Less or Luxe- L’occtaine & Natio Botanical Cleansers

natio gentle foaming cleanserlocctaine jessica sarahdotcomBotanical based face cleansers can be a bit hit or miss. Are they worth the price tag or are they just a bad concoction of detergents and random essential oils???

Botanical cleansers are often confused with overpowering, synthetic based and overly fragrant face cleansers that are labelled botanical or worse floral scented. Think nana gifts such as- lavender and rose washes, eek enough to make my skin crawl before its even out of its non biodegradable packet.

Genuine botanical skincare products are usually a little more on the pricey side of the skincare budget. Formulated with essential oils they can be very good or very bad. These are my two favourite Botanical based cleansers reviewed for your pleasure….

Luxe- Lócctaine Brightening Cleansing Foam rrp- $58- 150 ml

Lócctaine products first started to gain mass appeal in airport terminals. Those beautiful French Provincial stores caught my eye while wandering around waiting for a delayed flight many a time (well at least twice…). I bought the Immortelle Brightening Cleansing Foam a few months ago. I bought it for a couple of reasons- to hopefully reduce mild pigmentation (a not so great side effect of pregnancy) and it’s sell of a formula with rich anti ageing properties helped me part with $55.00 for 150ml of expensive alternative “soap”.

The Verdict-Very, very nice.

Anybody that uses Lócctaine will immediately inform you how lovely the product it. This possibly stems from the in store experiences being rather lovely. The Lócctaine Brightening Cleansing Foam smells divine and not remotely artificial (no reminiscence of that lavender wash you were given 5 years ago and hid in the back of the bathroom cupboard). One pump is all that is required from a formula that literally looks like a bottle of expensive water. LBCF lists citrus fruit peel as one of its hidden cleansing agents making it ideal for my combination skin. However I have heard reports those with dry skin are as equally impressed with this product. Basically Lócctaine leaves the skin refreshed and light. No residue, no oily film just clean skin. Not sure on the lightening effect of pigmentation however definitely brightened skin. Also available in a much cheaper eco refill pack for $44 containing double the amount (300mls) of this delicious product.

Less- Natio Gentle Foaming Facial Cleanser rrp-$14.95-$100mls

Nation products are often found in niche chemists. Natio formulas generally list vast amounts of essential oils. I had never tried a Natio product before this one. I purchased Natio’s GFFC as I was looking for a mild cleanser to calm my skin down after trialling some seriously strong exfoliates. Natio’s GFFC boasts a neutral pH which attracted my slightly irritated skin towards. Also attractive were the factors GFFC contains extra low levels of foaming agents to stop skin from feeling squeaky clean (in other words tight and uncomfortable).

The Verdict-Nice.

Natio’s product is very creamy for an essential oil cleanser. A 5 cent piece amount suffices per cleanse. GFFC is rather fragrant, although it may contain natural fragrances the smell is quite overpowering. Containing ingredients such as sandalwood I felt my skin smelt rather linen closet fresh… The cleanser contains glycerine which I could feel on the skin. This may be better for those with a drier complexion. For night time use this cleanser leaves a film on the skin the next morning for combination-oily skin. On the positive side it is very affordable at $14.95 per 100mls. This is a gentle product as its name clearly suggests. If you’re a fan aromatherapy scents you will love this product. All up a good product for the price.

Text provided by wwww.jesicasarahdotcom.com

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Confessions of an eyebrow fanatic…

tweezersWhen it comes to facial features you have to work with what you have got. Generally speaking unless you’re planning to embark on some major plastic surgery, features are there to stay love them or loathe them. Apart from….. Eyebrows.

Eyebrows, I am fanatical about mine. Why?

Well possibly because my eyebrows have seen some radical changes over the years.

– I started on a rather dramatic note when it came to my eyebrows. Naturally blessed (however at 13 I didn’t see it as a blessing) with thick uniform looking brows I literally shaved half my eyebrows off. I still cannot believe the courage it must have taken my 13 year old self to follow this rather horrendous teenage trend…..

A few years later I grew back the length in my brows but not the width. This was the 90’s however and no one had much brow to speak of. Again this eyebrow trend didn’t do me any favours and a lot of others for that matter.

Years on big eyebrows came back into vogue. I grew out my eyebrows about 5 years ago and I have never looked back…..

However….. Even if you do grow your eyebrows you still need to tidy your brows as you did before. Ok not as severely but they do require fine tuning frequently. I always pluck my own, well aside from this brow disaster…..

I was wandering around a shopping centre on holidays. I was in relaxed, lazy holiday mode. I saw a sign for waxing. Yes I needed my brows tidied up. I strolled in instantly getting an appointment. My words exactly were “Just a light tidy up…”. 3 minutes later the therapist had finished. I paid and I still hadn’t viewed the “tidied brows”. I caught a glimpse of myself in a passing mirror. I gasped in horror. I was furious. This was not a tidy up, this was an eyebrow abomination. I could not believe it I had two lines that resembled thin worms sitting oddly above my eyes. Oh god where had my beloved thick caterpillars gone?

I got home and tried to forget my eyebrows. I was meant to be having professional photos taken next week. These eyebrows were not photo ready, the eyebrows were a nightmare. I began to fill in bare skin with a trusted eyebrow pencil. I envisaged ringing the therapist to tell her she should quit her day job (I didn’t…. just). I kept filling and filling and stood back in the mirror. My husband walked in “Are you kidding?” I stared at my reflection, this was even worse. I washed off the war paint and went to bed. I woke and stared at my reflection. I raised a feeble looking brow. The brows hadn’t grown. This was worse than a too short haircut; I couldn’t cover these dreaded brows.

4 weeks later. My caterpillars were luckily back.

Moral of story- Pluck your own brows it’s cheaper and you can only blame yourself.

Text provided by http://www.jessicasarahdotcom.com

Best Luxe Mascara- Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes

Hypnose Doll EyesHypnose Doll EyesI Love great mascara. Mascara can be a real hit or miss purchase. I am rather fussy when it comes to painting my lashes. Anything flaky, clumpy or worse still mascara that leaves tell-tale marks on your upper lid can be left on the shelf when it comes to mascara.
I haven’t had much success with cheap mascara. As for waterproof mascara, I am far too lazy for the labour some task of removing the mascara. I have tried fibre lashes (where you can supposedly create a false set of lashes with the use of a mascara wand). I am not a fan of Fibre Lashes again way too time consuming. As for cheaper lines I don’t like Maybelline Great Lash mascara- I have no idea what all the hype is about on that one.

So what do I recommend…?

Without a doubt Lancôme’s Hypnose Doll Eyes. This mascara is truly amazing. The application time is literally seconds and it delivers big time. Black as black lashes and a formula that instantly thickens lashes without clumping. Lancôme’s HDE doesn’t flake or leave and residue. This truly is the cream of the crop.

Retailing around the $50 dollar price point it is expensive mascara. However Lancôme’s HDE last for ages-
I have had 2 gift with purchase mascara’s that are approximately 2 mls and they last me at least 2 months. That is 1ml a month for seriously great lashes!!

I bought this mascara for my wedding day. It was so good I didn’t even bother with false lashes (and that is saying something!!).

This product is my favourite mascara undoubtedly . Before HDE I dabbled with Dior and Mac on the higher end of the budget scale. Lancôme’s HDE is definitely the clear winner for me. If you’re not convinced, Lancôme offer gift with purchases quite regularly that usually include one of their must have mascaras in 2ml trial size or check out EBay for trial sizes from around $4.85.

Text provided by jessicasarahdotcom.com

The magic heated lash wand…. MODELco

modelco hlcurler

Sometimes a woman just buys things she truly does not need. This was the case last week. I was wandering around the mall and spotted something I truly didn’t need. There is was a …hot pink heated lash curler by MODELco and it was half price. I bought the product on the half price fact and two of my favourite celebrities are fans of this novel device.

After purchasing I soon went and bought batteries for this unneeded device. I was slightly embarrassed I had actually purchased it and decided not to show my husband till a few days later. He didn’t share my curiosity for the pink device rather a curiosity as to why women purchase such strange items.

A few days later I decide to test out this literally hot wand. I turn it on and follow instructions. I stand in the mirror brushing warm air onto my lashes. I do this for at least 5 minutes. It feels like several boring hours.

Next step mascara. I have that step down pat. I can apply mascara in about 20 seconds flat. I stare back at my reflection. My lashes do look longer and curlier after 5 minutes of boredom.

The outcome, good if you have the time and patience. Reserve it for a special night out, possibly not best used before quick trips to supermarket 5 minutes before close….

Text provided by http://www.jessicasarahdotcom.com

Scrubbed up…… St Ives Apricot Scrub

St Ives Timeless SkinI love to give my face a good scrub. I have bought a few scrubs over the years that have been good, great, fantastic and forgettable. This month I bought a cult scrub. I rarely buy cult products as they often don’t live up to their glorified name. I was never a fan of Maybelline Great Lash Mascara, although it appears I was in the minority there. I guess I like the quest of finding that holy grail product no one has discovered just yet…..

Well I won’t keep you in suspense any longer. My cult product is no other than “ST.IVES Timeless Skin Apricot Scrub Renew and Firm”. I had spied the St Ives brand in many a bathroom before (…and no I don’t actually open bathroom cabinet’s I just note what is visible on the vanity). However I had never actually bought any of U.K’s No.1 Scrub brand possibly because it is cheap, really cheap. I initially thought it would be way too harsh, far too abrasive and basically do more damage than good. Prior to using St Ives I had used a gentle Thalgo scrub and a Kiehls clay cleanser which despite the name was more like a scrub than a cleanser.

However this time I wanted something a bit potent. My skin was looking rather lack lustre and needed a good scrubbing from product overload. I used a pea-size amount of St Ives on a damp face and gave my face a good scrubbing, rinsed and I was impressed. Result- Clean skin that bordered on being classed as silky skin. No redness, no irritation or uncomfortable tight skin that is often associated with cheaper scrubs.

St Ives recommend using this scrub 3-4 times a week. They are completely right, I didn’t take this on board and excitedly used it twice a day for a week. Way to harsh for a twice daily routine and it was seriously a case of too much of a good thing for my poor skin. Stick to the rules and you will be impressed with this product.

St Ives Tone and Renew comes in a 150ml tube, retailing around the cheap as chip’s $9.00 mark. I would definitely recommend giving this product a run for its money.

Text provided by jessicasarahdotcom.com

Expensive Slap…

beauty heavenBlogstar 2013juliasbeautyblog

Ever since I can remember I have had expensive taste. My father informs me of this every time I go out for dinner. “I know what you will be getting the most expensive item on the menu” he would mutter (clearly there was no crayfish at the establishments we were dining at). Yes would you believe my expensive taste started over a simple seafood dish otherwise known as a seafood platter, a seafood basket or my absolute favourite term a fisherman’s basket.

This is where I can pinpoint my liking for as my husband puts it… The finer things in life. Unfortunately I am not a wealthy billionaire, although I do my best to buy the essential finer purchases in life. One of my must have “finer things in life” would be fabulous foundation. Foundation is an odd “must have” for me. It possibly stems from an adolescence of wearing blatantly obvious orange foundation all over my greasy teenage skin. You know the type… you see foundation that resembles orange paint metres before the actual wearer becomes visible. I am ashamed to say I spent my teenage years resembling an oompa loompa and that was long before the trend of women actually wanting to look orange surfaced.

However moving on to the point of this page, is my foundation. In the last 10 years I have become somewhat of a connoisseur of foundation. I have used a plethora of foundations from those that hideously slide off the skin or just completely disappear by early lunch. Today I give you the cream of the crop, the base of all bases. Ladies I have you covered (excuse the pun).

For lazy Sundays, the beach, the I am naturally lit from within….

Jane Iredale’s Dream Tint (available at JaneIredale online and selected beauty salons)

This is a great product for combination skin. It comes in a large tube (lasts several months) and like its name suggest it is a dreamy consistency. It offers a light coverage and is perfect for those casual carefree days. It comes in a broad range of colours and feels great on the skin. It looks quite dewy on application and lasts well. This product essentially sells as a tinted moisturiser with an SPF however it is far superior to any product under the same name or even BB creams that I have tried. It doesn’t have that gluggy or oily consistency of many tinted moisturisers. Dream Tint is perfect with a hint of blush and mascara on those off duty days.

The everyday go to coverage….

Lancôme Teint Idole 24 hr Foundation (available instore at Myer or numerous online retailers)

This foundation is fabulous. I bought this product for my wedding in January this year. It retails at just over $50 dollars for a 30ml bottle and you can also purchase the matching primer which is roughly around the same price. I bought both as it was a major special occasion. It boast and I can confirm it has lasting power of 24hrs for me when used with the primer, couple of coats of foundation, powder to set and bronzer (yes it was my wedding day and I bought practically the entire counter!). It lasted extremely well and I didn’t retouch all day. This foundation does give a super natural finish, feels weightless and evens out skin tone fabulously. I love the fact it doesn’t look like foundation instead it gives a radiant look. Added bonus it photographs well under natural light. I would note that without the primer on combination-oily skin it doesn’t have the same lasting power.

The I want coverage and make it full….

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation (available instore at Myer or numerous online retailers)

I stumbled upon this foundation while circulating the makeup counters one afternoon. I saw the sign advertising a free consultation plus a 10 day free trial of your preferred shade. I had nothing to lose! This foundation needs to be applied carefully and not liberally for those with a light approach to foundation. Basically a little goes a long way and my 10 day sample pushed into 3 weeks’ worth. However once you master the art of applying this foundation it really provides the perfect full coverage (I would recommend a brush application). Fabulous product for those of us too busy to reapply as this foundation literally does not move. This foundation reminds me of old Hollywood glamour make-up. Perhaps that’s why I would suggest it to glamorous air hostesses working overnight hauls. However, they most likely already know about this little miracle (damn those beautiful hostesses and ability to look amazing after 15hrs of turbulence!).

Images courtesy of Julia’s Beauty Blog