Friday, February 21, 2014

read, books, poetry, boundless, infinite, paint,
Source: Unknown

Dear Friday's Letters, thought I'd bring you back...

I handed in my resignation this week.  Some of you may remember me mentioning that my Dad is really sick.  It's times like these that a family needs to be together so I've decided to move to Newcastle.  In saying that it was an incredibly easy decision to make.  It's no secret that I've found Adelaide an extremely difficult place to live this past year and I've spent 6 years now living away from my family so even though Newcastle isn't technically my 'home' I do feel like I'm finally moving home.

I decided to amp up my fitness regime again to try to lose the extra couple of kilos that have been following me around since Christmas.  I'd already gone sugar-free in January but I thought I'd take it up a notch by waking up at 5.30 every morning and doing 30-45 minutes on the exercise bike and also walking approx 4kms 3 times a week after work.  One of the days I did a 6.5km walk and even managed to run some of it.  I was so amped for weigh in day.  BUT... In the first week I only lost a whopping 100 grams.  In my second  I went even harder and somehow managed to put on 400 grams.  Yup.  Fail.  I celebrated by putting my middle finger in the air and eating a chocolate bar.

I'm very excited that I'll be living so close to my sister soon.  I haven't had any close girlfriends near me since I left Darwin well over a year ago so to say I've really missed someone to sit down and have a wine and a chat with is an understatement.  The ironic part is that I've had a heck of a lot of free wine from my work this year.

I'm really excited about the upcoming launch of Zoe Foster-Blakes new skincare range called Go-To... Can't wait to check it out...

That's all my news for this week, what have you been up to?

Kayte xx

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

My Bellabox arrived today and now that this is the only subscription box I'm signed up for I was more excited that normal.  I made the decision to keep my Bellabox subscription because the value to me generally always exceeds the $15 cost.

This month the theme was Red Carpet Ready and there were 6 items included, one of which was a makeup item which I'm always happy to see.

Here's what was in my February Bellabox

bellabox, beauty box, subscription, moisturiser, makeup
February 2014 Bellabox
Burts Bees, Romy, Swisspers, Nivea, Om She, Klara
February Bellabox Info Card

There were a lot of skincare products this month with a Swissper Face Cream AND a Nivea Day Cream (which I'd already received once before in my October box), neither of which excited me too much.  The Romy Facial Toner is a great size and looks like a nice easy way I can incorporate toner into my skincare routine so I'll definitely try this out.  The Om She Milk Cleanser looks interesting too although I find normally that milk cleansers don't cleanse my skin that well if I've been wearing makeup but this might be a good one for cleansing in the morning. The Burts Bees Body Lotion is a welcome addition as I love the brand and it's in a great trial sized tube. 

The most exciting thing for me in this months box was the Klara Cosmetics Kiss Proof Lips.  I've never tried anything from this brand before and the colour I received is a really nice dusty pink which I can't wait to try out.  The swatch lasted a really long time on my hand and the texture appears to be full coverage and matte.

Klara, Makeup, Lipstick, Lipstain
Klara Cosmetics Kiss Proof Lips 03
Klara, Lipstick, Lipstain, Kiss proof
Swatch of Klara Cosmetics Kiss Proof Lips - 03

Overall I'm really happy with this box.  For only $15 including shipping there is a lot of value in here for me.  I wouldn't say anything overly wowed me but I am excited to try the lipstain and it'll be nice to try out a couple of new skincare products.

What did you think of this month's box?

Kayte xx

Silk, Mulberry, Pillowcase,
Slip Silk Pillowcase
Mulberry Silk, Black Silk, Pillowcase, Bedding, Beauty
Black Mulberry Silk Pillowcase from Slip

I was an extremely lucky girl this Christmas to find this amazing present under the tree from my lovely sister.  I had been dreaming about owning one of these ever since reading Zoe from's review.  She claimed it was "probably the best anti-aging beauty products a dame could use'.  
That was all I needed to hear. 

You've probably all heard that we spend a third of our lives in bed so what we lay our face and hair on is important.  While cotton soaks up moisture, silk breathes and is also a natural temperature regulator.  This makes it lovely and cool in Summer to sleep on which I love. Silk is also soft and 'slippy' meaning you won't get that sleep-crease we've all woken up with one time or another.  The SLIP silk pillowcases are made out of Mulberry Silk with a thickness of 22 momme.  I have no idea what that means but what I do know is that I never want to sleep on a cotton pillowcase again.  

Nothing compares to laying on this soft cool silk and I've noticed a significant improvement in the hydration of my skin since using the pillowcase.  The other big difference has been in my hair.  I have relatively curly hair that I normally straighten every day.  The silk pillowcase is amazing at keeping my hair straight and frizz-free meaning I hardly ever have to run over my hair with the straighteners on the second day. 

Yes this pillowcase is expensive, they retail online for $69.95 with free shipping here but I honestly believe that they're worth every cent and a great investment for your skin and hair.

Kayte xx

P.S Don't let your boyfriend put it in the wash with his clothes or he'll be very sad when he has to buy you a new one.  Handwash and drip dry only :)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Shampoo, Conditioner, Moisturiser, Dry Shampoo, Body Lotion, Sensitive Skin, Makeup Remover, Cetaphil
I've managed to get through quite a lot of empties recently although in saying that this is probably more than 2 months worth.  A couple of items here I haven't finished but I'm chucking out for one reason or another.  Read on to see what I thought of each product...

Davroe Volume Senses Shampoo & Conditioner*
Davroe is a South Australian brand that I heard about at last year's Adelaide Beauty Bloggers Conference.  I was really excited to try these out as I'm always chasing more volume for my fine hair.  I really enjoyed using these products, they definitely gave me volume and left my hair feeling clean and light-weight without that stripping feeling.  

St Ives Apricot Scrub (Ageless Skin)
This is my holy grail scrub that I always use to wash my face in the shower.  It has gentle exfoliating beads as well as AHA's and is gentle enough to use every day.  I will always repurchase this product.

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Blush
Another product that always features in my empties.  I use dry shampoo every second day and love this one for it's nice soft fragrance and the great way it soaks up oil and prolongs having to wash my hair.  It also gives my hair some lift which is an added bonus.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
This is a product that I'm chucking.  I used to always use the Cetaphil moisturiser on my face so thought I'd give this a try but it's far too gentle for my skin and I can't stand the feeling of it on my face.  It's kind of slimy and it doesn't feel like it's cleaning my face at all.  I tried using this as a body wash and also to shave my legs but didn't like it that way either so it's a chucker.

David Jones Day Cream Natural Regeneration
I received this in a David Jones Goodie Bag last year and it was a great trial size to take whenever I travelled.  I really enjoyed this day cream, it was lovely and hydrating but not too heavy and I would definitely purchase this again.

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP (Body Balm)*
This is a brand for sensitive skin and this body balm is absolutely devine.  Leaves my skin so hydrated and soft to touch and has no fragrance.  Loved this but not sure if I would repurchase as it's pretty pricy.  If you suffer from dry sensitive skin this could well be a good investment for you.

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Syndet (Cleansing Body Cream-Gel)*
Another product for sensitive skin, this was lovely and creamy and unlike some body washes doesn't strip the skin at all.  Sometimes I would even skip moisturiser after using this as it left my skin really soft all on it's own.  Just like the body balm this could be a good investment for you if you suffer from dry itchy sensitive skin.

Urban Rituelle Soothing Body Balm - Coconut & Honey
This is by far my favourite product at the moment.  I received this in one of my Her Fashion Box's and fell in love straight away.  The fragrance is absolutely amazing and no word of a lie smells like Christmas in a bottle.  Kind of like a really subtle pine tree smell but not in a weird way.  Fragrance aside this is the best body moisturiser I've ever used.  Incredibly hydrating, my skin just soaked it up and not only did I smell amazing when I applied this but my skin was soooooo soft!  I spent a lot of time searching for the full-size of this in the shops over Christmas/New Years but couldn't find it so I purchased this online as well as the matching body scrub and candle.  Yep that's how good the scent is!

ASAP Gentle Eye Makeup Remover
Another chucker - this was received in a beauty box last year.  It's only job is to remove eye makeup and it doesn't do this at all.  Fail.  Chucking.

Pelactiv Hydra Daily Defense
This is a daily moisturiser from another beauty box.  I'm chucking this as it's just too light for my skin and just doesn't really do anything.  Are you sensing a theme with the beauty box chuck outs?  

Akin Rosehip & Shea Intensive Moisture Anti-Oxidant Complex
This is a really thick moisturising face cream.  I was using this a couple of times a week as my skin can be on the drier side.  It's lovely to apply at night and wake up with lovely soft skin in the morning.  It's probably a little heavy for in the day if you want to wear makeup over top.  It's also great for any really dry parts you get on your body - knees, elbows etc.  Akin make a great range of Australian made products.

Ardell Magic Lash*
I have a full review of this here but I used this on my eyebrows and noticed a significant increase in new hair growth.  I'm pretty happy with my eyebrows at the moment but if I noticed them getting thinner again I would repurchase this product.

Batiste Dry Shampoo - Cherry
Another dry shampoo and I was excited about the scent of this but I didn't end up liking it.  I still used it up and it's still a great product but I prefer the blush scent over this one.

Whew! That was an essay and a half - congrats if you're still reading! A total of 14 products so I'm pretty proud of that.  I'm trying to make a real effort this year to use up the products I have - especially all the half used ones - before buying new things!

Kayte xx

*These items were provided for my consideration but my opinion is my own.  Read my disclosure policy for more details.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Naked 3, Urban Decay, Palette, Eyeshadow,
Naked 3 Palette - Urban Decay
Urban Decay, Naked 3, Palette, Eyeshadows
Palette, Eyeshadow, Neutrals, Pink tones, Urban Decay, Naked 3,
Add caption

I know the blogosphere is filled with reviews and swatches of this amazing palette so I won't be doing that today.  However it just wouldn't feel right if it didn't make an appearance here on my blog as this palette has completely blown me away and has quickly become my go-to palette.  Day after day I keep picking up this beauty and I'm continually finding new combinations and looks with it.  Unlike the first Naked Palette there is not one shade here that I can't wear.  These rose-hued neutrals come in a combination of matte and shimmery shades that are velvety smooth, blendable and last incredibly well with or without an eyeshadow primer.

Speaking about eyeshadow primers, inside the box were samples of 4 of the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primers which was an added bonus.

Primer, Eyeshadow Primer, Samples.
Urban Decay Primer Samples

I picked up this palette from Beauty Bay and it cost me around $80AUD with free shipping. I can honestly say it is worth every cent and I have fallen head over heels for this absolutely gorgeous palette.

Have you tried any of the Naked Palettes?  Which one is your favourite?

Kayte xx

Monday, February 10, 2014

Benefit, MAC, Alpha H, The Balm, Maybelline, NYX, Gimme Brow, Naked 3, Urban Decay, Mascara, Foundation, Makeup, Favourites,
Top Ten Beauty Products

January was an extremely busy month for me that included a 16 hour drive from Newcastle back to Adelaide, flying again back to Newcastle for my sisters 21st, a long Australia Day weekend spent on the Murray River as well as somehow holding down a full-time job in between.  Needless to say I was exhausted and I've spent the last week or so in recovery mode.

Something that doesn't take much effort however is telling you about my favourite products from January so without further ado...

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette
I thought I'd start with the best... this palette arrived in January and blew me away with it's amazing rose-hued toned neutral eyeshadows.  I literally have used nothing else on my eyes since I got it.  I'll upload and share some more pics with you in the coming days but it really is worth the $80 price tag.  I promise!

Alpha H Liquid Gold Smoothing & Perfecting Mask
I'm a huge fan of Liquid Gold so when I received this trial size in an Adore Beauty order I was thrilled.  This mask did not disappoint me one bit.  It exfoliates and refines my skin leaving me with instantly brighter and clearer skin.  I've not only been using this as a mid week pick me up but also before any special events (my sisters 21st etc) as it really does instantly brighten your skin and makeup applies like a dream afterwards.  I've already purchased the full-size of this.

Mac Studio Fix NC20
I purchased this from a blog sale as I'd tried it before and quite liked it.  I find the trick to this foundation is to only apply the tiniest bit as it gives a lot of coverage but applied with my beauty blender it gives a lovely matte finish.

Zinc & Castor Oil Ointment
This ones a bit of a random product but I read that Castor Oil can stimulate hair growth so I've been applying this on my eyebrows every night before bed and I'm just now starting to see some new hairs coming through.  Pretty impressed so far but will post a full review if I get some really good results.

The Balm Cabana Boy
An awesome pigmented blush that I love using when I need more of a colour punch like events or nights out.

Maybelline Full n Soft Mascara - Waterproof
I've spent a lot of time out on the boat and in the water this Summer as we recently purchased a ski boat so a waterproof mascara has been a must.  This one is fantastic at staying on even when I'm being towed behind the boat with water splashing directly on my face, it stays put until I take it off with an oily makeup remover.  It also feels lovely on and not drying like some do.

NYX Butter Gloss in Creme Brulee
A perfect neutral gloss that is soft and hydrating.  Love.

Mac Veluxe Brow Liner in Brunette
I've been really enjoying this brow liner from Mac this month.  When I can't be bothered doing a full face of makeup but still need my brows done I quickly line them with this and brush through.  Super easy to use and is a nice natural colour.

Benefit Coralista Face Powder
This was one of my favourite finds from the Benefit Advent Calendar and is a lovely soft coral blush, perfect for low-maintenace makeup days.

Benefit Gimme Brow in Medium/Deep
Two brow products in one month!!  I couldn't resist picking this up in Sydney Airport recently but I have to say it's a lot tinier than I expected.  In saying that you only need a very small amount.  This is a tinted gel product with little fibers that add volume and colour to your eyebrows.  I'm really enjoying using this over top of my usual brow products or even on it's own.

How was your January ?

Kayte xx

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

fake tan, tanner, bronzing mousse, self tan mousse, tanning serum, face tan,
Tuscan Tan Range

I've been meaning to tell you about these Tuscan Tan products for the longest time but Summer wrapped me up in all her warm goodness and I've been a bit MIA from the blog. Still better late than never right.
Tuscan Tan is Australian owned company that started off by creating an in-salon spray tanning product and soon grew to a full range of in-salon and take home tanning and skincare products.  The owners wanted to create a tanning product that mimicked the olive toned European tan and didn't throw off any orange or yellow hue.
  I have really fair skin that burns really easily and never tans so I use self tanners quite regularly (mainly on my legs) to give my skin a bit of colour and glow.  I was lucky enough to be sent the following three products to trial and tell you about...

Full Self Tan Mousse in Medium/Dark
Mousse is my favourite type of self tanner as it's just so easy to apply.  I was a bit hesitant with the colour because I thought Medium/Dark might just be a bit too obvious, especially if I didn't apply it correctly.  I shouldn't have worried, this mousse is tinted and using the Tuscan Tan Applicator Mitt it applied so quickly and blended in really easily.  Because of the tint I could see exactly where I had or hadn't put it and if any areas needed any blending.  It dried fairly quickly and after washing off the next morning I was left with an even, perfect tan that had just the right amount of colour.  I've used a lot of different self tanners and this is my new favourite, from the delicious scent, to the gorgeous colour this tanner is perfect and I'll definitely be restocking when I run out.
RRP $45

Wash Off Bronzing Mousse
If the idea of tanning freaks you out but you still want some colour this is the product for you.  It's a tan that applies instantly and washes off when your ready.  It's applied much the same as the mousse and as well as giving you a lovely glowy tan it also provides a bit of coverage.  This is good for someone like me because it covers up the spider veins I have on my legs.  The funny thing about this product is even though it's a wash off product you don't have to worry if you get caught in the rain or you spill a glass of water on yourself.  It does take some effort and some soap and water to really scrub it off - if you have an exfoliating glove I would recommend using that to make it easy.  This is definitely my new go-to product for when I've forgotten to tan but I want to wear a skirt, it really is fantastic.

Facial Tanning Serum
Every so often I come across a product that completely blows me away and the Tuscan Tan Facial Tanning Serum did just that.  I really didn't want to try this product as the thought of a self-tanning on my face just seemed like a recipe for disaster.  But in the name of beauty and research I applied some of this one night before bed.  It has a gel like consistency and is slightly tinted so you can see where you're putting it.  It smells really nice and there's not even a hint of that old fake tan scent.  The serum felt really nice and hydrating on my skin and it didn't bother me in the slightest to not apply moisturizer afterwards.  In the morning I half expected to look in the mirror and see an Oompa Loompa staring back at me, but my face only had the slightest hint of a tan and just looked so glowy and refreshed.  Because the serum only gives the lightest tint of a tan, you could use it everyday or every second day to build up the colour.  I was most impressed with this serum and how amazing it made my skin look the next day!!
RRP $30

All of these products have completely blown me away with their great quality and I find it hard to fault any of them.  They all smell amazing, give an even coverage and are so easy to use, I'm a big fan.  If you're scared about tanning or even if you're a long time user you seriously won't be disappointed by these products.

Kayte xx

P.S:  I was provided these products to trial and review but I was not paid to write about it at all.  As per my disclosure policy all opinions are my own, I'm just a really huge fan of these great products.  

Monday, February 3, 2014

I know it's already February of 2014 and 2013 has well past but I still wanted to go back and tell you my favourite ten products of last year.  These products weren't necessarily new releases in 2013 most of them are just new to me.  If I've done separate reviews for any of them I'll link them down below!

Top 10 Beauty Products, Beauty Blender, Urban Decay, Brow Zings, Benefit, Alpha H, skincare, makeup, mascara, bb cream, loreal, maybelline, sigma
2013 Top Ten Favourites

Beauty Blender
I've tried a lot of different brushes and applicators for applying foundation and this hands down beats them all.  I don't know why or how this is different from a normal sponge but it is and never fails to give me a perfect even coverage of foundation.  Full review here.

Nivea In Shower Body Lotion
This was a 2013 release and is a quick easy way to moisturise when you're pressed for time.  Which is me.  Every morning!  You apply this all over your body while you're in the shower, rinse it off and then pat dry with a towel when you get out and you're left with soft hydrated skin.  No more waiting for moisturiser to sink in before you get dressed.  Love this stuff and have repurchased quite a few times.

Benefit Brow Zings
This little baby was my very first review a year ago on this wee little blog of mine.  I like to think I've got a bit better at reviewing products now but I was so impressed with this product when I first brought it I had to review it and tell everyone!  This gives me perfect brows every time without fail.  It's a two part product with a wax and a powder.  I've been using this for a year now and I'm not even halfway through it so this is definitely a good buy.  Can't recommend it highly enough. Full review here.

Alpha H Liquid Gold
Liquid Gold is right!  This is a glycolic acid treatment for your face that you apply every second night.  It's the only product I've used that I saw a significant difference with the next day.  This gives you hydrated, glowy fresh skin the next day and overtime I've seen a significant improvement in the texture of my skin.  This is a definite holy grail product and I've already repurchased.

Sigma E40 Blending Brush
Many moons ago I trained as a makeup artist so I have an array of makeup brushes that I love and have had for a long time that serve me well.  But when this little beauty entered my life I was very impressed.  This blending brush is the perfect size, is lovely and soft and blends eye-shadows to perfection.  This takes eye makeup to the next level and is another holy grail product.  I highly recommend the Sigma range of brushes if you're looking reasonable prices but high quality!

Urban Decay Naked Palette
My lovely sister bought me this famous palette last year for my birthday and it's as amazing as everyone says. 12 neutral eye-shadows make up this palette with a few matte but mostly shimmery shades.  There are so many looks you can create from this one palette and the quality is amazing.

Maybelline Pure BB Cream for Combination/Oily Skin
I have dry skin so I was very hesitant to try this BB Cream out but boy am I glad I did.  This gives a light to medium coverage but covers my redness and uneven skin tone really well.  This is a super quick and easy to apply base product I use when I'm in a hurry as it blends effortlessly.  The colour match is perfect for my skin and with a bit of powder on top it lasts all day.  A great summer foundation with an added bonus of SPF15

Loreal Nutri Lift Gold Foundation
I bought this product in the later half of 2013 but it very quickly became my favourite foundation.  This has a medium to full coverage and has a slightly dewy finish.  It feels so comfortable on my skin, is easy to blend and never clings to dry patches.  If your skin is on the drier side I highly recommend you try this beauty out.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer
I use this product every single day to cover up dark circles under my eyes and as a highlight on my nose.  It's the perfect colour, perfect finish and never creases.  I'm so scared of running out I've already purchased a backup! 

Essence I Love Extreme Mascara
Another discovery from the later half of last year this mascara is super cheap (I think around the $5 mark) but gives me fat voluminous lashes in an instant.  I never thought I'd give up my Maybelline Full nn Soft Mascara but this shits all over it.

What was your favourite product of 2013?

Kayte xx