Monday, 29 June 2015

Masked Madness #6

Kia Ora!

Welcome to the latest masks I've used up, and what I thought of them. I really enjoy sharing my thoughts on masks with people, so I hope everyone is enjoying this series. There's 7 masks I'll be going through today, so grab a cup of tea (or hot beverage of your choice) and enjoy. 

Innisfree Skin Solution Mask - Trouble Care

I hated this mask. It's similar to other Innisfree masks in this style with plenty of essence and a comfortable and durable cotton mask. However something in the formula of this particular mask broke me out terribly. I don't know exactly which ingredient but I'm currently trying to figure it out. If your skin doesn't react to it, I'm sure it's a good mask like all the other Innisfree ones though.

Innisfree Skin Solution Mask - Pore

Once again a good mask in this type from Innisfree. I didn't notice any particular effects, but the cotton was saturated and comfortable to wear, and the essence wasn't overly sticky after removal.

Fuss Free Facials Natural Japanese Silk Facial Treatment Masks - Citrus & Pineapple Enzymes

This mask is a bit of a novelty for me, as it is a Western company. The silk mask is the thinnest mask I've ever worn. The mask comes sandwiched between a plastic and a cotton layer. One is peeled away immediately, and the other is peeled away as you smooth the silk mask over your face. Because of the thinness of the silk, the mask fits well to your face, and adheres to all curves, bumps, and pieces of your face. There is plenty of essence, and the mask was still a bit damp after 45 minutes of wear. The essence does not sink in particularly well after removal, and my face was still sticky an hour after I had removed the mask. The essence did leave my face very plump, so it moisturises well. For the stickiness reason I'd prefer to use a different formula of essence, but the mask itself was delightful to wear.

Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask Pack

This is my holy grail mask. It has a formula that my skin loves, and it feels lovely to wear. I like to use this if my skin is on the verge of breakout, to calm down blemishes, to ensure great skin before an event, or just for pure pampering. The cotton is comfortable, and the essence is one of the best I've ever used. It sinks in really well and preps your face for the rest of the skincare routine. I highly recommend this mask to everyone as I personally find it to be the best I've ever tried.

To Be Nang Snail Anti-Wrinkle Face & Neck Mask

This mask had three pieces, two for the face and one for the neck. There's a poltergeist in my house who has stolen the notes I made on this mask (grrr), so I can't tell you whether I liked this mask or not. I remember liking the separate pieces of the mask as it adhered better to my face, but I can't remember anything about the serum or effects. Bad blogger, I will sit in the corner and think about what I've done.

Pure Smile Essence Masks - Mixed Fruit

This mask had a great adherence to my face as it had plenty of slits to make it comfortable and fit slightly better than other masks. The cotton was quite soft, and this made it very easy to wear. It smelt very sweet and fruity, and had plenty of essence soaked into the mask. My face was slightly sticky afterwards, although this went away as  I continued through the rest of my skincare routine. My skin was very plump and hydrated, perhaps due to the Hyaluronic acid in the essence? I loved this mask.

Formula 10.0.6 Pores Be Pure

Honestly, I lost my notes on this mask too (or had them stolen by that dratted poltergeist) so I can't remember anything about it. It's a wash-off clay mask, and I think I liked it (it got crap out of my face, left it smooth and soft, generic mask results) but I'll clearly have to re-do this one at some point. Sorry guys, dropped the ball on this one.

And that concludes another episode of things that I put on my face. I really liked several of the masks I used in this Masked Madness, and would recommend the Pure Smile and Benton masks in particular. Have any of you tried these masks?

Until next time ...

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Book Review - Wicked Charms by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton

Kia Ora!

I remember reading plenty of Janet Evanovich's books (particularly her Stephanie Plum series) years ago, when I was 18/19/20 years old. I loved the books for the outrageous characters and situations, and the many times I laughed out loud while reading her books. A new book of hers has just been released, in collaboration with Phoef Sutton, and I have decided some of my readers may also be Janet Evanovich fans and appreciate a review.

Lizzy Tucker is happy to work quietly at Dazzle's Bakery, preparing delicious treats for the locals. But her partner Diesel is all about the hunt. Right now he's tracking down a famous pirate's treasure, hidden somewhere along the coast of New England. This bounty contains much, much more than gold and jewels: it's also the hiding place of the powerful Stone of Avarice. 

Lizzy and Diesel aren't the only ones searching for the Stone. Some greed-driven seekers are willing to kill for it, or even make a deal with the devil. And one of those dangerous seekers looks a lot like Diesel's deceptively charming cousin, Wulf - who also happens to desire Lizzy herself. 

Wicked Charms is the third in another series by Evanovich, where the baker extraordinaire Lizzy Tucker teams up with Diesel to save the world. Their world involves special abilities, magic, and stones that represent the Seven Deadly Sins (and will destroy the world if Lizzy and Diesel don't get to them first). Wicked Charms is about the race to find and control the Stone of Avarice, and the hi-jinks the characters get up to in the process. It costs $34.99 and was released on 23 June 2015. 

Image sourced from

This is a fairly fast-paced book, which deals with pirates, demons (in particular the demon Mammon - represented above), greed, vampires, special powers, magical coins, a race for the treasure, and magical tasting cupcakes. There is excitement galore inside this book, and the adventures never seem to stop (sometimes I had to put the book down just to catch my breath).

This book is a clear example of the Urban Fantasy genre: a fantasy narrative which is set in the modern world, often in a cityscape and contains elements of the supernatural - usually magic or magical beings. Lizzy and Diesel's special powers often appear to be elements of the supernatural, as well as their main purpose of securing the stones which represent the Seven Deadly Sins. There are vampires and other supernatural creatures that pop up too. Wicked Charms is clearly set in the modern world and this is made clear through the use of modern technology (cars, cellphones, computers, etc.) and pop culture references to Harry Potter and Bewitched. I really like this genre, and in particular Neil Gaiman's depictions of urban fantasy. It's always interesting to read another book set in a genre I like though, and I enjoyed the setting of Wicked Charms.

Image sourced from here
I enjoyed reading this book, but on a superficial level. It's perfect for a 'blob' read, where you want to switch off your brain and not need to concentrate on anything. The characters are relatively well fleshed out, although it would help to read the first two if you are interested in some slightly deeper levels of meaning. However, prior reading of the series isn't compulsory as this can easily be taken as a stand-alone book.

I did notice that it was written a bit like the plot of a TV show, where the reader is being told what is happening in the plot, and a visual aid for most action scenes would not be amiss. I think this might be (warning: personal opinion) due to the collaboration with Phoef Sutton, as his background is as a screenwriter and producer for shows like Cheers and Boston Legal. Some scenes you are given a basic gist of the action, but it feels like much of the relevant wording or extra details are left out, and it is presumed they will appear in the visual accompaniment (which doesn't currently exist).

The other way in which this book reminds me of a TV show, particularly a G-rated one, is the treatment of sex scenes. I know that some authors don't write sex scenes at all, and tend to gloss over the intimate scenes, while others are very descriptive and provide lots of details. I haven't read any other Janet Evanovich books in years, but I don't remember her being shy about sex scenes (particularly as some of her characters are renowned for being smoking hot). However the sex scenes in this book end ubruptly in the middle, where a change of rooms leads to a closing door ... and all of a sudden it's the next chapter and the next day. It seems like the sort of ending that would be before an ad break, to set the mood and titivate the audience a little bit, but also as a way to get around censorship and still get publication. Nothing wrong with the way these have been written, but it does feel as though the relationship factor is glossed over and falls by the wayside a bit.

Overall, this book is middle-of-the-road, nothing special, but not that awful either. I'm not sure how much of my perspective comes from doing a university degree in English Literature though, and reading a million and one books prior to that.

Is anyone else going to go out and read this? You can get it from Book Depository (which has free shipping worldwide).

Until next time ...

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me for review purposes, but all opinions expressed are true and honest and 100% my own. 

Monday, 22 June 2015

MaskGenie Oriental Beauty Pouch #2: LoveMore

Kia Ora!

Mask Genie is a mask subscription run by Genie, a blogger from Genie's Favourite Products. It's a small business (one-woman if I recall correctly), and she lives in Hong Kong. This means she has access to a huge variety of Asian masks (Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese, and more). Genie is really dedicated to being transparent, and her unboxing videos are really helpful - especially as she isn't able to include product cards at this stage like the bigger companies. Mask Genie has a monthly subscription, 10 masks for $22USD or 5 masks for $12USD, both including international shipping. There are also the occasional limited edition pouch, and recently introduced weekend pouches.

This is a limited edition pouch, showcasing the brand Lovemore. Genie made an unpouching video which is really helpful when you have no idea about the masks in the pouch. She also included a special pouch, which I think is a) really neat, and b) a very cute design. All of the masks in this pouch are the Lovemore brand, and I don't actually know that much about them so this will be a picture heavy blog post.

The main ingredients in these masks are Bamboo, Bitter Gourd, and Red Pearl Barley. I've never heard of the last two, but I know bamboo is usually pretty good. I like getting masks with unusual ingredients as it exposes me to new things, as well as showcasing some of the things that are used in the rest of the world. I'm excited to see what these masks are like.

These three are Rose Hybrida, Wine Yeast, and Wild Yam. Again ingredients that are used in ways I'm not familiar with. I'm loving the pictures and long explainations on the masks packets (click the picture to embiggen if you need).

Different packaging again, clearly showcasing three different ranges within the Lovemore brand. These ones have Rhodiola Antioxident, Black Pearl, Scattered Yurong (???), and Cubilose extract. I don't even know what several of those ones originate from, let alone what they are supposed to do. Luckily this brand has some English on the back so I'm not totally in the dark.

I know most people probably don't feel this way, but I always feel this insane excitement at the prospect of trying out new masks on my face. I can't wait to try out all of these masks, and I feel this rush of pleasure when I look at my ever-growing sheet mask collection. Phew! Keep an eye out on Masked Madness for mask empties, and short reviews of each one.

Until next time ...

Friday, 19 June 2015

MaskGenie June 2015 Unpouching

Kia Ora!

Mask Genie is a mask subscription run by Genie, a blogger from Genie's Favourite Products. It's a small business (one-woman if I recall correctly), and she lives in Hong Kong. This means she has access to a huge variety of Asian masks (Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese, and more). Genie is really dedicated to being transparent, and her unboxing videos are really helpful - especially as she isn't able to include product cards at this stage like the bigger companies. Mask Genie has a monthly subscription, 10 masks for $22USD or 5 masks for $12USD, both including international shipping. There are also the occasional limited edition pouch, and recently introduced weekend pouches.

I've been getting some weekend pouches and limited edition pouches from MaskGenie, but this is the first one of her monthly pouches I've bought. I've been drooling over some of the masks in the previous monthly pouches, and I'm really excited to see what's in the bag! Genie has done a video explaining all the products which is helpful!

This pouch looks exciting. Let's dive in!

Mio Concentrate Anti Wrinkle Eye Mask - Q10

I love using eye patches so I'm pretty excited to see this. I've never seen this brand, and I don't even know which country it's from. It's pretty exciting, and looks really bright. I can't wait to try this out.

su:m37 White Award Bubble-De Mask

I've been hearing wonderful things about this brand (in particular the Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick) so I was really very excited to see this in the pouch. This is a bubble mask, so I think the process is to spread the cream over your face and it will bubble up? I'll have to look up proper instructions but I've never tried a mask like this before so I'm keen to give it a go.

Secret Key Syn-ake Wrinkle Mask Pack

Synthetic snake venom (which I'm 90% that's what syn-ake is) is popular as an ingredient at the moment. I haven't had a chance to try it out yet, so I'm happy to see this mask. I've tried Secret Key products before and have liked them.

Timeless Truth Caviar and Collagen Elastic Mask

I love the design on this mask. Genie said it was a substitution for another mask that she wasn't able to get enough of by the time of shipping the pouches, so she popped this in. I think I got some Timeless Truth masks in a Violet Box a year ago? If I recall correctly then they were actually the masks that set fire to my current mask addiction. Caviar is something new and different to try out though, so I'm happy with this one.

BeauNa Apple Whitening Sheet Mask

Can we talk about the sheer adorableness of this packaging? I don't even care what's in the mask, I want to try it from the design alone. Apple does sound pretty neat, I only hope it smells yummy.

Freeset Donkey Milk Skin Gel Mask Pack - Aqua

Donkey milk is an odd ingredient, and I truly don't know how I feel about it. The mask is apparently a mixture of a cotton sheet mask and a gel mask, so I am intrigued by that. We'll have to see with this one.

Leaders Medie Amino Pore-Tight Mask

I've also been hearing some fantastic reviews of the Leaders brand masks, so I'm beyond excitement right now. This mask, according to reviews, will change my life. I hope so as that would be fantastic, but I also hope it doesn't so I won't want to spend copious amounts of money on expensive masks that are difficult to get in New Zealand. Although that's probably inevitable at this point.

Aritaum Morus Bark Fresh Essence Mask

Tree bark is also something I've never come across in skin care. This one will be a new experience too, as well as being from another brand I've never heard of. That's becoming a bit repetitive in this post I know, but I'm really excited to see all these new things.

Esfolio Pearl Essence Mask Sheet

This mermaid is cute, and I am impressed with the packaging. This is what I mean when I say Genie takes great care with her curation. So many great designs in this pouch, and all with interesting ingredients in the masks too.

Holika Holika Pig-nose clear black head 3-step kit

I've been seeing this around for a few months now, and I'm really interested to give it a go. I don't generally have a major problem with blackheads, but I do occasionally need to do something. This is a set of two nose masks, and a pore strip. Genie didn't seem too impressed herself, but as with everything in Korean skincare, YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary). I'll happily try this out.

I am really excited about everything in this pouch. All new masks, with new brands and new ingredients to try out, and I'm a happy happy blogger. I love the variety and the obvious care that has been put into the curation. Honestly at this point, I might as well have my paycheck go to Genie as it will probably end up there anyway. I can highly recommend these mask pouches!

What do you think?

Until next time ...

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Eat My Lunch - A week of healthy delicious lunches

Kia Ora!

Last week was the first week of a new lunch delivery company with a twist. Eat My Lunch provides a healthy balanced lunch while also providing a lunch to a child in a school who may not have their own lunch. Their 'buy one get one' philosophy has really taken off, and I think it's a wonderful idea. Lunches are $8 each with a $2 delivery fee, and top quality food. The bulk aspect helps cut down on costs, and each lunch has 5 delicious elements.

I ordered a weeks worth to see what the varying options are, and they are displayed below. I really enjoyed getting a weeks worth of delicious and healthy lunches. $50 a week isn't feasible for me going forward,  but I am going to be getting lunch twice a week from now on. Yesterday's was just as delicious as last week's, so the quality seems to be great regardless of when you get a lunch.

The packaging is all recyclable, which is also appealing in an environmental sense. They use small containers, made of cardboard or plastic, and wooden spoons.


This was one of the best lunches I've had in a long time. I normally make-do with leftovers, or buy rubbish food that isn't good for me. This is a a high quality and varied lunch that fills you up, and is healthy. Below is a list of what was in it.

Croissant with ham, cheese, and celery leaves (and mayo?). 
Cherry tomato and cucumber kebabs.
Yoghurt pottle with apple puree. 
Carrot loaf with sunflower seeds. 

This first one disappeared really fast, and I was still peckish afterwards. These lunches are good portion sizes, but if you are used to eating a lot more for one meal then it will take a bit of time to get used to it. Make sure you eat breakfast, and these lunches are perfect. By the end of the week I was more accustomed to the portion sizes, and now a lunch of this size fills me up.


I think this one might have been my favourite for the whole week. The bun and gingerbread man were particularly memorable!

Cheese (cheddar) and crackers - 3.
Gingerbread man.
Carrot and celery sticks.
Bun with roast beef, coleslaw and wholegrain mustard.


Yoghurt with apple puree and blueberries.
Carrot sticks and cherry tomatoes. 
Sticky date mini-loaf.
Finger sandwiches with chicken and avocado.


Yoghurt with kiwifruit. 
Cucumber and capsicum chunks. 
Chocolate mini-muffin. 
Wrap with chicken, carrot, lettuce and mayonnaise.


Cheese (swiss) and crackers - 3. 
Celery and carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes.
Anzac biscuits -2. 
Sausage roll with cumin seeds with tomato sauce. 

I really enjoyed every one of these lunches, and am very impressed with the quality provided. There is always a vege selection, a piece of fruit, something dairy related (yoghurt or cheese), a sweet treat, and the main food choice - which contains meat and carbs of some description.

The quality of every single piece of food within the box has been excellent, and I'm still excited to see what will be coming my way in the next few weeks. This is an excellent way to get a healthy lunch and a welcome alternative to all the greasy, fried lunches that are available on a university campus. The best thing is that children who may not otherwise have lunch are able to have a healthy meal, which impacts their own learning and education.

I highly recommend this new venture to everyone, and will be supporting it myself. (Lunches were paid for with my own money, and I am not affliated with Eat My Lunch).

Until next time ...

Monday, 15 June 2015

MaskGenie Weekend Pouch (23/24 May 2015)

Kia Ora!

I found a mask subscription, and it's the best thing that ever happened (exaggeration but I'm going to claim it). I know that there was Oh Sheet Mask last year, but they only seemed to send out Chinese masks, and I was scared off by the lack of transparency around that company - then they went under as they underestimated the education and research capabilities of their market. However, from that debacle, Mask Genie was born.

Mask Genie is a mask subscription run by Genie, a blogger from Genie's Favourite Products. It's a small business (one-woman if I recall correctly), and she lives in Hong Kong. This means she has access to a huge variety of Asian masks (Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese, and more). Genie is really dedicated to being transparent, and her unboxing videos are really helpful - especially as she isn't able to include product cards at this stage like the bigger companies.

Mask Genie has a monthly subscription, 10 masks for $22USD or 5 masks for $12USD, both including international shipping. There are also the occasional limited edition pouch, and recently introduced weekend pouches. Weekend pouches are a random mix, and you never know what might  be in there. Each pouch comes in an organza bag (cheap but pretty packaging), and Genie takes great care with the curation - she talks a lot this in her videos.

I bought a weekend pouch on 23/24 May as Genie put a spoiler up on the Facebook page and I had been drooling over it. The Mise en Scene Hair Ampoule was in one of the monthly pouches, but I hadn't subscribed at that point. I have now as these pouches seem to be getting better and better.

Mise en Scene Perfect Repair Hair Ampoule

I've had a few products from this brand through Memebox, and I love the idea of a hair ampoule. I couldn't pass up this pouch, and now have a subscription. It's a slippery slope - but let's be honest, anything mask related and I'm already a sucker.

Sasatinnnie Rose Hip Oil Tightening and Rejuvenating Silky Mask
O'slee Rosehip Whitening Mask

I've never seen anything by either of these brands before, and I love trying and discovering new brands. I don't have any extra info about these masks, but the idea of Rose Hip Oil is alluring as it is supposed to be great for your skin.

Etude House Black Charcoal Chin Pack

I generally try not to use these types of strips as I think previous ones have left me with crater pores on my nose. However they seem to be effective for my SO so he can use these. Great addition to the pouch though as it is a bit different to cotton sheet masks.

My Scheming Diary Deep Ocean Water Saccharide Isomerate

This mask sounds rather strange, but I've heard good things about My Scheming Diary. I think it is a Japanese brand? I'm pretty excited to give it a go though.

Silk White Q10
The Qure Red Ginseng Collagen Essence Mask

I haven't heard of or seen either of these masks before, but I am keen to give them a go. Q10 is supposed to be great for your skin, and Red Ginseng supposedly has good properties too. Yay!

Benico 3D Cold Tomato

I am really excited to see this one. It was in one of the early pouches, and I thought it looked really neat. You put this in the fridge for a bit before using it, and it makes a nice cool mask. I think I'll wait until summer before using this one, as it's a pretty cold winter right now in New Zealand so I don't think adding extra coolness will be pleasant.

Purederm Kiwi Yogurt Pack

I have 15 of these from an old Memebox, but in the Strawberry flavour. I'm pretty happy to see a different flavour in this pouch, and I'm really excited to give it a try.

Natural Detox Foot Patch - Mugwort

This is something I've never seen or thought of before. In one of the unboxing videos Genie shows exactly how to use these. I have never tried anything like these, which go on the soles of your feet overnight and will draw the toxins out of your body. I'm generally not a believer in that sort of thing, but I do like trying new things so I'll happily try this out one night. Maybe a Friday night so I have Saturday to wash the sticky residue off my feet before having to leave the house. I love that she packaged up the two plasters, two mugwort patches and the instructions in a ziploc bag. It truly shows her attention to detail and the care she takes when creating these pouches.


I'm excited to see the variety in this pouch. I wasn't sure what to expect with a randomised Weekend Pouch, but this is awesome. There are several cotton sheet masks, a wash-off mask, some pore patches, foot patch and the hair ampoule. I know that a lot of thought goes into the curation of the monthly pouches (check out the unboxing videos if you need proof) but I wasn't expecting such a thoughtful variety in the weekend pouch.

I'm officially in love with this subscription. $22USD a month for 10 masks is a great price, and having it include international shipping is fantastic. I'm eagerly awaiting the other pouches I've ordered (and hiding them from my SO who thinks I already have too many masks).

Until next time ...

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Happy Mail April 2015

Kia Ora!

I've been supremely busy at work recently, so haven't been updating as much as I would like to have been. I'm really sorry to my regular readers, and so I'm going to put up about 4 blog posts this week to help make up for it. The first one is my Happy Mail!

Another month of my favourite stationary subscription is here. I originally bought a 6 month subscription to Happy Mail and I have 2 months left. I'm hoping for lots of birthday cards in the next few months as I have quite a few birthdays of friends and family coming up in the latter half of the year.

I love how colourful it is every month! Let's dive in.

Yuss, a birthday card! And a couple of funky, romantic (mushy) cards. These will be perfect for me to give to my SO.

I love the cotton reels, they are really adorable. I also really love the stripy envelope that comes with the 'You're Golden' card, and should have taken a better picture of it.

If you're wondering what the dark card is, it's a dance pattern. That's such a neat idea! The other two are cute too.

The 'poster' this month is a very useful card to put the Wifi password on. This is particularly useful when you live with a computer nerd and the password is either some obscure tech term, or a (long) series of randomised alphanumeric characters.

I also like the emoji stickers, and will probably use them to decorate the card envelopes when I send them out to friends.

That's another month of Happy Mail! Hooray. I love the quality of this subscription, although I am getting a large collection of cards. However that's a good thing as I'll never run out of funky, unique cards to send on special occasions.

Until next time ...

Monday, 8 June 2015

Flora and Fauna Winter Box 2015

Kia Ora!

I've been excitedly waiting for the Winter edition of Flora and Fauna, as the Autumn box was pretty awesome. Check out my unboxing for Autumn if you are interested.

Flora and Fauna is a quarterly (seasonal) subscription box dedicated to natural and cruelty-free beauty products. It is $35 a box, and shipping to New Zealand is around $10 extra. I bought a year's subscription for $135 + shipping.

There is a 10% off code for all of the products featured in this box, and the code is Winter10.

The card with full details of all the products.

Neal's Yard Remedies Wild Rose Beauty Balm

This seems to be a multi-purpose product according to the card, and can be used as an exfoliator, cleanser, face mask, or balm/moisturiser. I think that is pretty cool, and I'm keen to try this out as it is an award-winner! It's also rather pricey so I can see why a sample was in the box.

RRP: $73.95 (50g)
Sample size (2g): $2.95

Nourish Naturals Dry Skin Lotion

A lotion is always nice to have, although I don't know how well you can judge it on such a small sample. I'll happily use it though.

RRP: $9.95 (200ml)
Sample size (3g): $0.15

Nourish Naturals Anti-Itch Soothing Cream

I don't really know what to do with this product, as I don't tend to have any issues with itching. My cousin has eczema though so I'll pass this on.

RRP: $12.95 (85g)
Sample size (3g): $2.40

Weleda Wild Rose Pampering Body Lotion

I love the scent of rose, so I'm excited to try this sample out. I do think that having so many sample size lotions is a bit strange in one box, but I'm happy to try a few different ones. I'm actively attempting to use up body lotions at the moment, so if I can go through several of these sample packets in a week then I'll be happy.

RRP: $25.95 (200ml)
Sample size (3g): $0.38

Weleda Pomegranate Firming Night Cream

I love pomegranate, and don't have a particular 'night' cream at the moment. I am excited to give this one a go, especially as I've had good results from a pomegranate cream in the past.

RRP: $41.95 (30ml)
Sample size (7ml): $9.78

Safix Foot and Body Care Scrub Pad

I love exfoliation aids, and this one looks really exciting. It's quite tough, which means I'm less likely to use it on the softer and more sensitive parts of my body, but I will enjoy using it on my feet and legs. I'm also impressed that it is made from natural coconut fiber, and you can throw this in the compost or in the garden once it's worn out.

RRP: 3.95
Full size.

Hurraw! Mint Lip Balm

I've been dying to try Hurraw for ages, and I'm really excited to see it in the box this month. I love mint, so I'm keen to see if this is any good as there are plenty of people raving about these lip balms. I'm working through a couple of lip balms at the moment, so I'll put this one away for a few months and save it as a reward for finishing another lip balm.

RRP: $6.99
Full size.

TanOrganic Self Tanning Oil

This was the big ticket item in the box, and the spoiler. I'm not particularly excited about this item, I don't self-tan; never have, probably never will. I don't really see the point in tanning, and I embrace the stark shade of pale that my skin is. I won't use this, although I do think it is a bit of a different product. I'll pass this on as a present to someone who likes tanning.

RRP: $42.50 (100ml)
Full size.


Total value of the box: $69.10. Most of the value is the tanning oil, and some of the samples are worth less than $1.

Honestly for me this box was a bit of a let down. There were tiny samples of products that aren't too expensive, so I would have preferred a 30ml sample, or at least 2-3 packets to try (I'm referring specifically to the body lotions here, as the Neal's Yard Balm and Weleda night cream are significantly more pricey products). The tanning oil isn't my kind of thing, but I can appreciate how others will like it, and that it's simply luck of the draw.

One thing I am impressed with is the constant attention to including brands that fit with the natural and cruelty-free philosophy of Flora and Fauna. The coconut fiber exfoliator is a prime example of this. I also love that there are prices on the card this time around, and am excited that my feedback was noted and acted upon (even if it wasn't because of me, I feel like I helped).

Overall, I think this is a good box, and I'm excited to see what is in the Spring box. What do you think of this box?

Until next time ...

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Empties May 2015

Kia Ora!

I can't believe May is over already! It's halfway through 2015, and it seems to be going by far too fast for my liking!

I've got another month's worth of empties to share today! I love doing these posts as they are such a great motivator to finish up products. I always seem to have a few things I'm trying to finish and it is really exciting to put a product into my empties box when it is finally empty!

Harney & Sons Paris Tea Sachet

I love this tea. I think it might be in my top 5 teas that I love (oooh, I sense a blog post idea for the future)! My sister bought this for me a few years ago, and I've been buying subsequent tins off iHerb. These tins can be found in specialty shops or fancy cafes in NZ, but I find them to be cheaper on iHerb, and easier to get a hold of. This is a black flavoured tea, and I love the scent and taste of it. It honestly is a comfort tea, something you can savour. Yum!

Repurchase: Not yet as I have a lot of tea, but I'll probably treat myself later in the year.

Ariel 24hour Spa Moisture Water

This was in my Project Pan earlier in the year, and I'm glad to have it finished. I didn't really notice any great effects from it, although it was a nice hydrating mist on hot days, or to use as a part of my skincare routine. I won't repurchase as I didn't notice any results, but it's not bad if you wanted to give it a go.

Repurchase: No

The Body Shop Banana Conditioner

I don't know how I feel about this one. I was using it in conjunction with the shampoo (see next month's empties for that as it has about 5 uses left), and it was nice, but I've used better. This is about $16 and I just don't know that it's worth the cost. It smells like sweet banana, and the scent lingers for days, which I liked. However it is supposed to give you soft and shiny hair, but this only lasted for a short time. I noticed my hair becoming greasy looking after less than 24 hours, and I would have to wash it more frequently. I didn't really like that, and for this reason along with the expense, I won't buy this again.

Repurchase: No

Tailor Masque - Single use

I've been meaning to try out the Tailor Masque ever since reading about how much Meagan at This is Meagan Kerr loves it. I finally had a chance, and loved it. A single use mask comes in this little baggie, which is a great way to try out a more expensive product. I didn't really like getting the mask out of the baggie, but after ripping it open, it worked alright (baggie included above for reference).

This is a clay mask, and felt great on. It tightened on my face, and felt like it sucked some rubbish out of my pores. When I washed it off my skin felt super soft, and my other skincare products were absorbed faster and more fully as a result. I'm keen to try out this mask again, and do a full review, but so far I like it!

Repurchase: After trying a couple more single use, most likely yes!

Rexona Women Free Spirit

I've had this deodorant in the bottom of my handbag for a couple of years now. That's a bit gross I know, but it's more of an emergency one to keep on hand than the one I use every day. I find it useful to have a reliable deodorant (one that represses sweat and has a sweet scent) in my bag for those long days or rushed mornings. I liked this one, it did the job and smells lovely. I have replaced it with another one which is basically the same, although the scent might be different.

Repurchase: Already have.

Nivea Daily Essentials Extra Gentle Eye Make Up Remover

This was also featured in my Project Pan earlier in the year, and I've managed to use it up too! I didn't find it did that great of a job removing makeup, and I always had to use 3-4 cotton pads for stubborn mascara (although I never pitted this against the Benefit mascaras). I didn't like that, as I want to get mascara off quickly and not spend half an hour scrubbing at my lashes at the end of the day. This would be good for those with sensitive skin, as the formula is really good at not irritating eyes or skin.

Repurchase: No, but I have replaced with an oil based remover.

Mizon Grapefruit Body Wash

Another Memebox product that I received last year. This was an okay product, not great but not terrible either.  It lathers quite nicely, and does what it is supposed to do (washes you). The problem I had with it was that it left my skin feeling really dry. I felt like I had to use multiple applications of moisturiser after using this as a body wash, but if that's your routine then that's not necessarily a bad thing. I did love the grapefruit smell it had, which lasted throughout the shower but didn't linger much after getting out.

Repurchase: No, but I also have 5 million other body washes to use.

Maybelline The Falsies Volume Express and Too Faced Lash Injection

I decided to throw these two out since they had been sitting around for over a year, and it was probably time. I know, I know, mascaras are supposed to be used for 3 months max and then chucked, but  I liked these two and they still seemed to work ok. I'm the first to admit I'm a relative noobs to makeup, but I liked the way these applied to my lashes, and the effects I got (umm, voluminous I guess). They were good, and didn't totally suck to get off.

Repurchase: I have about 15 backups (thanks to subscription boxes) but maybe one day.

Adidas Anti-Perspirant Dry Power

Another guest paragraph from my SO (who used up this deodorant):

Well, it was aiight, I guess. I prefer my deodorants to not have an overpowering aroma where possible, and this one hit the mark for that. The anti-perspirant worked as expected, I wouldn't actually expect it to last 72 hours like the marketing claims, but it did seem to do well enough over the normal 24 hour period. It didn't asphyxiate me in my tiny bathroom, so that's a bonus. Most aerosols tend to require being used in a "well-ventilated" environment, and this can seemed to minimise that. I didn't notice any stains or marks on my clothes either, but I didn't go out of my way to test that, and my normal routine tries to reduce deodorant touching clothes as much as possible.
7 out of 10, respectable, would purchase again.

Etude House My Beauty Tool Cotton Puff

If you've been reading my blog for awhile you know I love these cotton pads. I basically don't use anything else, as these are soft and absorbant and strong. I've bought several boxes as back-ups, and will simply order more from the Etude House website when I run out. Great product, and highly recommended.

Repurchase: Already have!

Well there we are, another month of things I get to put in the rubbish bin now! I find it quite cathartic to save up all the empties and then dispose of them in one go. It's also a great way of doing mini-reviews. Do you guys like empties posts? I know they are my favourite thing to read at the changeover of the month.

Until next time ...