Skin & Eyelashes: L’Oreal + Clinique

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AF Beauty

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Hello again APJ Beauty Addicts!

In a post from waaay back when, I wrote about finding Clinique’s Custom Serum – still one of my top beauty products. I am so enticed by the novelty of the new and the promise of each new product that I rarely rebuy something because either it didn’t deliver what it promised or something else promised more.

Skin & Eyelashes: L’Oreal + Clinique

In the few exceptions a headline act is Clinque’s Custom Serum. So, when Clinique released a new product I was a little bit excited and hoped to look 20 years younger. This new product was Turnaround Revitalising Oil.

Clinique

The oil is a very interesting texture – the thinness of water rather than a cooking oil, but still somewhat oily. I say somewhat because it is peculiar in that it absorbs very quickly on plain skin while also leaving a very slight oily feel. Weird. As with all Clinique products it has no added fragrance – I get it. But in my heart, I want things that smell nice – and this smells like a dirty oil extracted from an engine – which is not overly enjoyable for one’s face.

Added to the sadness of the smell is also the lack of information as to how you’re supposed to use the product. I had determined that I should use it in the same manner as Clarins’ oils – I’ve also tried adding a bit of the oil to my moisturiser – but truth be told neither method led to my immediate youthfulness but I am hoping it will provide that boost that skin needs through winter. Verdict – undecided.

Another feature from a previous post was my search for tubing mascara – if you recall, I had found Australia had a MAC one and I’d toddled off to purchase but was persuaded at the last minute to try another, the SA promising a smudge free wear. To be fair, she was entirely truthful in that it has never smudged despite numerous trips to the gym and sweating like I’d invented it. But it took a purchase (via ebay) of *actual* tubing mascara to truly understand and appreciate the tubing phenomenon.

Heinemann Duty Free

I bought L’Oreal’s Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara (sometimes Double Extension Beauty Tubes) – NOT to be confused with Double Extension Renewal Lash Serum. Yes, helpfully, they have several of very similarly named mascaras – but basically, you want the maroon coloured one actually called Beauty Tubes. You start with the white end which extends (clue in the name) then switch to the black which tubes around the lash. And it wears very well and also doesn’t smudge. I’ve really enjoyed using this, not least because it is as promised, very easy to remove with regular facial cleanser/warm water. The only slightly perturbing moments are the appearance of what looks like small spider legs on your flannel, but it’s a small hurdle for simple, painless, smudge free mascara removal. Keep an eye out for it in Duty Free/ebay/overseas. I’ve never found it in Australia, sadly.

Until next time; may your lashes be smudge free.
AF XXOX

Sunshine: Skin & Body Care

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AF Beauty

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Hey APJ Crew – how are you all?

It’s been a while I know, I took a little longer in the shower than I’d originally planned! #dallas #bobbyewing

Sunshine: Skin & Body Care

Actually, while I’ve been away, I’ve been in the bath more than the shower – I’ve been working out at the gym after work, so I drag my beaten self back home and throw myself in the bath. I have fallen in love with the bath again, it has been bliss – and something I’ve really missed when travelling and not having a bath available. But you know what I’ve noticed, Australia has a really pathetic range of cheap and cheerful bath products – either I have to use shower gel or radox crystals.

Amazing Oils

In fact, I am mostly using magnesium based crystals – not for beauty reasons, but for muscle recovery. I have been using an Australian brand of magnesium, similar, but not the same as Epsom Salts – this one is from a company called Amazing Oils and specifically for recovery. And though I say this isn’t a beauty product, magnesium REALLY helps me sleep, so if beauty sleep is a thing, then these crystals make me beautiful!

The other thing that’s happened while I’ve been away – SUMMER! Yessss! The sun has been shining, it’s been hot! The sun has been enjoyable but first things first – the sun does dry the face and you will get wrinkles – or at least, *I’m* getting wrinkles – if you don’t take care of your skin. Second things, wearing makeup all changes when your skin is a fraction darker than it was two months ago.

Garnier

Skincare first: The difference in skin is hard to pinpoint, it just seems less plump and drier – while greasier. As usual, if there are obnoxious skin combinations to be had, here they are. I have resorted to old favourites to continue to treat my skin and have bumped up the night-time treatment. I should have added a regular daytime SPF but I still search for the elusive sun protection that isn’t heavy, greasy, claggy, or just disruptive to usual make up. I’ve worn tinted moisturiser with SPF – it has been my saviour. Nothing fancy, I think I’ve written about it before – Garnier’s BB Cream in Anti-Ageing and medium. It’s been a summer saviour helping me resist marching into Myer and buying a new foundation. The good (or bad) thing about a tan is it’ll wash away quicker than it ever took to acquire.

I have tried Nivea Face Veil (OK, but a bit greasy), Jurlique SPF Lotion (really nice texture but caused my foundation to pill). And I’m sure I’ve got others, but I’ve also got a bit of a skincare addiction, so they’re probably underneath a load of other things, whoops! To add to that I noticed as I researched this that Jurlique has some new sun protection products that’ve caught my eye (See? Addicted!) so I’m going to see if they’ll give me some testers.
Until next time, I’m off to the bath…..

AF Beauty XXXX

Dry Hair Shampoo

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Post by AF Beauty

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Hello loves,

I am still on my hair journey with my keratin treatment and I am getting more and more used to it – but in an attempt to make the treatment last longer I have been using a dry shampoo about once a week to try and reduce actual washes. It’s not my first foray into dry shampoo, I’ve used it occasionally for a few years – but let me tell you – not all dry shampoos are created equal.

Dry Hair Shampoo

Speedy dirty (!) hair

Batiste-GroupBatiste

I am presently using one of the most popular dry shampoos on the market. They have seemingly a dozen different varieties, which I assume all are broadly the same but with different aromas. What drew me to it was that they have versions for different hair colours, good especially if your hair is dark and your shampoo usually white! Yes, this is Batiste Dry Shampoo – for brunettes. The various choices can be found at Batiste Hair.

I am quite impressed by this shampoo, I’d used the non-colour version before on a trial and it was equally as good. It is fine enough to distribute through the hair and not so thick that it feels clunky. My hair immediately looks better, cleaner and if I want to look like I’ve got clean hair for a day longer than might be entirely true, then Batiste does the job.

Matrix Design Pulse Clean Remix Instant Dry Shampoo Recreate YourselfRecreate Yourself

My first use of dry shampoo was based on advice from my hair dresser, so I purchased one from him. It was this one by Matrix. This being my first use of dry shampoo, I did not know then what I know now, which is that this is up there in the royalty of shampoos. The application is super fine, my hairdresser told me to apply, rub the fine powder into the roots (to remove the oil) and then either brush or shake the hair out. The dry shampoo did an excellent job, leaving hair feeling a lot cleaner and refreshed without the claggy feeling that some shampoos leave behind. This will be my re-purchase.

PANTENE Volume Booster Dry Shampoo PricelinePriceline

And lastly, a dry shampoo you’d expect to be up there, from Pantene. I quite like Pantene shampoo and conditioner – I can’t use it right now with Keratin treated hair, but it is well priced and does the job. So I thought I would be safe buying their dry shampoo. NOT SO! I used this a couple of times before I twigged exactly how bad it was – it made my hair feel very very dry and each wet shampoo after felt like I might never get my hair condition back. There was no obvious indicator of this at application – it was relatively fine, smelled pleasant and my hair did look clean. But there must have been some lingering action, because may hair felt quite nasty afterward, like a cheap wig. In the end I threw the remainder of the can away to avoid further use.

How have you gotten on with dry shampoos? I often use as a pre-styler for ‘big’ do’s – do you? What is your favourite?

And now I’m off to wash my hair! Till next time! X

Replacing Discontinued Beauty #2

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Post by AF Beauty

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Replacing the discontinued – Body Shop Nutriganics Softening Cleansing Gel – Part 2
Hello loves.

My search for my long lost Body Shop cleansing gel has been long but I hope, fruitful. As well as targeting products texturally similar to the gel, I tried a couple of liquid oil cleansers, hopeful that despite the texture difference at the start, the overall cleansing would still be good.

Replacing Discontinued Beauty #2

Mango Seed, Body Shop + Clinique

Mango Seed Oil to Foam

 

The first is a Korean product in a range called Mango Seed product called Oil to Foam. This is a nicely light oil and I anticipated it work by doing the oily thing to clean off the make up and then turn foamy with water. Unfortunately, the oil texture is not long lasting enough for me to properly remove heavier make up. Almost immediately as being dispensed it turns to a foamy soapy texture and then cleans like a regular foam. Positively, it smells lovely, very light and citrusy. I would use this as a second cleanser – I know, extravagant! But sometimes I feel like the first cleanse didn’t capture everything, this would be a good round two.

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil

The second is from Clinique from their Take The Day Off range. I have heard nothing but good things about their Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm – but I had been at Clinique getting the contour stick (that I wrote about a few weeks back) and the SA had used the Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil to clean my face and it felt good, so I thought I’d give the oil a go at home.

So the big negative of this product for me is the smell – of lack of it. As all Clinique products, it is entirely unperfumed. This could be great for anyone sensitive to fragrance – but I’m guessing that’s not this crowd. Unscented in this case means that the product smells of what’s it’s made of – so it smells a bit chemically. Not overpowering but noticeable. But really, that is my only criticism. I really didn’t want to like this product as much as I do but the texture is beautiful – very light and smooth. It dissolves makeup in an instant, turns milky on water and washes away to leave clean skin, lovely. I admit, this one is my favourite and is my default for when I need an easy simple clean.

So, having tested four products as replacements for my Body Shop gel, I think the Clinque has been my favourite in texture, the Korean Mango Seed, my favourite in smell and probably all but the Mango Seed have done excellent work at removing make up. All that said, you could probably try Baby Oil to dissolve makeup, but for me, the milkiness on contact with water ensures I’m not left feeling oily on my skin and potentially clogging pores – and that’s important.

What other products like this have you tried? What oil based cleansers would you recommend?
Ciao ciao, AF x

Replacing Discontinued Beauty #1

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Post by AF Beauty

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Hello loves.

If you’ve been keeping up with me, you’ll recall one of my last posts was about discontinued products – the love of having known them, and the pain of them being gone.

To this end, I have been searching for a replacement of my daily cleanser, the Body Shop cleansing gel. The key for me, was that this gel wasn’t a gel in the traditional sense – it was an oily gel that melted away make up and turned to a milky texture on contact with water leaving the skin feeling perfectly soft and clean – but not stripped and not greasy.

Replacing Discontinued Beauty #1

Body Shop + Soap and Glory

Body Shop CAMOMILE SUMPTUOUS CLEANSING BUTTER

Body Shop

When the SA at the Body Shop staggered me with the announcement of discontinuance she offered me a replacement product, the Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter. This is a good product. I’m not overly disappointed. It comes in a flat container the size of a large coaster and the product inside is a solid that looks like a pale candle – and the texture isn’t overly different either. I don’t know what the intention is, in terms of how they expect you to dispense the product, so I’ve innovated and basically use my thumb backwards to scoop out an amount. The problem with this is that it’s best guess – I’ve no idea what amount they actually intend for use.
Once applied it melts down relatively well – probably the only downside is that creating the soft oiliness of an easy cleanser is a little bit difficult, not insurmountable – it does dissolve, it removes make up and cleans off easily, imitating the milky texture of its predecessor. As I like things that smell nice, this is also a positive, the smell is pleasant and light. Once washed off, the feeling on the skin is clean and soft – all in all a decent substitute. The only other thing to note is it says the product is suitable for contact lens wearers. As I don’t wear lenses, I don’t know exactly what that means – but I do know that it stings my eyes a bit and is quite uncomfortable – but really I just need to take more care!

Soap And Glory The Ultimelt Deep Purifying Facial Hot Cloth CleanserAmazon

The second product I’ve tested is from Soap and Glory and is called The Ultimelt. This comes as part of a cleansing “package” as it comes with it’s own muslin cleaning cloth. Although I’ve used it with both muslin and just a regular flannel, the difference isn’t that much to me. The product is not overly dissimilar to the original Body Shop Gel, perhaps thicker and more like a cream than a gel – but it melts down very quickly and has a lovely texture and removes my makeup.

This also turns milky on contact with water and washes off well. Probably my only criticism is the strength of the lavender that is contained in the product – it is a lovely smell but it is very strong, probably a little stronger than I’d choose. But the product is a good replacement for my Body Shop original, albeit a little more difficult to source in Australia.

These two were the nearest to the Body Shop Gel that I could find, but in searching for a replacement I’ve also tested two oil cleansers – I’ll review these in the next post – so keep an eye out – and if you’re interested in an oil based cleanser, hold off before heading out to purchase!

Until next time, AF x

 

Keratin Hair Straightening: *Hair*way to Heaven

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Post by AF Beauty

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Beauty, as you all know is not just about the goo that you apply to your face and body. It covers everything from the tips of your toes to the top of your head. In this post I’m going north to my locks.

Like most people, I wish for the hair I’ve not got. I am lucky in some respects, I have a full head of hair on my head that isn’t in too bad condition. (a particularly impressive outcome since I’ve been dying my hair since about 1988) BUT, it is neither curly nor straight. I have a forehead that could display widescreen movies. I am, underneath many layers of dye, grey, revealing my age to anyone (un)lucky enough to see a grey hair, or million, reflecting in the sunlight.

Keratin Hair Straightening

*Hair*way to Heaven

I am probably my hairdresser’s worst customer. He diligently and reliably colours and cuts my hair every couple of months or so. I leave looking like wonder woman (in the hair department at least), until I turn the corner from his street and tie my hair up, out of sight, where he won’t see his beautiful blow dry wasted! This is where it stays, save washing, until I walk back into the hairdresser 8 weeks later. In an effort to persuade me to let my locks loose, he has been talking up keratin treatments at the cost of a small mortgage, promising easy to care for, smooth, quick drying hair that would be easy to manage and I could wear loose. Also known as Brazilian Blow Dry, Permanent Blow Dry and Keratin Hair Straightening.
Eventually, after reading a random beauty article which mentioned “permanent blow dry” and how evangelical this person was about it, a big call when celebs could easily call out botox or fillers as their best beauty treatment. I gave in and called the hairdresser to get the treatment.

YouTube

YouTube

The keratin treatment process is: Wash Hair, Apply Keratin Product, Apply Clingwrap, leave for period of time, remove Clingwrap, dry hair (with product still on), straighten hair with extra hot hair straighteners to embed product, part with small fortune, wait three days without tying back hair or washing it, straighten twice a day, wash after 72 hours and reveal smoothed and gorgeous hair.

PixabayPixabay

Broadly, this is how it happened for me. The 72 hours of having claggy dirty (with product, not dirt) hair for three days that I couldn’t tie back was my own special hell. That first wash was heaven. Now, having had the treatment in for two weeks I can tell you, it is smoother than it used to be. And I do think it dries slightly quicker, but I’ve never been the type of person to religiously dry my hair, so the benefit (to me) is small.

Is it worth the small fortune I paid…? Right now, probably not. Being wavy curly, keratin did not straighten my hair – and I did know that in advance, but when blow dried, it is straighter than usual, and less frizzy, which is good.

FlickrFlickr

The treatment is due to last between 3-6 months depending on washing frequency and aftercare – I have to avoid certain activities (swimming in salty water) and must use certain (sulphate free) shampoo products. I will update you more in a few months time.

Discontinued Products (or how I hate beauty companies)

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Post by AF Beauty

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If you live in Australia, you will be used to products appearing in your life and then disappearing, never to be seen again. Mostly though, this happens at the supermarket, yes I’m looking at you Coles and Woolworths. Woolworths recently got me with a double whammy discontinuing both my favourite yoghurt AND my favourite granola within a week of one another. HEARTLESS!!

But for me, the real pain is the discontinuance of beauty products. Chances are, a beauty product will last you weeks or months and you’ll not know a product has been discontinued until you go to repurchase only to find the racks bare and a SA offering you a poor substitute. Woe.
The following products are some that have been discontinued to my dismay – if you see these – BUY IMMEDIATELY because they are amazing ☺

Discontinued Products

(or how I hate beauty companies)

NUTRIGANICS™ SOFTENING CLEANSING GEL Body shop

The first, Body Shop Nutriganics Softening Cleansing Gel

This was a beautiful soft gel that softened to an oil, which on contact with water became milky and rinsed away leaving only soft skin. Lovely. I went to buy a few weeks back only to find it gone. I’m sort of heartened that they still have it on the website, if only to say it’s not available – perhaps they will bring it back?

I was persuaded in store to buy this alternative, which I am presently using and will review among a bunch of other cleansing balms and oils. (but suffice to say, it’s not my softening cleansing gel ☹)

MAC Cosmetics Raquel Welch Icon Collection

Next, from MAC, a face powder. MAC are truly evil in this regard because they specifically do Limited Editions JUST TO MESS WITH YOUR HEAD. I found this powder when it came out years back – it was in the Raquel Welch limited edition and was a light powder called Peaceful. It’s the powder in the very bottom left corner of the picture above.

This was a beautifully light even powder – I was lucky enough to find a store which had one left when I went back to repurchase, but it’s never been seen since unfortunately. And I search in vain for a near match. This Rimmel one isn’t too bad, but Peaceful was lighter and peachier, the Rimmel is too much of a bronzer – but I get that it’s intended to be a bronzer so….

Poison Tendre Christian Dior FragranticaFragrantica

My last product discontinued is one you guys will likely be most familiar with – Dior’s Tendre Poison. I’m prepared to admit, this might be nostalgia rather than true longing, it has been that long since I even smelled this perfume. I wore this for about 4 years straight in my early 20’s only to find it discontinued one day I went to buy more. From what I’ve learned about perfume, this turnover of fragrances is increasingly common and normal – I honestly don’t know how you guys cope.

What favourites of yours have been discontinued? Did you manage to stock up before they vanished for good, or were you caught surprised and then saddened?