Girly stuff

Reviews and info on girly stuff I’ve been buying lately. Get your mind out of the gutter … not THAT kind of girly stuff.

Dr Lewinn’s Essentials hand and nail cream

2014-06-DrLewinnsThis is the third or fourth hand cream I’ve trialled this year and when looking at price and performance, it’s probably the best.

The label says it has all the vitamin letters you want showing up in a good hand creams (A, B and E), making it incredibly nourishing, and the inclusion of aloe vera also makes it quite healing.

It has a mild and pleasant fragrance that is well and truly inoffensive and it absorbs into the skin quickly, so there’s no greasiness.

A great product at a pretty decent price.

DR LEWINN’S Essentials hand and nail cream (RRP $29.99 for 100g)

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Dr Lewinn’s Skin Perfect primer & foundation

2014-05-DrLewinnsA couple of foil sample sachets of this product arrived with my May Goodiebox subscription, and because there was so little else’s in the box to review I thought I had better give this stuff a try.

The primer delivered on its promise of leaving my skin smooth and soft and I would definitely look at buying this again. Coverage felt light but complete.

However, I wasn’t such a fan of the foundation. I ignored the fact that the colour was totally wrong for me (gee, thanks Goodiebox), and judged it purely on how it felt and how it covered. All-in-all, it looked a little patchy and felt a bit heavy, which surprised me.  I think I’ll stick to my L’Oreal CC cream.

DR LEWINN’S Skin Perfect primer and foundation (RRP $45.90 each for 30ml)

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Ecostore shampoo and conditioner

2014-06-Ecostore-sham
2014-06-Ecostore-condThis isn’t one of the more luxury brands around, but at $10 a bottle I did expect something a bit better for my dry and somewhat stressed hair.

I have no problem with cheaper brands of shampoo (truth be told, I think it’s an absolute rip off to be paying $20-$50 for shampoo and I’m sick to death of all the bullshit advertising that promises these hair detergents can actually repair your hair, but that’s a rant for another day).

These were OK, nothing more. My hair felt clean after using them, but not especially moisturised.

ECOSTORE shampoo & conditioner for dry, damaged or coloured hair (RRP $9.99 each for 220ml)

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Goodiebox, June unboxing

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The June theme was “Winter Wonders” and the box came with two full-sized products, two packs that contained five samples between them, a separate perfume sample (so six samples in total) and what the GoodieBox girls tagged as a lifestyle extra: panty liners.

Here’s the rundown on my June goodies. Click on the links for full reviews of some products.

DR LEWINN’S Essentials hand and nail cream (RRP $29.99 for 100g); full-sized product supplied so $29.99 value: I’ll say it once again, you can never have too many hand creams. Good brand, and a full size too. Awesome!

MEDOFLOWERS SERIES Regenerate eye cream, Replenish night cream, Revolution multi-vitamin serum (RRP 30ml eye cream $57, 50ml night cream $55.99, 30ml serum $69.69); 2 x 4g & 1 x 3ml samples, so approx $19 value): Good size little sample pots of a New Zealand-made skincare range. Am keen to try this one.

ECOSTORE shampoo & conditioner for dry, damaged or coloured hair (RRP $9.99 each for 220ml); 2 x 35ml samples so $3.18 value: I don’t know anything at all about this range but it’s always good to try eco-friendly products. Good sized samples, too: a bit bigger than the average hotel-size bottle.

JEMMA KIDD Crushed Jewel Creme Duo (RRP $27); full-sized product supplied so $27 value: Another full-sized product, an eyeshadow in an awesome dark olive green colour that comes with sparkles. Looks like fun.

CHLOE Love Eau Florale perfume (RRP $99 for 30ml); 1.2ml sample so $3.96 value: A wee spray tube of perfume. A nice size to chuck in the handbag or take on holiday. It’s got a nice, light floral fragrance without being overpowering. Nice and fresh for winter.

LIFESTYLE EXTRA: U By Kotex liners (RRP $4.50 for 30 liners); full-sized product supplied so $4.50 value: *sigh* … is this a step up from the tampons they sent last month? I’ve got nothing more to say on the subject.

My thoughts

After the pretty poor showing of the past two months, I wasn’t holding out a lot of hope. And with the price being boosted to $30 plus delivery, and being short-changed by one product last month, I was feeling a tad peeved about the whole thing. Sure, a $5 increase doesn’t sound like a lot, but bear in mind that’s a whopping 20 per cent increase on the original price.

First of all, let’s address the issue of the so-called lifestyle extra, the liners. I expect to find things that are little luxuries in something called GoodieBox … last month it was tampons, now this. What’s next? A roll of toilet paper?

Aside from that, there were a couple of decent full-sized products and the samples were also quite generous.

The missing eyeliner from last month was tucked into my package this time around but I do have my doubts about the stated value of that belated NYC eyeliner (and the lip gloss that did make it to last month’s GoodieBox), because that range is about the cheapest you’ll find in America ($2 Shop territory, a quick check online shows the lipsticks retail for $1.99).

This month’s goodies had a retail value of around $87.63 for the $35 subscription cost (which includes delivery). That’s a big improvement on the past few months.

What is Goodiebox?

It’s a subscription service where you pay a monthly fee to receive a box of beauty products delivered to your door. The cost is around $35 a month (including delivery), and for that you will get a minimum of five “premium” beauty samples. These samples are sometimes generous sizes, and often there are a few full-sized products in your little box of goodies. Click here to join.

2014-06-goodiebox-card

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NYC Kiss Gloss

2014-05-NYC-kissglossI wasn’t a fan of this: your lips feel like they’ve hit an oil slick after a taste of this and it smells a bit plasticky.

It’s about as pleasant as the el-cheapo ones you can buy from the $2 Shop. But a tad more expensive.

That said, I’ve never really been a lip gloss kinda girl anyway. And this one won’t change that.

Spend your $15 on a Lotto ticket instead.

NYC Kiss Gloss (RRP $15.50 for 9.4ml)

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MOR Correspondence Argan Oil hand cream

2014-05-MorThis has a truly luxurious feeling, with the argan oil leaving your hands smooth but not greasy.

The smell is really nice, not too strong but definitely fresh and appealing.

The best part is just how long that silky smooth feeling lasts: whack some of this on in the morning and your hands still feel great hours later. And a little goes a long way so it’s great value.

MOR Correspondence Argan Oil hand cream (RRP $35 for 75ml)

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Goodiebox, May unboxing

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The May theme was “Tailor Made” and tagged as being “for your finishing touches”.

It came with and the box came with three full-size products and two samples. There should have been a fourth full-sized product but it was missing. I have emailed GoodieBox and am awaiting a reply (UPDATE: The missing product was sent in the June box).

Here’s the rundown on my May goodies. Click on the links for full reviews of some products.

MOR Correspondence Argan Oil hand cream (RRP $35 for 75ml); 40ml sample so $18.60 value: Handcream, always nice to get. Have heard good things about this range and it’s a decent sized sample tube.

DR LEWINN’S Skin Perfect primer and foundation (RRP $45.90 each for 30ml); 2 x 2ml samples of each so $12.20 value: Hmm, not a fan of foil sample sachets … too much like the freebies you can get at any beauty department or in a magazine. Besides that, it’s not even the right shade for me. Pass … next please …

NYC eyeliner duet (RRP $16.50); would have been $16.50 value but was missing from the box!: OK, moving right along …

NYC Kiss Gloss (RRP $15.50 for 9.4ml); full-sized product supplied so $15.50 value: Another lip gloss product. NYC is very much a budget brand in the States, but that’s not to say all the products are rubbish. I’ll give this one a go.

SWISSPERS cotton makeup pads (RRP $5.69 for 80 pads); full-sized product supplied so $5.69 value: Well, this is an exciting turn of events. I buy cotton makeup pads to remove nail polish from the $2 Shop.  Another bit of a failure in this month’s GoodieBox.

U BY KOTEX Designer Series tampons (RRP $5.50 for pack of 16); full-sized product supplied so $5.50 value: Tampons? WTF? Dudes, please. This is neither a goodie nor a “finishing touch”.

My thoughts

Theme of “finishing touches” has to be a joke, right? Tampons? Sheesh. This month’s goodies had a retail value of around $73.99, which on the face of it looks good. However, deduct $16.50 for the missing eyeliner and the value drops to $57.49. And I’m not convinced the NYC values stated by GoodieBox are entirely accurate, since it’s very much a budget brand in the United States. For example, the missing eyeliner duet retails over there for just $1.99. And the cotton wipes? Not my idea of a “goodie”. Ditto for the tampons Crappiest GoodieBox yet.

What is Goodiebox?

It’s a subscription service where you pay a monthly fee to receive a box of beauty products delivered to your door. The cost is around $30 a month (including delivery), and for that you will get a minimum of five “premium” beauty samples. These samples are generous sizes, and often there are a few full-sized products in your little box of goodies. Click here to join.

2014-05-goodieboxcard

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Eleven Miracle Hair Treatment

2014-04-elevenMy hair’s been in a bit of a state over the past year or so, with my heart problems and heart medication combining with recovery from last year’s surgery to make for dry, brittle hair.

Apparently, it’s a fairly common complaint with the series of health issues I’ve been dealing with and I got so fed up with my hair a few months back that I made a trip to the hairdresser to have it chopped off.

It’s still dry and brittle, just a lot shorter.

Because of all that, I was very keen to try out this product that is so popular with the Aussies: it’s the number one selling hair product across the ditch, apparently.

You apply it to the middle and ends of your hair after towel drying, then you simply leave it to dry. That was great for me because I’m incapable of driving blow dryers and the like (I’m a bit of a hair-tard), so anything that doesn’t take too much thought and/or effort has got to be a good thing.

I goes in quite smoothly and doesn’t feel sticky or heavy. When it dried, my hair felt really smooth and silky. Better than it had for a long, long time.

OK, so I realise it’s simply coating the outside of the hair and that my bonce is STILL actually dry and brittle, but it looked better. And sometimes that’s all we ask for.

And the added bonus is that it protects your hair against sun damage.

I’ll definitely be buying this again.

ELEVEN Miracle Hair Treatment (RRP $32 for 125ml)

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Sebamed Anti Dry Defence day cream

2014-04-sebamed-daycreamThis day cream comes with an alphabet soup of added vitamins and good-for-you stuff and I was pretty happy with the result.

All in all, this one’s pretty good and left my skin feeling clean and smooth but not greasy. It smells fresh and clean, not heavily perfumed.

The idea with this is to apply it while your face is still damp after cleansing, which helps lock in moisture.

Looking at the price on this one, it’s not bad value but I still prefer Kiri day cream, which is made here in New Zealand.

SEBAMED Anti Dry Defence Day Cream (RRP $22.50 for 50ml)

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Color Club Poptastic nail polish

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I really wanted to love this. The colour was that awesome bright pink shade on the left, which was a bit of a shocker for me:  I don’t normally do pink colours at all, and especially not bright pink, but this was just so bright and cheerful that I couldn’t help smiling.

And once painted on the nails, the colour developed an amazing depth. The first coat looked a little wishy-washy, the second coat still seemed a bit thin. However, the third coat set the colour and delivered something incredibly vivid.

Unfortunately, the stuff just doesn’t stay put. Even with a top coat. It’s as bad as the cheap stuff from the $2 stores. But a tad more expensive.

COLOR CLUB Poptastic Nail Polish (RRP $14.95 for 15ml)

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MEET YOUR BLOGGER

Jillian "George" Allison-Aitken

I live in the deep south of New Zealand, where smelly dairy cows are taking over from sheep in the livestock stakes. My hometown is the small but perfectly formed city of Invercargill, which is also the hometown of the original boy racer, Burt Munro. Find out more about me here.

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