Wednesday, August 16, 2017

July Good Green Box!*

Oh hi! I was so excited to receive the July Good Green Box* recently, tear it open and see what was inside! This one was full to the brim and bursting with natural goodies, with some very interesting products thrown into the mix. The contents are worth over $78, which is such great value! This includes two generous full sized products plus five other samples. Let's take a look!

Akhal Organic Rose Hydrolat (100 ml)
Siberian Sea Buckthorn Berry Oil Extract (100 g)
Atlas Argan 100% Pure Organic Argan Oil (5 ml)
Natura Siberica Siberian Ginseng Eye Cream-Gel (6 ml sachet)
Natura Siberica Rhodiola Rosea Day Cream (6 ml sachet)
Vapour Organic Beauty Halo Illuminator (sample pot)
Cocobetty Coconut Wipes (1 wipe)

As always there's a handy What's In The Box? card that details the box inclusions on one side and the product's key ingredients on the other. First up is a generous 100ml bottle of Akhal Organic Rose Hydrolat. This product is a dry skin quencher and hydrator, which is perfect for Winter! The distillate is extracted from rose blooms picked by the indigenous women of Morocco and the product is 100% natural, organic and vegan. This Hydrolat is water-like and absorbs quickly, leaving my skin soft and toned. I absolutely love the gentle rosy floral scent and I'm really enjoying using this!

Honestly I'm slightly confused regarding the Siberian Sea Buckthorn Berry Oil Extract, as both my information card and the website list the product as Siberian Cedar Nut Oil with Cedar Soft Resin Extract. Apparently it's a natural antiseptic and an efficient immune modulator that restores the body's energy and you're supposed to inhale it. However the Berry Oil packaging implies ingesting it and basically I'm so glad there's a thick information guide in the box, because I'll be needing to do my research! I'm saving the Natura Siberica eye and day cream sample sachets for a later date because I'm concentrating on using my Project Pan skincare at the moment, but I'm still so excited to see Natura Siberica products in this box, as it's a brand I love!

The Atlas Argan 100% Pure Organic Argan Oil is a great multitasking product, as it can be used as a treatment to nourish and repair the hair, skin and nails due to the high fatty acid and Vitamin E content. It's ethically sourced from a women's co-operative in the foothills of Morocco's Atlas Mountains. I've been using it to soften my cuticles and can't wait to give it a go in my hair!

The Vapour Organic Beauty Halo Illuminator was a little difficult to use due to the nature of the sample, which appeared to be a thinly sliced cross section of the full stick version. I had to pick it up and lay it across my fingertip then slide that across my cheekbones to apply the product. However the formula was super creamy and easy to blend out, leaving me with a subtle sheen of moonlight-hued highlight. I'd definitely be interested to try the full version of this!

My 100% natural and cruelty-free Cocobetty Coconut Wipe smelled ah-mazing, kind of like a tropical holiday or a chocolate Bounty bar. So coconutty! The wipe felt deceptively dry until rubbed on the face, at which time the oils were released. This left my face very oily and I had to wipe the excess off with a tissue. I went in with some Micellar Water afterwards as a test and yes, the wipe had removed 95% of my makeup. This is a great option if you're after a less boring, unconventional and fun makeup wipe.

If you're interested in Good Green Box you can check out their website here.

You may be interested in my June Good Green Box post!

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Disclaimer: * This box was provided for editorial consideration. Reviews are my honest opinion. There are no affiliate links in this post. Please see the Disclosure page for further information.

Would you try any of these natural products?

Monday, August 14, 2017

How I Use My Social Media Accounts!

Stock image (credit Jeff Sheldon) and clearly not my desk lol

I don't know if this type of post will be of interest to anyone, but what the hey, I'm writing it anyway, because you never know! I've been thinking for a while now about the different ways I use each of my social media accounts. I read in a blogging tips post that you shouldn't replicate content across all your social media, because your followers don't want to see the same thing over and over. But not everyone follows you everywhere. I crossover my content, but I also post different things on Facebook than I do on Twitter or Instagram, for example. Let's start!

Now we all know Instagram has gone to shit ever since they changed it, and that likes are not what they used to be. As such, I run hot and cold with this platform, and definitely don't use it as much as I used to. Previously I posted up to four photos every day, but now I try to post at least one photo every night, excluding weekends, when I allow myself time off! My Instagram is a mix of beauty photos, ads for my latest blog posts, manicures, makeup, food and personal photos featuring my son or my cats. I don't have the time nor energy to separate my beauty and personal photos by making two accounts; since Max The Unicorn is a Beauty & Lifestyle blog I'm happy to share photos of Mr 9 making cupcakes or my fur-kitties Nutmeg and Pumpkin. After trying various apps, I've settled on the Snapseed app to edit my photos. I know how to work it and it has everything I need to pretty up my pictures.

I experimented with Instagram Pods, but because I don't consider myself a hardcore user (of Instagram!), it was too full on for me. I reciprocated likes when I posted a photo, however the pressure and super-seriousness of some Pod members sucked the fun out of Insta for me and I had to leave. I don't get a lot of comments on my posts and I'm fine with that. I don't want to be spending hours on Instagram commenting on everyone's photos, so I don't expect comments on mine. When I post a photo, that's when I go through my feed and like a lot of photos. I also look in my notifications and try to 'like back' everyone who has liked one of my photos, lol. Do other people do this or is it just me?

I really enjoy using my Max The Unicorn Facebook page! I tend to post a series of Alerts on there, and try to post at least once a day. These include GWP Alerts, where I share the latest beauty Gift With Purchase offers currently available and Sale Alerts, for example when Priceline are having a big discount sale, because who wants to miss out on those? Another thing I do is share a lot of competitions, with my Win Alerts and Giveaway Alerts. I used to be heavily into comping (entering competitions), so I love to share opportunities to win amazing beauty prizes. If this interests you too, be sure to check out my page. Obviously I link up all my new blog posts, so readers can click through and check them out. I also share some of my Instagram photos on Facebook and let you know what products I'm currently trialling!

Along with Instagram, I have a very hot and cold relationship with Twitter! Sometimes I love to use it, and will be on there tweeting weird things that have happened in my day, cracking bad jokes and RTing cute dog pics, then I'll neglect my account and not tweet for days on end! I love that I'm connected to my local Adelaide community on there and enjoy replying to them even though I've never met any of them in real life! I'm at my most unguarded on Twitter so that's where you'll find me dropping F-bombs, advising against oral sex after eating KFC Hot n' Spicy and generally oversharing. So it's really great that I also use this account professionally ROFL! Of course I use Twitter to advertise my blog posts, and always add at least one photo to those tweets. I like to add a RTing account handle into my blog post tweets, because having them RTed greatly increases my exposure and widens the audience that see my blog. Some of the ones I like to use are @BBloggersAU @FemaleBloggerRT @BblogRT and @Blogginggals .

Another thing I'll do from time to time is set up Buffer to automatically tweet out links to ten of my posts. You can write these tweets yourself and include photos and RT accounts in there, and specify when you want them to publish. I'm very aware of the possibility of this annoying my followers though, and have big breaks in between using Buffer for Twitter.

Pinterest is my least used social media. I honestly don't understand it, nor do I even try to. For some reason, I kinda dislike Pinterest. It's installed on my iPhone, but I never open the app and have a look. I find it overwhelming and don't bother learning to use it, as I'm already too busy with the rest of my social media, Instagram and Facebook in particular. I originally used it only for competitions, where you could  gain an entry from following a company on Pinterest. But these days I push the button on my blog posts that shares them to Pinterest and I also share to the Fabulous And Fun Life Monday Makeup Madness Pinterest page (group? board?) on Mondays because I link up to Ingrid's beauty link up. So please don't be offended if I don't follow you back on this platform, I simply don't really use it.

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What's your favourite social media platform?

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Haul: Drew Barrymore's Flower Beauty!

I'm so excited for today's post, because it's all about my recent Flower Beauty Haul! This is Drew Barrymore's beauty line, which I've been wanting to get my hands on ever since it was released. I'm a huge Drew Barrymore fan, as you probably know by now. So I've been eyeing off various Flower Chubby Sticks, Kiss Sticks and blushes on Facebook and Instagram without actually being able to get any because they're only available at Walmart in America and the Flower Beauty website, both of which don't ship to Australia. I was thrilled to be contacted by Big Apple Buddy recently, and jumped at the chance to collaborate with them on this U.S. haul. More on Big Apple Buddy and how you can use their services to shop from the United States later in this post, but first, let's check out the Flower Beauty makeup I bought!

Flower Beauty Haul!
~ In Bloom Cosmetic Zip Pouch
~ Framed Cosmetics Case
~ Limited Edition Travel Makeup Set containing
   > Ultimate Travel Brush Set & Travel Clutch
   > Flower Pots Powder Blush in Wild Rose
   > Zoom In Ultimate Mascara in Black
   > Shadow Play Eyeshadow Quad in Foxy Brown
   > Color Proof Longwear Lip Cream in I'm Blushing
~ Shimmer and Shade Eyeshadow Palette in Warm Natural
~ Eyes On The Prize Eyeshadow Chubby in Olive My Love
~ Lip Suede Velvet Lip Chubby in Berry-More
~ HydraSilk Lip Butter in Poppy Petal
~ Kiss Stick High Shine Lip Color in Rose Bud
~ Kiss Stick Velvet Lip Color in So Gladiola
~ Lip Service Lip Butter in Sheer Snapdragon*

One thing I love about this range is how affordable it is. As I mentioned, it's sold in Walmart in America, so it's essentially a budget line. I wanted to pick up a couple of cosmetics bags because being a Drew fan, they are something I can keep as a collector's item, that I won't use up like makeup. I am, however, going to use them, but I kind of want to keep them in top condition at the same time. LOL. Good luck with that! The In Bloom Zip Pouch is bigger than I expected, but will be great for travelling, and the Framed Cosmetics Case will be perfect for carrying around touch-up makeup in my handbag. These were only US$11 and US$8 respectively, which is beyond reasonable.

I couldn't go past the Travel Makeup Set, an online exclusive, which contained a wide variety of different products from the range for only US$40, valued at US$57. For starters it contained another little bag, this time a pretty shiny flat-style bag that would be ideal for holding a few smaller cosmetics in. I am lacking in makeup brushes, and the eyeshadow quad shades are right up my alley, so this Set looked the best for me out of all the great value Sets available.

Do I need another natural/nude palette when I already have more than enough? Obviously no, but look at it! Sorry not sorry! Now in case you are starting to fantasize about your own U.S haul, let me tell you a bit about Big Apple Buddy. It's a shopping concierge service that lets you buy the latest tech, fashion, beauty and outdoor products from America, that aren't available here. It's super-easy and I experienced outstanding and friendly customer service. There were two delivery options to choose from; I chose the cheaper economy one and I have to say, my parcel still arrived quicker than I expected! Everything was packed really well and arrived safe and sound. Be sure to check them out if there's something you want from America! OK, let's get back to the makeup, LOL.

I picked the Eyeshadow Chubby in Olive My Love because I don't have many green eye products and I loved that Drew named this one after her daughter, Olive. How cute! I'm not gonna lie; I also chose the Lip Chubby based on the punny name Berry-More! It was either that or Red-dy To Bloom and the berry shade won out. I did go a bit heavy on the lip products, and I wanted most of them to be bold reddish shades, because Drew wears a lot of red lippie, so I wanted to follow this trend with my Flower beauty purchases. Many thanks to Phillis from Big Apple Buddy for popping in a freebie, the Sheer Snapdragon Lip Butter*. It's greatly appreciated!

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Disclaimer: I paid for all Flower Beauty products and delivery (excluding Lip Service Lip Butter in Sheer SnapDragon* which was a freebie), but Big Apple Buddy waived my service fee in exchange for this post. Reviews are my honest opinion. There are no affiliate links in this post, links are for information purposes only. Please see the Disclosure page for further information.

Who's your favourite celebrity?  Do you like anything from Drew's Flower Beauty range?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Max My Movies: July Round-Up!

Oh boy, July was a huge movie month for me! My husband went away for work, the school holidays were on and my Dad took Mr 9 for a few days, so I spent a lot of time drinking wine and watching films! Since I saw twenty (yes 20!) films, I'll go through them pretty quickly, because that many in-depth reviews is not fun for you or me! This will be Spoiler-Free, just in case you haven't seen them. Here's everything I saw, in the order I saw them!

1. CARS 3
To be honest, I thought the third installment in the 'Cars' franchise was a bit boring. We saw this in a double with 'Despicable Me 3', and even Mr 9 preferred the latter. The saving grace is the amped up racing action, as Lightning McQueen tries to get back into the game. But for me it was all a bit 'meh'.

This was the perfect school holiday movie and a film I think both kids and adults would enjoy. South Park's Trey Parker was perfect as the former 80's child star Balthazar Bratt, bringing nostalgic 80's hits with his scenes. I loved this movie! It was entertaining from start to finish, funny, and did I mention the brilliant 80's soundtrack?

I cried during a movie that featured cock lollipops (lollicocks?), Rebel Wilson in a light-up dress and the phrase 'dicksand'. And it wasn't due to Dakota Johnson's shit acting. I'm being super-critical, this was actually better than I expected and I did laugh. Rebel Wilson fans should check it out for sure.

What if your best friend is also the love of your life? I can't stress how much I adore movies where best friends fall in love! It's just so satisfying and romantic to watch. This rom-com is based on Toothpaste And Cigars  (remind you of Coffee And Cigarettes?) and stars the growing-on-me Daniel Radcliffe and quirky Zoe Kazan. Recommended if you, too, enjoy this genre!

This has a magnificent cast including James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz and Zach Braff, and was captivating from start to finish. My nine year old also enjoyed it, and it's always good when you find something suitable for family viewing. My main memory of this movie is how beautiful it looked; the colours popped and nearly every scene was a stunning sight to behold.

I really enjoyed this con artist movie starring Will Smith and Australia's own Margot Robbie. It was exciting to watch, there was plenty happening and to be honest, it was amazing just to be able to watch a more adult movie (this isn't porn! I just mean it's not kid-friendly!) without the constant interruptions a nine year old son brings. Parents, you know what I mean.

I loaded this up on Netflix for my son and was only half watching whilst scrolling Instagram, so I can't give my full opinion. It was pretty standard and didn't blow my socks off, but Mr 9 liked it well enough.

Much the same as Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, I was only watching this sequel in a half-arsed fashion, and had mainly put it on for my son. The main thing I was thinking throughout was 'I really need to think of some non-animated family-friendly films I can watch with Mr 9, as animated crap often gets on my tits lol.

I saw the trailer for this a while ago and all I can remember is it's the movie with the girl in the yellow dress. Now I was drunk for a lot of these movies, but for some reason I thought I was watching 'Obvious Child' (which is still on my Watch List) instead of the yellow dress film. Oops. This was mildly funny, although a bit of a one-trick pony. It didn't take me long to get sick of the 'worst day ever' scenario but thankfully Elizabeth Banks was nice to look at haha.

I'm a big fan of both Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader and am always drawn to dramatic character pieces, so this film had been on my radar for quite some time. 'The Skeleton Twins' is definitely heavy and hard to watch in parts; a big part of it is about suicide and it can get depressing, but interspersed throughout are touching and funny moments. This film is about mending a broken brother-sister relationship, and it's just beautiful. Bring tissues!

So I watched another Daniel Radcliffe film! This film is really hard to describe. It's certainly strange and I had to look up what genre it is, because I couldn't even work it out. It's 'dark fantasy horror' apparently. Umm, I liked it, it's different, it definitely kept me enthralled and I appreciated the mystery 'whodunnit'  aspect.

I actually enjoyed this more than I expected, especially given the presence of Jennifer Aniston. It's a ridiculous comedy, but it has heart at the same time, in its own warped, crude way. If you want to escape with a mindless offensive comedy, this could be the one.

Because this is a spoiler-free post, I can't say why I didn't like this movie, and it actually really annoyed me. If you're easily depressed, probably don't watch this alone, with a bottle of wine, while your partner is out of the country like I did. Unless you have a good comedy on hand for afterwards.

I can't believe it has taken me this long to see my lover Leo DiCaprio in the impossible-to-miss-yet-I-still-did 'The Wolf Of Wall Street'. It's a three hour epic about real-life Stockbroker Jordan Belfort, brilliantly portrayed by DiCaprio, and his rise and fall amidst a shitload of drugs and sex. It's excessive, ridiculous, funny, captivating and above-all, entertaining as fuck. Recommended!

I only watched this because I'm a huge Drew Barrymore fan, and I didn't have high hopes. But still. Even with vintage Drew, this film is awful. I really dislike James Le Gros. Jennifer Beals haircut in this is the stuff of nightmares. And I'm pretty sure Drew Barrymore is just playing herself. Down to the daisy accessories and smoking Marlboro Reds, which she did at the time. Ugh.

Both my son and I had seen this before, but he wanted to watch it again. And who can blame him! Jerry Seinfeld voices the main character, Barry the Bee, and part-wrote the screenplay, so it at least brings the laughs. Animated kids movies are one of my least favourite movie genres, but Bee Movie is great and I'd recommend it. It reminds me of 'Antz' and 'A Bug's Life', a couple of other kid-friendly hilarious animated films about the insect world.

How do I say this without seeming like a bad parent? My son loves this movie. We've watched it together a few times, along with 'Dodgeball' (I make him look away at the bad bits). Yes, I've bred me a little Will Ferrell fan! This film is hilarious, and Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell together are gold. Their other film, 'Daddy's Home' is also great, but not as cool as 'The Other Guys'.

Obviously I love me some Will Ferrell, but not even his comedic genius (shut up, I'm a fan) can save this stinker. I watched the original Bewitched TV series when I was a kid, so I was interested in this despite knowing about the bad reviews. Really, the only good thing about it was that it was mild AF, so it was something non-animated that Mr 9 and I could watch together. Oh and Steve Carell as Uncle Arthur. Nailed it! I wish I could wriggle my nose like Samantha and make this hot mess disappear.

I love an intense Ryan Gosling action-drama, and this film really revved my engine (sorry). It's a bit of a slow burner, but it kept me interested the whole time and was suitably serious and moody, just like Ryan Gosling. Be warned though, the violence in this is brutal, so if you cringe at blood and gore, this may not be your cup of tea.

I will always give Melissa McCarthy the benefit of the doubt, but let's face it, this is not her finest work. The Boss is just not very funny. Such a shame because I'm a huge fan and I love Kristen Bell, too. I don't think this has much going for it, so I'll just say I like how Director and McCarthy's real-life husband Ben Falcone has little cameos in her films, and I always look out for them.

You may be interested in Max My Movies: January Round-Up!!

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What movies have you seen lately?

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Project 30 Pan

Oh hi! My plan was to bring you my July Favourites today, but since I have the flu, along with my son and husband, I just didn't have the energy to write a long review-style post. So instead, I had the bright idea to go through my beauty cupboard and check the expiry dates on everything and I'm so glad I did! A number of things had expired and a lot were close to expiring. And so this is a Project Pan, but mostly on skincare products. My goal is to use up as many of these babies as I can between now and the end of 2017. I'm a bit mortified that some things have already expired, but I've never been one to play it safe, so I will proceed with caution in using these products; if they cause a reaction I'll bin them. I do not suggest doing this yourself, you should always throw out your expired products, repeat, do not follow my reckless example. I may even give a couple of these Project Pan items away to family (not the expired ones, lol) if I feel like I won't use it.

I actually feel good that I know which products I should be concentrating on finishing, and that there is some type of plan in effect now. I'm listing these in order from the most expired to the least, and you'll see that the list includes a lot of stuff there was no expiry date on (these are marked unknown); if I feel that the 'unknowns' have been in the cupboard a fair time or it's something I really don't want to risk going bad before I use it, I've included it in my Project Pan.

1        Skin Vitals T-Purify Anti-Spot Mask               (19/2/2017) EXPIRED
2        Lush Yummy Mummy Shower Gel                 (3/5/2017) EXPIRED
3        Alpha-H Pore Refining Mask                          (30/5/2017) EXPIRED
4        Uriage Thermal Water                                  (?/6/2017) EXPIRED
5        Emma Organics Hand & Nail Revive Cream    (10/7/2017) EXPIRED
6        Skin Doctors Beetox                                    (?/8/2017)
7        Lush Rose Jam Shower Gel                          (7/11/2017)
8        Lush Happy Hippy Shower Gel                     (8/11/2017)
9        Dr Jart Soothing Hydra Solution Sheet Mask (21/12/2017)
10      La Prairie Cellular Swiss Eye Cream              (unknown)
11      La Prairie Skin Caviar Firming Complex         (unknown)
12      La Prairie Cellular Moisturiser                       (unknown)
13      Alpha-H Daily Exfoliant                                (unknown)
14      Clinique Cooling Eye Gel                              (unknown)
15      Skinstitut Moisture Defence Ultra Dry            (unknown)
16      Prevage Anti-Aging Cleanser                        (unknown)
17      Prevage Anti-Aging Cleanser                        (unknown) {x 2 of these}
18      The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow Enhancer      (unknown)
19      The Body Shop Facial Oil                              (unknown)
20      The Body Shop Facial Oil                              (unknown) {x 2 of these}
21      The Body Shop Sleeping Cream                    (unknown)
22      SK-II Facial Treatment Mask                         (unknown)
23      Clinique RepairWear Cream                          (unknown)
24      Nip + Fab Extreme Night Fix                         (unknown)
25      Montagne Jeunesse Clay Mask                      (unknown)
26      Dr Jart Vital Hydra Solution Sheet Mask         (23/1/2018)
27      ASAP Moisture Daily Defence                        (?/2/2018)
28      Goodness Chia Seed Oil                               (?/3/2018)
29      Tonic Microexfoliant                                     (?/3/2018)
30      Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Cream                  (?/4/2018)

Linking up with Monday Makeup Madness and Life This Week and Open Slather. 

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Disclaimer: Please don't use your expired products (and know that I am proceeding with a lot of caution!). Some of these products may be PR samples, some I've bought, some I've won, some were probably free samples. There are no affiliate links in this post. Please see the Disclosure page for further information.

Is your beauty cupboard an overflowing disaster area like mine, or are you organised?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

June Good Green Box*

Hello! I'm back with another Good Green Box* feature! If you missed the last one, you can read up on that here: April Good Green Box.  This is the June box, and it's a little bit different to what I've come to expect from this natural beauty subscription box service! Instead of a plethora of natural and organic beauty samples, the box contains a tin with 'Esse' written on the front. On closer inspection, this is a Trial Pack tin for Normal Skin, housing of a bunch of Esse Skincare samples! Let's have a look!

Esse Skincare Cream Cleanser (10 ml)
Esse Skincare Gel Cleanser (10 ml)
Esse Skincare Cocoa Exfoliator (10 ml)
Esse Skincare Clay Mask (10 ml)
Esse Skincare Deep Moisturiser (5 ml)
Esse Skincare Rich Moisturiser (5 ml)

We are also provided with the usual information card along with a booklet explaining all about the probiotic Esse skincare range. I hadn't heard of this brand before, but I was interested to read of their approach to skincare using probiotics. Apparently, optimal skin condition depends heavily on the probiotic microbes living on and in it. Probiotics help to reduce sensitivity, slow ageing and improve skin hydration. Without microbes, your skin is unable to perform basic functions, thus increasing the rate of skin ageing. Esse skincare uses prebiotics to selectively feed good microbes, and there are even live probiotic microbes included in two of their serums. I would have loved to try this but unfortunately the trial pack doesn't contain a serum.

Esse are certified organic, vegan and cruelty free. They also support fair trade and are a carbon neutral company. I'm impressed with their ranges, as they have skincare lines for sensitive and reactive skin, a Premium range for anti-ageing benefits and and the extensive Core range for normal skin.

The Deep Moisturiser smells amazing and is perfect for Winter since it's super-rich and packed full of prebiotics to feed beneficial microbes. It's ideal for people with very dry skin, and feels really nourishing when rubbed in. The Rich Moisturiser is creamier and takes longer to absorb, but leaves the skin feeling soft and supple. I really like both of these moisturisers.

The Gel Cleanser contains peppermint and spearmint oils to aid in micro-circulation, also making it a really refreshing wash. The Cream Cleanser removes dirt by binding with oil-based impurities. It contains marula oil for moisturisation and both this and the gel cleanser are ph balanced. Both cleansers are quite gentle and thin in consistency; my favourite is the gel one.

The refining Cocoa Microderm Exfoliator contains Kaolin and Calcium Carbonate to stimulate blood circulation and remove dead skin cells  and micro-particles to polish the skin's surface. It's really dark brown in colour which takes some getting used to, and is quite gritty in texture, providing a satisfying exfoliation. The Clay Mask is great for dehydrated skin as the inclusion of vitamins B, E and C work to reduce pigmentation, aid in cell regeneration and feed and nourish the skin. It's creamy and has a thin consistency.

If you're interested in Good Green Box you can check out their website here.

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Disclaimer: * This box was provided for editorial consideration. Reviews are my honest opinion. There are no affiliate links in this post. Please see the Disclosure page for further information.

Have you tried Esse skincare?

Monday, July 24, 2017

Review: Proactiv+ Blemish Control Range*

Hi guys! Today I'm bringing you my review of the Proactiv+ Blemish Control range of products! I'd heard a lot about Proactiv over the years, mainly through seeing the TV ads. You know the ones! I'd always been curious, especially as someone who consistently struggles with problem skin, so when I was contacted to trial the range for myself, I jumped at the chance. I was sent the Proactiv+ Skin Purifying Mask*, and the Proactiv+ 3 Step Kit*, which contains the Skin Smoothing Exfoliator*, Pore Targeting Solution* and the Complexion Perfecting Hydrator*. Read on for my thoughts!

Skin Purifying Mask (left), Skin Smoothing Exfoliator (right)

Skin Purifying Mask

"Skin Purifying Mask contains sulphur to help clear pores, blemishes and help prevent breakouts. Antioxidant vitamins and botanicals help to soothe, nourish and hydrate the skin."

This is a medium-thick white cream that contains really fine gritty particles. I absolutely love the texture and consistency of this mask! There was a slight tingling sensation as I applied it, which decreased the longer I left it on. Once dry, I moistened my face with warm water then gently rubbed the mask away in circular motions, which provided a light, and I might say quite satisfying, exfoliation. As such, on the days I used the Skin Purifying Mask, I skipped Step One, the Skin Smoothing Exfoliator, for fear of over-exfoliating and becoming a red-raw hot mess. This is actually my favourite type of mask. I have countless sheet masks in the cupboard, but I have to force myself to use them as they are wet, cold and uncomfortable, especially in Winter. I also don't like the feel of thin masks that absorb in don't feel like they are doing anything. This was thicker and tightened up and there was product to remove when the time came. It did dry my skin out a little (so I'm not sure how dry-skinned people would go with it), so I found it best to apply my eye cream and moisturiser pretty promptly afterwards to get some moisture back in. The 28g size is quite small and almost equivalent to a deluxe mini or a travel size product; I'd love to see this in a bigger size. Overall though, a really good mask.

Step One: Skin Smoothing Exfoliator

"This cleanser with 2.5% micro-crystal benzoyl peroxide clears blemishes, unclogs pores and exfoliates dull skin. Sulfate-free, paraben-free and suitable for all skin types; oily, dry, combination, normal and sensitive."

This Skin Smoothing Exfoliator is a revelation; I love using it and have even got my husband onto it! This is one of the most impressive exfoliators I've ever used, both in how it feels and the results it gives. It manages to be both gentle yet effective, hardworking yet non-abrasive. It's the gentle exfoliating beads combined with glycolic acid that work to slough away dry skin and open pores, and it's honestly such a satisfying scrub. I was a little taken aback at the lack of a separate cleanser in this 3 Step Kit, but this Exfoliator contains a mild sulphate-free cleanser that removes impurities. Purely based on habit, I did use a cleanser before this Skin Smoothing Exfoliator, that's just what I'm used to, don't hate! And despite the instructions saying to use twice daily, I admit I only used this every two days, because I just couldn't get my brain around using an exfoliant daily, let alone twice a day, no matter how gentle it is! However hubby is using this every day with no adverse effects and in fact, his skin is looking a lot healthier. I can't stress enough how much the Skin Smoothing Exfoliator impressed me. It's really good, you guys!

Pore Targeting Solution (left), Complexion Perfecting Hydrator (right)

Step Two: Pore Targeting Solution

"This light-weight gel with our exclusive patented Smart Target™ Technology, clears up blemishes by delivering more of the benzoyl peroxide in the pore while improving skin’s tone and texture. The Pore Targeting Solution is tough on breakouts, but not on your skin."

If you've been reading my blog for a while (or even if you just read my Intro lol), you'd know I've had troublesome skin for years. So obviously I've tried quite a few different acne-clearing products and systems. Well this Pore Targeting Solution, effectively the 'zit cream' element of the blemish-clearing system, reminds me of the Paula's Choice Clear Daily Skin Clearing Treatment (Extra Strength), which I used to use, however it's not as hardcore. The Paula's Choice works to clear blemishes really quickly but the disadvantage is that it really dried my skin out. The Proactiv+ Pore Targeting Solution is a product I can use every night and it's gentle enough to work without any negative drying effects on my skin. I love the lightweight gel consistency and the fact that one pump is exactly the amount I need to treat my jawline and chin. I do extend this down onto my neck slightly, because from time to time I get the dreaded cystic acne on my upper neck. The only downside I've found is that my upper neck does become slightly itchy every few days, but it's not annoying-level itchy, just 'I have to scratch my neck a couple of times a day, a few times a week' itchy. This minor issue would probably disappear if I applied it on my chin and jawline only, haha.

Step Three: Complexion Perfecting Hydrator

"This dual therapy product combines blemish fighting salicylic acid and rich botanicals with anti-aging benefits such as even skin tone, smooth texture, smaller appearing pores, increased hydration and a dewy, radiant glow."

Can you tell by now that I love these products? This Hydrator is an absolute joy to use, especially if you're a fan of lightweight, cooling gels. I love the gel consistency, it really is light on the skin and absorbs very quickly. I feel like it mattifies the skin as well. The inclusion of Bisabolol and chamomile extract helps calm and soothe the skin and reduce redness. There are so many other special ingredients that work together to improve and perfect the complexion, such as a moisturising complex, conditioning complex, skin brightening complex and salicylic acid, a hardworking blemish-fighting ingredient. I'm continuing to use the Complexion Perfecting Hydrator, even after my month-long trial for this review, because I love the results it gives me and the product itself is a pleasure to use. My skin tone is so even and clear lately that I'm even confident enough to go around the house without makeup. Yes, I used to hate my skin so much I would wear foundation and concealer every day even when staying home!


I have to say in all honesty, these products are seriously good and exceeded my expectations. I really thought this was just another late-night TV infomercial brand, but the products really work to clear blemishes and prevent further ones and are really nice to use. My picks of the bunch would be the Skin Smoothing Exfoliator and the Complexion Perfecting Hydrator. I love these and am continuing to use them. If you have problem skin or suffer from serious acne, I'd highly recommend trying the Proactiv+ 3 Step Kit. Using these products daily cleared up a breakout I had at the start of the trial and during my trial I only developed one blemish, which the 3 Step Kit cleared up quickly. If you give this system a try, let me know how you go, I'd love to hear!

You can purchase Proactiv+ products on their website or find your closest stockist via the Store Locator.

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Disclaimer: Products marked * were provided for editorial consideration. Reviews are my honest opinion. There are no affiliate links in this post, links are for information purposes only. Please see the Disclosure page for further information.

Have you tried Proactiv+ and if so what did you think? Do these sound like products you'd try?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

WINNERS ANNOUNCED: Sending Love Boxes Giveaway!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered my Sending Love Box Giveaway! I was seriously blown away by the response, and in fact, this has been my most popular Giveaway yet! I think we all agree the different themed Sending Love Boxes look amazing, and would be so lovely to receive in the mail. Big thanks to Sending Love Box for providing two boxes as prizes for this Giveaway!

The prizes were two Sending Love Boxes, valued at $29.95 each!

And our lucky WINNERS are.....

Kat Shepsutt


Michelle Hunt

CONGRATS Kat and Michelle!! I'll email you shortly! Now if you missed out but are still interested in getting your own Sending Love Box, you're in luck, because I have a Discount Offer for you, check that out below!

Discount Code Offer
My readers can use the Discount Code max10 to get $10 off the first monthly subscription box ordered. This reduces the first Sending Love Box to only $19.95! There are no contracts and you can cancel your subscription at any time. This offer is available up until 25/11/17.

Stick around for more Giveaways in the future!

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Makeup Haul Part 2: Mecca Maxima!

Well hello again! Today I'm featuring Part 2 of my Makeup Haul, all the goodies I bought from Mecca Maxima during my recent Melbourne trip! If you missed Part 1, you can check that out here: Makeup Haul Part 1: Sephora!

Even though Sephora is huge, I must say I prefer shopping in Mecca Maxima, because I find the staff super-friendly and helpful. Case in point: when a certain creamy nude lipstick was unavailable, one of the Sales Assistants spent ten minutes looking for alternatives, even getting a few other staff members onto the task as well. In the end, she had about 20 creamy nude lipstick swatches all over her arm, haha! Also, Mecca Maxima stock two of my favourite brands, Too Faced and Soap & Glory! I had such fun hauling this lot of goodies over two visits. Hope you enjoy!

Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush (Sparkling Bellini)
Too Faced Love Light Prismatic Highlighter (You Light Up My Life)
NARS Blush (Orgasm)
Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow (Rose Gold Retro)
Urban Decay VICE Lipstick (Manic)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
Soap & Glory The Breakfast Scrub
Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker XL (Clear)
Soap & Glory Smooch Operator Lip Butter Balm
Origins Mega-Bright Dark Circle Minimizer {free sample}
GlamGlow SuperMud Clearing Treatment {free sample}
GlamGlow GravityMud Firming Treatment {free sample}
GlamGlow ThirstyMud Hydrating Treatment {free sample}
Perricone MD Pre:Empt Brightening Eye Cream {free sample)
Perricone MD Firming Eye Cream {free sample}
Perricone MD Cold Plasma Eye {free sample}
Perricone MD Advanced Eye Area Therapy {free sample}

I have to say I completely stuffed up with the Too Faced Love Light Highlighter! I wanted the rose gold shade Ray Of Light, but it had been put back in the gold You Light Up My Life tester position and I totally second-guessed myself and got the wrong one! Then I had time to exchange it as I was still in Melbourne but forgot to take it with me the day we went back into the city. So now I have the gold one (which I don't like the look of), when I was actually after the rose gold one. At least I got my Perfect Flush Blush shade right!

I finally caved and bought the cult classic Orgasm blush from NARS, and the stunning Stila Magnificent Metals liquid shadow in Rose Gold retro was a no-brainer. It's just so pretty! I hope it looks just as good on the eyes!

I eventually settled on an Urban Decay VICE lippie after a long swatch-fest of most of the lipsticks in-store, and picked up the Primer Potion as an afterthought when checking out the cute minis near the checkout. I'm currently using a Too Faced Shadow Insurance mini but it's nearly gone and this will be a good way to compare them.

I had to pick up a tub of my Holy Grail body scrub, Soap & Glory's The Breakfast Scrub, which smells like freakin' pancakes and is a must try in my opinion! And then came some disappointment, when the raved-about $6 Sugar Crush Body Spray was out of stock and my beloved Sexy Mother Pucker lip plumper had changed packaging and was only available in Clear, not my preferred Half-Baked. I got it anyway, but I really wanted the tube with the doe-foot appplicator instead of the squeezy-tube bullshit I bought. I discovered the Soap & Glory Lip Butter Balm near the counter and hot damn, guys, it smells like coconut ice! Sweeeeeet!

I gotta say Mecca are so generous with the samples! I was discussing a GlamGlow mask set I saw online, but unfortunately it was no longer available, so the Sales Assistant took it upon herself to make me up some samples instead (I didn't even ask). And on my other visit, another lovely staff member took my list of samples I was interested in trying and said she'd prepare as many of them as were available while I continued to shop. (They probably knew I was hardcore haulin' from the fact that I had half the store in my basket. LOL).

Linking up with Monday Makeup Madness Open Slather and All Mum Said link ups!

You may be interested in Makeup Haul Part 1: Sephora!

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Have you tried any of these beauty products? What's your favourite? If you have a recent haul post link it up below so I can have a read!