Thursday, 28 August 2014

Violet Box New Zealand - August 2014

Kia Ora!

Look what arrived! Look at it, look at it! Get as excited as I am!!!

Those little purple strands have so much promise, and a lovely lemon-y scent is wafting towards my nose. I know there is a nail polish in there, and a lip gloss (yay spoilers), but I'm very excited to find out what else I've gotten this month.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Review - Chocolate Cacao Mask

Kia Ora!

I received this mask in the Cacao Memebox and wanted to review it for my readers (the ones that are interested). 

Monday, 18 August 2014

Memebox Special #9 Skincare Edition

Kia  Ora!

Yes, it's time for one more Memebox reveal. So far I've unboxed the Cacao one, the Mask 4 box, and the Birthday box

This one is all about skincare. I'm excessively excited about what's inside. I refuse to confirm whether or not there is embarrassing dancing going on while opening this box. Skincare is my current obsession and I love playing with new products!

Looks fairly standard so far ... but what are the goodies that are inside?

Lots of boxes, but what are they hiding? Something good, or will it be a wacky and weird product to test out?

Memebox Special #10 Masks 4

Kia Ora!

Ooooh the next installment in the Memebox saga. It was slightly delayed by the arrival of so many monthly subscription boxes, but it's finally here. 

Other Memeboxes I've received were the Cacao box and the Birthday box.

Oooh I see colourful things, and sheet masks, and what looks to be full size items. Let's dive in.
The info card is below to help annihilate any confusion.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Lust Have It - July 2014

Kia Ora!

I got a surprise in the mail box this week when my Lust Have It turned up. This is the July edition (arriving 2 weeks into August but I'm gonna blame the jump across the ditch). I wasn't expecting it, but I'm happy to have it turn up!

I've been watching a lot of Aussie Youtubers and they all seem to rave about this subscription. I have been dying to try it for awhile, and jumped at the chance. I found a voucher for LHI, and I got this box/bag for $9.95 when it is usually $19.95. Let's see if it's worth staying subscribed to this box. 

The bag it comes in is a pink mesh bag. I'm not a huge pink girl (yes, what am I doing in beauty, I know) but I like that there is a bag to use. I've already popped this into my re-gift pile with a specific girl in mind, so I'm pretty happy about that. It looks like there is a whole lot of stuff in the bag, so let's get into it.

Note: I've investigated, and my bag is quite different to others I've seen. So the first three items I list were received, in different variations, by all July subscribers.

Ardell Self-Adhesive Lashes

I've never used false lashes, and find them fairly intimidating. I have no current plans to try them out, other than receiving some vague threats from my partner's sister about their future use on my face.

These look like nice lashes, and are fairly simple. I've heard some good things on the web, so they would seem to be a reasonable brand. I've put these in the re-gift pile, but their inclusion in LHI is great for many subscribers.

RRP: $9.99
Full size

Designer Brands Nail Polish

Unfortunately for this box, I'm not a nail polish girl either. However, I have a friend with a birthday coming up that loves nail polish, and this saves me having to venture out of the house (gasp) to get a present for her. 
Apologies about the terrible photo quality. My camera has suddenly decided it won't focus on what I want and I'm in the process of sorting out something better. 
I got this in the colour Shimmer.

RRP: $6.99
Full size

Marsk Mineral Eye-Shadow

Urgh, again with the awful focusing skills. I'm so sorry everyone! Hopefully you get the idea. I got this in the colour Rich List. I also am not really keen on experimenting with different eye shadows, as I'm still really new to make-up and have literally no idea what I'm doing. But this is a perfect addition to a birthday present.

RRP: $24.95
Full size

Nuxe Creme Nirvanesque and Creme Nirvanesque Eye Contour

Foil packets. Hoo-ray. In all seriousness though, I'm happy to try out new skincare. I know this won't give me much of an idea about the product, but I'll use them and be grateful to try such an exorbitantly priced skincare range. There's really not much to say as I can't cut open the packet to see what it's like, but I'm sure these will turn up in an empties at some point.

Creme Nirvanesque RRP: $49.99 (full size 50ml)
Sample size (2ml): $1.99

Creme Nirvanesque Eye Contour RRP: $44.99 (full size 15ml)
Sample size (2ml): $5.99

 Aveda Botanical Kinetics Gel Cleanser

Oh no, another blurry photo. Wretcha-frigga-wretcha-frigga (I'm channelling Marv from Home Alone here).

This is the cutest wee  bottle. I'm probably going to get two, maybe three uses of the gel cleanser. That being said, it will be great for travelling or a weekend away. I'm pretty happy with this one, as I love trying different skincare, and I like the Aveda hand cream I received from Goodiebox several months ago.

RRP: $54.95 (full size 150ml)
Sample size (7ml): $2.56

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo

I've been hearing some great things about this product, and was very happy to see it in this box. I'm not so happy about how tiny the bottle is, or the fact that it is only filled up with 1/3 of product. I've had bigger samples in foil packets. Urgh.

RRP: $27.95 (full size 40ml)
Sample size (3ml): $2.10

The Cosmetic Kitchen Pure Mineral Blush

Once again, if I was a girl who used make-up more frequently, this box would be heaven. However, I don't know how to apply blush, and don't feel the need to try as yet. So this is yet another wasted product. However I will find someone to love and appreciate it. It does look rather cute.

It did come open in shipping. You can see the sticker still over the sifter, yet there is product everywhere. This is a bit of a shame, but things happen. There is still plenty of product left so it's not a lost cause.
I received this in Strawberry.

RRP: $34.95 
Full size

Coral Colours Lipstick

This is the product I have the biggest issue with in this bag. Not only has something happened to the lipstick, as there are weird patches of water or stickiness all over the product, but the packaging is awful. It looks like someone has pulled it out of their collection at home, tried to take the sticker off the tube (and failed), left it out in the rain, and then added it to the bag. I didn't swatch it because I don't know if I should, or if I can even give this away. 

The colour is ok, I probably wouldn't wear it anyway, but I would have liked to be able to give this to someone. The card doesn't even have a proper description, it simply says: 'Make-up (selection).' This seems like a very slack effort, and annoys me quite a bit. 

RRP: $9.95
Full size


Overall, this bag is really meh. I would have loved some of the full size skincare that was available to Australian subscribers. I'm not sure if I didn't get these because a) I used a half off code, b) I'm in NZ, or c) they were trying to get rid of a bunch of other products in the warehouse. I'm ok with getting stuff that have already appeared in their bags, especially if it is advertised as such, but the issues with the blush, lipstick and effaclar duo are quite annoying. 

Total value of the bag: $99.47

This is great value for a $10 Lust Have It bag. It would be better still for someone that will use and enjoy all the make-up. I'm not unhappy, as I've now got a great stash of presents for my make-up savvy friends, but I would have preferred more things that I personally could use. However, I'll hang about with this one and see what next month (their birthday month) brings. Stay tuned!

Until next time ...

Monday, 11 August 2014

Empties - June/July

Kia Ora!

This is a little late, but I'm going to blame all the subscription boxes that insist on coming at the end of the month. Better late than never though!

I was supposed to post this as just a June Empties, but I didn't get there. So I'm going to make this a bi-monthly blog post, especially since I don't seem to go through products very fast. I'm gobsmacked at how many products some people seem to go through each month!

Argania Hair Oil - Light

I really liked this hair oil. I've never really used one before but this one was great. 
It was a nice consistency, that easily spread through wet or dry hair. It made my hair shiny and it looked great, and it was a great hold over on days I didn't have time to wash my hair. 

The other wonderful thing about this product is the lovely caramel smell. It is delicious, and made me want to use this product even more. 

I do have the red version of this hair oil (not the light version) and it is a thicker oil, which is 'gloopier' for lack of a better term.

Repurchased: No

Pam's Round Makeup Pads

I had these in a drawer and simply used them up before getting some new ones (Swisspers). I don't really have anything to say, other than I don't remember them being awful or great, just average.

Repurchased: No

Sebamed Day Defence Cream

I got this sample in a Goodiebox. It was quite nice, although was supposed to be for dry skin, which I don't have. I used it as a night cream as it was so thick, and it worked fairly well for this. There wasn't an overpowering scent, and my skin appeared to like the moisturisation that this cream provided.

I imagine this cream would work better for people who need that extra oomph from a moisturiser, and I'm not in the target group. However it is a simple, easy to use cream that does work for other skin types (perhaps not during the day under makeup but is great at night).

Repurchased: No

Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips

I got these from Goodiebox too (in the same box as the Sebamed above), and I quite liked them. I've never tried anything like this before so it was a new experience for me. I had two so I tried one and my partner also used one simultaneously. 

The strips are put on a wet nose, and you have to wait for them to dry (10-15 minutes) before peeling them off. I was surprised at the amount of gunk that was pulled out of my nose. My partner's nose gunk was huge, and it was a bit disgusting. It did seem to help clear up some of the grossness of my nose pores, at least for awhile.

Overall, an interesting experience and I will try this again. I looked into buying more Biore ones, but they are quite expensive. So I'm currently waiting for some I ordered from iHerb. 

Repurchased: No

Surmanti Ecosoya Candle - Lychee and Ginger

I won this in a Facebook competition, which was a great way to try their candles. I loved it!! 
Surmanti says that the candles burn for up to 50 hours, and I think it did burn for a similar time but I didn't actually time it. 

The scent was lovely, not too overpowering but it did fill up the room. Even just taking the lid off would lightly scent the room (and the house sometimes). I can't say enough good things about this candle without repetitions. 

You can get them from here if you are interested.

Repurchased: Soon

Karen Farley Age Defying Intensive Moisturiser

This one is a free sample I received - from a brochure in the letterbox if you can believe it. It was a decent 20ml sample and it lasted for aaaages!

I liked using this moisturiser as both a daytime and a night-time product, and the pomegranate scent was delicious. It was a decent product but not rave-worthy. I would be happy to use this again if it wasn't so expensive to repurchase.

Repurchased: No

Oasis Beauty Berry Brightening Tonic

Oh la, this product is my holy grail and I never want to be without it. I've been through 2 samples already and my full-size turned up and made my week.

The toner smells lovely. It has a strong berry scent, which lasts on the skin for about an hour after use, regardless of whether a scented moisturiser has been applied over top. I've been using it on a daily basis and I pop some on a cotton pad and gently wipe across my face, holding for longer on breakout patches or larger pores.

The toner made my skin feel quite tight on the first couple of uses, but this has discontinued with daily use. My skin soaks up this product and loves it.

The Oasis Beauty website has a bunch of wonderful looking products, and you can find them here if you are interested. Keep an eye out for a blog post dedicated to this company!

Repurchased: YES!
9.99/10 (because nothing is perfect)

Lush Tea Tree Water Toner

I got this sample from Lush as part of a skincare consult (see my Magical Free Things blog post for July for more info). It smelled great, as everything from Lush does. I used it for about a week, and it worked quite well. My skin seemed to like it, and I felt great using it.

I would recommend this, however after finding my Oasis Beauty Tonic the Lush one pales a bit in comparison. I like it, and it works well, however it isn't holy grail material.

Repurchased: No

Avene Gel Cleanser

I got this in my first Violet Box and I really loved this sample. It was 50ml so it lasted for about 3 weeks (or more, I wasn't keeping track). It made my face so soft and left it feeling clean of dirt, grime and grossness. I would really love to buys some more but it is so expensive, and there are so many other cleansers to try out!

Overall, great product which gets the job  done!

Repurchased: No

Oasis Beauty - Beauty Sleep

Another product from my new favourite company. This tiny looking sample actually lasted for about 2 weeks which is fantastic because it shows how long the full size product will last (and as it is rather expensive this is a good thing).

The cream is very thick and has a lavender/herb scent. It sinks in quickly but does take a few hours to fully assimilate into the skin. I love how my skin is really soft the next morning, and this lasts for most of the day. I've been skipping morning moisturiser because I feel like my skin is really hydrated using this every night.

Repurchased: Not yet, but I'm saving up!

Well that's it for now folks. I hope you enjoyed reading about things I've used up (even though most of them are samples). I hope my thoughts help if you are thinking about buying any of the products I've mentioned. I'm happy to answer any other questions if you want any more information.

Until next time ...

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Care Pack NZ - August 2014

Kia Ora!

My second Care Pack arrived! This is a fairly new subscription service in New Zealand, and it brings out NZ made, ethical, natural and organic, and eco-friendly products to your door each month. It costs $32.00 per month, including  shipping. 

This is my second box, and I wasn't overly thrilled with some of the products that came in the first one, but decided it deserved a second chance to see what was next. 

Here's a blurry photo of the unopened box (my bad). 

It come in a cardboard box, and wrapped in brown paper. I like that they are committed to their eco-friendly image, even in the packaging. And the card is purple - my favourite colour, so that's a positive sign!

Monday, 4 August 2014

Goodiebox - July 2014

Kia Ora!

Goodiebox is a monthly subscription box that costs $29 per month + $4.50 shipping and handling. It usually contains 5+ products ranging from sample size to full size items.

The much hyped Birthday Box arrived! Happy Birthday Goodiebox!!

I was working and constantly checking the tracking notification to see whether it was waiting for me at home yet, or not. I ripped this baby open as soon as I walked in the door.

They've changed the packaging. It's now a garish colour of pink and missing the magnetic clasp in favour of a black ribbon. I suppose it's kinda cute, but I'm more of a function over design girl. Combine this with a dislike of pink and I'm not a fan of the box. I'm hoping it's just a birthday thing, but if not I will be throwing future boxes away. I know some people will appreciate this though.

The cake on the card is cute, and I love the purple tissue. I guess it's not all bad. On to the products themselves, which is what I'm excited to see after all.