how quick the shipping was, and I love the little samples they included because I've never tried those products before! I would definitely recommend this store if you're looking to get something quickly and cheaply (because it's the fastest shipping yet I believe!).

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Review - Perhaps Unicorn

Hello Princesses!

Today I'm going to be talking about the Perhaps Unicorn facial massager in Rose Quartz! I've always been quite intrigued with facial massaging tools, I've been massaging my face with my fingers ever since I started using Rosehip Oil back in 2013 purely as a method to let the oil absorb better and not leave an oily residue on my skin. Before we get much further into the review, I would like to note that I am a novice at facial massage and still have a lot to learn! This review will mostly be about the tool, but I also have a short video showing how I use it.

"Our range of natural and hand crafted facial massage tools were created due to popular demand. Many massage tools are available today made of plastic and less then skin friendly materials and our friendly Neighbourhood Unicorn knew there was a better way to create the much desired toned and slim face naturally. 
All our Unicorn Facial Massagers are
Made of 100% natural gemstones
Hand-crafted and polished
Gentle on the skin
Is just heavy enough to use
Contain natural gemstone variations which makes your unicorn massage unique to you
Comes in a velvet pouch to store your massager carefully

You will not regret adding a Perhaps Unicorn massager into your skincare routine!"

"Rose quartz is referred to often as the "Love Stone." It represents unconditional love and opens the heart chakra. Rose quartz allows you to attract all types of love into your life: self-love, family, platonic, romantic, and unconditional. Rose quartz has high energy, and this strong energy can enhance love in virtually any situation.

Bringing love in to life and daily situations not only brings inner warmth, but it also lowers stress and soothes those around it. Rose quartz is a very happy and loving stone.

Each Perhaps Unicorn Massager comes in a recycled paper board box with its own protective velvet pouch so you can take your Unicorn where-ever your go." 

This little tool is absolutely gorgeous. It's pink and has unicorns on it, how could I not love it! It's also quite unique, mine has a small brown vein running through it, making it just a little imperfect, but very personal. Even though I could gush about it's cuteness for hours, it's also quite practical and well designed for the contours of the face, the rounded edges make it glide over the face nicely without any excess tugging.

This type of facial massage is called Gua Sha 刮痧 (Gwa-Sha) and is traditionally done using a tool made from a buffalo horn, jade, porcelain or stone. Gua Sha is done almost everywhere on the body and causes bruises (or sha) to appear. These bruises disappear in minutes or days depending on how ruthless the massage was, mine have never lasted more than five minutes on the face.

Gua Sha is said to make the face slimmer, help fight the signs of ageing and improve blood circulation, all by massaging the face. A properly done Gua Sha will push all the toxins in the face to the lymph nodes by the ears, and drain it out through the neck. There is a common misconception that doing Gua Sha will make your face loose weight, and this is simply not true. It does help tone the face, therefore making the face slightly slimmer, but if you don't practice facial massage regularly your face will return to the size it was before. Kind of like going to the gym regularly and then stopping.

There are only two things you will need for this massage, a massaging tool and a lubricating oil! I prefer to use Triologys Rosehip Oil because it has great anti-ageing and skin toning benefits. I've made a little demonstrative video to show you how I do my massage! ^.^
What I Love
- Super cute
- Well priced $25USD
- Really easy to use
- Well designed to fit contours of the face
- Helps tone my face (I lose 5mm)

What I Don't Love
- $15USD international shipping

Final Thoughts
I really like using my Perhaps Unicorn facial massaging tool! I love that it's cute and pink, it's easy to use and at $25USD it's well priced. The international shipping charge is pretty high, so I would really suggest doing a group order if you would like to purchase these cute little tools. This tool makes Gua Sha super easy, it tones my face and makes me feel like I'm helping the blood circulation better in my face as well as improving the overall skin tone and helping me age gracefully (although I have absolutely no proof that it's doing anything other than toning my face).
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