Thursday, 23 June 2011

DIY Tinted Lip Balm

OK so recently there have been a lot of DYI skincare, beauty treatments and tips/tricks going around. I’m not much of a DIY’er but I have seen a few things that look quite interesting.
So I decided to try and make my own lip balm! YAY! The reason for this was because I have this lovely coral lipstick but it dries my lips out every time I use it. A few weeks ago I read that if you melt down a lip balm product (Vaseline, Plain Lip Balms etc) and add some of the lipstick you want to use for color, you can make your own tinted lip balm (pretty kool huh?!). And here is my attempt!
One of my tins of Shea Butter
1. When I was living in Vienna, I became obsessed with L’Occitane’s Shea Butter. And since I could buy it really cheap I bought a lot of it (and when I say a lot, I mean I really don’t think I’ll use this much in my lifetime). So I decided to use this as my base
2. I scooped a bunch of the Shea Butter into a microwavable bowl and melted it for about 30 seconds.
3. I stirred and heated for another 20 seconds.

4. Then I chopped up my coral lipstick. I only used about ½ of what I had left.

5. I mixed the lipstick and Shea butter together and heated for another 20 seconds.

6. Lastly, I put the mixture into a little jar that you can use as your tinted lip balm container.

And here is the result...
Here is my tinted lip balm
And here is what it looks like
I’m really happy with how it turned out.
What do you think of my little DIY tinted lip balm?
Are there any DIY skincare treatments/products that you want to try?
Nat xoxo

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Skincare Do's and Don'ts

So we all know there are skin do’s and don’ts, but most of the time there is a disagreement about what they are. Elle magazine had a really interesting article on skincare do’s and don’ts., which I found really interesting.


Don’t take too many showers. Although it can by hydrating, water can have a drying effect on your epidermis (or skin). To ensure you keep you skin looking great, make sure you moisturize after showering. I guess no more long hot showers for me.

Do drink plenty of water. Drinking 64 ounces of water daily is essential for a healthy complexion as it helps flush out toxins and keeps your insides running smoothly.


Don’t go the top with rich moisturizers as heavy creams can create a barrier preventing your skin from absorbing the moisture. Also remember in summer you can lighten up on your moisturizer. Think and heavy isn’t always better.

Do use a night cream as skin-cells regenerate faster at night, so take advantage and use a great night moisturizer (and here I thought night was time for rest. Not for your skin. Maybe that’s why I’m tired of a morning….). 

Doubling Up

Don’t apply too many products at once (this is a biggie for me as I’m always trying out new products). If you use too many products you can irritate your skin and not see the full affects.

Do nourish your skin with a nutrient moisturizer. Look for a product that tackles multiple of your skin care concerns. Vitamin C is a really good ingredient that has many wonderful effects.


Don’t drink too much coffee! A cup of coffee a day can have it’s benefits, but too much can also be really dehydrating.

Do use coffee based products on your skin because caffeine can help tighten your skin and also sooth 
redness (so I guess coffee is awesome after all).


Don’t use harsh scrubs or scrub too often; general exfoliating rule is twice a week. Also make sure you avoid nuts in scrubs as they can make tiny abrasions.   

Do exfoliate with natural fruit enzymes. Fruit acids dissolve dead skin cells but in a gentle way. A good tip is to add lemon juice to your current scrub if you are happy with it but want something a bit more brightening and buffing.

A really great product for this is Origins Peel Pads. It’s not so much a exfoliate as a mask-esque product, but it has fruit enzymes and it is an amazing product!

Don’t rely on commercial drinks to give you the nourishment that your skin needs.

Do use a juicer if you have one to make your own juices. This is a great way to ensure that you are getting the most out of your vegetable intake. Another great tip is to take anti-inflammatory supplements (omega-3s, B vitamins, querecitin), which prevent acne flare-ups, help encourage moisture absorption and retention.


Don’t use a strong alcohol-based toner or toothpaste on blemishes, because this will strip the skin of moisture only causing more oil.

Do use an appropriate treatment on the blemish as soon as you notice it. Lactic acid is really good for cysts and salicylic acid or benzyl peroxide is great for minor to moderate breakouts.

Do you have any skincare dos and don’ts?

Nat xoxo

Monday, 20 June 2011

Face Masks

I have found that face masks seem to be the forgotten skincare product. Usually they are only associated with in facial treatments, or something that you do once and a while for a bit of fun (they are pretty fun!). But face masks, when used correctly, can be a great way to keep skincare woes at bay. The problem is finding the right mask to suit your skin type. Here is a breakdown of what masks are good for what kind of skin type (YAY!).

Dry – If you have dry skin a rich mask can be more effective then a really heavy moisturizer. An enzyme mask does a great job of dissolving dead skin without irritating the skin. However try to avoid a strong enzyme mask as well as clay or mud masks if you have dry sensitive skin.

My recommendations for dry skin are...

1. Nude's Intense Moisture Mask

2. Mario Badescu's Enzyme Revitalising Mask

Oily – Clay and Mud masks are great drying options for oily skin because they draw out impurities and absorb excess oil. If you have acne, clay masks that bring down the redness are best.

My recommendations for oily skin are...

1. Origins' Out Of Trouble 

2. Nude's Deep Cleansing Mask
Combination – Combination skin is good because most masks work will with this type of skin. However sheet masks are especially good because they have a 1-time use. This means that you can change your mask depending on what your skin is doing at the time.  

My recommendations for combination skin are...

1. SK-II Facial Treatment Mask
2. Olay's Regenerist Masks
And here are a few other masks that don't really apply to any of the above but are worth a mention...

1. Nude's Miracle Mask
2. Super's 3-Minute Facial Intensive Treatment

Personally, I love a good mask and try to use they a few times a week.

Are there any masks that you live by?
Are you a fan of the face mask?

Nat xoxo

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Tatcha Blotting Papers

I have a really oily t-zone. It’s one of my pet-peeves. I really hate it when you out, you make-up is looking hot and you go to the bathroom only to find your nose couldn’t get any shinier even if you had applied a mile of shimmer.

So I pretty much spend half my time finding ways to look less shinny, whether it is trying new primers, blotting paper, oil free foundations or oil free moisturizers. If it’s oil free chances are I’ve tried it. 

The hunt for the perfect anti-oil product led me to discover the amazing-ness that is Tatcha Aburatorigami Blotting Papers.

Tatcha Blotting Papers are handmade from abaca fibers and real gold leaf, so they are all natural and highly absorbent. What’s also amazing about them is that they absorb oil without ruining your make-up (amazing huh!), which is a problem with most blotting papers.

The concept originated back in the time of the Geisha in Japan. The Geisha used these papers to keep their skin matte and to also help create a canvas for her make-up. Tatcha was founded less then a year ago, and have already become a cult beauty favorite.

So needless to say when I found out about these I went straight out and purchased some (last Tuesday), and I’m amazed. I have been using them every day and they make such a different. They are amazing at removing oil and leaving my skin looking lovely and fresh. They also do a really good job of leaving most of your make-up in place. I mean your make-up is never going to look as fresh in the middle of the day (or night), but if you have make-up on it won’t remove much.
My blotting papers

Also what I really like is each sheet is pretty large and you can use both sides. So one sheet does you for the whole day.
See how much oil they have absorbed!
I would have to say this is a must have product for any woman with oily skin!

You can pick some Tatcha Blotting Papers up at Mecca Cosmetics for $16 for 30 sheets (and they aren’t expensive either).   

Do you have really oily skin and hate it?
Are you going to get yourself some Tatcha Blotting Papers?

Nat xoxo

Friday, 17 June 2011

My Product Samples

There are so many beauty products floating around, probably millions. And I don’t know about you but I find this exhausting and overwhelming. Companies and brands are always going on about how they have ‘created’ the miracle cream that is going to change beauty. And sometimes it’s hard to tell if they’ve created an awesome product, or if it’s just a bunch of BS.

The best idea to wade through the jungle of skincare is doing research on the products that you are interested in and trying them out. You really need to try a product for about a week or so to really see how it’s going to affect your skin. This is where product samples come in really handy, and also why beauty revolutions like Birchbox have taken off so well. 

The problem with samples is, most of the time you have to actually purchase a product before you get an. This really makes the ‘try before you buy’ concept pretty hard.  Some of the time though companies give really good samples without you having to buy anything. I have been lucky enough get some of these and here are my best of the best samples.

SUPER Hyper Hydrator

I got this sample from Kit Cosmetics once SUPER had launched here in Australia. I had heaps about this brands, but wasn’t sure how good it would be. So testing out on of their moisturizers was a good introduces. I also got a mini facial too as part of the promotion they were running. Check it out here.

Shiseido The Skincare Night Moisture Recharge

Today I had a free skin consultation at Shiseido as part of their new promotion they are running. It was really good as I have used some Shiseido products before, and it was interesting to see what other products in their range I could use. So I look forward to trying this new moisturizer.

Redken Heat Styling Thermo Active

I got this sample a while ago at an event I was at and there was a Redken stand. It has lasted for ages and I’m almost out. I will be buying the full size of this product as it’s one of the best heat styling products I’ve ever used and makes my hair feel amazing.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, SK-II Sign Signature Cream, SK-II Melting Rich Cream

I really love these samples because they last a really long time. It’s almost like having a mini full sized product.

Dernalogica Skin Renewal Booster

When I went to my beautician last (which was longer then I would like to admit), she used this on my skin and I really loved it. When I left she gave me a sample of it. Again, this was a great sample because it has lasted for ages.

Benefit’s Crescent Row perfumes.

When I was in American last year, I got give this sample free when I bought some stuff at Sephore. It’s really just some nice little perfume samples, but how amazing is the packaging.?!

And this would have to be the best sample I have even gotten, La Mer’s Crème De La Mer.

Crème De La Mer costs $250 for 30ml, which is pretty crazy, and this sample is 7.5ml worth. (I got this for free!). And after using this for just over a week I have to say it’s pretty damn amazing. I’m going to do a post about it soon (it’s on my list of things to do).

So after trying all these out for myself, I can see the crazy of these sample companies and I can’t wait until this launch here in Australia.

What's the best product samples you've ever received?

Nat xoxo  

Monday, 13 June 2011

Best Skincare Tips Of All Time

InStyle (US) has put up their 50 best skin-care tips of all time for Spring Skincare. Some of them seem so-so, but some of them were really good. Here are my top 22 picks.

Prevent Ingrown Hairs– Salicylic acid is an effective ingredient for treating ingrown hairs but it can be too harsh. An alternative is facial toner; with lavender extract is great for soothing bumps and minimizing redness.

Boost Your Brows – A great anti-aging is having lush, thick brows. Brows seem to be the thing of the moment. This is something I really agree with. Thick lush brows are the way to go. I really love Benefit’s Brows a-Go-Go.
Try DIY Dermatology – If you get a big pimple, do several cycles of hot compresses then apply a glob of 1 percent hydrocortisone cream for a few hours. It will help deflate the bump.

Treat Sore Feet – In order to prevent blisters, use a silicone-based lubricant. If you are wearing strappy shoes and feel chafing apply a small amount of lubricant.

Soak with Tea – If you have foot odor, soak your feet in very dark black tea. The tannins in the tea change the pH of your skin. How awesome is that?!

Exfoliate Longer – When you want a more intense, deep exfoliation, exfoliate for longer, but not any harder.

Eat Your Water
– Apparently when you eat hydrating fruits and vegetables such as cucumber and grapefruit, the water penetrates the cells better then drinking water. This advice came from Dr Howard Murad. I have just gotten into Murad skincare products and they are amazing.

Choose Good Oils – If you have dry skin this sounds like a really good idea. Once a week give yourself a 15-minute mask made of mashed avocado. Or once a week massage a tablespoon of olive oil into your face instead of using a night cream. This isn’t recommended if you have acne-prone skin though.

Anti-Age with Ice – Now this is something I’ve never heard of before; apparently if you freeze apple juice, the malic acid in the frozen juice is an anti-aging alpha-hydroxy acid. So all you have to do is pass the ice cube gently over the skin for a mini-facelift. I really want to give this one a try.

Clue in to Cukes – Cucumbers are great at soothing. To maximize cucumber’s calming effect, shred it. That will ensure it covers more of your puffy eyes. Another tip is wrapping a grated cucumber in cheesecloth and roll it across your eye area.

Slather Sour Cream – This one is great if you have sensitive skin. Twice a week apply a tablespoon of full-fat sour cream for 20-minutes. It will nourish touchy complexions that are very sensitive, because the lactic acid gently smoothes skin and improves texture.

Add a Hint of Glint – If your sunscreen leaves you looking pale, mix a drop or two of liquid bronzer. 

Heal your Heels – To get rid of calluses, apply some wart remover overnight and pumice away the dead skin in the morning. This is a great tip. I always have bad heels! 

Mix in Sunscreen – If you day cream doesn’t have an SPF, mix in some lightweight SPF lotion.

Soothe with Fruit – if you happen to get too much sun, take a calming bath of warm water, half a gallon of milk and 15 drops of lavender oil. Watermelon is also an anti-inflammatory. A little tip is to puree the fruit and slather it on tingly skin.
Fruit is also making its mark on the skincare world with the launch of the new SUPER skincare range.

Double-Cleanse Your Face – If you are wearing make-up or sunscreen you should first remove everything on your face with a gentle cleanser that’s designed to break down cosmetics. Then you should wash your face with your normal cleanser.

Try a Facial Scrub – A facial scrubber is really good to use a few times a week to remove dead skin cells. Something like the Clarisonic is really good because it only removes the cells that are ready to go, and it doesn’t strip the top level that is important for maintaining moisture and sun protection.

Skip Extreme Heat – Intense heat can exacerbate redness, so to limit the appearance of broken capillaries, skin saunas, steam rooms, and spicy foods.
Pop Pomegranate Pills – You can boost your sunscreen by taking a pomegranate-extract supplement. It can enhance skin’s sun-protective properties by 25%, says Dr Howard Murad.

Mist Moisturizer, Not Water – If you use a mist, make sure you moisturize too. When you sprits your skin, the water evaporates on the skin it creates dryness. Make sure if you mist, your mister has moisturizer or vitamins in it.  

Check the Label – If you are using an anti-redness product the fewer ingredients in the product the better. A great health-food store staple is aloe vera juice mixed with a few drops of jojoba oil. This creates a lipid barrier to prevent moisture loss.

Sponge on SPF – If you don’t like the feeling of facial sunscreen, apply it with a sponge. This helps it penetrate the skin, so it won’t feel as greasy on your skin.
I will be trying most of these out. I wonder how well they will work. I'm not sure if they are the best of all time, but they do look pretty good.

What ones are you going to try out?
Do you think they are the best skincare tips of all time?

Nat xoxo