I received this product in my last edit of Marie Claire's Ageless Parcel (unboxed here) and I wasn't too thrilled to see it because Bioderma is one of those brands that just doesn't work for my skin. 

It's quite a popular brand and I'm always hopeful that one of the items I receive from sub boxes will be a good one, but unfortunately I haven't found any yet and this particular cream is probably the worst I've tried from Bioderma so far. More on why below.

Bioderma claims/product details:
  • Every day, pollution, stress and cold weather etc disrupt the skin's cellular activity; as a result, it becomes dehydrated, tight and uncomfortable, and loses its radiance
  • Developed in our research laboratories, the Aquagenium® biological patent found in Hydrabio Légère re-trains the skin to activate its natural moisturising capacities 
  • Stimulates the production of aquaporins (water channels in the skin) and retains the water skin needs to be balanced
  • Hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic
  • Morning and evening, 7 days a week
  • For normal to combination dehydrated sensitive skin
  • To use: apply Hydrabio Légère in the morning and/or evening on your face and neck, after cleansing and toning
  • RRP $40.99 AUD for 40ml, but do shop around


When I received this, I thought it might be the first Bioderma cream that worked for me because it says on the tube that it's designed for sensitive, dehydrated skin and my skin is both of those things. But it wasn't until researching this post that I saw this cream is meant for normal to combination skin, and my skin is dry - even more so now that it's winter and I'm pregnant.

So I guess I can't complain too much that this cream does nothing for me because it's not meant for dry skin. Still, though, you would hope that something designed for dehydrated skin would help with my lack of moisture, and this definitely hasn't done that.

It's a lightweight, white cream with a barely detectable, fresh scent that shouldn't bother most people. It's so light that it almost feels like a gel/cream hybrid in texture, and indeed it does have that slightly sticky finish that I often associate with gels - one of the reasons I don't like how it feels when applied.

I started off by using this in place of the night cream I'd just finished, and it only took two applications to know that I couldn't use it for that because it left my skin feeling tight and uncomfortable - even after applying it over a heavy-duty oil/serum I'm using at the moment. It's almost like it negates whatever moisture I've added to my skin and sucks the nourishment out.

After that I opted to use it in the morning, when my skin is typically less in need of something with a good dose of hydration. It only took another couple of applications to know that I couldn't keep using it: my skin has fallen from the good place I'd managed to get it to with all the nourishing products I've been using, and it's already started to flake and turn red again around my nose and chin.

It's hard to imagine that a cream could do that to your skin with only four days of use, but it's the only thing I've changed in my skincare routine and I know that this is responsible because my skin feels dry, tight and uncomfortable as soon as I put it on, and the sensation doesn't leave.

So yes, this product isn't for dry skin! It's hard to imagine that it would do anything for dehydrated skin either, but it might be a good product for oily or combination skin in the warmer months. Do test it first though because you mightn't like the tacky feeling it leaves behind (the product contains glycerin and silicones, which would explain any stickiness).

I also suspect that this cream isn't being absorbed well, given that it leaves a layer on your face that you can feel, and it also doesn't deliver any amount of moisture but instead sits on top of the skin - at least for me. If anything, it seems to draw moisture out.

Blurgh. Avoid this one if you need something hydrating. I might try using this as a primer because it's tacky so it might grip onto makeup well, but I won't use it now when my skin isn't as resilient as it is in the warmer months.

Have you tried this? Let me know what you think if so.

I had this idea for a new series of posts ages ago and I completely forgot about it until recently. I only remembered because June has been a rather tough month: our little girl has been bringing all sorts of bugs home from childcare and for the last week she's been the sickest she's ever been (on the mend now, thank golly). This of course means that we're getting sick a lot too, so the bundle of random life things we've had to cope with throughout June has seemed that much worse.

Anyhoo. That's a round-a-bout way of introducing this new series of posts. Since it's been a god-awful month, I thought it would be nice to look back and pull out any positives so I can share them. I've long wanted to post more on non-beauty topics, but life has gotten the better of me and so I've been sticking with what I know. But let's call this a first step towards changing all that : )

Happy birthday to me!

The first positive I wanted to mention is that it's my birthday today - huzzah! The big three-six. How on earth did that happen?

I used to hate birthdays because I didn't like all the attention, but I've thankfully now learned to focus on the better aspects of this yearly event: more catching up with loved ones, a nice dinner or two at my restaurant of choice, and of course the Mecca gift cards I've asked for ; )

Yes, birthdays are happy things. Yay to that.

Project Pan is getting me somewhere

Apologies if you've already seen me go on about this, but I'm so excited that it warrants mentioning again because it's absolutely a positive for the month: I managed to knock off a total of seven Project Pan products throughout June. Unheard of! I'll likely never achieve that again so I'm making the most of it.

Fellow beauty lovers will understand when I say there are few things more satisfying than using and loving something so much that you actually finish it (and get your money's worth ; )), or even finding an alternative use for something you don't love and managing to banish it from your collection for good.

I started Project Pan at the beginning of last year because I just had too much stuff, but now that I've whittled things down, I keep doing it because I like seeing products float out of my collection as the months pass. This opens a spot for a new product or two and it also stops my stash from getting ridiculous. Love that.

The scans are looking good so far (fingers crossed)

As you may know, I'm currently pregnant. While pregnancy and I are not good friends (at all), I still feel blessed and grateful that this one has happened and that the bub is looking good so far.

While most people keep mentioning how quickly this year is flying past, when you're pregnant time feels like an eternity (at least it does for me), and I can't quite believe that I'm still in my second trimester and there's a long way to go yet. But each moment that passes is one less moment of pregnancy ahead, and I'm calling that a positive because a little more time has gone by in June.

The heating in our new house surprised us

This will probably sound absolutely ridiculous, but bear with me ; ). When we bought this house and moved in, summer was approaching and we were more focused on not only fixing up a couple of pressing issues (eg double-glazing the upstairs windows to help buffer sound), but also preparing ourselves for the heat by adding some extra insulation and installing an air conditioner in the living room.

Then in June it suddenly started getting cold and we (belatedly) realised that the house in fact has hydronic heating in every room - which is super effective and cheap to run, and we haven't had to spend a cent on it. Who knew? 

I guess we've been so occupied by toddlers and moving and pregnancy that we never investigated what the heating units were, but this happy discovery has kept us toasty throughout those sour June days. Best of all, the heating appears to be making our toddler sleep for an extra couple of hours each night, so life has been significantly quieter in the early evenings and mornings. Hallelujah!

I've seen more of my siblings

Ever since having my first child, I started to see more of my parents and siblings. It's amazing how a new life can bring old lives together, and ties can happily become even stronger as the family expands.

My parents usually go away for the winter, which means I don't have them around to take my daughter when I need to go to an appointment or do the grocery shopping unhindered. Thankfully my siblings have stepped in to help pick up some slack, and I'm eternally grateful not only for the support but also for the opportunity to catch up with them more often - another positive for the month.

In sum

Them's my positives for June! I'll have to make a note to myself to keep this series going each month because I'm liable to forget things these days, but I do think it's worthwhile to reflect on the month and look at the good things, as well as learn from the bad.

Do let me know your positives for the month - I'd love to hear : )

These Shimmering Skin Perfectors from Becca really don't need an introduction: they're one of those cult products that's loved the world over, and for good reason.

I can't remember exactly when I bought mine (last year or the year before?) but I know I bought both Moonstone and Topaz first - not only because I didn't have any liquid illuminators in my collection at the time, but also because I'd read that you could use both shades to either darken or lighten your foundation, if your skin's the right kind of colour (which mine fortunately is).

Later on I bought Opal because that's the shade that matches me best as a stand-alone highlighter, but despite this it's Moonstone I've used the most because it's light enough to slightly lighten those darker BB creams and tinted moisturisers that I use over summer and that now don't quite match me as they are.

Becca claims/product details:
  • The iconic highlighter that started it all
  • A sheer, crème-liquid that perfects skin with ultra-fine light-reflecting pearls for a soft, natural glow
  • Achieve a subtle luminosity
  • Melts into your skin for polished, natural-looking radiance
  • Water-light and sheer, it has a prismatic effect that allows it to adjust in any light, so your refined glow is never lost
  • To use: apply as a base over the entire face; mix with your foundation for a radiant complexion; use over makeup to highlight cheekbones, browbones and temples 
  • RRP $66 AUD for 50ml, but do shop around (you can easily find it online for around $50)

There's the dreaded pump above. I say dreaded because a lot of people have commented that the pump dispenses far too much product - unless you're using it all over your face, in which case the amount is spot on. 

While it's true that the pump dispenses too much product for application as a spot highlighter, this is an easy fix and it doesn't bother me at all:

Above is what one, gentle pump looks like (minus two applications as a spot highlighter - you can see where I've dabbed a little off). If I want to use it as a spot highlighter, I squeeze the product out into a container like this and keep the excess. 

You'd probably want to use it all up within a week or two so it doesn't dry out, although I've never had it dry out on me because I can easily get through the amount within a couple of weeks, and I don't feel forced to use it every day to achieve this.

There's an unblended and blended swatch in natural light above, and in direct sunlight below. Moonstone is a pale gold colour that should suit a lot of skintones, and it's the kind of shade that looks reasonably natural on the skin (depending of course on your colouring).

One more, indirect sunlight:

 And below I'm wearing it on my cheekbone and browbone, shot taken outdoors:

The same application, shot taken indoors:

And one more outdoors shot for good measure (you can see it looks pretty natural on the skin, which is my preference for highlighters - I'm not big on a strong look because I don't think it suits me):


This is a great product and I've given the formula an HG tag because it's definitely the best liquid illuminator I've used to date and it's also reasonable value because you get so much product and the bottle should last for ages. 

In total I've probably used Moonstone consistently for well over six months (I use it just about every day during autumn and winter), and since I normally use a gentle pump mixed in with my foundation, it's remarkable that I'm only around halfway through the bottle. If you were only going to use this as a spot highlighter, I'm convinced you'd never get through it!

The formula is a thin, light cream with no detectable scent. It's one of those products that just vanishes into the skin without feeling heavy/oily or drying, so I'd say it would suit all skin types and you shouldn't be aware of it once it's on.

Moonstone is a pale gold colour that should suit many people, although it's probably best for lighter skintones if you're planning on using it alone or as a spot highlighter.

As mentioned above, even though Opal is my perfect highlighting shade (my skin is medium), I bought Moonstone so I could bring down the colour of some of my darker bases so they would suit my winter skin, and while it does this successfully, it doesn't make a dramatic difference so if the colour is really off, you may need to use something else (and of course it also depends on the ratio of luminiser to base and also the pigment level of your base product).

What sets these illuminators apart for me is both their versatility and also the effect they give on the skin. Liquid illuminators are more versatile in general, but these Becca ones don't contain noticeable glitter chunks and instead just give a natural, credible sheen to the skin. 

While you can certainly build them up so they announce themselves as highlighters, if you want a 'look at me' highlight you're better off going for the pressed or poured versions - but with so many big bang highlighters flooding the market, there's absolutely a place for products like this that are work-appropriate and suitable for day use.

Although I like Moonstone best as a mixer product, I have used it as a stand-alone highlighter and application is fool-proof. I prefer to dab it on with my fingers, but I'm sure you could use a brush or a sponge and it will be just as easy to blend and sheer out because the formula is so easy to work with.

Another huge plus with these liquid versions is that they don't look overly metallic on the skin, nor do they emphasise texture (a problem I've had with the pressed versions), so I feel these are the stand-outs in Becca's highlighting offerings and they're also the best value of the three versions on a per-gram basis.

All in all, these are the most versatile, best-value highighters I own and they also give me the best effect with very little effort. If you had to pick just one highlighter, I would recommend one of these - although of course do test them first to check that they give you the look you're after.


I've had such a terrible time of taking photos lately - one of the reasons why I've asked for lighting equipment for my birthday (it's tomorrow!) - and although I've taken these shots twice, I'm still not completely happy with them.

Still, since this isn't a review post and the coloured shots don't need to be perfect, I'll go ahead with it for now in the interests of keeping things moving: I'm up insanely early this morning because the dog woke me (needing to go out), and since my toddler is still asleep, it's best I make hay while the sun shines.

I've decided to stick with the Stila theme for now and this is the next product I'm moving into circulation. It was the second-ever eyeshadow palette I bought (the first was also from Stila), and while I've used it often enough, you wouldn't know that from looking at it because there's barely a dent in it.

So I plan to use it daily for the next few weeks so we can hopefully see a few marks in the surface. It's a fantastic eyeshadow palette and I really recommend it, although unfortunately it's been discontinued so you mightn't be able to pick it up anymore (other than on ebay etc).

I also want to move it into circulation so I can finally review it! That review may be moot because it's been discontinued, but I want to write it anyway because Stila may well bring it back (it's popular) and I think it's worth commenting on Stila's formula anyway because some of these shadows (like the famous Kitten) are available separately for purchase as either singles or within other palettes.

So, here's what my palette looks like today:

Not much happening! The top three mattes (Bare, Bliss and Sandstone) all have slight dents in them because I use those with every look, but the other shadows almost look brand new. 

Just seeing the palette now reminds me of how much I love it, and it would be my perfect palette if it contained one more matte mid-tone shade and didn't have a black (I never use black eyeshadow because I opt for brown as a liner).

If I could edit the palette, I would take out that middle shimmer in the bottom row (Luster) and replace it with eg a matte, mid-tone dusty mauve or orange-y brown, and I would switch the matte black for another matte darker shade (how about a plum?!). But hey, you can't have everything ; )

I digress. I'm looking forward to getting my brush stuck into this palette over the next few weeks and it will hopefully look a little more worn when I write my update post in July. Fingers crossed!

Speak soon x

I wasn't expecting it to be a huge month for empties, and while it hasn't been my hugest of late, what's been different about it is that I managed to finish seven products from my Project Pan list during the month. Can you believe it? I can't!

The flip side of this, of course, is that it could well end up being a slow few months for Project Pan because I've finished so much together, although I am expecting my empties posts to stay reasonably consistent because I have plenty of travel-sized products in circulation and those don't take too long to get through.

Anyhoo. Let's have a look : )

Alpha-H Gentle Daily Exfoliant, Instant Facial and Clear Skin Blemish Control Gel

You may remember that I absolutely love the Gentle Daily Exfoliant (reviewed here) and Blemish Control Gel (reviewed here), so much so that I've already got back-ups for each. 

The exfoliant is a powder that you mix with water to make a paste, and it manages to resurface the skin without stripping it and is indeed gentle enough for daily use. The blemish treatment actually works - rare, in my experience - and my skin hasn't looked this clear in ages, especially around the chin area where I get most of my breakouts. Repurchase? Yes to both.

The Instant Facial (reviewed here) isn't my favourite product from Alpha-H - I think because it's on the gentle side and I get much better results from other products in the range (eg Alpha-H's Liquid Gold). It's not a bad product and it does have some effect, but I think it's probably better for those with more sensitive skin. Repurchase? No.

Villainess Ginger Snapped Soap

Full review here. I love Villainess packaging and scents, and while this product didn't fail on either front, I don't think it was a particularly amazing soap in terms of cleansing prowess. It was also so skinny that it broke in half early on, as I predicted. 

It came in a sub box and I didn't mind it but I wouldn't go out and buy it because I've used better soaps, and it's also overpriced for how much product you get. Purchase? No. 

Ren Bio Retinoid Anti-ageing Cream

I received this in a Mecca Beauty Loop Box, and I loved it so much that it hit HG status within the first few days of use and I already know that I'll be buying the full size. I've reviewed it here.

What amazed me about this product is that it actually worked on my pigmentation where other products have failed, plus it's the only retinol or retinoid product I've come across so far that my skin can tolerate, so I can use it often enough to see results. Purchase? Yes.

Suki Moisture Rich Cleansing Lotion

Full review here. This was a Project Pan product so I won't go on about it too much more here, other than to say that it was the only Suki product I've come across so far that I really didn't like. It didn't clean well and it also left a film on my skin that needed to be removed with another cleanser, so it didn't do its job and I needed to put it into PP rotation to actually finish it. Repurchase? No.

Palmolive Naturals Sea Minerals with Moisture Beads Hydrating Shower Gel

This was a rubbish shower gel and the more I used it, the more I didn't like it. I've reviewed it here. What bothered me most about the product is that it says 'hydrating' right there on the bottle, but the damn thing isn't hydrating in the slightest and it actually dries my skin out. 

I disliked it so much that I poured half the bottle into the handwash dispenser we keep in the kitchen because I didn't want to use it on my body anymore (so it's a 'cheat' product in that respect because there's still some in the dispenser ; ) ). Repurchase? No.

Project Pan products

Look how much else I've finished, and there were a couple of products in my first June empties post too! I won't go on about these here because I've done that through Project Pan, other than to say that the Shanghai Suzy Lipstick and Revlon CC Cream are decent products that I would repurchase, but the Australis kit and Tonymoly gloss are rubbish and I'm so happy to see the back of them.

In sum

Wuhoo to making such progress with Project Pan this month! The best products in this lot are the Alpha-H exfoliant and blemish treatment, and the Ren retinoid cream - all of which I would buy (and indeed I've already replaced the two Alpha-H items).

Here's to another good month of empties in July. Do let me know if you've finished anything amazing this month : )

I first posted on my 2016 wishlist at the beginning of the year, and then again in March. Three months on and with my birthday coming up in a couple of days, I thought it was timely to post on it again since we're starting to see the autumn/Fall collections trickle out and my list has changed since I wrote the last one.

I've mentioned in earlier wishlist posts that I think it's helpful to make wishlists and refrain from buying anything on them for at least a month or even more, since I've found that so many products drop off the list as something new and better comes along and I've got my eye on that instead.

If you don't buy things as soon as you want them, you're less likely to make bad or impulse purchases - which can only be a good thing for your wallet and your levels of clutter at home. 

While I still occasionally buy something and regret it later, this is happening less and less these days as I'm becoming a better shopper : ). It's also meant that Project Pan is a more successful exercise because my collection is becoming more streamlined as I finish things and don't replace them, which is the whole point!

So without further ado, below is what's on my wishlist now. If you'd like to see the last wishlist, that post is here.

Purchases made (bases)

I thought I'd kick off with those items on my wishlist that I've happily acquired. I managed to score the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Gel as my Mother's Day present, which I'm thrilled about because I've wanted it for ages. Woot woot!

Other complexion acquisitions are the Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation, which I managed to pick up at over $20 off the RRP, and also the Marc Jacobs Genius Gel Foundation, which I got when Sephora had a 20 per cent off sale. 

I wouldn't have bought both except, despite my best efforts to research my colour-match, the Becca product ended up being my summer colour (I'd hoped it would be my winter one), so I had to buy the Marc Jacobs product because I didn't have a foundation shade for the cooler months.

Three higher end complexion purchases is enough for now, and I'm glad I made them because there was a gap in my collection (I didn't actually own foundations after finishing off my Bodyography products - all I have are tinted moisturisers/BB creams), so I'll use and love those throughout the year.

Purchases made (general)

I also managed to pick up the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer at Chemist Warehouse's half price sale, and I got my hands on the Becca Backlight Priming Filter too - another purchase made at a good discount.

Also from Becca is the Mineral Blush in Songbird (which I've wanted for ages), and I managed to grab the Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask and the Oskia Renaissance Cleaning Gel when Beautybay ran a 20 per cent off promotion earlier in the year.

So I've definitely had a good few months in the beauty department, but I haven't gone completely crazy ; )

Scratchings (makeup)

I've actually knocked quite a few products off my wishlist and I thought it might be useful to note those briefly and mention why they've been removed.

Both the L'Oreal Lumi and Lumi Cushion Foundations are no longer on my list, in part because I don't need any more complexion products but also because I can't find a good colour-match (we don't get all the colours here in Australia).

I've also removed the Hourglass Ambient Strobe Powders and any of the Modernist Eyeshadow Palettes from my list because I have more than enough highlighters and eyeshadows to go on with, and I can't justify spending the big bucks on things I don't need (if you ever need makeup at all ; ) ).

Scratchings (skincare)

I've also removed anything from Origins and GlamGlow from my list: I don't need any Origins products right now (I might pick something up next year) and while I've sampled the things I wanted to test from GlamGlow, I think they're overpriced for what they are and my wallet is pleased that I haven't fallen in love with anything.

I've also removed the Ren Wake Wonderful Nightime Facial from my list because I picked up a couple of (much cheaper) products from Pixi instead during the aforementioned Beautybay sale, and I'm leaving Sunday Riley products aside for now because I can't justify the outlay for those either. 

Mind you, my husband did buy me the Sunday Riley Blue Moon Cleansing Balm as a wedding anniversary gift (on my instruction ; ) ), so I did manage to score one item from the range - and happily it's one that's on the cheaper end of the Sunday Riley spectrum and I didn't have any balm cleansers before so there was a spot for it!


I'm still desperate to own some Burberry makeup so stay tuned because I've asked for Sephora and Mecca gift cards for my birthday, and then I'll hang tight for another 20 per cent off sale (Sephora does run those occasionally).

The Burberry Earthy Blush, the Copper Glow Warm Glow Bronzer and the Complete Eye Palette in 07 Pink Taupe are still on my list, although Sephora doesn't stock that particular shade of bronzer and I've seen a couple of bloggers say they suspect the bronzers are being discontinued, so I've added the Tangerine Blush to my list instead (as if I needed to replace the bronzer hehe).

Even though I don't need any makeup, I'm determined to own at least one Burberry item so I'll arm myself with a gift card and wait for a good sale!


I completely forgot to mention perfume on my earlier 2016 wishlists, but I do have a bundle of potential purchases in mind and perfume is one of the few things that I really don't have enough of. I used to, but I finished all my scents and haven't yet replaced them, so I'm currently stuck with two full-sized perfumes and one mini, and that's not enough for a fragrance lover like myself.

I would quite like to replace at least one of my old favourites - Dior La Dolce Vita, Lancome La Vie Est Belle or Chanel Chance - and there's a new fig fragrance out from Tocca ('Emelia') that I can't stop sniffing whenever I'm in Mecca. The Tocca one might well be mine soon enough because I'll have a Mecca giftcard to blow very shortly : )

To bronze

Like many beauty lovers, I go through periods where I'm obsessed with obtaining more of one particular item - and for me at the moment, it's bronzers. This is partly because bronzers are the only makeup item that I don't have too many of, and this time last year I could even say that I didn't have enough: I only owned two and they were both better summer colours.

Late last year, I managed to pick up one from Clarins and a GWP freebie from Gorgeous Cosmetics, which is now on my Project Pan list because it's a great winter shade and I don't love the formula so I'm happy to use it and love it for now and then be done with it.

Also, I was recently a bit naughty and picked up both shades of the Urban Decay Beached Bronzers (although one is a blush colour on my skintone), and I still find myself wanting more. Argh! Once I've finished at least one bronzer in my collection, I've got my eye on one of the matte bronzers from Bobbi Brown, or I'd even like to pick up the paler of the two Hourglass bronzers (I have the darker one and love it, but it's not the best for my winter colouring). I'll try to be restrained, but no promises...


It's worth mentioning that I received the IT Cosmetics CC Cream in a recent box from Marie Claire, and I love it so much that I'll absolutely buy the full size when my travel-size has run out. 

Also, the Becca Aqua Luminous Foundation is something I might consider buying in a second, paler shade, although I'll need to properly test the one I've got when the colour is better for me before grabbing another one.

I also want to buy the Ren Bio Retinoid Cream that I posted on recently - a sample of which I received in a Mecca Beauty Loop Box, and which I've fallen in love with because it faded my age spots where all other products have failed.

I'm holding off on these purchases, however: I have other products I need to use up first before I add anything else to my collection!

In sum

That's my updated wishlist! Just looking back over it, it's not a massive list, is it? That's partly because I've already managed to buy a few things from my last list, and partly because quite a few products have been removed for one reason or another.

Also, very few new releases have really grabbed me and it was only those Urban Decay bronzers that I didn't feel I could live without.

Fingers crossed my wishlist remains small, because I'd prefer to have less products in my sights and keep my collection under control. I also want to make the best of the things I do own, and you can't do that if you keep buying new things and have too much to choose from!

Let me know what's on your wishlist at the moment, or whether you have any suggestions for things that are amazing : )

I knew I wanted to write one final post in my blogiversary series to celebrate my second year of blogging - I just didn't know what that post would be or when I would write it. 

But I sat down at my computer this morning and saw that none of the reviews I have on my list are ones I feel like writing today, and it happens to be a week since this blog's actual birthday so it seems like a good day to close off the blogiversary series for another year and look ahead.

It's been a crazy week here. My little girl has been the sickest she's ever been (on the mend now, thank god), and I myself have picked up a bug or two over the past couple of weeks (that's pregnancy for you), which means there's been more doctor's appointments to get to in a short space of time than there ever has.

Fingers crossed this week is a little easier, although my own birthday is coming up on 30 June so we've a few more outings planned than usual, but at least these ones won't include tests or waiting rooms.

I digress. I had planned on writing a 'blogging lessons learned' post but I've just changed the draft title to 'why I blog' because lord knows I don't feel like speaking lessons today. So instead I'll say a few words on why I personally like blogging, just in case anyone reading this has been thinking about doing it themselves and is interested to know : )

It's definitely not for the money (!)

While it's certainly possible to make money from things like blogging and youtubing, only a select few people earn enough to make a living. That's certainly not me, and while I did start blogging with the secondary aim that it might turn into a viable little income stream, that's not the main reason I wanted to do it and it's certainly not the reason I've kept doing it.

I just wanted to say this from the outset because I think there's a misconception out there regarding how much cash it's possible to make from social media. Some people make thousands - even millions - but others don't make enough to even fund a daily coffee habit and do it only for the love. I definitely fall within that latter category ; )

To write each day

If you read this blog you may already know that I'm a freelance writer and editor by trade. If you're interested, I do corporate writing to make a living (things like writing/editing articles, speeches, ads, web content like professional profiles and company details etc), but I also write my own short stories and novels, and I do have one self-published novel online.

When I fell pregnant with my first child, I knew I would need something to occupy my time while I was on maternity leave, and I also suspected - rightfully, it turns out - that I wouldn't have the head for the fiction writing I'd been doing up until then. 

Writing is an emotional thing, and when all your emotions are going into a brand new little person, it's hard to find space for the written word. But I've been able to keep writing through this blog, which is why I'm still at my computer every day. I can't help but write, and this blog is my main writing outlet for now.

To tell stories

Related to the above, most writers will tell you that they can't go very long without being part of a storytelling process because it's a compulsion inside them that needs to be fed. So I blog to tell stories. Even if it's just a little tale of a product and what I've thought of it, it's still a story that I'd like to tell.

Blogging gives me a place to talk about beauty products - the things I love, the things that haven't worked, the things I keep coming back to - and each product has its own little tale that may be useful for others when shared.

So I blog to give myself and others a place they can come and hear about new product discoveries, learn about subscription boxes, and read the occasional non-beauty tale of somewhere I've eaten or been. That's the crux of it, I think. This blog is a place of stories more than anything else.

To talk beauty

I get excited about beauty products. Like a growing number of people these days, I've become obsessed with beauty and I'm always on the look-out for new product releases and innovations, even if I don't plan on buying them.

I'm a member of various online groups that are exclusively dedicated to beauty, and in these groups I have a lot of fun talking products and sharing ideas. This blog did start out as a life blog because I wanted a broad focus, but it seems to have settled itself firmly in the beauty area because that's what I want to talk about most. Maybe this will change in future, or maybe that's how it will always be.

To learn new skills

What I didn't realise when I started blogging was just how many new skills I would have to learn along the way. From learning how to take better photos, to giving myself a crash course in things like programming and how to insert code into my blog, I've learned so much through the blogging process and that's one of the reasons I keep doing it.

While I mightn't love the technology side of things (I've never been great with computers), I do appreciate that I'm learning new skills that are useful in other walks of life. Plus I've had to learn how to negotiate social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, which I wouldn't have done without this blog - and this may prove useful when it comes to future work roles. So blogging keeps me on my toes, and no new skill is ever wasted.

To keep myself on the level

Not only other writers will understand this, but also those who aren't very good at sitting around doing nothing. I'm not a good 'nothing' person and never have been, so I need a place to go each day that feels like my own little office, and I need to be able to set myself projects and deadlines and achieve them - otherwise I'll fade into the abyss of home life and I don't think it would be good for my mental state!

I love being a mum, but it's not all I want to do with my time and this blog has given me a place to go each day and do something else. Blogging is a little part of my day that's just mine, and that doesn't involve my daughter, my husband, my dog or my pregnancy: it's outside my domestic responsibilities and I think it's helped keep me healthy and happy throughout the trials of early parenthood. No small feat ; )

In sum

That's all from me for now, and I won't bore you with any more blogiverary posts until this time next year!

I hope this post has been useful to anyone considering starting their own blog, and I wish you luck if you're about to embark on your own blogging story.

Now, to close my computer and work out what to give my daughter for breakfast when she wakes...

Speak soon x
I've decided to do my favourites a little differently this month: first, I'm posting them a few days early because I already know exactly what they are; and second, I'm not going to take a fresh round of photos because some items are finished or are no longer photogenic (eg the Ethique soap, which is dwindling by the day), or I've hacked open the packaging to get the last bits out - and butchered packaging doesn't look too good in photos either ; )

Also, I'm including purely skincare favourites this month because these are the items that have stood out most for me, and I'm also including three cleansers because I love them all and can't pick just one.

So it's not a good span of favourites this month, but I would rather talk about the products I can't get enough of, rather than pick things from different categories for the sake of it!

In no particular order...

Ethique Lime & Ginger Body Polish

I've reviewed this here. I received it in my first Maslow & Co box, and it's one of those products that grew on me more and more with each use. 

While it doesn't get my skin clean (so I use a separate cleanser) and it's not the most effective body scrub I've tried, I enjoy using it so much because it smells divine, feels beautiful on the skin and turns my shower into a luxury experience. Love love love. I might have to buy another one when mine's done.

Martina Organics Oil Cleanser

Another product from Maslow & Co! Like many, I'm all about oil cleansers at the moment and this one's gorgeous. I've reviewed it here.

It smells jasmine delicious and the texture is thinner than other cleansing oils I've tried, which I'm enjoying because I feel that the product is hydrating my skin while it's cleansing (the oil feels like it absorbs more, because it's thinner). A little also goes a long way with this so even this 30ml bottle is lasting an eternity.

Antipodes Chia & Kiwi Seed Superfood Serum

This is the third item from that same Maslow & Co box, so you can see it wound up being a great box for me! I'd been keen to try something from Antipodes and I'm so glad I have because this serum is just beautiful and it's great for dry winter skin. I've reviewed it here.

While I've had to get over the fishy smell, I can do this because my skin is looking a lot healthier and less parched than it did before I started using the product. I'm now keen to try more from Antipodes because it's not a super expensive brand and I'm hoping there's a more for me to discover from the range. Can't wait to find out.

Ren Bio Retinoid Anti-ageing Cream

I've reviewed this here. This product hit HG status for me within a few days of use because it's managed to fade some age spots I had where other products have failed. 

I've tried retinols and retinoids before and my skin generally can't tolerate them, but it can handle my once-daily applications of this product without issue and the results have really surprised me. I'd begun to think it wasn't possible to fade my pigmentation, but apparently it is. I've almost finished this now (it came in a Mecca Beauty Loop Box) and I'm going to have to buy the full-size because it works so well.

Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil

I fell in love with two oil cleansers this month, and this is the second one. I've reviewed it here. I bought it from Mecca Maxima last year when it was much better-priced at $39 than it is now at $48, but I only opened it a couple of months ago because I'd wanted to knock off a couple of other cleansers first. 

I love it because it smells amazing and feels beautiful on the skin, and unlike the Martina Organics product above, it's more of a traditional oil cleanser because it's thicker, emulsifies when you add water, and it's easier to remove. I'm going to ration my bottle because I don't want to finish it any time soon: I'm not sure I'd buy it again now that it's more expensive, but it's a beautiful product and one that I'm really enjoying.

SebaMed Liquid Face & Body Wash

Last up is this unexciting-looking little product, which I received in a sub box ages ago and had almost forgotten about because, let's face it, it doesn't look that special. I've reviewed it here.

But it became my morning cleanser of choice almost from the first use because it's super gentle and feels beautifully silky on the skin, and it's one of those rare cleansers that manages to clean well even though it's so gentle. It's also not very expensive and I recommend it for anyone, but particularly for those with really sensitive skin.

In sum

Them's my favourites! Just looking at these makes me want to go jump in the shower and use them all : )

It obviously hasn't been a great month for makeup for me, but who cares when you're discovering skincare that's this good.

What have you been loving this month?

I had one of those 'oh no, I'll have to buy that - and it's going to cost ten zillion dollars' moments when these were first released because I'm obsessed with Hourglass products and I hadn't yet found one I didn't like or that didn't work for me.

Until now. Thank god I went into Mecca and asked for a sample of this before dropping $65 AUD on a primer - just goes to show that it's absolutely worth testing the expensive stuff first and I'd much rather spend that money on another Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder, given the choice. More on all that below.

There's the product photographed above in natural light and below in direct sunlight. 

The primer was released in three shades: Luminous Light, Dim Light and Mood Light. When the Mecca assistant asked me what look I was going for, I said: 'More radiant, less old and less pregnant', and he said I should try this one in Luminous Light, described as 'a champagne pearl that brightens light to create a luminous candlelit glow'.

Hourglass claims/product details:
  • A first of its kind collection of light correcting primers that blur, smooth and perfect the skin for a soft, subtle glow
  • The oil-free, weightless formulas neutralise, brighten and soften light as the first step in creating your perfect light
  • Perfects the appearance of the complexion, creating a better starting point for makeup application
  • Can be worn alone
  • Instantly absorbs into the skin and imparts a natural glow without feeling wet or greasy 
  • Designed to further enhance the lighting effects of the Ambient® Lighting Collection by creating the first layer of light
  • Vegan and cruelty free
  • RRP $65 AUD for 30ml

There's a swatch in sunlight above and in natural light below.

Now rather than doing face swatches, I've decided to use the back of my hand to show my issues with this product: since hands are textured, they're a great place to test things like this (foundations included) because they'll show when a product is going to eg sit in fine lines, as this does.

Here I've photographed it in direct sunlight. It's quite streaky and takes a lot of work to rub in:

Natural light:

Here it is below, fully rubbed in (direct sunlight). You can see it does have a brightening and blurring effect, but when you look closer, you'll see how it sits in lines and clings to dry patches (see especially the enlarged photo below this one):

This shot shows the product sitting in lines, and there are two dry patches (top left and bottom right) that it has stuck to:


I was beginning to think Hourglass couldn't create a product that didn't work for me, but it has and this primer isn't great for my skin.

It's a bit of an odd formula in that it feels like a like cream with powder bits suspended in it, and when you try to rub it in, it takes a lot of work to achieve this and it streaks everywhere in the process. For this reason I'd recommend applying it straight after your moisturiser (when your skin is still nicely juiced), particularly if you have dry or dehydrated skin like I do.

Once it's rubbed in, my face is covered in little white dots where the primer has pooled into my pores, and it patches up around my nose and mouth where my skin is dry. I have tried the product on my chest and I don't have the same issues there (because I don't have open pores or dry skin in that area), so this may be a better product for those who don't suffer from textural issues.

Because of the little dots, this isn't a product I can wear alone and it needs to be covered with a foundation. But it would work alone if you don't have textural issues because it does make your skin look nicely bright and it does blur imperfections a tiny bit too.

The product dries down with a slightly tacky finish that feels a little powdery to the touch. I think it does make my tinted moisturiser go on smoothly and helps a small amount with coverage and radiance, but not enough that the product is worth the outlay for me. Plus I get a much better effect from the Ambient Lighting Powders - without the issues mentioned above.

Also, this isn't a hydrating product and, if anything, it makes my skin feel drier and seems to cancel out the nourishing effects of my day cream because my face always feels a little tight and uncomfortable after applying this.

In sum, this product doesn't work for me and I don't think it's suitable for people with textural issues or dry, mature skin. It's worth testing because it does look quite nice from afar, but I don't want a product that emphasises texture or makes my skin feel more dry.

Not for me.
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