Wednesday 19 February 2014

Two Ways to a Better Night's Sleep

I have always been a bad sleeper, my Mum tells me even as a baby I hardly slept. I have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep and my quality of sleep is not good. Technically I suppose I have insomnia. 

I have tried so many different remedies - relaxing music, a period of relaxation before bed, herbal medications and prescription medications (I have tried two different sleeping pills, one made me sleep for about 18 hours at a time and the other kept me awake for about 36 hours). I would put my sleep problems down to stress. However, I remember being about 4 years old and having a tea party in my bed with my toys after everyone else went to bed because I couldn't sleep. I don't remember being stressed then! 

My sleeping issues have always been a problem but I have found ways to try to manage it. Especially so in the last 6 or so months, I have found two products that have really been helping me out. 

This Works - Deep Sleep Pillow Spray
Scents are something that has always helped me relax but I never found one that actually helped me relax and feel drowsy until trying this offering from This Works. Infused with lots of essential oils including lavender, vetiver and wild camomile, this is a soft yet powerful spray. I have tried lavender sprays before and had minimal results but this combination of oils works really well together. I almost feel instantly relaxed when I sniff this, it isn't overpowering or overly herbal smelling.

I spray the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray on my pillows, sheets and doona about 5 minutes before heading to bed. I like to give it a little time to settle on my bedding as it can leave the bedding feeling damp until it has dried off. 

I purchased the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray from Mecca Cosmetica (HERE) for $35.00 for 75ml. I have been using it most nights since purchasing and the bottle is still going. If you are after something a little bit cheaper (with slightly more product), The Body Shop also has a Deep Sleep Dreamy Pillow & Body Mist (HERE) for $29.95 for 100ml. I have tried this one but it appears to be made with similar essential oils. 

Holistic Silk - Lavender Eye Mask
I am a little weird when it comes to light and sleeping. Some nights I cannot stand complete darkness, it can make me feel very claustrophobic and I panic. Other nights, all I want is pitch black with absolutely no light (these are usually nights I have a headache or am feeling completely exhausted). Since I cannot completely remove light from my bedroom on these nights I turn to an eye mask. Similarly to the linen spray, I have tried eye masks before but will little success until this one. 

My interest was piqued in the Holistic Silk Lavender Eye Mask after Lisa Eldridge mentioned it in a video. It took me a while to take the plunge and purchase it though (this mask isn't cheap). I am so glad I did though! It is a beautiful, big mask that completely covers the eye area and fits nicely around my nose. The front of the mask is silk with a pretty blossom design but the back is a lovely velvet that feels lovely against the skin. The mask is infused with lavender and one of my favourite parts? It has a tie fastening, not elastic which means it easily fits my big head without feeling tight. This mask well and truly blocks out any light which is perfect for the nights I want complete darkness (and works well during the day too). The complete light block out also means the rising sun doesn't wake me in the morning helping me achieve a better night's sleep. 

I purchased my Holistic Silk Lavender Eye Mask from Beauty Bay (HERE) for around $90.00. Yes, an expensive investment but just that - an investment in good sleep. If you don't want to pay that much for an eye mask you could try one from Peter Alexander (HERE) for $9.95, these have an elastic band and I have found aren't as good as the Holistic Silk for blocking light. 

These solutions don't have a 100% success rate, I still have those nights that I lay awake in bed for 6 hours. I have noticed that these products do help most of the time and if you are someone like me (who has always had sleep problems) most of the time is still pretty damn good!

How do you get a good night's sleep?

Thursday 13 February 2014

LOVE - Products for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is almost upon us again! The day that has lovers rejoicing and singles hating the world. For me Valentine's Day is just another day - Yup I am single #foreveralone. Therefore no special plans for me which doesn't really bother me. I am sure all of you that are in love are excited for tomorrow. Yes?

PS. Look at that MAC Lipstick heart! My true love x Haha!

As I did last year, I have again curated a selection of products that I think are perfect for Valentine's Day. Whether it is the name, the shade or the actual product I think all of the following would be great to use on Valentine's Day.

Last years edition (HERE) was more suited to a sexy Valentine's Day celebration whereas this years is perfect for a soft and sweet Valentine look. 

Urban Decay Naked3 Palette 
The shadows in the Naked3 Palette are perfect for a soft and pretty eye look. The Naked3 Palette features lots of pretty pink and soft gold shades. You can create a lovely, soft look that is perfect for a romantic evening with your love or lazing on the couch watching Reign (my new favourite show - it is freaking awesome). 

Too Faced Perfect Flush Blush in Candy Glow
This blush got a place in this blog post because of its heart shape which is pretty much the universal sign of love and therefore Valentine's Day. This blush gives a really lovely glowing flush of colour to the cheeks. 

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in 55 Romance
Romance is a beautiful medium pink. This lipstick is a great low maintenance option with good moisturising properties. This would look great paired with a golden pink eye look created using Naked3. The name of this lipstick is just perfect for Valentine's Day - the day for Romance. 

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Sex Machine
Okay, so this pretty much made the list just for the name. I mean Sex Machine! How inappropriately appropriate for Valentine's Day?! Sex Machine is a matte nude pink. 

Lanolips 101 Ointment
I have only just gotten on to the Lanolips train but so fair it has been a lovely ride. This balm is fantastic for dry and cracked lips. Perfect to use before and after all that kissing some will be doing on Valentine's Day. 

Essie Nail Colour in 740 French Affair
Last years post included a bright red nail polish which really suited the more sexy theme. French Affair perfectly suits a soft and pretty look. It is a pastel pink polish with a tinge of purple. Very pretty. 

Marc Jacobs Honey EDP*
Whilst spending Valentine's Day with your Honey you can wear Honey. If you are rocking a sweet and pretty look (as you would be if using the products mentioned above) you need a scent to match. Honey is that scent - sweet and soft with the honey providing a little warmth. 

That is my products for Valentine's Day 2014 edition. Forgive me for overuse of the words sweet and soft in this post! I hope all those celebrating Valentine's Day have a lovely (hehe lovely on the day for love) time with their special someone. I shall continue to watch Reign. Seriously. 

Happy Valentine's Day!
What products do you think of when considering Valentine's Day?

Products marked with an aserik (*) were provided for consideration for review, this has not affected my review - honesty always. 

Monday 10 February 2014

Valentine's Day with Lush - Prince Charming & Neon Love

When I saw the Valentine's Day press release from Lush, I got pretty excited. I was finally going to have a Prince Charming! Well, okay not a 'real' Prince Charming but in my world I am pretty happy with a Prince Charming body wash. I mean, we can't all date Prince Harry can we? Though if he is ever looking for an Australian girlfriend (or even a fling), I call dibs! 

Lush are pretty much my favourite shower product company. I love the shower gels, the jellies, the Daddy O shampoo, Big Shampoo and well, anything I have tried from Lush!  

I placed my order on the Lush website within hours of the products becoming available. I knew I wouldn't be getting to a store and limited edition collections from Lush sell out fast! I don't use our bath (which I think I have explained why before but it has to do with growing up in a drought and not a big enough water heater) so that ruled out the bath bombs and such. I was pretty happy to get the two items I did though - Prince Charming Shower Gel and Neon Love Soap. 

Prince Charming Shower Gel
"With marshmallow root, Fair Trade vanilla and fresh pomegranate juice, Prince Charming will sweep you off your feet and carry you off into the sunset, leaving your skin silky soft and smelling lovely – the fragrance is made using a beautiful blend of grapefruit, sandalwood and geranium oils." - Lush

Firstly (if you couldn't already tell), I freaking love the name of this shower gel! What a perfect name for a Valentine's Day themed product. I think a name like this instantly has people interested, it is kind of cheeky and cute. Secondly, the colour of Prince Charming is a darkish pink which is girly but not too girly that a guy can't sneak a use. 

The scent of this is not as sweet as I was expecting (I was thinking Snow Fairy sweetness level) but it really works. It has a sweet smell but the grapefruit provides that bit of zing that makes it a very uplifting and refreshing shower product. Perfect for a 'just dragged myself out of bed 15 minutes before I need to leave for work' shower.

Neon Love Soap
"This is a unique soap with an uplifting, fruity fragrance. Bergamot and rosewood work together to create a rich scent, whilst fresh figs, passion fruit juice and soya yoghurt nourish and soften the skin." - Lush

My past experiences with soap have not been good ones (this is excluding Lush soaps). Having skin on the drier side I usually find that soap exacerbates this problem. I hate washing with soap that leaves my skin feeling tight and light rubber. Luckily, that is not the case with Neon Love. I lather myself us in the shower and when I get out my skin feels hydrated and nourished. 

Neon Love smells absolutely amazing (probably even better than Prince Charming). It has quite a warmth to it whilst still being quite sweet, even my Mum loves the smell and she is fussy with scents. This soap leaves the shower smelling amazing after each use. 

TIP: I find the best way to use soap is to rub it against my loofer to create a foam and then rub the loofer all over. 

I am hoping to get another Valentine's Day themed post written before the actual day but I may just be too busy showering with these lovely smelling goodies! Just joking... maybe. 

The Lush Valentine's Day collection is available now online and in store. It is limited edition (so if you like the look of anything - buy NOW). A few items are sold out online so head to a store if you can. Plus - you can smell before you buy (oh! how I envy you city people). 

Is this your type of Prince Charming?
What are your favourite products from Lush?

Saturday 8 February 2014

Glasshouse Fragrances - Hong Kong Candle

Hong Kong is the latest limited edition release from Glasshouse Fragrances. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to have it (even though I hadn't smelt it yet). I fell in love with the glass instantly. How can one not love a hot pink glass with purple print? Luckily, I also fell in love with the scent which is named Double Happiness. 

Hong Kong is inspired by the vibrant & glamorous (as the name suggests) Hong Kong. Two versions of the Hong Kong candle are available - Day & Night. I purchased the Day version. The difference between the two is the glass jar. Day is pink glass with  purple print and Night is green glass with  blue print. I could not smell any noticeable difference with the scent of the two candles. Though the saleswoman tried to convince me there was a difference. 

I am not good at describing fragrances but I find Hong Kong to be quite a sweet floral with a green base. Does that even make sense? What I am trying to say is the scent is sweet but with more to it. Yup, hopeless at describing fragrances!

Here is the official fragrance description:
Top - Bergamot, Dewy Greens, Orange Zest
Middle - Jasmine, Ginger, Magnolia
Base - Green Tea, Crushed Tonka Bean, Green Foliage

Hong Kong is just as potent as the other Glasshouse Fragrances candles that I have tried. They are the type of candles that you can have lit in one room yet be able to smell it right through the house. Hong Kong is in no way over powering though, it is a strong yet subtle scent. 

Overall, Hong Kong is a candle I am really enjoying and am glad to have in my ever growing collection of candles. 

Hong Kong is available now for $42.95 and is limited edition (and limited edition Glasshouse candles are known to sell out quickly). Glasshouse Fragrances can be purchased directly from Glasshouse here or from Luxola here

Are you a candle lover? 
What is your favourite candle?

Monday 3 February 2014

Estee Lauder Illuminating Powder Gelee - Heat Wave

This is a product I have had in my stash for a while now (since May 2013 to be exact). I purchased it from Harrods and because it wasn't available in Australia at that time, I decided not to review it. I don't like to post on products that readers aren't able to purchase, it seems a bit like teasing to me, yes?

Well, have no fear! I am not posting this to tease you. The Illuminating Powder Gelee in Heat Wave has recently been released in Australia as a part of the latest Bronze Goddess collection. 

Excuse my photos of an already used product, as I said I didn't originally intend to review this product. It does show how little you need of the product though - you can still clearly see the moulded lines in the product. 

The Gelee formula from Estee Lauder is very similar to the Extra Dimension formula from MAC. It is considered a gel-powder-liquid formula or at least that is how a Estee Lauder sales rep described it to me. To me, it is a powder without the powdery texture and achieves a much more pearlescent and metallic finish than a normal powder product does. 

Heat Wave is a golden champagne colour with a metallic finish. It is not an over the top metallic finish though, I would call it a fine pearl shimmer. Initial swatch on to a fingertip shows it to be quite pigmented but I have found it to be easily blended out on the face. 

Included is a large sponge tipped applicator - think an extra large eyeshadow applicator. The applicator does work but it applies a lot more product than needed and is difficult to blend with. I find the best application method is either fingers or a small fluffy brush like the Real Techniques Contour brush. You only need to dip the brush lightly into the pan before applying. 

Heat Wave can also be used as an eyeshadow which I only tried for the first time earlier. It looks beautiful on the eyes and really brightens the lid area. It provides a sheer, shimmery wash of colour. 

On the left I have applied Heat Wave with the included sponge applicator and on the right I applied with my finger and blended it out. It is still quite a heavy swatch though and can be applied much more lightly on the face.

Heat Wave can be purchased from Estee Lauder online (and I assume Estee Lauder Counters) for $75.00, the compact contains 6g of product.

Now if only all Heat Waves were this lovely! I am talking about the one currently terrorising Victoria. Is terrorising too dramatic? Nope it is not.

Are you a highlighter devotee? Thoughts on this pretty Heat Wave?

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