Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Haus of Gloi Summer 2011 Order

I know I'm a whole two seasons behind with this review, but I only made my purchases near the end of the summer season, so I'm totally still allowed to talk about them! (Also, doesn't that beautiful picture of Bora Bora make you want to go there RIGHT.NOW.)
I can't exactly recall how I first stumbled upon Haus of Gloi, but I remember being very intrigued by the sound of their products, and the more I read about the brand, the more excited I became. A small vegan business owned and operated by two people in the States, they strive to provide the best customer service and interesting fragrance blends inspired by the seasons - meaning, once the season is over, you have to wait until the following year to order it again! Everything is handmade, which I really like, and as natural as possible.

I finally succumbed to my urges this winter (American summer) and ordered a full size pot of Beguiled Body Butter, and perfume oil in Sanctum. When I received my order, I also received a handwritten thank you note from the owners and a free 5ml perfume sample of Honeysuckle Lemon Curd, which is a staple perfume oil of theirs and is available all year round. Love the little personal touch, and of course, the free sample made me super happy. On to the yummy descriptions!

Beguiled - Lemon cake made with the tang of fresh buttermilk, raspberry coulis – an otherwise innocent cake corrupted by cardamom and deceptive pink peppercorns. (I drool every time I read this description).

Sanctum - A welcome respite: Muskmelon, coconut water infused with bergamot flower, kaffir lime, polished ho wood and sticky benzoin. (Note to self: don't drink it regardless that it smells like a delicious sounding cocktail).

Honeysuckle Lemon Curd - Rich and lemony with a touch of fresh honeysuckle. (Note: Was too lazy to take photo of sample perfume, but as you can tell, this is a photo taken from the Haus of Gloi site of the full sized bottle).

Okay, summer is my favourite season of the year and I love sweet smells! Anything that promises to make me smell like cake, or something that sounds like a tropical cocktail, I am so there!

At first sniff, the lemon is definitely the most powerful smell in Beguiled. Once it's been applied and settles in the skin, you can smell the buttermilk in combination with the lemon and it's absolutely fantastic. However, I cannot detect any raspberry, which is a shame because I think the combination of lemon and raspberry is divine! I end up smelling like a lemon cake so I am totally in love with this body butter!

Perfume oils are very strong so when I first caught a whiff of Sanctum from the bottle, it smelt very strongly of a combination of different types of melons and coconut. Now, to be honest, I have no idea what polished ho wood and stiky benzoin smell like, so I cannot really gauge how much of that you can smell in there, but I love wearing this perfume as it makes me smell like melons! I find it doesn't really change in scent from when it's wet to when it dries on the skin, and the perfume fades to a lovely coconut smell. The staying power is around 5 hours, so not bad, but not as much as I expected. In saying that, you stop being able to detect the perfume you wear as you become accustomed to it, so I'd have to ask someone to sniff me to confirm the actual lasting power.

And last, but not least, the Honeysuckle Lemon Curd perfume oil! I love how it smells in the bottle (and I hate the little bottle, I struggle to open the stopper, and I just flicked some of the perfume dangerously close to my eye!), completely like some sort of lemon icing, very zesty, no butteriness which you find in Beguiled. Applied to skin, I find that the lovely lemon smell disappears almost immediately and is replaced by the honeysuckle. A bit disappointing on my part because I really loved the way the lemon was so predominant, and I find the honeysuckle reminds me of a car air freshener and the smell actually gives me a bit of headache. So, definitely not purchasing a full sized bottle of this! However, everyone's body chemistry reacts different with a perfume, so don't ever be put off completely by others reviews.

As the products are made according to the seasons in the northern hemisphere, I will be purchasing their winter products during our summer time which should be interesting! I barely resisted buying from their Autumn collection as I still haven't used my other things, but I'm definitely giving in to temptation with their Yule collection as I've been dying to try Eggnoggin, and even though I'm not a fan of earthy or herb-y kinds of smells, I am curious about Snow Wolf and might purchase a mini size pot of it in the body butter! I also want the Parkin cold pressed soap...oh no, I think I hear my wallet crying.

So readers, I wholeheartedly recommend Haus of Gloi, and if you haven't jumped on to this cult bandwagon yet, I highly recommend that you do! Shipping is also very decently priced, and once the exchange rate is good to the NZD, I'll be making my next purchase. What are your favourite perfumes? Have you tried HoG yet?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mecca Cosmetica - In A Good Light SPF30+ Tinted Facial Sunscreen Review

Hola chicas!

Back from my amazing European holiday and in complete work mode (ish), I finally have a moment to spare for a review on a recent beauty purchase!
As we all know, we are supposed to cleanse, tone and moisturise twice a day – once in the morning when you get up, and once in the evening before bed. However, I am pretty bad when it comes to sticking to this routine; most mornings I’ll only wash my face and then use toner (the blasphemy!), and it’s not until the evening do I bother to go through the whole routine (sans the moisturising – bad again!).

My biggest problem is the fact that there are so many types of moisturisers out there, I get too confused as to which one I really want to try/is worth spending my hard-earned cash on! My search for the right moisturiser went something like this: Jumped onto the internet and spent hours reading the millions of reviews from various beauty blogs and Became far too irritated and confused as to what kind of product I actually wanted, turned the computer off in disgust, and on my next supermarket trip bought whatever was on sale at the time. Came back home feeling deflated and not too happy with my purchase. Read the online catalogue for a Mecca Cosmetica product and ended up going to Kirks to buy it.

So after not having used any kind of moisturiser for a long time, I succumbed to the Mecca moisturiser, even though I had already purchased an Olay moisturiser from the supermarket. What a silly nitwit! you might be thinking. Why not use the first one and instead of buying the second one? Well, my dear readers, I think we can all confess to having done the exact same thing at one point or another. Unfortunately in my case, it happens frequently.

On to what the site has to say about the moisturiser!

In A Good Light SPF 30+ is a luminising, tinted facial sunscreen providing broad spectrum protection against harsh UVA and UVB rays, in a light, matte-finish cream. This multitasking wonder, in a universally flattering shade, gives skin a sheer tint whilst imparting a natural radiance so skin appears ‘lit from within’- not glittery or shimmery. The non-oily and non-whitening formula contains hyaluronic acid, pomegranate extract and vitamin E, to keep skin hydrated whilst protecting against destructive environmental damage.

The price tag for this moisturiser did make me squirm a bit at NZ$65 for 125ml/4.4oz, but I feel justified in the thought that you only have one face to look after, and if the first point of contact with people is your face, you gotta to make it look good!

So, the first thing I’m pleased about is the fact that I actually own a moisturiser I enjoy using. The second thing is that it contains an SPF of 30+. As New Zealand is situated right under a big ol’ hole in the ozone layer, we are more susceptible to the sun’s harsh and damaging UVA and UVB rays. This means that a moisturiser with an SPF included in it is a must for me. The moisturiser comes in only one colour of tint, and I was a bit worried about this, but once it’s applied to the face, it completely absorbs and blends in with the natural tone of your face. You have to be quick rubbing it in to the face as it dries almost instantaneously – which I think is an excellent thing – and it imparts a nice glow to the skin as mentioned in the description.
My skin tends to be more on the oily side so I was worried if this moisturiser would make my face a big oil patch, but not to worry fellow oily friends! It does not do this at all. One pump is enough to cover my whole face, and the second pump for my neck, so I love the fact that I feel like I’m not wasting any of the product when I’m using it! The smell is quite pleasant, and disappears quite quickly, so it doesn’t mix badly if I put a perfume on my neck afterwards.

I am so happy with my new moisturiser – it protects my face from the horrors of the sun, doesn’t make it oily, gives me a nice glow and hydrates my skin whilst protecting it from other environmental skin baddies. What more could you ask for?

Tell me chicas, have you started your summer preparations? Or, dear other hemisphere chicas, have you started your hibernation mode yet? What products are really making you feel like you can face the world in the morning?