2017 Beauty Trends with Priceline

Beauty Trends with Priceline: Really Nifty Packaging

I recently attended a Priceline media event where we were treated to a preview of what was coming to Australia’s leading health and beauty store in the next 6 months. Here’s what caught my eye…

Trend 1: Really Nifty Packaging

Beauty Trends with Priceline: Really Nifty Packaging

I love a good product, and that includes the packaging, which I think is really, really underrated as part of the whole experience. Luckily a bunch of new products also take this approach! Some of these innovations are so simple yet so handy that I’m surprised they’re new at all.

I’m particularly impressed by Bourjois Paris, a French brand under the Coty umbrella that I’ve tended to overlook in the past. Bourjois Volume Reveal Mascara ($23) has a triangular barrel that won’t roll off your table, with a magnifying mirror on the side. If you place it just below your eye, you can see exactly how much mascara you’ve applied to every single upper lash. The mascara itself is pretty awesome at holding a curl (though I’ve only tried it once so far so I’m withholding my verdict), but this mirror is the bomb. I’m going to be using this mirror with every mascara from now on.

Bourjois are also launching Palette Les Nudes ($28), a pretty eyeshadow palette, but the drawcard for me is that it has a large swivelling mirror that stays at whatever angle you put it at. Why don’t more palettes do this? I’m sick of mirrors flopping around flaccidly!

There’s also Blistex Pearl ($5.95), a lip balm with an eos-like dome that you can apply to both lips at once. The cool thing is that the flip lid swivels around the rest of the balm and stays attached, so theoretically you can open it with one hand if you’re really coordinated. If you’re not, it means you won’t drop the lid (or at least you’ll drop the whole thing instead).

I’ve already reviewed Cinch Face Cheat ($39.95), a moisturiser/primer/serum in a handy spray format that I’m still finding really handy for when I’m feeling too lazy for multiple steps/. Hask Greek Yogurt shampoo ($19.99) has what seems to me like cool packaging for the sake of cool packaging – the inner white tube dispenses “yogurt” while the outer clear tube dispenses “blueberry sauce”, which looks really cool coming out but I’m not sure it contributes much else.

Another simple but nifty product that isn’t really packaging, but didn’t really belong anywhere else, is the new Real Techniques Bold Metals Diamond Sponge. Yes, it’s a makeup sponge cut into a slightly different shape, but hear me out. The flat facets are great for quickly applying makeup to flat areas like your cheeks, while the pointy tip is good for getting into nooks and crannies. I’d love a round surface as well for blending, but I’m not sure how they’d make that aesthetically pleasing.

Beauty Trends with Priceline

Yet another simple but game-changing innovation: Waxaway’s Salon Pro Mini Roller Wax Heater comes with a micro USB port! No more worrying about special cables going missing or breaking. I wish I could impose this on every rechargeable product from now on.

Trend 2: High-Tech Nerdy Skincare and More

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Smile Makers Vibrators Launch in Priceline…whaaat??!

Smile Makers vibrators launch in Priceline...what??!

Today I want to talk about something awkward but necessary: sexual wellbeing. Sexual wellbeing is an extremely important but taboo and under-discussed aspect of physical and psychological health. If you know me in real life, you may want to stop reading around here and detour to the safer waters of sunscreen quantities or exfoliating or hair protectants instead. Or not, since we’re talking about breaking taboos in the name of health here! (It’s OK, I promise there are no photos of me using the things, and no in-depth descriptions of my relationship with my junk.)

Priceline Pharmacy, the more health-focused arm of Australia’s popular female-oriented health and beauty chain, has just started stocking the Swedish brand Smile Makers. Smile Makers makes personal massagers and lubricants that have been in Asian and European pharmacies since 2013. It was created to counteract a big problem worldwide, which you can see through these stats from a survey performed on Australian women*:

  • 75% of feel that sexual satisfaction is important to their overall wellbeing
  • 4 in 10 are not sexually satisfied
  • 47 percent have used a vibrator before
  • More than half (55%) of those who have not used a vibrator before are interested in trying one
  • 23 percent did not feel comfortable in a sex/adult shop whether in person or online

*Ramblin’ Brands claim based on research conducted by Nielsen (25th August – 2nd September 2016, 1,002 sample size, out of 5,329,000 Australian women aged 18-50 population estimation)

Sexual health research backs up a lot of these claims, as well as the fact that vibrator use is associated with positive sexual function and is rarely related to side effects. Lower sexual satisfaction is correlated with poorer physical health (heart disease, diabetes) and mental health (depression, anxiety). In other words, there are a lot of women out there who could benefit from owning a vibrator, but aren’t comfortable purchasing them, due to where they’re stocked. Less than a quarter of the surveyed women, but still – that’s a decent chunk.

Smile Makers aims to solve this problem for those women by introducing accessible products outside of the “adult” world – in Australia’s case, in the female-friendly environment of Priceline Pharmacy, alongside other health essentials like vitamins and Panadol and makeup (a frequent mental health necessity!).

Smile Makers vibrators launch in Priceline...what??!


The Smile Makers range in Priceline includes five personal massagers (The Millionaire, The Tennis Coach, The Fireman, The Surfer and The Frenchman) and two premium lubricants (Little Light Liquid and Generous Gel). The waterproof vibrators use easy-to-clean phthalate-free silicone, run for about 4 hours on a AAA battery and are pretty darn quiet. There’s a single button that cycles through 4 speeds and a pulsation mode. The prices are also pretty reasonable ($24.99 for the Surfer, $49.99 for the rest).

The big question: should vibrators be sold in a pharmacy, where people of all ages can potentially see them? I have to admit, when I first saw Smile Makers between cellulite cream and flea tablets in a department store in Switzerland, I found it confronting and did a double take. And I made sure there was no one else in the aisle before I took a closer look (and a surreptitious photo). The sleek design is as inoffensive as you can get (elegant, abstract designs have been partially credited for the widespread acceptance of vibrators in pop culture). While I know greater access and normalisation of sexual wellbeing a fantastic idea and I’m pretty darn socially progressive, on a gut level I’m still a bit uncomfortable.

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How to Exfoliate 1: All About Physical Exfoliants


Are you confused about how to choose the right exfoliation method for your skincare routine? This three-part series rounds up all the types of exfoliants for your face, with examples of products and their pros and cons!

This post covers all the physical exfoliation options. Part 2 will be on chemical exfoliation, and Part 3 will be a guide on how to choose the one(s) that will work for you. For a more barebones overview, check out this exfoliation basics post.

What is exfoliation?

Your skin consists of living skin (the epidermis), covered in a 15-20 layers of dead cells (the stratum corneum). The dead cells in the stratum corneum have an important role in protecting your living tissue from the outside environment. They’re completely replaced around every 2 weeks – the cells at the surface are constantly shedding. However, the shedding isn’t always regular, and sometimes it happens slower than it should. This leads to your skin being covered by too thick a layer of dead cells, which looks dull, uneven, scaly and flaky. Exfoliation helps the shedding along, ideally without compromising the ability of the stratum corneum to act as a barrier.

There are 2 main categories of exfoliation: physical and chemical. I’m including exfoliation tools under the banner of physical exfoliation, and enzymes in the chemical group.

What Is Physical Exfoliation?

Dead cells are buffed away mechanically using grainy products or tools. It’s a lot like sandpapering a block of wood or scrubbing tiles – the friction from rubbing an object back and forth over the skin lifts stuck cells.

Much like sandpapering wood, the harshness of physical exfoliation depends on a few factors:

  • what the exfoliating objects are like (how large, how hard, how smooth)
  • how you move them over your skin (how hard you press, what direction you go in, how long you rub it in for)

I personally find that rubbing lightly in small circles for a minute or two is more effective and less irritating than rubbing hard for a short period, with any physical exfoliation method.

Physical exfoliation has a reputation for being harsh, but I think it’s unfair – it can be very gentle, but most people use physical exfoliants way too frequently, and feel like it’s not working if they don’t feel raw and tingly afterwards. Don’t fall into this trap! It’ll make your skin worse in the long run, reducing the ability of the stratum corneum to act as a barrier against the outside world and prevent moisture from leaving (its barrier function).

Product categories

Click on each heading to jump to that section.

Plastic microbeads

These round beads are made of plastic and come in every imaginable colour. They used to be in tons of products because they’re really cheap and smoothly shaped, so they were budget-friendly and gentle on the skin.

However, it turned out that microbeads were an environmental pollutant – they made their way through the sewage system and into waterways, where environmental toxins (actual toxins) like pesticides latched onto them. When aquatic animals ate them, they would release the toxins. Nasty! (You can read more on microbead pollution on this post.)

Plastic microbeads were banned in a handful of US states after research showed that the beads were turning up everywhere. The Netherlands are in the process of phasing them out. Other Western countries are moving in this direction, so plastic microbeads are found in less products these days.

You’ll see them listed on the ingredients list as:

  • polyethylene
  • polypropylene
  • nylon-6
  • nylon-11
  • polymethyl methacrylate

You can find lists of microbead-containing and microbead-free products in your country on Beat the Microbead.

How to use

These are the standard scrub products – squeeze some into your hand, slap it on your clean face and rub around, then rinse.



It’s actually been quite difficult to locate plastic microbeads in my skincare collection – I only managed to find an old tube of Nivea Pure Effect All-in-1 Multi Action Cleanser, and a couple of Asian products (Muji Scrub Face Soap and Missha Cacao & Cream Facial Scrub).

There are lots of replacements for plastic microbeads available now, so you can still get your scrub on without as much guilt.

Jojoba Beads

One of the most popular replacements for plastic microbeads are jojoba beads. They’re made of chemically processed jojoba oil (the same process used to make solid margarine from liquid vegetable oil), and are usually listed as “hydrogenated jojoba oil” or “jojoba esters” in the ingredients list. These beads are translucent white, and they’re usually found in products as very fine grains.

How to use

Just like microbeads, these are straightforward scrubs. Rub them onto clean damp skin, rinse away afterwards.



These are particularly popular in products marketed as natural – they show up in Jurlique, Moreish and Neutrogena Naturals scrubs, as well as a Guinot Gentle Face Exfoliating Cream, a scrub/peeling gel hybrid. They’re popular but I’m personally not that fond of how they feel on my skin, so I don’t reach for these that often.

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