I had hoped to get my Project Pan update posted today, but turns out I'm disastrously sick so I don't have the steam for it.

Rest assured, though, that I marked and photographed all my products yesterday, being the last day of July - so when I do get my update posted, it will be accurate in terms of how much I was able to use each product for the past month.

Enter Project Dent. Why? These posts are short and much less taxing! Plus I do need to get one up anyway, and to make things easy on myself, I've decided to focus on this Hourglass quint for the next couple of weeks. I've already reviewed it (see here), so that will be one less thing to do over the denting period and I can just focus on using it, rather than reviewing it too.

So, here's how my palette looks as of today, 1 August 2017:

Same shot, enhanced:

And another one:  

Same shot, enhanced: 

Different angle (enhanced): 

As you can see, I've definitely used it but there's not much happening in terms of progress. This is because it's super pigmented so I only need to use the smallest amount each time.

My aim over the next two weeks is to get some visible progress happening, meaning I've got my work cut out for me since these palettes don't show progress very easily. I've seen some people say that these quints aren't pigmented, but that's not my experience at all (and I own three of them!).

Wish me luck over the denting period and also cross your fingers for me that this illness lifts sooner rather than later. It's not easy looking after kids when you have a fever and can barely get up, that's for sure.

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

This little hand cream came as a freebie in one of my BeautyHeaven Beautorium hauls, and I'm pleased it did because I've been enjoying it and it's certainly helped my dry hands and feet.

That's one of the good things about these Beautorium hauls: not only do you get to exchange your points for free products (only paying shipping), but you also always end up with stuff to test that you mightn't necessarily have bought for yourself.

DU-IT claims/product details:
  • An intensive hand moisturiser that helps repair dry, rough, calloused and dehydrated hands
  • It has a superb, skin-smoothing ability for the softening and moisturising of chronically dry, cracked and irritated hands
  • Easily absorbed and enriched with vitamin e and sweet almond milk, it guards against premature skin ageing and helps with skin regeneration for softer, younger looking hands
  • Gloves hands with a non-greasy protective barrier to shield skin from harsh environmental stresses and neglect
  • Hydrates and revives the skin, and guards against moisture loss, providing long-lasting protection against damage to hands caused by repeated washing, use of latex gloves, chemicals, solvents, abrasive soaps, detergents and contact with other allergens and irritants
  • Also helps restore skin radiance and reduces the appearance of fine lines 
  • Visible effects within five days
  • Fixes hand problems that beauty hand creams won't fix.
  • RRP $9.95 AUD for 75g, but do shop around


There's not a lot to say about this product so I'll be brief.

It's a cloudy balm that's more like a gel/balm hybrid in texture than it is a cream, and to start with I was worried that it would be too heavy for day-use but I'm pleased to report that it's not.

It absorbs and spreads well, and a little goes a long way so even this 20g sample tube has lasted a decent amount of time, and I've been using it on both my dry hands and feet so that's saying something.

The product doesn't have a scent so it should be ok for those who have sensitive skin that can't tolerate fragrance, or those who just don't like scents in their products.

What I like about this product is that it has made my dry hands and feet feel a lot more comfortable ever since I started using it. I apply it to both my hands and feet in the evenings after my shower, and I'm pleased to report that they're both feeling much softer, more hydrated and just happier overall.

On the claims: yes I do think this helps repair my dry/dehydrated hands and also my rough/callaoused feet; yes it helps smooth the skin, for the softening and moisturising of chronically dry hands cracked/irritated feet; yes it is easily absorbed and I do feel that it has done something towards making my hands and feet look younger, healthier and less dry; and I also agree that it has a protective element too.

And finally, I agree that you see visible effects within five days and this product also restores, hydrates, revives and guards against moisture loss and it does, and it's done more for my dry skin and feet than any other hand cream I've tried recently.

All in all, this is a great product and I can't fault it. It's also not super expensive so it's one to look out for when one of the big pharmacies is having a half-price sale.

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

Hello and welcome to another Pan that Palette update.

As with last month, I've pinched the opening shot from a previous post (because who really cares about that one), but the progress shots below I took this morning and they're the ones that matter after all.

Let's get straight into it.

Here's how my palette looked last month:

And here's how it's looking now, after another month's worth of use:

So I hit pan on five shades this month and also cleared out one pan completely. Not a bad month! 

You'll also note that, as promised in last month's update, I moved the remains of the large brown pan into that empty, medium-sized pan, then I refilled the large one with not one but two illuminators (these being Mary-Lou and Cindy-Lou from theBalm). What I did here was make the upper third Mary-Lou only, the lower third Cindy-Lou only, and the middle third a mix between the two.

Funnily enough, I like the mix the best of the three shades - which is good because I'd previously stopped using those two highlighters since I have others that suit me better in tone. But now I can't stop using them!

Let's look now at each side. 

Here's how the left half of the palette looked at the end of June: 

And here's how it looks now, end of July: 

So, the big news here is that I finished off that terracotta shade (square pan, middle), which I did by mixing it with the two Nars pans from Portobello (bottom left) and using the mix for bronzing. What I'll probably do shortly is throw those two Nars pans into one pan and keep using them that way, just to make it easier to pick up product with my brush.

With the Stila pans, you'll see that I've hit pan in both Sunset and Gilded Gold (from Stila's In the Light palette). Otherwise there's not much progress to report on the Stila section of the palette.

You'll note that I've cleared out quite a lot of that green-gold GA-DE shade (centre bottom), which has been easy enough to do because the shadow is so crumbly. I won't be surprised if I finish it off in August.

You'll also note that I've hit substantial pan in the Becca cream shade (the round pan), which isn't surprising because I use it not only as my base shade, but also to manage any oil breakthrough around my nose and chin throughout the day.

Please note that I've decided to throw Stila's Night Sky (that bluish silver, top middle) and the purple Nars shade into one pan because they look much better on my colouring when mixed, and since I'm not using either of them enough as they are, I might as well 'encourage' myself to use them more by making a new shade.

As for the other half of my palette, here's how it looked at the end of June:

And here's how it looks now, end of July:

Left side first: as mentioned above, that medium-sized brown pan is now the shade from the large pan that I use for my brows and also lining my lower waterline. Since I've been preferring slightly darker brows lately, I've put Stila's Sandstone (the dark brown, right) into that pan, which is why it's now empty. The grey Stila pan next to that is now empty because I used it up as a dry shampoo.

The So Susan lavender shade: you'll see I've made good progress on that this month, and indeed I did focus on that shade quite a bit. It's also been re-pressed and it was crumbly to start with so I see progress with each use. I expect to pan it in August.

The darker purple below it: this is another self-mixed shade and I often use it with the lavender for a purple smokey eye. This is also quite powdery and it's not super pigmented so I expect it to be gone in either August or September.

The round Becca and Ardency Inn pans at the bottom haven't been used much and the two large pans are the highlighters from theBalm I mentioned above and also theBalm's Hot Mama blush, which now has a dip in the middle so that's something. My aim with Hot Mama is to get it to the stage where I can re-press it into one of the empty Nars pans: I like it as an eyeshadow but not as a blush (it has too much gold shimmer for my personal tastes) so if I can get it there by year's end, I'll be happy.

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

And here's how it's looking now, end of July: 

It's showing more progress than usual because I'm not only using it for contouring now - a couple of times a week, I also mix the shades and use them as a foundation. It doesn't look that good as a foundation on me but I don't mind that if I know I'm not going to be leaving the house on any given day. 

As mentioned in last month's update, I'll also eventually use the darker side by throwing it in with my illuminator to add a bronze glow underneath my foundation. I'm currently using something else for that purpose, but that's my eventual aim. Otherwise I'll never finish it.

In sum

I hope you enjoyed this little update. The last couple of months have been slow for me in terms of Pan that Palette but I can see things starting to vanish faster as the year progresses. Fingers crossed.

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

I need to review this product but that review has been held up by inclement weather: I want to get in some good comparison swatches, and since it looks like that won't be happening for a few days, best I do this Project Dent update first. That way I can move this bronzer out of circulation and pick my next item for denting.

So, I brought this mini bronzer into circulation two weeks ago, and since then I've been using it every day (see intro post here).

As you may know, sometimes I tire of the products I'm denting - but I didn't tire of this one. Indeed, I don't think I've tired of a single Hourglass product yet.

You should be able to see in the below shot that there's a slight dip happening in the middle of this product, and you'll see in the following shots that, two weeks later, that dip is now lower:

There's a shot of the pan two weeks ago, as it was on 14 July:

Same shot, enhanced:

And here's how we're looking now, after two weeks' daily use:

Same shot, enhanced:

There we are from the side:

Last angle:

So, the progress isn't insanely obvious but it's definitely there: I now have a good dip happening in the middle and I can also see some changes in the texture on the surface (eg the air bubbles), which isn't surprising because this product is only 1.4g in size and I do need to use more of this than I do Radiant Bronze Light because it's paler so I need to build it.

Again, my apologies that I haven't got my review up yet but I will soon: suffice to say here that this formula is my favourite bronzer formula on the market and I'm yet to find a bronzer I prefer. And while I do prefer Radiant Bronze Light because I have a preference for bronzers with a red undertone (this one pulls more golden peach on me), I do love this product and I'm glad to own it.

Mind you, I'll likely pan it soon because I want to buy one of the new shades, so I'll need to make room for it: I have too many bronzers already!

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

Hello and welcome to my second empties post for July.

Please note: this post won't be quite as detailed as usual because most of the above products are Project Pan empties, meaning that I've already talked about them a lot so I'll keep things short and sweet.

Let's get straight into it.

Project Pan empties:

  • Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer in Medium: This is a good product but I'm glad I've finished it because I was ready to move on to something else. So far it's the nicest budget concealer I've found (especially for dry skin) so it's one I recommend. Full review here.
  • 'Tini Beauty Eye Cordial in Spiced Rum: full review here. I like these eyeshadows/eye bases (I've been through two now) but this was also ready to go, so hurrah for panning. It sets beautifully and without shrivelling up my eyes, meaning it's another good pick for dry skin.
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Topaz: these are my HG liquid illuminators but gosh they take ages to finish so I'm glad to pan another one. In my humble opinion, these just can't be beat. Next up, Opal! Full review here.

I would buy all of these (so that's a yes); however not any time soon because I have too much stuff.

  • Maybelline Colour Sensational Lipcolour in 215 Totally Toffee: full review here. These are my HG budget lipsticks and I absolutely love them. This is the cream formula so I prefer it for my dry lips but the mattes are great too. Can't rave enough about them.
  • L'Oreal Nude Magique CC Cream, Anti Dullness: I used to love this product but it no longer works for me so I can't recommend it. Plus it absolutely stinks and it's the kind of smell that hangs around in a chemical, offensive way. No thanks. Full review here.
  • Hikari Lip Crayon in Macchiato: I loved the colour of this but not the formula because it was a bit drying - especially with frequent use - so I wouldn't recommend the product itself. But the orangey brown colour? It's almost worth buying it for that alone since I'm yet to find a dupe for it. Full review here.

So that's a yes to repurchasing the Maybelline lipstick but a no to the other two.

  • Sea2Skin Active Hydration Mask: full review here. This came from Maslow & Co and I really enjoyed it. Yes it was hydrating so it was good for my dry skin, but it also had a brightening and refining effect that made my face look fresh and healthy after use. Recommended.
  • Stila Aqua Glow Watercolour Blush in Shimmering Lotus: I loved the colour of this and the formula was great too - sheer and natural - but turns out I just don't use non-powder blushes so I was happy to get through it as a lip tint. I also wish that Stila hadn't put shimmer in this particular colour because it was really noticeable on the face, which isn't my cup of tea. Full review here.
  • Moroccanoil Treatment: I hated this. Full review here. It's had plenty of rave reviews but all it did was weigh my hair down and make it look dirty and ready for a wash (it did the same on my daughter's hair too). Blurgh. I used it up on my feet.

So that's a yes for repurchasing the mask but a no for the other two products.

Goodness Every Morning Moisturiser and Every Day Cream Cleanser

These came in a set and I've written mini reviews for both here.

I liked the moisturiser: it was a simple, no frills day cream that wasn't too heavy or too light for my dry skin. It was great for day use because it absorbed well and didn't change the finish of my makeup (so it wasn't too greasy). Indeed, it's a good ol' plain moisturiser that you could use over a fancier serum if you just need something standard to 'seal in' your more expensive stuff. Purchase? Yes.

As for the cleanser, I liked it well-enough but it wasn't my favourite for cleansing because it didn't remove makeup well, nor did it feel like it did a super good job of cleansing the skin. Still, I did quite like it and I don't think it's a bad product - it's just that I prefer the oils and balms I use for cleansing so a cream cleanser is probably a bit redundant for me. Purchase? No.

ASAP Daily Exfoliating Facial Scrub

This was ok. I didn't love it but didn't hate it either. It contains little grains that don't feel too harsh on the skin so I do think it would be ok for daily use, and it wasn't too much for my dry, sensitive skin.

Mind you, it was one of those 'meh' products that didn't strike me as very good or very bad, and while I do have another couple of 5ml samples of the product, I might end up sending them to a better home because I just don't need them. Purchase? No.

La Roche-Posay Redermic C10 Anti-ageing Serum

This came from the Parcel and I'm bummed that it was only 5ml in size because I liked it enough to put it on the 'maybes' list - but the sample wasn't large enough to put the product on the 'definitely maybes' list ; ).

What I liked about it was that it absorbed beautifully and felt super rich and nourishing, and I think it also had an effect on brightening/radiance too - which isn't surprising because it does contain vitamin c. Next time Priceline has a sale I might consider buying this, but I wouldn't pay full price ($69.95): you don't need to when pharmacies have frequent sales.

In sum

That's all from me! I hope you enjoyed this little post and that you're doing well with your own empties piles. There are few things more satisfying than getting through your products I reckon, especially the ones on your Project Pan list.

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

Hello and welcome to my last mini Project Pan update for July. 

Although we're only a few days away from the end of the month, I wanted to sneak in this mini update now for no other reason than pure laziness: if I update you on finishing this product now, that's one less item to photograph when it comes to July's full Project Pan update ; )

You'll see my purple nailpolish markers in all three photos in this post. Note, though, that the first three markers are easy to see but the fourth is across the square block on the label (below the word 'Eraser').

You'll note that the first three markers are evenly spaced and show slower progress, but the last marker shows that the product moved faster throughout June and July: this is because I started using a lighter base so I needed to use more of this to cover things like redness around my nose and chin.

Towards the end I began using this after lunch for touch-ups, which also helped move progress along faster.

What's good about finishing this product is that I now only have two concealers left in my collection. Huzzah! 

Concealer is one of those things that I don't feel the need to own a lot of (unlike eg tinted moisturisers/foundations, where I like to have a few options), so I don't plan to buy a replacement until the other two I own are running low.

That's all from me! Hope all's well with you, and speak soon x

Hullo and welcome to another monthly positives post!

I wanted to sneak this in quickly this morning, since I have an outing for once today (more on that below) so best I don't ramble on too much now and let's just get into it.

In no particular order...

I'm going candle crazy, and I like it

I don't know what it is, but every winter I start lighting a candle every evening in the bedroom. For most of the year I'm not fussed about candles and I tend to have a couple hanging around as decorative pieces only, but when the cold hits, I'm firing them up something chronic.

I suppose you could link this candle obsession to a reaction against the grey, cold outside: as in, 'weather, you've taken my light, sunshine and warmth away - so bugger you, here's the finger.' 

And you know what? The finger's working. As soon as I light my evening candle, I feel my muscles relax after a long day of chasing the kids around. There's something special about staring at a naked flame, yes? I'm not going to wax lyrical about that (ha), but I will say cheers to candles and firing them up against the dark winter chill.

We had a brief getaway last week, and it wasn't disastrous

Travelling with young kids is never easy, and since my husband and I have had disastrous trips away ever since having my daughter, we've decided for now that we're not going to spend the money on flights and hotels (plus all the usual extras like meals) because all holidays have meant for us so far is complete exhaustion or worse (like me travelling back from Bali with blocked ears: that didn't end well). 

For some reason, any trip away we've had, has involved one or both of the kids failing to sleep well at night (if at all), meaning that all of us have been up all night because you can't 'quarantine' the noise-maker in holiday apartments like you can do at home. Every 'holiday' we've had, my husband and I have returned in zombie-like states so it's just not worth it for us.

Anyhoo. Last week we went away for four days to my parents' holiday house down the coast, and while one of us was up all night with my son, at least we could separate him and alternate caring for him overnight. Not the best break, but not the worst one. And we ate lots of ice-cream. Boom.

A good friend just had her little girl

One of my friends and I have had two kids at similar times (so her son is a year older than my daughter, and her daughter is nine-ish months younger than my son). Both of us aren't good pregnant people and have really struggled through the whole pregnancy thing, but you can't talk about that with everyone because we're both acutely aware that it's a privilege to not only be able to have kids, but also to have someone willing to have them with you.

Long story short, she had her little girl a few days ago and I couldn't be more happy for her. There's something transcendent about feeling your body return to itself after a pregnancy and in holding a newborn in your arms for the first time - and in my opinion, having a baby is a lot nicer than growing one ; )

I have some freedom today

Every few months I head out to the city to see my GP. We like to touch base to monitor my insomnia and also check how I'm going overall, since my sleep issues have led to general coping problems in the past (of course they have), which is why I make sure to see her every few months.

Anyhoo. Basically these necessary trips to see her in the CBD are also an excuse for me have a look in Sephora and Mecca Maxima and play with new makeup, and buy myself something good for lunch. 

I'm unable to do these things often with young kids, and the brilliant news is, today I'm going solo! Up until now I've left my mum with my daughter only, but today she's happy to watch both. 


Thrones and Unforgotten

So I've talked about my excitement of the impending Game of Thrones series in previous positives posts, and finally it's here. YAY. 

I know I'm not the only one who's been hanging out for it as much as they have the ABH Subculture palette ; )

And to make things even more exciting, we've just started watching the UK TV series Unforgotten, which 'had me at hello' as soon as we pressed play and I saw that it stars Ruth from Spooks.

I once heard someone say that 'heard music is sweet, but unheard music is even sweeter' and that's totally the case here (I gather that's derived from an ode by John Keats). 

Yes I'm pumped for dragons again, but I'm over-mooned about having found a new show.

In sum

That's all from me! I hope you enjoyed this little post, and that you have plenty of positives of your own for July.

Here's to candles and good TV xx

* All photos courtesy of unsplash.com; links/credits to the artists embedded in each above shot

It's so cold here in Melbourne at the moment and gosh it's been such a chill winter overall, that I've been managing chilblains on my fingers and toes for the last month or so - and I haven't suffered from those since 2009. 

Fellow sufferers will know that chilblains ain't pretty: the itchiness, the pain, the swelling, the heat, the inflammation - plus the inability to use your hands without second thought, because that pain hits whenever the affected area makes contact with something. And yes, when you're a primary carer, you have to use your hands for everything. It has not been fun.

Rant over.

Anyway, my chilblain/gosh-it's-bloody-cold opening was a round-a-bout way of introducing this post: I've decided between the shivers that it's a good day for an early monthly favourites post. Reason being, they always make me smile because they focus on the things I've been loving lately - plus they temporarily draw my attention away from the piles of draft review posts currently sitting in backlog ; )

So, in no particular order...

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Luminous Bronze Light

I own Hourglass' Radiant Bronze Light in full size and it's my favourite bronzer of all time - which is the only reason why I was prepared to buy this bad-value little mini (which is a TINY 1.4g in size and paying $35 AUD for it was nothing short of daylight robbery). But I wanted to own both shades and this was the cheapest way to do it.

Long story short, I introduced this mini to Project Dent earlier in July (see my post here), which has put this bronzer front-of-mind and reminded me of how much I love the formula. I prefer Radiant Bronze Light in colour so I'm glad now that I only got the mini of this one and saved myself the extra $40ish for the big one, and extra glad because I'll definitely be buying one of the new shades at some point. 

While Luminous Bronze Light does work with my skintone, it's the formula itself that's made this mini a July favourite. I haven't reviewed these bronzers yet but I will say that, in my humble opinion, they just can't be beat. 

Too Faced Peanut Butter & Jelly Palette

Full review here. This palette was also part of Project Dent this month and I happily realised that I like it more than I first thought. While I never had a problem with the formula overall or (most of) the colour choices, what has always bothered me about this palette is that I need to pull in cool or neutral crease and/or transition colours because it pulls too warm on me otherwise.

The trouble with palettes that aren't stand-alones, of course, is that most of us tend not to reach for them as much as we do 'complete' palettes - which has previously been the case for me with this one.

However, during July I found colour combinations in this palette that I really love, and I've now realised that I could totally pan it if I wanted to (alongside the cooler shadows mentioned above). Plus Bananas is my favourite gold of all time. I just love it, and I'm yet to find a dupe that's exactly the same tone as this one. The palette itself isn't an HG product for me, but Bananas is and I've loved experimenting with the whole palette throughout July. It isn't perfect, but it's definitely good.

Rituals Hammam Olive Secret Shower Paste

This is an unassuming little product that doesn't announce itself with fanfare (unlike eg the Rituals Shower Foams, which foam so beautifully and with such luxuriousness that you can't help but notice them), but it gets you in the end and I love it. I've reviewed it here.

It's a thick, gel-like product and I can see why they've called it a paste. What constantly surprises me about it is just how little you need to get the job done, and also how hydrating it is. I've used shower oils that don't feel anywhere near as nourishing as this does (even a shower oil from Rituals itself), so something about the formula absolutely meets the claim that the product is 'ultra-nourishing' and good for dry skin.

I first fell in love with this when we lived in Berlin in 2012 and 2013, and once I was finally able to get my Australian hands on it again, I fell in love with it twice.

Darphin Hydraskin Intensive Moisturising Serum

Full review here, and please note that I do plan to update the photos on that post because it shows a sample of the product, rather than the full size I've pictured above. It's on my to-do list, promise ; )

It was love at first use for me with this product and I've continued to love it - even after having gone through a couple of bottles now. Since I so rarely repurchase skincare items because I love trying new things, that says enough in itself.

It's a super lightweight product that feels like water with a dash of oil to the touch, and while you wouldn't think that something this thin and watery would pack so much punch, it does. It leaves my face looking less lined, brighter and more fresh - plus my skin feels hydrated, nourished and just happier overall whenever I use it.

A little also goes a long way and, and at $77 AUD for the 30ml full size, sure it's not super cheap but it's also not overpriced - especially considering how long the bottle lasts and how much it helps my dry winter skin.

Darphin Hydraskin Rich Cream

Another one from Darphin that's been a saviour for dry winter skin. I haven't reviewed this cream yet but I will soon and I'm looking forward to singing its praises: my skin hasn't survived winter this well for as long as I can remember, and I think that both this cream and the serum above have had a lot to do with that.

Mind you, it's one of those creams that won't be for everyone: it is indeed 'rich' and it basically feels like applying a cooling, soothing slice of soft butter to the face. Whenever I use it, my skin breathes a sign of relief. 

I apply it overnight, as the last step in my skincare routine, and wake up to comfortable skin - which is not something I'm used to quite frankly, given that I'm dry, dehydrated and sleep-deprived, plus drinking too much caffeine - so thanks, Darphin, for managing these things ; )

It's too heavy for me in summer (when I first tried it), but it's absolutely the right overnight cream for me now.

In sum

As always, I hope you enjoyed this little post and found a few ideas for new products to try.

Also as always - I hope all's well with you, and speak soon x
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