(This is the original review that I posted on the Vogue Australia Forums back in August 2005).
I have been using this gorgeous cleanser for about a year and a half now and it is one of my few true HGs.
The results are fairly instant - your skin feels incredibly smooth, divinely soft and beautifully cleansed after you've washed it off. In my case, the results have improved over time and I have noticed that my skin is clearer, softer and less congested around the t-zone (which has been quite notorious in the past for congestion).
I have had many lovely comments from friends and even strangers about the state of my skin.
Although my skin is not completely clear and blemish-free all of the time, it is fairly close to it most of the time!
I also find that foundation glides on a lot more easily since I began using it (although I tend to only use foundation very occasionally).
I have normal-combination skin (it tends to get a little oily and occasionally congested around the t-zone), for those who are interested. However, I am fairly sure that this would be gentle enough for all skin types.
It is also relatively inexpensive - AUD$14.50 for 100 grams, which I find lasts me a good four or more months using it both day and night.
How To Use: After adding a few drops of water a little pea-sized blob of the cleanser and amalgamating the two to form a moist paste.
Apply the paste all over your face and massage, using a gentle circular motion. Wash off and then start stroking your lovely, soft face. Or alternatively, you could get a loved one to do the stroking. ;-)
Ingredients: Ground Almonds (Prunus dulcis), Glycerine, Kaolin, Water (Aqua), Lavender Oil (Lavendula hybrida), Rose Absolute (Rosa centifolia), Lavender Flowers (Lavendula hybrida), Perfume.
NOTE: Since then (and due to some unwanted hormonal activity), I've scaled back my usage of AOBS to mornings only and after I use my Mario Badescu Silver Powder at night. Still love it. <3
Highlighters -MAC - Mineralize Skinfinish in Petticoat [DISCONTINUED]
midgetcoconut 11/7/2006 6:38:00 PM
I never thought that any MSF would knock my beloved (and treasured and wrapped-up-in-cotton-wool) Stereo Rose. That was until I tried Petticoat.
A deliciously radiant raspberry colour, it makes a perfect blush. In the pan, it's a subtle raspberry-kissed pink with slight veining. I admit that if you're a bit too heavy-handed with it, you could ended up glowing a little more than is desirable, but that's probably only going to happen if you're a bit overzealous! :-P
Unfortunately, it was limited edition with the Lingerie collection, but, as with Stereo Rose, if they ever release it again, I'll be grabbing a back-up or two.
This is one of my favourite MSFs (along with Petticoat). Heck, it's probably close to being one of my favourite MAC products of all time and possibly one of my favourite blushes (I have well over 60 at last count, so this is saying something!).
A beautiful coral with gorgeous gold veining (mine has a fair bit of veining compared to some of the ones I've seen in MUA galleries), Stereo Rose is a must have MSF. On me, it's a gorgeous glowing coral colour and makes a stunning blush. Not at all scary or orangey.
I'm quite sparing with mine - I know that the thing is huge, but I'm still afraid of running out as, with all one's favourite products, the thing was Limited Edition (and quite frankly, some of the prices on eBay are ridiculous). If they ever re-release it, I'm getting myself a back-up. Or maybe two...
I'll admit that I was a bit disappointed with this mascara. Whilst it does give gorgeous volume, it also clumped a little and smudged on me. If I'm in a rush, I don't want to have to comb through my eyelashes again and again to get rid of the clumps - I just want to apply and go!
The brush is a little bit scary at first, but you get used to it. It has a faint rose scent to it, which I don't mind but I'm guessing that some people with more sensitive noses might not appreciate as much.
All in all, it's not a BAD mascara by any stretch of the imagination. Like I said, I love the volume (my lashes are fine, straight and sparse) but my love for it has been tainted by the clumpiness and smudginess.
Mascara -ModelCo - Lash Extend Mascara in Bazaar Black
midgetcoconut 11/7/2006 6:24:00 PM
This is my HG mascara (it's just pipped Shu Uemura's Mascara Basic to the post). I was an absolute mascara 'ho (and I'm not going to deny it) before I bought this stuff. Nothing held a curl for my dead-straight lashes. Everything made my (relatively sparse!) eyelashes clump together. Everything seemed to smudge on me and give me that 'Hooker Panda' look. Not pretty.
Enter ModelCo LashXtend into my life. It was love at first application. Not a single clump. Not one! Not only that - it actually held a curl. And here's the best bit - it didn't budge until *I* decided to remove it. Seriously, you can sleep on your face, wear it for over 12 hours straight, cry even and it doesn't move! The removal method, I guess, could be annoying for a few people (you have to splash your lashes with warm water and 'wiggle' the mascara off your lashes) but it fit in perfectly with my end-of-the-day (or more usually, 'end-of-the-night') routine.
It's not a dramatic mascara as such, but it makes my eyelashes look longer, more defined, curled and glossy. Actually, it makes them look as if they actually exist, which is a nice thing. :-P
Foundations -Yves Saint Laurent - Perfect Touch Radiant Brush Foundation
midgetcoconut 11/6/2006 8:55:00 PM
I never thought that I'd be giving 5 lippies to any foundation. Ever. Yet I am! I don't have mature skin, but I do have an oily t-zone, occasional flakies and the odd blemish here and there. This stuff is a godsend. The coverage is hard to describe...it's not full or even medium, yet it's not sheer either. On me it just looks like natural skin, only better and 'glowier' - not at all mask-like and you can hardly tell that I'm wearing foundation. My red patches are evened out and my pores are disguised beautifully. I still need concealer over blemishes, but not as much. The finish is a slightly glowy and I'd probably describe it as a satin finish. I have a tendency to get flakies on my cheeks. Most foundations (even some tinted moisturisers) can emphasise this. This doesn't emphasise them as much - it does ever-so-slightly upon initial application, but once it has settled, the flakies are barely noticeable. The two things that I particularly love about this foundation - its oil control properties and its staying power. I tend to get oily within an hour of applying a foundation - not so with this foundation. My t-zone does not look half as oily as it normally does and what little oil there is is hardly noticeable and can easily be blotted away with a bit of pressed powder. (It hasn't broken me out either!). The staying power is fabulous - my face tends to eat up foundations by midday. When I cleanse my skin at night (I use the Oil Cleansing Method), I can see that most of, if not all of my foundation is still there, as I can see it coming off onto my face cloth. I'll admit that the brush that comes with it is absolutely useless and I don't use it. I wipe the foundation onto the back of my hand and apply it with a separate foundation brush. I understand that different foundations work differently for different people, so what works for me might not necessarily work as well for another person. (That's probably why I had a foundation collection consisting of Dior, Becca, Giorgio Armani, Stila, Versace, Shiseido, Jane Iredale, Prescriptives, NARS and Chanel before I bought this stuff!) That being said, I'm pretty darn glad that I've found something that works so well! For reference, I'm a GA #4-4.5, Dior #200 (or slightly lighter), Stila 20-30 Watts/C, Becca Nude, Chanel #20, Versace O20, with neutral-leaning-towards-yellow toned skin and I'm currently using #6 in this foundation (it's Summer).
I'm not a particular fan of this. The coverage is well...almost non-existent. Perhaps slightly less than a tinted moisturiser. The finish isn't too bad though - not overly powdery and not too dewy. The oil control properties aren't so good - after about half an hour the oil started peeking through. The good thing is that it hasn't broken me out or made my blemishes any worse. It's not too bad a foundation if I'm going through a 'good skin' period (ie. very few blemishes and red spots), but I'd rather stick with my Becca Luminous Skin Colour in that case. I do like the little tube though - if I liked it what was inside it enough, I'd carry it with me! :-P
Masks -Chantecaille - Jasmine and Lily Healing Mask
midgetcoconut 11/5/2006 10:40:00 PM
I adore this product - it is hands-down my favourite mask. Admittedly, I've been living off sample sachets but it really is a gorgeous mask. I have oily-combination skin with occasional congestion around the t-zone area and occasional flakiness on my cheeks. This mask soothes irritated skin as well as brightening the skin beautifully. It leaves skin feeling smooth, soothed and well, just lovely. The scent is a very pleasant, botanical one. It's not easy for me to get my hands on Chantecaille (in Australia), but I'll be trying my hardest to get my hands on a full-size of this once my samples run out.
My Gawd. I adore this stuff, I really do. Most body scrubs I've tried consist of a few measly exfoliating beads suspended (and often lost) in a vast sea of some kind of fragrant gel. And more often than not, the beads barely make contact with your skin long enough to actually do any sort of scrubbing whatsoever. Not so with this delightfully minty scrub. The white 'paste' is choc-a-block full of little jojoba beads, all ready and waiting to scrub your skin until it's smooth and slough away those icky dead skin cells. My skin felt incredibly smooth, cleansed and invigorated post-scrub. The mint scent and the cooling menthol sensation might be a bit much for some, but I love it. It feels delightful and smells delightful. Will definitely try and get my paws on some more once I've finished my tube.