Hello all and welcome to my Pan that Palette update for June! 

Please note that I have in fact stolen the opening shot above from May's update because I don't have time today to set up my stuff and take some fresh ones, but of course the shots of my products below are new (I took those this morning) and they're the ones that really matter anyway. Forgive me : )

Also note that I'll be keeping this brief because I'm currently waiting on some more work to come in and when that does, I'll have to drop everything to do it so best I keep things speedy.

So! Here's what my palette looked like at the end of May:

And here's how it looks as of this morning, 1 July (and note I haven't put my makeup on yet, so this is how it looked as of yesterday, 30 June):

As always, let's look at each half.

First, the left. Here's how it looked last month:

And here's how it looks now:

Starting with the eight Stila pans, there's not much movement although there should be more progress on Gilded Gold and Sunset (from Stila's in the Light palette) because I've used those two quite a bit this month. Maybe we'll start to see progress in July.

As for the three Nars pans (left side), there's definitely good progress here. The purple shade (from Charade) cracked this month for some reason, so I retained the bit that fell out and used it up on both the cheeks and the eyes. It looks rather flat/dead on the cheeks, but a single swipe of one of my Hourglass blushes over the top fixes that issue.

As for Portobello (the duo below it), you should be able to see good progress on both pans. This is because I've been using it for bronzing by combining it with the crumbled terracotta shade in the next row. Indeed, I like the mix so much for bronzing (the terracotta stops the browns from looking too neutral/cool), that I may eventually throw all three shades into one pan. Perhaps next month.

Next row, the two GA-DE pans on the top and bottom are showing some good use - the aforementioned terracotta shade in particular (and yes, I'll re-press it after this post). I haven't used the one in the middle too much, but I have used the one below it on the eyes a few times and there's a tiny speck of pan now showing (so tiny that you can barely see it: it's in the middle of the pan).

As for the cream Becca shade, that's got a huge dip. I'm using this to set my eye primer and also to manage any oil breakthrough around my nose and on my chin throughout the day. I can't see this lasting more than another three months.

Right side now. Here's how it looked last month:

And here's how it looks now:

You'll see that I've happily panned the two shades I wanted to finish: the Lancome purple shade and also the Manna Kadar highlighter. Woot woot!

The round Becca and Ardency Inn pans down the bottom aren't showing much use, and indeed I haven't used them much at all - although there's a visible dip happening in Rose Gold (right).

The two Stila pans (middle right) are also showing good progress and I've now hit pan on Sandstone. The grey is rubbish so I've resorted to using it as a dry shampoo, but Sandstone is a decent shade that I often use for lining or to darken up my brows.

The So Susan lavender shade: this is showing good progress, which doesn't surprise me because it's already been re-pressed (and it was powdery to start with) and what's left in the middle isn't that deep. I love this colour (but not the formula) so I can't see any issues with finishing this by year's end.

The GA-DE pan below it is now showing pan. This was one of the shades I mixed (along with the aforementioned terracotta shade) because I didn't like the formula/look of the existing shadows. It's not a pigmented shade but it works well for adding some depth to the outer v and crease.

The pan I mixed (the large brown one) for my brows and liner is also showing good progress. I'll finish this by year's end without issue.

As for my Stila contour duo, here's how it looked last month:

And here's how it looks now: 

I'm never going to finish this. I might finish the pale shade by the end of the year, but that darker one isn't going anywhere.

Come to think of it, what I might eventually start doing is mixing a little in with my moisturiser to add a bronze glow (I was previously using Becca's Topaz for this via Project Pan). I won't do that just yet because I'm now using a different product for that, but if we hit October and I'm still getting nowhere, that's what I'll do. Reason being, I don't think this will be safe to use after this year: by then it will have been open for 24 months and it has a 24-month shelf-life, and I don't love it enough to keep using it after expiry.

Now, I wanted to bring you in on my plans for my eyeshadow palette. Since I've finished the Manna Kadar highlighter and I don't have a suitable face highlighter in my Z-palette, what I'm going to do is crush up the remains of my below Mary-Lou Manizer from theBalm and add it into my palette. Since there's not enough room in the Manna Kadar pan for all the product, I'll transfer my brown mix (in the large pan) to the smaller one because there's less of that and I'll need to re-press it eventually anyway.

In sum

I hope you enjoyed this little post, and that you're going well with your own panning challenges. It's getting to that point in the year where I'm a bit over my palette, but I think that finishing off some shades and starting to focus on other ones will help the boredom.

Hope all's well with you, and speak soon x

I've just finished off some of the work I've got on, so I want to sneak this little post in before the next wave of documents hits.

We received this eye cream from the Parcel, and initially I wasn't going to review it because I had to resort to using it on my face and not my eyes (due to irritation, more on that below), but when the product started irritating my face as well, I thought bugger this I need to say something.

Why? Because although my eyes might be sensitive, my face isn't bad and I've been using AHAs for years so I really shouldn't be reacting to something like this. But I am so I wanted to let you know, just to warn potential users/purchasers that this product should be approached with caution.

Elucent claims/product details:
  • A delicate cream tailored to help visibly improve the skin contours around the eyes
  • This hydrating combination of 4% AHAs and a special blend of vitamins B3, C and E gently smooths fine lines and wrinkles, and reduces the appearance of dark circles
  • Fragrance-free, making it an excellent gentle option for use around your eyes
  • Ophthalmologist and dermatologically tested
  • Note: it is important to begin slowly by introducing AHAs to the skin before moving to higher levels
  • To use: gently pat a thin layer on the area around the eyes; avoid irritated skin; mild and temporary tingling may occur 
  • RRP $50 AUD for 15g, but do shop around


First things first, note that this won't be a standard review about what a product has done for me over time - purely because it's caused some dramas around my eye and general face area so I've had to stop using it. Still, I've been testing it on-and-off over the past month, so hopefully my comments will be useful.

It's a white cream that's very lightweight so I would almost call it a gel/cream hybrid. It spreads and absorbs well, and while I can detect the tiniest fresh scent if I smell the product, I generally agree that it's 'fragrance free' because I have a strong nose and I'm barely smelling anything.

As the directions suggest, I went in carefully with this and only used it on my eyes every second evening. I noticed that my eyes were feeling a bit dry and itchy, but they weren't too bad so after two weeks I started using this every evening. After two nights, my eye area broke out in little red bumps. There weren't heaps of them but I knew I had to stop using the product, and it took a good few days for the bumps to disappear and around a week before my eyes stopped feeling dry and itchy.

So let's say that I've probably had a minor allergic reaction to this (the bumps were more of a rash than eg blemishes), which isn't hugely surprising because I've had a similar reaction once or twice before. For example, I can't put cucumber slices over my eyes: I tried that as a teenager and had the same allergic reaction.

After that, I thought 'ok, I won't review this and I'll just use it on my face'. I wasn't concerned about using it on my face because, as mentioned above, I've been using AHAs and other active ingredients for years now and I can tolerate just about anything (except retinol).

After about four days of using this as my night cream, my skin became dry/sensitive and  it started to flake around my nose and smile lines (which is the driest part of my face, especially in the cooler months). I wouldn't say that I had an allergic reaction on my face, I just reckon that the product stripped/irritated my skin - I say this because that's what happens when I use irritating or astringent products (eg cleansers).

Needless to say, this isn't getting used on my face anymore. I might use up the rest of my tube on my chest area (which can tolerate most things) - just so it's not a complete waste - but it's safe to say that I don't recommend this product. Indeed, I've given it a disappointing products tag.

Note that this eye cream has had some good reviews online (see eg Beautyheaven) so it could just be that there's something cucumber-like in this that doesn't agree with me. Still, I wanted to share my experience so you're armed with the knowledge that this could irritate your skin.

Hope all's well with you, and speak soon x

I mentioned yesterday that I'm really behind on my posts because I've had a huge work project on for the last couple of weeks. What this means is that I haven't taken any of the photos I need to for my unboxing of the Parcel or my Project Pan/Pan that Palette updates, so I'm tied to writing posts on products I've already photographed for now. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to squeeze in some shots this weekend - but I'm not counting my chickens.

Anyhoo. One of the products I need to review sooner rather than later is this Carmex lip balm. Reason being, I've almost finished it so I'd rather review it while I still own it because that always helps with detail. 

In short, while I do quite like it and think it's a decent lip balm, I also think it's pretty expensive for what it is and you only get 2g of product, which for me means that it will last no more than six weeks of daily use.

Carmex claims/product details:
  • Ultra-hydrating lip balm
  • Most advanced moisturising formula from the Carmex® brand
  • Clear gloss finish
  • Includes vitamin e, aloe butter, shea butter and avocado butter to aid moisturisation of dry lips, helping to soften and heal them 
  • Contains SPF 15 sunscreen (UVA/UVB) 
  • Unique, stylish and slim stick with sleek slant tip for precise application
  • Keeps lips soft, smooth and beautiful
  • Use under or over colour or alone 
  • Non-addictive and not tested on animals
  • RRP $8.99 AUD for 2g


This is a decent product that does what it's meant to do and my lips feel better after using it daily for the last month. Before this I was mainly using Project Pan products (generally lipsticks) for hydration, and that wasn't working out too well for my lips so this balm has brought things back into balance.

First off, however, I need to comment on the price of this product. At full price in Australia, it retails for $8.99 AUD and you get 2g of product. By comparison, in the US it retails for $2.99 USD at full price, so essentially we're paying triple the amount - which is steep even by Australian standards. When it comes to Aussie pharmacy/drugstore prices, I'm used to seeing things for around double the US price: certainly not triple.

So in practice I don't think this is worth the price-tag. By comparison, a 4.2g tube of Blistex lip balm will cost you $3.99, or a 7g tub will cost $4.99. Stick with the Blistex, I say - or even a Chapstick ($4.69 AUD for 4.2g).

As for the product, it's a standard balm that feels a little tingly when applied but it's not uncomfortable and I don't mind the sensation. The product has a very faint, lip balm scent (so it smells medicinal) and it's a little waxy but not overly so - which I prefer because I hate really waxy balms.

The packaging is a nice take on the standard lip balm tube and this one looks better. It's super light and cheap-feeling, but I don't mind that because it's a functional product and not one I use for the experience or enjoyment of using it.

What I like about this is that it contains sunscreen and does a good job of managing dry, flaky lips. Mine were chapped before I started using this, but they're not now so at least this does what it says it will do. Overall, I think it generally meets its claims and I have no complaints there.

So in sum, this is a good balm that does the job but I don't think it's worth the price-tag. The tiny 2g of product not only hasn't lasted me long, but it also means that I would need to buy one of these every month or so if I wanted to keep using it.

Good product, bad value.

Finally, I sit down to blog today. It's been a rough couple of weeks and I've been overloaded with work, but I think I've just about finished the last of it (fingers crossed).

The problem with having this amount of work on is that I'm behind on my posting: so this post was meant to go up a few days ago, I'm yet to photograph my latest offering from The Parcel and I haven't even thought about photographing my products for Pan that Palette or Project Pan. 

Bear with me, I'll get there. First up is my next item for Project Dent: my Too Faced Peanut Butter & Jelly Palette.

As you may know, I don't have a lot of eyeshadow palettes - this is because I have hooded eyes so there's not much I can do with them if I want to look my best (no elaborate, colourful eye looks for me). I tend to bring the focus away from my eyes so I have more blushes than I do eyeshadows.

I bought this palette after it came back (first it was limited edition, then it wasn't - I got it when it wasn't). I tossed it up for ages, then decided I might as well go ahead because I only had four eyeshadow palettes at that time, including another nine-pan one from Too Faced that I really liked. Gosh I must Project Dent that one too... Perhaps next.

Anyhoo. Long story short, I haven't used this enough to form a complete opinion on it. I know I don't mind it but I also know that it's not my favourite palette, and if I want to use warm eyeshadows these days, I tend to reach for the ABH Modern Renaissance (who doesn't).

I also know that I prefer the Too Faced Natural Matte Palette, not only because it's more useful but also because I think the formula is more consistent overall. Also, the colours in this are too warm so they can travel into 'allergic reaction/I look sick' territory all too easily, and I don't feel this is a stand-alone palette because I always need to reach for a cool brown, lavender or taupe to pull back the warmth of it. Otherwise it's not a great look on me.

I'm rambling. The best thing about this palette is the shade Bananas. I love it. It's unique - a hard thing to achieve for a gold - and I almost, almost think the whole palette was worth it just for that shade.

Moving on. Here's how my palette looks as of today, 30 June (my birthday, believe it or not!):

There's the same shot, enhanced for clarity:

So as usual what I'll do now is use this palette every day for at least the next two weeks and see how far I can get in terms of progress.

During that time, I'll also review it.

And gosh, mentioning my birthday reminds me that I have completely forgotten about my blog's anniversary (that happened on 20 June), so expect some upcoming blogversary posts from me!

Hope all's well with you, and speak soon x
Hello and welcome to my monthly favourites post! I always love writing these posts: it reminds me of just how many great products I have in my collection. 

I also love reading these posts to get some ideas for products that might be worth trying in future.

As usual, it wasn't hard to pick out my top five products this month (although note we have a tie for one), and the below items have knocked most other products out of the proverbial park.

In no particular order...

Lancome Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Serum

I love this stuff. My skin hasn't looked this good for ages, and I know this product is responsible because it's the only thing I've changed and I can see its effects as soon as I apply it. Indeed, the difference is so marked that others have commented on my skin. That's saying something! I've reviewed it here.

It's a fluid serum that comes in a beautiful, weighty bottle: the product just feels special, but better still, the results it offers are special too. Not only does it spread and absorb well, but it also has a brightening effect so it boosts radiance. On top of that, it plumps fine lines and wrinkles so it makes my skin look smoother, and it has an effect on how firm and toned my face feels too. 

This is one of the few serums I've given an HG tag, and I don't ever want to finish my bottle. Unbeatable.

Urban Decay Beached Bronzer in Sunkissed

Full review here. I own both these bronzers (the other shade is in Bronzed) and while I don't think they're the most amazing bronzers on the market, this one warrants a mention because it may just be my favourite nude blush of all time. As someone who owns too many nude blushes, that's saying something.

It's finely milled, beautifully silky, and it applies and blends nicely. Note that you'll need to set your liquid foundation when you use this, however, or you might run into problems with patchy application.

The one thing I don't like about both these bronzers is that they're not quite pigmented enough. While I prefer less pigment in bronzers and blushes because then I'm less likely to make mistakes, I don't like it when the pigment is so low that they don't translate well on the eye unless you pack them on (which ages me dreadfully).

So yes, this favourite is more about the colour of this product: I love it.

Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Gel Cream and Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser

These two bases won top spot in my 2016 yearly favourites, and I have to mention them both this month because I've used them heaps, courtesy of Project Pan.

The Bare Minerals base is my favourite everyday product and I consider the Nars tinted moisturiser to be my 'foundation' because it offers more coverage than I would typically use for a day look, so I tend to reach for that when I'm going out.

What I love about the Bare Minerals product is that it's hydrating and gives a natural finish on the skin, so it's great for no-makeup days or when you don't want to look overdone. 

As for the Nars tinted moisturiser (reviewed here), I love that it's lightweight and sheer but still buildable so you can increase your coverage if you want (which is how I generally use it). 

Both these products are HGs for me and I love them equally. I couldn't pick between them if I tried, and I've used them the same amount this month so I couldn't mention one without the other. 

Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream

This is a good cream. It doesn't perform backflips and it's not an HG product, but it's a great, everyday moisturiser for my dry skin and I'm really enjoying it. I've reviewed it here.

What I love about this is that it absorbs beautifully and I can immediately feel it hydrating my dry skin whenever I apply it. Doesn't matter how dry my skin feels or how dehydrated it is, this product targets any discomfort without weighing my skin down or feeling too greasy. Yes it does leave a slight residue, but I don't mind that and it's certainly not the worst after-feel I've come across.

It also has a smoothing effect (so ticks to the name) and the full size isn't badly priced because you get a whopping 100ml. A good, basic moisturiser that should suit most skin types.

Becca Backlight Priming Filter

As you may know, I recently had two primers on my Project Pan list - until a week or so ago when I finished them off. I was so excited about having the opportunity to wear whatever primer I wanted to after that, and you know what? All I wanted to do was use this one. I can't put it down.

I didn't give this primer an HG tag when I reviewed it (see here) but I'm starting to think that I should have because it's just gorgeous and I'd forgotten how much I enjoy it. It's lightweight, feels so nourishing on the skin and offers a beautiful glow. It smells very faintly of coconut too. Yum.

Starting to think I can't live without this one! How I've missed it.

In sum

I'm super excited about this list of favourites and we're probably looking at a list of items that will always have a place in my collection - which is saying something because I own and try so much that it's rare for anything to really 'settle in'.

That's all from me! Do let me know what you've been loving this month: I'd love to hear x

It was a toss up between writing my monthly favourites or monthly positives today, and I've gone for the positives because my daughter is in childcare this morning and these posts take a little longer than the favourites ones so I have the time. 

Mind you, I'm still dealing with a pile of work at the moment so I won't be able to dwell on things too long, but perhaps that's a good thing and will help rein-in any rambling.

So without further ado...

It's my birthday on Friday!

I know I talked about my upcoming birthday in last month's positives, but come on, we're two days away now so it'd be rude if I didn't mention it again ; ).

Is it a particularly exciting birthday? Not at all, I'm 37. Does that mean I'm no longer in my mid thirties and am now officially in my late thirties? Or is the 'late' part when you hit 38?!

Funnily enough, I don't care. Nor do I care about getting older - not yet, anyway. Maybe I will as the years pass on and I can't lift things, run or lift weights as well as I used to, but we'll see.

Worth noting is that my thirties have been much better than my twenties. My late twenties were blown apart when my chronic insomnia presented at 25, and the next few years were spent dealing with all the issues that created: so it wasn't until I hit 30 that things started to settle. 

Then I met my husband, he moved into my house, we got married, moved to Berlin and back, got a dog, had a baby, bought and sold a house, then had another baby and here we are. 

So yes, I'm good with my thirties - although I'd quite like a quieter year or two!

Work means less financial stress

I haven't been back at work properly since having my daughter, so that's over two years now and it's been great to have started back slowly over the last six weeks. 

Sure, it's pretty stressful trying to work from home and manage two kids (my daughter is only in childcare three half-days a week) but it's also nice to not have to worry so much about whether we'll be able to make our credit card payment each month.

On top of that, I feel like I'm adding something back to broader society now that I'm working again, as well as using a part of my brain that I've missed. 

Sure, I love looking after my kids (well, mostly ; )), but I feel I've got more to give than that so I'm pleased to be using my brain more widely again. Makes me feel more balanced.

Our garden is full of winter flowers

When we first moved into our new house, we loved the garden - we have lemons, limes, mandarins, oranges, olives, apples, peaches and various herbs, not to mention a couple of beautiful palms - but there were a few plants that we previously didn't love because they're plain for most of the year and just seem to take up precious earth-space,  of which we don't have much.

However. Last winter something amazing happened. Once the roses (did I mention those?) stopped flowering and the garden looked a little drab, these brilliant purple and orange flowers started springing from the plants that we thought were just wasted space. We'd previously thought of pulling them up, but not anymore - I spend a lot of time at home with the kids so it's nice to look out the window and see them now that it's cold and the rest of the plants are bare. To everything a season, indeed.

We're off to Lorne next month

My husband and I were recently looking into travelling to Queensland at the end of August/beginning of September. He wanted a holiday and I reminded him that the three holidays we've taken so far after having kids have been nothing short of disastrous - a complete waste of time and money, so stressful and exhausting, and so much effort that every time we've come back he's been the first to say 'we're never going away again', only to be booking the next trip within six months.

I reminded him of all that so I've offered a compromise that we're both happy with: in July, August and maybe even September, he'll use a few days' leave so we can go to my parents' holiday house in Lorne. 

It won't cost us anything other than petrol to get there and the house is big enough that if one of the kids is playing up overnight, we can 'quarantine' that child along with one of us so that at least we can alternate who's sleeping and who's not. 

We can't quarantine in holiday apartments because they're too small, so there's more chance of us feeling rested when we get back - plus we can take more holidays, more often, since there's no spending involved and he doesn't need to take a chunk of leave per trip because we can eg leave on a Thursday and come back Sunday arvo.

Looking forward!

I'm going to Tokyo Tina for the first time

If you're a Melbourne person like I am, you may well have heard of Hanoi Hannah, Saigon Sally and the newest addition, Tokyo Tina. 

I've already been to the first two quite a lot and I particularly like Saigon Sally, but I wasn't able to get to Tokyo Tina when it first opened for a few reasons: first, I was pregnant and couldn't eat raw fish; second, we were too tired to enjoy a decent evening meal so why waste the money; and third, it's not worth throwing money at a babysitter to look after the kids (on top of the meal cost) and my son is a huge feeder so it wasn't worth the stress of leaving him with a family member when he didn't have my 'equipment' nearby.

Anyhoo, long story short, we're finally getting there for my birthday dinner on Friday night. It's only a stone's throw from our place so it won't be a problem in terms of feeds these days (my son's on solids anyway) because we can make it a short dinner if we need to. 

Can't wait! I love Japanese. My favourite three foods are Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese (in no particular order), although I do love 'real' Italian too (as in, not the internationalised stuff).

In sum

I hope you enjoyed this little post and that you have plenty of positives of your own this month.

Now, on to my work...

Hope all's well with you, and speak soon x

Hello and welcome to my third empties post for the month. It's been a good month for empties for me, and indeed I even had to hold-over a bundle of items because I had too many for this post.

Since I'm buried in work at the moment, what I've decided to do with this post is throw in all my recent Project Pan empties, which will make the whole thing a bit shorter - but hopefully it will still be useful for anyone who loves reading empties posts as much as I do.

Let's have a look.

Tocca Stella EDP

I haven't reviewed this because I don't review perfumes on this blog (they're so personal and we all like such different things), but I can say that this was a good fragrance that lasted me a long time (over two years) without losing potency.

It's an orange fragrance so if you don't like orange, don't bother, but unlike some of the other Tocca scents I've tried, this one has great longevity. The only thing I'll say is that I probably should have bought a smaller bottle of this: while I do like it, I got bored of it after a while (it's not that complex and I don't always want to smell like orange), so it's not a keeper for me and I'm happy to move on to something else. Purchase? No.

Rituals Hammam Delight Foaming Shower Gel

Full review here. If you read this blog, you'll know that I'm obsessed with these Rituals shower foams - they're the best body washes I've tried. Honestly, they're just gorgeous. The foam they produce is so rich and velvety, that it feels like a treat whenever I use one.

This one smells of rosemary and eucalyptus so it's super refreshing and a good one to wake up to, and while I did enjoy it, it's not my favourite in Rituals' line (I love the Sakura fragrance best) so I probably wouldn't repurchase this particular scent. Repurchase? Already have, in another fragrance.

Project Pan empties:

  • Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask: I loved this. It's one of my two favourite PTR masks (the other one I love is the famous pumpkin one) and it did such a good job of managing dry winter skin. I'm sad to be through it but it's not my HG hydrator (it's close!) so I don't mind moving on to something else. Full review here.
  • Tocca Cleopatra EDP: This is a lovely, complex scent but the lasting power is complete rubbish so I'm really glad I only got the small one. Still, it's one of Tocca's bestsellers so it's definitely one to sniff next time you're in Mecca.
  • Mauli Grow Strong Hair Oil: I didn't review this because I didn't like it on the hair so I ended up using it on my dry feet. It worked beautifully for that, I must say! Not one I'd recommend because I couldn't find a good use for it on the hair, but at least it didn't go to waste.

So that's a no to repurchasing these three products.

  • Inika Eyeliner in Black Caviar: I've reviewed this here. It was a good eyeliner that held up well on the waterline and it lasted me ages, but towards the end it had passed expiry so it started irritating my eyes and I switched to using it as a pencil for shopping lists. I don't wear black eyeliner (I prefer brown) so I'm glad this one's done.
  • OFRA Lip Liner in Wine: I didn't like this. Yes it's true that I don't wear lip liner (unless I'm forcing myself to use one up), but this one started out hard and drying on my lips and it got worse at the end so instead I decided to use this as a standard pencil, too. Better that than flaking lips! I've reviewed it here.
  • Frank Body Lip Scrub: Full review here. I hated, hated this product. It was so damn awful as a lip scrub (super waxy and greasy and almost impossible to remove) so I used it up as a foot scrub. It was just as bad for that purpose and in hindsight I should have decluttered it, but at least it's gone now!

  • Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in 03 Nude Shimmer: Full review here. This must be my third or fourth one of these and I still don't like them as much as everyone else seems to. Sure they're fine as a gloss, but they're not particularly plumping on me and they also dry my lips out.
  • Sportsgirl Lipstick in Onyx: I love these lipsticks and they're some of the better budget lipsticks I've used. This one in Onyx was a great, black-based purple and I absolutely loved the colour. Mind you, it wasn't for everyday wear so I wouldn't have finished it without panning it. Full review here.
  • Too Faced Hangover Primer: Full review here. I didn't hate this but it was still a disappointing product for me because it didn't nourish my skin as much as it seems to do for others. Yes it felt replenishing when applied but it didn't offer my skin any hydration and in fact my face felt dry underneath it unless I went in with eg a good oil first. It was fine as a makeup base but nothing to write home about. 

That's a no to repurchasing these but I would and have already bought another Sportsgirl lipstick.

  • Tony Moly Petite Bunny Gloss Bar: Full review here. This wasn't awful but it wasn't great either. It wasn't hydrating, it didn't plump lip lines and it also didn't offer much colour (or gloss) so for me it wasn't a useful product and I'm glad I've finished it.
  • Maybelline Baby Skin Primer: I wasn't a fan of this. It seems to be one of those polarising products that you either love or that does nothing for you. It didn't do much for me. I'd hoped for a bit of pore-plugging action but it didn't do that well once I added my base over it, plus it was greasy so I didn't enjoy the texture. Full review here.

That's a no to repurchasing these.

In sum

That's all from me! I hope you found this little post useful: I always think empties posts are the best way to learn what someone really thinks of a product.

My favourites in this lot are the Rituals shower foam, the PTR mask and the Sportsgirl lipstick. Everything else I can do without.

Hope all's well with you, and speak soon x

I went to use this yesterday and didn't want to because I'd had enough, and interestingly yesterday heralded the two-week mark since I brought this into Project Dent.

I don't know what it is about the two-week thing, but it's usually when I hit saturation point and want to move on to something else. So that's what I'm going to do.

I do like this product: it's a bronzer for paler skintones but on me it makes a great nude blush. I've reviewed it here.

If you want to see my initial Project Dent post where I introduce this product, that post is here.

So, here's how my bronzer looked two weeks ago, when I brought it into Project Dent:

There it is again, shot enhanced for clarity:

And here's how it looks now, after two weeks of solid use:

Same shot, enhanced for clarity:

You should be able to see a little dip in the middle that wasn't there before.

Obviously two weeks isn't enough time to make serious progress on a product like this - especially when I'm using it as blush and not for bronzing - but I'm pleased to see at least some visible progress.

Part of that progress was made because I did use this on the eyes as a crease colour and it's not a pigmented product so I needed to use quite a bit each time to get it to show up.

All that's left now is to settle on my next product for Project Dent, and I think I'll be picking one of my eyeshadow palettes because I haven't reviewed many of those and it's time to give them more love. Yes that may affect my Pan that Palette challenge, but I'm happy with my progress on that so far so I don't mind bringing in something else.

Hope all's well with you, and speak soon x 

You may have heard me mention that I picked up a few Skinstitut products last year. I'd been wanting to try the brand because I'd heard heaps about it online, plus Adore Beauty stocks Skinstitut products at a discounted rate and often has additional sales/GWPs to boot, so they won't break the bank.

So towards the end of last year, I made it my business to acquire a Skinstitut product or two whenever I saw a good promotion. I wanted to do this because, like my beloved Alpha-H, Skinstitut is Australian and it also uses active ingredients. That sounds like a brand I want to explore. 

The difference between them is that Alpha-H is a bit more expensive, although I have to say that, in my experience, this has also meant that comparable Alpha-H products are better than their Skinstitut counterparts - this cleanser included.

Skinstitut claims/product details:

  • Contains lactic acid to exfoliate and decongest the skin
  • Extracts of raspberry, goji berry and seaweed add moisture and radiance, and even skintone
  • A gentle foaming cleanser suitable for all skin types, but especially sensitive and irritated
  • Enriched with soya bean oil, vitamin e and panthenol
  • Deeply hydrates and nourishes
  • Exfoliates and decongests problematic skin
  • Reduces irritation and sensitivity
  • Strengthens skin integrity
  • To use: squeeze a pea-sized amount onto wet hands and lather over face for 30 seconds; rinse thoroughly with warm water and pat dry; perfect for daily use
  • RRP $45 AUD for 200ml, but do shop around (eg Adore Beauty sells it for $30 AUD)


This is a nice product that's sold at a reasonable price, but I've compared it to two other lactic acid cleansers while I've been using it - one from Divine Woman and one from Alpha-H - and I like the other two better than this so it's not one I would buy (this tube came as a GWP).

It's a gel product that smells gently fresh and it's called a 'foaming cleanser', but it's not one of those crazy foaming products that feels irritating (it lathers more than foams).

To start with I was using this as directed - so applying it to my face with wet hands and then massaging it in for 30 seconds before rinsing it off - and I wasn't getting much love from it that way so I decided to stop using it each evening in the shower and instead I now use it in the morning.

What I'll do is go in with an oil or balm as my first cleanse, then I'll apply this and massage it in with wet fingertips before leaving it on my face for a few minutes. Then I'll go back in and add more water, massaging it again before removing it with a damp face cloth.

I get on with it better now. After use my skin feels smoother and looks brighter, which is exactly what I would expect from a lactic acid product, and I think it's having more of an impact on skin clarity too. Before trying this new method, I might as well have been using a plain old gel cleanser because it wasn't doing anything for me if I just followed the directions.

On the claims: yes I do think it exfoliates and decongests; yes I do think it adds radiance by removing the top layer of dead skin; yes I do think it's suitable for sensitive skin; and yes I do think it has a slight hydrating effect too.

The thing is, though, that it does none of those things as well as the two lactic acid cleansers mentioned above. I've done a mini review of the Divine Woman one here, but you'll have to wait for the Alpha-H review because I've only just started using that product - but already I can tell that it does more and works better overall than this one.

I must say, after using three Skinstitut products for a while and just introducing a fourth, my overall feeling of the brand is that its products are decent but not stellar. Perhaps if you've never used active ingredients before then this would be a good 'starter' brand - especially because you won't be investing heaps of money - but if like me you've been using active ingredients for a long time, then you might also find that these ones don't do enough.

So in sum, I like this product and I've found a way to get it to work for me, but I think you can do better and it's not a favourite. Still, you have to love that the full size is only $30 for a whopping 200ml.

Good but not great.

We received this Jergens body cream in one of our recent boxes from The Parcel (of course, where else?!) and I've almost finished mine now so it's definitely time to review it.

This has been one of those products for me that I haven't really noticed, which tells me it's neither very good nor very bad. It's true that I don't mind it, but I remember preferring other Jergens moisturisers that I've used in the past (more on that below).

It'll do.

Jergens claims/product details:
  • Relieves dry skin with moisture-rich hydration to reveal deeply luminous, visibly softer skin
  • Restores skin's luminosity with a unique illuminating hydralucence blend and nourishing hydrators
  • For dry, rough skin that needs long-lasting moisture
  • The formula is fast-absorbing and lightly scented with coconut 
  • Infused with coconut oil and coconut water, which provide skin with reparative and hydrating qualities
  • Helps eliminate dullness and dryness by delivering a continuous supply of moisture to the skin and protecting against future dehydration
  • RRP $6.99 AUD for 250ml or $8.99 for 400ml


I recently reviewed Jergens' Age Defying Multivitamin Moisturiser (see here), and my comments for both these products are quite similar: they're both fine and I've happily used them without really noticing them, which tells me that neither is very good nor very bad.

If I had to compare the two, I would say that I like this one a little more than the multivitamin one, although that's in part because I don't love the latter's scent (it smells a bit like men's cologne to me).

Worth mentioning is that I've tried a few Jergens body creams before (that's right, always courtesy of The Parcel ; )), and the ones I prefer are the Jergens Shea Butter Deep Conditioning Moisturiser (reviewed here) and the Jergens Ultra Healing Extra Dry Skin Moisturiser (reviewed here) - both of which feel more nourishing on my skin than this does.

This product is a white cream that's lightweight and it smells a tiny bit like coconut but the scent isn't as strong as I'd expected, given that 'coconut' is right there in the title. If you don't like strong fragrances in your body care then that's likely a plus, but I would almost prefer something more - just to add to the experience of using it. (I'm one of those weirdos who doesn't like fragrance in my facial skincare because it can be irritating, but I'm all for a bit of natural fragrance in my body care.)

The cream spreads well and it doesn't call for heaps of product per application, so it's good for those like me who get through body cream all too quickly.

It has a tacky finish that won't be for everyone (indeed, my fingers are sticking to the keyboard a little as I type because I applied some earlier) and I wasn't surprised to see that glycerin is listed as the second ingredient. So if you don't like creams that leave your skin feeling tacky or make your limbs stick to your clothing, then this mightn't be for you.

On the claims: yes I do think it moisturises reasonably but I wouldn't call this a hydration powerhouse, and I do think that part of the problem here is that not all of the product absorbs; I'm not getting the 'luminous' thing but the glycerin does leave the skin a touch shiny, if you want to call that the same thing; and yes it's lightly scented with coconut, but as mentioned, the fragrance is very faint. I'm also not feeling that this helps with future dehydration 'by delivering a continuous supply of moisture to the skin', because I think that the tacky finish is offering a bit of shine but not doing much else.

All in all, this cream is fine but it wouldn't be my personal pick from Jergens' range (I suggest the two linked above) and it's not one I would buy. It's ok, but better creams are available in this price-bracket.

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