Saturday, January 31, 2009

Product review: Pai Echium Eye Cream

In December, I got an email from the people at Pai skincare, wondering whether I would like to try one of their products. Pai is a UK-based brand founded by Sarah Brown, but has a Maori name (‘Pai’ means 'goodness'), and some of their products contain Manuka oil (a New Zealand ingredient). Good to see some New Zealand influences all the way across the world! The people at Pai were nice enough to send me one of their products to try free of charge. I chose the Echium Eye Cream.


Packaging: A glass jar with a plastic lid, in a cardboard box
Price: NZD $45.05 (£16)
Size: 7ml
Suitable for: All skin types
Available at: Pai’s website -
Pros: Organic ingredients, smells nice, very thick and rich, has a best before date
Cons: None

Verdict: I have only recently started using eye creams, so I’m not really an expert on them, but I really like this one. It’s very moisturising, but not at all greasy. The best before date lets you know when you need to use it up by. Very grateful to the people at Pai for sending it to me!

Monday, January 26, 2009

After Shave Products

For all the guys out there, here are some suggestions for aftershave products:

$30 and under: Weleda After Shave Balm 100ml $27.50

$35 and under: Living Nature Soothing Aftershave Gel 100ml $35

$45 and under: Aveda Men After-Shave Balm 100ml $44

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Shaving products

I shave my legs, cos I can’t handle the pain of waxing, or the bother of growing the hair for six weeks. I like Primal Earth Shaving Gel, $8.99 for 175ml, which I have in Extra Sensitive. It’s intended for men, but there’s no reason why women can’t use it. It is also available in Aloe Hydrate and Menthol Cool, but they both contain artificial colours and fragrances, whereas Extra Sensitive doesn’t. Primal Earth Shave Gels are available at New World, Countdown, Foodtown and Woolworths supermarkets, and the price varies depending on which supermarket you buy it at.

I also like Avalon Organics Cream Shave, $12.90 for 225ml, available in Aloe Unscented, Lavender, and Peppermint. I have tried in Aloe Unscented. I assume it’s a unisex product, because it doesn’t state whether it is for men or women. Skinfood Shave Gel, $9.99 for 100ml, is unisex, and it is quite good, but I find the tube runs out quite quickly.

Some other options:

$15 and under: Weleda Shaving Cream 75ml $11.50

$35 and under: Living Nature Soothing Shaving Cream 100ml $35

$45 and under: Aveda Men Shave Cream 250g $44

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lip gloss

I really like lip gloss. I have tried Dr Hauschka Novum Lip Gloss, $37, available in two shades, and Living Nature Lip Gloss, $36, available in six shades. I had the Dr Hauschka one in Rose Quartz, and the Living Nature one in Pink Whisper. They are both cool pink colours.
I found the Dr Hauschka one had a slightly weird smell, and wore off quite quickly. The tube also didn’t last very long. The Living Nature one smelled better, and the tube lasted longer, but it still wore off quickly. They also both have quite a thin texture.

The best natural lip gloss I have tried is Alba Botanica Terragloss, which I bought in Australia. I haven’t seen it over here, and I’m not sure where you can order it. I have it in Blaze, a bright pinkish red.

Some other options:

$15 and under: SHE Australia Tube Lip Gloss $12.99, available in ten shades

$40 and under: Couleur Caramel Lip Gloss $38.99, available in six shades

$45 and under: Aveda Lip Glaze $44, available in ten shades, Aveda Lip Shine $44, available in six shades, Bare Escentuals Wearable Lip Gloss $45, available in five shades

The Aveda and SHE Australia glosses are not as natural as the other ones – they contain artificial flavourings, and some artificial colours, but still, they are much better options than a lot of other lip glosses.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ecostore hand washes and body washes

Ecostore recently (within the last few months) released a range of hand washes and body washes. The hand washes are $6.90 for 250ml, and $8.90 for a 500ml refill, and the body washes are $9.90 for 400ml. Those are the prices listed on the website, but they are cheaper in supermarkets (the price depends on what supermarket you buy them from).

Both the hand washes and the body washes are available in three scents: Coconut & Vanilla, Rose & Cardamom, and Orange & Patchouli. I have tried the body washes in all three scents, and I found Coconut & Vanilla too sickly sweet, but I like the other two scents. Rose & Cardamom smells nice and comforting. I found Orange & Patchouli a bit household-cleaner-ish smelling to start with, but it’s grown on me, and I now think it smells like orange juice. Yum!

Sunday, January 11, 2009


I prefer lip gloss and tinted lip balm to lipstick, but I still like lipstick. I like Living Nature Lipstick, $38, available in ten shades, which I have in Summer Rain (bright-ish dark pink), and Aveda Uruku Lip Pigment $44, available in twelve shades (six sheer, and six full colour), which I have in Sheer Ochre (browny/pinky nude). They are both fairly intense colours (and the Aveda one is supposed to be sheer – what are the full colour shades like, I wonder?), and pretty matte, so I put lip balm on before applying them, or put clear lip gloss over the top.

I tend to prefer more sheer lipsticks, and I like Aveda Lip Color Sheer, , which I had in Sheer Clover (warm, natural-looking pink), but it’s now run out. Lip Color Sheer has now been replaced by Nourish-Mint Sheer Mineral Lip Colour $44, available in seven shades, and there is a Sheer Clover shade. I assume it's a similar product.

Some other options:

$40 and under: Dr Hauschka Lipstick Novum $37, available in four shades, Couleur Caramel Lipstick $38.99, available in twenty-four shades (eight matte, fifteen pearly, and one glittery)

$50 and under: Aveda Nourish-Mint Smoothing Lip Colour $44, available in twenty-one shades, Bare Escentuals Lipstick $45, available in twenty-six shades, Dr Hauschka Lipstick $47, available in eight shades

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Mascaras are great for defining your lashes, and, depending on the formula and brush shape, for volumising, thickening, and/or lengthening. I really like Dr Hauschka Volume Mascara, $45, available in three shades. I have it in black, and it’s really good for defining my lashes, and giving them some volume.

I have also used Living Nature Thickening Mascara, $38, available in two shades. I had it in Jet Black, and it’s a decent mascara, but not as volumising as the Dr Hauschka one, and it tends to dry out more quickly, and therefore not last as long before it needs to be replaced (yes, I know you’re supposed to replace your mascara every three months, but for me it tends to be more like four to six months, because I’m cheap). Anyway...

Some other options:

$40 and under: Living Nature Conditioning Mascara $38, available in two shades

$45 and under: Couleur Caramel Eyelashes Mascara Long $41.99, available in four shades, Couleur Caramel Eyelashes Mascara Short $41.99, available in four shades, Dr Hauschka Mascara $43, available in three shades, Bare Escentuals Magic Wand Brushless Mascara $43, available in two shades

$55 and under: Aveda Mosscara $51, available in two shades, Aveda Mascara Plus Rose $51, available in two shades


Eyeliners are great for creating a dramatic makeup look. I am a big fan of Living Nature Eye Pencil $30, available in four shades. I have it Smoulder, which is black with gold specks which look nice and subtle. I’ve never tried liquid eyeliner, I’d probably get it all over the place! If you like liquid liner, you could try Dr Hauschka Liquid Eyeliner $39, available in two shades.

Some other options:

Pencil eyeliner: Couleur Caramel Eye and Lip Pencil $27.99, available in nine shades (three only for eyes, six for eyes and lips), Dr Hauschka Eyeliner $29, available in five shades, Aveda Petal Essence Eye Definer, $44, available in six shades, Uruku Eye - Lip Color Liner, $44, available in three shades

Liquid eyeliner: Colour Caramel Eye Liner $38.99, available in four shades

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Festival Beauty Survival Guide

It’s that time of year when people are rocking up to music festivals to rock out for the day, or the weekend, depending on the length of the festivals. The Big Day Out, Parachute, Cornerstone Roots, and Tribal Pride are all coming up, as well as several other festivals. I’m heading off to Parachute, a four day festival, at the end of the week after next. I’ve been to nine festivals (eight Parachutes, and one Big Day Out), and so over the years I’ve learnt what things to bring with me.

At festivals, you get hot, sweaty, and tired, and there are often long queues for the bathrooms. All this is obviously going to affect your beauty routine, so here’s a list of some items which are useful to have.

Sunblock – Very important! Getting sunburnt is just naaasty. Use a sunblock with an SPF of at least 30, like Natural Instinct Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30+, recently reformulated. It’s $8.99 for 60g, $14.99 for 125g, and $22.99 for 250g. For more info on sunblock, check out this post.

Lip balm with SPF – You don’t want your lips to get sunburnt, so use a lip balm with a high SPF, like Comvita Propolis Lip Balm SPF 30. For more suggestions, read this.

After-sun gel – Just in case you do get sunburnt, bring along something soothing like Natural Instinct Pure Aloe Vera Gel, $12.99 for 125ml, and $22.99 for 250ml. For more after-sun products, check out this post.

Deodorant – You will get sweaty, so make sure you have a good deodorant like The Herb Farm Fresh Natural Deodorant, $10.90. For info on other deodorants, look here.

Hand Sanitiser – There are times when you want your hands to be free of germs, but can’t be bothered waiting in line at a bathroom or tap. For suggestions on hand sanitisers, read this.

Insect Repellent – When you’re rocking out at evening concerts, you don’t want to be getting bitten by pesky insects, so use an insect repellent like one of the ones mentioned here.

Oil-blotting paper – useful for mattifying your face when you get all sweaty. Try The Body Shop Natural Powder Facial Blotting Tissues, or The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil Facial Blotting Tissues, both $7.

Travel packs or small bottles – You probably don’t want to be dragging big bottles of face wash, shampoo, and other toiletries around with you, so go for a travel pack, like Trilogy Travelers, $60, or one of the other packs mentioned here, or alternately, buy a set of small bottles to decant products into, like The Body Shop Travel Bottles, $20.

Hand Wash – Bathrooms at festivals tend to run out of soap pretty quickly, and don’t always get replaced. Also, there are times when you’re away from a bathroom, and would prefer to wash your hands rather than using sanitiser. Like when you’re putting contact lenses in for example. Do NOT do this after using hand sanitiser – it STINGS! Yes, I speak from experience! What I did when I went to Parachute last year, is put some hand wash into small bottles, and then used that with a water bottle. I used Sukin Hand Wash Cleansing Hand Wash, $10.99 for 250, and $24.99 for one litre. For info on other hand washes, read this.

Face mist – It gets HOT at festivals. Using a refreshing facial mist can help to cool you down, like Sukin Hydrating Mist Toner, $10.99 for 125ml, A’kin Pure Rose Hydrating mist, $22 for 125, or Evolu Refreshing Face +Body Mist, $25 for 100ml. I haven't actually used face mists myself, but it's a good idea.

Anyway, hope that helps all of you who are heading off to festivals, and remember also to drink lots of water, wear closed toe shoes in the mosh pit, and to get some sleep if you’re at a weekend festival. Do NOT try to stay awake the whole time – this time I don’t speak from personal experience, but from other peoples’ experiences. You need sleep to be able to enjoy yourself properly and, of course, to keep away those dark circles! So, look after yourself, and have fun!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Eye Shadows

Eyeshadows are great a bit of colour to your eyelids and browbones...not sure how else to put that really...Anyway, I like Living Nature Eye Shadow Duo $44, available in five pallets. I have it in Siennas, which is a light pink and a dark pink, and Clouds, a light grey and a dark grey. I also like the The Body Shop Nature’s Minerals Eye Colour $25, available in six shades. I have it in Golden Emerald, and while it doesn’t give as much colour as I would like, it’s good for layering over other colours for a sheer wash of green and a bit of sparkle.

Bloom Eye Colour Cream $26, available in six shades, is also pretty good. The Eye Colour Creams don’t contain any objectionable ingredients, and they are great for giving a bit of shimmer to the eyelid or brow bone. I have the Taupe shade (bronze-ish), and used to have Eskimo (white), which has now run out. Bloom has recently released Pure Mineral Eye Shadow, available in eight shades. I haven’t seen this sold anywhere yet, but hopefully it should be available soon.

Some other options:

Single colours: SHE Australia Dusting Powders $12.99, available in eight shades, Couleur Caramel Eye Shadow $26.99, available in thirty shades, Dr Hauschka Eye Shadow Solo $27, available in nine shades, Aveda Petal Essence Eye Color Single $37, available in twenty shades, Aveda Uruku Eye Accent $44, available in four shades

Pallets: Natio Mineral Sparkle Dust Eyeshadow Compact $18, available in one pallet (four colours), Aveda Petal Essense Eye Color Duo $51, available in nine pallets, Dr Hauschka Eye Shadow Pallet Stone Colours $69, available in one pallet (four colours)

Products I want to try in 2009

I tried a lot of great products in 2008, and there’s more I’d like to try this year. Here’s a list of twelve – one for each month perhaps.

- Dollop Hair Pomade 70g $27.50
- Holistic Hair Sea Spray 250ml $23
- SHE Australia Face Serum $24.95 (I think)
- Weleda Birch Cellulite Oil 100ml $30
- SHE Australia Dusting Powder $12.95
- Sparitual Nail Polish $25
- Origins Smileage Plus Lip Tint $32
- Natures Gate Organics Advanced Care Upper Tanagement Self-Tanning Creme $25
- Crabtree & Evelyn Naturals Cocoa Butter & Cardamom Lip Balm - SPF 8 15g $15
- Primal Earth Organic Shave Gel 175ml $8.99
- Latential Latentialme Eau De Toilette $79.95
- Lafe’s Natural & Organic Deodorant Stick 71g $15.99

Watch this space, I’ll keep you all posted about which products I’ve tried, and what they were like.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Blushers are good for giving your cheeks a bit of colour. I have Natio Mineral Radiance Blush N' Brush, but I can't find it in shops anymore, and it's not listed on their website, so it must have been discontinued. It's nearly run out anyway, so I have bought The Body Shop Nature's Minerals Cheek Colour, $30, available in four shades. I have it in Pink Quartz, the lightest shade.

Some other options:

$20 and under: Natio Mineral Blusher $16, available in one shade

$40 and under: Bloom Mineral Touch $39, available in one shade

$45 and under: Aveda Petal Essense Cheek Colour $44, available in seven shades, Aveda Uruku Cheek-Lip Creme, $44, available in four shades, Couleur Caramel Blush Powder $44.99, available in two shades

$50 and under: Living Nature Blush $47, available in two shades, Dr Haushcka Rouge Powder $47, available in three shades

$55 and under: Aveda Petal Essense Face Accent $51, available in eight shades

$80 and under: Bare Escentuals $78, available in thirty shades (Yes, thirty! Not sure if all shades are available in New Zealand)

Face powders

I hope you all have had a good new year. I've got lots of great things to blog about this year...starting with face powders!

Face powders are good for mattifying the skin, and for 'setting' your makeup. Some powders are pressed, like Dr Hauschka Translucent Face Powder Compact, $49, and Living Nature Luminous Pressed Powder, $49, available in three shades. Other powders are loose, like Dr Hauschka Translucent Face Powder Loose, $49, and Aveda Inner Light™ Loose Powder, $66, available in two shades.

Some other options:

Pressed Powder: Couleur Caramel Compact Powder $44.99, available in five shades, Aveda Inner Light™ Pressed Powder $66, available in three shades

Loose Powder: Couleur Caramel Free Powder $44.99, available in three shades