It's been a pretty big month of empties so I decided to split things up and divide them into three separate posts.

This is the third post of the month and I'm happy to see that I've made a good dent in my collection throughout November - so much so that I've even held a few products back for my December empties post. Huzzah!

Some of these products I've had for AGES and I'm glad that I've finished them off so I can move on to trying new things.

Allegra Rhodes Ocean Mist Body Wash

Full review here. I love Allegra Rhodes products and this one is no exception. It smells divine and I enjoyed using it for that reason alone. 

Nevertheless, this ended up being one of those products that took ages to finish - quite possibly because I received various travel-sized body scrubs and gels in subscription boxes and ended up using those first. Repurchase? Maybe, but for now I'd like to try something new.

Hair & Me Rejuvenation Treatment

I've received three of these now via subscription boxes, and unfortunately it's not a product I've had much luck with. Full review here.

Problem is, it's inconsistent so I'm never sure how my hair is going to look and feel after using it. Sometimes it made my hair dull and lifeless, sometimes greasy and coated, and sometimes it even left my hair feeling drier. Maybe it just doesn't agree with me: I've seen some people rave about this product so it mightn't mix well with my hair. Purchase? No.

Alpha-H Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF 30+

I love Alpha-H products and while there's nothing wrong with this moisturiser, I have other day creams I prefer. Full review here.

It's fine as a sunscreen but I don't love it as a face cream because it's greasy and doesn't brighten, plump and hydrate as other face creams do. It got used because sunscreen always does and it doesn't clog pores, but I wouldn't go out and buy it. Repurchase? No.

Madre Labs Unscented Hand Cream with Argan Nut Oil

Full review here. I received this product as a gift with purchase and I didn't love it. It's very thick and doesn't absorb properly (you have to rub at it), plus it does have a scent (and not a good one) so it's not named well.

I ended up using it as a body cream because I didn't love it on my hands, and I found it quite drying. This may well be because it contains alcohol, so be careful of this product if you have sensitive skin. Purchase? No.

Eslor Brightening Activator

Full review here. I absolutely love this product and I'm sad to finish it because it's my last one. It's a great brightener and it smells divine, plus the texture is smooth and velvety - I love almost everything about using it.

The only thing I don't love about it is that I can't always wear it over makeup: I discovered over time that it 'lifts' some bases and messes things up, so I can't use it all the time. Repurchase? Maybe, but I want to try other products before coming back to this one.

John Frieda Beach Blonde Smooth Seas Detangling Conditioner

I have the matching shampoo for this product and I prefer that over this conditioner since it doesn't have enough punch for my dry hair. I've reviewed it here.

We received the two travel-sized products from Marie Claire's The Parcel, and while the shampoo is something I'll consider buying because it's great for removing build-up, the conditioner isn't very hydrating and I need to use heaps of it to get my hair feeling close to nourished (which is why I've finished this long before the shampoo). Purchase? No.

The Cosmetic Kitchen Macadamia Wax Creme Highlighter

Full review here. This was on my Project Pan list so I won't say too much about it here because I've done that, other than to note that I loved it enough to pick up a second via a beauty swap group. It's a beautiful product and I'm glad I have a second. 'Nuff said. Purchase? Yes, if I ever get through the highlighters I have!

Clarins Relaxing Body Polisher with Essential Oils

I don't love this product as a body polish but I quite liked it as a hand and foot scrub. I've reviewed it here.

My issue with it (aside from the strong smell, which I didn't find pleasant or 'relaxing') is that the scrubby matter dissolved all too quickly, so it wasn't a great scrub and it didn't leave my skin feeling exfoliated and smooth. It did however do well as a hand and foot scrub since I need gentler products for those areas, so at least it got some use. Purchase? No.

Veda Lemongrass and Eucalyptus Body Lotion

I haven't reviewed this product yet because I've only been through this small travel-size, but I plan to in future because we poached a bunch of them from a hotel we stayed in and it's a surprisingly good product. I say 'surprising' because anything that's labelled as a lotion usually isn't hydrating enough for me, but this product is and I love it. Plus it smells beautiful. Can't wait to open my other samples and review it. Purchase? Maybe.

In sum

This isn't my greatest bunch of empties but as always I'm happy to get through a few things so I can open new ones! The best items in the bunch are those from Eslor and The Cosmetics Kitchen, and the others I can take or leave - apart from the Veda product, which I'm looking forward to testing again.

'Till next month!

My November Lust Have It Women's Box showed up yesterday on the last day of the month.

LHI doesn't have the best track record when it comes to getting boxes out on time so I was glad to receive this one in the right month and I hope that continues : )

This box isn't my favourite but the last one I received was the LHI Spring Eco Box, which was so good that anything else was going to pale in comparison.

There's the description card above. 

We received two lip products in one box again and I'm not thrilled about that because I'm overloaded with lip products as it is, but I'm super pleased about the Evelyn Iona concealer because I already have that (it came in a previous Violet Box) and it's a great product so I don't mind having a back up.

Ulta3 Cream Blush Stick in Beach Bronze (RRP $6.95; received full size)

You could have received one of four colours and I'm so glad I got this bronze one because I don't have a lot of browns and I probably would have passed any other colour on to a better home since I don't need any more bright cheek products.

Apparently this is blendable and buildable, easy to apply, and delivers a fresh and natural-looking glow. I'm looking forward to seeing what it's like. If it's good, it's going straight in my handbag because it's travel-friendly and would work for touch-ups on the go.

Manna Kadar Liplocked Lippie Priming Lip Wand in Love Lust (RRP $24 for 2.5g; received full size)

'Love Lust' is a bright fuchsia pink and I'm not sure whether I'll keep it because it's not a colour I'll wear (that's why I haven't swatched it). It's apparently a colourful, priming lip chubbie that contains a built-in primer and vitamins to nourish the lips, while ensuring all day colour. 

I like the idea of the built-in primer but I may well end up giving sending this to a better home because I don't need any more lip products - particularly ones in bright colours like this one.

Evelyn Iona Natural & Organic Concealer in Flawless (RRP $19.80 for 3g; received 1.7g sample)

This is a great concealer and I'm pleased to have another one. I've reviewed it here, and here's a swatch from that post:

According to the card, it provides a creamy, smooth and light coverage that helps hide imperfections and delivers a dewy natural glow.

I can confirm it does those things and it's a really great product, so I'm excited about this inclusion.

Coral Colours Love Lips in Cotton Candy (RRP $6.99 for 7.5g; received full size)

Dammit I got another bright pink lip product! Again, I haven't opened and swatched this because I'm not sure that I'll keep it - it's just not my kind of colour.

It's meant to deliver a rich, uniform colour in a creamy and smooth formula. It also contains goodies that leave lips looking smoother and healthier. I suspect I'll send it to a better home since I have so many lip products already and the colour doesn't wow me.

Gariner Miracle Day Cream (RRP $19.99 for 50ml; received 5ml sample)

I received a full size of this cream in a previous sub box and I didn't love it, so this will also go to a better home. I've reviewed the product here.

It's apparently an anti-ageing cream with instant and long-term results, and uses self-adjusting technology to even out your skintone. On me, this product adapts strangely and makes me look washed out, plus the finish is too greasy and it smells really strong.

I've seen some people rave about this one but it's just not for me.

Bonus: Carefree Ultra Thins and Skin Magic Tea

These four tea bags are from an old box since we were meant to get six and got one each in the last two boxes, so I'm pleased to see that LHI has fulfilled its promise and given us the other four.

The pads are a bonus product and they'll get used: there's not much more to say about them ; ).

In sum

This isn't my favourite box and it's not as good value as usual: the RRP of the contents is around $50.

I'm happy with the Evelyn Iona concealer and glad I got the bronze blush stick, but otherwise most of this box will be sent to a better home.

I'm interested to hear what others think of this box. Let me know your thoughts if you got one : )

I received this pack of four little soaps in my LHI Spring Eco Box (reviewed here).

I'm not a soap person and any soaps I receive in subscription boxes usually go to my husband, but I was immediately drawn to this product because I like the packaging and the Reed body scrub I received in a recent beauty box was so good that I thought this might be too, so I decided to keep it.

I'm so glad I did. These soaps are divine and I plan on picking up a few to include as Christmas presents this year, using the discount code we received in the box.

The packaging is very plain but I like it because it's simple, and while the soaps are quite small they don't seem to melt and vanish as quickly as other soaps I've used, so they should last a good while.

There they are below. They look like little pebbles: I love them!

Reed claims/product details:
  • Castille soap is ideal for anyone with easily irritiated skin, eczema, psoriasis or dermatitis, or post-surgical patients
  • It's also perfect for newborn babies or the elderly who tend toward dry, thin skin
  • A gentle cleansing soap with skin-conditioning properties
  • Suitable for everyday use
  • Made with 100% extra virgin olive oil
  • Contains all natural, organic fragrances
  • No colours
  • Vegan friendly
  • Allow soap to drain on a soap dish between uses and it will last a long time
  • RRP $4.50 AUD

I've gone to town with the photos in this post and have included a lot of them - purely because I love how the soaps look.

I'm more than happy to keep these out on display in the bathroom since they look so nice.


These little soaps are divine and I recommend them. They look gorgeous and will make good stocking-stuffers for Christmas, and since they're small I plan on including them in presents to overseas relatives because they won't take up too much space.

They smell like olives but the scent isn't strong, so if you don't like fragranced products you mightn't mind these.

They're quite hard to the touch in terms of texture, and only a little product comes away and foams when you use them so I suspect they'll last a good while. I opened them as soon as I got them and they're still going strong - despite how small they are - and they haven't softened and started to melt yet, so that's a plus.

In terms of claims, I can tell they're very gentle so they're good for sensitive skin like mine. I can also tell they don't contain any nasties, so if you like natural products you might really love these.

They don't foam insanely well but they create enough lather to deliver a decent clean. My skin always feels cleansed and soft after using these, so I do think they do have skin-conditioning properties as claimed.

In sum, I really love these little soaps and recommend them. They haven't converted me to being a soap user, but I'll certainly use and enjoy these products.

I haven't been doing favourites posts for that long, but already I'm loving the process of choosing what products to talk about each month.

What surprises me is that my favourites do change on a regular basis, and while I have some core products that I'll keep returning to over and again, my preferences do change (particularly with the seasons) and I have things that I love more or less at any given time.

This month I didn't need to think too hard about which items to include since I have some clear winners in terms of what I'm reaching for most often.

These are the product I can't get enough of this month:

Mr Bean Coffee Scrub in Coconut

Full review here. I can't rave enough about this product - it hit HG status from the first use and I haven't got tired of it even though I've almost finished it off.

It's a dark scrub that isn't too grainy so it's not super harsh, and it can also be used on the face although I prefer it on my body. The smell is divine and it wakes me up whenever I use it.

I like it so much that I used an LHI discount code to pick up the Spring Eco Box, purely because I saw it contained this product. I've been using it heaps during November since it's getting warmer now so I want to keep my skin looking smooth and presentable. Love.

Organix (OGX) Hydrating Macadamia Oil Shampoo and Conditioner

These are my new HG hair products, and I'm so glad I've finally found them. I've reviewed them here.

What I love about these is that they tame my dry, frizzy hair like no other shampoo/conditioner combo has done before. 

On top of that, they manage to do this without weighing my hair down or reducing the time between washes, which is a common problem with more nourishing haircare in my experience. Not with these.

I don't even need to straighten my hair or use bundles of leave-in product after using these since my hair looks ok as is. Unbelievable. I can see myself using these FOREVER.

Mario Badescu Glycolic Eye Cream

This is another recent HG product discovery and I'm super chuffed that it's not an expensive product since eye creams are notoriously pricey. Full review here.

What I love about this is that it's very rich and hydrating, so my dry eye area loves it. I only apply it at night because it is quite greasy and I don't think it would fare well under makeup, plus I want to ration it anyway and one daily use is enough.

If like me you're over 30 and your eye area needs some TLC, I recommend testing this product: it leaves my skin feeling so soft and hydrated that already I can't imagine ever being without it.

Lipsi Cosmetics Aphrodite Powder

Full review here. I don't use a lot of face powders since my skin is dry enough as it is, but this setting powder is amazing and it doesn't dry my skin out.

Now that it's getting warmer and I'm using heavier sunscreen, I do need something to manage grease and keep shine at bay throughout the day. This product does that, and it also reduces the look of my pores and fine lines. Incredible.

I received the sample from Violet Box and I'll have to get another one when this little tub is done and I've run out of my other powders (if that ever happens). Aside from Hourglass products, this is the best setting powder I've used and I recommend it - particularly if like me you have dry skin and have trouble finding suitable powders.

In sum

These products are sensational and I recommend them all. They're not only my November favourites, but I can see them being favourites forever - so you may well see them pop up again in favourites posts in future!

When Violet Box was still in operation, I saved my pennies and points to buy a Suki product from VB's online shop whenever I could.

Unfortunately VB closed down and never had the final sale we were promised, so I wasn't able to make use of the points I had left and pick up a few more products to complete my collection.

While you can find Suki products online (see eg iHerb), they're not so easy to come by in Australia at reasonable prices, so I made the decision to not buy any more and just be happy with the ones I have.

I've been saving my Suki products until I'd finished off some skincare I had open, and in December I'll be testing them in one hit. I've already used the Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser (that's the product we received from VB and the one that made me fall in love with the brand) and I have a couple of back-ups for that one, but the other three are new to me.

Here's what I'll be using in December:

Suki Moisture Rich Cleansing Lotion

This is designed for dry skin and is apparently a perfectly balanced, milky cleanser for skin types that demand extra hydration. It cleanses dry, sensitive and mature skin while creating a natural moisture base you can feel for a lasting, radiant and dewy complexion.

I don't have anything else like this open at the moment since I normally go for foaming cleansers, so I'll be interested to see what it's like.

Suki Concentrated Strengthening Toner

This one's for combination to dry skin, and it apparently helps prepare skin for serums and moisturisers so they can work to their best ability. It also helps firm texture and reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles for strong, radiant, smooth and supple skin.

I've really gotten into toners this year and I'm always looking for a good one since I seem to go through them remarkably quickly and good ones are hard to find. I'm looking forward to testing this one in particular.

Suki Nourishing Day Cream

This is also for combination to dry skin. It's described as a rich, luxurious, tone-evening and age-defying cream that aims to reduce signs of premature ageing. It also minimises the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, smooths and evens out the complexion, and delivers glowing, radiant skin. 

Sounds good to me! I only wish I had a matching night cream to try in conjunction with this product.

Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser

Ah, my first Suki love. I've reviewed it here. This is one of the best cleansers I've ever come across and as an exfoliator it's quite gentle so I can use it often. It smells amazing and I would almost use it just for the smell!

It's apparently an award-winning product (that doesn't surprise me) that exfoliates and rejuvenates the skin, leaving you with a smooth and soft complexion (it does all those things).

I have one other travel size of this product and a full-sized one on hand, so I won't suffer from being without this gem for a good while : )

In sum

Can't wait to open these and use them! Let me know if you've tried any Suki products and, if so, which ones are your favourites. If I love these, I might have to source more Suki stuff next year.

Yes, that is correct. This product looks EXACTLY like a dildo.

When my sister-in-law gave it to me as part of my birthday present, everyone in the room cracked up laughing. I do wonder if Ipuda manages sell a few of these based purely on the gag-factor of the packaging. 

If so, it's not a bad marketing ploy because it's definitely a 'different' kind of beauty product for the beauty junkie who has everything.

I've researched this product and can't find any information about it online - so I can't do my usual 'product claims/details' spiel because I can't find any, other than to note that it's made in Korea and retails for anywhere between $10 and $16 AUD for 250ml.

I'm not even sure where this is meant to be used (face, body, hands?). My sister-in-law thought it was a handcream, but I suspect it's best used on the body because it's not hydrating enough for the hands (and I'm not sure if I've ever come across a dedicated hand gel).

All it says on the packaging (in English) is: 'the natural world as it exists without human beings or civilisation; the elements of the natural world, as mountains, trees, animals or rivers'.

Helpful ; )

But I do like the general gist of that description, so let's assume it's a naturally derived product.

Other than looking like a dildo, the packaging is a standard squeeze-tube and you stand it upside down (unlike many products), which I quite like because the product naturally flows the right way and this will make things easy once there's not much left since the gel will pool near the opening.

There's what it looks like below - clear and quite thick - but it does start to melt once it hits warm skin so it spreads well.


I'll be brief because there's not a lot to say about a product I can't find any description or claims for (they may well exist, just not in English).

It's a clear gel that melts quickly and becomes almost watery when warmed by the skin.

It has a very faint, inoffensive scent that doesn't linger. There's something almost green about the scent - mossy and foresty (that's so not a word, but anyhoo) - and it's quite pleasant. It doesn't smell remotely eggplant-like, but perhaps it contains eggplant, hence the product's name.

The gel is indeed quite soothing and cooling when applied, so it's a good summer product for hot days. What I don't like about it is that it leaves the skin feeling sticky for a good ten minutes after application. The stickiness does calm down but doesn't vanish for a while (I can still feel it even though I applied it an hour ago).

I'm not a fan of products that leave a film because this generally indicates they're not being fully absorbed (or absorbed at all). On that, it's not a hydrating product so I wouldn't recommend it if you want something that hydrates and nourishes the skin.

Overall I don't love the product but I'll definitely use it and enjoy the cooling factor on hot days. It's not something I would recommend as a beauty product, but if you need a Christmas gift for someone who's hard to buy for, it's almost worth picking it up just to have a good laugh over the packaging!

Earlier this year I bought these two products on special at Priceline (along with a matching hair mask) to make up the $40 spend required to receive one of Priceline's haircare baggies.

I'd never tried anything from this brand but I liked the look of the packaging and those three products together got me over the $40 line by a handful of cents, which is all it took for me to settle on buying them since I've never found haircare that's 'perfect' for my hair and I wanted to try something new.

I'm so glad I did! I reckon I've found my HG hair products and, after a month of testing earlier in the year, I put these aside to save them for spring/summer when my hair is at its driest. 

They've now been in circulation for another month and I couldn't wait any longer before writing this post: they're so good that I have to tell everyone how much they've done for my hair.

Organix claims/product details (shampoo):
  • An ultra-moisturising luxurious shampoo 
  • Infused with nutrient rich macadamia oil, sugar cane extract and bamboo extract
  • Drench your strands and instantly hydrate and smooth parched, dry hair
  • Mends split ends for a luscious, vibrant mane with brilliant shine
  • For all hair types
  • Cruelty free
  • To use: apply generously to wet hair, massage into a lather through to ends, then rinse the hair thoroughly; avoid contact with eyes
  • RRP $17.99 for 385ml, but do shop around

Organix claims/product details (conditioner):
  • A luxurious formula to instantly hydrate and smooth parched, dry hair
  • Mends split ends for a luscious, vibrant mane with brilliant shine
  • Ultra-moisturising and softening
  • Infused with nutrient rich macadamia oil, sugar cane extract and bamboo extract
  • For all hair types
  • Cruelty free
  • To use: after shampooing, apply generously to hair, working through ends; wait 3-5 minutes; rinse hair thoroughly; avoid contact with eyes
  • RRP $17.99 for 385ml, but do shop around


I should kick off by saying that my hair is long, dry, wavy and frizzy. I have the kind of hair that refuses to cooperate on a daily basis, and I'm forever looking for products to straighten, nourish and tame it.

Looks like I've finally found the answer, because it was love at first use with these products. I've given them an HG tag and I think that's the first time I've ever done that for a shampoo/conditioner combo.

Both products have a fresh, sweet scent that I really love. It's not overpowering and doesn't linger, so after using it my hair doesn't smell of them (although I wouldn't mind if it did!).

The shampoo has a slightly different texture to any other shampoo I've used - it's quite thick and creamy, almost gel-like - and I like that because it just feels hydrating and I enjoy using it for that reason alone.

The conditioner has a similar texture but it's a little lighter and more whipped, and I wasn't sure that it would have enough punch for my dry hair but I was wrong.

The shampoo doesn't lather amazingly well but that doesn't impact how well it cleans. Sometimes I need to double wash and sometimes one wash is enough, but my hair always feels clean and light after use, so the product manage to removes build-up without stripping the hair or leaving behind a film, as some hydrating shampoos can do.

What I love about the conditioner is that I don't need to use heaps of it, as I sometimes need to do with lesser products. I still need to use enough to coat everything, but I don't need to slather it on to get great results. 

This means I won't run out of conditioner long before I make a dent in the shampoo, which is usually what happens to me with hair products and I often go through two conditioners for one shampoo. That won't happen with these so I'm saving money because I don't need to use heaps of either to get the job done.

As for results, these products are game-changers for me. I really hate that term because it's overused marketing-spin, but in this case it has to be said!

I used them again last night and I'm still surprised by how smooth, soft, shiny and manageable my hair is after each wash - even though I've been using them for a while. 

On top of that, they don't leave my hair dull and coated, which is a common problem with nourishing haircare because heavy-duty products tend to hang around and weigh the hair down, reducing the time between washes. Not with these!

And you wouldn't believe it, but my frizz is non-existent. This has NEVER happened to me before. Even that hard-to-tame wiry frizz around my hairline is gone: I don't even need to straighten my hair after using these products. Insane.

I can't rave enough about these. Game-changers, I'll say it again! And the fact that I don't need to load my hair up with leave-in product and straighten it to get my hair looking passable, well. A time-poor lady's dream.

A thousand ticks from me.

This cream highlighter from The Cosmetic Kitchen was on my Project Pan list for ages, and once I couldn't squeeze any more from the packaging, I cut it open and transferred the contents to a little container.

The container I carried around in my handbag for a while, but it wasn't getting used so I decided to put it back into PP circulation and I've been using the highlighter under makeup since then. I've discovered that not only does it sit nicely under makeup as an illuminator - it's also not a bad under-eye brightener.

Now I haven't used an under-eye brightener before so I can't compare it to any other product, but I found that it gave my concealer a bit of extra oomph and I'll definitely use it that way again.

I do have a back-up one of these that I picked up via a Facebook beauty swap group, but I've got a couple of other illuminators open so I'll save that one for a rainy day.

Here's what I'm replacing it with:

Pureplus+ Milk Bebe Lip Treatment

This is a sensational lip plumping treatment that I received from Memebox ages ago. I've reviewed it here

I'm not in any huge rush to finish it, but it's been open for a year now because I've been saving it and using up some lesser lip products first.

Since it's so old, it's time to get some use from it before it goes rancid. There's 10g of product in the tube so it should last me a while: I'm predicting around six months (looks like I'll be doing PP again next year then?!).

Anyhoo. Just a mini update for the moment. I've got a couple of other products that are on their last legs, so I'll do a full PP post in the next few weeks.

'Till then!

When the email was sent around offering a discounted subscription to Marie Claire's new Ageless Parcel - which would contain only skincare and not makeup - I didn't have to think too long before deciding to subscribe.

I don't need any more beauty products in any shape or form, but I'm better off subscribing to a skincare-only box since skincare is my first love and I actually get through my products (as opposed to things like blush and eyeshadow, which last an eternity).

The decision was made when I saw that the box would contain something from Alpha-H - a brand I use and love - so the value of the box would most likely be made up for me based on one product alone, and indeed it has been.

There's what we got above. This is easily the best box I've ever received from Marie Claire and I'm so glad I signed up.

I'll use everything in it, and it also contains Alpha-H's Liquid Gold - an HG product of mine and one I keep repurchasing - so I've saved myself money in one sense since the cost of the box itself is less than the Alpha-H product. Woot woot!

There's the product card. You can see the box contains a good mix of products from different brands.

Happily the Alpha-H product is the only one I've tried before, so I've now got a bundle of fun new stuff to sample. Winning!

I'm pleased I'll get to try something from SK-II because I've always wished I could afford their stuff, although I would have preferred something that wasn't a sheet mask (sheet masks annoy the bejesus out of me and I keep receiving them in sub boxes - argh).

Still, I bet it's at the good end of the spectrum, as far as sheet masks go.

As always I'll comment briefly now on each product and then update this post once I've used everything and can review things properly.

Alpha-H Liquid Gold with Glycolic Acid (RRP $30 AUD for 50ml; received full size)

The product card refers to this as an overnight facial and award-winning resurfacing treatment. It uses naturally derived glycolic acid, licorice extract and silk proteins to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, pigmentation and sun damage.

I can confirm that this product does exactly what it says it will do. I love it and can't live without it. I've reviewed it here.

Jergens Shea Butter Deep Conditioning Moisturiser (RRP $7.99 for 250ml; received full size)

This is apparently formulated for dull, dry skin and contains an illuminating blend of ingredients like African shea butter. It's fast-absorbing and aims to deeply condition and improve the skin's moisture barrier.

I received a Jergens product in another box from Marie Claire and I loved it so I'm looking forward to giving this a go.

Dr Lewinn's Multi Moisture Balm (RRP $9.95 for 50g; received 15g sample)

This is a decent-sized sample and it's a product that appeals to me because it's multi-purpose. According to the card, it contains a trio of nourishing and smoothing oils (almond, avocado and buriti), and it can be used anywhere, any time - as a daily moisture booster, hydrating mask, lip ointment, makeup remover and soothing hand cuticle cream.

That all sounds good! Hopefully I'll find a use that works for me.

The Body Shop Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Facial Oil (RRP $54.95 for 30ml; received 7ml sample)

I have dry skin and am therefore a total oil junkie, so I'm super glad to see this. It's apparently a daily facial oil that revitalises skin and helps reduce the visible signs of ageing. Made from 99 per cent oils of natural origin, the lightweight formula effortlessly melts into skin and leaves a silky, non-sticky finish. You can use it alone or add it to your moisturiser.

That all sounds good. I'll likely open this one first since I'm short on night cream and this will make a good replacement.

SK-II Facial Treatment Mask (RRP $28 each; received one)

My golly, $28 for a single sheet mask - it had better be good!

According to the card, it's beloved by beauty insiders and celebrities alike, and is saturated in the brand's signature Pitera essence. It thoroughly hydrates skin, leaving it looking noticeably more radiant and crystal clear.

Even though I'm not big on sheet masks, I'll happily try this one. At $28 a pop, I hope I don't like it too much though ; )

Narciso Rodriguez Narciso EDT (RRP $88 for 30ml; received 4ml sample)

A lot of people don't like receiving perfume samples in boxes but I personally don't mind an odd one here and there - particularly if it's a larger size like this one is (they're normally around 1.5ml).

The card says this fragrance is from the master of minimalism and comes in an elegantly spare bottle. It contains a blend of white peony, Bulgarian rose, musk, woods, black and white cedars, and vetiver notes.

I've smelled it and it's fine - one of those inoffensive fragrances that most people would be ok with. I don't love it but I'll definitely use it. One for the handbag.

ProPlenish Marine Collagen (RRP $49.95 for 30 x 3g sachets; received two sachets)

Now this is a brand I haven't heard of. This stuff is apparently made from 100 per cent pure marine collagen. It's a supplement that's tasteless and blends clear in hot and cold drinks, and helps naturally replenish the collagen levels needed for a glowing complexion, healthy hair and strong nails.

I'm not sure how much benefit you'd see from using only two of these, but I'll try them and see how I go. It's a nice idea and I haven't used anything like this before so I'll be interested to see what they're like.

In sum

This is a great little box and it's definitely worth the $20 outlay - particularly because I would have spent at least that on repurchasing my trust Alpha-H Liquid Gold.

Can't wait to try everything! Let me know if you received this box and, if so, what you think of it.

As you may know I made November Mario Badescu month and opened up this kit, plus a couple of other Mario Badescu products I had sitting around.

Over the month I've reviewed each item in turn, and I'll now do a quick round-up post on the kit as a whole in case anyone's interested in the set and not any particular product.

This kit contains the Glycolic Foaming Cleanser, Glycolic Acid Toner, Collagen Moisturiser SPF 15, Super Collagen Mask and Glycolic Eye Cream.

I reckon the best item is the eye cream. It's a clear winner in my books and a product I plan to purchase once my little pot runs out.

I also like the cleanser and might purchase that too, but the other products weren't ones I plan to buy again. There's nothing hugely wrong with them, it's just that I have other products I prefer.

Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser

I've reviewed this here. I like this cleanser but do note that it's not for the faint-hearted, so if you have very dry or sensitive skin it mightn't be for you.

It's a clear gel that smells and feels astringent, and I can only use it twice a week on my dry, sensitive skin. Even with a small number of weekly uses, I still think this product has an effect on blemishes and it's great for getting rid of dead skin cells and giving your face a squeaky fresh feeling.

If I over-use it, it strips my skin red raw so do go gently with this product (at least to start with), but I'll happily use it twice a week and enjoy the skin-clearing results.

It also manages to exfoliate and resurface the skin without the use of harsh grains, which can be a plus for many.

Love. Great for dull, congested skin.


Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner

Full review here. This is a reasonable toner that removes grime well and it's not too expensive, particularly considering the amount contained in the full-sized bottle.

It's a blue liquid with a light, pleasant scent (I'm smelling the papaya extract). I can tell that it doesn't contain any nasties because it doesn't irritate my sensitive skin, but while I like this product and there's nothing hugely wrong with it, I don't think it has enough punch for me. 

Two per cent glycolic acid isn't going to get you very far, and I don't notice the kinds of benefits I would expect from that ingredient when using this product. It does remove that last layer of grime from the skin and it's pleasant to use, but I don't think it generally meets its claims and it doesn't leave my skin looking and feeling fresher, brighter, smoother and less lined.

I'm glad I've tried it but I wouldn't buy it.

Mario Badescu Collagen Moisturiser SPF 15

Full review here. I've seen many online reviewers complain about this product and I can see why they don't like it, but the issues they have with it don't bother me too much.

It does leave a slightly greasy film on your face, but I have dry skin so any extra moisture is very welcome. The nozzle also clogs with product because some cream hits air once it's closed, but even the dry bit manages to sink in so this issue doesn't bother me too much either.

This cream isn't amazing and it doesn't achieve anything wonderful, but it does moisturise my dry skin well enough. It's not a product I would buy but I'm happily using it every day and my skin isn't suffering from it.

Mario Badescu Glycolic Eye Cream

In my opinion, this is the star product from the kit. Full review here

It's quite heavy and greasy so it won't suit everyone, and I reckon it's best used overnight because it's slick and probably wouldn't fare very well under makeup.

Just the faintest dab is enough to cover the eye area, and I wouldn't overdo it because it won't absorb and the excess will get wasted on your pillow.

It's super hydrating and my dry skin loves it, but you mightn't if you have oily skin. Do note, though, that while the product is greasy to start with, it does absorb well and any slick feeling is gone soon enough.

I notice a difference in my eye area when I use this product - my skin just looks happier and healthier overall. Plus it's cheap! I've finally found an HG eye cream : )

Mario Badescu Super Collagen Mask

Full review here. There's nothing hugely wrong with this mask, it's just that I'm quite picky when it comes to masks because if I don't see any great benefits then I don't think they're worth the time.

The good thing about this product is that, despite being a clay mask, it doesn't dry out or irritate my already dry/sensitive skin. Most 'lesser' clay masks do this, so I'm always pleased to find one that doesn't.

It applies smoothly and feels quite cooling/soothing on the skin, drying down with a slight tightening effect that's not too uncomfortable.

I do think it's gentle enough to use up to three times a week as directed: I've never felt that this was too much or that my skin has suffered from this many applications.

Problem is, I don't notice any huge difference in my skin after using the product. It perhaps looks a little brighter and feels a little smoother but that's about it. 

In sum

This is a decent kit overall and a good introduction to Mario Badescu as a brand.

The eye cream is definitely the stand-out for me and I plan on buying it once my tub has run out. The cleanser is the only other product that I would consider buying, since I have nothing else like it and it delivers a really deep clean.

Have you tried any Mario Badescu products? Let me know what you think of them if so.
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