Things to do when you're bored at home!

Thursday, 26 November 2015

The Summer holidays are approaching in Australia. If you've ever experienced a Perth Summer, you will know that some days are simply too hot to venture outside lest your skin burn to a crisp, or scald your hands on a simmering steering wheel. The best strategy is to stay inside and sip ice water and occupy yourself before the monotonous boredom sets in.

Now is the time to do the whole facial shebang! We all lead busy lives, so we must take care of ourselves and our precious skin when we have the time. My go to facial routine of the moment is:

1. Wash and gently exfoliate.
2. Steam with hot water + 3 drops lavender essential oil.
3. Refine pores with a clay mask and remove with a warm wet towel.
4. Moisturise and spot treat with lavender oil.

Ah gaming, not only is it fun but it's actually not a waste of time! Studies show that action games hone your reflexes and lead to quick yet accurate decision making. I like to play Tekken Tag Tournament 2 with my preferred character being Jaycee of course. If you don't have a console, there are a number of browser games to occupy you such as Tribal wars or Mansion casino games.

I have left my nails bare 95% of this year because I have been too stressed to even think about them. My current nail colour is a lovely vampire red by Rimmel (035 Wine Hot) in preparation for a Ball where I am wearing a black gown. Only afterwards did I realise how great it felt to look down on my beautifully manicured nails. Taking care of my nails is a priority when I have some free time to be bored.

Wash yo' makeup brushes! If you are anything like me, your poor brushes only get washed once every 2 weeks at best, and that is simply not good enough if you are acne prone. No one likes this job, but since I bought my mini pink brush egg from Born Pretty (only $3!), it is so much quicker and easier to give my brushes a deep clean! These two freshly washed brushes are my favourite to apply BB cream and you can see my review here.

Historically, I have not been much of an anime fan which is why I have vowed to expand my interests and try to watch more these holidays. At the moment I am snailing through the classic 'Darker than Black' which is an action packed, sci-fi drama. I highly recommend Samurai Champloo as a starter into the world of anime.

I was astounded to see the last entry in my journal was over 1 year ago with the first line reading 'I AM SO STRESSED'. Which made me chuckle because not much has changed thanks to Uni. I started writing my goals and plans for my new Youtube channel (please subscribe!) and started to become very inspired. In one of Tim Ferris' recent podcasts, 'How Philosophy can change your life', it was stated that writing down and drawing everything going through your head has a similar effect to meditation. 

What do you do when you are bored at home? And let me know your at-home facial tips!

BornPretty Lip Liner Review (Cheap and fantastic quality!)

Monday, 23 November 2015

Lip liners are one of those products that I always refuse to spend money on because I underrate them. However they are an essential step for a long lasting lip colour! The last product I reviewed from BornPretty was the Efolar concealer which was a massive fail, and I am happy to say these lip liners are a 5 star win.

The liners are described on the website as being long lasting and hydrating with a glossy finish. They retail for a super cheap price of $2.18 US! Don't forget to use the code KIMH10 for 10% off any full priced item from BornPretty!

I chose 2 shades- #6 and #8 from the selection of 12. At the time I wanted to have some colours that were similar to the popular Kylie Jenner shade, but neither of them ended up being brown enough. 

The packaging is fairly funky and is definitely targeted towards a younger audience. I remember when hot pink and black was my favourite colour scheme back when I was a teeny bopper! The pencils are the standard and need sharpening. I used to prefer crayon pencils, but now I prefer pencils after the crayons kept breaking on me.

The pencils are super pigmented and glide on extremely smoothly. I thought that they would be quite soft and need regular sharpening after every use, but I was surprised to see that they only needed sharpening every 3-4 full lip applications! The product is very creamy, yet thin which I love because I have very creasy lips that can be emphasised by thick lip products. These fill the lines in with a very thin layer and have a satin finish (matte with a slight sheen) making my lips look extremely smooth. 

The colour is extremely long lasting and is hydrating in terms of a lip pencil. No bleeding either due to the matte satin texture! I wore #8 alone for a whole day and after 6 hours I found I only had some fading and dryness in the inner parts of my lips where the product wore off when I ate. A waxy lip balm is best to touch up with before reapplication.

#6 is a deeper pinky nude shade. I thought I would like #6 the best, but it does not match my tanned skin as well as #8. 
#8 is a gorgeous deep red with a hint of burgundy and is absolutely perfect for a vampy look.

I changed my lighting which allows you to better see how tanned my skin is. I feel like my previous lighting (window light) was making me photograph much paler than I actually am. Here I am wearing #8 by itself with a slightly smokey eye. I usually don't like to draw attention to my lips because they are not my best feature, but this shade and finish makes them look perfect. 

These liners are hands down the best and cheapest I have tried. My previous favourite, the Essence lip liner has a similar price point and texture to these, however is much softer and requires sharpening after every use, whereas these pencils will last you for much longer. Another win from BornPretty!

Swatch from the website.
Get these lip pencils here for $2.18. I am really feeling shades #2, 3 and 5 now. 

What is your favourite lip liner and what is your experience with cheap vs expensive liners?

My highly recommended, tried and tested items from Born Pretty are:

*I was gifted this product for review. All my opinions are 100% honest.

[OPEN] Maple Holistics Ancient Clay Facial Mask Review AND GIVEAWAY [US only]

Friday, 20 November 2015

Acne? Clogged pores? Large pores? Here's a product that can help you out! Maple Holistics is a company that makes holistic, cruelty-free beauty products. They research and develop their own products which are all made in the USA and are best known for their shampoos and conditioners. I have seen other fabulous bloggers, such as Laven and Airi review their products so go check those out too if you are interested in Maple Holistics!

I chose to review the Ancient clay facial mask and the Argan oil conditioner. The mask contains a blend of 100% pure source clays: bentonite clay, French green clay and Fuller's earth. Out of these I had only heard of bentonite clay before as it is commonly used in gut detoxes.

The most well known clay, bentonite revitalises dull skin and extracts toxins.
Imported all the way from France, the French green clay absorbs and removes impurities.
Fuller's earth forms from decomposed volcanic ash and acts to clear blackheads and whiteheads.

I liked the clay mask better than the Argan conditioner so I have paired with Maple Holistics to give this product away! Scroll down for easy entry via Rafflecopter!

The packaging is a plain and simple white plastic tub with a screw on lid. I was surprised to see that the mask comes in powder form! You are supposed to use 1 part clay to 2 parts water, which basically means you are getting double the amount of what you see in the container.

The product came with a tablespoon measure, but 1 scoop makes way too much mask for one face! I only use half a scoop for the perfect amount.

The best way to mix the mask is in a bowl. I attempted to do it in the palm of my hand once to save washing, but it was far too messy. I simply add 1 tablespoon of water to 1/2 tablsespoon of clay and mix away.

At first the clay repels the water (or vice versa) and it takes some work to get a mask to a somewhat even consistency.

You will find the mixture to be rather lumpy and that's fine. Simply squish all the huge lumps and leave the small ones.

At first I wasn't thrilled with the idea that I had to use extra time and energy to mix my own mask until I realised how customisable this concept is. For example, if your skin is very oily and clogged, simply add less water to make a thick mask and prepare for the pull. My skin can be dry so I prefer a thinner consistency which is gentler on my face, especially as I have used this mask every 2 days for the last 2 weeks.

I like my mask to be rather thin. Seriously, this mask is so potent that this amount is more than enough! I always push masks 'into' my pores, that is upwards on the nose and cheeks and towards the centre on my forehead.

The recommended drying time for the mask is 10 mins and by this time note that the mask is not completely dry. However the pulling and tightening sensation is so strong that I actually wash it off at this point! I can literally feel my pores being sucked closed. I have never used a clay mask equal in strength to this one and am very impressed. 

I use a wet, warm towel to gently dab and rub away the mask which also acts as an exfoliating treatment. During the first week of use I started getting some slightly larger pimples on my face which is different to my usual clogged pores. I believe this was due to some clogs becoming stuck in the pore as the mask was drawing them out. 

My skin now produces much less oil during these hot days and my skin is smoother (apart from the 2 larger zits). I still get clogged pores and blackheads, but the amount of them has decreased, especially on my forehead which looks much less congested now. I think as long as I wear makeup for 12 hours a day (unavoidable right now, unfortunately) I will continue to get clogged pores. I am really glad I chose to review this product as it has definitely helped out my current skin condition and it can only get better from here.

Now for the exciting part, Maple Holistics has agreed to give away an Ancient Clay mask for my readers to try! Unfortunately they are having issues with international shipping at the moment (this mask took 2 months to get to me!), so they have requested that the giveaway be US only. Entry is simple, just fill in the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Alternatively, you can purchase the Ancient Clay mask here for $16 USD.

*I was gifted this product for review, all opinions are 100% honest.

Born Pretty Efolar Dual Concealer Review

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

I was in the market for a new concealer and had seen all the posts about the Face Shop's dual ended concealer which features a stick and liquid concealer in one product, so I thought I would give this much cheaper version from Born Pretty a try.

The concealer costs $3.21 USD and comes in 3 shade selections: #1 is pink toned, #2 is yellow toned for fair skin and #3 is yellow toned for darker skin. I chose #3 to review. 

Don't forget to use code KIMH10 for 10% off any full priced item from Born Pretty! I don't get anything if you use my code, it's simply to give you guys a discount.

From what I gather, Efolar is a cheap beauty brand made in China, although the concealer packaging is printed with Japanese katana characters which is misleading.

This concealer has a light texture, can conceal flaws and can brighten your complexion. 

Contrary to the photos on the website, #3 is actually salmon coloured. The stick end twists up and the liquid end unscrews to reveal a doe foot applicator. 

The concealer stick swatches MUCH paler than it looks which I don't like at all. The liquid concealer looked much more promising in the swatch, however when blended out it turned super pale and ended up being only slightly darker than the stick end!

I also have to complain about the smell. This product literally smells like petrol to me and I really did not want to put it on my skin, but I was brave and did it for the sake of this review. 

I thought that the liquid concealer showed some promise on my hand swatch, but when I used it on my oilier face, it simply blended out into nothing and only served to emphasise the dry patch around a spot. You definitely need a base to layer this over.

The stick concealer has a very waxy texture and slips over my skin as I try to apply it. Because it is so light, it does brighten up my under eyes (well duh), but the coverage is extremely light, and it does not blend out well. You can see that my under eye area looks patchy, dry and slightly cakey.

I am very unenthused about this concealer, and I really should have expected this for such a cheap product. The only thing I liked about this concealer was the dual packaging which made me cave in to buying the Face Shop's dual veil concealer. Plus it really did smell awful!

You can buy this concealer from Born Pretty here.

My highly recommended, tried and tested items from Born Pretty are:

*I was gifted this product for review, all opinions are 100% honest.

Skincare Tips to withstand the Australian Summer!

Monday, 16 November 2015

Good day! This weekend the thermometers hit a whopping 37 degrees just 2 weeks into the Australian Summer! When the weather heats up, your pores produce more sebum which can lead to clogged pores and blackheads which then lead to enlarged pores if you do not adjust your skincare routine accordingly. My usually dry skin was not coping well with the extreme weather and I had to overhaul all my routines to suit the season because my skin was oozing oil and sweat (yum!) making me as shiny as a frying pan within a few hours of stepping out of the house.

1. Give your pores a deeper clean
For me this meant switching from using hemp seed oil as a cleanser to a stronger one that can cut through makeup, sweat and sebum. Right now I like to double cleanse with the same cleanser, using half the amount for the second cleanse. Moreover, a good quality clay mask will help to draw out impurities and detoxify the skin when used regularly on the T zone.

I am loving the famous Philosophy Purity cleanser which removes all my makeup in one go without the need for a separate makeup remover. It's not drying on the usual scale of cleansers, but I still always make sure to leave my face wet before I apply my moisturiser. My Mum gave me the travel size to trial and after 1 week of use, I have already repurchased the full size version!

Right now I am trialling the Ancient Clay mask by Maple Holistics (gifted item) which contains 3 superstar clays: bentonite clay, French green clay and multani mitti. It is by far the most potent clay mask I have ever used and the tightening sensation is so strong, it can be uncomfortable! To avoid this, I only let it dry half way before I gently remove it with a face towel soaked in warm water. But boy does this stuff work. Stay tuned for a review!

2. Swap out any heavy moisturisers for a light serum or light moisturiser
This is a no brainer, but I was really resistant to doing this because I was adamant that dry skin ALWAYS needs a hefty amount of moisture. I was using copious amounts of organic hemp seed oil to moisturise and this combined with the sweat, oil and makeup was the perfect recipe for a plethora of pimples and clogged pores.

I swapped to using the SANA Soybean Isoflavone Milky Lotion in the day time. This is one of my first times using a lotion and it is incredibly light and milky and absorbs into my skin in record time leaving my skin with that bouncy texture unique to Asian skincare products (if you get what I mean?). I do not wash my face in the mornings so I simply pat some lotion into my skin before applying my makeup.

At night time I have started using Philosophy's when Hope is not Enough serum, also given to me by my Mum. It has a very strange gloopy gel-like texture that is very light and non-greasy. The light hydration combined with a few drops of hemp seed oil is perfect for sweaty nights. However I would not repurchase this one because to me, the smell is terrible! It smells like rotting oranges! 

3. Ice massage
Rubbing ice cubes on your face may sound strange, but it can be a great addition to your beauty routine. Ice reduces swelling from water retention, redness and inflammation from pimples, increases blood circulation and also slows oil production in your pores. It also helps to wake you up when you are groggy and sweaty in the morning. 

I like to hold a single ice cube with a tissue and rub it all over my cheeks, massaging lightly in an upwards motion. If I have extra time, I use an extra cube over my eyelids. I always feel so wide-eyed and fresh afterwards!

Tell me, do you have any skincare tips to combat the heat?

Born Pretty Beauty Blender Dupe Review

Thursday, 12 November 2015

I have always wanted to try the famous beauty blender so I figured I would try a dupe from BornPretty instead! I realise that this review won't be as useful because I don't have the real beauty blender to compare it with so I have vowed to update this post with a comparison when I get one.

For $2.24, you won't be crying even if the quality is not as good! Also remember to use code KIMH10 for 10% off any full priced item from BornPretty! 

When I first received this sponge, what struck me was how hard it was. I expected it to be porous and well... 'spongey', but it is actually very firm. The surface is perfectly smooth and rubbery, unlike the beauty blender which looks fuzzy and porous. 


I simply run the blender under the tap and squeeze it 3 times until it absorbs some water. It expands to around one quarter of its size and remains relatively firm. Thick BB creams and foundations work the best with a sponge as they give you a higher coverage as opposed to using a brush which moves the product around a lot more. I thought that the sponge would fit the contours of my face better and allow me to get my base into every nook and cranny, but I found it quite awkward to reach into the corners of my nose. A brush with longer, softer bristles works much better for this. What I do like using this sponge for is blending concealer under my eyes for that heavier coverage. Another plus is that it doesn't leave any streaks!

When I use it with a thinner foundation such as my L'oreal Tru Match, it takes forever to blend out and I find that during the day my chin area becomes extremely cakey due to the combination of thicker coverage and my dry skin. 

Overall, I prefer using my BornPretty brushes (my favourite brushes yet!) over this sponge as it is much less time consuming to blend with a brush, rather than pat with a sponge. Maybe I am simply using it with the wrong products though. I am still experimenting with it!

Get the beauty blender dupe here!

See the sponge in action in my recent Youtube video:

Do you prefer brushes or a beauty blender for your BB creams and foundations?

*I was gifted this product for review. All my opinions are 100% honest.

Physician's Formula Argan Wear Ultra Nourishing BB Cream Review [for tanned skin!]

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

I have managed to sneak some time by boycotting one of my clinic shifts to spend the day at home. Naturally I'm going to do some blogging! I received the Physician's Formula Argan Oil BB cream many months ago and I did a quick overview of all the products in the Argan Oil line here.

"Luxurious, high performance formula evens out skin tone, vanishing flaws and imperfections and smoothing skin texture without ever leaving a greasy feel or finish. SPF 30. Infused with 100% Pure Argan Oil, know as liquid gold for its rich conditioning benefits that can improve skin's brightness, tone, texture, and elasticity." 

In Australia there is only one shade available: Light/Medium. Usually this means that the BB cream will be too light for me, but as this is made by a Western brand, the shade is much darker than I imagined!

The only thing that annoys me about the packaging is the funky dome shaped lid because I cannot store it upright with all my other base products. It just kind of leans on the rest. And because I always like to store my products lid down, the typography is upside down which annoys me to no end *rant over*!

Before applying this BB cream, you MUST shake it! It contains Argan oil and is very prone to separation. This BB cream has a very strong almost sickly sweet scent that must come from the Argan oil as all the products in the line (even the blushes!) have the same distinctive smell. I personally don't mind the smell that much as I cannot smell it once I have applied it, however looking at the reviews on Makeupalley, it seems like it does bother some people.

I find it quite hard to describe the texture of the BB cream as it is somehow light and airy and thick at the same time. It blends well with both a sponge and a flat top brush. This cream is definitely best for dry skin due to the enriching oils and my skin feels lovely and hydrated throughout the day. The finish is smooth and velvety and not greasy at all! 

I am happy to say that this shade, more or less, matches my Summer skin tone! My face is generally much paler than my body for some reason and wearing this BB cream injects some colour and life into my face. Compared to my bare skin, the shade looks a little orange, however when compared to my bronzed chest and upper body, it is a perfect match. 

Coverage wise, it evens out my skin tone but does not do much for my darker scars. You know how most Western BB creams are more like tinted moisturisers? Well this one with its thicker texture is definitely more of an Asian BB cream. I would classify this as light-medium coverage for me. With concealer and powder, it lasts just as well as any base product on my dry skin.

Overall I would recommend this BB cream if you have dry skin, don't require too much coverage and are too dark to match any Korean BB creams (story of my life)! I find that I reach for this product on low key errand days where I just want some light coverage and to keep my skin hydrated. I am really pleased to have found a decent BB cream that matches my skin tone! If only it had more coverage...

You can buy this in store at Priceline for $25.95 or on iHerb for a much cheaper price of $20.50! iHerb also stocks the Light shade.

Have you tried any decent Western BB creams? Please let me know as I am always on the hunt for darker BB creams to match my skin tone!

*I was gifted this product. I chose to review it of my own accord and all my opinions are 100% honest.