A review: Bottega Organica Illuminate Eye Contour Cream

19 Jan

In 2016, I signed up to the Beauty Heroes subscription box recommended to me by a cousin. It’s a higher end organic subscription that, every month, sends out a full-sized product along with a sample or two from the same brand. I’ve only had the subscription for six months and I’ve already been impressed with what I’ve got.


The September box was the Bottega Organica Illuminate Eye Contour Cream, and I’ve literally just scraped the last remnants out, so thought it was time to tell you about it. It retails for a whopping $145-ish USD although I can’t seem to find it on the Bottega Organica website at the moment(?). Combine the price and the fact that it only has a shelf life of two months unless you keep it in the fridge and you have a pretty expensive skincare item on your hands… well, eyes. Let’s all just take a moment and let that sink in…

The list of ingredients isn’t extensive, but it’s potent. I’d recommend having a look at their website to see what they’re all about–small batch processing and really good, pure, organic ingredients. That goes a way to explaining why their products are on the more pricey end of the scale.


I’ve been using the $100 Pure Caffeine Eye Cream for months now and I love it. It hydrates, de-puffs and doesn’t make my eye area feel tight. It is also a very budget-friendly purchase at around $45AUD for 30mL, not the usual 8-15mL you usually get for eye creams. Big bang for your buck. I’ve been on the search for the eye cream to end all eye creams for a couple of years now, and the 100% Pure one is the closest I’ve found. The question is, has the Bottega Organica one taken first place?

The instructions say to use a pea-sized amount morning and night after cleansing. I don’t know what kind of peas they’re growing in the US, but I found that to be way too much product for me. I’d say I used more like a fat grain of rice-sized amount(good with my ‘technical’ terms, huh?), which seemed plenty for both eyes, patting and smoothing underneath the eyes and around the orbital bone.

This has an interesting consistency, and would be how I imagine the Kiehl’s Avocado Eye Cream to be from what I’ve heard. It is balmy until you start working it into the skin and then it turns into this strangely (in a good way!) watery consistency that soaks into the skin. It is extremely hydrating and hasn’t left me wanting for more moisture after using it. In fact, it is so hydrating that the one morning I tried it out, it made my mascara smudgy. I ended up saving it for my evening skincare regimen. I kept it in the fridge to prolong its shelf life and, since it’s warmer here (read a bajillion degrees this Summer), it’s been especially refreshing putting this on in the evening.


I’m only 28 and I don’t exactly have crow’s feet or wrinkles yet although I am starting to notice a little ageing around the old eye area. I’ve decided that my using this was more of an age preventative measure rather that my having to combat the signs of ageing later on in life.

Genetics have a lot to do with how your under eyes look anyway–things like discolouration, sagging, puffiness. I am a puffy-eyed person. If I wake up tired or with a headache, my eyes are a dead giveaway. However, since using this, in the mornings I don’t seem as puffy (apart from dreaded headache days) and my eyes aren’t dry or crepe-y in any way. It’s pretty amazing.

In the past I’ve been somewhat underwhelmed by eye creams, but this one has been a pleasant surprise. I just don’t know whether I want to fork out so much money every few months for an eye cream. I’m all for investing in skincare, allowing for more expensive items if my budget allows, but where does one draw the line? I guess seeing as I can’t figure out where to buy it at the moment, that choice has been taken out of my hands for now. We’ll just see how much I miss it now that I don’t have any left.

I suspect it will be a lot.

Thanks, Beauty Heroes*, for introducing me to this product.

*referral link


Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

31 Dec

Well, I think it goes without saying that 2016 sucked… a lot. Both on a global scale and personally, this year has had more than its fair share of sh*t happen.

So, as I sit here on my lounge room floor in what can only loosely be described as pyjamas–it’s just a singlet and undies, it’s so hot–hogging a fan and using a face mask, I thought I would say goodbye to 2016… Maybe even flip it the bird.

Long story short, seeing as I can’t actually remember a lot of what’s happened, it’s such a blur, the “highlights” would probably be that I had to move house twice this year and I nearly had a nervous breakdown. According to last year’s post, my mantra for the year was “this too shall pass” and that’s exactly what I’ve had to keep telling myself throughout 2016 as well.

Enough with what sucked. I did actually have some good news this year. Despite still having ovarian cysts, they’re currently not troublesome enough to warrant more surgery or a change in hormonal treatment for a while. Hooray! Also, spending time with my niece and nephews has brought me an endless amount of joy. Those kids are real treasures. Oh, and I dyed my hair bright red. That perked me up no end.


I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions as I inevitably break them. Last year I think I’d decided that I’d try to be more sociable and exercise more. Since my yoga class got cancelled around Easter, I haven’t really kept up with any regular exercise. I’ve dabbled a little in some pilates, and I have a friend that has guilted me into going on a few walks with her. I’ve also caught up with some old friends that I hadn’t seen in years. It felt good.

I’m not naive enough to think that the clock striking at midnight tonight will magically fix my problems or give me all the motivation to change everything. However, the New Year is a symbol of starting fresh and that’s how I will try to reset my mind frame. Starting with improving on my 2016 goals. Exercise is good for your mental health, and I’ve noticed that my body is getting a little more squidgy as I get older. And getting out and socialising (hard for an introvert) will help me to get out of my own head too. Something needs to change, and nothing will change if I’m not proactive. They seem like reasonable goals, right?

I don’t think I’ve been particularly coherent in this post, but I hope you get the gist.

2017, let’s hope for a bigger, brighter, happier year ahead.


Happy New Year!

A review: Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Miracle Cleanser

12 Dec

We all know I’m a sucker for cleansers by now and also have little self control when it comes to online shopping. I keep making pacts with myself not to make any unnecessary purchases and that I should finish up what I have before purchasing something new. But I don’t keep my promises to myself.

Enter, the Aurelia Miracle Cleanser. Once again, it was the British Beauty Bloggers that got me intrigued about this. Shortly before I moved for the second time this year, I partook in a little retail therapy and purchased this along with many other items that I didn’t necessarily need, but definitely wanted.


It’s touted as being formulated with 100% BioOrganic ingredients,and contains no parabens, mineral oil, synthetic fragrances and the like. It smells slightly herbal thanks to the eucalyptus, chamomile, rosemary and bergamot in it. Just the kind of herbal scent I like. It is supposed to be anti-aging and promote a healthy, dewy complexion whilst also cleansing the skin of impurities. With all of those claims, it’s no wonder that it’s been called the Miracle Cleanser!

From the first try I was impressed. I’ve used the Kate Somerville Goat Milk cleanser lately and it failed to knock my socks off with its formula’s tendency to kind of separate into both liquid and balm. This, however, left me wanting to wash my face all over again purely for the joy I felt massaging this all over my face. I know, my life is a bit sad when I consider washing my face to be the highlight of my day. I wouldn’t call it a balm cleanser, but it is more of a thick cream. While it doesn’t strip the skin of all its moisture leaving a scaly mess behind, I would say that drier skins possibly wouldn’t get along with it so much. Even I, with my greasy face, tend to feel the need to moisturise afterwards. It really feels like it’s purified my skin.

This cleanser came in a pot, which isn’t my favourite kind of packaging. I get a bit grossed out having to stick my fingers into pots. I much prefer tubes, but that’s just a personal preference.


In the evenings, as per my usual routine, I’ll scoop out a decent-sized blob of this and massage it into my dry face. People who wear heavier makeup than the small amount of mineral powder that I use would probably want to remove their makeup first and then use this as their ‘second cleanse’. I find this works sufficiently well to remove the small amount of powder and blush I use. Then I hop into the shower and rinse it off. Sometimes I just let it be and other times I’ll do a second cleanse with a simple cleanser just to get any remnants off.

I don’t know if I’d say it did totally miraculous things to my complexion. For the most part my skin behaves itself except when my hormones go a little haywire and I don’t eat the best foods. But, I do have fairly sensitive skin and this has kept everything in check. It feels very soothing while also purifying–the best of both worlds. And, as I said before, while I still feel the need to moisturise my skin after using it, it’s not like my skin is parched. I would say it’s a slightly more luxurious version of the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser, which I haven’t used for years, but have fond memories of.

My problem now is that I’m not exactly sure how much I paid for this, seeing as I bought it from a British website called Naturisimo and I have very little understanding of what the current exchange rate is and whether or not I had to pay tax on it. It’s definitely not a cheap product, so what I would call an investment skincare item. You can buy it at Cult Beauty here for £38 (minus sales tax if you’re outside the UK) and they also now have a super-sized option in a bottle with a pump(!) here.

A review: Fixaderm

11 Nov

I’ve had this strange rash on my legs and crappy lips for the past few months and for ages it seemed like nothing would make it better. On my lips I tried cold sore cream, tea tree oil, a lip mask (basically thick lip balm), calendula ointment, l-lysine lip balm, new lip balm. Basically I felt like I’d tried all the things but my lips were still crap and extremely sensitive. The rash on my legs spread and the only thing that seemed to stop it getting out of control was a mild steroid cream.


When it first started I thought I’d brewed a cold sore but a sore never actually appeared. Then I thought I’d developed an allergy to my beloved EOS Lip Balm that I’ve been using for, oh, would it be four years now? But I actually think it had something more to do with the fact that I’d been living in an extremely mouldy apartment for two months. All of my funky skin problems magically appeared around the same time as the mould in my bathroom did. My immune system was on high alert, so even the smallest hint of something irritating seemed to flare up what I now like to call my lip scabies*. And the rash on my legs? Some days it looked like it was on the mend then other days it still looked red and gross.


One of my favourite online stores to shop for natural products these days is Nourished Life, and it’s been advertising a little something called Fixaderm, which piqued my interest. You can read its blurb on the website, but it is basically touted as a one-stop-shop fix for skin irritations like insect bites, rashes, minor cuts and other skin ailments. Well, whatever the hell is wrong with my skin should surely fall into this broad spectrum of problems, right?


I started an experiment before I moved back into my old apartment. Instead of using the steroid cream that I’d been using for almost three weeks with little noticeable difference other than “it didn’t spread anywhere else”, I decided to use the Fixaderm instead. The instructions tell you to use it on clean, bare skin and to rub a drop or two in until it all absorbs. My leg started to look less crap within a pretty short amount of time.


I’m not entirely sure if this also has to do with the fact that I’m not surrounded by a crap tonne of mould and I’m waaay less stressed now that I’ve moved out of the doomed apartment. To cut a long story short, my ‘newly renovated’ apartment had a serious water leak problem which resulted in a mass mould outbreak and a caved in bathroom ceiling within about six weeks of me moving in. I had to live with mould and half a bathroom ceiling for almost two months before my real estate agent gave me the ok to move back into my old apartment, which has also now been renovated. I feel at ‘home’ now I’m back upstairs, but I still have this lingering doubt in my mind about how well things have been done. But anyway, back to the review.

What I like about this is that it doesn’t sting and there’s no real risk of putting too much on or too frequently during the day unlike steroid creams. I noticed with some of my other remedies and lip balms that my lips would immediately start burning and tingling. With the Fixaderm, I didn’t experience any irritation and it did actually calm down the situation. It is an oil and supposed to absorb into the skin in order for it to do its job, but I did still feel the need to put on some calendula ointment over the top on my lips during the particularly bad stage when my lips were basically peeling every few hours. It was pretty disgusting. Nowadays my lips are like 95%, but I have to be careful what lip products I put on them otherwise it’s sting-city. If ever I do accidentally upset my lips, I just whack a bit of the Fixaderm on and it seems to calm things down.


My leg rash is almost totally cleared up. Usually in the morning it looks really good, but as the day progresses it can sometimes look inflamed. It basically looks like the remnants of pigmentation, if that makes sense. There’s no longer any of the raised bumps, which is a good thing. The above photos are from a few weeks ago and the below photo is from this afternoon.


I haven’t yet tried it on other skin problems like pimples or insect bites yet, really, but I will definitely be trying it out in the future. I think it’s a fair priced little gem, this one, at $14.95AUD.

*not actual scabies.

Empties–products I’ve finished using #10

7 Oct

I moved last week back into my old apartment which has now been renovated. I am a little bit dubious about the quality of the workmanship after all the dramas I had in the other unit, but fingers crossed this one will be fine. I’ll talk more about the “incident” in another post. Look forward to that!

But, my dedication to keeping a hold of empties for these posts was evident as I moved some of these empties with me back upstairs. That was until my serum and shampoo ran out on the same day and I decided it was time to do another post.


Hair Stuff:
Let’s start with hair, shall we. First there is the MooGoo Shampoo and Conditioner. I first tried this about six years ago, and while I didn’t hate it, I wasn’t an overall fan. It was kind of the same this time around. It didn’t make my head itch, which is a common problem for me with other shampoos. However, because it doesn’t lather particularly well, I felt like I’d use more shampoo than necessary just trying to spread the product around my scalp. The conditioner was nice too, but it didn’t blow my socks off. I imagine that this would be a good product to use on children who have sensitive scalps, but on my hair it was just a bit meh. Cost-wise it’s pretty good as it’s $17.50AUD for 500mL of product.


Secondly, I tried out the 100% Pure Glossing Shampoo and Conditioner. This actually did make my hair super shiny, although that could partly be because I recently dyed it and dyes tend to add a certain gloss-factor to one’s hair. Speaking of hair dye, this was supposed to be colour-safe. My hair is currently what my dad calls ‘improbable’ red, so anytime it gets wet, water runs pink, so I don’t think I’m a good candidate to really test this out. I still had to keep my colour fresh by using a coloured conditioner at least once a week. By the time I reached the end of these tubes, my scalp was starting to get a little itchy because my scalp is temperamental. Would I buy this again? Probably. But for now I’m going to try something new.


Make Up:
Ah the good old mineral powder. I’ve been using mineral powder for my ‘foundation’ for years as I hate the feeling of liquid foundation on my skin. It makes me feel like I’m suffocating. Well, the Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder has been hanging around my make up drawer for over two years now since I used it as my weekend or special occasion powder. This was really nice but I didn’t feel like it was any better or worse than my Nude by Nature powder that I use the rest of the time, and it’s really quite pricey at $71AUD.
I bought the Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation at the end of my US holiday over two years ago too. By that point I’d become fairly tan from all my time outside in the sun. When I got back to Australia, I swiftly shed my tan (hello, office job) and this ended up being just a tad too dark for my complexion about 95% of the time. Plus I noticed that if I used it a couple of days in a row my cheeks would get a little bit irritated and start breaking out. I haven’t technically finished this, but I don’t see myself wanting to use it up considering it’s not a good fit for my skin.


Skin Stuff:
I ran out of my Origins Original Skin Serum a few weeks ago and then later my Hydraluron, but didn’t bother keeping the empties seeing as both have been featured here before. I also didn’t bother to repurchase seeing as I’m trying to look for more natural options for my skincare these days. I was left with this Pai Sea Aster & Wild Oat Redness Serum that I’d bought thanks to a serious discount from one of my favourite stores. This is so lovely to use. Pai is a brand focused on sensitive skins and this particular serum is supposed to help with skin that is easily inflamed. Mine isn’t particularly, but I still wanted to give it a go. It’s really hydrating without being sticky and made my skin feel amazing. I think I’m going to have to repurchase.
The Kosmea Hydrating Rosewater Mist was my first foray into the world of spray toners… and the jury is still out. I think it was a nice additional step and it was hydrating, but I don’t think it’s an absolute necessity in an everyday skincare regimen. I think maybe if you have particularly dry or dehydrated skin, that you might feel a difference.
The sad-looking box and bottle there of the Sunday Riley Artemis oil was a beautiful product. I received it as a gift from a colleague and, because it was such an expensive product, I was too scared to ever completely remove it from its lovely box. It didn’t smell the greatest, if I’m honest, but it did good things for my skin. It’s quite an expensive oil at $110AUD, so not one to choose if you’re on a budget. If you’re looking for a good investment then I’d recommend this. I’m trying some different oils now and not looking to repurchase this anytime soon, although I suspect this could be one of those “why did I ever stop using this?” kind of products.
I almost forgot to mention the A Buzz from the Bees Lip Balm that I bought in the past couple of months in a desperate attempt to fix my lips which are currently going through a crap phase. They’re sensitive, often peel, and not looking or feeling the best. This lip balm didn’t make my lips worse and only sort of made them slightly better. This is probably the quickest I’ve ever gone through a lip balm but it was probably because I kept slathering this on in the hopes my lips wouldn’t feel like they were going to fall off. I don’t think I’ll repurchase anytime soon, but it was a nice lip balm while it lasted.


I think I’ve talked about the This Works Sleep+ spray before. I didn’t really keep up with the ritual of spraying this on my pillow every night towards the end of the bottle. Life got a little out of hand for a couple of months and I was using all sorts of sprays and remedies in a desperate and poor attempt to make myself feel even just a little less anxious. I enjoy the smell of this spray and it does feel relaxing, but I think when you’re experiencing extreme anxiety and insomnia problems that it’s not the most effective thing to use. It’s a nice add-on. I’ll probably use this again some time in the future, but for now I’m trying out a balm.
The Weleda Skin Food is hands down (heh, a pun) the best hand/multi-use cream I’ve ever used. I’ve even used it during the cold months on my cheeks where it felt like my skin was dehydrated. It smells herbal and medicinal in the best way, is soothing, emollient, and protective. Just the best. I’ve already got two other tubes of it floating around in my possession. I don’t think I will ever be without this now.
The Jar Body Scrub in “California” is the second one of this particular scent that I’ve used up. I just love how zesty it smells and how it made my skin feel. It is a more summer scent so I’ll probably have to invest in another one in the next few weeks. There is also a coffee and vanilla scented one that I want to try because coffee and vanilla are two of my favourite smells ever.

I’ll tell you what. I love tipping all of the empty bottles and packages into the recycling bin. There’s just that extra sense of satisfaction knowing you’ve finished something and you don’t have to hold onto it anymore.

Well, until next time!

A review: Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel

26 Sep

A couple of months ago, I got caught up in the hype of one of the curated Cult Beauty Boxes offered by our friends in England. In it was a full-sized Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel, which I had been wanting to get my paws on for a while. This seems to be one of those infamous cleansers around the beauty blogging world, so I was keen to see what all the enthusiasm was about.


When I first used it I was a little taken aback by its fragrance, which flashed me back to some weird blue liquid that my mother used to use on insect bites when I was a child. But, funky scent aside, which I’ve now become accustomed to, it’s actually a really lovely cleanser.

As the name would suggest, it is a gel, but more of an oily gel, if that makes sense. It has some substance to it and doesn’t immediately rub into nothing when you put it on your face. I use between one and two pumps depending on my mood and rub it into a dry face. Then I wet my face and rinse it off, sometimes using a washer (flannel) if I feel like it. It rinses off cleanly and doesn’t tend to leave any noticeable residue. I use it as my first cleanse in the evening since I don’t wear a lot of makeup–just a bit of mineral powder, eye shadow and blush–and it seems to remove this fine. But, I don’t know if it’s got enough oomph in it to break up particularly budge-proof mascara. It would probably be more suitable as a second cleanse after you’ve got all the crap off your face so that the lovely ingredients can get some actual contact with your skin.

Other people have mentioned this and I will too–there’s no real way to tell how much product you have left in the bottle as the container is opaque and doesn’t have a window on the side. You just have to guess by the weight and maybe the length of time you’ve had it that you might be due to run out soon. I’ve had this for probably three months now and it doesn’t seem to be close to empty yet, so it will last a good while.

I’m going through a good skin phase at the moment (which probably means I’ve just jinxed myself and a fresh crop of zits will appear in the next week). I would attribute this partly to the cleanser. It always leaves my skin feeling clean, fresh and plump. I haven’t experienced a tight feeling or an oil-stripped complexion after using it. I have accidentally got it in my eyes on a couple of occasions, which I wouldn’t recommend as it stings a bit, but that’s my bad.

Now, we Australian folk don’t really have the easiest access to this brand. I got mine from Cult Beauty as part of the curated box, but it is sold at £29.50 (roughly $51AUD, but I assume we wouldn’t end up paying tax and I have no idea what that amount is). Or, you can buy it off Beauty Bay for $43AUD.

I’m tossing up whether I can be arsed purchasing this again immediately. For some people it’s a holy grail product, but I am not sure if it’s reached that status for me. I’m probably a bit of a floozy when it comes to cleansers, always wanting to try something new. But, it’s a definite contender for a repurchase at some point in the future when the fancy takes me.

PS. Apologies for the photo quality. After moving I put my camera in a safe place, and I don’t remember what that safe place is. Plus I’m actually moving AGAIN back into my old unit. A story awaits…

Empties–products I’ve finished using #9

27 Aug

Before my now not-so-recent move, I tried to use up and chuck out a bunch of products so as to lighten the load just a little. It turns out chucking out these things was like a drop in a bucket in terms of how much stuff I have, but hey, a little less is a little better.

Here we go (and apologies for the appalling photography skills:


Body Stuff:
REN Guerande Salt Body Scrub: I got this body scrub from my colleague either as a birthday or Christmas present last year or the year before. This worked a lot better if I started off with dry skin, scrubbing it in and then rinsing it off. This tended to leave an oily film on my limbs, which wasn’t unwelcome. It had an interesting mint aroma, but not very strong–I felt it smelt more waxy than minty. This is quite a pricey item, so I don’t think I’ll get it again in a while but there’s a rose scrub also by REN that looks potentially very luxurious.
This DNA Elements oil was a purchase of mine where I’d hoped it would aid in getting me to sleep at night. I think I mentioned in my previous empties that I have a bit of trouble in the sleep department, so anything that promotes relaxation and sleep for me is worth a try. This oil doesn’t really sink into the skin very quickly. I do love the smell though, so may repurchase it soon. And, I have a weakness for glass jars (I have a small collection), and this one does tickle my fancy.
I got the Norwex Shower Gel as a Christmas present. I really liked this. It didn’t dry out my skin at all, had a nice lather to it and also smelled lightly of pineapples or other fresh fruit. I would for sure purchase this again at some point in the future.
The Thank You Shower Gel smells like slightly spicy Turkish delight. The Thank You brand makes stuff that lasts for ages. Same with the Thank You Hand Wash. Seriously, a little goes a long way. So, while it may be more expensive at the till, it actually seems to me to be more value for money than any of the cheaper stuff. I’ve been using both of them for months and it’s like the never-ending supply. I’ve repurchased the hand soap already, but I’m getting my way through a different brand of shower gel at the moment. I’m not particularly loyal to any brand of shower gel, but this one does get the thumbs up.
Tucked in there is the Cowshed Grumpy Cow Shower Gel. I love the name because my default mood is grumpy cow these days. I like the herbal scent of this shower gel, and I like the way it makes my skin feel. It’s up there in price for something you wash yourself with, but I’d definitely consider splurging on the full size of this.


Face Stuff:

The 100% Pure Antioxidant Serum is more of an oily serum than a water-based one. This one is good when your skin is having a bit of a freak out or feeling a bit dehydrated. I always felt like my skin looked plump and refreshed the next morning. It takes a while to sink into the skin, so I would only use this at night. It had a bit of a fruity, berry scent, and was very lovely to use. I’m currently using a Sunday Riley oil, so won’t be getting this again for a while, but it was a good one while it lasted.
The Hylamide Vitamin C Booster. This was an interesting product. I feel like this was definitely an add-in kind of product where it’s not absolutely necessary, but it’s a nice addition. And, it’s pretty good value for money as I used this twice daily for five to six months straight and it only ran out just before I moved. I have it in mind to see how my skin fares without this for a while to see if it is a holy grail product, and maybe I’ll try something else within the Hylamide range. For now, I’m just trying to gauge whether my skin is missing it before I repurchase.
There are two eye creams hanging out there in the top left corner. The first is the Weleda Evening Primrose Eye Cream. This was alright, but did not layer very well over other products, which is probably not how you’re supposed to use it anyway. This had kind of consistency where it tended to feel a bit tight under the eyes. Great if you’re trying to depuff your eyes, but not so great if you just want your skin to feel hydrated and plump. So this one wasn’t a particular favourite of mine. Then the Moreish Eye Cream. This one was more of your bog standard eye cream that hydrates the skin and doesn’t boast to do do anything spectacular. I preferred this a little to the Weleda cream, but still just ended up missing the 100% Pure Eye cream that I’m currently using.
There are also two MooGoo moisturisers there. I’ve been using all of the different offerings on rotation for the past year or so. I found the Brightening Cream to do a nice job of actually brightening the skin, but it didn’t feel as moisturising as the Full Cream, which is what I ended up preferring.
Then we have three face masks. The La Mav Green Clay Detox Mask was a gentle clay mask in that it didn’t completely sap my skin of all moisture when I used it. This was nice to use when I felt like my skin was about to have a freak out or was feeling a little congested. This would calm the situation down. It’s one I’d consider getting again, but I’m using other things at the moment that I think I prefer. Then we have the REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial. By the time I used this up, I think I’d probably had it around a year longer than I was supposed to. It was very hyped up around the time I purchased it and then I forgot that I had it. This is indeed a 1 minute facial–it basically eats the dead skin off your face, to put it in not the daintiest of terms. My skin always felt refreshed afterwards, but also would benefit from using something very nourishing and hydrating after using this. Will I repurchase? Probably not, but I enjoyed it while I had it, even if it turned a strange colour towards the end. I’ve already mentioned the Origins Original Skin serum, but there is also the mask. I’m now onto my second tube of this. It’s like a hybrid between a clay and exfoliating mask that I use if my skin is on the verge of a freak out or looking a bit grey.


Aaah the accidental REN Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser purchase. I went into Mecca one day and mistakenly bought this scrub instead of the Cleansing Balm that I love. That’ll teach me to read labels properly before I purchase them. This is one of the few REN products that I wasn’t really fussed on. It had a bit of a gritty texture and the creamy element was nice, but it just didn’t really wow me in any way. I don’t love physical scrubs anyway, so I won’t be getting this in the future.
Origins Original Skin Serum is probably my favourite of all the serums I’ve tried from Origins. I do like this brand, even though it’s probably not the ‘greenest’ out there. I like how this makes my skin feel and I’m already using my second… or is it third, bottle of this.
And the MOA Green Balm. I was quite sad when this ran out. I am partial to a balmy cleanser and this was no exception. I’ve moved onto other cleansers for the moment, but this one is hanging in the back of my mind as a probable repurchase.


Basically the Graveyard of Mascaras:
Too Faced Better Than Sex. This would probably have to be one of the worst names for cosmetics but, name aside, I really liked this. This gave a lot of volume really quickly and looked amazing. The only thing I didn’t like about it was that it tended to smudge on me a bit. I’ve somehow acquired another sample/travel size of this and I use it as my weekend mascara.
The Nars Audacious Mascara had a very dangerous wand. If you weren’t careful, you could stab yourself in the eyeball with the seriously spiky bristles. This was a more defining mascara, and I did quite like it. It just took a while to get used to the wand.
Then we have the Eyeko Fat Brush Mascara which has a massive wand on it. I think out of all the Eyeko mascaras, I prefer the skinny or curvy ones, but this was good while it lasted. It is, I believe, a tubing mascara so doesn’t smudge during the day and isn’t a bitch to remove at night. If you struggle with either of those things, give Eyeko a whirl.
100% Pure Mascara. I’m trying to be a bit cleaner/greener with my makeup purchases these days and these are two of the more natural ones that I’ve tried in recent months. The Maracuja mascara has a big-ass wand on it so I tend to get mascara all over my eyelid when I apply this. It also had the kind of formula where it improves after a short while because it’s dried a little. The Cocoa mascara has a lovely chocolate scent to it and was great on weekends where I wasn’t really wearing any makeup but I needed a little something to open up and define the eyes a little. Neither are waterproof so can tend to get a little smudgy by the end of the day, but not enough where you start to resemble a panda. I like.
The two REN samples there are, I think, a BB Cream and a Serum, but it has been so long since I’ve used them that I’m not entirely sure what they are… I suspect I liked them while I was using them, but they didn’t wow me enough to make me want to buy them in their full size.


Sleep Aids/Things to make me calm:
As I’ve mentioned, I’m not a good sleeper. I’m also cursed“blessed” with quite an anxious disposition, so I’m always on the lookout for things that will promote a more mellow me.
The Origins Peace smells so peppermint-y and fresh. I have bought multiple of these. I don’t use it too frequently though because I think it doesn’t react too well with my skin sometimes. It is good for when you feel a bit headachey and gross. Which I kind of have been feeling a bit lately.
Then, the Aromatherapy Company Sleep roller ball thing. I don’t know if it helped particularly with my insomnia but it had a nice scent and ritualistic feel to it before I would go to bed at night. I don’t think I’ll get it again as I’m exploring other options.
Last, but not least is the Lotus Wei Inner Peace Mist. I’ve fallen in love with this stuff. It is my favourite smell of all the Lotus Wei things I’ve been able to have a whiff of. I think this does make a difference in how I feel as it has quite the calming effect. I’m now using the serum and the elixir, but will probably get the mist again soon. I love some inner peace.

Oh man. Remind me to never accrue this many empties before I do another one. This took forever to summon the energy and focus to actually write up, hence the bit gap between posts lately, sorry. I’ve already started accumulating some for round #10, so keep an eye out for that.