Sunday, 31 May 2015

TAG: 40 Beauty Questions

This tag has been floating around the interwebs for a while now. So I thought I should jump on the bandwagon and give you a little insight into what I  currently think of skincare and makeup.



Skincare

How many times do you wash your face daily? 
Morning and night.

What skin type do you have? 
Normal to slightly oily

What is your current facial wash? 

Do you exfoliate? 
Yes. I am a fan of good ol' chemical exfoliation.

What brand do you use? 
Alpha- H is one

What moisturiser do you use? 

Do you have freckles? 
No

Do you use eye cream? 
Sometimes. When I feel like it isn't a marketing ploy, getting people to buy tiny overpriced jars of heavy moisturiser. I occasionally use avocado oil. 

Did you or do you have acne prone skin? 
YES. I used to have acne. Now I am acne prone, triggered by diet. You can read about it here.

Did you ever have to use pro-active? 
Ergh. I wish I could say no. But the ill informed 19-year old me did try it once.

Make-up

What foundation do you use? 
MAC Studio fix Fluid is the one I used this morning. Yet to find the 'perfect' one 

How about concealer? 
I just use foundation, mixed in with a matte highlighter.

Do you know your undertone colour? 
Yellow, golden?

What do you think of fake eyelashes? 
Great. But, never tried them. Want to though, just to see what the fuss is about

Did you know you are supposed to change your mascara every three months? 
Not three years? I kid. But I have definitely used mascara for more than three months

What brand of mascara do you use? 
Many. Today I used Rimmel Wonder'full Mascara with Argan Oil

Sephora or MAC? 
Apparently Sephora will open in Australia this year. Mecca is probably the Australian equivalent.

Do you have a MAC Pro-card?
 No ;(

What make-up tools do you use in make-up application? 
Sponge, brushes, or warm fingers

Do you use a make-up base/primer for the eyes? 
No

For the face? 
No. But I should

What is your favourite eyeshadow? 
Anything golden or bronze 

Do you use pencil or liquid eyeliner? 
Both

How often do you poke your eyes with an eyeliner pencil? 
Daily occurrence

What do you think of pigment eyeshadow? 
*Shivers* I'm sure they're great but my carpet :(

Do you use mineral make-up? 
I have used Loreal True match before and use Bare minerals for powder or bronzer now

What is your favourite lipstick? 
Still looking. I'm fussy

How about lipgloss? 
Not really a lip gloss kinda gal. But I do love Lucas' Paw Paw Ointment as lip balm/gloss

What is your favourite blush to use? 
Nars Torrid

Do you buy your make-up on ebay? 
Nope

Do you like drugstore make-up? 
Yes. In Australia the price gap between drugstore and high end isn't very wide :(

Do you go to CCO's? 
I don't think so...

Did you ever consider taking up make-up classes? 
Yes

Are you clumsy at putting make-up on? 
Maybe Liquid eyeliner, I take my time

Name a make-up crime that you hate? 
Contouring with a spade

Colourful shades or neutral? 
Neutral, but a pop of colour is nice

Which celebrity always has great make-up? 
Rihanna. Hands down

If you could leave the house with one make-up item what would it be? 
Mascara

Could you ever leave the house with no make-up on? 
When I go to workout or grocery shopping I do. But putting on mascara, eyeliner and lip balm at least, seems to be a daily ritual.

Do you think you look good without any make-up on? 
I thought this question was pretty funny. I don't think I look horrible, but everyday natural makeup doesn't turn someone into a completely different person, right? I would just have more light acne scars than if I did have foundation on. It's a working progress, I really want to work towards having skin where foundation isn't necessary. That's the dream. 

In your opinion what is the best make-up line? 
Nars for quality. Mac for variety. Chantecaille is on my long list. 

What do you think of make-up? 
I absolutely love makeup! It can enhance your natural features and experimenting with colour is fun.
Also, the search in finding the 'perfect' foundation, mascara, eyeliner etc. is a the trap that gets us all!

Join me in the make up tag! 

xo, Amali

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Pai Avocado & Jojoba Hydrating Day Cream Review

Here's a review of something that I have finished using. Down to the last drop, which should give a hint as to what I think of this moisturiser. Pai is a company that create formulas that benefit those  with sensitive skin in mind. Even though my skin can handle most ingredients well, I think using products aimed for sensitive skin cam benefit any skin type.

Here is an amazingly ugly photo of the well loved bottle. RIP. Obviously I got desperate, and tried to salvage the last of the lotion that the pump annoyingly doesn't reach. It is that good. 



This is the smaller 30 mL (1 fl oz) version, it also comes in 50 mL. The cream itself slightly thin without being runny and is pale yellow, however doesn't stain your skin. It seems to give you a slight glow instead. Not shiny. Natural matte would be more accurate.  
It is easy to spread and melts flawlessly upon application. 

Claims
  • Hydrates and replenishes dry skin
  • absorbs instantly leaving skin soft, supple and hydrated
  • Formulated for skin that is sensitive or easily irritated 
  • Free from alcohols that are drying to the skin

Ingredients 



I love that the first four consecutive ingredients are from natural, plant sources. As they are highest on the list, they make up a larger portion of the formula. As this is a formula aimed at dry skin, these plant oils are absorb well into the skin, as well as deliver nutrients and vitamins.

This is one of the reasons I like to know what goes into my skincare. I think it's better that ingredients included provide a plethora of benefits rather that just sit on your skin and provide a "barrier". *Cough* mineral oil. 



























Benefits
  • Absorbs easily
  • skin feels moisturised and smooth to the touch after use
  • comes with a pump, which in my opinion is more hygienic
  • many beneficial ingredients are included
  • great packaging
  • works well under makeup

Eco-friendly
  • 77% of the product is organically produced
  • no animal testing
  • Soil Association certified

Drawbacks
  • the pump doesn't manage to get all of the product out, so you have to get creative. I leave the bottle on its side during the night, and just manually tap the remaining on my hand, using the too-short pump. I think this equates to about a weeks worth.
  • If you break everything you touch, the glass bottle packaging isn't for you. I've had a few close encounters, but it does look pretty on your bathroom counter. I do think the larger version isn't glass though

Pai Skincare Avocado & Jojoba Hydrating Day Cream is easily one of the best moisturisers I have used.

Repurchase? Yes

Monday, 25 May 2015

MD Formulations Glycare Skin Perfection Gel Review

I've previously written about a product I use to exfoliate, where glycolic acid was the star ingredient. Here, I review another product that contains the same ingredient, but a very different formulation.

When I feel a spot or pimple creeping its way to ruin my life to the surface of my skin, I make sure to use this gel to stop it in it's ugly tracks. I use this as a spot treatment, which means I still have a lot remaining, even though I've had it for so long. I also keep it on my bathroom counter, so it now looks a little weathered:



Claims
  • exfoliates skin surface, revealing refined and smooth skin 
  • aids in preventing future skin imperfections
  • clinically proven to reduce and heal blemishes
  • infused with 1% salicylic acid and a Glycolic Compound
  • ideal for daytime use or as a targeted spot treatment
  • allergy tested and pH balanced
  • fragrance free 
  • suitable for all skin types

MD Formulations Skin Perfection Gel is a clear liquid that is slightly viscous and dries within seconds of application.


Ingredients
Purified Water
SD Alcohol 40 B: specially denatured alcohol
Glycolic Acid: key ingredient, an alpha-hydroxy acid, 'peeling' effect, exfoliates
Hydroxylpropyl Methylcellulose: binding and viscosity increasing agent
Ammonium Glycolate: a synthetic form of glycolic acid, an exfoliant, pH adjuster
Salicylic Acid: beta-hydroxy acid, naturally occuring and synethetically produced, all round anti-acne hero




Benefits
  • exfoliates skin revealing softer skin
  • if you can catch a breakout right under the surface of your skin, a few applications can stop a nasty pimple forming into an angry cyst
  • is not overtly harsh
  • ideal for daytime use, however be very light handed if you are going to wear makeup

Drawbacks
  • skin will get dry and peel, so moisturise after
  • not as effective for cysts that have come to a head but will help in skin cells renewing faster, so breakouts do disappear in a shorter time than if they were left alone
  • if you wear this under makeup, especially too much, it is not a good look

How I use the gel: 

I use this as a spot treatment during the night, and during the day when I'm not wearing makeup.
From my experience, I notice the greatest change when I use this at the earliest sign of a spot appearing. It is a miracle cure as it stops the pimple from even forming. It is not a miracle cure if you are looking to magically zap away already existing acne. I think in that case, the product name is a little misleading.

If I have a pimple on a particularly boring day, I forgo the makeup, and apply and reapply the gel every few hours. You will find that your skin will peel. Your face won't burn and fall off. The top layers of your skin will just be shedding. In a non disgusting way, I swear. During that same night, I moisturise, and even put on facial oils, This counteracts the drying effects and completely clears spots if I'm lucky. If I'm not, the pimple will be at least significantly smaller the next morning.
Just to note, I'm talking about pimples, the angry red, hormonal, or random cystic acne. Not zits. They go away faster when you use this, but because they are so tiny, you can end up applying this to the surrounding normal skin, and you may end up with dry, overly exfoliated patches.


Repurchase? I personally want to try different products for a spot treatment, only because I have had this for so long.

Monday, 4 May 2015

MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 Foundation Review

This is one of the foundations I have been using for the past few years. I don't use it all the time, but this is my second bottle.



One of the reasons I use MAC foundations, is because they actually have my shade! And for those of us with medium to darker skin tones, and with yellow/golden undertones, finding a perfect matching foundation is akin to finding a needle in a haystack. Many haystacks. During an apocalypse.
Or maybe this is just me? Probably.

Claims
  • a natural matte finish 
  • a medium-buildable coverage
  • broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 15
  • Comfortable and long-wearing:lasts for up to eight hours
  • Applies smoothlybuilds coverage quickly and easily
  • Contains specially treated micronized pigments and soft-focus powders for a super-smooth look that helps minimize the appearance of imperfections.
  • Absorbs and disperses oil
  • Contains special skin-conditioning ingredients
  • Oil free

Undertones: Yellow to orange, less orange than the Pro Longwear Foundation in the same shade.

Shade: NC42
So this shade is a little dark for me now, so I mix it with a lighter foundation, to achieve the right match.

Summer
When I first purchased this foundation years ago, I had oily skin, and was recommended that I try this for it's matte finish. My skin is now normal to slightly oily, after changing my skincare and diet. When I wear this foundation, I do notice during more humid days, I get an oilier T-zone, and more so when I had oily skin.

Winter
Bare in mind, it doesn't snow where I live. The average Melbourne winter is said to be 14 degrees Celsius (that's 57 in Fahrenheit). But I would say the humidity has more of an effect for the condition of your skin. The drier your skin, the more patchy your foundation will be. I found this out last winter, where I had dry skin for the first time. I was using Sukin Sensitive Facial Moisturiser, and although a great face cream, this was simply too light for me during winter. Dry patches of skin, was making this foundation sit terribly on my skin. So, for those dry skin folks, this probably isn't for you! Unless ofcourse, you moisturise really well.

The good
  • Great for those with a yellow/olive undertone
  • Offers medium to high coverage, has covered my acne scars
  • Buildable without having to apply half the bottle and thus looking mask like
  • natural matte finish as claimed
  • has an SPF of 15
  • doesn't give you a white cast in photos
Cons
  • Doesn't come with a pump, but can you can buy this separately, so this can be a plus as it lowers overall cost via ↓ packaging, but then again Australian makeup prices are ridiculous
  • can transfer (eg when using a tissue to blow your nose)
  • smells a bit like paint...yup

Repurchase? I have. Currently my second bottle.

This is a great foundation for those who are looking for medium coverage, that is buildable to high coverage. I sometimes even mix this with moisturiser for a very light coverage. Overall, MAC Studio Fix Fluid foundation is long lasting, doesn't react with my skin and lasts throughout the day with powder.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Alpha-H Liquid Gold Review

I had been looking for a product with glycolic acid for a while when I discovered this.




I was hesitant to buy this because of the inclusion of denatured alcohol. It was also at the top of the ingredient list. However, after reading review after glowing review, I surrendered to the power of the beauty blogosphere...
So, I made a rather impulsive online purchase and just hoped I wasn't falling into some kind of trap...
As you can see, I have the old packaging, but the formula is the same.

Alpha-H Liquid Gold is a 'resurfacing treatment...it works like an ‘overnight facial’ to brighten and revitalise skin, and radically improve the appearance of the complexion'

Claims
  • reduces wrinkles, pigmentation and sun damage
  • brightens and revitalises tired, ageing skin
  • significantly improves the appearance of the complexion
  • Clinical studies have shown increases in skin moisture levels, wrinkle depth and a reduction in skin roughness in 20 minutes

I personally wanted to try this to even out my skin tone, and help with the hyperpigmentation on my cheeks from acne scars.  I can't attest to whether this product 'diminishes wrinkles' because I'm in my twenties. But just FYI, the whole 'anti-ageing' marketing circus irks me. Especially that term. But, I digress, that's another story. Liquid Gold is actually a clear liquid, and looks just like water...or alcohol . It also has a slight, but unmistakable alcohol smell.


How I use Liquid Gold:

Although directions say you could use this every alternative evening, I find that my skin is the best when I use this once or twice a week. Or after a particularly makeup heavy, dusty day. It's also great for those days you feel too lazy to put on all your skincare, I just cleanse my face and pat this in. Liquid Gold works best by itself, however I have occasionally put a little moisturiser on top. I either use a cotton pad, or I pour some onto the tips of my fingers and spread it over my face and neck, avoiding the under eye area. Of course, the lazy me approves of the latter method, and you don't end up throwing a cotton pad full of liquid gold in the bin. Yes, very dramatic.






Benefits
  • simple and easy to use, especially those who do not like to use physical exfoliators
  • exfoliates chemically, resulting in skin texture becoming smoother after use
  • seems to increase cell turnover, as the next morning after cleansing my face, I feel like I have 'new skin'
  • great for when skin feels dull
  • speeds up the fading of acne scars with consistent use
  • evens out skin tone, and skin appears brighter
  • doesn't feel drying even with the alcohol content

Drawbacks
  • contains denatured alcohol. This is my personal preferences; I like to steer clear of products with alcohol, as I believe they are drying, however the inclusion of glycerin and silk proteins seems to counteract any negative effect. 
  • does not completely fade acne scars short term, but aids in speeding up the process
  • how much glycolic acid does this actually contain? 2%? 10%? Packaging and website don't say.

Repurchase? Yes, and I have, but they sent me the old packaging! 


I have been using this product for the past two years, and definitely notice a change in the texture of my skin. It is looking smoother and brighter, especially when I use it consistently, 
Something to note, when I use this alone, my skin becomes a lot more oilier than usual during the night, which makes me wonder whether the alcohol is making my skin overproduce oil, or if this is how it 'works'.

I think this is an amazing product, especially when you feel that your skin is looking dull and tired. It is a product I use, despite my reluctance in using skincare products with alcohol. It is just something I can not find a better alternative to, given the incredible results. It just works.


Have you tried Liquid Gold? Is it a hit or miss? What is your take on products with alcohol?
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