My golly what a jumble of products. How did that happen?! (Actually I know exactly how it happened: Mex and I have been sharing the body moisturisers and hand cream so things were finished more quickly.)

Can't believe another month is over - feels like I just wrote my last empties post. Still, happy to see the back of this month: it's been a bit of an odd one and it's now officially the end of winter. Yaysers!

Casa D'Argane Marrakech Medina Black Soap Liquid (RRP around $7 for 100ml)

I received this one in my Glossybox Deutsch when we were living in Berlin. Looks like it's not widely available but I thought I'd say something about it because it may well end up on Oz shores soon enough. In short, I didn't like it. It didn't foam at all and felt like it didn't clean well. Avoid. Would I purchase? No.

Seacret Body Lotion (RRP $30 for 200ml)

This one showed up in a Lust Have It box last year. It contains Dead Sea minerals and natural ingredients that aim to replenish the skin’s hydration and leave it relaxed, supple, silky soft and radiant. Both Mex and I used it and didn't rate it at all - just not moisturising enough and didn't absorb well. Purchase? No.

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads (RRP $31.95 for 60 pads)

I picked these up in the Bellabox shop late last year (pretty sure they were cheaper then). Apparently they contain just the right amount of lactic and glycolic acids to make them safe and effective for daily use. They also contain cucumber and Indian gooseberry to tone the skin, and lemon peel and licorice root to leave the skin bright and glowing. They aim to improve skin clarity, reduce visible pores and diminish the appearance of fine lines. 

In truth, I didn't notice those effects to any major degree. What I did notice however was that they're awesome dirt and grime removers. Seriously, you think your face is clean and then you use one of these and realise it wasn't. Also, you can cut each pad in half because I reckon that's enough for one use, so you end up with 120 pads instead (much better value). Repurchase? Possibly, if on special.

Neal's Yard Organic Eye Make Up Remover (RRP $21.95 for 100ml)

Another one from the Bellabox shop, bought on special. Apparently it's gentle to the skin but strong enough to wipe away waterproof makeup, and its herbal ingredients and rosewater base help nourish lashes - effectively removing makeup while conditioning your skin. All rubbish. It's without question the worst makeup remover I've ever used. Purchase? No! Avoid.

Nude by Nature Soft Focus Illuminator (RRP $22.95 for 50ml)

I received this one as a gift with purchase from Priceline. It's apparently suitable for all complexions, especially dull, tired skin. It's not the best illuminator I've used (noticeable glitter particles - not a fan), but it's also not the worst one. As with other illuminators, I mix it with my primer before applying foundation/BB cream. It's a nice bronze/gold colour, and I'd prefer this to pink so that's a plus. Purchase? Probably not.

St Tropez Gradual Tan, Body (Medium/Dark) (RRP $33.95 for 200ml)

I picked this one up in the FB Bellabox Swap group and I've done a full review of it here. I won't say too much more about it now, except that I LOVED it and have been looking out for it (and the anti-ageing face version, which I loved even more) on special. YES I would buy it!

Hebe Detox Body Scrub (RRP $16 for 200g)

Another item from the Bellabox shop (!). This is a hard one to review, simply because I really REALLY liked it as a body scrub, but it was SO messy that I won't buy it again (and in fact Mex has forbidden me from doing so). 

It basically looks like used coffee grounds and sticks to walls/surfaces etc like buggery - you can never quite seem to remove it all. Plus it says 'for best results use twice weekly', 'apply a modest amount' and 'should be used within 8 weeks of opening' on the packet'. Now there's too much product to follow those instructions, so what's a girl meant to do? Use it more often, use more each time, have it sitting there for six months?!

Anyway, it is indeed great as a scrub and the smell (coffee central) itself is enough to wake you up in the morning. Apparently it not only exfoliates dead skin cells, it also contains high levels of caffeine, antioxidants, argan oil and coconut oil for more toned, tighter and brighter cellulite-free skin. Repurchase? No, but not because it's a bad scrub.

Wotnot Facial Wipes for Combination/Sensitive Skin (RRP $1.95 for 5 wipe travel pack)

These showed up in one of my subscription boxes (can't remember which). I won't say too much about them because most people know all about these, though I will say that they're decent wipes but not my favourites (I like Swisspers and Essenzza wipes). 

They contain natural ingredients including Australian certified organic aloe vera to lubricate and repair, certified organic sweet almond oil to restore lost moisture and calm itches and inflammation, and certified organic rosehip oil for skin regeneration and moisture re-balancing. Would I purchase? Yes, if on special.

Skinmiso Pore Beauty Nose Pack (RRP $22.95)

Another purchase from the Bellabox shop. I'm guessing it's lucky I've unsubscribed from BB for now because that seems to be where most of my beauty budget was going haha. This pack is designed to help rid you of blackheads and whiteheads, control future sebum production and minimise the appearance of large pores. 

I'll do a full review of it soon, but for now I'll just say that it didn't do a lot for my blackheads, though it worked really well on Mex's (yes, I used him as a guinea pig hehe). So I guess it works for some and not for others. Repurchase? No. *Mex breathes a sigh of relief*

Palmer's Olive Butter Formula (RRP $3.39 for 60g)

I love Palmer's body creams, and this one is no exception. It's super rich and heavy, and therefore not for everyone, but I love me a thick body cream. It contains extra virgin olive oil, vitamin e and antioxidants, and aims to restore and rejuvenate skin. 

I find it absorbs really well (despite its thickness), although I do get through it quickly because it's so thick. (NB: the price I've quoted is Chemist Warehouse's discounted price. You can usually get this one at a discount I've found, so do shop around.) Repurchase? Absolutely.

Dirty Works You Soft Touch Hand Cream (RRP $5.95 for 100ml)

Yep, you guessed it - another purchase from the Bellabox shop. Ha. I only included it in an order because it was on the free shipping list for that month, so it made the order cheaper overall. I've done a full review of it (and the Dirty Works body scrub) here. In brief, it's not heavy enough for me as a hand cream and I used it instead as a body cream. It wasn't a terrible product though and many people prefer lighter creams, so don't discount it. Repurchase? No.

Clarins Super Restorative Redefining Body Care for Abdomen and Waist (RRP $90 for 200ml)

Another product from Mum that's meant for older women. It aims to streamline your silhouette, and contains crowberry extract to help firm, tighten, lift and define slackened skin around the abdomen and waist. I'm not sure about having different body creams for different parts of your body! A nice cream, but not for that price. Didn't notice any particular effect either. Purchase? Nope.

Timeless Truth Orchid Extract Replenishing Mask (RRP $7 for one mask)

Yep, bought from the Bellabox shop because it was on the free shipping list and therefore reduced the total of my order. It's designed to replenish the nutrients and energy back into your complexion, and to whiten, brighten and moisturise. It's one of those cloth masks that makes you look like a serial killer when it's on. I've used a bunch of masks like this (including a few from this brand) and this one was my favourite of the lot. Having said this, it didn't seem to produce a lasting effect - just made my skin feel nicer afterwards. Repurchase? Maybe.

Australian Bush Flower Essences Travel Skin & Space Mist (RRP $18.95 for 60ml)

Yep, also from the Bellabox shop, bought on special when I needed a new face spray. It's meant to rejuvenate, tone, protect and hydrate the skin, and contains botanical butters, oils, herbal extracts and skin-balancing Australian Bush Flower Essences. I actually hated this. It was drying, the smell was overpowering and it stung my skin and eyes. It certainly didn't hydrate at all and I'm pleased the bottle is gone!  Repurchase? No, obviously ; )

Rexona Hypo-allergenic Roll On (RRP $4.90 for 50ml)

I wouldn't normally bother reviewing a deodorant, but I really liked this one. Worked well, good for sensitive skin and didn't leave any white marks. Recommended. Repurchase? Yes.

In sum

That's it! What an essay of a post. Still, lovely to use up so many products in one month. My favourite items of the bunch would be the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads (available from the Bellabox shop), the Palmer's body cream and the St Tropex tanner. 

Looking forward to seeing what other bloggers have finished this month!

This will be a very short post. I hadn't planned on reviewing these any time soon; however I've just used one of the Essenzza facial wipes we received in August's Lust Have It Women's Box, and they reminded me of just how bad these Olay ones are.

Now I should preface this review by saying: I bought these on clearance at Coles last month (normal RRP is $7.49) and I can't say for sure whether I received a dud pack - as in, were they on clearance because they were so old?

In any event, what I can say about these is that they are without question the worst cleansing wipes I've used: drying (and not wet enough themselves), seem to irritate my skin (and they're meant for sensitive skin!) and really don't do the job at all (ie, they barely remove any makeup).

I've done a quick search and seen that online reviews of these seem to be split down the middle (ie, you really love them or really hate them). Many other reviewers have also noted that they're drying and irritating and don't do a very good job (see eg makeupalley).

In sum: I wouldn't go near these again with the proverbial ten-foot barge pole.

If you want a good brand of facial wipes, try Swisspers. Once I've finished the trial pack of the Essenzza wipes I mentioned, I'll likely be recommending those too, based on my first use of them last night.

That's all from me on this topic!

I've gone away for a week or so (long as I can manage, depending on how work looks for the next little while) and decided it was high time to dust off a few products I haven't been using or would like to open. Some of those have come from subscription boxes and others have been given to me, and I haven't had the 'space' to work them into my routine.

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

In this post I'll comment on what I've brought with me, and over the next couple of weeks I'll update it and let you know what I thought of each item. Excited! (Hey, it's the small things...)

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

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

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

Foltene Eyelash Treatment (RRP $20.95 for 10ml)

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

Bobbi Brown Mini Brush Set

This was given to me about fifteen(!) years ago by one of my aunts for Christmas. Since I only became beauty obsessed three years ago, it got tossed to the back of one of my drawers - but I've kept it all this time. Glad I did!

I've used these brushes a bit over the years but tend to go for the larger ones I own since I find those easier to handle. But these are great brushes from a great brand and it's high time I gave them some proper use. Since this collection is so old, I could only see one comparable set online (see here): the case looks similar and the brushes do too, though there's only three in that set and this one contains five. Let's see if I can finally make the most of these brushes.

Marsk Eyeshadow Brush (RRP $28.95)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'd be surprised if you haven't heard of this one - even if you haven't tried it. It's one of those products you can't really avoid; it's a cult product that's talked about throughout the beauty world and there always seems to be crates of it sitting near the counter at Priceline and Chemist Warehouse - usually on special. 

I know a lot of women who swear by this (it's described as 'a local topical application for boils, burns, chafings, open wounds, insect bites and nappy rash') and use it on chapped lips and dry skin. Since I happily don't have any of those things going on at the moment (touch wood!), it hasn't been getting any use. I'm going to use it as a foot cream.

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

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

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

This aims to brighten and visibly lift your eyes when applied on the browbone, dark circles, blemishes and red spots. A multi-purpose pencil, it can also be used to brighten and 'open' the eye area by applying it to the water line and inner corners of the eye. Also, applying a thin, blended line down the centre of the nose creates the illusion of a thinner nose. 

Apparently you can also use it to eliminate dark shadows and prevent lipstick spread by applying it to the Cupid’s bow and along the lip line. Lots of uses for one product! I've already found it makes a reasonable concealer (lovely and creamy), so I'll let you know how it fares in other ways.

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

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

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

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

In sum

That's it! Wish me luck in my product travels - I may just find something I love in this bundle. Even if I don't, hopefully I can finish off a couple of things and head home with a lighter pack : )
So while I was looking for good deals on a couple of Shanghai Suzy lipsticks (with the requirement that I really REALLY didn't want to have to pay shipping), I stumbled across Rouche Boutique.

There I found...wait for it...Shanghai Suzy lipsticks for $11.60 each and SweetPea & Fay ones for $9.50!


You can also get a 10% off introductory discount when you sign up for RB's newsletter, and free shipping for orders over $50 (NB: if your order is over $50 prior to adding a discount code, you should still qualify for free shipping.)

Do note that I have been in touch with RB, so this post contains affiliate links. Doesn't mean the company doesn't have some of the cheapest prices in the Oz market though ; )

Stocked brands include: 
  • Sugarpill Cosmetics 
  • Eye of Horus 
  • Shadow Shields 
  • Erin Bigg Cosmetics 
  • Beauty Blender 
  • Lime Crime 
  • Sigma Beauty 
  • Z Palette 
  • Shanghai Suzy 
  • Concrete Minerals 
  • Saucebox Cosmetics 
  • Red Cherry 
  • DUO 
  • Cate Ruby

From the looks of things, Rouche Boutique frequently runs sales and discounts - so it's probably worth signing up to its newsletter or at least keeping an eye on the website for bargains.

Also, I contacted RB with a question about my order and someone got back to me straight away. Looks like my order also hit Aus Post on the same day I made it. That's decent service - something that's becoming more and more important as the online vendor market continually expands.

So happy with my discovery, and can't wait for my package to arrive!

Does anyone else have any good online vendors they use? I'd love to hear : )

I'm trying something new with this post (larger photos) to see how things look onscreen. 

Let me know if you prefer the larger ones or the medium ones in terms of the overall look of the blog (and noting that you can always click on any photo to enlarge it).

Anyhoo. I'd walked past Mileto's countless times this year and last, and had always meant to go in and check it out when the occasion arose.

It arose on Tuesday this week, when Mum dropped by my joint and wanted to take me out for lunch. When I asked her what she wanted, she said: 'Just something simple. A sandwich.'

I almost cracked up laughing but managed to hold it in, and I didn't say it then but I did say it later as we were sitting down to eat: 

'Most people don't order sandwiches these days, Mamma - they order salads, sushi, pho and rice paper rolls if they want a light lunch. And we're in blo*dy Windsor. The days of the sandwich are over. But no doubt they'll be reborn soon enough, when people can order carb and butter-free sandwiches by the dozen.'

She looked blank at first, but we then had a giggle as she realised I was right. Mum, just wanting to be simple and not wanting to impose, had unwittingly given me a hard task. But I'm known for my restaurant radar (or at least, I like to think so ; )) and I suggested we read Mileto's menu before trying elsewhere. That nailed us. She could order a toastie and I could order a salad. Happy days.

The inside is lovely and well-planned.

As an aside, I asked Mum where she would like to sit. I wanted to sit outside because it was the first truly beautiful and warm day we've had for ages - except for that one Friday a couple of weeks ago - and I'd been feeling a bit low from all the grey weather.

Mum looked at me and said: 'Oh, you choose darling. I don't mind. But I don't want to sit outside if anyone's smoking.'

One lass was, and Mum knew it. Decision made then! Mex and I had a giggle about this later - she's a hoot sometimes, my Mum ; )

We sat at a big round table in the front, not too far from the window. We studied the menu, despite the fact that we'd already chosen what we wanted - it's always nice to see exactly what's on offer for next time.

Above was the view behind me. Nice, yes? And we both checked out the lovely Roti Wraps in the cabinet, as well as the daily salads. Everything looked smashing. I might have ordered one of the wraps if Mex were there to share it with me - they were massive. As I said, next time.

We ordered and I took photos as we waited. Mum and I had a giggle because the waiter started being extra nice to us at one point, and we both independently decided that he'd probably seen me taking photos and thought he'd better be on his best behaviour (or at least was jokingly doing this - there was a cheekiness to his 'extra nice' behaviour and not any sarcasm - thank god for that). In any event, there was no need for the extra niceness - the service was good already.

Above is Mum's Ham, Cheese and Tomato Toastie ($7.50). She said it was lovely, but next time she'll ask for one without the butter/oil on the outside of the bread.

Note: when Mum says 'lovely' this means decent, fine, ok or just passable - hard to tell exactly which one. I'd say 'pretty good', based on her reaction.

Here's the Grilled Chicken Salad I ordered ($16), which was described as including a garden salad with a pesto dressing (I asked for that on the side) - so it was a lovely surprise to discover that aside from the standards, it also came with red peppers, capers and half an avocado. Yaysers! And for only $16! Definitely heading back there at some point. You'd be hard-pressed to find a salad this good for $16 anywhere these days. Damn Oz prices.

Note also that the side dressing certainly didn't taste like pesto - it was some kind of bland vinaigrette and I barely used it (just sampled it for the purposes of this post). The lemon wedge was a nice touch and I used that for added flavour.


Food (based on what we had): really good; and on a food/value ratio - fantastic. Having said this, if Mileto's doesn't want to make the printed menu more descriptive (because some ingredients - eg for the salad - are seasonal or based on what's in stock), then the waiters should let you know what's coming once you've ordered something. That is, Mum should have been asked: 'Are you ok with butter on both sides of your toastie?' because I reckon many people, if not most, would say no to that. And I should have been told what was coming in my garden salad - I was excited about the capers and red peppers, but others mightn't have been.

Atmosphere: great. I'll have to come back for breakfast (the menu looks great - see here) and see how the place looks then. Bet they draw a crowd - there were certainly a few lunchtime workers discussing business over lunch.

Service: as mentioned. When we go back at a busier time, I'll let you know if my thoughts on Mileto's service changes.

Here's Mileto's homepage. where you'll find all its details.

Has anyone else eaten here? If so, what did you think?

I bought the Chloe Morello Box from Lust Have It a while back, a good value bundle that cost $49.95 and contained:
  • Aveda Dry Remedy Daily Moisturising Oil (sample)
  • Avene Thermal Spring Water
  • Evo Haze Styling Powder (sample)
  • Selected product from the Make Up Store - I received this lip gloss
  • Maybelline New York Volum' Express The Colossal Cat Eyes Waterproof Mascara
  • Maybelline New York Dream Fresh BB Cream (30ml)
  • L'Oreal Paris Shine Caresse Lip Colour (full size)
  • Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Eclat (sample pot)

I'd never heard of Make Up Store before and was excited to receive this fancy-looking lip gloss (RRP $27 for 10ml) in its lovely gold package.

Briefly, Make Up Store is a Swedish make up brand that has been in existence for over 21 years. Starting as one of the first make up academies in Sweden in 1990, Make Up Store quickly expanded and began creating their own product ranges, which soon led to the introduction of Make Up Store boutiques. Since launching the first boutique retail store in Stockholm, Sweden 15 years ago, Make Up Store is now sold in over 200 locations in 23 countries around the globe. 

In Australia, the boutique flagship store in Paddington, Sydney was launched in 2005 - quickly followed by additional boutiques in Sydney. For more information, see its website here.

Note: I couldn't actually find this gloss in the store (looks like it was a special, anniversary edition). The only reference I could find (without doing any more than a couple of searches) was here, which noted the anniversary gloss was released in 2011 for Make Up Store's 15 year anniversary (and makes me worry how long it's been sitting there at LHI!).

It's a sheer gloss with pink and silver glitter particles, and I love it. It's thick and moisturising, and can be worn alone or over other lipsticks, to add a hint of shine.

See below lip swatch, natural light, no flash:

See below lip swatch, natural light, with flash:


I really like this one, and the box it comes in (not pictured) says it has a shelf-life of 24 months. Yaysers!

Unfortunately I can't list its claims because I couldn't find them (probably removed from the website ages ago).

It's thick and rich and feels creamy (not sticky).

I think it's definitely worth looking into Make Up Store if you haven't heard much about the brand, as I hadn't.

Have you tried any Make Up Store products? If so, what did you think?

As usual LHI was the last box to show up this month - just shy of September - even though I received LHI's tracking email over a week before the others. Ha. Hoh well. At least it arrived!

My excitement over receiving this was somewhat dulled because I got it quite a bit later than many others and had already seen what was in it. Really, I should learn to stay off Facebook when I know this has been sent out!

We received the mesh bag again, rather than those naff plastic ones. Thank golly. I've actually been using the mesh bag we received last month and it's not terrible quality. Hopefully the mesh is here to stay.

LHI does love including random vouchers that will most likely never get used, yes? Ha. Hopefully some subscribers will be using these, so the paper they're printed on isn't completely wasted. 

Don't get me wrong, I do like receiving vouchers and have used some before - but LHI seems to like including ones that aren't related to beauty (eg the HelloFresh vouchers we keep receiving). Hoh well.

Essenzza Fuss Free Naturals (RRP $6.95 for 25 wipes + mini wipes valued at $2.50)

It's funny, last month I had no face wipes left in the bathroom cabinet - and now I have these two plus three other packs (only one of which I bought myself)! Isn't that always the way? Still, these will never go astray and it's always nice to try out a new brand. I'd never heard of these guys before and the packaging is rather funky. Apparently they're textured on one side (to remove dirt/makeup more easily) and smooth on the other for 'a perfect finish'. Happy to give these a go.

UPDATE: Full review here. I've now used these and LOVE them. They've gone straight to the top of my face wipes list. The textured side is genius and these clean better than any other wipe I've used, plus they leave my face feeling exfoliated and toned. Gold!

Bioderma Crealine H20 (RRP $29.99 for 250ml; received 20ml sample)

Ach, this is the fourth sample I've received of this product in the past year from subscription boxes. Guys, it's been done! Having said this, I know many would be happy to see it - it's a cult item that a lot of people rave about. I've never been wowed by it myself. It's a gentle daily cleansing and makeup removing water for face and eyes. It is indeed gentle, but it's not for me - it doesn't feel like it does much. Still, I will use it.

UPDATE: Well, I've used this product a number of times. So many rave about it but I don't like it - I think it's too gentle for me and it really doesn't clean that well (particularly when it comes to eye makeup). I really hope I don't receive it for a fifth time (!).

Marsk Eyeshadow Brush (RRP $28.95; received full size)

I love receiving makeup brushes - reckon you can never have too many of them. It's a very light brush, which I don't like - I'd prefer there to be some weight to it. Kind of makes it feel cheap, even though it's probably not. According to the product card, its bristles have been precisely shaped/designed to create the perfect eye look. I'll let you know how I go with it once I've used it.

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

Eleven Australia Miracle Hair Treatment (RRP $24.95 for 125ml; received full size)

This was the sneak peek item. It's apparently a unique, all-in-one miracle hair treatment that works to add shine, smoothness and softness, control frizz and flyaways, while moisturising and strengthening fragile hair. The description states that it also prevents split ends, detangles, creates manageability and protects against heat styling/sun damage. Wow, that does indeed sound like a miracle hair treatment! Big claims. Looking forward to trying this out.

UPDATE: Full review here. This product is definitely moisturising and detangling, and it smells awesome. But it doesn't deal with my flyaways well and I can also 'feel' it on my hair, so it's a bit heavy but not terribly so. While I'll use it, I reckon John Frieda's Frizz Ease is still the best comparable product on the market.

BioElixia Bodyshaper Stretch Mark Diminishing Cream (RRP $39 for 125ml; received full size)

This aims to improve the visible appearance of stretch marks, skin texture and discolouration with a feeling of enhanced skin smoothness and softness by an average of 46% after four weeks of use, and 87% after eight weeks of use. More big claims! Glad to have received this and looking forward to giving it a crack.

UPDATE: I haven't noticed major changes from using this cream, but I don't think I've been using it long enough for that (so I'll do another review of this later). What I have noticed is that it seems to have an instantly tightening effect, and a little goes a long way so the tube should last for a while. I've still got high hopes for this one so stay tuned! Full review here.

In sum

This was a good box containing products I'll definitely use. While it wasn't the most exciting box I've received (I preferred last month's in that sense), it's probably a better box overall because nothing will get wasted and it doesn't contain eg any cheap eyeshadows in useless colours that no one wants. Definitely happy with this one. A good birthday box from LHI!
* Miss Sarah-Jane left, Miss Sally right

I picked up Miss Sally Watermelon in the Bellabox shop towards the start of the year - and, since I loved it so much and since it only cost $12.95, I later bought Miss Sarah-Jane. How I wish I could justify buying the whole collection!

About Shanghai Suzy

I don't normally say much about the brands I review, but I wanted to about these guys. Interesting story!

Launched in August 2013, SS was founded by Melbourne model and former cosmetics marketing exec Joanna Wheaton. It's a lipstick-only cosmetics brand housing a bold and bright range of lipsticks; each colour is limited edition and a new on-trend range is delivered every season.

Tired of paying $30 or more for fashion lipsticks that she would only wear a few times, Joanna saw a gap in the market for affordable, on-trend lipsticks that delivered in terms of pigment, formula, colour and packaging – and so Shanghai Suzy was born.

SS lipsticks are not tested on animals and contain no animal-derived ingredients. For more information, see the Shanghai Suzy website.

*Miss Sally left, Miss Sarah-Jane right

Both lipsticks, swatched below, were bought when orange-pink tones were on-trend (I'd say we haven't seen the last of these yet).

Miss SJ (bottom) is described as a neon orange shade, with a long-lasting and creamy semi-matte finish.

Miss Sally (top) is described as a bold, full coverage, thick and creamy watermelon matte.

Both lipsticks have a grape bubblegum scent.

*Miss Sally top, Miss SJ bottom

Shanghai Suzy claims:
  • Thick and creamy matte formula that's long-lasting and won’t budge when challenged
  • Super pigmented
  • Contains moisturising agents to prevent that typical matte dryness
  • Both colours are limited edition
  • Long-lasting hydration

Here's Miss Sally Watermelon:

Natural light, no flash:

And again, with more sun:

Natural light, with flash:

I love this colour, completely. And when I don't want to be wearing 'look at me' lip colours, I tone it down a bit with a pale gloss worn over the top. You can also apply just a little and get that lovely stain-effect. I would definitely buy this again.

Here's Miss Sarah-Jane Neon Coral:

Natural light, no flash:

And again for good measure:

Natural light, with flash:

I'd call Miss SJ more of a rich orange than a neon coral - purely because I can't see any pink in there. I do like this but Miss Sally is much more wearable and I'll get more use from it. Still, Miss SJ can also be mixed with a paler colour or gloss to tone things down. Really, I'd love to buy the whole collection and mix/match colours.


These are AWESOME. I'm totally in love. So much so, I've got my eye on a few more. (Note also that the new season collection is due to be released this weekend - waaahhhooooo!)

Amazing formula, excellent lasting power and wonderful colours. And for only $12.95 each, my golly!

I feel like I should be writing paragraphs and paragraphs on how good these puppies are, but there's really so little to say. I love them. They're gorgeous. They last. They live up to their claims. They're smashing to wear. And they're cheap. 

'Nuff said.


I thought she'd never arrive ; )

There have been some complaints on FB about the late box this month; however this is the first time VB has ever been late (the box was maybe a week late or a bit less, looking at their normal postage dates), so all's forgiven.

Now this will be a short post, because I have to rush off soon to meet Dad for brunch (didn't this happen last month with Violet Box? Must be something about Wednesday deliveries!).

Note: I had a sick feeling in my gut as I opened this. All I wanted was the Be a Bombshell Eyeshadow Quad in Madrid, but would have settled for Bora Bora. And I got...New York City. The ONLY one I didn't want or need. ARGH. Might have to hit that VB Swap group shortly.

Here's what we received:

Camille Beckman Glycerine Hand Therapy (RRP $18 for 6oz; received 7.1g sample)

I'm looking forward to trying this one, and it's indeed a good handbag size (as noted on the product card). It's listed as a rich cream that goes on smoothly and restores much-needed moisture. Bring it.

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

Appelles Rosemary Body Bar Soap (RRP $5.95; received full size)

Another one! First LHI, then Bellabox and now VB. Ha. At least my husband uses (and likes) them. I won't bother commenting on it for the moment, since many of you have likely received one of these before.

UPDATE: As I've mentioned previously, this is a really lovely soap and it's probably Mex's favourite of all the soaps he's been lucky enough to receive from my subscription boxes. I have tried it myself and it's a great cleanser that smells wonderful, and the rosemary bits seem to have an exfoliating effect. While I doubt I'll ever convert from gel to soap (never say never!), I can confirm this is a nice product.

Foltene Eyelash Treatment (RRP $20.95 for 10ml; looks like a full-sized item)

I'm interested in this one. My eyebrows grow like never-ending weeds so I won't be using this on them (which you can also do), but my lashes are the shortest in my rather large and rather well-lashed extended family. Foo. Anyhoo, I'm totally up for something that can promote natural growth, and that's safe for sensitive eyes and dermatologically tested. It's also meant to restore dry, thin and fragile lashes that easily fall out.

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

Be a Bombshell Eyeshadow Quad in New York City (RRP $22; received full size)

Boo hoo hoo. That's all I have to say about this for the moment (!), other than that it's meant to be a highly pigmented and long-lasting formula for all day wear.

UPDATE: Well, I couldn't swap this because it looks like we all received the same one! Not happy Jane : ( Most reviews/comments I've read have called for one of the other colours: I only saw one blogger who was glad she'd received this one. 

In the end I decided to keep it, rather than give it away - so I have used it a bit now and can comment. (Full review here.) In sum, it's a decent product and well-priced, and lasts reasonably well. It goes on smoothly and is easy to apply. The only interesting colour of the bunch is the pale frosty green one (top right) and there's too much similarity between the white and silver when applied. It's not a product I'll use a hell of a lot unfortunately.

Evelyn Iona Lipgloss in Val (RRP $20.50; received full size)

Val... A boring nude/brown colour, and one I already have from two other brands. In fact the aptly named Val was so boring that I forgot to picture her the first time and had to quickly take a photo before I posted this! What I'll do with this one is a swatch so I can review it, then see if anyone wants to do swapsies in the FB Violet Box Swap group. Note: it's certified organic and preservative free, which is of course a draw card.

UPDATE: I have attempted to swap this one, but turns out no one wants the colour! Here are the swatches:

As you can see below, there's not much going on in terms of colour (and it's actually the same colour as my lips when used, so it may as well be a clear product).

It's nice enough to wear, but since I don't need a gloss like this (I have plenty), I know exactly whom to give it to: a dear friend of mine who has super sensitive skin and doesn't wear much make up - I reckon she'll love it.


Five min before I have to leave so I'll be quick! This is actually an incredibly good and interesting box (nothing in there bores me - except Val of course ; )), the only 'meh' product really being the Appelles soap, because I've received it twice before. 

It's funny, if I'd have received the eyeshadow and lip gloss in ANY of the other colours available for either, I'd have been over-mooned! But, it's all the luck of the draw, yes?

Thanks Violet Box for another great month.

To join Violet Box, click the ad on the right of my blog or visit here. Use the code VIOLETBOX10 for $10 off your first box.
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