The really, really Perfect Lipstick…..Guerlain

OK – This post really is about the lipstick I have decided is really perfect.

And where have we been you’re probably wondering.  Did Katherine get lost in Mecca Cosmetica in Sydney, or, and even more likely, did Sue duck into Sephora on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées never to be seen again.

 

No, not lost, just crazy busy and distracted by other things, including a trip to see Revita from The Perfume Girl get married in England.

 

But I have so much to tell you and I promise to share it over the next few weeks.

 

But back to the lipstick.  As well as spending time in England, I had two wonderful and romantic weeks in Paris with the love of my life, who’s spend on male products was nearly equalling mine.  We took advantage of the more reasonable prices in the northern hemisphere.

 

 

In Paris there were beautiful, stand alone, Guerlain shops everywhere.  And I have a friend who once brought out her beautiful Guerlain lipstick when we were out at lunch, and I have lusted after it ever since.  So I had to treat myself to a Rouge G De Guerlain Jewel Lipstick Compact and a matching Lip Liner.

 

 

Not only is the case a beautiful lipstick holder complete with mirror, but it comes in a velour pouch.  And that beauty is all before you actually try the product itself.  Which is luxury in a lipstick.  But Guerlain make it sound so much better than I can:

 

A jewel lipstick compact with a white gold shimmer designed by Lorenz Bäumer, the young and talented jeweller in Place Vendôme. A horizontal design with feminine curves that houses a secret: a mirror automatically appears when the compact is opened. The lipstick has a pure elegant, contemporary design, and closes magnetically. This exceptional object boasts a comprehensive, premium formula containing a star ingredient: ruby powder, which acts as an opticalwhitener to bring out the colour and shine of the shades. The blend of natural active ingredients (Tiger Grass, wild mango butter, Gugul resin, used in Ayurvedic medicine) complete the formula to plump up, smooth and bring moisture and softness to your lips. Available in 25 shades.

 

It was a real treat – because in Australia you have to part with a whopping $70 for one.  But believe you me – you’ll never regret the purchase – and you can always say ‘What this old lipstick….I’ve had it forever!”

 

 

 

 

Lip of the week – Clinique High Impact Lip Colour SPF 15

This one is a bit of a cheat.  This wonderful lipstick was a freebie in a 2012 GWP.  It's a High Impact Lip Colour (SPF15) in Nearly Violet.  But I love it and thought you needed to know (especially because of the SPF).

And although it is a fairly light, nudey kind of hue, it lasts really well, feels great on, and I've been stuck on it all week!!

FYI – Clinique lipsticks in this green plastic casing are GWP – the real ones look like this.

Have you tried a Clinique High Impact Lip Colour? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below if you're a fan (or not!).

 

DMK Enzyme Treatment – The Laser Lounge, Morningside

Last week I was treated to a wonderful treatment at the new The Laser Lounge at Morningside in Brisbane.  As its name suggests, The Laser Lounge is a boutique laser clinic, specialising in laser hair removal, skin rejuvenation and non-surgical cosmetic enhancements.

There are now 5 of these in Australia – Castle Hill and the CBD in Sydney, Paddington and Morningside in Brisbane, and West Lakes in Adelaide.  The menu of services offered is very vast and you really need to check out the website to view them all, learn a little, and understand how safe and non-invasive they are.  http://www.thelaserlounge.com.au/  I am certainly excited about some of the other services which I am eager to try – probably starting with laser hair reduction and skin tightening.

The service I was treated to was a DMK Enzyme Therapy treatment.  The DMK range is made up of botanical-based paramedical products.  Using the principles of biochemistry, they are formulated to educate skin to perform like youthful healthy skin. DMK works on a revolutionary concept of REMOVE, REBUILD, PROTECT, and MAINTAIN and aims to match an individual’s biochemistry with the appropriate skin therapy. I know this sounds like a lot of science, but I really feel this treatment lived up to its promises and after one treatment I can see the benefit of it being part of my regular body maintenance plan.

DMK products

So the visit to the salon started with me filling in a questionnaire to help the lovely Esther to know a little about my lifestyle, skin concerns, medications, etc.  She then closely inspected my face to see for herself what was going on, then thoroughly cleansed before starting the treatment.  To say this treatment was unusual is an understatement.  To begin with, the product is painted onto face, neck and decolletage.  It's cold and thick and very white and begins to harden quite quickly. (Photo below is the model for the opening of the Morningside salon – see the tightening effect on the neck.)

Now when I say harden, I don't mean like a normal face mask.  I mean like plaster of paris.  I mean like concrete.  And it tingles a little, and pulsates a little.  But to take my mind off it, Esther treats me to a wonderful head massage followed by a hand and arm massage.  And I've left the mortal world and floated off into a place where I have no cares nor woes!!

The pulsating is an important part of the treatment.  It is bringing the blood to the surface, geting the circulation moving and helping to strengthen the cell walls.  The rock hardness wasn't just in my imagination.  When it was time to remove it I realised that this was quite a process – but still relaxing.  Then Esther applied a range of DMK products that were specifically chosen for my particular skin type, and she massaged them in using a herbal and mineral mist – literally pushing them into my skin.  When she gave me a hand mirror to see the results I was blown away.  I could see some of the veins in my face, neck and temples.  The texture was clearer and the colour brighter.  And there was the mottling effect (called plasma) which is good apparently, showing that the treatment did its job.  It shows good skin condition and fades quite quickly.

As I run out of products I will replace them with DMK.  I have spent a lot of money over the decades on my face – sticking with well known brands, trialling cheaper products and mixing and matching as the mood has taken me.  But I believe what I have experienced here is a different product.  One that evades the fancy packaging and the glossy department store counters.  DMK products are paramedical and transdermal.

Paramedical – You’re average facial and cosmetic product will most commonly only work topically on the skin whereas ‘paramedical’ treatments work to revise the functioning of the skin by regulating dysfunctions that cause the skin to look as it does, therefore instigating better skin functioning.  If you think of the skin as a factory – working too slow (ageing) or too fast (acne) we assess the underlying issues with the aim of encouraging the factory to work at its best at all levels.  Paramedical does not focus on a condition it aims to encourage skin to work at its full capacity.

Transdermal means that the products penetrate in to the voids of the skin where ingredients can be stored. The body can then uptake these ingredients naturally through slow release.

I got a home prescription for DMK products that would be good for me to use into the future – but there was no hard sell, no obligation to buy. 

But I did purchase some things to start my journey to great skin.  I am currently starting from the inside with efa+ (a capsule of essential fatty acids that improving the strength of the cell membrane).  And on the outside I'm looking after my eyes with Eye Tone (targets dark circles, puffy bags and fine lines) and priming using the Crème Glacé (completely covers fine lines and wrinkles, helps makeup last for hours and creates a flawless finish that lasts all day).


I've had a lot of facials in my life – but this was the first one that has really made me think of the health of my skin and changed my opinion about the efficacy of the products I have been using.  What does your face reveal about you?

Great beauty week…..

My past week has been a really exciting beauty week

Started off the week by deciding that my hair colour was really too dark, so I visited Nico – my wonderful hairdresser for the past decade – for some very blonde foils.  I'm not so good on the selfies, but hope that this gives you some idea (of the hair colour – not my photography prowess). 

On Tuesday I did a Priceline run, and came home with the haul below of Nude by Nature products.  

Total cost – $19.95 for the Pore Refining toner, $29.95 for the 24 hour Anti-Aging Moisturiser and $2.50 for the little hand cream to take me over the $50 mark to claim the other three products as a GWP.  Inside the gift bag were a 50ml Natural Tinted Mineral Moisturiser, 4g Virgin Blush and a 20ml Nature's Soothing Eye Cream. 

Since trying the BB Cream, I've been impressed with Nude – a company that claims to take the concept of minerals to the next level, taking out the bismuth that can irritate sensitive skin and appear cakey on the skin.  Nude claims to leave only the ingredients that help to create the perfect, flawless, airbrushed complexion, NATURALLY!

 

Then on Thursday night I went to the opening of The Laser Lounge in Morningside, Queensland.  This is the fifth Australian salon for sisters and co-founders Gita Coorey and Bita Beyzaee  – two in Sydney that Katherine has written about before, Paddington in Brisbane, a recent opening in Adelaide, and now our second one in Brisbane.  

The Laser Lounge is a boutique laser clinic, specialising in laser hair removal, skin rejuvenation and non-surgical cosmetic enhancements.

The night began with a Danne-Montague-King (DMK) Enzyme Therapy Treatment demonstration.  Then Tamara from Palomar gave a presentation on the latest news and technologies in laser hair reduction, focusing on the launch of Australia’s first Palomar Vectus Laser at The Laser Lounge, Morningside. 

For more on the great night click here. I think I will be indulging in many of the great treatments offered by The Laser Lounge.  Who doesn't want great skin, and a hairless body?!!

I am going on Tuesday for a DMK treatment and will post you more on this later in the week.

And on Friday, after a big lunch, I went to have my fortnightly nail gelling.  Sue is a fabulous nail artist, who's creative talents until now have been wasted on me.  Here is a sample of some of The Nail Den work on others more brave than myself, from their Facebook page.

But on Friday Sue got me after I'd had a couple or three drinks.  And I came out nail arted – sort of like when people drink too much then go and get a tattoo – but mine is not so permanent!!

What do you think though?  I think they are very pretty – subtle – and not too over the top……..

Topped the week off by having someone tell me on Friday night that they thought I looked just like Quentin Bryce.  Quite a compliment!!  Especially in the week of International Women's Day, and our Governor-General is such a beautiful and inspirational Australian woman.  (Personally I think it is just that we have similar hair styles – she's far classier than me, a fair bit older and much slimmer).  Would you have been flattered or offended?

So, did you have any great beauty insights this week?

Lust have it! February 2013

 

There were plenty of Facebook teasers creating huge anticipation for this month (last month – February, that is).  The new packaging boxes that had been introduced in January were too small to take the full-sized products that companies vying for space in the pack were supplying.  So, every day like a child at Christmas, I was stalking the post man waiting for my treats.

And when it arrived I realised that some months it’s a great delight, and some months one is going to be disappointed.  And it’s never going to be the same for everyone, because we are all so different.  January was the month that sang for me, and February, not so much.

  1. Lancome Hypnose Star Show-Stopping Volume Mascara 6.5ml RRP $52 (Sample size in pack)

I used Hypnose for many years, and loved it.  This particular one differs in that it has a dual-sided brush to leave your lashes volumised and curled.  Hypnose mascara enhances your lashes with its liner effect to appear thick at the lashline whilst long and luscious through the tips.  I'm actually finding the unusual brush very easy to use, and Hypnose really is a great mascara!

  1. Summer Tan by Mancine – Self Action Tan – Dark 250ml RRP $29.95  (Full size)  Dark, I ask you?  Dark?

Unfortunately this was one of the full sized products that forced the plain packaging, and was a disappointment to me.  I will never try self tanning.  Too many things can go wrong, but I’m sure many recipients were thrilled to receive this.  The Lust have it! site has a great video tutorial though, and I wish I could be convinced that it is as easy to apply as they make it seem.

In the company’s defence though, Mancine is an Australian company that has developed a name for itself worldwide, believing in organics, natural products and the environment, and it does not test on animals.

  1. The Natural Source Camouflage Colour Nail Lacquer  12ml RRP $9.99

Nail enamel that is as ‘natural and pure as modern technology allows’.  Derived from sand and horsetail plant!!??  Cute bottle, as you can see.  But can you see the colour?  Bottle green – or as I would call it – school uniform green.  But Katherine loves green and is young enough to get away with this – so south to Sydney it will go.

  1. Kevin Murphy Born Again Masque  250ml RRP $49.95

This is a sample sachet containing a treatment to soften and moisturise hair and will be put to the test once the crazy rain in SEQ has stopped.  This contains agents derived from Olive Leaf and Shea Butter to make hair feel ‘Born Again’.  I’ll let you know……

  1. LonVitalite C10 Crystal Whitening & Moisturising Hand Mask  1 pair RRP $4.50

I’ll do a separate post on this product, because I am a bit excited about it.  Always a believer that the hands give away a lot about people, this product claims to even the pigment in age spots and blemishes.  So we’ll see.  A previous pack delivered a LonVitalite face mask, and it was a very pleasant experience, so I’m sure the hand mask will live up to the company’s reputation.

Now that I’ve shared the contents of the box with you, I must say I’m not as disappointed as I was when I first received it.  Maybe I can launch into Autumn with a deep, fake tan?  Dare me?

Lip of the Week: L’Oréal Colour Riche

I hear you – we've done L’Oréal Colour Riche before.  But there is 'Color Riche' and there is 'Colour Riche' and this one, the newest to my collection, is Intense Lipcolour.  And I love that even if the product itself doesn't have a 'u' in its 'colour' – the .com.au website does!

L’Oréal promotes the benefits of this product as  ' … easy to wear intense colours… for intense seduction!' and claims that it has designed new intense lip shades to bring out the best in every woman!  AND it's true. 

My colour is 294 Burning Sunset.  For well over a year now I've worn a lot of orange – both summer and winter.  I now have a lot of pieces in my wardrobe that I wear with tans or black and white.  And Burning Sunset is such a wonderful colour it goes with them all.  The gold shimmer through the deep sunset orange matches it to many colours, and gives my lips a shine that is intense!

I love the colour, I love the texture, and I love the look.  Very intense and very affordable.  Could you wear this colour?

Nail Art Experiments

I have been seeing some INCREDIBLE nails around the beauty blogosphere lately – special mention to LabMuffin, Nail Romance,  So Nailicious and the queen of nail art, Zooey Deschanel – and decided I needed to step up my game a bit.

Can I just start by saying that DIY nail art is HARD. How do you get straight lines? How do you you do your right hand if you're a righty? How do you make every nail look as identical as possible (if that's what you're going for)? All questions I am yet to answer and probably won't be able to help you with (I suggest you ask the aforementioned experts).

All the same, here are some experiments I've tried out lately.

The last one is washi tape that I cut to the shape of my nail and then put a clear polish over. It worked surprisingly well for paper tape (I had just had a shower before taking this photo). I believe that is a tip for you, there you go, this post wasn't COMPLETELY unhelpful after all.

Are you game to art it up? Do you have any specialties or tips you'd like to share? Go on, tell me your secrets in the comments below!

nude by nature BB Cream and Mineral Finishing Veil

Back in October last year I told you about how I was totally impressed with the introduction of BB Creams into my beauty regime.  And as more and more companies are bringing out their own (and I hear the newest is a CC Cream – who'd have thought??) I've been watching out to see which was the next one I would try.  CC cream, also known as Color Control cream, is an improved and refined BB cream created and developed in Korea (thanks Wikipedia!!).  Stay posted – we'll be reviewing that one when we can.

The BB creams I have tried are all very different in their coverage, shades and dryness -vs- oiliness and I think you should try them based on research and product reviews, until you find the best one for you. 

Last month the lovely elves at Lust Have It! included a full sized Nude by Nature BB 5-in-1 Miracle Cream – and it is truely amazing.  Fortunately mine was in Medium shade, which suits my complexion perfectly.  But for the girls who received a shade too light or too dark, the company has filmed a tutorial video on how to use the shade to contour and highlight which will be available soon at Lust Have It! (check out some of the great tutorials they have on the site, as well as the videos).

I love the coverage that this gives me.  After using the L'Oreal, Palmers and Garner products interchangably for about 6 months now, either alone or under foundation, I really feel that the Nude product needs nothing on top.  It is fantastic in the Queensland humidity, as it is a better coverage than the others, and is not at all greasy.

Then yesterday I was with my wonderful sister-in-law (she is perfecting my eyebrows one hair at a time – a WIP that I will post about when we have reached our goal) and she asked me what loose powder I was using, as she is in love with the Nude Mineral Finishing Veil. So of course I'l have to try that now!

Friends – these are very affordable products, and I am looking forward to trying some of the others in their vast range. The company claims that in taking the concept of minerals to the next level they "took out the bismuth, that can irritate sensitive skin and appear cakey on the skin, and left only the ingredients that help to create the perfect, flawless, airbrushed complexion, NATURALLY!" I agree that the BB cream makes my skin look much better and I would strongly recommend Nude if you want a high quality, mineral product, at a chemist/supermarket price.

BB 5-in-1 Miracle Cream 50ml $19.95

Mineral Finishing Veil 12g $39.95

 

Lust Have It! January 2013

Well, it’s a new year and the Lust Have It! crew really knew how to launch the year with a new look.  Gone are the coloured satin purses from 2012, and my January pack came in a very pretty box, and it was a delight to open it to reveal the treasures inside.  I can also reuse it to keep all sorts of pretty things in.

New Lust have it! ackaging box

The beginning of the new year usually sees people making resolutions and setting goals for the year, and I must have done it unintentionally as 2 of the things in the pack for January were on my Wish List.  (Katherine is a very focused goal setter.  Me … I often just put stuff out there and the universe seems willing to send it to me!)

  1. Open box with 7 beauty productsLush Cosmetics Emotional Brilliance Makeup. RRP $24.95.  My product is a beautiful eye colour in Sophisticated (a rose/tan/golden colour) and applies beautifully.  But do yourself a favour – go to www.lush.com.au and play the Emotional Brilliance ‘Spin the Colour Wheel’ game.
  1. Nude by Nature BB 5-in-1 Miracle Cream 50ml RRP $19.95.  This is the first of the products I had been lusting over.  LHI! says it hydrates, corrects, perfects, protects and gives you skin natural radiance in one lightweight application.    It is perfect for the most humid of Queensland days!  It needs no foundation on top, and stays beautifully matt all day.
  1. Lust have it! Kabuki Brush $19.95.  Eco-friendly synthetic brush that can be used wet or dry to apply base, bronzer or blush.  It is beautiful, and the second of the products that was on my list to go and buy.  I haven’t used it wet, but it’s great for powder.
  1. Klorane Shampoo and Conditioner 200/150ml RRP $9.95 samples.  Haven’t used these yet, but the promise of pomegranate and mango butter infusion, specifically for colour-treated hair, means they won’t sit in their packaging for long.
  1. Avene Cleanance Skin Range RRP from $24.95.  Straight from France – trio of gel cleanser, cream exfoliant and anti-shine moisturiser for sensitive skin.  I think maybe this set should be sent to the sensitive skin member of TPL partnership to try – what do you think?

The LHI! team are also showing videos on how to use the products in the box.  If you’re like me and love to watch this ‘how to’ stuff, go to Youtube.com/Lusthaveit or www.Lusthaveit.com.au/videos

Beauty products fro Lust have it! January 2013

Watching the letter box already for the February pack…

Suigo Natural Infused Hair Spa Treatment at Tres Jolie

Recently I won a giveaway on The Plastic Diaries for a Suigo Natural Infused Hair Spa Treatment and with really no idea what exactly that was, I headed to Tres Jolie in Lane Cove this week to try it out.

Let me start by saying that, as soon as I walked in the door, I felt like I was being greated by friends. The ladies as Tres Jolie were absolutely delightful and although the salon is quite tiny, it is pretty cute and seemingly encrusted with sparkly jewels (and by that I mean, there are displays with lovely sparkly jewellery all around the salon!). Alongside the regular cut and colour services, Tres Jolie offers the spa treatment, mineral make up services, and a host of other beauty related bits and pieces.

One thing Tres Jolie really emphasises is their dedication to using nautral products – from the make up and styling products, right down to the ammonia-free hair dyes.

The Suigo Spa Treatment was just that, a real treat. Firstly, Elaine, my hair specialist inspected my hair and scalp to determine which treatment would be best for me. She explained that there were three to choose from:

The Rose Energy Spa -  best suited for weak, dry, or chemically damaged hair and scalp. It nourishes and strengthens the hair follicle, imporves hair scalp immune function and hair's natural moisturising capability to restore smoothness and shine.

The Tea Tree Energy Hair Spa – for dandruff and oil build ups to  balance the hair scalp PH value and eliminate dandruff and gently clean the hair and scalp.

The Lavender Repair Energy Spa -  suitable for dry, dull, and lifeless hair from stress and poor sleep. It strengthens hair and restores the moisture balance content of the hair leaving it healthy, shiny, and nourished.

Elaine decided the Rose Spa was best for me and it sounded exactly like what I needed!

Next she took me to the basin to wash my hair with the Rose Affable Gentle Shampoo and Conditioner. She massaged Rose Scalp Recuperation Lotion into my scalp and then applied the Rose Energy Hair Treatment.

I moved back to my seat as Elaine made me a pot of the most delicious herbal tea with rose, coconut, and apple. I'm pretty sure that was one of the best herbal teas I've ever tried!

While I sipped my tea, she turned a steam machine onto my head to allow the treatment to really get into my hair and scalp and then she used Rose Essential OIl to massage my neck. Usually I find rose to be far too strong for my little lungs to handle, but the tea, the steam and the rose oil just made me feel so relaxed and rejuvenated.

After the much needed massage, Elaine washed out the treatment and applied the Rose Smooth Flowers Spray before offering me a complimentary blow dry – what a treat!

Personally, I am very nervous about new hair dressers. My hair dresser lives in another state and after years of hair cut disasters, I'm hesitant to go anywhere else – this often means my hair is long overdue for a cut and colour. The good thing about the spa treatment is that I, not only, felt relaxed and rejuvenated after – like I'd just been to a proper spa – my hair feels like it's been given the boost it needed to carry me through to my next cut.

At $55, the Suigo Natural Infused Hair Spa Treatment is one I will definitely be trying again. My hair smells like I've literally been lying in a bed of roses! Plus it looks so shiny, feels healthier, and smells divine. After just one treatment!

The ladies at Tres Jolie were wonderful and I look forward to going back to see them again.

Have you tried a Suigo Natural Hair Spa Treatment?

UPDATE: The lovely ladies at Tres Jolie, Lane Cove are offering our readers a complimentary blow dry with any Suigo Natural Infused Hair Spa! Just tell them we sent you!

Let me know in the comments below what you think or if you want to try it after reading more about it.