I'm not normally one to bother with resolutions. The reason being that we tend to overload ourselves with things that aren't always achievable - and I don't know about you, but I'd much rather not make promises to myself than risk breaking them.

Plus we often focus on results-based resolutions, rather than looking at the processes that will get us to new and better places - however long it takes. I've definitely been guilty of that one, and the problem with the whole result thing is that a result is often a single, confined moment, whereas a process is something that runs in stitches over time, tiny marks that often seem to move nowhere, but together they finally reach some kind of end. It's great to enjoy a result, sure, but I reckon it's much better to engage with and take pleasure in the journey. Even painful journeys can bring patches of joy if you look for them.

I think the best resolutions are the smaller, incremental ones. Not only are they usually more achievable, but they tend to add less pressure. And who really needs more pressure: don't we all have enough of that?

Promising yourself that your diet starts today and you'll lose ten kilos in ten weeks is a big ask, and you're potentially setting yourself up for failure. But deciding that you'll eat a bit better and exercise a little more this year is a gentler way of beginning your journey towards better health - and you may be surprised by the way that small steps can turn into leaps without you even noticing. It's the whole 'watch the pennies and the pounds look after themselves' thing, and in my experience, it works.

A few people have asked me what my 2015 resolutions are, and I haven't had any. My standard answer, since I'm coming in to my 36th week of my first pregnancy, is: 'Survive the year and still be sane at the end of it.'

Not that I was particularly sane to begin with.

I've had a few resolutions this year (why wait for 2015?!), and I think I've done reasonably well with those. These were to generally go easier on myself, to 'give in' to the trials of pregnancy (but allow myself to have a whinge when needed because no one likes a martyr), kick a few habits that weren't doing me any favours, and draw strength from small achievements. What I mean by the last one is: if for example I've felt like road kill because my insomnia's going at full force (on top of the exhaustion that pregnancy brings) and I've still managed to take the dog for a walk, have a shower, write a blog post and cook a meal - that's BLOODY AMAZING.

Sometimes life takes us to places where we have to lower our expectations: of ourselves, of others, of life generally, and of what we can achieve. When the universe keeps moving the goal posts, the best thing you can do is respond with smaller kicks. You mightn't kick any goals. But at least you're still kicking.

Anyhoo. I do have a few things I'd like to do better this year, or at least keep doing. These are:

Pick up the phone

It can get pretty hard to catch up with all your friends on a regular basis. People have jobs, kids, god knows what else to contend with - but that doesn't mean you can't pick up the phone. Why don't I do that more often? I tend to email, text and Facebook message by preference. But why not call? Voices often bring people closer than keyboards do.

Keep rolling with the punches

I have absolutely no idea what I'm in for when the baby arrives. No first-time parent does. No doubt I'm in for all sorts of wonder and joy, but bundles of stress and insanity as well.

Many people give you advice about pregnancy and motherhood, but some of it stays with you. Not so long ago I was with Sai in the park and she ran up to a mother with an infant (Golden Retrievers have to say hello to absolutely everyone they see), and we had a brief chat. I'd never seen her before and I may never again, but I'll never forget what she said on motherhood.

'You just have to give in to it. And tell yourself "I'm just going to do this one thing".'

What she meant was, don't get lost in the jungle of unimportant tasks. I guess this ties in with the whole 'drawing strength from small achievements' thing. Wise words.

Keep watching the pennies

In the past six months I've not only gone on a beauty spending ban, but I've also cut out my daily latte (or two). On top of that, I've stopped spending half my life in op shops and buying cheap clothes and scarves - not that those things cost very much, but everything adds up. We've also become even more water, gas and electricity conscious at home - mainly for environmental reasons - but that's made a difference to the bills as well. I'd like to keep that going and improve it even further, remembering that the sound of the washing machine will probably be a constant backdrop to our lives once the baby is here, and there's not much we can do about that ; )

Use what you have

This applies to everything - clothes, pantry items, beauty products, you name it. This is actually one of the things I do pretty well, but I could improve on the beauty side of things in particular. I'd like to streamline my collection, which will mean using the buggery out of blushes, lipsticks and eyeshadows until they're gone. Motherhood willing, of course. I mightn't even have time to brush my teeth. Who knows. There's that whole shifting goalposts thing again.

Seize the minute

Insomnia taught me this one, and pregnancy reinforced it. On some days (certainly not all), you may feel like crap but there are often tiny windows - openings of even five minutes - where you suddenly feel marginally better for no explicable reason. You have to grab those moments with both hands. Get up, put the dishwasher on, go to the post office, write an email. Then go back to sitting like a zombie and staring at the wall, because there's nothing else for it. Repeat, repeat.

The minutes add up like the pennies do. Don't let them pass you by. I'm going to try not to forget that this year.

Enjoy the sunshine while it's here

Because it never lasts.

But rest assured, it'll be back ; )

That's all from me! What are your 2015 resolutions, if any? Do you like resolutions or hate them? How do you achieve them? I'd love to hear : )

I received this product from Violet Box ages ago and only opened it last month because I had a couple of other liquid illuminators to get through first.

I haven't had the most consistent experience with this brand (some products are great, others questionable) and many LHI subscribers who received this in a recent box complained that the tube was almost empty. My tube wasn't too full either, although I do think there was 15ml of product in there - it's just a lot of empty space was in there too.

Liquid illuminator is something I use on a daily basis. Some lasses mix theirs in with their foundation, which I would do with a non-glittery product like Benefit's High Beam, but I wouldn't do with something like this - otherwise I'd wind up with sparkle face.

What I do instead is mix some in with my primer and chuck my usual BB/CC cream over the top. This gives me a glow without making me look as though I've had a fight with the Christmas tinsel.

So Susan claims/product details:
  • A water-based liquid illuminator
  • Infused with micronised pearlescent pigments to create the perfect wash of light on your cheekbones, browbones and the natural contours of your face
  • 100% cruelty-free 
  • RRP $35AUD for 15g

See above unblended swatch and blended below. As you can see it's quite a runny product and a little goes a long way.

It does have noticeable sparkles unfortunately (albeit that they're finely milled), so I wouldn't wear this product on its own. Metal face alert.


This is a good product, although I certainly wouldn't have paid $35 for it.

While I'm enjoying using it, I prefer illuminators without noticeable glitter. That way you can wear them on their own or on top of foundation without looking like Tinkerbell. You can't do that with this product unfortunately, although it works well enough in the primer mix I describe above.

It's very runny (I guess that's because it's water-based) and you only need a little bit, so the tube will probably last longer than most. That's a plus if you're considering buying this.

It's a pearly pink product that would suit most lasses, although I'd like to see a bronze version (and I think bronze generally works better for those of us with medium skin).

In short, I like this but I wouldn't go out and buy it, and I think there are plenty of other better (and cheaper!) options available on the market. For $35 you might as well buy Benefit's High Beam ($26USD) and get it sent out from the US.

I received this product in Memebox Special #61 Volume Up!

I was glad to get a breast cream because I'm up the duff and lord knows what's gonna happen to my breastal region from now until I've finished breastfeeding.

Mind you, there's not a hell of a lot you can do in terms of sag-factor - that sh*t's largely determined by genetics (same goes with stretchmarks). Still, I'd prefer to tell myself that I'm 'protecting' that area ; )

803 claims/product details:
  • Designed to nourish, rejuvenate and add extra volume to your gonzagas
  • Enriched with shea butter, adenosine, adipophilin, niacinamide and borphilin - all of which apparently have brightening and firming functions
  • Also contains five natural essential oils
  • Balm type formula that absorbs deeply
  • Works to fill in and tighten up wrinkles and sagging skin
  • RRP $34 for 50g
  • Available from Memebox


Look, this is one of those products where the claims go to the moon and back and the product itself doesn't deliver a scrap of them.

First, it doesn't have a balm-like texture. What it has is a weird, whipped yoghurt-like texture that's pretty unappealing to be honest. Also unappealing is the smell - I can't quite pinpoint it, but it's earthy and dirty, with something chemical in there as well.

I've been using this religiously on my breastal region since I got it and I've noticed no results. It's also not moisturising enough for me, so what I'll start doing now is using it as an all-over body cream so I can get through it more quickly and be done with it.

I never have high hopes for stretchmark/cellulite/lifting/toning creams etc, but I've rarely found one that performs so poorly. I'd be interested to see what others think of this product.

Not worth the dough. You're better off using a rich oil and massaging it in I reckon - you'll get better results.

I received this from Memebox in Special #73 F/W Natural Makeup.

While I still think the name of this company is up there with the least thought-through on the planet (along with Jelly Pong Pong), I was pleased with the inclusion. I was lucky enough to get DL10 Pure Peach (the other options being beige and orange), and while I might have been happy with any of those, I've got enough nudes and brights in the lipstick department and could have done with something in the mid-tone range (as this is).

ddung claims/product details:
  • Lipstick adheres tightly to lips with lasting suppleness and radiance
  • Offers a satiny, long-wear finish
  • Contains conditioning agent to keep lips hydrated
  • RRP $24 for 3.5g

Unfortunately I couldn't find any more info online for this product (at least not in English). A common problem with products from Memebox!

I do like the colour. I do not however like the packaging. I am not 12.

Here it is swatched above on my hand and below I'm wearing it on my lips. 

The colour is nice and I like the satiny sheen, but you can tell especially from the lip shot below that this isn't a great product - just look at the chalkiness and creasing.


While I love the colour of this lipstick and it feels nice and creamy on, it's not a great product. It certainly doesn't 'adhere tightly to lips' and its lasting power is pretty rubbish.

Also, the quality is suspect: it broke after only a few uses, so I now have a broken lipstick that's covered in puppy fur from the carpet (!).

As mentioned, another issue I've found is that it sits in creases and looks patchy on, so I need to wear a gloss over the top to avoid the whole wrinkled lip look. Hmph. 

What I've done with it is add it to a tub of lipgloss that I fill with lipstick ends and use sporadically on days when I'm at home. The tub gets changed every year or so and, prior to that, I use what's in there as a foot treatment (since lipsticks/glosses generally have a lanolin base and contain oils - great for feet). This means I'll get some use from the product and it does fare much better when combined with a decent gloss.

A dud product, basically. Foo. Don't bother.

Another month, another truckload of empties. Huzzah.

I decided to write my empties post a few days early this month. Not only did I have more than enough products to include (and indeed I had to hold some over for next month), we had a house full of wrapping and boxes after Christmas, and since the recycling man came this morning, I wanted to add as much to the bin as possible!

Swisspers Facial Cleansing Wipes with Mango Extract

These used to be my favourite wipes until I discovered the Essenzza Fuss Free ones. I still love them, but I'll probably only buy them now if I can't find the Essenzzas because those are just so good. What I like about the Swisspers ones is that they're nice and wet and clean well while still being gentle. I'm also a big mango fan so anything that's flavoured with that scent is ok by me! Repurchase? Maybe. 

Swisspers Makeup Pads

I've gone through quite a few packs of these since starting this blog, and for some reason I've never included them in an empties post or reviewed them. I guess like eg deodorant or toothpaste, they're on the 'boring' list of everyday staples and I've never thought to say anything about them. But I've included them this time because it's worth saying that these are decent pads and ones I keep buying, since there are different pads on the market and many don't work too well (generally the cheaper ones, which have a nasty habit of falling apart and leaving fluff all over your face. These don't). My only issue with these (and with all decent makeup pads I've tried) is that I reckon they're overpriced. Repurchase? Yes.

Eslor Rejuvenating Day Cream

Full review here. I got this as part of an Eslor travel kit, and while I really like it, I don't think it's the best cream from the brand (I prefer eg the Firming Collagen Day Cream). It's still a great product - thick and rich and plumps the skin nicely - I just think Eslor has better products. Repurchase? Maybe, if I bought the same kit.

Eslor Chlorophyll Lifting Mask

Full review here. This is a really great mask and one I've loved using. It's unlike any other mask I've used before (goes on as a gel and thickens to a tight covering, almost like glue) and I feel it works harder than your average face mask. I do notice a difference in my skin after use - it's fresher and brighter and more plumped. Fortunately I have a travel-sized back up of this waiting to be opened, otherwise I'd be rather sad that it's gone! Repurchase? Probably.

Dior Addict Eau Fraiche

Ach, another month gone, another perfume empty. It's not that I'm going through a whole perfume each month (!), it's that I've had far too many open at once this year and last, and they've started dropping like flies recently. Indeed, I'll have at least one more in January's empties post. I really really love this fragrance. It's grapefruity and so fresh - a great, light fragrance for summer. The only question mark is over its lasting power: it's definitely one I needed to re-spray throughout the day. Bummed I've finished it to be honest. Repurchase? Yes.

St Tropez Gradual Tan for Body

Full review here. I've mentioned this product a few times now on this blog and I probably don't need to include it in empties posts, but I can't help myself because I love it so much. Honestly, St Tropez produces the best tanning products on the market (at least in my experience). I've absolutely loved any product from the brand that I've tried, and this body cream is no exception. Not only is it a beautifully rich and hydrating cream, it does the tanning job well. And the best thing is, I'm yet to have paid for any St Tropez product - I somehow keep getting them as samples or from friends who don't use tanning creams. Yay to that! Purchase? Yes.

Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion

This was an LHI sample from memory. A lot of people rave about it - and it's my husband's favourite cream - but I really don't rate it. It's just not moisturising enough for me and I need to apply another moisturiser after use to make my skin happy. I also don't like fragrance free body creams - I like ones that smell wonderful and feel luxurious. This doesn't. Purchase? No.

Clarins High Definition Body Lift

Full review here. There's a lot of big claims attached to this product, but in short, it doesn't live up to them. It's meant to be one of those lifting and firming cellulite creams, but it doesn't deliver. Things like cellulite and stretchmarks are largely determined by genetics anyway, so be careful of falling for hype around expensive products like this one. Nevertheless, I did enjoy using it because it had a nice, cooling and tingling sensation when applied. Purchase? No.

Pantene Clinicare Shampoo and Conditioner for Dry Hair

Many lasses don't like Pantene products, but I've always had a good experience with them and return to them again and again. These handy travel sizes were included in one of the swaps I did with a lovely lady via a beauty product swap group. The shampoo cleans well without stripping my hair, and the conditioner is nice and rich, so my dry hair was very happy with these products. Purchase? Yes.

Davroe Colour Senses Ends Repair

This one's fine, but definitely not the best product I've used of this nature. Since my hair is naturally dry, hair oils work much better for me. What this product is good for, however, is taming the flyaways near the roots of my hair, when I don't want to add any oil near my scalp region because I'm not far away from a wash and don't want my hair to look greasy. That makes it a good one to keep in your handbag - especially if your hair looks frizzy and rubbish after it's been rained on or you've been in a humid environment. Since I have so many hair products in stock, I ended up using this one as a conditioner, just to get through it. Perhaps surprisingly, it worked very well for that purpose. Purchase? No.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics OCC Tint Tinted Moisturiser in Y3

Full review here. In short, this product was ok but I didn't love it. I think I liked it more to start with and got sick of it about halfway through the bottle (so I'm very happy it's gone!). It wasn't a tint I could wear on its own - it was too sheer for that and it doesn't contain sunscreen. What it was good for, however, was refreshing my makeup later in the day, if I was going out and didn't want to reapply a full face again. So it was useful in that sense and I carted it around in my handbag for that purpose. Repurchase? No. I prefer tints with sunscreen.

Invisible Zinc Tinted Daywear in Medium

Full review here. I got through this little 20ml size very quickly (and it's the second or even third one I've used) because it's great to apply throughout the day to keep up your sun protection. Like the OCC Tint above, it's too sheer to offer any decent coverage on its own, so I wouldn't rely on it for that. It is however great for freshening things up and making sure your skin's looked after when the sun comes out. Purchase? Maybe.

Skinria Smart 4.0 CC Cream SPF34 PA++

Full review here. This was from Memebox and it totally didn't match my skintone - far too white. So considering its high sun protection, what I did was mix it in a (roughly) 1:1 ratio with my normal sunscreen in order to use it up, and to make the latter last longer so I didn't have to buy more. I have another couple of BB/CC creams from Memebox that are also too pale, and I'll likely use those in the same way. Might as well put them to good use! Purchase? No.

Benefit Hello Flawless Custom Powder Cover up in 'I'm cute as a bunny' Honey

Full review here. I liked this powder and I'm glad to have tried it, but I don't think it's worth the Oz price tag and I've certainly used better powders (try anything from Bodyography and I'll be surprised if you ever go back!). Still, it was a decent product and you could do a lot worse. Repurchase? No.

Elizavecca Milky Piggy Elastic Pore Mask Cleansing Foam

Full review here. A Memebox inclusion. Not much to say about this other than that I think it's an ok product, I just couldn't stand the smell (made me think of rancid pig fat). I ended up using it as a body wash to keep it away from my nose, and it was fine for that purpose. Purchase? No.

Clinique Liquid Facial Soap (mild)

This was another FB Swap Group product, and I'm really glad I got to try it. I wasn't expecting much from it - Clinique products generally don't work for my skin and I don't like any other liquid soap that I've tried - but I really liked this. It cleaned super well and somehow felt like it was really getting in there and removing dirt, without being too harsh. I wouldn't go out and buy it but I'd be more than happy if it came my way again. Purchase? No, but mainly because I wouldn't buy it on its own without other Clinique products (none of which have worked for me thus far).

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream

This came in the Summer Edit of Marie Claire's The Parcel. I've tried it now as a night cream, a lip balm, foot balm and also as a heavy duty moisturiser for my expanding belly. I prefer it on my belly: it does feel a bit much as a night cream after the first couple of uses; I don't like it as a lip balm because I have better products for that and I don't like the smell/taste of it (and it's meant to be fragrance free!); and I feel it's wasted as a foot balm (I often use old or unwanted lip glosses for that purpose). On my belly it feels just about right. Purchase? No, but I'm glad I've finally tried it!

Grown Alchemist Vanilla & Orange Peel Hand Cream

Full review here. Happily I was able to pick up this purse size via the Bellabox FB Swap Group. I absolutely love this hand cream - it smells wonderful and is nicely hydrating. Unfortunately, however, my tube split when I was only a small way through the product, so I couldn't keep it in my handbag. Annoying! Purchase? Yes.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse

How I love the smell of this product. I've used it many-a-time before (I'd say anyone who's been subscribed to Oz boxes for a while has too!), and I love this dry oil so much that I bought the full size. It feels so wonderful on and I love that it doesn't leave a greasy, slick residue like many oils do. Purchase? Yes.

Foltene Nail Treatment

This one was a Violet Box inclusion and it's meant to help your nails grow stronger and faster. I used it pretty solidly for a couple of months and didn't notice any change. It also expired in December and started to bubble and smell funny, so it was time to turf it! Purchase? No.

The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter

Full review here. I've always loved these body butters and Mex goes nuts for coconut so it's not unusual that we'll pick one of these up if we see them on special. I wouldn't pay full price for one however because it's thick and we tend to go through each tub so quickly. Repurchase? Yes.

Designer Brands Coconut Lip Butter

Ah, DB. The brand that shouldn't (in my opinion) be turning up in sub boxes, and certainly not so often! I did try this on my lips and it felt rubbish and strangely greasy. Instead I used it as a foot balm and it worked well for that. Purchase? No.

ASAP Clearskin Gel

This was another FB Swap group acquisition. I haven't tried a lot of stuff from ASAP so I wanted to give this a go. It's a skin-clearing treatment (hence the name ; ) ) and it did feel as though it had a breakout-preventing and resurfacing effect, although I've used better products of that nature. What I will say is that this was only a 15ml travel sized sample, so I may have found a better effect over time if I'd had a full size. Purchase? No.

Nivea Men Power Refresh Shower Gel

Mex got this as part of a travel kit and gave it to me because he's a soap man and doesn't do gels. I actually really liked it. It has a nice, male smell (you know, one of those aftershavey scents) and foams and cleans well. While I wouldn't go out and buy it, I certainly wouldn't knock back another bottle. Purchase? No.

Ariul Spa Water 24 Hours Moisturising Refreshing Mist

Full review here. This was a Memebox inclusion and I really loved it. I've become something of a face spray junkie in recent times, and this is one of the better ones I've come across. It's hydrating and so refreshing, and I love the smell - one of those scents that gives you a lift each time you spray it. Purchase? Yes.

Sukin Certified Organic Rose Hip Oil

Review here. I do love me a good oil and I did like this one, it's just not my favourite oil. I prefer any of those from Happy Skincare, so I'll be sticking with those for now. Still, this is a well-priced product and I can see why many lasses love it. Repurchase? Probably not, unless it was heavily discounted.

In sum

So that's it for December! These posts always take me so long to write - I really need to stop getting through so many products each month ; )

The stand-outs this month were the Dior fragrance, the Ariul face spray, the Clinique liquid soap and the Eslor mask. Looking forward to watching my stores shrink as the months pass and my spending ban continues!

I picked this up on special in the Bellabox shop ages ago and I've been looking forward to reviewing it.

I've mentioned before on this blog that I'm yet to find an HG primer. This Mememe Seventh Heaven Moisturising Face Base would be the absolute closest I've come to finding the primer to end all primers.

The reason it hasn't hit HG status is because I'm not sure how much it really extends the life of makeup (although I could say this of all primers I've tried thus far). I think it does help makeup stay put for a while longer, but on my skin the difference isn't marked. 

What it certainly does do is give me a lift each time I use it - it smells divine, feels silky and velvety and is a dream to apply. Honestly, for me it's worth buying just for the experience of using it.

As always, Mememe has nailed the packaging. I love the box design and the tub is great too. 

While the jar is super thick (and therefore not so travel-friendly), it's a product I feel safe to leave in the bathroom because the contents are protected by the container (so they won't overheat and expire too quickly).

Mememe claims/product details:
  • Rich yet lightweight
  • Enriched with shea butter, vitamin A and beta-carotene to rejuvenate, nourish and hydrate skin 
  • Active nutrients and extracts work to brighten, smooth and even out skintone to prime and create the perfect base for makeup application
  • Lightly scented with a zest of lemon, orange, lime and mandarin 
  • RRP $34.95 for 30ml, but do shop around/wait for specials
  • Available from the Mememe website and the Bellabox shop
  • Shelf-life: 18 months once opened


This really is a wonderful product. It's a thick, rich cream that feels amazing on your skin and smells divine. For me, it also evens out skintone and helps combat redness etc.

Yes, it lives up to its claims - it definitely gives you a smooth canvas for makeup application and plumps the skin nicely. I can pretend I'm wrinkle-free after I've used this ; )

I also find that I use less foundation when I've applied this, because it primes and hydrates really well (so foundation glides on more easily). 

As mentioned, the only thing I'm not sure about is whether it does a hell of a lot in terms of extending the life of your makeup - but I'm yet to find a product that really makes a difference in that sense anyway. This could be something to do with my skin, and not an issue with the product: I've read a few other reviews of this and they all say that it does help when it comes to lasting power.

I would definitely buy this again, and it's the only primer I've ever tried that I can say this about. I love using it, even just on its own. It makes my skin look brighter and fresher, feels smashing and smells so good that sometimes I open it just to give it a whiff!


Well, this will be my last Memebox for a while. As you may know, I'm on a beauty spending ban and this was the last box I ordered. I actually ordered it after the ban had started, but cancelled another order of equal value so I could do that because I wanted this package more than I did the other.

I'm glad I picked this one up, but I'm also glad to take a break from Memebox for a while. It's so easy to overdo them, and I've definitely done that!

Before I look at each item in turn, here are my December Affiliate Codes (I'll update these once the January ones come in):
  • December $5 coupon code on purchases of $30 or more (not including shipping charges): 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!

The box contains five full-sized items and cost $23US plus $6.99 shipping. Just from scanning the contents, my initial thoughts were that it looked like one of the better boxes I've ordered.

Note that, as always, I'll do an unboxing now and then update this post once I've used everything and can comment on it properly.

I'm definitely most interested in the hologram serum, although maybe that's just because it looks cool in the cannister ; )

Ariul Spa Water 24hours Moisturising De-tox Mask (RRP $26 for 100ml)

This daily cleanser creates hydrating and pore clarifying bubbles that penetrate deep into the skin, and aims to remove all pore-clogging impurities. Good for those with dry and easily irritated skin, it also apparently delivers deep moisturising, brightening and tightening results.

To use, take a tiny amount and spread over your face. Bubbles will start to foam. Add water, massage, then rinse off.

I received a face mist from this brand in another box and liked it, so I'm happy to try something else from the range. But please note that this product expires in less than a year, so if like me you have a few cleansers in stock, you'll need to move this one closer to the front of the queue.

UPDATE: This one's a bit annoying because it leaks between uses, so each time I open the cap I'm confronted with a thin, sticky and bubbly film that's all over the inside of the cap and also on the applicator etc. I'm not sure whether that's an issue with the design or whether I just got a bung product.

Otherwise it's a nice enough cleanser that foams as it says it will. I don't feel it's a particularly great cleanser - it's pretty gentle - but my skin does feel a bit nicer and cleaner after use. What I normally do is a first cleanse with a more heavy duty product, and a second cleanse with this one. I wouldn't buy this but I'll use it.

AHC Hologram Collection Whitening Serum (RRP $89 for 50ml)

Anything that costs this much makes me look at it twice: sad but true! Note, however, that I've seen it on sale from Memebox's website for $21. I wonder if this is because the batch is expiring reasonably soon (November next year, according to the box - I call less than a year soon when it comes to these kinds of products, especially a full sized one that'll take a while to get through).

It contains a highly concentrated blend of acerola berry, camu camu berry, niacinamide, ice plant, hyaluronic acid, kiwi and tomato - all of which are natural ingredients that bring moisture and revitalisation to the skin.

You apply it after cleansing and before moisturising.

I wish I didn't have to open it next (I have so many serums in stock), but looks like I'll have to because everything else I own has a later expiry date. I'm interested to see how it fares.

UPDATE: I really don't know how I feel about this yet. It looks so fancy and awesome (and then there's the price tag), but it's a product that unfortunately reminds me in every way of the White Glo stuff that I use occasionally to bleach my teeth: the smell, look, texture and feel are all the same. Which begs the question: am I putting bleach on my face and do I really want to be doing that?

Also, I wouldn't really class it as a 'serum' - it's too thick for that. It's more like a gel and it's quite sticky, which makes me wonder how well it's being absorbed (and how well any creams you put on afterwards are being absorbed).

I don't think it's moisturising/revitalising as it claims to be, but I'll use it for a while longer to see if my opinion of it changes, and also to see whether it has any impact on age spots etc.

LadyKin Broccoli Super Brightening Cream (RRP $14 for 60ml)

This brightening cream contains 75% broccoli extract, which has an antioxidant effect. It also contains vitamin C and works to calm, heal and brighten the skin, as well as to diminish the appearance of uneven skintone, dark spots, age spots and fine lines. It can be used for both face and body.

I might end up using this as a body cream because I have so many face creams to get through and a paucity of body stuff. We'll see how good it is first.

UPDATE: What I did with this box was introduce each cream/serum separately (leaving a week or so between them), so I could check whether each seemed to be having more of an impact than the others. This is the most recent one I've opened, and while I feel able to update this post because I can give you initial thoughts, if you're interested in this product please do check back in later on because I'll do a full review of it (as well as the others) once I've had more experience of it.

It's a strange cream. When you squeeze some out, it seems to 'melt' on your fingers (leaving a watery trail behind), but then when you apply it to your face it takes a while to absorb and you really need to rub it in. If you don't rub it in, you're left with a white face - and I wonder whether it's been designed that way deliberately (ie, so you feel like it has a whitening effect because they've coloured it to make you believe that). I don't think this will have any great impact on age spots over time, but let's see.

Boscians Cycle Repair Whitening Spot (RRP $24 for 15ml)

This contains green bud complex, which reactivates the skin's balanced cycle for reducing signs of uneven skintone and darkened spots, and brightening the overall complexion. It contains a rich blend of hyaluronic acid that deeply hydrates dry, dull skin and leaves it soft and supple. You apply it under the eyes and over dark spots etc.

Now this is something I need. Pregnancy has given me a bundle of skin issues, including dark spots (these might be hormonal or just normal age spots). Let's see if we can't reverse some of that!

UPDATE: This is the product I've been using the longest - I opened it straight away because I didn't have anything like it in circulation. So far I've noticed no changes to my dark circles, age spots or uneven complexion unfortunately, but I'll keep going with it and do a full review of it once I'm reaching the end of the tube. I don't have high hopes, but maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised - particularly because I'll be using it in conjunction with the other items from this box. It may be one of those critical mass situations. I hope so!

Withme White Perfection Hydrating Cream (RRP $43 for 120ml)

According to the product card, this contains over 24,000mg of silk concentrates and ocean complex. The silk formula is rich in protein and amino acid, and it effectively detoxifies the skin of melanin pigments while the blend of sea minerals deeply relieves and replenishes dry, exhausted skin.

Another one I need, and one I can open straight away because I don't have a day cream on the go at the moment (only a day serum, and you can use both). Looking forward to trying it.

UPDATE: First, this is the second product I've received in this box that comes with bung packaging - argh! If you stand it upright (as in the photo), the inner cap mechanism obviously isn't designed well because product leaks into the cap from the tube, and so I'm having to stand it inversely and I'd rather not do that because it doesn't make for easy arrangement in the bathroom. Anyhoo.

Full review here. In short, I liked this to begin with but now that the weather is colder (and my skin drier), I'm not liking it at all and it's gone to the body cream section. What the product card that came with this box doesn't tell you, is that this cream contains alcohol - which may be why my skin doesn't like it. I've found it's irritating and not moisturising at all: it actually does the opposite and dries my skin out. FOO.


This is a decent box. Its RRP value is almost $200, so it's definitely worth the $23 outlay.

I'm very happy to finish (for the time being!) on a high note with Memebox, since I've recently had a couple of dud boxes and was due for a good one. Yay to that!

Did anyone else receive this box? If so, what did you think?

What a surprise to walk past the mailbox yesterday morning and see this package peeking through it - I'd never expected a delivery on 24 December! Particularly not an LHI delivery, seeing as I only got the tracking email a couple of days ago and normally there's a (very strange) wait of a week to ten days between email and arrival. If this means LHI has improved its systems, I'm glad and I really appreciate it : )

Another thing that was different this month: when we received the tracking email, there was also an option to view the contents of your box prior to delivery. I'm not sure whether this is an ongoing thing, or whether it's because LHI knew there was an error in the product cards sent out and they wanted to let us know and correct the error by emailing the correct card.

In any event, I of course checked my contents because I just can't help myself. And I was excited!

A nice, full package. I'm very happy to receive more items from both The Cosmetic Kitchen and Inika, so much so that I could ignore another DB inclusion ; )

Let's have a look.

Inika Pure Primer (RRP $60 for 50ml; received 30ml deluxe sample)

A 30ml primer is certainly a decent sized sample! This would actually be a full-sized product from many brands so it's a very generous size. I love most Inika products I've tried and love the packaging, so I'm over-mooned by this inclusion.

The primer contains a certified organic blend that offers protection and hydration for the skin prior to makeup application. Ingredients include avocado and apricot, and the product aims to prep the skin for foundation application, giving you an even canvas and improving the staying power of your makeup.

Cannot wait to open this one!

Designer Brands Extend a Brow (RRP $12.99; received full size)

When I told my husband that I'd received some 'falsies' for my eyebrows, he cracked up laughing. Don't blame him: my eyebrows are weeds that grow at a rate of knots and I spend half my life plucking and trimming them. So yes, I won't be using this one (!).

I'm sure many would be happy to try this product though - it's designed to thicken brows by beefing them up with mineral fibres.

Let's just ignore the fact that DB has reared its head yet again in a sub box ; )

The Cosmetic Kitchen Raw Chocolate Bath Salts (RRP $18.50 for 200g; received 'limited edition full size')

Oh how I wish we had a bath. I know I'm not the only subscriber who doesn't have one - what a disappointment! I really do want to try these: at $18.50 a pop, they must be good ; ). Maybe I'll borrow a friend's bath to give them a go.

According to the description, these are detoxifying salts that contain raw cacao, a powerful antioxidant that blocks free radicals. Sounds good.

Lonvitalite C1 Mask (RRP $9.95 for one mask)

Another sheet mask. Ha. I'm pretty sure I've tried this one before. It's apparently moisturising and nourishing, and aims to smooth out wrinkles and replenish skin with moisture. It contains vitamin C and can reduce the skin damage caused by UVA and UVB exposure. We'll see.

I'm probably sounding like a scratched record by now, but I'm rather sick of receiving sheet masks and I haven't had much luck with them. I'm in the minority there though, and I know many lasses who love them.

UPDATE: This is just like any other sheet mask I've tried - you put it on, you can't eat or drink while you're wearing it, you scare your husband and the dog, you take it off and your skin looks a bit more plumped but that's really all.

'Nuff said.

The Cosmetic Kitchen Raw Chocolate Clay Mask (RRP $24.95 for 50g)

Another one that contains raw cacao (an antioxidant), plus nourishing Australian pink clay. To use it, you're meant to mix it with avocado and oil (or just with water) to form a smooth paste.

I like the idea of this in theory, but I'm not sure I'll be bothered to use it so often - particularly if I need avocado, which we don't always have on hand. Still, I'm happy with this inclusion.


What a great box. I'm thrilled with it and I'm most excited about the Inika primer. The RRP value of the package is over $100, so it's definitely worth the outlay.

A great Christmas present for myself. Thanks LHI!

We received this Premium Spa Face & Body Mask in a past Lust Have It women's box and I only got around to opening it a month ago.

Since I have quite a few masks on the go at the moment (and more in stock from sub boxes), I decided that I would indeed use this one for both my face and body. That means I'm more likely to get through it some time this century, and who says your face should have all the fun?

Premium Spa claims/product details:
  • Contains white clay, rosehip and chamomile
  • Aims to purify, soothe, detox and condition
  • Deeply cleanses skin for a clean, fresh complexion
  • With naturally nourishing botanicals 
  • Free of nasties like parabens and detergents
  • RRP $14.99 for 150ml, but do shop around


As with most face masks I've come across, this doesn't seem to do a hell of a lot but make you feel virtuous simply by using it, and make your skin feel a bit nicer afterwards.

The difference between this mask and many others, however, is that it's at the budget end of the spectrum - so you're much better off using something like this than you are spending truckloads on a product that essentially does the same thing.

I don't notice any major effects but, like any clay mask, my skin feels clean afterwards and a little tighter. It applies well and feels nice on - super smooth and creamy - and I like the smell. I'm glad to have it and enjoy using it, but I won't be rushing out and buying it (partly because I have so many other masks to use!).

But if you're looking for a budget clay mask that holds its own against many more expensive options, you can't go wrong with this product. It reminds me a little of the Sukin Purifying Facial Mask that I like - and they're in a similar price bracket. While I'd pick the Sukin one over this, that's probably only because the Sukin product (to me) smells just a bit nicer. Otherwise I reckon they're pretty close in cost, texture and effect etc.


These two Marsk products came in a Lust Have It FAB box this year, and I managed to pick them up via the Facebook LHI Swap group because I'm not subscribed to that box.

You may remember that I reviewed Marsk's Mineral Bronzer in Bondi Bronze a while back and, while I liked the product in many ways, I really didn't like the noticeable glitter chunks throughout (hardly a natural-looking product). Given I knew these two items would also contain said glitter, one wonders why I sourced them!

Honestly, I think I did that so I could mix up my cosmetics display, because I really like the packaging of these items. Also, I didn't have eyeshadows in these colours and thought I'd probably use these for those purposes (I'm much more likely to use glitter products on my eyelids than I am anywhere else, although I wouldn't apply them any higher than that because I have puffy eyes and glitter/shimmer products tend to accentuate that).

Anyhoo, they are good-looking products and I'm glad I grabbed them.

Here's watermelon above. It's not in a colour that I've used before, so I was happy to trial it for that reason alone.

Marsk claims/product details:
  • A beautiful colour given to us by Mother Nature
  • All natural blush that works with all skin shades
  • Consists of pure, natural minerals and is perfect for use with or without MARSK Mineral Power Foundation
  • Deeply pigmented, you will only need a little to achieve that perfect blushed cheek
  • 100% natural, mineral-based loose powder that is strictly cruelty free (not tested on animals)
  • Shelf-life: 36 months once opened
  • RRP $45 for 3g
  • Available here

And here's Tassie Tan above. It's a good eyelid shade and I wanted it because I don't have a lot in the brown department (with sub boxes, I find you tend to end up with oodles of eyeshadows in eg blue and purple, and no neutrals).

Marsk claims/product details:
  • Achieve your beach-fresh look with this wonderful soft chocolate, fine natural mineral bronzer
  • Consists of pure, natural minerals with built in SPF protection
  • Perfect for use with or without MARSK Mineral Power Foundation
  • 100% natural, mineral based loose powder that is strictly cruelty free (not tested on animals)
  • Shelf-life: 36 months once opened
  • RRP $45 for 3.5g
  • Available here

The packaging of these is so handy. All loose powders should come with little twist caps - saves mess and makes them much more travel friendly!

Here's Watermelon above and below. It's a nice, burnt red shade - it's just not one I'd be sporting every day, and definitely not on my cheeks. I prefer a more natural look and anything this shiny/glittery doesn't deliver that.

And here's Tassie Tan:

Again, we've got some serious discoball action happening here. Plus anything with that much sheen tends to accentuate open pores, as these two products do.

Here's a face shot below, with flash - Tassie Tan over my eyes and Watermelon on my cheeks. I've applied both very lightly, to dumb down the shine-factor as much as possible.

Same goes, outside in natural light (click on any image to enlarge it):


Both these products are nicely pigmented and good colours. I love the packaging and am very happy with the three-year shelf-lives because it takes so long to get through powder products!

They apply and blend well, just be careful of applying too much (easy to do, given the pigment). A light touch works best.

The staying power for these is also good, just be aware of product fall-out - which generally happens with loose, glittery products so that's no surprise.

In sum, these are great products – I just have issues with the shine. Hopefully as Marsk expands, we’ll see a wider range of bronzers and blushes for those of us who don’t want to wear ‘look at me’ makeup. As it stands, all Marsk cheek and eye products have the discoball thing happening, which wipes out a pretty big section of the market because I know lots of lasses who don't want sparkles, and particularly not for everyday wear.

Would I buy these? No, but I was happy to swap other products for them. They feel special and I'm glad I own them, even though I'll only be using them as eyeshadows and probably only at night (although I may use Tassie Tan and Bondi Bronze on my shoulders in summer - I think you can get away with a little glitter on your body more than you can on your face).

Let me know if you've tried any Marsk products and, if so, what you think of them.
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