now browsing by category
I was sent one to review, and let me tell you, it is the easiest thing in the world to apply neatly. You outline and then you colour in – you don’t even really need a mirror for this, AND it doesn’t come off on your teeth or glass (volunteers needed for a pash test though). I scrawled some on before leaving the house one morning and was surprised to discover I was still wearing it at lunch, and it still looked fine. That speaks volumes to me about how it feels as well, not at all drying like most colour-stay stuff.
Here’s what Max Factor say about it:
Launching in 6 super-rich shades, it’s time to unleash your inner-artist to create your boldest glamour statement yet. The easy application of a lipstick bullet tip combined with the convenience of a pencil in a jumbo design; means Colour Elixir Giant Pen Stick is your perfect lip painting tool. The ultra-pigmented formula delivers strong colour, a sculpted tip ensures a precise result whilst the smooth texture means colour glides on effortlessly without bleeding. It’s easy – simply play, experiment, and show off your signature style. You are the artist.
The two things I didn’t like about it? I’m not sure how I will sharpen it when I need to (I guess I’ll buy a sharpener?) and also the colour. I was sent Princess Pink, which is much paler than I would normally wear, to the point where it’s pretty much a nude, as you will see in this fairly unhinged looking picture of me.
Yeah I know it’s rude to complain about things that are free, so instead, since they’re only $17, I will go buy myself a brighter colour and wear that very happily.
If you’ve been reading this site for a while, you’ll know that I love the Gillette Venus razor but in its original form. None the less, when I received a Venus Spa Breeze in a package of goodies from a PR company, I figured I’d give it a good go. First, the official word:
The secret to an easy yet indulgent shave? Venus Spa Breeze. Simply add water for a skin-loving, light lather and a smooth shave—there’s no need for separate shave cream. Even better, the shave gel bars are infused with the fresh scent of white tea to soothe your senses.
The shave gel bars did indeed help the razor glide over my legs, and I didn’t feel any of that hitching you get if you ever stupidly try to shake without lube. However, I do feel like I didn’t get the closest shave possible, because the bars kept the blades from making perfect contact with my skin. That was actually a good thing in my armpits, where I’m more prone to irritation, but my legs didn’t feel as smooth as usual. They did improve with a buttload of moisturiser though, but I can’t help but feel I will get hairier sooner than usual.
I can see the benefit in not wanting to lug shaving foam around with you, but as a person who washes her hair every day, I’ll always have conditioner with me that I would use instead. They might be more useful if you shave with a leg propped up on the sink instead of in the shower though, less drippy.
Frankly though, given that regular Venus blades sell for around $15 at Chaffers New World, and the Spa Breeze ones sell for $26, it’s clear that the biggest benefit to this new razor is to Gillette’s bottom line.
Also, and this is a problem with SO many things, but the day that clamshell packaging dies in a fire forever will be a very happy day indeed. Those things are way too hard to get into.
While I’m working through products I should have written about a long time ago, I also got sent a bunch of Health Basics products to try. They were celebrating their new look launch, and how they’ve named products after New Zealand locations, and that they’re using local stuff in them. I like a good quote of the press release, so here we go:
Inspired by the beautiful landscapes of New Zealand, the Health Basics personal care range, including body wash, hand wash, and bar soap, has been renewed with new product formulations and smart design features for Kiwis who desire something more indigenous and authentic in their daily wash rituals.
The refreshed range has been renamed after iconic New Zealand locations, while New Zealand- based ingredients such as manuka honey, kiwifruit, pohutukawa extract, harakeke, and avocado oils have been added.
One of the things they mention is how you can easily peel off the labels on the handwash so your bathroom looks less cluttered. Here, let me steal an image from their site to show you what I mean.
I’m not sure how many people will do that – it seems like if having a pristine bathroom was that important to you, you’d probably fill your own bottles. I do think though that having the bodywash on a rope is bloody great, because man, my shower caddy is overflowing with products. And their website is really pretty and easy to navigate.
But enough with the aesthetics, how are the products? Well, I took a bottle of the Wanaka daybreak hand soap away with me for a group holiday with a big bunch of people at New Year’s, and I chopped a lot of onions. The soap absolutely removed all oniony smell from my hands every time. I was very impressed. Definitely a product you might want to put by your kitchen sink.
Meanwhile the Opito Bay bodywash foams up really nicely with a puff for leg shaving, which is an important requirement for me in a body wash. I don’t love the smell of jojoba, but I might try the Ruby Bay Sunset or Akaroa Sunset milk & honey varieties once this one runs out.
I like how in their FAQ they talk about how the products are made in NZ, that they’re not tested on animals and they make it clear what products are suitable for vegans (all but the milk & honey). You should look out for Health Basics in your supermarket, and buy the ones that smell good to you. Excellent.
Once upon a time, when I was a small Megan, I applied my makeup thusly: foundation with fingers, blush with the teensy brush that came in the compact, mascara via mascara wand, chapstick straight from tube. Obvious problems there – primary of which is that if I went out in that much makeup now, people would think I had consumption. But aside from the fact that apparently I am fading like a flower, what the hell is with that teensy brush they give you? My cheeks are quite a generous portion of my face, while that brush was doll-size.
My search for a better tool than these stubby fingers has eventually led me to this point – trialling makeup brushes I heard about on Youtube. Real Techniques (by Samantha Chapman) came to my attention because I watch makeup tutorials by Sam, and her sister Nic, on their Youtube channel pixiwoo. I then went on a jaunt to Sydney last year and came across the brushes in Priceline. In my insanity, I bought one. I knew you couldn’t get them in New Zealand, yet I only bought one *shakes head in disappointment with self’s inability to make good decisions*.
Well, I think I can sum up this review by saying: I now own 11.
These brushes are extraordinarily good. They’re all synthetic, which is nice for our vegetarian and vegan buddies, with aluminium handles. The base of the handles is flat, which means you can stand the brushes up. I find this super handy when I am at the gym and don’t want to lie my brushes on the benches and then rub them all over my face.
I have not experienced any shedding with these brushes and they re-shape perfectly after washing. They haven’t stained and they dry very quickly. I absolutely love the expert face brush and the buffing brush for applying foundation, and the detailer brush, base shadow brush, and deluxe crease brush are perfect for every kind of eyeshadow application I need to do. The bristles are beautifully soft and dense and the handles are just the right length and balance in my hand (even with the heavier rubberised bases).
They are also incredibly price-competitive. I have the following (prices in USD):
- the blush brush: $9
- the expert face brush: $9
- the core collection set* (detailer brush, pointed foundation brush, buffing brush, contour brush): $18
- the starter set for eyes (base shadow brush, deluxe crease brush, accent brush, pixel-point eyeliner brush, brow brush): $18
That means I have spent approximately $NZ65 on 11 brushes, or a little less than $6 per brush. I also spent $15 on shipping, so let’s say $80. Let’s compare that to the brushes that I consider are similar in terms of accessibility – the Manicare brushes available at Farmers. If you had $80 to spend on those brushes you could buy:
- the foundation brush: $26.99
- the angled blush brush: $22.49
- the powder brush: $27.99
…and you’d have $2.50 in change. You’d also have three brushes which, in my opinion, just are not as good as the Real Techniques brushes (and I do own a couple of the Manicare brushes, purchased before I discovered Real Techniques and my powder brush STILL sheds after three years!).
Seriously, I cannot emphasise enough how great my experience with these brushes has been. If you have been considering buying some entry-level makeup brushes but thought MAC was too expensive (because you guys, you can spend hundreds on brushes if
you go top of the line**) then I strongly recommend buying just one set of these and seeing how you like them. I’m already planning my next little order…
You can purchase the Real Techniques brushes at: www.iherb.com. You can also check out the Real Techniques website (link above) for tutorials and detailed information about the brushes and sets.
*The sets also come with handy brush cases that turn into a stand.
**please note: definitely not implying MAC brushes are top of the line. If you want a nice sense of what brushes can cost, look up the Tom Ford, Suqqu and Hakuhodo brushes. Yikes!
It would be one of the greatest understatements of our time to say I like having my nails painted. I own [undisclosed number] of nail polishes. I coordinate my outfits with my nail polish. It’s intense.
However, even with the magic of fast-drying top coat it can be a time-consuming task and gals, I got stuff to get done. So you can imagine my excitement when I learnt of the existence of nail polish that comes as a sticker – that is, already dry.
The first one I tried was from Sally Hansen (the Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips), and I really liked it a lot. The strips were easy to apply and looked neat. It’s particularly cool to be able to try patterns on your nails that wouldn’t otherwise be within the grasp of your/my nail art skills. However, the price was way too high – on par with the price of a bottle of polish but for a single application.
I also tried Butter London’s take on this product and it was terrible.
I had resigned myself to only using nail polish strips for special occasions and when I felt particularly richy-rich. But then…Japan City came through for me again.
This version cost me $3.99. But would it be on par with the much more expensive Sally Hansen experience?
I really didn’t expect much, so I only bought one. Mistake. These were really good – easy to apply, they stand up well to wear, and of course far less time-consuming than real nail polish.
You just stick them onto your nail like a sticker, then fold them gently over the nail tip and then file off the excess. EASY.
Here’s what I achieved (on both hands) in less than 10 minutes:
Not perfect, but pretty amazing for $3.99 and ten minutes. Unfortunately, the colour/pattern range was somewhat limited, but there’s definitely enough scope for some fun patterns to slap onto your nails on a Saturday morning for some weekend fun.
I’m heading back to pick up a few packets for a GIVEAWAY. In order to be in the running for three different patterns of mysterious Japanese nail strips, leave a comment below with your best ever beauty bargain. Each bargain constitutes one entry; winner will
be selected at random; winner will be drawn on Friday 8 March 2013; and the competition is open internationally.
<em><a href=”http://prettyprettypretty.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/samypure.jpg”><img class=”alignright size-full wp-image-4443″ title=”samypure” src=”http://prettyprettypretty.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/samypure.jpg” alt=”"
width=”225″ height=”300″ /></a>Today’s guest post comes from the lovely Hilare.</em>
Something happened to me, which I have to share with the PPP readers.
On an average workday, where everything was going averagely OK. I walked into a meeting in the morning and instantly all eyes were on me, gasps of admiration were heard and one brave soul put forward, “Wow, you look so glamorous today”.
I nearly died of happiness, but was also confused. This was not what I expected, I had been running late, washed my hair before I went out and didn’t have time to dry it properly, I buy essay online cheap hadn’t put any make up on and my outfit was rather office worker-esque. I couldn’t understand the admiration but basked in the glow the room gave me; as naturally any PPP Reader would. A little later a co-worker asked me what I had done, why was my hair so lovely today, had I dyed it? Had I been to the hairdresser? Had I used a new shampoo??
And then the answer came to me, of course yes I had switched shampoos. Being admired was the last result I was expecting. I had picked up a new set of shampoo and conditioner at the pharmacy based solely on the environmental credentials they had touted – 100% vegan and also sulphate free. The main selling point by being sulphate free, is that the products aims to have no residue. So when I used them for the first time, I felt quite disappointed, my hair didn’t have the same feel as after other shampoos – it didn’t squeak with cleanliness, it felt limp and it felt too soft to be right. If I was basing this review on my first wash experience, I would tell people to throw the bottles in the bin. But apparently that’s how your hair should feel when you wash it properly, it should not be stripped of all its natural oils so much that it squeaks. I wasn’t aware of it until my workmates complimented me, but something magical happened when my hair dried. It became so soft, shiny, frizz free and healthy looking. It was so soft, tangle free and easy to style and brush. I looked like I had just spent an afternoon being pampered at the salon.
I’ve been using it for a while now and people still make lovely comments on my hair, making me feel pretty and glamorous.
I’ve had a few nights out which have required hairdos based on mega-hold products, and found that I’ve managed to wash them our pretty easily with Samy Pure. I use Moroccan hair oil on my ends and that doesn’t seem to sit too heavily either. The only thing with this shampoo is that I find I’m washing my hair a little more often. I used to able able to go four days – now I can go two or three.
The bottles were $19 each from Life Pharmacy in the James Smith Building. As I have very long hair, I eat conditioner like no tomorrow. I reckon one bottle will last me about three months. The shampoo will last me anywhere six months to a year. So far more value than supermarket green brands of hair care, which only seem to last a month if I’m lucky.
For me, with long straight hair, I think I’ve found the perfect shampoo for my hair type. I am a very happy girl.
I’d rate Samy Pure 4.5 / 5 Beautiful results, value for money and lovely fragrance.
your ex back freewhy your ex girlfriend what u as your frind she have a boy friend
In part due to your comments in the giveaway post, I’ve been trying a few products to see if I can report back on cheaper alternatives to products I presently love. Rather than write a million separate reviews, I’ve decided to do a round-up review!
Starting at the left with the Sunsilk Captivating Curls and Waves mousse. I have really curly hair and use Kerastase Oleo Curl every day. I love Oleo Curl but in wet, windy winter weather my hair does tend to fluff up. I’ve tried other products (including a great John Frieda product that I’ll review at some stage) but my hairdresser’s pro tip was to mix a little Oleo Curl with mousse. I chose this one because it was anti-frizz and I LOVE it. It gives that extra bit of hold without making my hair at all crispy. Plus it is really cheap and available from the supermarket.
Mascara: I was a bit scared to try a cheap mascara since you put it on your eye. However, I sucked it up and tried thisBaolishi Waterproof with Fibre Liquid Mascarafrom Japan City (Wellington). It was $3.99 so hopes weren’t that high. It really does lengthen and thicken my lashes pretty well, it doesn’t smell weird, and I like the brush.
It took a looooong time to dry – to the point where I was wiping off residue nearly half an hour later – but once it dried it was all good. I guess for $3.99 this is a pretty good product, so long as you aren’t nervous about the provenance of your mascara.
I have dark circles (and always have) so when I saw the Australis Colour Corrector in Gold I was willing to give it a go. Yes, I think it helped a little. I used it over eye cream and under my concealer and it was illuminating, plus a little goes a long way. However, after using this for a couple of weeks my undereye got super dry and started to flake. Not a good look. I am going to trial this again but for now, I would suggest using this for special occasions only.
Speaking of undereyes, please run out and purchase the Natio Ageless Brightening Eye Cream. I have been using this religiously since the start of the year and (a) I am still on my first tube, and (b) my undereye is hydrated and delightful. This makes my concealer go on really smooth and is just generally good times. I have a theory that the best way to avoid aging in your eye area is just hydration and sunscreen. I hesitate to use anti-aging products even though I am 29 and prevention begins now, because I just don’t know what effect those products will have on such a sensitive part of my face. This product seems to back me up because twice in the past month I have been mistaken for an 18-year old. REPRESENT.
Also from our Australian buddies is this Australis Creme Colour for Cheeks and Lips. Sarah asked in the comments of the giveaway how you should apply cream blush. For this one I use a stippling brush (very easy to identify: they have brush hairs that start black near the handle and then turn white right at the top). I really like this but I haven’t been using it for very long so can’t fully report. At $16 plus the current 20% off at Farmers it is definitely worth trying though. It does have a strong fragrance of lavender as you apply it but that disappears quickly.
The Aussies didn’t do so well with this Chi Chi nail varnish. It claims to be salon formula but I am super sceptical. This was thick and gloopy, not opaque, and (troublingly) it kind of…melted…the nail shields I was using. I used this for a neon French manicure, where the tips are bright orange and the rest of the nail is natural and it was a nightmare. I haven’t chucked it yet because I want to use it for a pedicure and see how it goes, but I do not recommend and frankly am not looking forward to trying it.
Turning to lip products, I have really enjoyed the Revlon ColorStay Soft and Smooth lip product I purchased. I obviously did not need this, in light of my collection of balmy lip products, but I thought it might solve the “wears off really quickly” problem I had with the lighter colours in those. Unfortunately, this is not Color Stay like the other Revlon products of that type – this wears off just like any normal moisturising lipstick. However, it is beautifully smoothing on the lips and I have found myself reaching for it quite a bit.
I have not enjoyed the Flower LipGloss 03 that I purchased from Japan City. AVOID. This was a beautiful colour in the tube and I
thought might be a great dupe for my favourite Chanel gloss, which I am over halfway through. That was a special treat I bought myself during a hard time, and I do not generally consider it smart to throw down that much money on a lipgloss. However, better to spend 15 times as much on the Chanel than spend the $3.50 on this. It stunk of soap, which I could also taste when I put it on. It did nothing to my lips despite being shimmmery in the tube and was disgustingly sticky. I have already thrown this away.
Not all cheap products are bad though (duh) and thisLA Colours liquid eyeliner in Brown has performed really well. I got this at The Warehouse for a few dollars. Two things to note: first, this is a very wet formula and the brush is very flexible, so if you are new to liquid eyeliner you should avoid this until you get your skills. I prefer a reasonably thick line and I have put liquid eyeliner hundreds of times, so no worries for me. Secondly, this will take a while to set so I suggest curling your lashes first (otherwise your lash curler will lift this product off your eyeline).
Finally (I did not realise how long this would be) is the Broadway Fast French Deceptions stick on nails. You basically glue these on yourself. I really liked these and they looked super natural (I got them in the short length) but I did have to remove the fake French manicure coating on the nails and paint them in my own varnish. The coating was a bit too Geordie Shore for my liking. My Mum also tried these after seeing them on me and liked them too. I was a bit nervous about getting these off as you are meant to soak your fingers in acetone and melt it off, but in the end they just peeled off after about two weeks, which was right about when I needed to remove them as there was a small gap forming at the bottom of the nail by my cuticle. I don’t recommend that removal approach as it could damage your own nail but mine were pretty much fine. Again, these would be great for a special occasion and I will purchase these again.
Right, that’s it! A few cheaper products, some of which were a success and some of which possibly contained neurotoxins. Are there any super cheap things you’re loving? Let us know!
ditioner” width=”194″ height=”300″ />The lovely publicist who sent me a bunch of Nivea stuff also asked me what kind of hair I have (coloured and dry with greasy roots), and sent me down some Sebastian Hydre shampoo and conditioner (known as ‘Drench’ in the US) to review as well.
Sebastian Hydre Shampoo is a moisturising cleanser that deeply nourishes with a colour safe formula.
This stuff looks and feels expeeeeeeeeeeensive (and it is, at something like $41 a bottle). I love the sleek bottle design, and the conditioner feels thicker and richer than anything I’ve used before. The
scent is pleasant, but unplaceable. My hair does feel well nourished and loved afterwards, sleek and pretty. One thing though, and I appreciate this might sound sort of nuts, is that I feel like this shampoo and conditioner really really brings out my grey hairs – of which I have a lot. I was okay with that as I was applying for more senior jobs and thought the grey hair might give me some kind of respectability, but now I have got the job I wanted, I don’t want the greys to shine! It might be great for those of you who want to play up the highlights in your hair though.
I really like this shampoo and conditioner, and would happily use it every day, except that there is no way I could justify the price to myself. I am lucky
enough to have hair that responds fine to supermarket brands so they will be what I will stick to, at least until I find myself a rich spouse. I’m going to use the remains on my hair on special occasions, and then keep the empty bottles in my shower so that people think I am fancy.