Man am I excited. One of my little brothers and my lil sis split these two kits for my birthday this year in June (thanks siblings!), and the products have been sitting there looking all pretty in my makeup shelving, waiting for me to open them.

I've decided that November is the time : )

Why November? Well, the weather's warming up and we've got more social things on as we approach the festives, plus I'm sitting here feeling preggers and exhausted 24/7, and my body is exploding by the day so I need something to cheer me up.

Maybe this will do it! November is the rainy day I've been waiting for, and the Saturday of Melbourne Cup Weekend is the perfect time to crack these open.

Here's Go Tropicoral, which contains the Cha Cha Tint, the fabled High Beam illuminator and Coralista Blush, and the Coralista Lipgloss. I chose it because I'm a coral junkie.

All the products in this kit and the complexion one below, come in nice little travel sizes with pretty and useful instructions ('tips and tricks') on how to use and mix the products, so I'll look forward to reading those and playing around.

Plus the kits are better value when you consider the mark-ups in Oz prices, as compared to Benefit's full sized products. Eg, this kit cost $40AU, while the US price is $28. By comparison, Benefit's the POREfessional primer costs $31US and retails here for $53. I think we can all agree that's beyond ridiculous.


I picked this set because I'd been wanting to try the brand's complexion products (and in particular the primer included). So I've received the POREfessional, the Boi-ing Concealer, and a liquid foundation and matching powder with titles I absolutely reFUSE to write down or utter, even under my breath (and I'll be keeping the labels turned around so I can't read them on the dresser).

Yes, I'm referring to the 'Flawless' products, and that's what I'll call them. Because WHO THE FARK CAME UP WITH THAT PRODUCT NAME?!


This kit cost $46AU, while the US price is $30. On the mark-up, you're better off ordering directly from the Benefit US website. Free shipping is available on Oz orders over $125, so if you've tested a few things in eg Myer and want them, I'd save up and order them in one hit so you can get them at US prices and avoid the international postage cost.

Cute little kits, yes?! Cannot wait to use them. 

I'll report back soon with reviews of the individual products and the kits overall : )

We received one of these Sweetpea & Fay eyeshadows in our December 2013 Violet Boxes. I got the colour Planet 426, a dark purple with shimmery flecks of silver. 

Initially I wasn't that excited by the colour (thought I'd hardly wear it - I'd rather save the big colours for my lips or cheeks), but you can play it down so it doesn't take over your look. It also works for a smoky eye and looks good with charcoal and light grey if you want tone things down and wear a brighter lip.

Just briefly, Sweetpea & Fay is owned by a pair of sisters, Katrina and Amanda Farnsworth. The company offers mineral makeup including eyeshadow, foundation and blush - as well as the brand's fabled liquid lipsticks (see my post on those here). Products are mineral-based and 100% natural. 

For more information, see Sweetpea & Fay's US website.

Sweetpea & Fay claims/product details:
  • Mineral based
  • 100% natural
  • Aims to enhance the shape and colour of your eyes
  • Ingredients: pure mica, sericite, titanium dioxide, iron oxide, tin oxide
  • RRP $12 for 2.5g
  • Available in the Violet Box shop
  • Also available in Oz from Rouche Boutique, which sells products at great prices and often runs discounts (see my post on the shop here - stocked brands include Shanghai Suzy and Lime Crime)

Above and below, I've swatched the product lightly and more heavily on my hand. 

It's not super pigmented so it's buildable, which I like for a bright colour like purple (it's hard not to overdo products that have heaps of pigment - for me anyway!).

Wearing it lightly on my eyes below (I haven't completed my eye look, so you can see what this product is doing on its own):

And again, with a heavier hand - you can see that the product isn't too in-your-face or shimmery when applied on your eyes.


This isn't a bad product for $12. It's not the most pigmented shadow I own, but as mentioned, I reckon that can be a good thing when it comes to brighter colours.

I've had a look online and the eyeshadow range from S&F looks pretty good - the colours are striking and the little pots are handy and travel well. (Loose products are great because you can't drop and smash them - they're already 'smashed'!)

The formula is ok - not great, not bad - and pretty good for the price. If you want some bright, seasonal colours but don't want to pay the proverbial arm/leg for them, these are a good option. The pot will last for ages; while I couldn't see a shelf-life marked, I'd expect it to last you for around 24 months (though you might want to confirm that with the company).

While not super blendable, the shadow is easy enough to work with and wears well. I haven't had product fall-out issues, but I've been applying it wet to my eyes so I don't have to layer it so much to get the colour I want, and I think that makes a difference in terms of fall-out.

Overall, decent products for the price.

We received this La Mav Organic BB Créme in our Lust Have It boxes a couple of months back and I was thrilled to receive it, being the BB/CC cream junkie that I am. I prefer a lighter, dewy base, and those types of products tend to deliver this.

Since I have quite a few unopened products like this in store, I didn't open it straight away. But I recently finished one off and last week I decided it was time to give this a crack.

La Mav claims/product details:
  • Suitable for all skin types and tones
  • Anti-ageing, mattifying and organic 
  • Provides 24 hour moisturisation
  • Evens complexion
  • Contains natural sunscreen
  • Easy and quick to apply 
  • Specifically formulated to correct imperfections 
  • Provides effective coverage thanks to its colour adaptive formula 
  • Smooths and replenishes your skin
  • La Mav products are certified organic, clinically proven and cruelty free 
  • To use: apply a small amount to clean skin; blend gently with fingertips for even coverage
  • RRP $39.95 for 50ml
  • Available here

I was surprised by how dark this was when I first squirted it out, and while the colour does dull down on my wrist (see below), you can still see it.

Here's another shot. I'd be surprised if it was suitable for lasses with very pale skin (so I'm querying the 'suitable for all skin tones' claim).

Here's my blotchy face without the product:

With product, in direct sunlight:

With product, in natural light:

You can see that it does adapt to my skin - but surprisingly, it over-adapts and goes a bit pasty! My skin looks better with a warmer product.


This surprised me for lots of different reasons.

First, it's meant for all skintones but it comes out so dark and yellow! However it does lighten once applied to your face and blended, so don't be too freaked out by the colour. On my skin (medium), it looked way too dark/yellow when squirted/blended on my wrist, but then ended up looking a bit pale and powdery on my face.

Second, it dries really REALLY quickly. The squirt I spread on my wrist had gone all hard (like dried paint) by the time I tried to wipe it off and transfer it to my face. I guess it's a matte/powdery kind of product. For this reason, it doesn't spread well and I needed to use more than anticipated to do my face/neck/dec. Honestly, it looked and felt a bit like icing.

For this reason (the coverage/texture), I'd call it a foundation - not a BB. That's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just a comment. The product winds up being too thick for the BB tag and doesn't give that natural coverage you'd expect from a BB. This doesn't mean it's a bad product - it's just something to be aware of.

I know it's organic, but I'm annoyed about the 6 month shelf life when it's a large size (50ml). The size should be smaller (and cheaper) or the shelf life should be longer, in my opinion. I also don't like that it contains 'natural sunscreen' but gives you no indication of SPF. I like to know exactly how much sun protection I have on my face, and this products leaves you in the dark.

Unfortunately, it settles in my pores (not terribly, but little dots are visible around my hairline) and also settles in dry patches. This isn't helped by the fact that it's hard to spread. Therefore I recommend being super hydrated first (to the point of greasiness), and/or mixing it with a moisturiser (this could improve the powdery/thick coverage issue, too).

I don't like that I can't finish it with a setting powder - it's too drying/powdery for that as it is.

I tried this product in three different ways because I wanted to make it work for me (particularly because I'm on a spending ban so I need to use what I have). First, on its own. Second, by putting oil on my face beforehand; and third by mixing it with a high SPF greasy CC cream I have, in the hope of dulling the thickness of it. Unfortunately, the oil didn't help and this product 'overrode' the CC cream, so the concoction ended up like paint too.

Obviously, this product doesn't work for me. But please note that many have left rave reviews on La Mav's website, so it may be that it just doesn't work for my skin. I suppose this isn't surprising: my skin tends towards dryness and I prefer a dewy look over a matte one; so because this is a mattifying product, it was always going to be harder for me to like it. And try as I may, I couldn't make this work for my skin - BOO!

If you have oily skin and are in the market for a thicker coverage, it would be worth testing this product. Otherwise I'd give it a wide berth.

Oh dear, thankfully the contents were ok (aside from a squished brush box). Phew!

Man was I excited when I opened this one. I'd thought that Earth & Sea Cosmetics couldn't be beaten, but this box might just have done that - or it's at least on par. We'll see if I still feel that way once I've used everything.

Note, however, that this box cost $39 plus $6.99 shipping - so it's the most expensive box I've ordered (most clock in at $23 or $29). Still, what a bundle of goodies!

Before we get stuck into things, here are my December Affiliate Codes:
  • December $5 coupon code (purchase must be over $30, not including shipping): R845QH
  • Get $10 off automatically at checkout when you spend $150 or more, using the link below
  • Get $5 off automatically at checkout when you spend $100 or more, using the link below

Just click the Memebox banner to the right of this blog, or click here to enter the Memebox website and start shopping!

Note: you can stack the code with the links for an extra discount : )

Slightly wonky photo there...

A nice mix of stuff, yes? 

And one of the items was actually three full sized items in one. WAAAHHHOOOOO!

Migabee Hot & Cool Pore Care Set (30ml + 30ml +70ml) RRP $43

What a cool little set! It contains:
  • Step 1: Hot Pore Peeling System, designed to open up clogged pores by heating up the surface of the skin with pepper extract infusions. It also adds steam deep into the pores for effective surface skin exfoliation.
  • Step 2: Cooling Mask Clean 3 in 1, a multi-purpose product that tightens enlarged pores and soothes irritated skin. It can be used as both a mask and a cleanser.
  • Step 3: Peppermint Witchhazel Mist, infused with a powerful blend of peppermint and witch hazel to refine pores and leave skin extra clean.
I can't wait to try this! Now I just have to finish off the skincare products I'm using...

UPDATE: I've reviewed these products separately and also as a set (see here). In sum, I quite liked it overall and in particular step two, the cooling mask. I wasn't a huge fan of the mist but I'll definitely use it, and step one didn't heat for some reason but it's still an ok exfoliator. I wouldn't buy these products but I'm enjoying using them.

Nella Fantasia Pore Control Astringent Gel (RRP $34 for 180ml)

This is apparently an all-in-one pore toning gel that's formulated to control excess sebum, oil and blackheads by refining and tightening enlarged pores. You can store it in the fridge for better results.

Now this sounds like exactly what I need. My golly, already I'm thinking that the challenge with this box will be having the discipline to put these things towards the back of the queue and use up stuff that's already open first.

So hard to do sometimes ; )

UPDATE: Full review here. I'm liking this more and more the longer I use it. It's a clear gel that spreads very thinly so you only need to use the smallest amount. I wouldn't want to use too much anyway, in fear that it might interfere with my moisturiser's ability to absorb.

I do think it tones well - it leaves your skin feeling fresher and tighter - but it's not a product I would buy because I prefer liquid toners that you use with a cotton pad. This product is in for the long haul because there's so much of it!

ProYou Pore Control Foam Deep Cleanser (RRP $34 for 100ml)

According to the product card, this one's an invigorating cleanser that contains a powerful blend of pore refining ingredients to remove impurities and blackheads without drying or irritating the skin. It's formulated with special oxygen bubbles, collagen and hydraulic acid to cleanse and purify the pores while smoothing the skin. Sounds good. Looking forward to seeing the bubble action!

UPDATE: Full review here. This is the third self-foaming cleanser I've received from Memebox and it's by far the best. Happily I've wound up with a few ProYou products from Memebox and, so far, I've liked all of them. While this isn't the best cleanser I've used, it's a good 'first cleanse' product that removes enough gunk than my 'second cleanse' product can really get in there and give my skin a good clean. I like it but I wouldn't buy it.

Dermahouse Deep Cleansing Cream (RRP $18 for 150ml)

This product cleanses in one step, effectively washing away dirt, impurities and makeup from your face and eyes. It's formulated with aloe vera water, avocado oil, hydrolysed collagen and squaline, and forms a protective hydration shield to prevent dehydration and leave skin smooth and supple.

According to the usage instructions, you use this before your cleanser and it's suitable for all skin types.

UPDATE: Full review here. In short, this is a reasonable product but not the best cream cleanser I've used. It has a very faint, toffee-apple scent and is super velvety, so it applies like a dream. It doesn't remove makeup that well but it does remove dirt when I apply it in the morning (so no makeup). I wouldn't buy it but I'll definitely use it.

Cheek Room Pore Brush (RRP $36)

Errmaaahgawd, you have to feel this brush. It's so unbelievably soft and feels incredible.

According to the card: over 310 thousand fine bristles (WTF? Cool!) thinner than 0.045mm gently yet effectively clear away trapped oil, dirt and other impurities from the pores, leaving skin refreshingly clean, blackhead free and ultra smooth.

You use it after cleansing foam application. Another product I don't have that I can start using today. Huzzah!

UPDATE: Full review here. Sadly I was disappointed by this in the end. The brush felt so different after wetting it for the first time and it's never been the same again (the bristles seem permanently stuck into clumps), so it doesn't feel as wonderful on my face as it once did. What it now feels like is any normal kind of brush or even a sponge, and I'm not sure it adds anything to my cleansing routine. Foo!

Purederm Nose Pore Strips Charcoal (RRP $6 for 6 strips)

These are a one-step pore treatment specifically designed to unclog excess blackheads, whiteheads, dirt and oil piled up in your pores (hmmm, paints a picture, doesn't it?!). Apparently I should notice a difference after one use. Oh good. I've always been one for instant gratification.

UPDATE: Full review here. In sum, these are awesome, and easily the best nose strips I've used. They suck out blackheads brilliantly (yuck! ha) and leave your skin looking and feeling much cleaner.

They're one of the few Memebox products I've really loved. You certainly do notice the difference after one use (you only have to look at the spent strip to see the good work it's done!) and they do make your skin look smooth and fresh. Yay to that!


What a box! For a $39 price tag, the total value clocks in at $171. I'm so glad I ordered this. I chose it because my skin has gone dry and pimply since getting pregnant (the whole preggers glow thing is a myth!), and it ended up being a good choice for me.

Not only is the box good value, I'll use everything in it and the products are interesting and different. I'm excited!

As always, I'll update this review once I've used everything, and I'll likely do separate full reviews of all the products.

Did anyone else order this? I hope you're as excited about it as I am : )

I wound up with a bunch of Indio products via Bellabox and the Facebook Bellabox Swap Group. I've used samples of the SOS Gel and Eye Rise before but haven't reviewed them, so when I signed up as an Indio VIP for free (see my post here) and received the sample Mineral Complex, I set everything aside so I could use them together and review the lot.

Just quickly, Indio is an Australian brand which believes that, to provide an effective skincare range, it has to be designed specifically to match the lifestyles of those living within the unique climate of Australia and New Zealand. I like the idea! For more information on the company, see here.

Note: the prices I quote below are not VIP prices, so you can expect a discount if you sign up. Note also that I've reviewed Indio's Facial Scrub, which I love to bits!

Indio SOS Gel - redness rescue

This one confused me a little because the product calls itself a gel (to be applied like a moisturiser) but on the Bellabox page it's described as a mask (even though it's labelled as a gel), and on the Indio website the tube is labelled as a mask. Maybe the gel is a discontinued product?

Anyhoo, I've been following what the tube says in terms of application.

Indio claims/product details:
  • Cool and soothing gel to reduce irritation and redness 
  • Enhanced with sodium hyaluronate and vitamin B5 for intensive hydration
  • Contains aloe leaf juice, mallow, green tea, calendula and honeysuckle flowers for a smoothing and softer complexion
  • For fragile skin with signs of redness, roasacea and cuperouse
  • Apply after serum and before moisturiser
  • Keep in the refrigerator to enhance results
  • RRP $72 for 50ml
  • Available in the Bellabox shop; the mask is available on the Indio website


I'll be brief because I don't have a lot to say about this gel.

This is probably the only Indio product I've tried so far that I don't like. I've used much more soothing creams/gels that have the same purposes as this one (eg Avéne does a great redness reduction cream, and there's a Tosowong product I received from Memebox that works wonders for cooling/soothing).

It doesn't seem to have a cooling/redness reducing effect, and it doesn't feel at all nourishing (not for my skin, which tends towards dryness). It also leaves your skin feeling a bit sticky and coated afterwards, a sensation I don't like.

I'll use it just because I have it, but I don't think it lives up to its claims (maybe that's why it's been discontinued, if that's the case?). Hoh well - you can't win them all!

Indio Mineral Complex Moisturiser

This one fares better, and it's one I'd consider buying if I needed more moisturisers.

Indio claims/product details:
  • A forerunner in anti-ageing and repair due to its rich combination of powerful antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and active enzymes
  • Formulated with sea algaes, squalane and shea butter to replenish devitalised and depleted skin
  • Contains active enzymes to mitigate vascular degeneration and pigmentation 
  • Suitable for genetically low lipids (dry) to balance skin; often prescribed when redness, couperose and pigmentation are present
  • Apply day and night
  • RRP $99 for 50ml
  • Available from the Indio website


I really like this one, and it's something I'll consider buying when I run out of the skincare I'm using.

In terms of meeting its claims, a 10ml sample probably isn't enough to see whether it targets pigmentation etc, although I can confirm that it's super moisturising and nourishing - without weighing your skin down.

I also like the smell, and I've been carrying it around in my purse to keep my skin hydrated throughout the day. It has a plumping, refreshing and brightening effect, and sits well over makeup.

I've also found that it spreads well, so you need to use less of it than you might other moisturisers (meaning the tube will last you longer).

This product, the eye cream below and the scrub have put Indio on my list of potential skincare systems to try once I've finished the Eslor and Happy Skincare products I have in stock. Sometimes I like switching brands for a while to see how my skin reacts to other products.

Indio Eye Rise

Indio claims/product details:
  • For an instant perk-me-up
  • Plumps the area around your peepers while hydrating and smoothing your skin at the same time
  • Complements your makeup with its reflective mineral powder components 
  • Protects your skin with its formulation of UV absorbers and anti-oxidants
  • Offers slight coverage, leaving your skin tautened and silky smooth, and your eyes refreshed 
  • Contains olive oil extract, squalene, shea butter, soybean and vitamin e acetate
  • Calms and soothes skin with matricaria flower extract and green tea
  • Use in the morning
  • RRP $84 for 15ml
  • Available in the Bellabox shop and from the Indio website


I received this 5ml sample in a Bellabox when I was subscribed, and I liked it enough to grab a second one in the Bellabox Facebook Swap group.

10ml total is plenty to get an accurate idea of an eye cream (even 5ml is enough, since one uses so little for each application), and I can confirm that this is a great eye cream that does have a plumping effect and hydrates nicely.

I have to be careful when it comes to eye creams: if they're not good enough, I have a wrinkle above my right eye that magically appears and looks rubbish (particularly when I try to put shimmery eyeshadow on it). While that wrinkle will no doubt set in over time (ach, sh*t happens), I can happily stave it off without issue when I'm using a good product. That wrinkle doesn't appear when I use this, so that's good enough for me!

On the colour of the cream (which yes, is a beige colour), it's too sheer to make any coverage difference to my under-eye circles or any redness/pigmentation.

Ticks from me.

In sum

That's all on Indio for now. Does anyone use Indio products? I'd be interested to hear more about what others think, before looking at purchasing a kit from the range in future.

The arrival of Mr Postie! Marked this month by our puppy barking when the package was left on the front doorstep - and it's the first time she's barked at him. Our little puppy is growing up, to become a super duper guard dog (we hope).

Anyhoo, moving on ; )

From the moment I opened this box, I knew something was wrong. It just didn't look full enough - not that it needs to - but my eye caught the 'DB' tag and I lurched. I'm not kidding. I didn't actually think that DB would infiltrate Violet Box too, but it has.

Violet Box has always contained higher-end brands and more generous and interesting products than the other Australian boxes: that's why I've been happy to pay the extra few dollars over eg LHI in terms of continuing my subscription.

I never thought Violet Box would disappoint, but this month it has. Oh well. I've been subscribed for a year now and this is the first bad box. One bad box a year is ok.

Eslor Introductory Collection (containing a bundle of 5ml samples)

This nicely presented collection of sachets includes Eslor's Soothing Refiner & Cleanser, Botanical Peeling Gel, Chlorophyll Lifting Mask and Firming Collagen Day Cream.

Now, as a dedicated Eslor junkie, I can confirm that we received very good samples in this kit (better than the ones received from Bellabox a while back). The only product I don't love is the cleanser (it's too gentle for me), but the others are great.

I know most of us don't like sachets, but do give these a go - they're decent 5ml sizes and should last at least a week of use. I hope you enjoy the products as much as I have (cleanser aside) : )

Wotnot Facial Wipes for Oily/Sensitive Skin (RRP $1.95 for 5 wipes)

Yes, it's true. I forgot to photograph the wipes separately. Blame preggers brain for that (!) - and I didn't correct the error because we've seen these many times in subscription boxes and it's fair to say that most of us have used them.

For a few words on these exact wipes, see my August empties post (they're the first product up). In short, they're fine but I prefer the pink version from Wotnot, and my favourite wipes are from Essenzza.

I think these wipes and the Eslor samples are going straight into my 'hospital toiletries kit' (apparently I should have one of those ready to go by Christmas, in case bub comes early). Having said this, will I be applying masks and makeup in hospital?! Who knows, but I do like being prepared...

DB Eternal Colour Lipstick (RRP $9.99) and Lip Pencil (RRP $4.99)

The colours I got were Rose Brown (lippie) and Fuschia Rose (pencil). I'll pop these in the swap/presents pile - I'm not excited enough about either of these items to want to try them, and I have enough lipsticks and pencils in my collection already.

PHR Professional Haircare Recovery Leave-in Moisturiser (RRP $39.95 for 125ml; received 15ml sample)

I made the mistake of reading about this product on the card before going through the box properly and seeing that this one was a sample. Foo! I'd hoped for the full size (we'd already had two sample items and VB is normally more generous than the other boxes). Not to be.

It contains a blend of natural ingredients including jojoba seed oil and keratin, and aims to seal in hydration and leave your hair renewed and full of lustre. I'm looking forward to trying this at least.

Haughty Cosmetics - Perfect Finish Lipgloss (RRP$23 for 2.8g; received full size)

This was the sneak peek item and probably the best product in the box. Unfortunately I received red, which doesn't suit me. Another product for the presents/swap pile.

According to the product card, this lipgloss 'feels awesome and stays on'. It's paraben free and not tested on animals, and the box says that 50% of the proceeds from the sale of this product will go towards preventing domestic violence, so that's cool.


Not much left to say here unfortunately : (

I'm happiest about the hair sample, I'm always glad to receive Eslor samples and the wipes won't go astray but they don't float my boat.

I'd be interested to see what others thought of this box. Is it just me, or has VB gone downhill a little? Maybe it's just this month. Fingers crossed there's a great box heading our way in November.

If I had a dollar for every time I've received a blue eyeshadow in a subscription box, I'd be a rich woman.

Well, ok maybe not - but I would have enough for at least a few coffees (Australian prices ; ) ).

I mention this because we received a Girlactik eyeshadow in our September Violet Boxes, and I of course received the blue one. While I've gifted that to someone I think it will suit, I happily managed to pick up this Flame version in the Facebook Violet Box Swap group.

A nice colour, yes? And one that would suit a lot of people. Very glad I managed to pick it up.

Girlactik claims/product details:
  • Can be applied wet or dry
  • Pigmented
  • Matte and pearl shadows available
  • 18 shades on offer
  • Colours blend and work together 
  • RRP $23 for 2.5g (annoyingly, these retail for $14 in the US. While in Oz we can always expect a mark-up, I think one of this size is getting ridiculous)
  • Available in the Violet Box shop

See above and below wrist swatches. 

I like the colour, although I'd have preferred it to be without noticeable glitter (it seems harder and harder these days to find blushes and shadows without shimmer in them - or is that just me?).

See below face swatches. I've applied it more heavily on my eyes and with a lighter touch on my cheeks (who says you can't apply eyeshadow as a blush/bronzer?!). It's a nice warm colour that's good for summer.

Note the product does work better as an eyeshadow - as a blush it sometimes goes on patchily (depending on how hydrated your skin is) and can be difficult to blend, plus it settles in pores and dry patches. 


I like the colour. While I'd prefer it to be without glitter, it's definitely my shade and I'll use it. Happily it's close enough in colour to an eyeshadow I already own that's getting a bit old, so this can be my replacement because I do use it a lot.

Although it applies, blends and wears reasonably well (once you've moisturised/prepped your skin), the texture isn't the best - it's not bad, just not brilliant. With some prep it does apply much better (my skin tends towards dryness), and it wears well throughout the day. 

While I haven't experienced product fall-out from the colour itself, the glitter particles do travel so that's not a good thing.

The packaging is cheap and plastic, so the product doesn't feel that special but it's one that I'm happy to shove in my makeup bag and cart around. Since I can also use it as a blush, it's a good 'double duty' product to travel with.

I'm happy to have it, but I wouldn't go out and buy another one - plenty of cheaper shadows are available that perform just as well, if not better.

Have you used one of these shadows? If so, what did you think?

Decent, but not stand-out.

A very dear friend bought me this set for my birthday in June, and I've fallen in love with the products and of course they ain't cheap (oh no!).

I have them displayed in the kitchen and wasn't using them too often because I wanted to make them last, but then I realised my husband has been using them and so I decided that I'd better too ; )

There was a time when I rarely touched my more special products because I didn't want them to run out. I've (mostly) moved past that, however: these things should be used and enjoyed!

I love the packaging. When she gave them to me, my friend said that she refills her bottles with cheap products from the supermarket when they run out - she has the bottles on display in her kitchen too. I can tell you now, that's exactly what I'll be doing once these are finished!

So, first up is the Grown Alchemist Sweet Orange, Cedarwood & Sage Hand Wash.

Grown Alchemist claims/product details:
  • A gentle gel hand wash with skin softening and nourishing ingredients
  • Leaves the skin thoroughly cleansed, refreshed and soothed
  • Removes dirt and grime
  • Stimulates circulation
  • Boosts skin lipid content
  • Calms and soothes
  • Bioactive ingredients: coconut oil releases triglycerides that along with fennel seed gently emulsify and remove dirt and grime; cold pressed sweet orange oil restores balance to skin, stimulating circulation while assisting with the release of toxins; sweet almond oil boosts the skin's lipid content and preserves moisture
  • To use: apply evenly over your hands, moisten with water, lather and rinse well
  • RRP $29.95 for 500ml; $26.95 for 300ml
  • Available here


Ach, how I love this - and how I wish it were cheaper! Yes, it lives up to its claims for sure.

The citrus smell is refreshing and invigorating, and the cedarwood and sage scents mean it's not too sweet and has a woody/herbal depth to it that I really like.

The gel itself is smooth and velvety and feels wonderful on your hands. It's lightweight, foams well and feels like it cleans well too. It's so nice to use that it makes me want to wash my hands more often, and I've never been that interested in hand wash before trialling this product.

It's become my HG of hand washes, though I have to say that I haven't tried many and they've never been something I've thought too much about. We have a hand wash we keep in the bathroom, but that position has always been filled by whatever's cheapest at the supermarket. This product has totally spoiled me and I never want to use another one!


On to the Grown Alchemist Vanilla & Orange Peel Hand Cream. More people have likely tried this one: not only was a purse size included in a recent Bellabox, but it comes in smaller sizes that are more accessible in terms of price.

Grown Alchemist claims/product details:
  • Non-greasy formulation of moisturising active botanicals naturally soothes and softens dry, undernourished hands and cuticles
  • Combats oxidative stress
  • Boosts collagen production
  • Uplifting sweet scent 
  • Bioactive ingredients: antioxidants from grape seed, wheatgerm and rosehip oil help accelerate cell growth and neutralise damaging free radicals, protecting the skin’s cellular membrane; cold pressed orange peel oil maintains youthful skin, boosting collagen production while relieving fluid retention; rosehip and camellia seed oil increase the skin’s lipid content, helping restore moisture levels and enhance the skin’s natural moisture retaining capability; polysaccharides from aloe vera protect cells from oxidative stress; vanillin from vanilla provides uplifting and calming aromatherapeutic properties; flavonoids and omegas 3 and 6 from sea-buckthorn berry improve circulation and cell turnover to help restore skin elasticity and softness
  • To use: apply to clean skin and gently massage until absorbed; excellent for rough skin, cuticles and nails; may be used all over the body as an extra-rich body moisturiser and is especially good massaged into dry feet, knees and elbows
  • RRP $66.95 for 500ml and $39.95 for 300ml (bottles); $24.95 for 65ml and $12.95 for 20ml (tubes)
  • Available here


Oh dear, I've fallen in love with this one too! Better make that bottle last ages because I certainly can't justify spending that much on a hand cream.

This lives up to its claims too. It's a lightweight cream that feels heavy/moisturising enough for me (as mentioned in previous posts, I tend to prefer heavier hand creams), without leaving a greasy residue.

The smell is divine and I think it would be too sweet for me if it were orange and not orange-peel scented (the peel adds a bitterness to balance the sweet vanilla), so Grown Alchemist has matched the 'flavours' super well.

It absorbs quickly and feels nice and velvety, so your hands are beautifully hydrated after use without feeling oily. I actually managed to pick up a 20ml tube of this in the FB Bellabox Swap group, so once I've finished my purse hand cream I'll happily have more of this to use.

Big ticks from me. I love products that just feel special, and these do. Plus the packaging draws me in every time and I get a lift when I see them in the kitchen - that counts for something too!

Yay to special products : )
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