November 06, 2013

Favourites: October!

Holy cow the end of this month crept up on me! I apologise for the lateness of these favourite. I had an immediate family member pass away October 2012 so the first anniversary was rough. I can't believe it's already November! Less than 50 days til Christmas. Crazy!

ELF - Little Black Book in Warm Edition - $5.30
Favourite number 1 is a product i purchased at the start of October and i've used it every single day since! ELF's Little Black Beauty Book in the Warm Edition. This palette comes with 48, very small eye shadows and they vary in quality. For the most part though i think they are pretty good quality for the cost of the palettte. This palette was from iHerb for $5.30AUD. It it unavailable on the Australian ELF site though here are similar palettes available for $8.99AUD. I have swatched some of the shadows i've been using and that are my favourites.


Physician Formula - Conceal RX (14g) - $9.50
My favourite concealer lately is the Physicians Formula Conceal RX. I'm not sure where you can get it in Australia other than Ebay (for around $9.50), I bought my in the States earlier this year. This is a very pigmented concealer that really only needs a tiny bit to cover most blemishes. I think this is my all time favourite concealer and it beats out the Estee Lauder Double Wear concealer for me (plus, way cheaper!). The tube which is 14g and will last quite awhile! I have pretty blemished skin and only really use two (maximum) tiny little blob of this concealer. 


Wet N Wild - Color Icon Blush in Heather Silk - $9.95
The blush I've been using all month this month has been the Wet N Wild blush in Heather Silk. These blushes are phenomenal! They are highly pigmented and last all day on my skin (my Colorstay foundation may have a lot to do with this). I highly recommend these blushes because they are in expensive, highly pigmented, and you barely use any of it. They will probably last you awhile. As far as i know Wet N Wild is unavailable in any stores in Australia but you can purchase the brand from Crush Cosmetics.


Fresh - Sugar Lip Treatment in Coral - $38-42
This is the third time i've had one of these in my favourites and i'm sure you are sick of them already! I love these lip products!! This lip treatment blends a very hydrating balm with a decent amount of pigmentation. The Coral shade is as described - coral. It has no taste and a pleasant smell. This particular shade does include SPF. They are available, in Australia, from StrawberryNet and CosmeticsNow and are worth every cent!!





Avon - Ultra Luxury eye liner in Black - $6
I'm not one that usually wears eyeliner I'll admit. In fact I own a bunch and never ever wear them but for some reason I pulled this one out and started lining my upper lash line with a thin line 3/4 of the way across. While this isn't the best eyeliner ever (doesn't last long in the water line) it definitely lasts all day long and doesn't transfer to my lid/crease (without being set with eye shadow), which is good considering I have hooded eyes. I've read that other people have issues with the staying power so maybe I'm just lucky. The thing about this liner is that it applies really smoothly and when sharpened can give me a very very thin line. As I said, I have hooded eyes so I don't have a lot of lid space to work with and therefore like to keep my line as thin as I can and this eye liner makes it easy. 

INM Out the Door top coat (15ml)/OPI Peace & Love & OPI (15ml)- $7/$20
These two together are a favourite for me this month. I've already done a full post on the OPI polish (which i adore and have been wearing pretty much straight since i got it) so i won't go on about it anymore. How beautiful is it though! The top coat on the other hand i will rave about. I bought this as a substitute for Seche Vite which i was getting annoyed with because of shrinking. It's not quite as shinyas Seche Vite (INM does sell a "wet look" top coat that i haven't tried, but will soon) but it dries just as fast and lasts longer in my opinion! I get my Out the Door top coat from the ebay store Niko Beauty. It seems to be the cheapest to Australia for a single 15ml bottle. You can also get the 120ml bottle for $30.45 from ebay (which is the equivilant of 8 bottles or $3.80 per 15ml) or the 75ml bottle for $26.33 (equivilant of 5 bottles or $5.27 per 15ml). I think i will get the 120ml next and see how long it lasts before i use it all up or it dries up.

Batiste - Dry shampoo in Medium & Brunette (200ml) - $12.95
Again, this is another favourite i've already talked about in my multi brand dry shampoo review. I love this dry shampoo and as soon as i have used up all my others, i will start exclusively using this. It's volumising, it actually soaks up a decent amount of oily and the effect lasts all day. LOVE! If you haven't tried Batiste dry shampoo you should. It comes in a variety of scents/formulas. I have tried the Blush one before but wasn't crazy about the scent. Take a look though - you'll probably find something you like!


Real Techniques - Core Collection - $19
This brush is one from the Real Techniques Core Collection set ($44.99 at Priceline). The set comes with 4 brushes and so far i have really only been using two - the Buffing Brush and the Contour Brush. I adore both but the buffing brush is my favourite! It is absolutely perfect for my powder and reminds me a lot of the Nude by Nature brush that i've raved about before only with a longer, thinner handle (which i kind of like more). I think i'm going to invest in the Expert Face Brush as well for my Chanel cream bronzer because so far Real Techniques brushes are a win.



Moleskine - Limited Edition 12 Months Peanuts Weekly Notebook Planner (Large) - $24
My last favourite is not makeup related and is probably a little geeky.. but it's my 2013 Peanuts Moleksine diary. How cute!  My favourite thing about this time of the year is that i can pick out next years diary! They also released Lego, Mickey Mouse, Le Petite Prince, The Hobbit, Star Wars and one for the 50th anniversary of the Audit Cassette but two years in a row i went for Peanuts. For 2014 I went for a slightly smaller (though fatter) Moleskine - the purple 12 month Daily Planner in the smaller size (9cm x 14cm) as opposed to the one from this year which was a little larger (13cm x 21cm). I would have gone Peanuts again but the 2014 version has a white cover and i will trash it way too quickly! You can see the Peanuts Collection (along with the others) at the Moleskine website. I usually purchase mine from Book Depository though because it is much cheaper ($24 vs $37 for this years limited edition Peanuts diary).

October 30, 2013

NOTM: Nail of the Moment - OPI Peace & Love & OPI

I officially have a new favourite nail polish and I am obsessed! I could happily wear it on my nails over and over again (and I have been!). It is Peace & Love & OPI from the San Francisco collection.


Peace & Love & OPI is a green and purple duo chrome. The green is more of a dark grey-teal but can look bright green under strong light. The purple is on the pink side even looking red in low light (as you can see from my photo below what was taken in the shade). It's gorgeous!
 
The application was perfect. It went on opaque in one coat but as always I used two. It dried relatively quickly (which is typical of duo chromes i've found). Chipping is minimal even after a week at work and wear at the tips was pretty standard - just a little wearing off along the very edge of the nail. There was no marks on paper from the colour transferring if my nail is accidentally scrapped on the surface. Of course i topped my two coats of polish with a generous coat of INM Out The Door top coat which helps with chipping, wear and colour transfer.
 
 
All in all I love this polish. It has great wear, great application and is a beautiful colour. 

This colour reminds me a little of Chanel Black Pearl, which is a grey-teal shimmer, but with a purple duo chrome. You can see this in the photo below comparing the two. I haven't compared them on the nail though. I think the green in Peace & Love & OPI will be a little brighter than with Black Pearl.
 
 
Personally i think everyone should run out and get this colour!
 
What is your favourite polish that you wear repeatedly?
 

October 20, 2013

Dry Shampoos: Multi Brand Review

Hey everyone. Today i have a review of four dry shampoos. They are:
  • Lush - No Drought
  • Polished London - Dry Shampoo in Blighty Brunette
  • Cedel - Dry Shampoo & Dry Conditioner
  • Batiste - Dry Shampoo in Medium & Brunette
First is Lush's No Drought. Unlike the rest of the dry shampoos in this review this one is not in an aerosol can. This does make it a little messier to use and i feel as though i end up using more of it than i need to. The smell of No Drought reminds me a lot of sherbet. Lush describes the smell as "lemon, grapefruit and lime". The powder itself is quite fine so it does blend in with ease so long as you don't go overboard. Does it work? Yeah it does. It is pretty effective by comparison to other dry shampoos. I do recommend it if you don't mind the application method. I put a bit on the tips of my fingers and then gently rub it at the roots of my hair. You can purchase it online or in a Lush store for $13.95 for a 115ml bottle.

Dry shampoo number 2 is by Polished London. This was a brand i just happened across in Priceline. I went for the brunette version because my hair is a bit darker after my last hairdressers appointment. This dry shampoo i do not like. Firstly, the smell is really strong. Second, when you spray it on the dust and scent hangs around and disperses so bad that i always end up breathing it in and choking on it. To use it i have to either go outside or at least the other side of the room, spray it and then walk away. It is also average when it comes to performance. It isn't terrible, it does keep my hair fresh but not for as long as the other shampoos. A 150ml can is $4.95 at Priceline.

The next dry shampoo is by Batiste which is a very popular dry shampoo. I have tried one of the other versions of this before, i believe it was the Blush, and i wasn't particularly impressed. I think it was the particular scent though because i love this Medium and Brunette version. It doesn't have an overwhelming smell, it doesn't disperse a horrible dust. It works pretty well to absorb the oil and keep my hair fresh for longer. It seems to give me more volume than the rest do as well. A 200ml can is $12.95 at Priceline.





Lastly is the Cedel Dry Shampoo and Dry Conditioner. I don't have an image of the dry shampoo but it comes in a can that looks the same as the dry conditioner only a different colour (purple for the normal version or blue for dark hair). Before i tried the Batiste shampoo this was my absolute go to dry shampoo and i used a ridiculous number of cans. I found that i went through it faster than i seem to be using up the Batiste one though. It comes in a much smaller can though to that could be why. I love the way it left my hair looking - voluminous and non greasy. I do feel as though it left residue though where i don't feel it so much with the Batiste. A 70g can is $7.99.


The dry conditioner is a similar product to the shampoo in that it is meant to moisturise your hair without washing. It is okay but not something i would recommend. I didn't notice a difference in my hair. A 100ml can is $7.99.

After all that here they are in my order of preference:
  • Batiste - Dry Shampoo in Medium & Brunette
  • Cedel - Dry Shampoo & Dry Conditioner
  • Lush - No Drought
  • Polished London - Dry Shampoo in Blighty Brunette

What is your favourite dry shampoo?

October 13, 2013

Overview: Package Forwarding Companies

Oh boy, I've been working on this post for quite awhile!

I'd like to preface this post with this: I have not yet ordered through ANY of these companies. This overview is based on my research into the costs of these services and not the customer service, speed or reliability of these services. I am considering ordering from a few websites using a service (or more than one) and i will report on those when that happens. For now though, this is simply my compilation of the costs involved to allow you to more simply compare and choose the service you may wish to look into further.

I based all my shipping costs on the weight of 3.5kg (7.7lbs). Most package forwarding services use either the dimensional or actual weight of the package depending on which is greater. Dimensional weight is calculated as follows:
L x W x H
5000

Where a service asked for the dimensions of a package i entered 40cm (L) by 20cm (W) by 15cm (H). This comes to a dimensional weight of 2.4kg which is obviously the lesser weight. This is important to keep in mind as you may purchase something very light (a large teddy bear for example, large but light) thinking that it will not cost a lot in shipping however you would be changed the dimensional weight which may be considerably more.

Another very important thing to note is that when using these services to ship to Australia they must adhere to Customs. This means two things for Australians:
1. Duties & Taxes: If your purchase - including all shipping costs, insurance etc - is more than $1,000AUD duties and tax WILL apply. You can refer to the Customs Website for more information on how duties and taxes are calculated and applied.
2. Dangerous & Hazardous Goods: Almost all of the shipping companies i looked into use USPS, FedEx, DHL, TNT or another similar courier to forward packages. All of these couriers have a restriction on the goods that can be imported into Australia. For those with a mind to purchase beauty products you need to keep in mind that nail polish, nail polish remover, perfumes, hair spray and other such products that are either aerosols or contain alcohol are considered Dangerous & Hazardous Goods and therefore can NOT be shipped. You should refer to the website of the specific courier that will be utilised for more information on what can and can not be shipped to Australia under their guidelines.

For the calculations of the total amount i also used the simple figure of $100 for the purchase itself (excluding any US taxes) and assumed free shipping. The store you choose to order from may not include free domestic shipping - something to keep in mind.

Also as disclosure, i may not have included all fees here so don't take my calculations as gospel. This is simply a rough estimate of costs to see which companies seem to offer the best deal. They don't all disclose all their fee information without membership so there are some costs involved that i may be missing.

The information i looked into was the location of the local address and the US takes applicable, any monthly or per package fees, consolidation and repacking fees, personal shopping services, insurance, storage, returns and any other information that may help make a determination of the service to use (eg photographs of products for free).

Also, the US is looking at changing sales tax on online purchases so the tax information may not be correct upon future reading but was correct at the time this post was published.

With all that said, after my research, in order of cheapest to most expensive these are the companies I've looked into:
  1. My American Shipper
  2. Comgateway
  3. HopShopGo
  4. Bongo
  5. Shipito
  6. Viaddress
  7. Price USA
  8. MYUS
  9. Parcel Zoom
  10. Forward IT
  11. OPAS (formerly Ship2Me)
  12. Lil' Shoppa
  13. Shopaholiques
  14. Parcel It On
1. My American Shipper (fees charged in USD)
This service is located in Los Angeles, California which means that there is 9.75% US sales tax is applicable to any purchases sent to this address. This is the highest tax rate of all the services that i have listed here. There are no monthly, sign up or per box fee for this service.

According to the website this service offers free consolidation and repacking and all personal shopping is done through it's sister site, My American Shopper.

Storage is free for 45 days and there is no information on the cost after this period. Returns are kind of expensive at $20 if returned before shipping to Australia.

The bonus of this service is that it offers free insurance, free photos of all products you've ordered and if anything is damaged the company will attempt to exchange it on your behalf.

Price by my calculation: $100 (purchase price) + $55.94 (standard shipping) = $155.94


2. Comgateway (fees charged in USD)
This service is located in Portland, Oregon which means that no US sales tax is applicable to any purchases sent to this address. There is no monthly subscription or per package fee for this service. Membership is updated to "Prime Membership" after three package shipments automatically for 6 months. So long as you continue to order a minimum of 3 packages every 6 months you automatically maintain your Prime status.

Up to 3 packages can be consolidated for free then each additional package is $1 up to a maximum of 15 packages. Packages can also be repacked for a $5-7 fee (prime members get cheaper rates). Personal shopping fee is 10% (of purchase price and domestic shipping).

Packages can be stored for up to 15 days for free then a fee of $1 a day is charged. Returns can be made (prior to forwarding) for a $5 fee plus the cost of domestic shipping. There is a $9.95 fuel surcharge and a compulsory 0.65% insurance charge (on purchase, domestic shipping & international shipping).

Price by my calculation: $100 (purchase price) + $48 (standard shipping) + $9.95 (fuel surcharge) + $0.96 (insurance) = $158.91


3. HopShopGo (fees charged in USD)
This service is linked to Comgateway and has all the same fees and charges. It is also located in Portland, Oregon which means that no US sales tax is applicable to any purchases sent to this address. No monthly subscription or per package fee for this service.

Up to 3 packages can be consolidated for free then $1 per package up to a maximum of 15 packages. Packages can be repacked for a $5-7 fee. Packages can be stored for up to 15 days for free then a fee of $1 a day is charged. Returns for a $5 fee plus the cost of domestic shipping.

Personal shopping fee is 10% (of purchase price and domestic shipping).

There is a $9.95 fuel surcharge and a compulsory 0.65% insurance charge (on purchase, domestic shipping & international shipping).

Price by my calculation: $100 (purchase price) + $48 (standard shipping) + $9.95 (fuel surcharge) + $0.96 (insurance) = $158.91


4. Bongo (fees charged in USD)
This service is located in Connecticut which means that there is 6.35% US sales tax is applicable to any purchases sent to this address. There is no monthly subscription for this service however there is a charge of $5 per box.

Consolidation is stated as being free for this service. Repacking is not mentioned so it would be advisable to contact Bongo for more information. Personal shopping fee is 10%.

Storage is free for 21 days and there is no information on the cost after this period. Returns can be made for free but any domestic shipping is payable. Insurance is optional and is charged at 2% of the total value. There is also a 9.5% fuel surcharge.

Bongo also issues you an address in the EU should you wish to shop at stores that do not ship outside of the EU.

Price by my calculation (US, not EU): $100 (purchase price) + $51.30 (standard shipping) + $9.95 (fuel surcharge) = $161.25


5. Shipito (fees charged in USD)
This service has three address locations with varying amounts of US sales tax. They are Oregon (no sales tax), Nevada (8.1% sales tax) and California (10% sales tax). There is a fee of $8.50 per package to use this service.

There is no consolidation option with this service however the website does say that repacking can be requested but there is no details on the cost of this. Personal shipping services are the previously mentioned $8.50 fee plus the purchase price, taxes, a bank fee of 4.3%, shipping and insurance. Insurance costs depend on the method of shipping chosen. The 4.3% bank fee will be refunded if any charges are paid by EFT.

This service will only hold one package at a time which is why there is no consolidation. If you will be ordering frequently this is probably not the service for you. There was no information about returns.

Price by my calculation (based on Oregon mailbox): $100 (purchase price) + $58.87 (standard shipping, free insurance)  + $6.83 (bank fee) = $165.07


6. Viaddress (fees charged in USD)
This services mailbox is located in Indiana and has an applicable sales tax of 9%. There is no membership, setup or per package fees to use this service.

There is free consolidation and repacking using Viaddress. There is also no fuel surcharge, no storage fees and no banking fees. There was no information on the website regarding the costs of returning packages or items. The personal shopping service is also apparently free.

There is no information on the website regarding insurance options or costs.  There was also no information on the website regarding returns.

Price by my calculation: $100 (purchase price) + $65.42 (standard shipping) = $165.42


7. Price USA (fees charged in USD)
This service is based in Oregon and therefore attracts no US sales tax. There is a $10 fee per package if you use the standard order form. If the simple order form is used then there is an additional $5 fee for the additional administration work involved. This service is personal shipping only. You can not order from a website yourself and have it forwarded.

The service offers consolidation but there is no price information. There is also no information regarding storage. There is a compulsory 2.5% insurance fee (of purchase price and domestic shipping).

Items can be inspected prior to shipment for a fee of $10. All products must be ordered via on of their order forms. There is a button which can be added to your favourites bar to allow you to add the items you want to the order form from the website you are purchasing them from.

Price by my calculation: $100 (purchase price) + $10 (package fee) + $0.02 (compulsory insurance) $63.89 (shipping) = $173.91


8. MYUS (fees charged in USD)
MYUS is based in Florida which has a US sales tax of 7.5%. There are multiple memberships for this service but the following is based on the free, standard service: there is a $10 setup fee but no ongoing account fees or fees per package.

Consolidation and repacking is free. Storage is free for 5 days after which time it is $1 per day. Returns are accepted and based on the website it seems there is no fee, but buyer pays domestic return shipping.

Personal shopping is available with a 5-10% fee depending on the method of payment for the service (credit cards cost more) with a $10 minimum. Insurance costs $2 per $100 for up to $300 (free for orders under $100). Photos of packages are available for a $2 fee.

Price by my calculation: $100 (purchase price) + $7.50 (tax) + $10 (set up fee) + $78.56 (shipping) = $196.06 ($186.06 after first order)


9. Parcel Zoom (fees charged in USD)
This service is based in New Jersey and has a 7% US sales tax per order. There is no sign up fees, membership fees or package fees to use this service.

Consolidation and repackaging costs $4.50 for each additional package. Storage is free for 90 days after which time there is no information. There is also no information on the website regarding returns.

A personal shopping service is available for a fee of 10%. Insurance costs $2 per $100 for up to $300.

This service offers a free product photo service. A banking fee of 4% (which is included in the shipping costs) is applicable but can be returned if you pay by wire/bank transfer.

Price by my calculation: $100 (purchase price) + $7.00 (tax) + $79.90 (shipping) + $4.00 (banking fee) = $190.90


10. Forward IT (fees charged in USD)
This service is personal shopping only. It is located in Colorado where a 10% sales tax applies. There is a $9.99 fee per website that you order from. If the order is over $200 you will also be charged an admin free of 3.9%.

Consolidation and repacking are free for this service. There is no insurance information listed on the website and there is no package forwarding option. Storage is free for 30 days then $3 per day. Returns are accepted but there is no information listed on the website about costs associated with returns.

Price by my calculation: $100 (purchase price) + $10 (tax) + $9.99 (website fee x 1) + $72.74 (shipping) = $192.73


11. OPAS (fees charged in USD)
This service is located in Portland, Oregon which means that there is no US sales tax is applicable to any purchases sent to this address. You can also get a Japanese address using this service to shop in Asia however i did not look into any costs associated with that address.

There is no monthly subscription for this service however there is a $25 set up fee and a charge of $10 per shipment.

Consolidation is available for this service however no cost information was available on the website. Storage is free for 30 days and then it is $1 per day for an undisclosed period. Returns can be made for a $10 fee but any domestic shipping is payable. Insurance is optional and is charged at 2% of the total value.

Personal shipping services are available for a fee of 15% with a $10 minimum. If the items need to be purchased or picked up in store there is an additional charge of $30. Inspection of the goods is available for a fee.

Price by my calculation (US address): $100 (purchase price) + $25 (setup fee) + $10 (package fee) + $87.30 (shipping) = $222.30 ($197.30 after first order)


12. Lil' Shoppa (fees charged in USD)
Lil' Shoppa is based in Los Angeles, California therefore has 9.75% sales tax. There is a 15% admin fee (which drops to 10% if the order is over $1,500) for this service.

The website states that consolidation and repacking is available but it does not state how much it costs. There is no information on storage on the website. Returns can be made during the 7 day cooling off period but you should contact the owner for more information regarding this. Insurance is available for $15.

There does not appear to be an additional charge for personal shopping services. As with Price USA there is a button which can be added to your favourites bar to allow you to add the items you want to the order form from the website you are purchasing them from with the ability to add additional notes such as discount or fee shipping codes.

Price by my calculation: $100 (purchase price) + $9.75 (tax) + $16.46 (administration fee) + $79.95 (shipping) = $206.16


13. Shopaholiques (fees charged in USD)
Shopaholiques is based in New Jersey which has a sales tax of 7%. There is a $20 fee per package to use this service.

Consolidation and repacking is charged at $2.50 per package. There is no information on storage. Returns are accepted at a fee of $5 per order plus the return domestic shipping. There is no information on the website regarding insurance.

Personal shopping services are available for a fee:
  • < $199 - $20 fee
  • $200 - $399 - $24 fee
  • > $400 - fee is 6% of purchase price.
Price by my calculation: $100 (purchase price) + $7.00 (tax) + $20 (administration fee) + $79.95 (shipping) = $206.95


14. Parcel It On (fees charged in USD)
This service is based in New Jersey and therefore any purchases attract a 7% sales tax. There is a fee of $15 per package if shipped by USPS or $25 for another shipping service as well as an 3.9% administration fee (on entire invoice).

Repacking and consolidation is $2.50 per package. Personal shipping is available for a 4% fee plus 5 dollars per package.

Storage is available for free for 8 weeks after which time you will be charged $5 per week until the end of the 4th week when all goods will be donated to charity. Returns can be made for a $5 fee plus the cost of the domestic shipping.

Price by my calculation: $100 (purchase price) + $15 (package fee) + $91.90 (shipping) + $8.07 (administration fee) = $214.97

Now to give you an idea of the savings that using one of these services can make I'll do a quick comparison between shopping at Drugstore.com and in Australia. I've used full prices, not sale prices and this does not include shipping (domestic).

Product Drugstore.com Australian Price Price difference
Revlon Colorstay Foundation $12.99 $34.95 -$21.96
Wet N Wild Trio $2.99 $9.95 -$6.96
Wet N Wild 8 Pan Palette $4.99 $14.95 -$9.96
Wet N Wild Blush $2.99 $9.95 -$6.96
Almay Get Up & Grow Mascara $7.99 $19.95 -$11.96
Clarisonic Brushes (2 pack) $40.00 $58.00 -$18.00
Neutrogena Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover $7.99 $10.89 -$2.90
Rimmel Apocalips $5.49 $15.95 -$10.46
Real Techniques Starter Set $17.99 $39.99 -$22.00
Covergirl Lash Blast $7.79 $17.95 -$10.16
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer $10.39 $19.85 -$9.46
Revlon Lip Butter $7.49 $21.95 -$14.46
Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Eyeshadow $6.99 $11.95 -$4.96
Total
Total
Total Savings
$136.08 $286.28 -$150.20

If you paid $136 USD for all this and then had to pay $70USD in international shipping using one of the above companies you'd still save $80. That's pretty good considering Drugstore.com you can get all this in one place where as in Australia you'd need to get some from Priceline, Crush Cosmetics and Mecca Cosmetica - all of which charge domestic shipping. Drugstore.com has free domestic shipping for orders over $35USD.

After all this information I'll leave you with this: My choice will be HopShopGo. It seems like it will be the easiest to use, one of the cheapest and i like that it links to my Paypal.

October 09, 2013

Haul #4: iHerb

Last week i saw the Real Techniques brushes in Priceline and i've been eyeing them off for quite awhile. I've been waiting for a sale but it just hasn't happened. After my housemate trying to convince me to just go ahead and them them full price i held fast and looked online instead. That's when i came across iHerb. They had them for half the price and reasonable shipping so i decided to make an order.
 
First i went for the Real Techniques brushes i had wanted. I got the Core Collection set ($44.99 at Priceline). At iHerb it cost me $17.99 USD which is around $19AUD. That's less than half price! I haven't used them yet but when i took them out of the package they were so soft. I also like the case/stand that they come with which will come in handy.
 
 
I also bought the Real Techniques Lash and Brow Groomer brush which is $14.99 at Priceline but only $5.99USD at iHerb ($6.35AUD).
 
After getting what i original went for, like any beauty addict i looked around at the rest of the products they stock. They stock a lot of natural beauty brands I'd never heard of but they also have some ELF and Physicians Formula. I ended up grabbing a couple of elf palettes.
 
First was the ELF Studio Baked Eyeshadow Palette in California which is a neutral palette. On the ELF USA website this palette retails for $10 and it was $9.99USD at iHerb. It is not available on the Australian ELF website. This palette comes with 10 domed backed shadows approximately 1cm in diameter. The quality as with all inexpensive cosmetics is a bit hit or miss. Some shades are more pigmented than others but for $10 i was happy. Applied wet, almost all of these shades these would be great. They are swatched here with no base or primer.
 

The second ELF product that i bought was another palette. This time the Little Black Beauty Book in the Warm Edition. This palette comes with 48, very small eye shadows and again, they vary in quality. I used this palette this morning and some of the shades, despite looking different in the pan, apply so similar in colour on the eye i may as well have used just one. This palette was $4.99USD from iHerb ($5.30AUD) and is also unavailable on the Australian ELF site though here are similar palettes available for $8.99AUD.


These are a selection of random colours swatched with no base or primer.

I also couldn't help but get the cult favourite Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque. I've heard this raved about on YouTube for years so it's about time i tried it. This was $3.84USD ($4.10AUD) on iHerb.  

Last but not least was this contour brush from EcoTools. We can get EcoTools here in Australia (from Priceline) however i have never seen this particular brush online or instore. It seemed like the perfect brush for a more subtle everyday contour. When i opened this up and touched it i was shocked at how ridiculously soft this brush is! It is a little bigger than i expected but i still love it anyway. It was $9.97USD at iHerb ($10.60AUD).
 
 
I was really quite impressed with iHerb. Because this was my first order i got $10 off. On top of that there was 10% off orders over $60 so i saved around $16.00USD. Shipping was only $8 despite that i also got some heavier food items (snack food) and it was shipped by DHL. More impressive was that i made my order on October 2 and received it on October 8. 6 days! I'm very happy with iHerb and will definitely order again, maybe even try some of the brands i have never heard of.
 
Also if you would like $5-$10 off your first order you can visit this link. (Note this is a referral link - it is a part of their rewards program.)
 


October 07, 2013

My Fragrance Collection


Yesterday i decided that i needed a change and unfortunately a holiday was out of the question so i rearranged my bedroom. This meant that i could reorganise my dresser. While it's nice and neat i figured it was a good time to do a fragrance collection video.

First, is the Harajuku Lovers G. Don't ask me what happened to the top of it that looks like a girl (which you can see here). G smells like summer, summer in a bottle. It reminds me a lot of a pina colada pretty much! I'm a sucker for anything coconut smelling so it makes sense that this is one of my favourite perfumes. There are a few different versions of this perfume (like G By The Sea) which I'm not a fan of. 
It's notes are:
Top - crisp mandarin, fresh coconut, apple skin
Middle - jasmine sambac, soft freesia, magnolia vapour
Base - coconut cream, white sandalwood, cottonwoods
Next is my all time favourite perfume. If there is a scent that you could call my signature scent that everyone knows is me when they smell it Hypnotic Poison by Christian Dior is it. Hypnotic Poison, on me anyway, comes off smelling very vanilla and musk which are two of it's base notes. This is a perfume that i always get compliments on especially from men.
It's notes are:
Top - Caraway, Bitter Almond
Middle - Jasmine Sambac, Moss
Base - Jacarander Wood, Vanilla, Musk


Lancome Tresor Midnight Rose is one very very strong perfume. I don't remember if i have the EDP or the ETP but it's very strong and lasts quite awhile. One me, one spray and i can still smell it hours later. My coworkers have commented on it too, in fact one bought it for his sister as a present after i wore it at work. I got a few samples of this from a beauty subscription box at first and didn't love it (i actually gave one of the samples to a friend) but i used it anyway and it grew on me. 
It's notes are:
Top: raspberry rose absolute 
Middle: jasmine, peony, currant buds, pink pepper 
Base: Virginian cedar, musk and vanilla

Next is Glamour by Moschino. I wont' say too much about this one because i included it i another post, which you can see here.
It's notes are:
Top:  mandarin orange, neroli and bergamot
Middle: orange blossom, apple, pear and rose
Base: musk, petit grain and cedar

DKNY Be Delicious. I had wanted this for a really long time and just never got around to getting it but i was in Sephora on one of my trips to the US and this small size was in the bins near the checkout and i snatched it up. 
It's notes are:
Top: cucumber, grapefruit and magnolia
Middle: Apple, tuberose, rose, violet, white muguet
Base: White Amber, Woods




I freaking love La Vanilla. I don't know if you have noticed that so far most of my scents are very fruity and/or very vanilla. It's an obsession. This fragrance, La Vanilla Vanilla Passionfruit, is the perfect blend of both!
It's notes are passion fruit, guava, peach, blue lotus, clary sage, juniper berries, sandalwood and Madagascar vanilla.



Burberry Brit is another fragrance i've featured in another post recently and you can find that here.
It's notes are:
Top: Italian Lime, Icy Pear, Crisp Green Almond
Middle: Sugared Almond, White Peony
Base: Amber, Mahogany, Vanilla, Tonka






Hugo Boss XX is another one of my all time favourite perfumes. I remember buying it when i first came out and i was obsessed. I still am! It's a little more difficult to find these days so i usually get it from The Iconic
It's notes are:
Top: mandarin, blueberry and litchi
Middle: jasmine and rose
Base: sensual musk and amber



Now on to all my mini or sample size fragrances!

These three mini roller balls are from La Vanilla. These are Vanilla Grapefruit, Vanilla Coconut & Pure Vanilla.

Notes are:
Vanilla Grapefruit - lime, patchouli, grapefruit, heliotrope, bergamot, madagascar vanilla and sandalwood.
Vanilla Coconut - tiare flower,  sandalwood, heliotrope, coconut and vanilla.
Pure Vanilla - patchouli, freesia, heliotrope, madagascar vanilla and tonka bean.

We all know that i love Clinique and i actually don't mind their signature fragrance, Happy, either. You can see that i don't wear it that often, but i have used a previous sample up as well.
It's notes are:
Top: Ruby Red Grapefruit, Bergamot, West Indian Mandarin Tree Blossom, High Altitude Laurel
Middle: Boysenberry Bush Flower, Morning Dew Orchid, Melati Blossom
Base: Hawaiian Wedding Flower, White Crinium Lily, Chinese Golden Magnolia, Spring Mimosa Blossoms


Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue used to be my signature perfume all through my teenage years. I used to wear it every single day between the ages of about 15 to 20. It was actually the only perfume i owned at that time. It has a very light fruity smell and is great for those that are younger. 
It's notes are:
Top: Granny Smith Apple, Sicilian Cedar, Bluebells
Middle: Jasmine, White Rose, Bamboo
Base: Cedarwood, Amber, Musks


This fragrance called La Petite Robe Noire by Guerlain is actually one I've never worn. Again, i got the sample in a beauty subscription box but just keep forgetting that i have it. The sound of Aniseed as a base note sort of scares me. I've smelt this obviously and i like it but smells sometimes change once they hit my skin. Guess I'm worried it will be the most prominent note! 
It's notes are:
Top: Black cherry, bergamot, red berries, almond
Middle: Bulgarian rose, Turkish rose, licorice, smoked black tea
Base: Aniseed, tonka bean, vanilla, iris, patchouli

Finally i have a few body sprays from Bath & Body Works.

Secret Wonderland fragrance mist smells floral and sweet but is not too sweet. It's great for a summer day and last reasonably well considering it is a body mist.
It's notes are:
Top: Luscious Strawberry, Wild Goji Berries, Ripe Raspberry
Middle: Gardenia Petals, Jasmine, Peach Nectar
Base: Coconut Musk, Creamy Vanilla, Sandalwood, White Amber





Be Enchanted is very similar to Secret Wonderland but it smells much more fruity to me. I smell the passionfruit more than anything else. 
It's notes are:
Top: Mouthwatering Citrus, Iced Pomegranate, Chilled Wildberries, Crystallized Passionfruit
Middle: Sheer Honeysuckle, Floral Frosted Bouquet, Sugared Violet, Dew fruit, Asian Pear
Base: Whipped Vanilla, Creamy Musk, Sandalwood




Finally is Japanese Cherry Blossom which unlike the previous two is not quite so sweet.
It's notes are:
Top: Asian Pear, Fuji Apple and Ume Plumb
Middle: Japanese Cherry Blossom, Butterfly Lily, Kyoto Rose, Mimosa Petals
Base: Vanilla Rice, Imperial Amber, Silk Musk, Cinnamon Incense, Himalayan Cedarwood and creamy Sandalwood

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Hi there and welcome to my blog. My name is Jess and i am an anthropology and archaeology student. My speciality is forensic anthropology and archaeology. I love: Physical anthropology, osteology, forensic sciences, surfing, makeup and skincare, reading, television, playing games on my iphone, cooking, traveling, reading, history, pizza, a good nights sleep, hot weather...