Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Marie Claire The parcel - Autumn 2017

After few hiccups with the last couple of parcels this one was delivered on time and without any issues. I got it the day before I was heading to Japan (Japanese beauty products blog coming up) hence why it took me few week to write the review for it. Overall I must say I was very happy with that I have received in this parcel and will surely use every single product in this parcel.


1. Palmer's Cocoa Butter Night Cream...value $3.50
This cream is very moisturizing yet my skin soaked it up fairly quickly. It is packed with natural oils but I am a bit hesitant to use it on my face due to me being prone to breakouts. I might moisturise my chest and neck with it instead.

2. Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Skin Scent...value $2.85
I love Estee Lauder summer fragrance range. They been bringing out Bronze Goddess every year in slightly different packaging but the scent remained unchanged. You get a gorgeous but light tiare flower on the background of citrus and coconut. It instantly puts you in holiday mode.

3. Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules...value $16.35
You get a week supply of their new and improved ceramide capsules. I have seen them around but never tried them. I like the concept of the ingredients being preserved into single use portions that will minimize the exposure to air and prevent oxidation.

4. Jergens Hydrating Coconut Lotion...value $6.99
Inexpensive yet very good product. It quickly sunk into my skin without leaving residue or heavy scent. I will re-purchase once I am out of it.

5. Burts Bees Lip Crayon...value $16.95
It supposed to be made from all natural ingredients. I got mine in a shade Niagara Overlook which is a flattering reddish-pink nude.

6. Biore Baking Soda Scrub...value $10.99
In the past Biore been hit and miss for me but this scrub is good! It comes out as powder that gets activated into a paste. It left my skin super smooth minus any irritations.

7. Bioderma Sebium Pore Refiner...value $18.50
This product can be used as a serum or a make-up primer. Either way it was very light but I can't comment on how effective it is as I haven't used it for long enough.

8. La Roche Posay Miccelar Water Ultra...value $6.50
Micellar water for sensitive skin. I always thought that it was gentle enough as it is. Either way I think I got a yearly supply of them though parcel subscription.

9 & 10. John Freida Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner...value $6.50
I am not a huge fan of this brand but always appreciate free semi-decent shampoo and conditioner that I can take traveling with me. I hope it will keep my colour looking bright.

You get $90 worth of products in this parcel and the selection is quite good. I hope they keep it up!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

My adult tonsillectomy experience - a positive perspective

To cut the long story short my tonsils needed to come out ever since I was a child and I never grew out of having constant issues with them. So in my late 20's I saw two ENT specialists and decided to go on a public hospital waiting list as the issue wasn't too pressing. After three years I got the letter and a phone call and my surgery was booked three weeks later.

That gave me enough time to arrange some time off work (I was told to have two weeks but I was back on day 12) and also prepare for the surgery. A both ENTs informed me that there will be quite a bit of pain so I have decided to read some stories on the internet. In retrospect I don't think it was a great idea as most of the stories were of people complaining and describing it as the most agonizing experience and wished they never had it done. Let me tell you it wasn't too bad.

Day 1.
My surgery was scheduled for 12 but got moved to 2 and hospital sent me an SMS so I would get there a bit later. After a bit of paperwork and waiting i was given this nice blanket with heat packs and wheeled in into pre-op room where doctors and nurses explained to me what was going to happen. They put a cannula into my hand and wheeled me into the operating room. I wiggled my way onto the operating table and suddenly felt very relaxed and told anesthetist and I feel sleepy already. Next think I knew they woke me up and told me that my surgery went well. Then they wheeled me into my ward that I shared with four other people but we had curtains for privacy. I was very drowsy but had a bad night sleep because they kept waking me up to check my blood pressure etc. I also got given some regular pain killers. My tongue felt a but swollen and numb and my throat was a bit numb too. Very mild pain even though they took two big pieces of the tissue at the back of my throat. In the morning I finished all my breakfast and got sent home with some strong pain killers. I was well looked after and happy with how everything went at the hospital.

Day 2-4.
Plenty of naps and rest time. I was taking my pain killers every four hours (alternating between Panadol and Nurofen) even in the middle of the night. My throat looked quite raw but I was trying to keep my fluid intake up and eat as normally as I could. Anything salty or acidic was a no-no and I found that ice-cream or anything frozen didn't feel good. Lots of warm tea and nothing sticky either. My mother in law brought me some mashed potatoes and chicken soup and it went down well. On day two my uvula was very swollen and I couldn't sleep on my bak as it was blocking my airway so I had to be proped up with few pillows. Also I would get very unpleasant taste esp. after the sleep. I think it was mainly due to food getting trapped in the crevices of the wounds. I found the solution - gently rinsing the area with either water or Peroxyl mouthwash using blunt curved tip syringe.



It would aim the liquid exactly where I needed it to go but you have to be careful not to damage the delicate tissue. Also I was mute most of the time and communicated via messaging or nodding. I must also say that I had some swelling under my jaw and it didn't look very flattering.

Day 5-8.
As expected the pain intensified and I got referred pain into my jaw and ears. It was time to take some strong pain killed (Endone) to keep it under control. Long ice pack also helped a lot. I got one from the pharmacy and used a scarf to hold it next under my jaw. Eating would usually trigger the pain so I would try to take strong pain killers before I had a meal (it would take me ages to finish anything). The pain wasn't constant and I would distract myself with movies and games. Plus lots of love from family, friends and kittens. I got some bleeding couple of times too but luckily it stopped otherwise it would be another emergency hospital visit.

Day 9-12.
Pain got a lot more manageable and I was back on my usual pain killer schedule (I made a little 2 week plan for it and wrote exact times and the type of meds plus any notes). Still couldn't speak properly and my taste was funny but overall was healing well and as planned. I also skipped my pain killers one night and woke up in pain so lesson was learned. Stayed on pain killers for two and a half weeks.

I am now four weeks post-op and almost back to normal. The swelling and pain are gone and the back of my throat is almost normal. Did my first gym session today and been eating pretty much anything.

The positives
  • I can breathe a lot better and can feel more air going into my lungs even when I breathe through my nose.
  • Running felt a lot easier today due to improved breathing even after a long break
  • My breath is nice and fresh all the time. 
  • I have lost 4 kgs and can fit into a lot of my old "skinny" clothes so feel much happier about my body.
  • I've got more defined jaw line as my tonsils were permanently enlarged before and would slightly bulge out.
  • I am glad that they are gone and I won't have to worry about getting tonsillitis and other nasty issues associated with it ever again!

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Fragrant Acquisitions of 2016

I love my perfumes and I have quite a collection of them. Last year I've managed to acquire 12 new ones not counting hair mists from Byredo that I absolutely love and rotate in my handbag plus couple of minis.


I don't have a particular preference however I can't seem to wear heavy, overly sweet and potent scents. I do rotate them seasonally too. I go for citruses in summer, musky and woody scents in winter and florals in spring and autumn.

This is what I got my hand on this year:

1. Guerlain Idylle Eau Sublime
This version of Idylle has a lush rose and jasmine in the center, sweetened by lychee and peach and softened by musk. Guerlain knows how to make a good perfume! I imagine a huge spring garden in the evening, when the scent of flowers intensifies in the air.


2. Marc Jacobs Daisy
I must admit that it took me a long time to appreciate this fragrance. I think for a while I could smell it on every second girl and it delayed me purchasing it. I managed to picks it up for a very reasonable price and actually found it very easy to wear. I get wild strawberries, greenery and white florals with a hint of woody notes shining towards the end. It give me that feeling of being carefree and relaxed, just as you would be during summer holidays.


3. Byredo Inflorescence
This is an interesting take on the lily of the valley. Instead of being heavy like Diorissimo, it is very airy as if you are sniffing the flower straight from the forest floor. I don't get heady white florals it supposed to have, instead I get lots of greenery and delicate spring flowers. I really enjoy wearing this one but unfortunately it is super light and doesn't last very long on my skin.


4. Chanel Chance Eau Tendre
You get bright hyacinth and jasmine behind a tart citrus note. This fragrance is very easy to wear yet it lasts on me all day. It does have a nice projection yet it is safe enough to be worn to work.

5. Azzaro Twin for Women
On me this is a Dove soap/Body Lotion scent! You get very soft almond and peach in a musky base. I haven't come across anything remotely similar. It is a lovely scent to wear especially when you don't feel like anything too perfume-y.

6. Guerlain Pamplelune
Citrus scents are usually tame and safe, not this one! You get a hefty dose of grapefruit muddled with black currant leaf on patchouli and vanilla base. It has very polarizing reviews but I love it!

7. Sarah Jessica Parker Covet
This perfume disappeared from shops for a while but I've noticed that my local Chemist Warehouse was selling it for next to nothing recently and decided to grab a bottle. I swear this celebrity scent can easily pass as a niche. It is a very calming herbal blend of lavender, citrus and geranium with an unexpected twist of bitter dark chocolate and musk.

8. Guerlain Limon Verde
Imagine freshly sliced lime that has been sprinkled by sugar. This is what Limon Verde smells like. I find it super easy to wear in hot and humid weather.

9. Chanel Christalle Eau Vert
I fell in love with this scent when going through duty free shop at the airport after a 12 hour flight. It instantly perked me up and made me feel refreshed. Another eight hours later I landed at my home airport and the first thing my husband told me was that I smelled nice! This fragrance is divine, green and fresh yet it has a body and decent lasting power.

10. Dior Addict Eau Fraiche
Bright fruity aquatic scent that is suitable for adults. It is easy to wear yet it effortlessly adds that extra finishing touch. Think of freesias and pomegranate blended with citrus.

11. L'Occitane Fleurs de Cerisier L'Eau
My beloved cherry blossom has been sweetened with watermelon and black currant and deepened with rose and musk. This is easily my favorite version out of the whole Cerisier line so far. 


Monday, December 26, 2016

Boxing Day Sales 2016


Today I got up nice and early so I could beat the mad rush and get to the boxing sales early. I wasn't brave enough to go to my local shopping centre as the parking over there would be nearly impossible to find so Brisbane CBD seemed like a better idea. I scored a parking spot only 10 minute walk to the shopping precinct and arrived to the shops at 9 20 am.


David Jones was my first stop and let me tell you it was already packed. I quickly made my way to Guerlain counter and the perfume selection and there was nothing that grabbed my attention. On my way out I've spotted Kiehl's Midnight recovery 15ml reduced to $28 so I grabbed all three. I've used this oil before and I love the way it makes my skin feel and look.

After DJ I went downstirs to Kikki K and picked up a Cute Diary pack for $20.97 reduced from $34.95 and Bucket List journal from $17.47 reduced from $24.95. I have only discovered Kikki K recently and think it is very cute store.

On the way to the Myer Centre I stopped by at Lululemon and Windsor Smith but there was nothing that really grabbed my attention. Lush was on my list but the line-up was huge so I've decided to pay Myer a visit first. I got Benefit Pinky Galore set for $55 reduced from $79. It came in the ugliest huge tin packaging in a shape of a head that I also found very wasteful but the products inside were outstanding. It contained full size Dandelion powder (RRP $51), full size the POREfessional (RRP $53), plus a mini Roller Lash and Benetints worth $20.

My next stop was L'Occitane where I found Pamplemousse Rhubarbe fragrance reduced to $51.20. It is the most gorgeous and realistic grapefruit scent and I feel to happy that I found it. So if you see it get it because it has been discontinued!

At the end I have decided to join the Lush cue that was sooo long and it literally took me half an hour before I could step into the store. However it made shopping inside the more quite pleasant as I wasn't tripping over people. All their Christmas range was half price so I got Santa in Space pack for $24.90 and Merry Christmas pack for $18.75. I am loaded with bath bombs now as Santa in Space contained two in Intergalactic and Northern light plus Twilight shower gel, Big Bang bubble bar and Santa fun soap thingy. Merry Christmas pack had four in Golden Wonder, So White, Lord of Misrule and Shoot for the Stars. All of them smell gorgeous!

By the time I was finished it was lunch time so I got rice noodle chicken salad from Ms. Chi Qi, I am a big fan as their food is always fresh and tastes delicious.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Marie Clare The Parcel - Summer '16

I was very impressed with the early delivery of The Parcel this time round.
It is all about summer and has everything to make you more tanned, protect you from the sun, rehydrate your hair and get rid of the unwanted body hair.


Upon closer inspection "Chemist Warehouse" came to mind as the majority of the brands on offer can be found at the discount pharmacies and Priceline. Nevertheless I am keen to try them out.

1. Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturiser...$10.99
This product caught my eye the other day when I was browsing my local supermarket. It is a gradual tanner that supposed to keep your skin nicely moisturised and not have that fake tan smell. To me it smells very similar to Dove gradual tanner, lets just hope that the formula gets absorbed nicely unlike Dove that likes to sit on my skin.

2. Avene Micellar Lotion...$30.95
I get a new bottle of Micellar water in nearly every box which I don't mind as I do use it (takes me ages to go through a bottle through). This one has very nice creamy Avene scent.

3. Nude by Nature Sheer Glow...$15
This is the second time I got Nude by Nature in the completely wrong shade. This time my BB cream is Deep Tan while I am super fair. I swatched it on my hand and it is definitely not for me - too oily for my liking.

4. Palmer's Coconut Oil Body Lotion...$1.50
Good 'ol Palmer's. I went through bottles of the Shea Butter lotion. This one feels very nice on my skin but has very strong coconut scent. So if you are a fan of coconut anything this one is for you.

5. Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Cleansing Pads...$2.50
I do get congested skin from time to time of I use wrong products so I would be very keen to see if these can clear up my complexion. If yes I will stock up as they are a much more affordable alternative to Dr. Dennis Gross ones.

6. Banana Boat SunComfort Lotion...$5.70
Not very exciting but necessary product. It still smells like plain and boring sunscreen but  supposed to be lightweight and non-sticky. I like tiny bottles as I find them very handy for travel.

7. Swisse Manuka Honey Mask...$2.80
I've been liking Swisse products so far. I think the quality is pretty good for a modest price. Looks like they have jumped on the mask bandwagon and came up with this Manuka Honey mask that also contains Kaolin and Charcoal to detox skin. Apparently it is ideal for blemish-prone and congested skin so if I like it I would go and get a full size one.

8. Klorane Strenghething Conditioner...$13.95
I've used the shampoo from this range before and really liked it. It used natural extracts and has pleasant herbal scent.

9. Morrocanoil treatment...$5.99
I have been using this product for years! It makes my hair smooth and shiny without weighting it down. Plus it has beautiful scent that lasts on your hair. I wouldn't use it all the time though as it can build-up in hair and make it brittle and discoloured.

10. Schick Hydro Silk...14.25
To be honest I would rather receive something else as I have other preferred methods of removing body hair. Perhaps I will treat it as a disposable shaver and take it with me on my next trip.

So this lot comes at just over $100 which is still a good value for a $25 box. I wish it had more lux samples as opposed to mass-market full sized products .




 
 

Monday, October 03, 2016

Recent Empties - July to September '16

Another lot of ten products done and dusted. I must say I did enjoy most of them and I think it is a good place to be as I no longer tend to buy many products I don't particularly like. The exception would be the products I get from my subscription boxes or sampler totes but that's what they are for in the first place.

1. Nesti Dante Dolce Viviere Portofino Soap



My overall impression - Gorgeously scented Italian soap that has been manufactured for over 70 years in Tuscany. It is the best soap I have ever used! It doesn't go soggy, leathers up like a dream and doesn't dry my skin out too much. Plus it comes in a lot of different scents but the Dolce Viviere line that has been inspired by Italian cities is my favorite. And they come wrapped in luxurious paper.

Would I buy it again? Definitely, I am currently obsessed with the line and got probably two kilos worth from Strawberrynet the other day. I have also seem them at small florist shops and upmarket homewares stores (I actually discovered them at Catalina's Gifts and Homewares)



2. Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist Mask
 My overall impression - I first heard of this brand from American Youtubers because Aussie brand is actually not available in Australia (funny that). We had some time to kill in a small town between LA and SF so we decided to explore local Kmart. I walked out with this mask and 1 kg Snickers bar (no joke, it was a gift for in-laws). I found that my skin and hair was extra dry when I was in US so I can see why they have to use potent moisturizers over there. This mask is super super rich so I had to use it before shampooing my hair otherwise it would weight it down.

Would I buy it again? I would probably pick one up if I was going to the States again to primarily use it over there. Otherwise I wouldn't go out of my way to get it. But it is a very good product for the price you pay.


3. Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Foot Scrub

My overall impression - Marine-scented coarse (pumice or sand?) foot scrub suspended in creamy blue base. I picked it up on sale so it was an alright product. Can't say that it did anything special though.

Would I buy it again? I believe this product is no longer being made so I would rather get something else than try to hunt it down.



 4. Lancome Hypnose Mascara




My overall impression -I keep coming back to this particular mascara. It made HG status in my books. It gives me decent volume and length in just one to two layers (unlike some other mascaras that I have to apply for what feel like eternity to get good results). Plus it dries to a nice black shade.

Would I buy it again?..and again, and again.


5. Biotherm Aquasource Moisturiser


My overall impression - It has a weird gel-cream consistency that didn't quite feel very moisturising and at the same time it sat on my skin. Plus it had strong marine scent that I did like at first but them it started to annoy me.

Would I buy it again? No, there are better moisturisers out there for me.


6 & 7. L'Occitane Angelica Toner and Hydra Vital Gel

My overall impression - I got this exact pack before I went overseas for a month. It was just enough to last me that time. The toner was good, nice and getle yet it picked up residual make-up. The gel moisturiser didn't do much for me, it just sat on my skin without hydrating it properly (similar to the  Boitherm above)

Would I buy it again? No, both products didn't impress me that much.


8. Revita for Blonder Conditioner




My overall impression - My awesome hairdresser recommended me this product to neutralize any brassiness in my hair. It does exactly what it supposed to while leaving my hair nice and soft. I found it was more blue that purple but I still really liked it.

Would I buy it again? Yes, it did exactly what it promised.


9. Vichy Normaderm Night Detox Moisturiser


My overall impression - I have to thank this product for helping to clear up my breakouts. I discovered it last year when I was overseas (sadly Vichy is not available in Australia). For those who don't know Vichy is a French brand and it is based on the thermal waters from a town that shared the same name. It is sold primarily through pharmacies throughout Europe. It is not very expensive, nor super lux but it is effective! Every single product that I've tried did exactly what it supposed to.

Would I buy it again? Yes, in fact I have already stocked up! I alternate it with my face oil at night or even mix few drops in during cooler months for extra moisture. I am very happy with my skin at the moment and I will continue using it.

10. Rexona Silver Deodorant Aerosol

My overall impression - Probably something we have all used so I won't go into too much detail.

Would I buy it again? Probably not, it would leave me in a suffocating cloud so I have switched to stick and roll-on types that I found to be even more effective.




Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Parcel by Marie Claire...Spring'16






A week after my delayed Winter parcel I got my hands on the Spring'16 edition. From the first glance I knew I was going to like it.




It contains a lot of goodies to prepare you for the coming warmer season and achieve that glowing bronzed skin, revive hair after winter and inspire you to get a new scent. So here is what I got...

1. Essano Argain Oil Shampoo and Conditioner...value$15.99
They are 50 mls each so they are perfect for a prolonged overseas trip or enough for you to try out the product. They are supposed to be professional quality but at the same time they don't contain any "harmful chemicals".

2. St Tropez Tanning Glove...value $11.99
Tanning gloves changed my world! No more stained hands and patchy application. I will definitely use this one a lot once my current tanning glove dies.

3. St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse...value $12.50
Cult tanning foam that has been around for many many years. This one is supposed to have new scent. I love these travel-friendly bottles, saves me from bringing a whole 250 mls on my trips.

4. Nude by Nature Mineral Cover...value $5.30
I really wanted to try this product but unfortunately Medium shade is way too dark. Looks like I will have to give it away.

5. Maybelline The Nudes Palette...value $25.95
Very nice selection of bronze, golden, taupe and basic shades. However I already have UD Naked palettes so I will give this one away.  

6. Nuxe Hiule Prodigieuse Dry Oil...value $5.40
I already have a full-sized bottle of this body oil and I must say it is one of the most beautifully-scented and luxurious body products I own. You can use it on you body, face or hair. Tropical scent definitely calls for this product to be taken on my next tropical getaway

7. Sun Sense Sensitive Invisible Sunscreen...value $1.45
Not very exciting product but so necessary! This little pack will be a life-saver when I am caught outdoors without sunscreen.

8. The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Mask...value $3.00
I love how masks are becoming very popular again and so many brands are making them now. This purifying mask has a mixture of clays and oils to make your skin clear and supple.

9. MOR Mon Amie Gigi Luminous Body Milk...value $16.95
This body milk comes in a convenient pray bottle for quick application, has super light texture and pleasant green-floral scent. 

10. Narciso Rodriguez for Her EDT...value $10
I fell in love with this scent ever since it came out over 10 years ago. I have a full bottle, miniature and purse spray. It smells sexy. classy and clean thanks to osmanthus and musk all set in a creamy amber and vanilla base.

11. C Lab & Co Coffee Scrub...value $9.95
In-shower coffee scrub that is supposed to target cellulite, stretch marks and skin imperfections. Apart from coffee it also has coconut extract and sweet almond oil.

The Parcel really redeemed themselves this time. You get close to $120 worth of products and most of them are highed-end ones. I think you can easily use this parcel to have a full pampering session at home.