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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Merry Christmas Giveaway - Tarte Mini Primer Trio! (CLOSED)

This competition has closed, the winner is detailed in the comments - more giveaways coming very soon! xo
Christmas is right around the corner and to say thank you to everyone who has supported EasyDress this year I'm going to be posting a few little giveaways of some products and items that I've enjoyed this year!

Some giveaways will be hosted on my blog, others could be on Twitter or Instagram. I've split them up to thank those who support me on my various forms of social media, but I'll still write a blog post about each giveaway when they happen.

Up for grabs first is the gorgeous Tarte Clean Slate Primer Trio. The set contains three mini sized primers, a 360° 12 Hour Smoothing Eye Primer, a Poreless 12 Hour Perfecting Face Primer and a Flawless 12 Hour Brightening Face Primer.

I fell in love with Tarte this year and the 360° Eye Primer and the Poreless Perfecting Primer this year (I haven't tried the Brightening Primer) are among two of my favourites.

Tarte products are formulated without parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances and petrochemicals. They're designed not only for functionality and quality but also to take care of your skin while you're wearing make up.

To enter just leave a comment below telling me one of your favourite products this year.
The winner will be selected at random. 
Giveaway will close at 8pm (AEST) on the 17th of December, 2012. 

Please read the full terms and conditioner HERE

Good luck!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Skylark 'Ava' and 'Sophia' Lipgloss Duo - Review

Incase you don't know, Skylark is the long-time-coming make up brand from Elle and Blair Fowler. Out of general uninterest, lack of availability in Australia (and a tinge of jealousy) I wasn't really inclined to purchase the brand but after being bombarded with requests for a review I decided to give you what you want - a review of the first released products.

In all honesty, I expected to like the products. If you've seen a YouTube beauty video from Elle or Blair, you're likely aware that when it comes to make up they spare no expense. If these girls say 'we have tried every brand of lipgloss', it's likely that they mean it.

Knowing that the girls have had a hands-on input into the manufacture of the products gave me confidence to expect the lipglosses to be good, they know what works, they know what doesn't. What I didn't expect though is just how good they would actually be, I would go as far as saying that this is possibly the best lipgloss formula I have ever used.

The lipglosses come in a duo and they are the only two shades. 'Ava' is a light, bubblegum cream pink and 'Sophia' is a mid-tone mauve berry with a slight shimmer. The colours are apparently based off of the two main characters (also by the same name) in their debut novel. 

The glosses are both semi-opaque and have enough colour to be worn on their own, they're marked as not being sticky and it's an almost correct statement. They're slightly sticky but in no way unpleasent to wear (especially for a sticky lipgloss hater like me), the touch of stickiness helps the lipgloss to stay on your lips, rather than just sliding off.

They're creamy, buttery and very pleasent to wear. What I love most about them is that they don't settle into the fine lines on my lips, this is a common problem I have with lipglosses (and the main reason I rarely wear them). I think this is enhanced by the long doe-foot applicator (unlike any other I've seen before) that applys the lipgloss in one stroke, rather than having to go back over again and start pushing the product around your lips.

Personally, the colours don't suit my skin tone so I find them hard to wear (they're both very cool shades, leaning only slightly towards neutral) but the formula is fantastic, I can't point out any flaws.
You can purchase the Skylark lipglosses on Blush.com for $29 (for the set of two), they do post internationally.

Animal Testing: Skylark does not test on animals.

Tarte 'Amused' Amazonian Clay Blush - Review

Tarte is quickly becoming one of my favourite brands, every product I try quickly turns into a staple in my collection and I start dedicating odes to each one individually.

I own a few of the Amazonian Clay blushes but 'Amused' really stands out against the rest. It is a basic matte bright pink when you look at it in the pan but when you apply it, it transforms.

You can wear it as a sheer wash of pink over the apples of your cheeks or build it for a more intense look. Because it can be worn sheer, bold and everything in between it's perfect for the lightest skin right through to a dark. The texture is wonderfully soft and gentle on skin.
The major selling point with the Amazonian Clay blushes is their staying power. They're marketed as a 12-hour blush and they do get pretty close. On my combination/oily skin, I find that the blush doesn't start fading out until after about 10 hours of wear. On more balanced/dry skin tones I believe they would make the 12 hour mark.

The Amazonian Clay also locks moisture in moisture, a little extra benefit for those with dry or flaky skin.

Tarte can be hard to find in Australia, I suggest trying Amazon or a trusted seller on eBay, the blushes will often appear on some of my favourite online stores listed HERE. In the US you can find it at Sephora or on Tarte.com for $25.

This isn't just your regular pink blush, it leaves your skin glowing and soft. I highly recommend.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Stila 'Kitten' Eyeshadow - Review

Stila 'Kitten' is one of the best selling eyeshadows in make up history. It's incredibly unique not only with the colour but also with the texture also. The unique blend of pigments leaves an incredibly soft, almost liquid-like, texture. Many brands, including Stila, have attempted to recreate the texture with no such luck. It's by far the softest eyeshadow I have ever come across, in fact you can see that mine has shattered a little at the bottom, this was from dropping it about 30cm onto carpet. It's that soft.

Kitten is a shimmering champagne colour with extreme pigmentation, it's multi dimensional and has an incredibly reflection when light hits it.

The only downside with this eyeshadow is that because it is so soft it doesn't have a huge amount of staying power when worn on its own. Without a primer, the shadow will start to fade out after about four hours, however with a primer it will last all day.

I love wearing Kitten on it's own or layered over cream shadows, I often blend a cream shadow (like MACs Constructivist Paint Pot) all over the lid and into the crease, then apply Kitten over the eyelid. It's also a great highlight for the inner corner of your eye or under the brow bone.

You can find it at Mecca in Australia for $29 (or from Sephora in the US for $18)
The eyeshadow is pretty large, coming in at 2.6g

 Stila Kitten, showing the reflection in different lights.

Animal Testing: Stila do not test on animals.

November Empties!

Chanel Perfection Lumiere
I adore this foundation, it's the first foundation I've EVER found to match my skin tone perfectly (I'm shade Beige Rose 12 - the lightest). It has a medium coverage (I use a concealed for the rest) and has an amazing wear. I've already repurchased.

Chanel Poudre Universelle
This loose powder leaves my skin so smooth, like I'm not wearing foundation at all. It feels like it would be very silicone heavy because it's so smooth but it's actually silicone free, it's just incredibly finely milled. It's lightly tinted, I use shade Clair. I've already repurchased.

Lancôme Hypnose Drama Mascara
This product isn't really empty but it's gone to thick to use any more. I've reviewed the mascara fully HERE (with before and after pictures) and I do really like it. I won't be repurchasing again because despite the aannouncement from Lancôme that they were ceasing animal testing, this has turned out to not be the case.

Bliss No Zit Sherlock Spot Treatment
I adore Bliss skin care. This is a pretty mild spot treatment and really isn't going to tackle active acne but I like to apply it all over my face once or twice a week to treat my pores and fight off any blemishes under the surface of the skin. Plus, this tube has lasted me for months and months. I'll repurchase.

MAC Crystal Avalanche Eye Shadow
Again, I haven't really used up this product but it's almost past it's expiry and has almost completely dried out.
I've had this eye shadow for almost two years and use it almost every day as an inner corner highlight or lighten shadows if I go a little too dark. I love it, it's a great highlighter for fair skin (it would be too ashy for tanned skin) and I'll be repurchasing.

And of course, Evo Icon Welder and Evo Haze Powder.
I use these two up every month and absolutely adore them. I've already repurchased and will continue to again and again and again and again and again and again.

Friday, November 2, 2012

What happened in October?

October flew by (like all months seem too) but here's what happened in my life this month:

I ran out of foundation! CRISIS! I snatched up my sisters Urban Decay Naked Skin foundation and claimed it as my own, turns out it's actually really nice. I won't buy it for myself because it's a little too yellow for me but it feels great on the skin and lasts all day. 

I've been enjoying getting the last few weeks of wear out of my dark winter nail polishes. I'll enjoy bright summer nail polishes but I adore dark polish and always miss it when the weather gets warmer. 

The previously mentioned running out of foundation. This hasn't ever happened to me before but I got so carried away with how much I am loving my foundation routine that I completely forgot to buy a back up.

That sticky smell in the air, we're only just starting to move into Summer here but I can smell it already. Summer is my least favourite month and I have no shame in complaining about it. 

I posted a picture of my new favourite treat to Instagram earlier in the month, it's the new Cloud Nine Frozen Yogurt. I've tried all the flavours this month and can't pick a favourite.

I've also been swallowing mangoes (practically whole) this month. They've only just started appearing in stores but I think I've eaten about 5 already.

I read three books and started another this month. I read Divergent and  Insurgent by Veronica Roth and LOVED them both. Then I read Matched by Ally Condie, it was really good and I've already ordered the next one in the series but it was probably aimed at a slightly younger audience. I still enjoyed it though and am looking forward to the next book.

I'm currently reading The Scorch Trials by James Dashner, the second book in the Maze Runner series and I'm really enjoying it. It's not quite as 'ohhmygoshIcannotputthisdown' as the Maze Runner was but the story is getting more interesting as it progresses. 

I have a Goodreads account if you'd like to follow what I'm reading and my general reviews on books, you can find it HERE.

A month in Instagram:
This is just a small selection of Instagram photos I've posted this month.
My Instagram username is ohrebeccalife =)

 I often post grocery hauls, no one knows why. 

 I found these amazing Vegan Sausage Rolls at a random deli, I ate them all. 

 This is Charli's halloween costume, she went as a beagle. It was also her birthday this month!

 I waited too long between eyebrow appointments so I decided to 'DIY' a brow tint, didn't turn out too bad either. 

 Considering I clean out my handbag every week, the amount of lipsticks that sneak their way back in is incredible. 14 lipsticks in 5 days. 

 Sometimes I get lazy. Vegan dips, crackers and carrot sticks for dinner. 

I am the king of sandwiches!

 Gorgeous view while walking the beagle <3 i="i">

My Friday night. Candles, bed and a good book :)

Ways you can interact with me outside of my blog:

I hope your October was amazing!

Glasshouse Fragrances 'Bordeaux' Body Bar

If you're looking for a luxurious soap with a scent to literally make you want to lick your skin then I have great news for you, I've found it.

I've had my eye on the Glasshouse Body Bars for a while now but avoided touching them in fear of sparking a fierce addiction. Turns out my willpower isn't as strong as I once thought.

Bordeaux Body Bar is designed around the candle of the same name. It's dripping with Vanilla, Dark Chocolate and Hazelnut in an incredibly unique blend. The scent is intoxicating, like bathing in a bath of rich hot chocolate while a handsome gentleman fans you with vanilla pods. The scent lingers long after you've used the bar.

The bar is rich in Shea Butter, Vitamin E and Almond Oil and is triple milled to feel like velvet on your skin. It lathers beautifully and leaves your skin soft and moisturised.

The bar is quite large so I slice mine up and take it into the shower piece by piece which makes one bar last for months.

One bar will cost you roughly $12.95 (depending on where you purchase it from).

Animal Testing: Glasshouse Fragrances does not test on animals. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Nigella Lawson 'How to be a Domestic Goddess' Giveaway Winners!

Well, after an unexpected wait I can finally announce the winners of the Nigella Lawson 'How to be a Domestic Goddess' giveaway.

There was a glitch with my survey provider and I was unable to view the names and addresses of the entrants for a few days.

Again, a big thank you goes out to Stockland for sponsoring this giveaway!

The winners are...

Elizabeth P and Rachel J

Congratulations to the winners, please send an email to rebecca@easydress.org to confirm your entry.
Your postal address will be provided to a representative of Stockland so that the prize can be sent.

If you didn't win this time, make sure you check back regularly for more giveaways!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Glasshouse Fragrances 'Coney Island' Candle (Burnt Sugar and Fig)

If you follow me on twitter you're probably well aware that I have an obsession with scent, particularly with candles. You're probably also aware that when it comes to candles, I am completely in love with Glasshouse Fragrances.

When I heard whispers of a new limited edition scent back in July I checked my local home wares store almost daily (hence the for mentioned obsession) for this new, mysterious product. Then I started hearing words such as 'burnt sugar' and 'white peony' and my obsession grew from a casual browse to a full blown man hunt. I contacted Glasshouse and they very kindly told me to calm down, the candle won't be released until September.

I bribed a sales girl (because that's the kind of person I am) into calling me as soon as the candle was on their shelves. On the day it launched I waltzed into the store like it was my wedding day and I was about to make a life time commitment to my soul mate. My soul mate was fruitier than expected but oh-so divine.

The stand out notes of Coney Island are Burnt Sugar and Fig but as the candle is burning the smooth blend of Vanilla Blossom, Coconut Milk and Passion Fruit comes to life. Jasmine and Freesia keep the scent lively while Vanilla Ambrette holds a mellow note long after you have finished burning the candle.

Top Notes: Mediterranean Fig, White Peony, Passion Fruit, Bergamot and  White Peach.
Middle: Wild Jasmine, Baby Freesia, Vanilla Blossom, Coconut Milk
Base: Vanilla Ambrette, Fig Leaf, Caramelized Sugar

Can we just talk about how utterly gorgeous this packaging is?
I haven't been able to bring myself to throw away the box because it so beautifully detailed, not to mention the blue glass candle (instead of the regular clear glass).

Glasshouse candles retail for around $38 and have an 80 hour burn time (though I find that it leans more towards 100 hours). They're triple scented and can easily scent your home. I leave mine burning in my lounge room and it scents the room, my bedroom, the kitchen and dining room. The scent lingers long after you have extinguished the flame (by putting the lid back on, never blow out a Glasshouse candle).

Coney Island is limited edition so you'll need to grab it quickly. 

You can find a list of in store and online stockists on www.glasshousefragrances.com

MAC Brush Series - 239 Shader Brush

This post is part of a series of reviews on MAC brushes.

To view other posts in this series please click HERE.

Brush: 239
Title: Shader Brush (Eye)
Cost: $48 ($25 in US)

The 239 Eye Shader brush is a natural hair, short, flat paddle brush designed for shading the entire eye area. It can be used with both powder and cream products.

The bristles are dense enough to pick up enough product without causing fall-out. Shades are applied evenly and can be as sheer or opaque as you desire. I use the brush for shading the entire eye area.

The fibres are very smooth, almost as if they have been waxed (but they haven't). This gives a perfect application and is why this brush is loved among make up artists. It's the only eye shader I use, simply because it's the best.

The brush photographed is two years old and has had almost daily use since it's purchase. It has had no shedding, no fraying and hasn't stained (it still cleans up to the same colour it was when I purchased it).

All MAC brushes are hand sculpted with birch, linden and ramin wood handles and nickel plated brass ferrules.

Best used for: Giving a perfect, even colour over the entire eye area with both cream and powder products.

Disclaimer: I have worked with MAC on a professional level for many years and received a lot of my professional training from MAC. However I have never been employed by MAC and this product was paid for with my own money. I am not being paid for this review, all opinions are my own.

Animal Testing: MAC has always maintained cruelty-free production of products and is against animal testing. There has been some controversy over the past few months but MAC is still maintaining that they do not test on animals. 
Some MAC brushes do contain animal hair. MAC maintains that the hair is is farmed ethically and cruelty-free. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

September Empties!

I've never written an 'Empties' post before (mostly because I don't use up that many products) but I had a few this month so I decided to give it a go..

Palmers Cocoa Butter Body Wash
This is absolutely my favourite body wash, it's cheap ($5.99 from supermarkets), sulfate and paraben free and it's very moisturising. It smells delicious and a bottle lasts a few months. It also lathers really well which is rare in sulfate free products. I will definitely repurchase (in fact, I already have).

Evo The Great Hydrator Hair Treatment
One of my favourite products, this is an incredibly nourishing treatment for my chemically treated, heat fried hair. I use it once or twice a week instead of conditioner and leave it on for about 10-15 minutes to get the best result. My hair is left incredibly shiny and soft and it has been a huge helper in healing my burnt hair, you can read more about that HERE. I've already repurchased and am on probably my 5th bottle of this.

Evo Icon Welder Heat Tamer Spray
I don't really need to explain this one, I go through about a bottle a month (I use a lot of heat on my hair) and have raved about the product HERE. I will continue to repurchase.

OPI Drip Dry
I'd purchased this a few times before deciding to bite the bullet and buy the salon sized bottle. It cost me around $30 (from the US) but has lasted well over a year. You place a few drops onto wet nail polish and leave it for a minute. It speeds up the drying process and you'll have dry nails within two minutes. I probably won't repurchase only because I usually use a Shellac UV cured top coat over my nail polish but it's definitely a good buy, especially if you're impatient and always mess up your wet nails.

Evo Haze
I asked my hairdresser how to solve my number one life problem: flat hair (some may call me a little over-dramatic). She said 'Evo Haze, of course'. I've always teased my hair or crimped the roots to give a good lift and my hair was hating me for it. Evo Haze is a styling powder, you dust it on your roots and rub it in with your fingers. It turns from a powder to a liquid and sets into place. It gives great volume and holds all day. I've already repurchased and will continue too.

Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara
My favourite mascara of all time. It's a super rich black formula that gives incredible volume and length. I've gone through countless tubes of Lights Camera Lashes and always have a few back ups stashed away in a drawer. I'll always repurchase.

Lancome Artliner
I love this liner, it's the only one I've used for the past 4 months (this is my second tube). It's a rich black felt tip liner and it doesn't flake or budge during the day. It's incredibly easy to apply and allows you to choose how thick your line is and how you taper it off at the end. It's a perfect liner, I will repurchase.

How many products did you use up this month?

MAC Brush Series - 217 Blending Brush

This post is part of a series of reviews on MAC brushes.

To view other posts in this series please click HERE.

Brush: 217
Title: Blending Brush (Eye)
Cost: $37 ($23 in US)

The 217 blending brush is a natural hair, oval tapered brush designed for shading and blending the eye. It's best used with powder products but can be used with cream products if they're not too dry.

I use it for shading the entire eye area or for blending darker colours into the crease. It's also tapered enough to blend colours into the outer corner.

The bristles are medium-dense, they hold their shape and blend colours effortlessly.

I own a few of these because they are one of my all time favourite brushes. They have a unique shape to them, a shape typically reserved for foundation brushes.

The brush photographed is three years old and has had almost daily use since it's purchase. It has had no shedding, only very minimal fraying and hasn't stained (it still cleans up to the same colour it was when I purchased it).

All MAC brushes are hand sculpted with birch, linden and ramin wood handles and nickel plated brass ferrules.

Best used for: Shading the crease and blending darker colours into the socket or outer corner.

Disclaimer: I have worked with MAC on a professional level for many years and received a lot of my professional training from MAC. However I have never been employed by MAC and this product was paid for with my own money. I am not being paid for this review, all opinions are my own.

Animal Testing: MAC has always maintained cruelty-free production of products and is against animal testing. There has been some controversy over the past few months but MAC is still maintaining that they do not test on animals. 
Some MAC brushes do contain animal hair. MAC maintains that the hair is is farmed ethically and cruelty-free. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Extra Strength Hair Serum (Review)

My hair naturally is a frizz-bomb and the fact that I'm running a straightener through it every day doesn't help. I use Moroccan Oil (reviewed HERE) after I wash it with heavy duty shampoos and conditioners to give it much needed moisture. But sometimes it's just not calming down, especially if it's a humid or windy day.

My hair is long, which means it's already going to be slightly unhealthy, but the fact that I colour it every three weeks and use a lot of heat on it to look presentable doesn't help.

John Freida Frizz Ease Ultra Repair Serum is great for taming suddenly dry or frizzy hair. Sometimes my hair may be perfectly smooth in the morning by by the afternoon it's gets slightly frizzy through the lengths, this serum is great for a quick fix to treat it.
It's also weather proof so even if you get caught in a wind storm you're still going to be able to run your fingers through your hair and bring it back to that presentable state.

I separate my hair into two sections and run two pumps through each section. It absorbs quickly and doesn't leave hair feeling or looking greasy or oily. It adds a gorgeous shine to hair and is colour-less (which means it will be great for blonde's!).
I'm only about an eighth of the way through my bottle and I've been using it almost every day for two months.
I highly recommend this product for anyone who wishes their hair was smoother, had more shine or had less frizz. I will use up the bottle and I will repurchase.
You'll be able to find it in Coles, Woolworths and Priceline in Australia for $10-12 or in Ulta, Walgreens and Rite Aid in the US for $4-6.

Animal Testing: John Frieda does not test their products on animals however it is owned by Kao brands which does test on animals. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Nigella Lawson "How to be a Domestic Goddess" Giveaway! (CLOSED)

This giveaway is closed, winners announced on Tuesday 16th of October, 2012.
It's no secret that I'm kind of obsessed with cooking and baking, in fact, if you follow me on instagram (ohrebeccalife) you would be used to pictures of my meals and snacks by now. I have several Nigella Lawson cook books but when Stockland contact me to host a giveaway of Nigella's latest cook book I had to say yes.

How to be a Domestic Goddess is different than other cook books because Nigella takes the time to explain each recipe and how she came up with it, she also explains important elements of the recipe for you to focus on to make the whole baking experience much easier and faster. The book also contains delicious pictures of most of the recipes.

You can see a full description of How to be a Domestic Goddess HERE but in the mean time, I have two copies of the cook book to giveaway to two lucky readers.

Giveaway brought to you by Stockland! Stockland is Australia’s largest diversified property group, with a range of home, land and retail developments across Australia. From houses for sale in Horsley to real estate in South Morang, there is sure to be a place to build your perfect home. And, as a leading sustainable organisation, Stockland’s developments are designed to enhance the environment – not to spoil it. Stockland gives your family a place to truly call home – a place where your family can live and grow.

Of course, there are a few rules and terms:

  1. You must follow my blog with Google Friend Connect, just click on 'Join This Site' to the left of the screen, under the 'About Me' section. There are no exceptions to this rule, you must be a follower to be a winner.
  2. You must enter the giveaway HERE
  3. Only enter if you agree to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy policy found HERE.
  4. Winners will be chosen at random using random.org.
  5. There will be 2x First Prize winners of one (1) How To Be A Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson
  6. Your postal address will be provided to Stockland Property Group if you win this competition
  7. The giveaway will be open until 11.59pm AusEST on the 15th of October, 2012.
  8. The winners will be announced on the 16th of October, 2012.
  9. This giveaway is open to readers in Australia, United States, United Kingdom and Canada.
  10. Previous EasyDress.org winners may enter the competition

Good luck!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Evo 'The Therapist' Shampoo and Condition (Review)

Are you ready to have your mind blown?

You'll have to wait for something else then because this review isn't mind blowing. It should come as no shock to anyone that I am about to write a rave review of an Evo product (especially after THIS post - Warning, I use Caps Lock.. a lot). In fact you should be expecting this. After all, Evo is my favourite hair care brand.

You probably already know that about 6 months ago I set my hair on fire. If you're not up-to-speed you can read all about here HERE.

I have been hunting for a shampoo and conditioner to truly nourish and strengthen my hair from the inside, not just to make it shiny and soft on the outside. I tried various different brands, both high end and low end, but nothing was even attempting to combat my fried strands of hair. In fact, even the most nourishing of shampoos left my hair feeling stringy and dead.

But low and behold in steps Evo to save the day.

The Therapist Calming Shampoo and Conditioner is formulated as naturally as possible while still containing all the necessary ingredients to strengthen, calm and repair your hair. It's bursting with moisture and is completely paraben and sulfate free.

If you've never used a sulfate free shampoo before then you should know that sulfates are what causes the shampoo to lather. Sulfate free shampoo goes on like a gel and will only mildly lather as you work it into your hair. It's easy to over use a sulfate free shampoo because it's quite strange to use at first but just apply it in the same way you would with any other shampoo - starting at the roots and working it through to the ends.
The shampoo leaves my hair soft and I can still easily run my fingers through it. It doesn't strip the hair of it's natural moisture but it still gives a thorough clean. It works at repairing each strand by building up the protein.

The conditioner is as luxurious as you think. I start by taking a small amount and running it through the roots of my hair. Then I take a larger amount and run it through the lengths. You can feel it conditioning your hair and your roots from the moment you apply it. I leave the conditioner on for 2-3 minutes (while I wash my face, brush my teeth, etc).

When I wash out the conditioner my hair is soft and silky, it feels stronger and it has a distinctive shine. It's not so soft that it feels like plastic because the products aren't loaded with silicons and vegetable fats. 

I've noticed a lot less breaking and less hair left on my hair brush since using these products. My hair is slowly recovering from burn damage and feels more hydrated every day.

One set of bottles lasts about a month (washing my long hair every second day) and I'm now on my 3rd set. The bottles are around $26 each for 300ml, which is the regular price for a high end hair product.
Evo products are sold in selected salons only and you can find a list of local stockists on evohair.com.au or you can purchase online at evohair.com.au or adorebeauty.com.au

Animal Testing: Evo does not test on animals.

NARS Orgasm Blush (Review)

This is one of the only blushes that can actually be called a 'classic'. I'm sure you've heard of it but if you haven't you have truly been missing out.

It's really just 'one of those shades'. It's universally loved because it's universally flattering. It's the perfect combination of pink, peach and gold to give a stunning flush to any skin tone. It's actually shocking to me that I haven't reviewed it yet.

Orgasm combines a soft posey pink with a slight frost, a matte peach shade and a iridescent sheer gold. The colours are all combined to create this magnificent product.

It will suit any skin tone, it's sheer but buildable, the fairest of the fair and darkest of the dark will be able to apply this blush with ease. It's not too pink, it's not too orange. It doesn't pack a whole load of shimmer but it does have a gorgeous golden glow.

The wear time is decent (around 6-8 hours) and the product is a great size considering the small amount that you need to use.
It's a high end product, it's going to have a high end price tag but I definitely think that it is worth it, even if you do typically stick to drug store products.
I don't want to build it up so much that I am telling you I don't know how you've been living without it, but I really want too. 

You can purchase at Mecca Cosmetica for around $45 or at Nordstrom/Sephora in the US for $26

Animal Testing: NARS does not test on animals.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The 'MAC at Target' Saga

Well isn't this the trending topic of the month?

For those outside of Australia, I should start by letting you know that MAC (and all cosmetics) cost approximately double here than what they do in the US. A MAC eyeshadow is $36, a foundation is $49 and a blush is $40. MAC is only sold at MAC counters, MAC stores and online through the MAC website.

For those in Australia, you've probably read by now that Target have started selling MAC products and no one, not even MAC themselves, are sure how Target managed to get their hands on the items and why they are able to sell them at such a low cost ($19, instead of $36 that you pay buying directly from MAC).

The biggest concern is their authenticity and how old the products are. 

I've seen myself quoted on several blogs now discussing the 'MAC at Target' issue and there are a few places where I have been misquoted or linked to being directly associated with MAC and Target. This has resulted in my inbox being flooded with questions on whether I think the products are fake and a few people even thinking that I have been somehow involved with the products being stocked at Target.

I'm going to answer your questions and keep this as brief as possible, please note that these are my opinions on the situation only.

Are you employed by MAC? Are you employed by Target?

I do have a working relationship with MAC but I am not employed by them. I am also not employed by Target but I have been employed by Coles Group who own Target. Neither of these two things alter my views on the 'MAC at Target' saga.

Are you involved with Target stocking MAC Cosmetics?

No, I only found out about it at the same time that you did, when it was announced on public forums and on the Target website.

Are the MAC products at Target authentic or fakes?

Unfortunately the only people who can answer that question is Target. I really don't know. They appear to be authentic products and Target have assured the public that they are not fake products.

Will you be purchasing MAC products at Target?

Absolutely not. Target is not an authorised stockist of MAC Cosmetics and we really have no idea where they have sourced the products from. Target have stated that they sourced their MAC products from the US through a wholesaler in Melbourne. MAC do not have any wholesalers in the US or Australia.

Have you spoken with MAC about the products stocked at Target?

Yes and all information that I can gather is that MAC really have no idea where these products have come from and are completely unaware of their authenticity.

How do you think that Target have acquired the products and how do you feel about the whole situation?

Please be aware that this is my opinion only.

Personally, I don't think that Target would knowingly sell counterfeit MAC products. I believe that they have purchased these products through a wholesaler in Melbourne, just like they have stated. I think that Target have seen all of the forums, articles and blog posts that discuss how 'unfair' it is that cosmetics in Australia are so highly priced and have found a way to make a quick profit on selling these items.

The main problem we are faced with is this 'wholesaler' based in Melbourne. We have no idea where this person has found these products to sell to Target in such large quantities. There are approximately 300 Target stores in Australia and by looking at photos of the MAC displays it appears that each display has a stock of 40-50 items. This means that Target has purchased 12,000-15,000 items from the US to sell in Australia. Now surely if anyone was purchasing 15,000 products, resulting in a $300,000 order, MAC would raise a red flag and know that something is going on. It just doesn't make sense that MAC have no clue where these items have come from and why Target are selling them.

All of these things seem to point towards counterfeit products. 

Not only that but how much does Target have to gain from selling these products? If they're buying each eyeshadow for $15.95 from the US and selling them for $19 they're only making a $3 or 16% profit. And that doesn't include shipping and import costs to get the products here.

Considering that Target generally make a 200-600% profit on each item it really doesn't make sense that they would go through all the effort of bringing products into Australia to only make a 16% profit.

This means that Target must have bought the items at a cheaper cost.

There are three ways to buy discounted MAC products. 

1. A MAC Pro card which gives up to 40% discount. No one could ever get away with purchasing this quantity of products on a MAC Pro card. MAC would immediately pick it up as suspicious activity, block the order and cancel the Pro account of the card holder. This option isn't possible.

2. Cosmetic Outlets. These are scattered all around the US and sell old MAC (and Estee Lauder) stock at a discounted price (usually about 30% cheaper). It is possible that MAC could have cleaned out all of these outlets but that means they would have to have someone go all over the US, going into each outlet and purchasing all of the stock. This would also raise an alert to Estee Lauder (who own MAC) that something is going on. My original theory was that this is how Target had acquired all of the products but the more I think about it, the more unlikely it seems.

3. Fakes. You can buy fake MAC at an incredibly cheap price. Not only that but there are different types of fakes. There are the obvious fakes that you can spot a mile away but there are also fakes that are really similar to the authentic product and can easily slip by consumers who believe that they are real.

It has already been noted that some of the MAC products in Target appear to have very slightly different packaging than the MAC products that consumers have purchased through MAC stores in Australia.

Target have said that the packaging is different because the products are purchased in the US who have slightly different packaging to Australia. 

This isn't true either. I have many MAC products (well over 100) that have been purchased in both Australia and the US and the packaging is exactly the same. Most MAC products are made in Canada and the US. Some are made in Japan and France. The products are shipped from the same factories to the rest of the world. There is no difference in packaging in any country.

Target have stated that their MAC products are put through two laboratory tests to ensure that they're genuine. No laboratory test is going to confirm whether a product is genuine or not, it will only confirm whether the product is safe for human use. Not only that but I have studied chemistry, you don't put a finished product through a lab test. This appears to me to be a quick lie to cover any lack on their part. Or Target have been told by their 'wholesaler' that they have put the products through testing, we have no idea if this is true or not.

All signs here point towards a fake product. 


I think that Target have sourced these products through a wholesaler based in Melbourne however I don't think that it is possible that these items are authentic. It's too much work for far too little profit. The explanations on product and packaging variations are false. If Target had purchased such large quantities of MAC products, MAC would know that there had been suspicious activity and would have most likely blocked the sale.

The being said, I am willing to give Target the benefit of doubt that they have been unaware that these products are counterfeit.
Their statements on product packaging variations and sourcing from a 'wholesaler' are the exact same statements that I have received from companies selling fake products. If Target purchased these products and the wholesaler is covering their back by giving these excuses as to why the products don't look the same, it's likely that Target would believe it.

I do think that Target is selling fake MAC products but I also think that they were unaware of this themselves. Fake MAC can be hard to spot and most people don't even know that fake MAC exists.

Fake cosmetics can be dangerous, you have no idea what ingredients they are made with or what testing processes the items have been through before reaching you. It's not worth running the risk. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sara Happ 'The Lip Slip' Lip balm - Review

I'm always on the hunt for a perfect lip balm. My lips love to dry out, it's like their hobby. I have a few favourites but I'd been longing to try out this balm for a long, long time. 

'The Lip Slip' by Sara Happ is an ultra rich balm with an incredibly wear time. I have never tried a lip balm that stays put for so long. If I apply it before bed it will still be on my lips when I wake up, it's that rich.

However, luxury like this doesn't come without a cost. Because the balm is so rich and so moisturising it also happens to be incredibly sticky. As someone who won't even wear a semi-sticky lip gloss, this is an adjustment for me. I want my lips to slide together, not grip onto each other. I've never encountered a product as sticky as this, no lip gloss could compete with the grip that this balm has.

The balm is long wearing because it's sticky, you couldn't eliminate this factor without changing the balm completely.

The balm is petroleum free (yay!) and contains Beeswax, Jojoba and Sweet almond oil for nourishment.

The other downfall is the taste. While it's nothing horrible and it's not that unpleasant, it does have that 'plastic' kind of taste to it. It smells nice though and looks great on the lips. It's a clear balm with the smallest micro-shimmer. It looks really fresh and glossy.

For me, this isn't a day time balm. The sticky texture is just too much for me to handle. It works perfectly as a night time treatment though, as long as you're not planning for any midnight kisses.

A 15g pot (which will last you a long, long time when using as a night treatment) will cost you $34.95 in Australia (you can buy online HERE) or $24 in the US, available from Sephora and Nordstrom.

Animal Testing: Sara Happ does not test on animals.