End-of-Year Empties

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I really didn’t get through as many products as I’d hoped to this year – I’m hoping 2016 will be better! Here are my final empties for the year:

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Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar – I used this for my Aztec Secret clay masks, but I’ve switched to citric acid instead to avoid the vinegar stink. I don’t think I’ll be rebuying this for a while.

Biore Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50+ PA+++ Sunscreen – This is the old version, I’ve repurchased the newer, reformulated PA++++ version already. I love how light and non-greasy this is!

Nivea Repair and Protection Lip Balm – My trusty favourite lip balm. I have so many open tubes lying around my room.

Crop Gentle Cleansing Gel – I really like this foaming cleanser. It doesn’t strip your skin of oil, and I haven’t found the essential oils irritating on my skin either. I’ll be repurchasing this!

Banila Co Clean It Zero – I love this mineral oil-based cleansing balm for taking off heavy make-up. I have a bunch of little samples to go through, and I’d love to try the other varieties before going for a full-size tub.

Enbacci Vitis Vinifera Rejuvenating Gel Cleanser – This is a really nice, non-drying cleanser sample I received at the Bloggers United Australia event in Sydney earlier this year. I have a whole heap of other Enbacci samples I’m working through too!

Marc Jacobs Daisy Perfume – This has been my emergency handbag perfume, and I’m sad to see the end of it… lucky I have a few more sample sprays from various subscription boxes! Perfume samples are definitely one of my most used items from subscriptions.

Models Prefer Multi-Purpose Sponge – This is a nice sponge that’s a similar texture to the Beauty Blenders that are really popular now (I have a bunch of those too!). I find the sponge shape a little harder to work with, but it’s handier and a lot cheaper, and easier to wash.

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Crop Natural Skincare Cosmetics Review

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Crop Natural Skincare launched their skincare range in Coles late last year, and now they’re launching a cosmetics range. It’s surprisingly comprehensive, with 28 new products (including a brush).

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Natural Mineral Pressed Blush ($24 for 10 g) – One quad, Bouquet, in a black compact with a clear window

Natural Mineral Pressed Bronzer ($24 for 10 g) – One quad, Solaire, in the same packaging

Natural Mineral Pressed Highlighter ($24 for 10 g) – One quad, Aura, in the same packaging

2 in 1 Folding Mineral Kabuki Brush ($20) – Slanted synthetic fibre brush that folds together with a magnetic closure, or folds out into a flat fan shape for contouring.

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Natural Tinted Lip Balm ($16 for 2.49 g) – Comes in  Tulip (pale pink) and Berry (mauve pink), in wooden pencil form

Natural Lipstick ($18 for 3 g) – Comes in Spice (orange pink) and Plum (mauve pink), comes in black bullet packaging with Crop symbol in a matching colour

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Oils for Oil Cleansing – Review

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oil-cleansing

Since I posted the Beginner’s Guide to Oil Cleansing, a few people have asked me which oils I’ve tried for oil cleansing and what I thought of them, so here’s a quick rundown of my experience. A few things to note:

  • Your mileage may vary. Skincare is individual, what works for me may not work for you.
  • Oils are natural extracts without a definitive, set composition – one brand will not be the same as another, and even different batches from the same brand can differ. The more refined an oil, the more consistent it’ll be, but the less antioxidants/vitamins/non-triglyceride stuff it’ll contain.
  • Oils go off! Especially oils with a high linoleic acid, which unfortunately is also the type of oil that works best for my skin. If your oil smells different, it might be time to chuck it out.
  • Oils sold for cooking and oils sold for skincare may have different compositions – cooking oils are sometimes enriched in oleic acid compared to their skincare counterparts, and often are more processed and will contain less antioxidants/vitamins/non-triglyceride stuff.

With that out of the way, here are all the oils I’ve tried so far:

Olive oil

Product used: Cobram Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil ($5.99 for 375 mL = $0.016 per mL)

Olive oil is high in oleic acid, which gives it a thick, rich feel and has a higher chance of comedogenicity (causing pimples). There are mixed reports about whether olive oil is helpful or hurtful in skincare, which I would bet is partly because of the crazy amount of contaminated olive oil out there (from that last article, apparently Italy sells 3 times as much olive oil as it produces, and only 4% of exported Italian olive oil is pure).

This was the first oil I tried for oil cleansing. Cobram Estate seems to be legit, so I wasn’t too worried about the contamination issue. I did find it thicker and stickier than I liked though, so it tended to hang around on my shower tiles, plus it smelled strongly of olive oil which made me hungry.

Verdict: Might be good for dry skin, but do your research and beware of widespread contamination.

Sunflower oil

Product used: Coop Sunflower Oil (Swiss supermarket brand) – similar to Coles Sunflower Oil ($2.70 for 750 mL = $0.0036 per mL)

I ran out of make-up remover in Switzerland and my skin was feeling dry, so I grabbed the oil from the kitchen and tried cleansing with it. My skin ended up looking better than ever! I put it down to the high linoleic acid content. It’s light, less likely to clog pores and might help reduce acne, though I can’t pretend I have anything but unreliable anecdotal evidence on that front. It was the oil that really got me back into oil cleansing, and I’m sure I’ll come back to it… after I’ve tried all the other oils! It was mildly scented.

Verdict: Fantastic basic oil, suitable for most skin. No complaints! Be aware that sunflower oil for cooking may be “high oleic”, which will work differently.

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Crop Natural Skincare review

Crop Natural Skincare is a new brand hitting the shelves at Coles in Australia. I’m usually very skeptical when it comes to “natural” skincare lines – I firmly believe in the benefits of things like mineral oil and petroleum jelly and preservatives, and hate when brands try to upsell consumers by scaremongering about “chemicals” – but this brand has won …

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