Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish – Review

If you have been following my blog for a while you’ll know I’ve tried professional Gel Nails a few times and loved the shine, colour vibrancy and the wear but didn’t like the eventual chipping, wear on my nails and difficulty to remove.

I’m a bit excited to have been introduced to Sally Hansen Miracle Gel nail polishes that you can do at home without a lamp and you can remove them easily whenever you like with normal nail polish remover! I know! Amazing right!

Check out these colours:

sally_hansen_gel_miracle_nail_review_australian_colours sally_hansen_gel_miracle_nail_review_colours_bottleSo how does it work? Mega easy! You need 2 things.

  1. A Sally Hansen Miracle Gel nail polish
  2. The Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat – in the black bottle.

Steps:

  1. Paint on 1 coat of the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail polish and let it dry.
  2. Paint on another coat and let it dry for a good 15 minutes.
  3. Paint on the top coat with nice generous brush strokes.
  4. Leave to dry in natural light (sunlight will help make it cure faster) for about 15 minutes and you’re done!

sally_hansen_gel_miracle_nail_reviewsally_hansen_gel_miracle_nail_review_top_coatI love the wide brush that these polishes come with. By far my favourite brush of any nail polish I have ever used I have to say. Really easy to control and good coverage.

There are 18 colours to choose from and here are the 5 I trialled.

Review of the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel wear and longevity:

The polishes are meant to last for up to 14 days but I found that at 7 days it was ready to take them off. It was mainly my busy typing pointer finger that copped some chips, but the other fingers held out reasonably well. Of course nails grow in a week, and so the bottom get a little gappy then it’s time to re-paint. Since you can just use normal nail polish remover, it’s easy to do.

I honestly am very impressed with the wear these polishes provided across the week despite the little chips. I tried a few colours for a full week each to give you a very trialed and tested honest review. I found that the Pink Shock Wave colour gave the best wear…. but that was the third one I trialled so I think I had mastered the application by then. The key is to not skimp on the polish when you’re painting otherwise you get streaks.

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3 days in wearing Pink Piggy

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7 days of wear

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7 days of wear with the tip chips forming in my most used fingers and in places where my nail tends to split anyway.

I have been raving about this polish to my friends during my trial. I just love the gloss my nails have, the extra strength it gives them and the wear of the polish.

I know they are called “gel” nails, but I don’t know if that’s really what I would call them. They don’t last as long as real gel nails and aren’t as rounded, smooth and tough as professional gels. If you have ever had professional gels, you’ll know they are hard as rock and you can rub them against each other and they make a really hard tapping noise. For the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel, I would just say the polish is long lasting, tough and glossy nail polish, which isn’t a bad thing…but not really the same as gels. I’m really excited to continue using these polishes and getting a full, confident week of wear out of them.

You can purchase Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish in Australia from Chemist Warehouse, Priceline, Target and independent pharmacies for $16.95. You can also get special launch duo packs with a colour and the top coat for just $19.95 for a limited time.

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Weekend Markets Need The Perfect Basket

The sun is shining through the curtains, your fridge is empty and the coffee pangs have hit on a lazy weekend. You pull on your favourite jeans or dress and head out to pick up some fresh supplies. There are so many beautiful fresh food markets in Melbourne and around Australia. We are such a blessed country aren’t we!

I love the vibe of markets and seeing people meeting the growers and mingling with the community. It’s almost as good as going on holiday and I feel like I’m in France or Italy again.

When I go to the market, I usually struggle to carry around my many bags with bits and bobs that I pick up. I’m a sucker for a big fresh bunch of celery, so juggling that with cartons of eggs, flowers, cheese, sausages, strawberries, bread and fresh local honey means that my hands are a wreck from my shopping bags digging in. Plus, egg cartons and heavy things never sit well in bags. Sometimes a market trolley is really a pain to get through busy crowds or in markets that are on gravel surfaces (Gepps Cross Market in Adelaide comes to mind).

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I have found the answer to making market shopping more comfortable, practical and beautiful – A Market Basket! With sturdy and very soft leather handles, my Market Basket Co. french-style basket is made from light hand-woven palm leaves and is very strong. The Moroccan leather handles don’t dig into my arm or hands, I can see everything that is in my basket at a glance, and navigating the bustling crowds is a breeze. Plus, my flowers and celery don’t get squished like they do in bags! I would recommend putting an old plastic bag at the bottom of the basket to protect it and keep it dry when you add your fresh fruit in… particularly celery!

This style of basket is imported by the Market Basket Co. from Morocco and the style has been used in the Mediterranean for hundreds of years. So chic! They have lots of other styles and colours to choose from on their website or from Market Basket Co. stockists around Australia.

I can vouch for the fact that this basket turns heads, because a man told me I looked very beautiful as I was shopping at the market. I bet nobody has ever been told that while toting a squeaky market trolley! Ha ha. 
The_market_basket_company_australia_woven_basket_red_leather_handles_person_shopping_beauty_chattette The_market_basket_company_australia_woven_basket_red_leather_handles_person_shopping_beauty_chattette

The_market_basket_company_australia_woven_basket_red_leather_handlesThe_market_basket_company_australia_woven_basket_red_leather_handles The_market_basket_company_australia_woven_basket_red_leather_handlesThe_market_basket_company_australia_woven_basket_red_leather_handles

If you are looking for markets to visit, here is a list of markets in Australia that I love:

Melbourne

Adelaide

Sydney

My basket is the Mia Basket in Raspberry $49. I absolutely adore it! It’s the perfect birthday or Christmas present for someone who has everything too.

The Market Basket Co import a wide range of baskets to use for markets, storage, picnic, hampers and the beach so check out the range of high quality classic woven baskets from The Market Basket Co. and join them on Facebook for market updates and competitions.

My beautiful basket was provided to me for review.

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Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibition Melbourne NGV

Melbourne, and the National Gallery of Victoria, is playing host to cult fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier’s fashion exhibition. I went along to take a look and was so impressed with the detail.

Gaultier changed the fashion landscape, especially in the 80’s and 90’s when he designed Madonna’s famous gold pointy breasted corset and dressed celebrities such as Cate Blanchet, Kylie Minogue, Beyonce and Nicole Kidman for the red carpet and couture occasions.

I was waiting for my friend outside the NGV when a very excited lady sat next to me and told me how much she enjoyed the exhibition and had come over from Sydney to see it. She loved the lay out of the exhibition and the interactive talking mannequins. Her excitement made me even more excited to enter and see it for myself.

Jean_paul_gaultier_melbourne_exhibition_ngv Jean_paul_gaultier_melbourne_exhibition_ngvThe exhibition features hundreds of Gaultiers designs, many that have never been displayed before in his 40 years of design. The mannequins are so cool and many of their faces have moving images projected onto them and they look amazingly real. Some of them sing songs and sometimes they talk. The mannequin that greets  you as you enter is Jean Paul Gaultier himself. I think the mannequins really made the exhibition extra special.
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Gaultier grew up in Paris and was very close to his grandmother. Growing up, he loved her sense of style and would spend hours adapt her clothes, mainly old corsets, into imaginative in creations.

He wanted to play with dolls but a teddy was all he was given. The teddy below is called Nana. Nana was Gaultiers favourite toy growing up and you can see he stuck newspaper pointy cone breasts on it when he was just 6 years old! His signature style was coming out even then!
Jean_paul_gaultier_melbourne_exhibition_ngv_nana_bear_teddy Jean_paul_gaultier_melbourne_exhibition_ngvThe curator of the exhibition was presenting and explaining a lot of the items displayed. I’m not sure how often this happens, but I think on Friday nights there are going to be bands and extra activities at the exhibition that would make it the perfect time to visit.

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The sheer detail and creativity of Gaultiers creations was mind boggling. Hand made to the guidelines of Paris Haute Couture, Gaultier is truly an amazing craftsman. I spent a lot of time looking up close at how things were stitched and beaded. Stunning!Jean_paul_gaultier_melbourne_exhibition_ngv_parrot_dress_feathers This jumpsuit would have been my favourite. It’s made with parrot feathers and I think it’s simple yet so beautiful. You can’t see in this photo, but this Mannequin had a beautiful talking face. She also sand you a song.Jean_paul_gaultier_melbourne_exhibition_ngv Jean_paul_gaultier_melbourne_exhibition_ngv Jean_paul_gaultier_melbourne_exhibition_ngv_leopard_beaded_dress The dress above was amazing. That is ALLLLLLL hand beaded to look like a leopard. Tiny tiny beads all in different directions to give the texture of the fur. There are even claws beaded and a face. You need to see this detail. Jean_paul_gaultier_melbourne_exhibition_ngv

There are various rooms featuring his various collections including Punk, Mermaids, Virgins, Muses and more. I was so thrilled to see these masterpieces in real life and learn more about the life of such a living legend that has woven and adjusted so much of our pop culture.

Jean_paul_gaultier_melbourne_exhibition_ngv Jean_paul_gaultier_melbourne_exhibition_ngv

I haven’t put too many photos here because photos are not doing justice to the sheer beauty and experience that you will get from visiting the exhibition yourself. There are many different rooms to visit within and hundreds of exquisite gowns to see and stories to read about them. The gift shop features a number of lovely souvenirs too.

Go and see it for yourself and let me know what you thought in the comments below.

The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is hosting the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition until 8 February 2015. Adult full priced tickets are $22. Well worth it!

Take a ride on the slow golden carousel before you leave the gallery too!

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Origins Drink Up 10 Minute Skin Mask – Review

Hello hydration!

I was looking for a new deeply hydrating facial mask since I ran out of my Dermatalogica. I’m a sucker for trying new things and headed along to Kit Cosmetics to seek the advice of the ladies there. I let them know I had sensitive skin that is a little bit combination but leans towards dry these days thanks to air conditioning in my office. They recommended Origins Drink Up Skin Mask for me over the Origins Drink Up Intense mask in a dark green tube because that one may have irritated my skin .

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Let me tell you the things I love about this mask and why I have fallen in love with it.

  1. It’s a 10 minute mask
  2. When 10 minutes is up, you just wipe it off with a tissue and leave it on your skin so no need to follow up with a moisturiser. It’s so beautiful!
  3. It smells like apricots and spring time and happiness!
  4. It’s particularly lovely to use before bed because you will wake up with plump juicy skin and the smell will give you sweet dreams
  5. It does a great job!

I usually cleanse my face and put this on at least once a week. It’s creamy but you’ll be amazed how fast your skin will drink it up if you’re dehydrated like I am.

If you are about to head on a long haul flight, I highly recommend putting the Origins Drink Up 10 Minute mask in a little jar to take onboard (don’t forget international liquids in hand luggage rules) and absorb. It can get dry up there in the sky and your skin will thank you.

I had never heard of Origins before to tell you the truth, but they are owned by Estee Lauder and are their “natural” positioned brand. The brand is bigger in the USA than here in Australia and I really enjoyed visiting their stores on my recent trip. I learnt a lot about their full range of products and how they work closely with Dr Andrew Weil in his own line of products. I visited their store in Boston and they offer FREE facials which are so nourishing when you have been on and off planes for days on end. The beautiful staff talk you through the products and how to apply them which I found really useful. I was given an eye cream sample and it is definitely something I am going to be buying when I run out of my current supply. One product I was particularly interested in was the Super Spot remover and I wish I had have asked for a sample of it to take home and try outside of the beautiful facial I was given.

So there you have it. A little more of a background on Origins and on the beautiful Drink Up 10 Minute Mask. Available from Kit Cosmetics for $34. 

 

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NP Set Bundle Packs

Do you love that feeling when you get something you need with a little added bonus? Tingles, thrills and excitement is what I feel… don’t tell me I’m the only one!

NP set bundle packs

NP Set have released bundle packs of some of their best products. I love this for a few reasons:

  1. They are great value! Some of the bundles are much cheaper than the RRP for one of the products in it alone!
  2. Buy something you need (eg eyeliner) and get an extra product you may also need or  something new to try and enjoy. Yippee
  3. Need to buy a present for someone? Bingo! You’ve found a great practical present that they will love!
  4. More NP Set products to add to your beauty bag. Woo!

There are currently 4 sets to choose from (or don’t choose and get them all).

Serum and Liner $25 – Grab this one for fresh skin and glam eyes. The serum is $33 on it’s own, so this is amazing value. Every girl needs to add a good serum to their skin routine! The NP Set serum is light weight and includes natural ingredients to moisturise.

Lip and Nail $10 – Put the finishing touches on your look with subtle polish and lip shine

Fab Eyes $15 – Eye are a great asset to enhance. NP Set’s Pasarella Mascara (RRP $20 on its own so already this set is saving you money!) combined with Eye Primer (Usually $19 on it’s own) to make shadow sit nicer with jojoba and rosehip, are a great combo.

Loose Powder and Shimmer Duo $19 – Stop that shine and add some well placed shimmer

NP Set and these new value bundles, can be found at Target, Big W, Myer and other retailers in Australia.

 

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EnRich Dermatology and Cosmetic Clinic Melbourne

I’ve always been an au-natural girl but occasionally joke about how one day im gonna fix my bingo wings and my turkey neck…. I probably will…. far in the future… With Kim Kardashian and her plastic-fantastic family making cosmetic surgery more mainstream these days (not quite as cat like as the ruined celebrities of old *cough* Joan Rivers *cough*), I guess it’s interesting to know what treatments they are getting. There are some people in life, of course, with real issues like sagging skin, wrinkles, rosacea, pigmentation, birth marks and so on. Thankfully, those issues can be treated in this day and age.

I was invited to attend a VIP night with Dr Michael Rich and his team at EnRich Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery Clinic in Armadale to learn more about the services and treatments they offer. It was such a welcoming environment and the team all felt like one big family (one big, very smart, very caring, very good looking family). Dr Michael Rich is one of the top and most trusted dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons in Melbourne. The EnRich clinic has been running for over 20 years with many of the staff being with him for decades.

Enrich cosmetic surgery dermatology surgical enhancement botox fillers liposuction armadale melbourne victoria australia high street

We were taken through the various services and treatments offered.  I was amazed at how many state of the art machines they had on hand for all kinds of treatments! I had no idea so many existed!

The Fraxel machine works to combat freckles, pigmentation, improve complexion and tighten skin. First local anesthetic is applied and then the fraxel works on the skin which will come up red for a few days, then peel to reveal beautiful skin. I know someone that had this done and their sun damaged skin has looked 100x better ever since. It can cost around $900 a treatment and may require maintenance every so often.

enrich clinic fraxel machine melbourne

We were shown different types of fillers that are used in cheeks, lips and all kinds of gaps.  It was interesting to feel the different textures of the fillers ourselves and they reminded me of gel candles if you break them up. One was thicker for denser fillers in cheeks for example, and the other was thinner for lips. We learnt that botox is never ever used inside the lips, it’s actually filler. Filler can also be disolved if a mistake is made or you don’t like the results. The EnRich team mentioned that they see a number of patients that have come to them after different clinics have made a mistake and the patient needs it rectified.

Here is what the filler looked like when rubbed on the back of my hand. Clear soft gel:

what does cosmetic filler look like gel

The clinic also does botox which is used to fix crows feet, frown lines, lift the brows and even something I hadn’t heard of called massetors to make a very angular shaped face more heart shaped. Apparently that procedure is very popular with Asian faces. The other amazing thing about Dr Michael and the EnRich clinic, is that they can use botox to reduce severe sweating and it is covered by a medicare rebate and is the only place in Melbourne where this procedure is covered thanks to Dr Michael’s professionalism and good standing in the medical field.

Liposuction is also performed at EnRich Clinic. Dr Michael Rich explained that the procedure he performs is under local anaesthetic which makes it cheaper and quicker to perform than in a hospital environment.

Another surprising enhancement the clinic can do is vaginal surgery. A few years ago I saw a documentary about the different shapes of lady areas and was amazed. As a woman, I guess we never show our parts to each other as much as men would catch a glimpse at each others bits. I would have no idea what anyone else’s area looks like other than my own! It was amazing to see some photographic results of how the team at EnRich were able to drastically transform what must have been a very difficult area for some women, into a much more compact labia. Fascinating.

Breast enhancements are also something the clinic does and can do under and over muscle implants. Apparently Nicole Kidman has above muscle implants which is why they are a bit more poppy than usual.

There are various machines that can plump skin, remove scars and birth marks and fill lines. Radio Frequency Machines including Secret and Venus Freeze are available plus the Portrait Machine for a complete overhaul that lifts just about anything you can imagine. The Excel machine is a great quick rejuvenation machine and can also treat birthmarks and redness.

Remember Kim Kardashian’s famous Vampire Facial photo? That would have been the PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) procedure where a small sample of your blood is taken and processed to extract a high level of PRP. This is then injected into places that need tissue remodelling and rejuvenation. The team at EnRich did think that Kim’s procedure was over stylised for PR purposes as there would never usually be that much blood present on the face.

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If needles and drastic enhancements don’t sound like your thing, various levels of glycolic peels are available plus the full range of Klara Cosmetics is sold at the clinic for a quick fix.

I was very impressed with the professionalism and depth of knowledge the team at EnRich Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery Clinic posessed. They really know their stuff and are extremely caring and honest in their approach I felt. Helping you to look a better version of yourself is their goal and they don’t believe in over the top enhancements. They prefer the natural looking, yet refreshed look, which I fully support. Many of the team have had the treatments available at the surgery and can tell you honestly, openly and first hand how the processes happen and what to expect results wise.

Dr Michael Rich enrich cosmetic surgery dermatology liposuction melbourne armadale

If you do have some cosmetic issues to address, Dr Michael Rich and the team at EnRich Clinic Armadale should be your first call.  EnRich Clinic, 872 High St, Armadale VIC 3143. Ph: (03) 9500 9500 

Disclaimer: Please consult the EnRich Surgery about anything written here for their professional clarification and opinion. My note taking may not be 100% accurate. I have not experienced any of their professional services first hand.

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Napoleon Perdis Browtox Eyebrow Frame and Tame- Review

If you grew up in the 90’s and early 2000’s, you certainly plucked the heck out of your eyebrows to make them Drew Barrymore and Gwen Stefani thin. One girl in my grade 8 class plucked so hard in fact, she came to school one morning with no eyebrows at all. I offered to use my texta to draw them back on for her.

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Thankfully, Big brows are back in fashion (we knew Brooke Shields was right all along) with celebs like Cara Delevingne donning dark, thick brows on the cat walk. In fact, bigger brows can take years off your appearance so get yourself into brow rehab and let them grow out a bit. Just don’t turn into Frida Kahlo!

cara eyebrows

You need to remember a few tips before you get on the big brow bus:

  • Shape your eyebrows properly! There are brow bars popping up in malls all over the place and many make up counters, like Napoleon Perdis, can help you too. If you don’t know what you’re doing, I would recommend going to see what they have to say and take it from there. If you are a gun with the tweezers and have some self control, give shaping a try yourself using the brow guide. Some people say the brow should begin just where your nostril ends, but if you have a wide nose, that should not be the case. Everyones face is different, so seeing a beautician is the best thing to do to start your brow detox on the right foot.
  • Don’t go too big, just flow with the shape of your natural brows
  • Don’t over colour! If colouring in gaps or adding definition, keep it natural and sheer. Have you seen people with crazy dark over coloured in eyebrows? That’s called a Scousebrow! VILE! I loved this episode of Snog, Marry, Avoid when they addressed this horrendous issue head on.

So, today I was lucky enough to give Napoleon Perdis’ Browtox a go.

napoleon perdis browtox brows

Browtox comes in a cute little pot. It is a creme-gel that is designed to be a universal shade (not in my case but we will get to that later) which provides colour and definition.  Made with synthetic bees wax, it keeps the brows in place all day. 

napoleon perdis browtox brows

To apply, it comes with a lovely double ended brush. One side is a slanted edged brush that you use to work the browtox into your brow, and the spooly end is used to comb it through and even it out for a natural finish.

napoleon perdis browtox brows brush

napoleon perdis browtox brows bursh spool eyebrows

This fantastic video from Napoleon Perdis gives you a great rundown of how to use the product and how to find the best shape for your brows at home. I found it really helpful.

The video suggests going against the brow, however I didn’t find that was the best way for me. Personally, I have thick brows, but there isn’t a lot of hair in them, just long thick ones. Going against my brows means they sometimes fall out which isn’t cool. I used Browtox on my really patchy eyebrow to show you how it looks to colour in my unsightly gaps.

I have really dark brown, almost black eyebrows and then black eyelashes. Despite the fact that Browtox is meant to be a universal shade, I found that it was a little too caramel for my natural colouring, but it would be perfect for someone with blonde, ginger or light brown brows.

napoleon perdis browtox brows

Something else to remember is don’t use too much! I thought I only had a tiny bit of Napoleon Perdis Browtox on my brush, but even then, I had too much. You just need a teeny bit and then you can build from there. You can see in the picture below that you just need to touch the pot with the slanted brush to get the smallest amount. The pot will last you forever! Love that!

napoleon_perdis_browtox 2

On my first attempt using Browtox, I unfortunately gave myself a scousebrow by using far too much browtox and got it all thick and stuck in the front part of my brow which really doesn’t need any definition. It did a good job at filling in my scraggly middle brow however. Witness the scousebrow:

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On my next attempt I did a MUCH better job by using much less Browtox and dabbing the edge of the brush on the angle my brows should go. I only used it to fill in gaps and define the outer parts of my eyebrow which are thinner. Using the spooly end of the brush, I combed the brow into place and that also evenly distributes the Browtox lightly through the rest of the brow. It works to stop it from sticking your brows together and makes the finish flawlessly sheer. Witness the glory of the perfect Napoleon Perdis Browtox application:
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Napoleon Perdis Browtox is made in Italy and is paraben and fragrence free. It is available at Napoleon Perdis counters for $39 and comes with the lovely grooming brush. I recommend this product for those with light coloured – medium brown eyebrows that need a little more definition and shape.

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