‘Camu Camu Brightening Serum’ Review

Camu Camu.  Ok.  Sounds exotic.  30x the Vitamin C of an orange.  Right.  But what does this actually mean, and is it any good?  Well I have been trialling this for several months now, and am pretty impressed.  I had never tried Peter Thomas Roth before, and am now curious about the rest of the range.  Prior to starting this serum, I had been regularly using a Vitamin C serum for 3 weeks, so my skin had a bit of a headstart with Vitamin C effectiveness.  Usually Vitamin C takes a few months until results can be seen.  This serum contains Vitamin C from the Amazonian Camu Camu superfruit, said to be “a highly concentrated Vitamin C with superior absorption, equalling boosted collagen production, brighter, firmer and smoother skin”.

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Price: ( $$ ) $76.95 for 50ml, available from Mecca Cosmetica and Mecca Maxima stores.

Product Plus: The nifty airtight pressure pump keeps it super fresh and dispenses enough in one pump for face and neck.

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Application:  Morning and/or night, underneath a moisturiser.  I have only been using during the day. 

Thoughts:  While it took me a few weeks to adjust, I am suitably impressed. The serum is lightweight, and quite liquid.  I couldn’t photograph it properly on my hand – it kept running off!  It has the most amazing orange scent, and absorbs into skin fairly quickly without residue or stickiness.

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One would think this makes it an ideal textured serum for anyone with oilier skin… BUT, I have combination skin, and since using this I have a lot of excess oil and shine halfway through the day.  Now, this could just be because it is super super effective at boosting collagen, which causes the excess oil production (which realistically isn’t too much extra), and therefore is a fantastic and wonderful thing that I am happy to combat with a little extra powder throughout the day.  This might not suit everyone, but I am ok with it.  I lean towards this explanation because my skin has in fact become a lot smoother, my acne scars have begun to fade and generally I have really loved the way my skin looks since starting this.  I guess if I switched to only nighttime use, I wouldn’t have this issue… but I have other things I prefer to use in the evening.  Where I don’t have acne scarring (ha! where is that?) my skintone has been very even.  I have noticed a big difference in the amount of concealer I’ve been using – YAY!

Conclusion:  Deliciously fragranced and lightweight serum ideal for those needing a brightening bump, especially in these colder months.  I do feel like my skin is also… plumper. Like that feeling baby skin has, that soft cushiony feeling.  For this reason I feel this could be a great anti-ageing serum for someone wanting the antioxidant benefits of Vitamin C.

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I would love to hear from anyone else if they have tried anything from Peter Thomas Roth, especially from the Camu Camu range.  I really liked the CC cream in the range, and think that may be in my future spoils…

Bon Appetite!

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NARS Blushes – New Favourites

There should probably be a disclaimer here to begin, that I should not be held responsible for this post because I know nothing of make-up other than I like it. With that said, I have developed a real appreciation for the wonders of a good blush.  Seeing as my face is, at the best of times, a pasty lifeless sheet, I have been in search of a few different colours to perk up my dull complexion.  My only other blush at present is MAC in Peaches, but to be honest it is anything but peachy, instead being quite pink on my skin, which is why I went in search for something new and fancy!  The two fantastic recent finds are NARS Blush in Gina and Orgasm.

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Price: ( $$ ) $45, available from Mecca Cosmetica. (Pricey, but I think this is going to last me years).

NARS Blushes. Left: Gina. Right: Orgasm.

NARS Blushes. Left: Gina. Right: Orgasm.

Application:  Gina needs barely a touch of my brush to pick up enough colour for one cheek.  Gina glides on really well and doesn’t need much effort to build the colour. Orgasm on the other hand, requires me to mash my brush into the pan in attempt to loosen just a little of the powder.  It doesn’t show on my skin very well at all.  Not sure if just unlucky… but I have to say I am a bit confused as to why everyone raves about this -_-

Thoughts:  Both these blushes are great – but for entirely different reasons.  Gina is this gorgeous, deeply peachy, tangerine matte, while Orgasm is more pink with flecks of gold shimmer.  I have always shied away from shimmer blushes – or shimmer anything – as I have firmly believed that shimmer should be reserved for my eyelids alone.  I am slowly coming around to the idea of slight shimmer on the cheeks, but for me, I just use Orgasm as a highlighter at the top of my cheekbones to get the desired effect.  Gina is the perfect tangerine for my skin, and the soft, powdery formula is a breeze to work with so it is foolproof even for a fool like me!

NARS Blushes. Left: Gina. Right: Orgasm.

NARS Blushes. Left: Gina. Right: Orgasm.

Conclusion: It is only quite recent that I learnt that make-up is in fact a lot of fun and not at all scary. What a thing to learn at 24! What I have now learnt about blush, is that if it is good quality, the colour and texture are far superior AND the product will last longer.  Gina fades during the afternoon, so it isn’t something I could wear all day into the night, but it still lasted well considering my combination skin.  Orgasm isn’t a shade I would purchase myself, but I would definitely purchase other NARS blushes. Hooray for blushes!!

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NARS is a great brand, but is owned by Shiseido. NARS themselves claim to not test on animals, but unfortunately Shiseido do. Just a little note to keep anyone who is interested informed.

Bon Appetite!

A surprisingly effective cloth facial mask!

Recently I have been lucky enough to try some wonderful cloth masks supplied to me by Larisa from Michika.  Larisa loved cloth masks so much, she created her own for when she was breastfeeding and needed something effective but gentle and easy to use.  Introducing…

MICHIKA: Complexion Synergist

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Price: ( $ ) $17.30 for packet of 5, available from the Michika website. Postage is flat rate $6.50 Australia wide.

Application:  As per a regular sheet mask, unpack and place over face, leaving for 10+ minutes.  When taking off, dab the excess serum over face and neck and allow to absorb.

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Thoughts:  Michika: Complexion Synergist is a fabulous mask.  With Green Tea extract, Vitamins C and E and Hyalauronic Acid, this mask packs a punch and is chock full of goodness.  It is a gel texture that absorbs well, doesn’t drip and is not sticky once absorbed.  If you wanted to read more about synergy, and what this means for this mask, go here.

Leaving it on for just 10 minutes leaves skin fresh, bright and plump.  I felt a slight, pleasant tingle the first few times I used this mask, which shows just how effective it is.  My skin was immediately brightened, and was definitely hydrated and refined.  The fragrance is very light and fresh so this mask is super relaxing.  With my combination skin, I didn’t have to use any moisturiser after this had absorbed, but now that it is a bit colder/drier, I could happily put a moisturiser over top before bed to ensure incredibly hydrated skin.  I *love* how simple the ingredients list is on this mask, and that the Green Tea Extract is high on the list – as this is reputed to help acne-prone skin (like mine – weeeee!!!).  I had no breakouts from this mask, and can agree that it’s great for sensitive skin (although you should always do a patch test first if you are prone to sensitivity of course).

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Conclusion:  Effective mask for brighter, hydrated skin.  Seems a little on the pricier side than what I am used to paying for sheet masks, but for the effectiveness, these would be worth it for me.  I tried this once a week, then twice a week, and prefer using it twice for better results.  A very light exfoliation could be good before using the Michika mask, but for my skin I tried not to exfoliate too much as I did feel that initial tingle.  With the Michika mask, I saw much better results than with other brightening cloth masks I have tried, so I would be very inclined to continue using them!

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Disclaimer: Michika: Complexion Synergist Mask was provided to me for consideration.  This review is my honest opinion based on my personal experience and has been in no way influenced.

Bon Appetite!

Mario Badescu ‘Healing Cream’ Review

A little while ago I reviewed the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion here, which I love, and have recently brought home the Healing Cream to match.

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Price: ( $ ) $26.95, available from Mecca Cosmetica + Mecca Maxima stores and website.

Application:  There are a few ways you could use this.  Morning or night, as a serum under moisturiser or alone.  After much trialling, I decided I usually prefer it as a patch treatment under moisturiser at night.  Only a very small amount is required as it spreads well.

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Thoughts:  At first I was skeptical this did anything, but after perseverance I have to say it does help.  The Drying Lotion tends to do just that – dry the skin out – but if you have quite a few blemishes around the same area as I do, using the Drying Lotion on all of them ends up making the skin dry and flaky.  Enter Healing Cream.  It is a reasonably thick, whipped consistency that has a very botanical and pleasant fragrance.  For my skin, it takes a little warming up and working into the skin to absorb, but after a few minutes it disappears.  I find if I use the Healing Cream for a few days it is quite effective in quickly diminishing dry patches, much faster than a regular moisturiser.  The soothing properties mean less redness, and it is supposed to help acne heal faster and with less scarring, which is always a big plus in my book!  I can’t say whether it helps scarring (as I have a lot regardless) but it does speed up the healing process.

Conclusion:  While something I often forget to use, Healing Cream is quite effective.  Oily skins may prefer to use only at night.  It would be great in winter for sensitive or drier skins, or anyone prone to flakiness or dry patches too!

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Bon Appetite!

Origins ‘GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream’ Review

I have finally finished training for my new job – which took up a lot of my time along with uni – over the last few weeks.  I’ve missed blogging!  I have a lot of treats coming up over the next few weeks and am very excited to get back into it.  Now for my first trick… Origins GinZing Eye Cream!  I luuurve me a good eye cream.  It’s said to be the first place to show signs of ageing, plus the eyes are always a dead giveaway of tiredness or too much partying.

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Price: ( $$ ) $45, available from Mecca Cosmetica + Mecca Maxima stores and website.

Product Plus:  Immediate brightening and puff-reducing effect.

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Application:  After cleansing and before make-up, gently dab small amount around eye area where you feel the bone. Recommended only for morning/day application (6 month expiry date comes in handy here!).

Thoughts:  This is a fabulous eye cream – light in texture and easily absorbed means no waiting to put make-up on. This smooths out any finer dehydration lines under my eyes and has an immediate brightening effect on my dark circles which has improved even more with regular use.  I do feel like my eyes are less puffy too but that wasn’t such a concern for me so I can’t be too sure.  My love for GinZing lies in the texture, because it is light and I do prefer something richer at night.  It is not recommended for evening use, I assume because of the mica particles.  Good, because I felt a bit odd about putting something on overnight with mica in it.  Seemed a little redundant to me?

The texture is not so light that it doesn’t effectively combat my tired-dry eye issue by the end of the day – which is great as my eyes are kept looking fresh and moisturised all day.  I love this cream as a base under make-up as it absorbs instantly and does boost the brightness.  I love that this has anti-oxidant power and also boosts microcirculation with the caffeine and Panax Ginseng, but GinZing isn’t necessarily an anti-ageing eye cream.  I would say it’s more preventative than reparative.

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Conclusion:  GinZing is a winner for me.  Effective and easy to use – perfect!  And look at that bottom-centre photo there: the ‘formulated without’ list is incredibly cool.

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I am a little obsessed with eye creams, what are some of your favourites?

Bon Appetite!

REN ‘Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask’ Review

Where do I even begin?  This mask is IN-CRED-I-BLE.  Everything from the fragrance to the feel is spot on with this product, so below is my review to see if this mask would be right for you.

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Price: ( $$ ) $66, from Mecca Cosmetica stores and website.

Score: ♥♥♥♥♥

Product Plus:  REN is an ethical  and clean skincare brand, boasting no mineral oil, parabens or other horrible ingredients – hooray!

Application:  After cleansing skin, smooth a thin layer over face and leave for 10 minutes.  Pat into skin and give a little massage, then wash off with lukewarm water.

Thoughts:  I really don’t know where to begin.  The Radiance Renewal Mask is an absolute delight to use.  It is so sensorial, and literally feels like you have smoothed sweet orange marmalade over you face, with positive results at the end!  The fragrance is delicious and the gel is easy to spread without being overly sticky.  While on my face, I could feel a slight tingle – meaning the fruit acid complex is doing its exfoliating job.  Sometimes I have felt more of a tingle than others, but I do like that feeling.  While on, this mask gently exfoliates away dead skin and impurities, and after washed away skin is so baby soft and fresh.  I definitely wouldn’t use this on a sensitive skin, but on others, once a week should definitely do the trick.  On my combination skin this is perfection, and I only use my regular moisturiser before going to bed.  I really love that this Mask keeps the balance in my skin so well, no extra oil and no dryness – such a plus!

This is supposed to be great for brightening, tightening and smoothing fine lines, and apparently is great for acne affected skin.  I would agree, because I find acne can get irritated by a regular granular scrub, whereas this Mask is much more gentle.  I have left it on longer than the recommended 10 minutes, just to check… and I have to say I really think 10 minutes would be enough for most people.  Ace, because such a quick treatment.  The other great point on this product that I have to rave about is the packaging itself.   It comes with an enclosed cloth, used for taking the mask off.  But that’s not even the best part, because the packaging is an air pump, meaning that air pushes the product up each time you use it so absolutely nothing is leftover in the container.  Fantastic!

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Conclusion:  I did feel an immediate result with the Radiance Renewal Mask.  After just a few weeks of use, I can definitely see how continuing will really help improve overall skin quality and appearance.  Being such a scrumptiously scented product has really convinced me to continue using this and I would definitely repurchase.

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This my first product from the REN Clean Skincare range – any thoughts on other products that this would go well with?

Bon Appetite!

Origins ‘Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask’ Review

Happy Easter all!  I hope everyone has had a fantastic long weekend and got to nibble on a little bit of yummy chocolate today.

Origins is a brand I have only recently familiarised myself with, and I have to say I am quite pleased with their brand ethos, which includes formulations without parabens, pthlalates, mineral oil and other nasties, as well as positive commitment to the environment.  It has been a very long time since I have used any kind of clay mask, so I was very excited about this product!

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Price: $34, available from Mecca Cosmetica.

Product Plus:  Activated charcoal draws out impurities while Lecithin dissolves them.

Application:   Create a smooth even layer over face and leave until dry to wash off.  (Approximately 20 minutes).

Fragrance:  Quite a light fragrance; a really light charcoal scent which is not overpowering.

Thoughts:  I wouldn’t use for particularly dry or sensitive skins, and wouldn’t overuse in winter for normal skins.  The mask is a creamy, thick consistency that is easily spreadable into an even covering and doesn’t drip.  Once applied the fragrance is pleasant and not too strong as it does take a good 20 minutes to dry properly. You want to see cracking!  It felt very calming while on.  White China Clay is soothing as well as ideal for drawing out impurities and assisting with oil control.  Active Charcoal is on board with this also, and is reputed to clean skin deeply with added benefits for acne.

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It was a bit of a pain to wash off the whole face and after this my skin felt rather raw from having to wash for so long (like, a good 5 minutes!).  Once off though, the skin looks firmer, tighter and refined. I had a little redness where I had to really give it a good scrub to get it off but overall a really clarified and even tone was left.  The problem for me was that this caused quite a breakout in my skin a couple of days after use.  It was to be expected, but it is something for those prone to breakouts to be aware of.

Conclusion:  I have mostly used it at a time where I had a few breakouts anyway, but many of these times it drew many more breakouts to the surface.  Clear Improvement Mask is a really good way to cleanse your skin particularly if it is oily and I really did enjoy the soothing effect it had the day after use.  For skin that can handle it, a weekly use could have amazing clarifying effects.  You could pop on an overnight hydrating mask afterwards if you find clay masks too drying for your skin type, or even just restrict use to the t-zone to help clear out those pores if you have problems with blackheads.  I think I will be using this every couple of weeks to really give my skin a great cleanse, so luckily this mask has a 24 month expiry period!

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Disclosure: Origins are a brand owned by the Estée Lauder Companies, so while Origins as a brand is cruelty free, their parent company tests on animals when required by law (ie. to sell in China).  I purchased this product myself.

Another Origins product, the No Puffery Cooling Mask For Puffy Eyes, has now been added to my wishlist!  Spending so much time studying and in front of a computer always leaves my eyes puffy and tired.  Looking forward to trying this one soon!

What Origins products have you tried?

Bon Appetite!