Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Solid - Haircare and Face Serum by Sorbet Cosmetics

Happy Wednesday everyone!  Hope you are all enjoying the beautiful spring weather we have had as of late.  It is such an amazing feeling to know that Summer is just around the corner.

Over the past 6 weeks I have been trialling some Sorbet Cosmetics products and OMG, I am a total convert.  Not only has this innovative company sold me on their amazing products but the ethos behind the brand is something to be envied by other cosmetic companies and to be celebrated by Sorbet's loyal customer base.

Sorbet is a 100% solid skin and hair care company based in Christchurch, New Zealand. They are committed to making amazing-smelling, seriously bubbly hair, face and body bars using natural ingredients and minimal packaging.
 
Sorbet products and ingredients are:
• Certified cruelty-free
• Certified climate-neutral
• Vegan & not tested on animals
• Sourced locally where possible
• Packaged in water-soluble or recyclable wrappers
• 100% solid formulations
 
Now to be completely honest I was a little hesitant to try these products, were they going to work?  Was my skin going to break out?  Was my hair doomed to be a frizzy mess forever?  Check out the products I tried and my reviews below...
 

SAVING FACE - Solid Face Serum

 
On the box:  Saving Face is pure luxury; made with Cupuacu, Shea & Illipe butters and Rosehip & Pomegranate oils. Scented with 100% pure Jasmine it is truly spectacular. These ingredients have high concentrations of anti oxidants, phytosterols, polyphenols and fatty acids to promote firm, hydrated skin.  
 
You can use Saving Face in two ways; either as a nutrient and hydration booster under your normal face cream or as your only moisturiser. 
 
Best for normal to dry skins.
 
 
 
Out of all of the products I tried I was most hesitant with this one, my first thoughts were that it would be a huge hassle wetting the bar, rubbing it over my face and then drying it (yes this is actually how I thought this bar worked) THEN I opened the product and nearly died - in a good way - The bar is self lubricating in that you just pick it up and rub on your face directly or rub product between your fingers and apply to the face. 
 
I was sold!  Not only did this little bar of magic smell delicious but my skin felt amazing, after a few minutes my skin soaked in all of the goodness and I was left with a perfect base to apply my make up, I didn't even use a primer as my skin felt so good.  I also use this in the evening after removing my makeup - I have found that applying a few layers (or applying liberally) at night has really helped with the overall condition of my skin and I wake in the morning to smooth, glowing skin. 
 
So, how is it different from your usual face serums?  Well apart from the obvious fact that it is a solid bar it isn't as oily as other serums/oils that I have used in the past and I honestly find it easier to apply!  I like that I am able to use this in the morning or in the evening - I wouldn't dream of using any of my other face serums in the morning as they are just far too oily for my combination skin!
 
Tips:  I didn't completely remove the wrapper from this bar, I just tore the edge off a little ensuring that I didn't rip it completely off, that way you can ensure the bar stays clean inside it's wrapper and use the edge of the product on your face.
 
 

WONDERBAR - Solid Conditioner

 
On the box:  As the name would suggest our Wonderbar is truly wonderful. 
 
A solid conditioner bar that doubles as a shaving bar and a inshower moisturiser for those with sensitive skin. Not only that but it lasts up to five months with regular use and smells fantastic.  Not to mention- it's also a heat protectant that stays in place until you next wash with any shampoo. So style without the worry!  Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter, Vanilla and some sparkle make this bar enjoyable to use and very effective. 
 
Best for normal-dry hair.
 
 
Yes, I have to agree this is truly a wonderful product.  It has to be by far one of the best conditioners I have ever used, it detangles, moisturises, nourishes and doesn't leave your hair oily.  I found that a little truly does go a long way as you only need to rub the bar between the lengths of your hair a few times to detangle and condition. 
 
This bar seriously stands the test of time, I have been using it now for around 6 weeks and have barely made a dent in it.  I also use this when shaving my legs/underarms and find that I get a much closer shave and have less irritation.
 
My hair condition has improved dramatically after using this product, it is shinier, less frizzy and more manageable than it has been in a long time!
 
 
 

HEALI KIWI - Solid Shampoo

 
The Heali Kiwi!
 
Specifically for those who suffer from scalp problems our newest bar is chock full of Kiwifruit Oil, Coconut Oil, Neem Oil, Oats, Calendular and Manuka Oil.
 
Great for dandruff sufferers, people with psoriasis or most other scalp problems. Will calm irritated scalps, prevent flakiness and kill the microbes that can cause problems.
 
 
 
 
Oh my goodness, talk about a game changer! I have been using the Heali Kiwi solid shampoo for around 6 weeks now and I just can't get over how fabulous my hair looks and feels!

I have noticed a dramatic difference in my problematic dry scalp which I have been trying to get under control for months, I even used Neutrogena T Gel and that didn't work as well as the Heali Kiwi!   To use I simply grab the bar and move it all over my head to ensure I get enough product to form a good lather, it does take a little longer to apply than normal shampoo as you have to work it into hair but the results are definitely worth it! 

I also noticed that I didn't have to wash my hair as frequently and my hair wasn't as frizzy as it usually is. I generally straighten my hair after each wash but was quite happy to leave it natural after using this product in conjunction with the Wonderbar conditioner.
 
Tips: Ensure you store the bar properly, if you leave in a damp place the bar will become soft and you wont be able to get as much use out of it as you usually would.

Purchase from http://www.sorbetcosmetics.com/heali-kiwi/ for $22.00

 

Monday, 25 August 2014

Muesli Hub

Happy Monday Everyone!

I am a self confessed muesli addict, I love the stuff, can't get enough of it for breakfast, lunch or as an after dinner treat.  However... the one thing I can't stand about muesli is the tiny little raisins/sultanas/currants that seem to overwhelm the majority of my fav mixes.  Boy oh boy was I excited when I discovered The Muesli Hub -  An online store dedicated to believing in choice.  At The Meusli Hub they believe that this notion of choice should start in the breakfast bowl.

Bespoke breakfasts?  I couldn't think of anything better, so off I went to find my perfect mix.

SIZE


Working out at around $1.60 per serve for the 500g mix or $1.35 per serve for the 1kg mix this is an extremely cost effective way to start the day.  With most cafes charging around 10 times that amount for a custom blend you can enjoy a tasty and nutritious breakfast in the comfort of your own home for a fraction of the price.



BASE

Here you are given 8 different choices of bases, Bircher, Dry Roasted, Gluten Free, High Fibre, Lightly Honey Roasted, Superfoods, The Classic and Warming Porridge - I went for Dry Roasted, perfect for those chilly Autumn mornings!

For more information on each product you simply click on the image and a little pop up tab opens with a blurb about each base including nutritional information - perfect for those who are trying to meet certain nutritional requirements.

 

NUTS

On the next page you are given a choice of three different nuts to go in your mix, this has be my favourite part of muesli, my mix included raw almonds, macadamia nuts and walnuts.


DRIED FRUIT

Muesli wouldn't be complete without an assortment of dried fruit, here you are given a selection of 16 different types of fruits and berries that you can add to your mix, I went a little tropical here and selected coconut, mango and blueberries for an Vitamin C boost.



SEEDS & GRAINS

Add a little nutrition to your mix with the addition of seeds and/or grains, choose from Chia, Linseeds, LSA, Poppy Seeds, Psyllium Husk, Puffed Amaranth, Pumpkin Seeds, Quinoa, Sesame Seeds and Sunflower Seeds.  My favourites here were Sunflower seeds and Chia Seeds. 


EXTRAS

Indulge your sweet tooth by adding a little extra to your mix.  There are even a couple of freebies such as cinnamon or Himalayan rock salt as well as Black & Greens dark chocolate, Black & Greens milk chocolate, Whittakers Peanut Slab, freeze dried mandarin, freeze dried raspberries, yoghurt covered cranberries and yoghurt covered raisins.  These treats can be added to your mix for an additional charge ranging from $2.00 to $3.00. 


 
And there you have it, enter your details and your done! 
 
I have to add in there that the customer service is amazing!  I received my order confirmation email on Wednesday 20 August at 5.10pm and at 6.30pm I received a follow up email to say that my muesli had been crafted and was with Courier Post, they also supplied a tracking number.  My order arrived Friday morning!
 
 
 
This website and concept is amazing, the site is so easy to navigate and I had a blast creating my mix.  They say that the proof is in the pudding, well, I sneaked in a bowl last night after dinner and let me tell you it was amazing, full of all the flavours and textures that I love.
 
 
 
So if you, like me love muesli but always find yourself wishing there was a way to have a blend perfectly suited to you without the hassle of buying all the ingredients and making it yourself you have to go and check out The Muesli Hub - trust me, you won't be disappointed!
 
 
 
 
 


Thursday, 21 August 2014

One For The Boys - Dirty Man Skincare

If you are on the hunt for the perfect gift for a loved one this Fathers Day you have to check out DirtyMan Skincare - created in New Zealand for NZ blokes this skincare smells amazing and best of all it is made from all natural ingredients and is gentle enough for sensitive skin. 


Behind The Brand
Most businesses start at the kitchen table; DirtyMan started in the bathroom... on a building site.The original DirtyMan, Mike Orange noticed himself in the mirror and quickly decided he needed to look after himself a little better.  So began the search for a man's hygiene and skincare products that provided exceptional results (Mike certainly needed it), but also a men's personal care range he could feel comfortable about using.  But... there didn't appear to be any male grooming products out there  that were designed solely for guys, or which wasn't a hand me down from a "corporate monster" brand focussed on women's skincare products...  What's more, the men's skincare lines seemed like afterthoughts of those brands... and most of the men's antiperspirant and shaving cream products were riddled with chemicals.  This had to change... and so DirtyMan skincare was born, and as they say... The rest is history!

My other half put these products to the test and has taken over the blog for the day so check out his review below.  Pssst... There is also a GIVEAWAY at the bottom of the blog post!

DirtyMan Face Wash

 


 

On The Bottle: 
Filthy faces impress no one so use our Aloe infused face wash to sooth and cleanse your skin. DirtyMan Face Wash will gently cleanse your skin and regular use will banish blackheads from your life.  Face wash is best used each day in the shower and before shaving to soften and prepare skin.

The Verdict:
I like this because it is clear, its not full of crap, it leaves you feeling clean without feeling like you have cleaned your face with paint stripper, it smells pretty good without being too feminine, it has a masculine smell which is different to other face washes I have used which generally smell like womens skincare products.

Product size: 150ml
RRP:  $11.99

DirtyMan Shaving Gel

 
On The Bottle:
Big beards are the realm of the old and the weird, don’t let yours get out of control.  Our DirtyMan Shave Gel contains Aloe Vera to soothe as you shave and has a special clear formulation for sculpting if you want to explore your artistic side.  We recommend washing with DirtyMan Face Wash before shaving to remove impurities and following up with a great moisturiser.

The Verdict:
This stuff is great, it goes on as a thick gel and lathers really well, the razor glides well over the skin and I didn't notice any irritation.  I have sensitive skin so I usually always get irritation.  It gets in amongst your beard pretty good and I like that it is a clear formulation so I can see what I am doing.

Product size: 150ml
RRP:  $8.99

DirtyMan Scrub

 
On The Bottle:
Sometimes we Dirty Men need a little extra help when we need to scrub up and that’s where our DirtyMan Scrub comes into play.  Specially formulated with apricot kernels and pumice micro particles to gently deep cleanse your skin and pores with Aloe Vera extract to sooth and restore. 
 
The Verdict:
At first I wasn't quite sure if this would be the product for me, it seemed like an additional step that I could leave out, this product is non foaming so I use it after I have washed my face with the face wash.  Once I tried it I found that it invigorates the skin, it is awesome for removing dead skin and it works great as a follow up after shaving to reduce breakouts and ingrown hairs.  I also found it quite moisturising which surprised me.

Product size: 100ml
RRP:  $11.99

 

DirtyMan Moisturiser

 
On The Bottle:
CRUSTY is never a good word and when it's used to describe your skin it is time to reach for DirtyMan Moisturiser. Our moisturiser quickly restores dry skin and replenishes moisture lost during the the day while the Aloe Vera will help restore skin damage. 

The Verdict:
This has a really light scent which is good as its not overpowering, at first I thought it felt a bit greasy but found that after a few minutes it soaks in really well and leaves your skin feeling fresh and smooth.  One of the biggest benefits I found with this product was that it didn't stick in your beard like other products do, which for me is important as I like to take care of my skin but don't want the evidence stuck in my beard.

Product size: 100ml
RRP:  $11.99


Overall I noticed less breakouts, less skin irritation after shaving and my skin wasn't to dry or too greasy, it felt well balanced.  It's awesome that there is an affordable skincare range out there that is designed in NZ by men for men, not a female skincare brand who thinks they know what men want.

DirtyMan skincare is available to purchase online from www.dirtyman.co.nz and their is a list of stockists online here:  http://www.dirtyman.co.nz/where-to-buy 

DID SOMEBODY SAY GIVEAWAY?

The kind blokes at Dirty Man Central have given me a shave pack to give away to one of you lucky readers!  This is the perfect gift for the man in your life so go on, what are you waiting for...

There are three ways to enter - All you have to do is place a comment on any of the social media sites below saying who you would love to gift this pack to!

1.  Facebook -  Follow The White Room NZ on Facebook and comment on the giveaway post which is pinned to the top of the page
2.  Instagram - Follow thewhiteroomnz on Instagram, and comment on the giveaway post, regram for an extra entry with the hashtag #thewhiteroomnz
3.  Blog - Comment below!

Winner will be drawn on Monday 1 September, the item will be couriered to the winner as soon as we have your details.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The Aromatherapy Company Car Diffuser Clip

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

During the past week my family and I have spent ALOT of time in the car, any trip with a Pre-schooler can be challenging, add tween in the mix and it can be downright painful.  Perhaps the only thing that has made all this 'quality family time' a little more bearable was the gorgeous Rose & Patchouli scent from this beautiful car diffuser the lovely ladies from The Aromatherapy Company sent me to try out.



The Aromatherapy Company has recently launched their line of Naturals products which includes a gorgeous range of car diffusers to delicately scent your vehicle.


When I first was introduced to this product I thought, finally, a NZ company has made a car diffuser that doesn't look like a tiny perfume bottle or something that should be plugged into a computer or has built in bluetooth! 

Not only does this little beauty smell amazing it looks so chic!  The slimline black design fits in any vehicle and the unique 360 degree fastening clip ensures you can clip it in and move it in any direction you like.
 
I'm sold.  I love supporting NZ Made products and am so pleased that there are other options out there rather than huge multi national brands that tend to get the majority of the market share.

This unique new product comes in four amazing scents and you can pick these up at Farmers stores nationwide or purchase online from any of these great stockists: http://www.thearomatherapycompany.co.nz/buy-online at an RRP of $16.99

Cocoa & Vanilla

Lavender & Neroli 

Orange & Jasmine
Rose & Patchouli
 

 

Friday, 25 July 2014

July Violet Box

Happy Friday ladies!

I came from work today with a bunch of parcels on my doorstep including Julys Violet box which I thought I would share with you including a quick run down of the products.

First things first - Violet Box is a monthly subscription box jam packed full of sample sized and full sized beauty products.  It costs $25 + $4.50 postage per month. 

For more details visit their website www.violetbox.co.nz


Appelles Shampoo & Conditioner | Sample Size 2 x 60ml | Value $12.97

Full Size Shampoo - 150ml - rrp $18.95
Full Size Conditioner - 500ml - RRP $44.95

Massive high fives to this company who have actually figured out that the average person uses more conditioner than shampoo and provide bottle sizes based on usage.  Appelles is an Australian based company producing organic and cruelty free products.  The shampoo and conditioner both have a strong Rosemary and Ylang Ylang scent which is a little overpowering, I will be interested to see if the scent lingers on the hair.

Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter Pencil | Full Sized Product | Value $22.00

This product promises to be the perfect all-in-one make up product for highlighting, concealing and brightening the brow and eye area.  I am looking forward to trying this out, the colour is very neutral and when swatched blends out well, fingers crossed this product is long wearing as the colour is perfect for my skin tone.

Skin & Co Truffle Therapy Serum | Sample Size 5ml | RRP $75.00 - 30ml |  Value $12.50

This serum is designed to be worn under your moisturiser plumping the skin with hydration and fighting off damaging free radicals.  It also promises to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.  It has a light milky consistency and smells amazing!  At first I thought is smelt of coconuts but then a slightly floral scent came through.  I have applied this to the back of my hand and my skin feels so soft and supple.  I can't wait to use this after my Sukin Face Masque!

Sukin Skin Purifying Facial Masque | Sample Size 2 x 8ml | RRP $15.00 - 100ml | Value $2.40

Formulated with a clay base of kaolin and bentonite and infused with a blend of aloe vera, rosehip and jojoba oils it claims to effectively draw out the dirt and grime from deep within your pores while nourishing the skin.  I am a huge fan of clay based face masques as I find they are the best at cleaning our your pores so will definitely be giving this a go!

LAQA & Co Sheer Lip Lube Pencil | Full Sized Product | Value $20.00

Out of all the products in the box this was the one I was a little hesitant on, I thought it looked a little cheap but boy was I wrong.  I received the plum coloured lip crayon which is quite similar to MAC Rebel but perhaps a little brighter if that makes any sense.  It is beautifully creamy and not as sheer as I first thought it would be and applied like a dream.  The crayon does not need sharpening as it has a wind up mechanism at the bottom of the tube and it is generously sized.  As if all that wasn't enough it smells like mint chocolate chip ice cream.

So Susan Flutter Mascara | Full Sized Product | Value $32.00

I was so excited to try this out not knowing the brand but unfortunately I received a faulty product, the part inside the tube that is designed to take away excess product was missing or broken so when I pulled out the wand it was saturated in product to the point that I could not even see what type of applicator it had - check out my Instagram for a pic!  I contacted Violet Box who responded within 10 minutes and are replacing my mascara, awesome customer service!

Overall I am really pleased with this months box, the total value worked out to be $101.87 which is amazing!

Three full sized make up products is really good to receive in a beauty box and honestly I am looking forward to trying out everything I received.  If you are a little hesitant on beauty subscription boxes I highly recommend you try out Violet Box, this is the 3rd box I have received and I have been happy with every box so far.

Violet box have changed their packaging from a magnetic flip top box to a pull out draw box which I love, you could totally get crafty and glue a few of these together to make a make up storage system, hmmm... watch this space!

Have a great weekend everyone.




Thursday, 24 July 2014

Giving back

Happy Thursday everyone!

You may have noticed I took a little break from blogging for a few weeks as our little family was super busy during school holidays, now that the little ones are back to school and pre-school and things are back to normal (well as normal as they can be!) the blog is up and running again and I have some exciting projects on the horizon that I can't wait to get started on.

First on the agenda is a fundraising project for our local Preschool and it's a biggie. Each year we hold a fundraising Golf Tournament which includes a silent auction.

Over the past 3 years we have been fundraising to build an extension to our current building which will allow us to care for more children in our growing community, thanks to the generosity of our many supporters we now only have $20,000 to raise out of the $60,000 needed to complete this project! With continued fundraising we hope to make this dream a reality in 2016! This is the fourth year we have run our annual Golf Tournament which is our biggest fundraiser for the year, last year we raised over $7000 and we would love to reach our target of $8000+ this year.

So now begins the mammoth task of sourcing items for the silent auction, prizes for the winners and also items for our goody bags that are given out to each player.   Each year I send out thousands of emails to New Zealand companies asking for donations, last year the support was overwhelming and the generosity we received was really humbling.  This year I am planning on sharing this experience with you and showcasing all the wonderful brands that have supported us year after year.

I truly believe that giving back by volunteering or donating is such an important part of life and I personally gain so much happiness from it.  It is so rewarding and I strongly encourage everyone to get amongst it and find something you can do to help those who really need it, be it a charity, a school, your neighbour or a complete stranger.

If you are interested in supporting this fundraising project by donating products that can be used for prizes or to auction off for the silent auction please contact me via email:  thewhiteroomnz@gmail.com



Thursday, 26 June 2014

Evening Skincare Routine



Its been a long day, you're tired and all you want to do is curl up in bed and go to sleep (lets be honest - play on our phones for at least 15 minutes).  Skincare is quite often the last thing on our mind as bedtime approaches but taking care of your skin at night is so important! 

Think of it this way, in the morning we cleanse, tone, moisturise, prime, conceal, cover, powder... the list goes on, on average I spend at least 5-10 minutes ensuring my skin is looking its best every morning.  During the day our skin is coping with the products we put on our face as well as environmental factors such as the sun and wind making it hard for your skin to heal and repair as damage occurs.  The large majority of healing happens when we sleep so the best thing you can do for your skin is to help it out by spending a few minutes each evening giving it a clean slate to work with!

Waking up with beautifully clear skin is a great way to start the day, it not only makes you feel amazing but it makes for smoother application of makeup in the morning.  Below is my current evening skincare routine featuring some amazing products must-have products for gorgeous skin.

Cleanse/Make Up Removal

 
Cleans All by Skinfood is honestly one of the best value cleansers out there that actually does what it says, packed with essential oils and natural cleansers it is an absolute must have I can't live without! 

For a more in depth review check out my Skinfood review here. 

I use this product on a make up round to remove all traces of makeup/dirt etc.  If I have any stubborn spots I go in with my Trilogy Rosehip oil on a cotton tip which removes every little last trace of even the most stubborn eye makeup! 

Available from www.skinfood.co.nz

 

Tone

 
I am in love with Dermalogica Age Smart Antioxidant Hydramist -  I use this every morning and every night after cleansing and in the 6 months I have been using this product I have noticed a dramatic change in both my pore size and fine lines and wrinkles, especially my smile lines. 

This product is so hydrating which is really unusual for a toner which are generally quite drying.  It also is packed with antioxidants to help protect against free radicals. 

Dermalogica is a wonderful brand and they really listen to their customers concerns - they have just recently dropped all their prices across their online store so be sure to go and check them out.  www.dermalogica.co.nz


Moisture/Serum

 
I have recently started using Linden Leaves Porcelain Brightening Serum, it is a beautifully light moisturising cream which can help to correct sun damage left over from summer. 

What I  love about this product is the consistency, I was quite surprised that unlike most serums that can be runny/oily this is more like a concentrated moisturiser that is easy to apply and my skin just drinks it up. 

I use two pumps and apply all over my face, neck and d├ęcolletage. I have noticed my skin tone has evened out and some redness on my d├ęcolletage (from sun damage) is improving.  I can't wait to see what results will come from prolonged use!  Watch this space! 

Available from www.lindenleaves.com

 

Spot Treatment

 
It is no secret that I am a little bit in love with Trilogy Rosehip Oil, I have been using this for well over a year and will continue to use it for the rest of my life. 

Just recently I have been using this product as more of a spot treatment for breakouts and also as an eye cream and have been thoroughly enjoying the results.  I find that if you really massage the product into your breakout scars the healing time is dramatically decreased.

I also apply this sparingly to my entire eye area every night and love the way it brightens my under eye area and hydrates my fine lines.  Available from www.trilogy.co.nz

Lips

 
I religiously use a lip balm every night, I don't think I could go to sleep without one. 

In the past I have probably used at least 20 different brands which have all been moisturising to different levels but I have never encountered a product like the Linden Leaves Lip Balm.  Rather than creating a waxy barrier on your lips this product actually penetrates into your lips leaving them intensely moisturised without them feeling cakey. 

It also helps to combat fine lines on and around your lip area, taking this into consideration it really is more than just a lip balm! 

Available from www.lindenleaves.com

 

 

Pressed For Time

 
 If you have only a minute or so to spare facial cleansing wipes are the singles best product you can use in the evening.  I am a huge fan of Swisspers Spa Facial Cleansing Wipes. 


This range of wipes is amazing! I have tried a lot of other wipes in the past by big name brands and in my opinion these are far superior.  The wipes are beautifully scented and is heavily saturated in product which is great for getting off make up, I find that the saturation level of this wipe makes it easier to remove make up and it is better for your skin as you don't have to scrub as hard to remove all traces of makeup.  The formulation works well, even when removing stubborn eye make up and leaves your skin feeling amazingly refreshed after use.  I pick these up from The Warehouse for around $6.



Wednesday, 18 June 2014

All About Brows

Hi my name is Sarah and I am an eyebrow addict!  I started tweezing in my early teens and I was slightly, okay - who am I kidding, majorly ocd.  There was not a stray hair in sight and you better believe that if I misplaced my tweezers all hell would break loose.  Mid teens there was an incident where (for some stupid reason) I put a huge sticker across my forehead which upon removal left me with half a left eyebrow.  My late teens saw my first ‘grow out’ (based on a dare challenge by my flatmate at the time) it was pure hell, my tweezers were so lonely without me and let’s just say that during my twenties I more than made up for lost time. 
 
You name it my brows have been through it, uneven, pencil thin, bushy thick, too far apart, too close, too straight, too arched… the list goes on.  Now having turned 30 I am on the tail end of a grow out period and I couldn’t be happier with the results, after 16 years I think I may have finally cracked the eyebrow code and there is nothing I enjoy more than searching out products to enhance and define my brows.  

I am a huge fan of DIY beauty and apart from having by brows waxed and tinted ONCE in my life I do it all at myself at home. Today  I am rounding up my top tips and must haves for DIY beautiful brows for any price point.

Grooming – To tweeze or not to tweeze?

Personally I find a combination of tweezing and waxing is a great combo.  I like to tweeze my eyebrow shape (close to my brows) and use wax to remove the finer hairs below, above and in between my brows.

 

I use Manicare Gunmetal Slanted tweezers, these are amazing quality and are available from most department stores and pharmacies for under $15.  The pair I currently have had been in use for around 3 years and still work like a dream.  I much prefer using slanted tweezers as they allow you to get in close to the root of the hair which ensures that you are pulling out the entire hair not just ripping it off at the base.

My wax of choice is the Nads Facial Wand Eyebrow Shaper, I have found this to be an easy and fast way for removal of the fine hairs that you miss when tweezing. The application tip is great and if I need to disperse the wax further I use a clean orange stick (the ones for your nail cuticles). I love that the wax does not need to be heated as there is no risk of burning.

The formulation is pleasantly scented and easy to spread out.  I strongly recommend when using this product that you follow the instructions carefully to get the best results, do not rub the wax on the cotton sheet too much before removal or the wax will become too warm and will not adhere to your hair properly and will pull and rip the hair rather than removing it from the root.  This product also comes with some wax removal wipes which are wonderful to use to remove any wax residue left behind after waxing.

Filling in your brows

This is a must do and in my opinion makes a huge difference to your look whether you are going for a natural make up look or a dramatic full face.  I switch between using a pencil and a gel, I am not a big fan of powders as I don’t like the finish.  When filling in I always start from the centre of my brow and do the tail ends first using short strokes, I line the top and bottom of my brows and fill in the middle, I then move on to the inner brow with a lighter hand for a more natural finish.
 
 

SAVE

 
e.l.f Studio Eyebrow Kit
Purchase from Beauty Bliss NZ$10.00
 
Chi Chi High Definition Eye Brow Pencil
Purchase from Chi Chi Cosmetics AU$9.95
 

SPLURGE

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade
Purchase from Anastasia Beverly Hills US$18.00
Bobbi Brown Brow Pencil
Purchase from Bobbi Brown Cosmetics $US22.00

 


Setting your brows

Nobody likes stray hairs popping out of your perfectly groomed brows so I like to set mine with a gel formulation, I apply in small brush strokes from the inner to the outer brow ensuring that the product is worked into the brow and you can’t see any clumpy bits.  Once the product has been applied I lightly tap over my brows to again ensure an even application.

SAVE


e.l.f. Essential Lash & Brow Clear Mascara
Purchase from Beauty Bliss $8.00
 

SPLURGE


Benefit Gimme Brow
Purchase from Smith & Caugheys $41.00
 

Eyebrow Tinting


1000 Hour Lash & Brow Tint
Tinting your brows at home… Can it be done, in short YES!  I have done this for years and it is so simple and inexpensive that you simply must give it a go if you have medium brown to black brows, if you have very light brows I would leave it up to the professionals as the over the counter tinting dyes do not have the best range of colours.  DO NOT USE HAIR DYE – I cannot stress this enough!  Trust me you will regret it big time, hair dye is not for facial hair – do not even entertain the thought of going there!

I use the 1000 Hour Lash and Brow tint in dark brown.  As my brows are a little lighter than dark brown I don’t leave the solution on for the recommended time, I leave for 5 minutes and find this works well.  If you are trying this product for the first time I strongly recommend you do a series of trial and errors, first leaving the solution on for 2 minutes, removing and judging the results, you will then be able to determine how long you need to leave the product on next time as it is much easier to apply more colour than it is to remove!


The 1000 Hour Lash and Brown tint is available from most pharmacies for around $25.  I dye my brows every 6 weeks and one container lasts me well over a year.  I do my lashes at the same time using the recommended amount for one application and there is always plenty of solution to do both your lashes and your brows – total bargain.

Not into DIY?

If you are not confident with brow maintenance our top tip is to visit a beautician for a shape and tint, once they have your shape sorted it can make home maintenance much easier as you have a guide to work to, pluck any strays, wax the fine hairs and don’t leave it too long without any maintenance at all.  Tweezing a few strays each day when you are doing your make up is much easier than sitting down to an extreme tweezing session and you are less like to over tweeze!

 


 

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Healthy Food Options - Kids Birthday Parties

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

My daughter recently celebrated her 4th birthday - it was an awesome high energy event that left me and my man absolutely exhausted at the end of it!  We sat down after the party and were left wondering if we had made the right food choices for our 3 and 4 year old guests. 

We all know that sugary highly processed foods and pre-schoolers do not make a good combo, especially with 12 of them running around! So with that in mind I have been on the hunt for some fun and healthy treats for the little ones that are available to purchase for the busy mum who doesn't have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen as well as some images from Pinterest that offer some great ideas for easy to prepare healthy option party snacks.

OOB ORGANIC ICECREAM

This ice cream is divine!  This is a firm family favourite in our household and as if this stuff wasn't good enough OOB have recently launched birthday party friendly 120ml one serve pots of ice cream perfect to fill goodie bags, as a party snack or as a treat to go with the birthday cake.  Made from raw organic suger OOB Organic Icecream is gluten and egg free which is a bonus if you are catering to children with allergies!  Sweetness without the sugar rush  –  a perfect pick me up for any party!

This little pots of goodness would work in with any party theme and the array of flavours is amazing!  We love the Peppermint Chip flavour - it is so creamy and my little ones had no problems demolishing an entire 470ml pot between them!
 
The 120ml pots come in packs of two and have an RRP $3.99 each.
They are available in the following flavours from leading supermarkets and speciality stores nationwide:
 
 

THE COLLECTIVE SUCKIES

I discovered these little beauties when I was looking for an alternative to your traditional yoghurt pots, our children tend to get bored with things easily and the same old yoghurt in their lunchbox day in and day out resulted in a quite a few unopened yoghurts returning home in otherwise empty lunchboxes! 

Conveniently packaged in an easy tear 70gram pouch these yoghurt Suckies are the perfect addition to party snack packs as can be seen here in the snack packs I made up for my daughters party. These tasty little treats are full of beneficial probiotics, vegetarian, gluten free, gelatine free, preservative free and handcrafted. 

 
The Collective Suckies come in three delish flavours - Bonkers 4 Banana, Sassy Strawberry and Bouncing Berry.  These are available at leading supermarkets throughout NZ and are  RRP$5.99 for a box of 8.

BANANA POPS

These look amazing and would be delicious served fresh or frozen (which is awesome as you can prepare in advance).  You could either serve these on cake pop sticks, popsicle sticks or on a coloured paper straw, our favourite party sites to purchase these from are The Pretty Baker and Pop Roc Parties

To make you simply cut a banana into a few bit size pieces, dip in either chocolate, yoghurt or peanut butter and then roll in your favourite toppings, we love sprinkles, chopped nuts, and dehydrated chopped fruit!

Image sourced from www.modernparentsmessykids.com

Image sourced from www.decopeques.com

FRESH FRUIT

This is a fun and super easy way to introduce fruit to children's parties without them thinking it is too boring.  We love the idea of serving these in cute cupcake cases or even served on a popsicle stick cut into heart shapes, triangles, or circles.  I find that if you take a little extra time to make healthy food fun children don't hesitate to gobble it up!

Image sourced from www.ingredientsinc.net

Image sourced from www.indulgy.com/
 

SAVOURY KEBABS WITH DIP

Along the same concept as above except with vegetables, ham and cheese!  These are a gorgeous idea, I swear kids love anything that is put on a stick and if it is accompanied by a dip even better!  In our household we love to serve vege chips or kebabs with hummus!  You could also use cottage cheese, spinach and feta dip or even natural yoghurt.

Image sourced from Pinterest

Image sourced from Pinterest