Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Review: Facial Refiner Deep Cleansing Scrub

 So over the past two months, twice a week or so i have been using the Pelactiv Facial Refiner Deep Cleansing Scrub, it;s quite different from any facial scrubs i have tried in the past benefits, usually of the large visible grit variety. This one clearly sits on the micro abrasion side of scrubs, or there abouts.

The product uses lactic acid with the and milk extract and contains desert fuschia extract, turkey bush extract, tea tree, soya bean oil, jojoba oil and vitamin E.

Honestly i can't argue with the results, it makes your skin super smooth and clean, and doesn't give you that raw feeling that you get from a lot of harder scrubs. It's a fantastic product in terms of results, sadly i don't really care for the smell or texture.

The product is quite liquid and chalky, you can feel small grit in it but it does feel and smell quite chalky. To me it smells very strongly of chemicals which i hate, and is probably the reason I've only used it one or twice a week because despite the fantastic results it's just not very inviting. It's not one of those products that feels great to use because it smells and feels nice, this one is completely results oriented.

If a product is not great to use but has wicked results, is it worth it?

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Choosing Urban Decay Naked 2

 It's mine now, i has it! I'm so excited, I've been waiting for it to arrive, i was so down about it taking so long to arrive i barely posted anything at all last month hoping i could do this post! This one, right here! Who doesn't love Naked! hmmm...with UD Naked and NARS Orgasm and Deep Throat I'm beginning to think there might be some kind of conspiracy here.

I thought long and hard about how to present this "review", it really is almost unnecessary, there are millions of reviews for the UD pallets out there, so i thought i would discuss the process of actually choosing one (along with some sexy shots of the N2), since it seems a lot of people who get into beauty stuff eventually arrive at the decision to buy one. Sometimes after years of trying dupes and finally deciding the money is worth it to have the real thing.

In my case eye makeup has never come naturally to me, anything more complicated then mascara and a single color was really beyond me, but over the past year I've been learning a lot (with still a lot to go) and decided that i wanted to take the plunge now rather than buy 30 odd products searching for something great when a million and one bloggers have already pointed the right way.


So as you can see i went with UD N2, over N1 and over the Basic (see below) which were really the only strong contenders. Now if you not aware, this product seems to largely not be available in Australia so more then likely you will have to make your purchase on line. (for reference i choose BeautyBay because free delivery one of my hot words for on line purchasing) It's about $50 either way.

Since this is realistically the most i have ever spent on a makeup product i knew it required some research and here are the basics reasons (some quite superficial) as to what guided my decision and may realistically help someone else;

Naked - the "cult" item , this is the one everyone talks about and it really does carry that fame around with it, warmer colors, casing is not as well built, UD primer potion included (another cult item), large size item, includes blue-ish tones.

Naked 2 - less "cult" status, cooler tones, the black suffers some fallout, comes with a minty lipgloss,  double sided brush, and mirror. This one is housed in a somewhat sturdier metal tin.

Naked Basics - an item i was completely unaware of until i started the search, this includes a few colors from each and two unique but similar shades to those found in 2. A much smaller and cheaper product  ($30), no included product or brush.

As you can see there are a lot of reasons to choose any one of them, i quickly discounted the small Basics because i knew i wanted a bigger product and for a long time seriously considered the Naked(1) because it was the original and it came with the coveted primer potion but honestly, and this was a hard choice, the colors were not really me. Too warm, almost orange in some, and the two random blue tones did not suit my needs, i would buy it for the awesomeness of owning it and then never use anything but the primer potion and two colors.

So it was the Naked 2 for me, and if your facing this same choice at some point i recommend consider which colors you will actually use, of course there is nothing wrong with getting both, but personally i don;have the kind of money to just throw it away on two items that are so very similar. Otherwise maybe the Basics is a good place to start.

Either way you will not go wrong, these eyeshadow really are buttery smooth and are the most amazing eyeshadows i have ever used. So if you have a birthday coming up or want to treat yourself...well this is a very fine treat indeed.

Which one have/would you choose?

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Review: Australis See Ya Later Nailpolish Remover

Ah, to find a good nail polish remover is halfway to victory. Now when it comes to nail polish remover i am not picky, i don't care if it has acetone, actually i prefer it because i know it will work. Having seen and heard some good things about this one i decided to give it a try, and it' well it's alright. It is not the holy grail of polish remover but it isn't the devil either. All in all it's kind of average, though i did find a few things that annoyed me;

1) It's sticky?! What? How can nail polish be sticky? I don't know but it is, i do not like handling the bottle because it always feels like its covered in a layer of honey. Not great

2) The bottle is small, not an issue for most people but my usual nail polish remover is the pink one from Gloss, which is about twice the size of this.

3) It uh..smells sweet. Not like sugary sweet but not a sharp acetone smell either. I guess it should make it better but i find it kind putting i guess. I suspect this is the reason for the stickiness.

4) The bottle design, it has a small hole on the top and it leaks, its not very easy to put onto a cotton pad or napkin, and i find it always seem to leak around the edges of the lid. No thank you.

Maybe it's alright for some people who don't do alot of nail polish removal, if you only pain your nails once a month it's fine. The actual removal of nail polish is fine, not magical but acceptable. Otherwise find a better one. I recommend asking for the pink one at Gloss.

What's your favorite nail polish remover?

Monday, 11 February 2013

Review: Lush Sweetie Pie

Along with Willow soap, another part of my early Valentine's day presents was the Lush Jelly in the cutely named "Sweetie Pie". I've tried these before and they smell amazing, this one is blackcurrant and it smells incredibly....juicy. It's not a subtle smell, it's in fact very much in your face sort of scent. Very fruity, and pardon the pun, very lush. A mouthwatering kind of scent.

The product itself is literally what it sounds like "jelly", (see pic below)  and you need to tear of little chunks to use it, i find it works best when smushed into shower puff, as otherwise it tends to bubble but not ever really..disappear. Just kind of stays there jiggling on your bits.

(Look at those pretty blue shimmery bits!)

It's a bit utilitarian in that you can put in the fridge or freezer and can use it afterwards if its a hot day or your coming back from a run, and for obvious reasons this product is quite popular with kids. Especially if your trying to convince them why having a wash is a good idea.

For most people I'm not sure if its worth the hassle, it takes a while to work, its not as convenient as neither soap or shower gel, and if your not careful about your smooshing then you might end up with bits of jelly on the back of your legs. More of a treat then an everyday wash. But worth giving a try, but only if your looking for something different or just can't resist the smell.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Review: Lush Willow Soap

So.... this is my bar of Willow soap from Lush. Hopefully your looks more like this;

See, when things like this get shipped over to Australia in the Summer..they don't always survive.
According to the lovely staff at Lush plaza the crates of Willow soap got left out in the sun  a little to long by their delivery guys, same thing as what happened with their original shipment of Emotional Brilliance stuff. Sounds like someone might want to look into this?

However it's somewhat hectic history does not stop my bar of Willow from being any less loved or any less lovely; it's certainly very different and not what you usually think of when someone says "Valentines".  

Here is the story that is apparently carved onto the soap block;

Once there was a wealthy Mandarin, who had a beautiful daughter (Koong-se). She had fallen in love with her father's humble accounting assistant (Chang), angering her father (it was inappropriate for them to marry due to their difference in social class). He dismissed the young man and built a high fence around his house to keep the lovers apart. The Mandarin was planning for his daughter to marry a powerful Duke. The Duke arrived by boat to claim his bride, bearing a box of jewels as a gift. The wedding was to take place on the day the blossom fell from the willow tree.

On the eve of the daughter's wedding to the Duke, the young accountant, disguised as a servant, slipped into the palace unnoticed. As the lovers escaped with the jewels, the alarm was raised. They ran over a bridge, chased by the Mandarin, whip in hand. They eventually escaped on the Duke's ship to the safety of a secluded island, where they lived happily for years. But one day, the Duke learned of their refuge. Hungry for revenge, he sent soldiers, who captured the lovers and put them to death. The Gods, moved by their plight, transformed the lovers into a pair of doves.

But I'm sure you are not here for the stories, you want to know what the soap is like right? Well it;s as different as the soap, yes it's awesome and yes it works but it is not your usual cup of...soap?

See it lathers really well, but not like a creamy soap, it lathers into something that feels almost like clay and the texture really reminds me of my beloved Fresh Farmacy (also from lush)It smells of lemon and roses, but not too strongly of either and they blend together into a very unique but pleasant scent. The scent is certainly not man friendly and my boyfriend loves it too, and its nice to see q Valentine release not covered in pink fluffy hearts.

Highly recommend this one as it's a limited release! I will certainly be going back for more!

Here are the ingredients for anyone interested; Propylene Glycol , Rapeseed Oil , Coconut Oil (Brassica napus; Cocos nucifera) , Kaolin , Water (Aqua) , Cornflour (Zea mays) , Talc , Fragrance , Sodium Stearate , Titanium Dioxide , Rose Absolute (Rosa damascena) , Rose Oil (Rosa damascena) , Sicilian Lemon Oil (Citrus limonum) , Rosewood Oil (Aniba rosaeodora) , Glycerine , Sodium Chloride , EDTA , Tetrasodium Etidronate , Sodium Hydroxide , Synthetic Fluorphlogopite , Geraniol , *Citronellol , *Linalool , *Limonene , Ferric Ferrocyanide

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Review: Treasures for a Queen

Hello, I'm preparing some new posts coming for February (more then 3 i promise) but since i wanted to spread out a little i wanted to show you something a step removed from makeup products and nail polish but still well within the beauty sphere. After all, beauty comes in many shapes and one way we enhance our own is with beautiful accessories.

I may or may not have mentioned before that I'm very inst rested in history (hence the "castle" part of the blog name) and through one of my Christmas presents that i received (to be shown soon) i have had a new lease on my love of jeweler, specifically historically themed jeweler. Combined with a growing love of etsyi came across a shop that fulfills all these requirements.

Treasures for a Queen by Angela

Angela focuses on creating wonderful Medieval, Tudor, Renaissance, Victorian, & Gemstone Jewelry, many of which are truly a sight to behold, i especially like that many are recreations from historical portraits or sometimes historical television shows or movies.

In addition to this if there is something you have in mind she also does custom orders which i must admit is very tempting offer. I've recently purchased two pieces from the shop which are beautiful and in great condition, very well made obviously the seller puts a lot of care and effort into her work.

This was the first piece i purchased (photos from etsy) and it's a replica of a necklace worn my Elizabeth of York. It's so beautiful and the seller completely surprised me with a pair of matching earrings. I seriously love this piece, it's so pretty.

This was the other piece i purchased, and it is surprisingly heavy (not too heavy) and is a replica of the coronation pearls that Anne Boleyn wore in the Tudors tv show. Once again i was surprised with matching earrings. Truly wonderful pieces. Here are a couple more i personally like but i recommend the checking out the shop personally.

What are your fav etsy shops?