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Saturday Skin Care: Marie Veronique anti aging kit

I was over the moon when Catherine from Marie Veronique Organics sent me their Anti Aging Pack to review. I had been wanting to try their famous Moisturizing Face Screen for ages now (it is in the top 5 on the Environmental Working Group’s Sunscreen guide, and quite a cult item amongst sunscreen fanatics).

The more I learn about skin care and cosmetic chemistry, the more sceptical I get of many products on the market (with big claims, big price tags, celebrity spokespersons, and very very mediocre ingredients in negligible concentrations).

I’m thrilled to find that I absolutely love the Marie Veronique products I’ve tried, as well as their intelligent approach to skin care.

price: $170 US for the anti aging pack



Anti Aging Oil +

Marie Veronique Anti Aging Oil +

Marie Veronique Anti Aging Oil +

I’ve found that what works best for my dehydrated skin is layering night time skin care. After my shower I like using a serum, then moisturiser, and then a treatment oil. 

This is one of the best face treatment oils I’ve used, I’d say it might even be better than *GASP* Kosmea’s Rose Hip Oil (one of my favourite product ever). After massaging into my face, my skin feels really nourished and ‘plump’. The next morning I wake up with glowy perfect skin that I can’t stop touching.

This is a great blend of skin loving oils chosen for their nutrient profile, including my old favourites Jojoba and Rose Hip, as well as exotic oils like Argan, Sea Buckthorn, Black Raspberry and Meadowfoam.

Ingredients: Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba oil), Vitus viniferi (grapeseed oil, expeller-pressed), Limnanthes alba (meadowfoam seed oil), Prunus armeniaca (apricot kernel oil), Borago officinalis (borage oil), Argania spinosa (argan oil), emu oil, Rubus fruticosus (blackberry seed oil), Oenotherus biennis (evening primrose oil), Rosa rubignosa (rosehip seed oil), Sclerocarya birrea (marula oil), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Rubus idaeus (black raspberry seed oil), Hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn oil), Calophyllum inophyllum (Tamanu oil), Vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry seed oil), Actinidia deliciosa (kiwi seed oil), Rosemary oleoresin, lecithin, lycopene, Euphasia superba (krill oil), Daucus carota (carrot seed) essential oil, Lavendula angustfolia (lavender) essential oil, Helichrysum italicum (helichrysum) essential oil, Rosa centifolia (rose absolute) essential oil, Citrus aurantium bigaradia (neroli) essential oil

Moisturising Face Screen SPF 30+ (no tint)

One of the most highest rate sunscreens on the market in terms of UVA/UVB protection, photostability, and safety (no hormone disrupting chemical filters like Oxybenzone). It uses micronised (non-nano) zinc at an impressive 20.6%.

With such a heavy duty sunscreen, you would expect it to be thick, uncomfortable, and cosmetically unacceptable- but *cue parting clouds and angelic music* it is quite the opposite! It is light, spreads effortlessly, and has a matte finish. Yes, you heard right – a MATTE finish. No finishing powder needed to take away the ‘sunscreen shine’.

For dry skinned folks (like myself), you will need a moisturiser underneath because this product isn’t very emollient and can feel a bit chalky when used alone on top of dry skin.

Even though I got the ‘untinted’ version (they also have light tint and medium tint), it is beige in colour and gives me a small amount of coverage. Enough to even out my skin tone and cover up some redness- perfect for ‘no makeup’ days.

Marie Veronique Moisturising Face Screen SPF 30+ swatch

Marie Veronique Moisturising Face Screen SPF 30+ swatch


Active Ingredient: 20.6 % non-nano zinc oxide

Other ingredients: Camellia sinensis (green& white tea), non-nano zinc oxide, Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba oil), Prunus armeniaca (apricot kernel oil), Limnanthes alba (meadowfoam seed oil), Helianthus annuus (sunflower oil), emu oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), vegetable glycerin, Elaesis guineensis (red palm oil), Rubus idaeus (red raspberry seed oil), lecithin, potassium sorbate, allantoin, Cosmocil CQ*, xanthan gum, mica, Hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn oil), Calodendrum Capense (yangu oil), Rosemary oleoresin, pearl powder, Daucus carota (carrot seed) essential oil, Cistus incanus (cistus) essential oil, Lonicera japonica (honeysuckle), Helichrysum italicum (helichrysum) essential oil, iron oxides, spirulina (medium tint only).


keep reading after the jump!


Posted by on Apr 16th, 2011 in Reviews, Skincare, Sunscreen | 715comments

The Awesomeness that is Illamasqua Ignite: Review and Swatches

Illamasqua lipstick Ignite packaging

While I was tire kicking with a few bloggers at Mecca Sydney, I saw one of the MUAs walk past with a gorgeous vivid orange red lip and cornered her (with a crazed look in my eyes I’m sure) to ask what she had on her lips.

It was Illamasqua lipstick in Ignite. So off I went to the Sephora website and MADE IT MINE.

Illamasqua lipstick Ignite

Isn’t it just gorgeous? If you want to see a full face photo I did a FOTD with this lippy in the previous post.

Bright orange red, tangerine colour.

Illamasqua describes it as a matte, but I feel that it is more of a satin finish with a very slight sheen when applied. I expected this to feel dry, like some of the Illamasqua matte lippies I’ve tried in the past but it actually wears very comfortably on the lips- I would even go so far as to say that it’s moisturising *gasp*!

It is quite pigmented, but not completely opaque (like NARS Heat Wave), about 75% coverage on first swipe but buildable with a few layers to an opaque finish.

Illamasqua lipstick Ignite swatched on hand
I’ll leave you with some orange lippy goodness. I don’t know about you, but orange lippies just make me happy.
J. Mendel runway
Kasia Struss backstage at Prada
Arianne AKA Glitter Geek has some amazing bold lip looks, not to mention the cutest dimples in the blogosphere. Here she is rocking MAC Neon Orange.


pic taken from lovely Arianne from Glitter Geek’s orange lippy post


Posted by on Apr 14th, 2011 in Illamasqua, Lipstick, Reviews, Runway, Swatches | 239comments

Petrolatum Detox chapter 3: Korres Mango Lip Butter


I want to say a big THANKYOU to all the lovely readers that suggested Korres Lip Butters for my difficult lips when I first starting doing my Petrolatum Detox series.  

This little pot is the first of many, many more lip butters in my collection. I’m absolutely loving how it feels on the lips, the way it perks up my otherwise corpse coloured lips, and the fact that it is petrolatum free.

Mango is a lovely softened reddish coral colour. It’s fairly pigmented for a lip balm, as you can see in the swatch below, but like most tinted balms, the colour wears off within about 45mins- 1hr, but I like reapplying often anyway to keep my lips happy.
I love how the orange tones in Mango counteracts the purplish colour of my lips and brightens up my face.


Corpse lips

??? ??????

Lip swatch Korres Mango Lip Butter. No more Zombie Jen XD


It’s a very soft, creamy balm- independant of temperature. I love how easily it spreads, no dragging at all, even on bitterly cold mornings; and yet it feels substantial on the lips, forming a protective layer that doesn’t disappear after 5 minutes (unlike some of the balms I reviewed previously).
And it works! My lips feel great with it on, and continues to feel hydrated after it’s worn off. Hurrah!!  



Polybutene, Trimethylolpropane Triisostearate, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Hydroxystearic Acid, Polyethylene, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Sucrose Tetrastearate Triacetate, Magnifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Mica, Aroma (Flavor), Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Oryza Sativa Cera (Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Extract, Linalool, Limonene, Hydroxycitronellal, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 15850 (Red 6), CI 15850 (Red 7 Lake), CI 15985 (Yellow 6 Lake).

Posted by on Apr 12th, 2011 in Lip balm, Petrolatum Detox, Reviews, Swatches | 135comments

Lime Crime Candy Eyed Eyeshadow Helper- review

Some time ago Lime Crime’s PR kindly sent me their eyeshadow primer, the Candy Eyed Eye Shadow Helper, to review.

“No other primers work for you? Meet your new BFF: the Eyeshadow Helper! Formulated to withstand extreme heat, moisture and even the oiliest of eyelids, this primer is guaranteed to keep your eyeshadow on! In fact, it’s so potent our lab says you will need waterproof remover just to get it off.”

price: $17 US


I have been a Urban Decay Primer Potion devotee for the last couple of years, and it had worked for me pretty well. The only issues I have with the UDPP is that matte shadows (particularly MAC mattes, which are horrible to work with IMHO) are difficult to blend over the top of the primer.
After using the Candy Eyed Eyeshadow helper for a couple of months with different eye shadow formulas (loose shadows, pressed mattes and satins, cream shadows etc) I quite like how it. The formula glides on silkily onto the eye area, even after 2 months of opening the product, and performs just as well as the UDPP in terms of preventing creasing/fading.

It does suffer from the same issue with difficulty blending out mattes as the UDPP

– It does help eye shadow stay on all day
– prevents creasing
– intensifies colours 
– applies silkily onto eye area.
– packaging in the pot means that you can easily get to the last bit of product (unlike UDPP where the last 20% or so can’t be reached by the wand)

– Can make certain matte eye shadows difficult to blend.
– product shrinks away from the container after a month.   

Posted by on Apr 10th, 2011 in Reviews | 270comments

Saturday Skin Care: Skin QR L’air du Soleil SPF 30+

L'air du Soleil SPF 30, 2.5oz

description of product from website:

Water resistant, non-greasy unique formula provides chemical-free mineral UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30, that protects skin from harmful sun rays and prevents sun damage and pigmentation.

Kojic Acid contributes to the action by lightening and repairing existing sun damage. Caviar Extract very rich in vitamins A, D, B1, B2, B6 and micro-elements Co, Cu, P, Si, Zn, Vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B12, folic acid as well as amino acids. In combination with Reishi Mushroom, they increase cell turnover and collagen synthesis, improve firmness and hydration, and reduce appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, intensify the processes inside the skin cells and at the same time slow down the degradation process.Fruit extracts provide gentle invisible exfoliation to shed dead skin cells and keep your skin fresh with rosy glow. Sea Kelp, Cucumber and Spirulina provide hydration to your skin all day long
Ellagic acid, an antioxidant found in raspberries, strawberries and cranberries, protects against ultraviolet damage by blocking production of matrix metalloproteinase enzymes that break down collagen.

price: $36.00 US
availability :

I recently used up all my Key’s Soap solar rx moisturising sunblock SPF 30+, and found myself suddenly in the market for an everyday moisturising sunscreen.

If you’ve read any of my Sunscreen Lowdown posts you would understand I’m very particular about sunscreens- I look for something that has good UVA/UVB protection, is photostable, uses micronised titanium dioxide or micronised zinc oxide, does not use hormone disrupting chemical filters like Oxybenzone to inflate the SPF value, and is cosmetically elegant. phew.

 A few weeks ago I received my SkinQR L’air du Soleil SPF 30 that I had purchased from their website, and I’ve been quite impressed with this product. 

It ticks all the boxes above, and is one of the most pleasant sunscreens to wear that I have come across. It is a fairly light lotion (rather than being thick and greasy like many physical blocking sunscreens tend to be), leaves a natural looking satin finish on the skin, and feels feather-light on the face. Something I can definitely wear every day quite comfortably. I should say, however, that I have normal to dry skin, so I have no idea how this performs on oily skin types.

There is a slight white cast when first applied but this fades significantly after about 10mins and is virtually invisible, especially if you wear foundation on top.

It is a non-nano sunscreen.

My one reservation about this product is the lightening/brightening actives. On the one hand, the Asian girl in me loves the idea of a brightening product without adding an extra step in my regime, but on the other hand, I’m not so sure I want to be using these particular actives (Kojic and Ellagic acids) during the day because they can be photosensitizing. Perhaps at the concentrations in this product this isn’t an issue? *hopeful look*

Even though it has a pretty good UVA/UVB rating, there are certainly products that exceed this, for example my Key’s sunscreen is 14% zinc oxide. It is, however, a great balance between protection and wearability.


ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Titanium Dioxide (Sunscreen)-10%, Zinc Oxide (Sunscreen)-2.5%. NON-NANO  

Deionized Aqua (Water), Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe), Ethylhexyl (Octyl) Palmitate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Glyceryl Monostearate (Plant Derived), Sclerotium Gum, Cetearyl Alcohol (Plant Derived), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil Unsaponifiables, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Stabilized Vitamin C), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Lecithin, Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Extract, Organic Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea), Behenyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid (Plant Derived), Cetyl Alcohol (Plant Derived), Polysorbate-60 (Plant Derived), Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla) Oil, Allantoin (Comfrey Root Derived), Tocopherol (Vitamin E/Antioxidant), Sodium Carbonate Hydroxide, Organic Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola), Macrocystis Pyrifera (Kelp), Spirulina Maxima (Spirulina), Prunus armeniaca (Apricot) fruit extract, Fragaria Vesca (Strawberry) Fruit Extract, Citrullus lanatus (Watermelon) fruit extract, Pumila Mill (Apple) fruit extract, Caviar Extract, Organic Argania spinosa (Argan) Oil, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry Seed Oil), Co Q10, Lavandula Augustifolia (Lavender Essential Oil), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Hyaluronic Acid, Helichrysum Italicum (Helichrysum Essential Oil), Organic Ganoderma Lucidum (Reishi), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Organic Cannabis Sativus (Hemp) Seed Oil, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn) Oil, Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu) Seed Oil, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Euterpe Oleracea (Acai), Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Organic Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Seed Oil, Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Oil, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil, Organic Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Oil, Xanthan Gum (Natural Thickener), Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexyl Glycerin.

Posted by on Apr 8th, 2011 in Reviews, Sunscreen | 203comments

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