Airport Perfume Story

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AF Beauty

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Hello peeps!
If you’re like me, you regard packing as a dark art, regardless of all preparation and planning, SOMETHING will be forgotten at home – for me the thing I forget most frequently is perfume. 🙁

However, luckily, for the people who live in Sydney – or near another well stocked airport, you can find a range of exciting smellies to enjoy from their sample ranges and be on your way – often smelling a little different because you’re not sampling your favourites, so you can add the excitement of new smells to your journey, yay!

I recently returned from a trip to the Gold Coast, so I was lucky to have a large and quiet store almost to myself at Sydney where I tried a few perfumes…

Airport Perfume Story

The first, a brand I’ve not heard of before, Shay & Blue. A British brand, packing not dissimilar to Pecksniff; I started with a perfume called Shay & Blue Blacks Club Leather, which I DID NOT LIKE at all. It is not my thing, but I can imagine it is popular with the right crowd. I moved to another in the same brand called Shay & Blue Blood Oranges, which was orangey and citrusy, very nice.

I then moved onto a Michael Kors perfume, Michael Kors Sexy Ruby, really I was only attracted to the bottle, it was a lovely shape and colour, like a ruby – makes sense. I didn’t spray any of this on myself because I had a sniff of the bottle and wasn’t impressed. I now can’t remember why, but I tend to have immediate reactions to smells, so I just go with it!

Perusing the Amouage range – I sniffed a number of them, most of which I didn’t enjoy – I am fussy, can you tell? But I did notice the ones I preferred were also the most expensive – most of them costing more than double the price of my flight (!!) – so, I moved on from those to Tom Ford which is pricey, but a bargain in comparison!

Tommy Ford <3… always draws me in because of the turquoise bottles, my favourite colour, I feel like the inside of the bottle MUST be as gorgeous on the inside as the out. I started at first with my usual favourite Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, but I was distracted by another I’d not noticed before, Tom Ford Fleur De Portofino. This is relatively new, to me at least, I hadn’t spotted it on previous visits. I had a good spray of that, probably at least $10 worth up and down my arms, it was so light and citrusy, I was properly sniffing my own arms for hours afterwards like a weirdo.

I think I will start saving my pocket money for this one, I am often caught in the trap of buying something good and well-priced rather than amazing and a bit more expensive, but I think in terms of the joy it would bring me each day, the Tom Ford would be well worth it.

So tell me, what fragrances do you search out at the airport? Found any unusual favourites? Or do you use the airport as a good way to test new fragrances for yourself? What’s your MO?!
AF Beauty xox

(Ed: All photos supplied & taken by AF Beauty.)

Argan Oil Haircare

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AF Beauty

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Hey hey,

Hair oils you’ll love and maybe one you won’t!

As I’ve talked about before, I hit the gym fairly often and as a result, I need to wash my hair A LOT. It is annoying for me, and I’m fairly sure my hairdresser would happily stab me to prevent me cracking out the shampoo on a sometimes twice daily basis.
All things considered my hair isn’t in too bad condition, probably because I rarely use straighteners or a hairdryer. But truth is, it could be in better condition – and as you’ll have seen in the shops, the latest thing for perfect hair is Argan Oil.

Argan Oil Haircare

Applied to the hair, generally after washing, it’s meant to help heal the hair, act as a conditioner and defrizz. Read the promotional info here.

I think my first foray into Argan Oil was a freebie thanks to a David Jones promotion. I got a mini bottle of Agadir Argan Oil. This is a relatively thick oil similar in consistency to olive oil with a pleasant mild fragrance. I like this oil, it does make my hair feel nice – but whether because I don’t use a hairdyer, or just the weight of my hair type (relatively fine), it does make my hair feel dirty relatively quickly (ie greasy).

When my little sample ran out, I decided to look for a replacement. The Agadir oil is relatively pricy for it’s small size AU$24 for a standard size bottle – that’s only 66ml). I decided to try the L’Oreal Extraordinary Oil Mist, I think it was on special one day. I was drawn to this because of the mist spray application thinking it would ‘feel’ less oily if it wasn’t applying with my hands.

OK, so this I really don’t like. And really it’s my own fault. It makes my hair feel dry and straw-like. I should have checked the ingredients before buying (caveat emptor right here) because first of all, there is no Argan Oil in it, and secondly the second ingredient listed is alcohol. Why would spraying alcohol on your hair EVER be a good thing? They package this up in a posh orange glass fully imitating the argan oil brands – it’s misleading, so be warned. Stay away.

So after the horror of the L’Oreal product, by chance I picked up the OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Miracle in-shower oil. . I’ve never actually used this in the shower, mainly because my shower is over-bath and I would rather not slip and break my neck while naked having applied an oil to my hair or body. I apply this as a post conditioner treatment before wrapping my wet hair up in a towel, this way the excess stays in the towel. This I LOVE! The texture is a lot lighter than the first oil, it applies well and my hair doesn’t look immediately greasy. All in all, a winner. It says also for skin use, but thus far, I’ve not tried it, maybe next week! 🙂

Have you found an oil treatment you love? Tell me about it!
AF Beauty

Gatineau Face Basics: Peeling Expert

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AF Beauty

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Hey there Beautiful APJ Peepy-Peepers,

I might be using all my beauty products wrong 🙁

Having  recently returned from the UK on some holidays – they have started up this concept of a “beauty box” which is a great way to sample some new products at a really good price. Not all boxes are created equally and it definitely depends what you want to try versus what you’ve used before and importantly, the size of the product you are particularly interested – pay attention to the detail, some of them will show pictures of full size products but send small sizes in the package.

Gatineau Face Basics: Peeling Expert

Am I Doing It Right??

All Beauty

Caveats aside, I bought this Beauty Box which largely I’m happy with and I’m here to talk to you about the Gatineau Peeling Expert. So, cutting to the chase – this product blows my mind! The instructions are brief and they do not give any indication of the extent to which this product is used and it has really made me question whether I am using the rest of my beauty products correctly.

It says, apply a thin layer and massage gently till it breaks down to an oil. Easy you think. Not so – it takes about 30 seconds for it to start to break down into the oil. The break down to an oil is not like my other favoured (and discontinued) product from the Body Shop (I wrote about replacements here) and in fact it feels a lot thicker and difficult to wield.

The next instruction is to, and I quote, “keep massaging until a fine fluff appears.” So, I have to admit, I was a little confused when I first saw this and wondered what would happen. I wondered if it was like a super acid cleanser that would cause my face to bubble? And then I wondered if it would turn into a powder on my skin? But how from an oil? So, the result is neither. It actually goes from the oil to a peculiar peeling, which I’ve only ever seen before from Clarins, their Doux Peeling.

I’ve used the Clarins one previously, but looking back I think the guidance from the SA was perhaps not the best. She had recommended that I use my entire palm to remove the Doux Peeling and I didn’t enjoy it at all. The Gatineau version is actually a lot better and it does form a sort of fluff – mine is most often like a crumble (haha – gross!) than a fluff. The whole process from application to removal takes a few minutes – and the migration through the stages is something quite unique and successful. I actually really like the Gatineau peel, I use it about twice a week and it does leave my skin feeling lovely and soft.

The problem I have now though is wondering whether, in my haste to use my other products, whether I’m actually missing out some amazing feature of another product?

Do you have any products that have these stages? Do you now wonder if you’re missing a trick with your product?!

See you soon, sexy wexies!
AF Beauty

Sniffs with Lola: My Cat

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AF Beauty

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Perfume’s toughest critic – Sniffs with Lola
Hello there perfume-ees.

As I’ve alluded to before, I am in no way as sophisticated with my perfume choices as you all are – I am not adventurous or brave and tend to wear the same perfumes or variations thereof. However, I share a house with a real-life being who, given half a chance, I think could get VERY into the perfume scene, and what’s more, she is not limited to just sniffing the stuff. Let me introduce, Lola!

Lola is a 4 year old Abyssinian who loves food and naps – in that order, and is also partial to perfume, especially licking people wearing perfume. Her absolute favourite is Coco by Chanel – she will lick my arm like I might lick Ben and Jerry’s.

Sniffs with Lola: My Cat

A Cat-centric Photo Essay

Her she is with some of my other favourites:
First, So Nude by Costume National. I really like this, it’s a strong scent and probably not daytime suitable, but I find it quite sexy and alluring. Lola likes it also.

This is one of my all time favourites, Elle by Armani, something I can wear daily without getting bored of it. Lola on the other hand couldn’t be less interested. I think the bottle (not being glass) didn’t interest her. Tough crowd.

This is a relatively new addition to my collection, Miu Miu’s debut perfume, light and floral which is definitely a journey away from my usual perfumes which are more oriental and musk. But it’s a lovely daily perfume, Lola had a sniff too, she quite liked it.

Ah, an oldie but a goodie, Tendre Poison by Dior. This is a perfume from my youth, I used to wear this daily from about age 18-25. Of course I had no idea Dior would end production – talk about devastation. I’ve been ridiculously lucky to be gifted two bottles of this last year and it’s as good as I remember. Lola is cautious and I understand, we don’t want to get too attached to a discontinued perfume.

And last but not least, a new iteration of the ever popular CK One, Gold. To be honest the bottle caught my eye more than the fragrance – but I like the fragrance too – a little alcohol-ly but it settles into a citrussy warmth on my skin – and Lola LOVES it, she gave the bottle a complete lick (yuck) – so I’ll know what to expect when I wear it. ☺

I hope you’ve enjoyed sniffs with Lola, until next time – what do your pets love you wearing?
AF Beauty

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