Updated: Holiday beauty bundle - August/September 2014


As mentioned in my initial holiday beauty bundle post, I went away for ten days and decided it was high time to dust off a few products I hadn't been using or wanted to open. Some of those came from subscription boxes and others were given to me, and I hadn't had the 'space' to work them into my routine.

As mentioned in that post, there's little I hate more than seeing my stash grow beyond manageable levels (happens so easily, when you're signed up to a subscription box or three and/or have collected some 'back ups' of favourite products when they've been on sale); and while things aren't too out of control at the moment (yet!), I wanted to make room in my stash and make sure September's empties post was nice and full : )

In this post I'll re-hash my earlier introductory comments, and also let you know what I thought of each item.

John Plunkett Glyco Peel (RRP $29.99 for 15ml)

This one turned up in our June 2014 Lust Have It women's boxes. I've been looking forward to trying it, but I have an Alpha-H glyco product on the go at home and can't use both at once (they're too heavy duty for that). Since this is a small product, it made sense to bring this instead of the 100ml Alpha-H Liquid Gold.

A night-time glyco exfoliator, this aims to exfoliate the skin's outer layer as you sleep to remove old, dull skin. It's suitable for all skin types; however frequency of use depends on your skin type (eg, use more for oily skin and less for dry). I'll probably use it every second night (my skin is somewhere between normal and dry at the moment) and then rest it for a week as suggested in the instructions. Looking forward to seeing how it works!

UPDATE: This was way too hardcore for my skin. Within a week of use, I had dry, flakey skin all around my mouth/chin area (so it kind of looked like I had a weird, red, scaley goatee), and I only used it three times. It did resurface my skin (eg my forehead fared better and I noticed a reduction in fine lines), but even that looked like it had been rubbed raw. I imagine this product would work really well for those lasses with oily skin (so don't discount this product); it's just not for me. Looks like I'll be going back to my Alpha-H Liquid Gold.

Foltene Eyelash Treatment (RRP $20.95 for 10ml)

This showed up in our August Violet Boxes and I'm excited to give it a go - I'm totally up for something that can promote natural eyelash growth, and that's safe for sensitive eyes and dermatologically tested. You apply it morning and night like a mascara. I'll have to remember to take before and after shots of my eyelashes so we can track any difference in length.

UPDATE: I've been using this since we received it, and while I haven't noticed any changes yet, I'll keep you posted. One thing I'll say about it: it's one of those 'extra/unfamiliar' steps in your routine, so I've had to leave it right in front of the bathroom mirror so I can see it each day and not forget to use it (which is easy to do).

Bobbi Brown Mini Brush Set

This was given to me about fifteen(!) years ago by one of my aunts for Christmas. Since I only became beauty obsessed three years ago, it got tossed to the back of one of my drawers but I've kept it all this time. Glad I did ; ). I've used these brushes a bit over the years but tend to go for the large ones I own since I find those easier to handle. But these are great brushes from a great brand and it's high time I gave them some proper use! Since this collection is so old, I could only see one comparable set online (see here); the case looks similar and the brushes do too, though there's only three in that set and this one contains five. Let's see if I can finally make the most of these brushes.

UPDATE: I definitely prefer longer brushes, but I'm glad I've used these properly. The set contains a good selection and I've been able to find a use for all of them. The quality is fine; however I find the powder brush especially a bit 'scratchy' for my skin. I prefer softer brushes.

Marsk Eyeshadow Brush (RRP $28.95)

This showed up in our August Lust Have It women's boxes and I wanted to bring it so I could review it. It's a very light brush, which I don't like - I'd prefer there to be some weight to it. Kind of makes it feel cheap, even though it's probably not. It's designed to create the perfect eye look. I'll have a play and let you know what I think.

UPDATE: Honestly? Rubbish. I don't know how Marsk can say it's 'designed to create the perfect eye look'. It's not small enough to do the lid area nicely (so you can't get a good angle and end up with product spreading too high on your eye); it's not a good crease brush and it's not even good for the brow-bone area (puffier brushes work better for that - this one's way too flat). It also feels cheap and tacky. Avoid.

Clarins Extra-firming Body Care Rich Replenishing Cream (RRP $66 for 200ml)

The two above products (and the two below ones) were given to me by Mum, bless her. A Clarins lover for most of her life, she often winds up with products she's not using or doesn't need/like (eg from gift sets etc). Since she had some extras and wanted to offload them, I was the lucky recipient! I do like Clarins products so I'm super happy to give this and the others a burl. This cream aims to firm and revitalise skin and targets visible lines for a more defined silhouette. Yaysers.

UPDATE: Not much to say here. The cream is nice enough but certainly not for that price! In terms of firming/revitalising skin and targeting visible lines, you're much better off using something from Palmer's I reckon.

Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Bath & Shower Gel (RRP $29.95 for 200ml)

I bought the 100ml fragrance of this in December last year from Priceline for the grand total of $15 and really liked it - so much so that it's all gone! Happy to try out the gel, which apparently is rich and foam-er-ful (that's SO a word), cleansing and hydrating. Cool. If it smells like the fragrance, I'll be happy.

UPDATE: It's a shower gel. It cleans and foams well and smells lovely. Don't pay $29.95 for it though! My golly. You can usually pick this up from Priceline or Chemist Warehouse in a kit along with the fragrance, if you're planning on buying the fragrance anyway (which is really lovely - so fresh and light. Uplifting, if I'm going to use a cheesy word. Definitely test it if that's your kind of fragrance). I wouldn't buy the gel, but I'd buy the kit for the fragrance - since the kit often costs the same as the fragrance alone - and I'd be happy to have the gel as a 'free' inclusion.

Clarins Super Restorative Replenishing Comfort Mask (RRP $80 for 75 ml)

Another one from Mum. This aims to firm, tighten and define facial contours, restoring a youthful vitality to mature skin challenged by natural hormonal changes due to the aging process. Hmmm. Might not be the right product for a 34-year-old?! Hoh well, can't do any harm I suppose. It contains mango oil, shea butter and pueraria lobata to strengthen weakened skin and minimise the appearance of lines and wrinkles caused by daily stress. Cool bananas.

UPDATE: Meh. Don't bother. Doesn't do anything. I've used much better 'replenishing/moisturising' masks (eg the lovely facial mask from Sukin) and this one costs the proverbial arm and leg. Six arms and legs, in fact.

Clarins Super Restorative Serum (RRP $165 for 30ml)

Oh dear, another one for mature age skin hehe. This is meant to boost skin's beauty after age 50, and apparently helps replenish, lift and renew skin challenged by natural hormonal changes due to the aging process. It also aims to provide tired, lacklustre skin with a boost of concentrated radiance and vitality as it replenishes, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Well look, while I'm not over 50, I am indeed hormonal - I'm up the farken duff. So maybe I qualify?!

UPDATE: Meh again. It's a nice-enough serum but I've used much better ones (Estée Lauder's fabled Advanced Night Repair, for example; or Sukin's Purely Ageless Intensive Firming Serum, which is a truckload cheaper). Looks like Clarins isn't the brand for me! Except for Clarins' Beauty Flash Balm, which has been a staple for ages. Still, glad I've had the chance to try a few items that I wouldn't have otherwise used.

Camille Beckman Glycerine Hand Therapy (RRP $18 for 6oz)

This one came in our August Violet Boxes and I've used it a couple of times. It's listed as a rich cream that goes on smoothly and restores much-needed moisture. Certainly feels like it achieves this. The question is whether, by the end of the little sample pot, it has enough punch to knock Burt's Bees Almond & Milk hand cream off the top of my list of favourite heavy-duty hand creams.

UPDATE: I've used this now and love it - almost as much as I love my Burt's Bees Almond & Milk hand cream. It's super rich and just what my dry hands need right now. Lovely smell and cute packaging. Big ticks! Also, since I had a bundle of VB points to use up, I went and bought the full size of this in the Tuscan Honey 'flavour'. That's how much I loved it : )

Lucas' Pawpaw Ointment (RRP $4.99 for 25ml)

I'd be surprised if you haven't heard of this one - even if you haven't tried it. It's one of those products you can't really avoid; it's a cult product that's talked about throughout the beauty world and there always seems to be crates of it sitting near the counter at Priceline and Chemist Warehouse - usually on special. I know a lot of women who swear by this (it's described as 'a local topical application for boils, burns, chafings, open wounds, insect bites and nappy rash') and use it on chapped lips and dry skin. Since I happily don't have any of those things going on at the moment (touch wood!), it hasn't been getting any use. I'm going to use it as a foot cream.

UPDATE: If you'd like a full, in-depth review of this one, I suggest heading to eg makeupalley. I say this because I used it as a foot cream (worked a treat for that purpose, by the way) and not for anything else. A lot of people use it as a lip balm and/or cuticle treatment (and not just for boils/burns etc), and I can see how it would work well for those purposes.

Glamourflage Jane Gem Primer (RRP $22.95 for 8.5ml)

This primer turned up in an LHI box yonks ago and I've done a full review of it here. I used it for a couple of weeks back in July and I'm about halfway through the product already (!). I thought I'd bring it away with me because it's a nice travel size. I'll comment more as I rediscover it over the next week or so.

UPDATE: My previous comments hold - a nice product, but you'll get through it like no tomorrow. It's very thick. As mentioned in my review, I tend to use it above makeup since it has such a great plumping effect. I'm not sure about its 'priming power', although I'd consider buying it just because I love the packaging so much hehe.

Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter Pencil (RRP $22 for 1.4g)

This aims to brighten and visibly lift your eyes when applied on the brow-bone, dark circles, blemishes and red spots. A multi-purpose pencil, it can also be used to brighten and 'open' the eye area by applying it to the water line and inner corners of the eye. Also, applying a thin, blended line down the centre of the nose creates the illusion of a thinner nose. Apparently you can also use it to eliminate dark shadows and prevent lipstick spread by applying it to the Cupid’s bow and along the lip line. Lots of uses for one product! I've already found it makes a reasonable concealer (lovely and creamy), so I'll let you know how it fares in other ways.

UPDATE: I do really like this and I've now used it not only as an under-eye concealer, but as a highlighter and also to dumb down any redness (eg on the sides of my nose and on my chest). It's very sheer so you may need to apply quite a bit of it to get enough cover, which is fine because it doesn't look cakey or visible: it's very creamy. Note that it does move around a bit so you may need to reapply throughout the day (even when set with a finishing powder) and if you're anything like me, you'll get through it pretty quickly. I seem to have to sharpen it every few days. Nothing wrong with that - we all know how much I like finishing things so I can move on to something else ; )

Essenzza Fuss Free Naturals (Mini wipes valued at $2.50)

These turned up in August's Lust Have It women's box and, while I have a few packets of wipes in my stores at the moment, another lot will never go astray and it's always nice to try out a new brand. I'd never heard of these guys before and the packaging is rather funky. The wipes are textured on one side (to remove dirt/makeup more easily) and smooth on the other for 'a perfect finish'. I tried one out last night and really liked it - the textured side is a smashing idea.

UPDATE: These are now officially my favourite wipes. EVER. Once I've gotten through my wipe stash, these will be my go-to brand. 'Nuff said.

Davroe Colour Senses Ends Repair (RRP $19.95 for 125ml)

Another product from an old LHI box. This is designed for colour treated hair. A leave in conditioning cream, it seals the cuticles of your hair for brighter colour. It contains rice and wheat proteins to strengthen and smooth your hair, and lock in moisture and colour while protecting it against UV damage and colour fade. You're meant to apply it to the ends and mid lengths of your hair before styling. I'd definitely like to make some leeway into this one - it's been in the bottom of the pile since January (probably earlier), purely because I've got a back-log of similar products.

UPDATE: This one's fine, but definitely not the best product I've used of this nature. Since my hair is naturally dry, hair oils work much better for me. What this product is good for, however, is taming the flyaways near the roots of my hair, when I don't want to add any oil near my scalp region because I'm not far away from a wash and don't want my hair to look greasy. That makes it a good one to keep in your handbag - especially if your hair looks frizzy and rubbish after it's been rained on or you've been in a humid environment.

In sum

Hooray for trying new things, and super hooray for discovering the Essenzza wipes and the Camille Beckman hand cream (thanks LHI and VB)! I'm stoked about these discoveries : )

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