It’s finally Summer here in Australia, so the perfect time to quench your thirst with some cool, refreshing and delicious cocktails. The lovely team at 5Seeds have sent me their latest cider range – the Lower Sugar Apple Cider to taste and experiment with some fun and yummy cocktail recipes to share with you. I’m no bartender but it was fun coming up with these recipes, so I hope you enjoy!
The Lower Sugar Apple Cider is 5 Seeds newest range of ciders that are 97% sugar free and have less than half the sugar than other leading regular ciders. The apple cider is made with delicious and fresh orchard apples and are also free from artificial flavours and sweeteners.
The 5 Seeds Lower Sugar Apple Cider has a fresh and sweet apple taste. The cider is refreshing, light and has a deliciously fruity flavour. I enjoy fruity & light ciders so this was perfect for me. I love that this apple cider has lower sugar and yet is still full of flavour and is not bland or bitter.
Cocktail recipe ideas
I had a little play around with some cocktail recipes and here’s a couple I came up with that are fruity, fun and super easy to make!
Berry Good Cocktail
A delicious and fruity cocktail full of berry goodness with a touch of lime to help you quench your thirst.
2 parts 5 Seeds Lower Sugar Apple Cider
1 part Riesling
1 part lemonade (or soda water with a good squeeze of lime, if you prefer it less sweet and more sour)
Fresh or frozen raspberries and strawberries
Mix together cider, Riesling and lemonade in a jug or glass.
Cut strawberries into slices then add to the jug along with the raspberries and ice cubes.
I was kindly selected to try and review the Leegeehaam 5 Alpha Control Emulsion during their recent product review event. Thanks again to Leegeehaam for sending me this product to try! This was my first time using a Leegeehaam skincare product so I was super excited to try them out.
The 5 Alpha Control Emulsion is named after the “5 Alpha Reductase” hormone that when imbalanced, is the cause of abnormal sebum production. The patented formula for this product is mineral oil free and is meant to help control skin oil and shine. It aims to not just remove excess sebum but also soothe the skin and calm skin troubles and concerns. This emulsion is perfect for oily to combination skin types to help maintain healthy skin.
The emulsion comes in a solid matte white plastic bottle with a pump dispenser with 100mL of product. I love the minimal colour scheme and packaging design. The bottle feels very solid and premium, and is heavier than it looks.
How to Use
This emulsion is used similarly to a serum. I like to apply it right after using toner. I apply 2-3 pumps all over my face and neck, then gently pat into the skin to absorb.
The emulsion is milky white in colour with a similar consistency to a serum. It is lightweight and absorbs quickly into the skin. I’ve never been good at describing scents but it has a pleasant sweet smell that reminds me of premium skincare products. The scent fades away fairly quickly after absorbed into the skin. The emulsion contains a few key ingredients to help combat many oily skin concerns. The first key ingredient is Sepicontrol A5 which is meant for shine control and to help soothe and balance oily skin. Secondly, Witch Hazel to help tighten wide pores. Lastly, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum Bark Extract to help balance out the skin and control oil and shine.
I was lucky enough to be chosen to review Benton’s newest product – the Dear My Best Friend Bar. Thanks again to Benton for sending it over for me to try! I’ve now been using this soap bar for a good few weeks, so time for a review.
The Dear My Best Friend Bar (aka BF Bar) is a natural and cold pressed soap that is for the face and body. This soap is naturally derived and has a vegetable oil base. It is also made from a variety of botanical ingredients that makes for a moisturising and cleansing soap.
The BF Bar is suitable for blemished, dry and sensitive skin too as it includes lots of great ingredients beneficial for all skin types such as oatmeal, honey, centella asiatica and more!
The soap comes inside a vintage looking box with a mesh net included to help create a rich lather as well as serve as a pouch for hanging the soap in when not in use. On one side of the box there is a cute little message area to write a name on it if you wanted to give it as a gift. The soap itself is sealed in a plastic packet to keep it fresh and shares the same vintage look as the box it came with. The soap bar itself is smaller than the average soap bar at 100 grams. The bar is embossed with the name of the soap bar as well as the brand name.
How to Use
The BF bar can be used on both the face and body. To use, it is best to place the bar inside the included mesh pouch as it helps to create a richer lather. Basically it is used like any other soap – you splash on some water and lather then gently massage onto your face and body.
The BF Bar is a vegetable based soap that contains 8 vegetable oils including coconut oil, olive oil and more. It has a pleasant and refreshing natural herb scent that isn’t too strong or overpowering (sorry I’m bad with describing scents haha). It also contains many other great skincare ingredients such as:
Honey – for a moisturising cleanse that doesn’t dry out the skin
Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Powder – to help manage the skin’s sebum levels and dead skin
Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour – to remove sebum and clear dead skin cells as well as to keep skin supple, soft and moisturised
Calamine – to calm and soothe the skin
Chamaecyparis Obtusa Oil – to soothe and improve the skin and relieve stressed skin
Christmas is now only 1 month away, so it’s time to start gift shopping if you haven’t yet! I thought it’d be a great time to post a gift guide for some inspiration. So if you’re stuck on ideas of what to get for her, here are a few affordable Christmas gift ideas to help you out.
An e-reader e.g. Kindle E-reader This is the perfect gift for a book-lover, a frequent traveler or a girl always on the go. It’s a fun, useful and travel-friendly gift that can be used anywhere and anytime. The Kindle can hold thousands of books and can last weeks on a single charge. It also comes in two colours – black and white.
A fitness tracker e.g. Xiaomi Mi Band 2
The Mi Band 2 is an affordable version of the FitBit that is equally functional, useful and great value. I had the previous and original version of the Xiaomi Mi Band it worked really well and lasted a month on a single charge! It is also waterproof, so you can go out in the rain or even bring it into the shower without worrying about it getting damaged.
New earphones or headphones e.g. Sudio Wireless Earphones
For the music lover or girl on the go, a nice pair of earphones or headphones are perfect. I know for me, I never leave the house without a pair of earphones in my bag. The Sudio wireless earphones are practical yet stylish and chic. They make for an awesome gift for those with an active lifestyle and for tech-lovers too! They are wireless which means less fumbling to untangle wires. They also come in multiple colours including black, white, pink and more! I love the black as it’s a classic colour that is easy to match! Bonus, these earphones also come with a stylish matching genuine leather pouch to store them in.
Skincare sets e.g. Pyunkang Yul Limited Edition Moisture Skincare Set
This Limited Edition Pyunkang Yul Skincare Set contains 3 full-sized products – an essence toner, a moisture serum and moisture cream. That’s a full basic skincare routine in one box that is also great value for money as individually they cost A LOT more! Pyunkang Yul is known for their natural and herbal approach to skincare.
I was kindly given the opportunity to be one of the first few to try Wishtrend’s latest product before their official launch (thank you Wishtrend!). I was sent the Green Tea & Enzyme Powder Wash which I have now been using for a few weeks now so thought it was a good time to write up a review!
The Green Tea & Enzyme Powder Wash is a low-irritation cleanser that is suitable for all skin-types, especially for those with acne-prone skin. It is also fine for those with sensitive skin to use since it is a gentle cleanser and exfoliator with moisturising properties. The wash, like its name says, comes in powder form unlike other face washes and cleansers. The powder wash helps to exfoliate dead skin cells and control blackheads whilst also providing hydration. The wash does all this without being harsh or abrasive on the skin. It also has antioxidant effects that help to clear up the skin and improve skin troubles.
The powder wash comes in an opaque pastel green plastic bottle. The bottle has a flip cap with a small opening that allows the powder to be poured out easily. I found it best to gently tap or lightly jiggle the bottle to prevent pouring out too much product since the powder is quite fine and lightweight.
How to Use
Firstly, I pour out a small amount of the powder wash into the palm of my hand. I then add a small amount of water to my hands and work up into a lather before gentle massaging onto my face. I then rinse off well with lukewarm water and follow with the rest of my skincare routine.
In terms of the frequency of usage, it varies depending on your skin type so adjust accordingly. It is recommended for those with sensitive or thin skin to use the wash 2-3 times weekly.
Do not use with other exfoliating products such as those containing retinol, high concentration vitamin C, AHA/BHA, etc…
Use lukewarm water (35-45°C) when washing to activate the enzymes
Ensure to store the wash in a dry area and to keep the lid tightly closed when not in use.
The Green Tea & Enzyme Powder Wash has four key ingredients – green tea, papain, sodium bicarbonate and amino acid surfactants.
Green tea has powerful antioxidant properties, is rich in vitamins, and helps to purify the skin.
Papain helps to eliminate skin waste and exfoliate the skin to improve its texture without irritation.
Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is a gentle ingredient that helps to remove blackheads, improve skin texture and provide deep pore cleaning
Lastly, amino acid surfactants, derived from coconut, has moisture retention properties. It is also low irritation and provides a moisturising effect without excessive foam.
The powder wash has a slightly acidic pH of 5.5 which matches the skin’s acid mantle pH level. The powder itself is a light pastel green colour and has a faint matcha green tea latte scent. When water is added and the wash is well lathered, the green tea latte scent becomes much more prominent and is very refreshing and soothing. I love matcha green tea so I really enjoyed the scent as it wasn’t too strong or overpowering. The wash itself creates a light lather that isn’t very bubbly like other face washes or cleansers I’ve tried but lathers well enough to easily wash your face. I find that after 15-20 seconds the bubbles start to disappear and the wash starts to dry up on my face.
November is here, Christmas is just around the corner and it’s almost the end of 2017! I know it seems like I say this A LOT but really, wow this year has flown by! I didn’t post a monthly favourites for September so this October favourites will be a combination of both months.
These past couple months have been very eventful for me. One of the highlights of these past two months would have to be in September when I went to KCON Australia 2017! KCON was an exciting, fun and memorable two days as I got to see lots of great artists perform live including some of my favourites such as Wanna One, Monsta X, EXO and more. I was also lucky enough to get the opportunity to get hi-touch passes for two artists I most wanted to see – Wanna One and Monsta X. It definitely was an unforgettable and unique experience that I was very fortunate to have and will never forget!
Anyways, enough with the catchup for the past few months…Now time for my monthly favourites.
I actually received this Cosrx cushion from StyleKorean a few months ago to test and review. And, I’ve been enjoying using this ever since I started using it because it has amazing coverage. With the weather warming up here in Sydney and Summer just a few weeks away, this cushion has been the one I’ve been reaching for the most! A light application of this cushion evens out my skin tone well and has a matte finish. I posted a full review of this cushion in September, you can read more here.
I’ve been using this eye cream for a couple of months now and realised how much I love it. Innisfree is definitely one of my fave skincare brands since they make great affordable products, and the Orchid Eye Cream doesn’t disappoint. I also loved the Orchid Enriched Cream from the same line, which was in a previous monthly favourites. This tub comes with a generous 30mL of eye cream which may not sound like a lot, but believe me a little of this cream goes a long way so will definitely last a while! The cream has a nice floral scent that isn’t too strong and leaves the skin around my eyes feeling smooth, soft and moisturised.
This mask has been great for me on days when I want a full skincare routine without all the effort. This bubble mask is a pretty pink colour that bubbles up to a white foam once applied to the face. When the masks begins bubbling up there is a slightly ticklish sensation that is a little strange at first but not unpleasant. The awesome thing about this mask is that it only needs 2 minutes to take effect and for the bubbles to fully form. Once rinsed away my skin felt soft, smooth and refreshed. I then followed with the rest of my usual skincare routine. It’s such a perfect no-fuss, quick and easy mask that requires little effort which I love!
I decided to finally try out this much raved about Son & Park Beauty Water. It is a multipurpose toner that also doubles as a cleansing water. The Beauty Water helps to cleanse, exfoliate and also moisturise the skin gently without the use of any harmful ingredients. I love that it is so gentle yet cleanses and tones my skin well to leave it feeling moisturised and refreshed.
The b.liv masks are made of bio-cellulose which is derived from the natural fermentation of coconut jelly and has an ultra fine fibre that is 1000x thinner than human hair. The masks come in 3 variations for different skin types – Soothe Me Now, Hydrate Away and Age Eraser.
“Bio-cellulose is a specialized nano scale fibre structure that fits perfectly like your second skin. It serves as a high volume serum reservoir i.e. holds moisture while allowing air to transfer freely and skin can breathe better. Its 30 nanometers fibre increases extra contact surface area for crevices and wrinkles ; maximizing the absorption of effective essence.” – b.liv
The sheet masks come in a white glossy packet with a monochrome print and one accent pop of colour. I love the simple and sleek design of the packaging. The sheet masks themselves come with two protective layers, one attached to each side of the mask. The first side of the mask has a thin mesh and the other a fabric material to protect the bio-cellulose mask.
The bio-cellulose masks have a soft, smooth and almost firm jelly-like texture that feels so gentle and soothing on the skin. Since the mask is made from such a soft material it is a little fragile but as long as you are gentle and don’t pull at it too hard it shouldn’t tear. I love how high quality the masks themselves look and feel and how nice it feels on the skin. All 3 of the masks come with plenty of essence inside the packet so there was more than enough for your face, neck and even your arms too! The essences for all 3 masks are clear in colour and has a serum-like texture that feels very lightweight and absorbs well into the skin.
How to use
Before using this mask I like to prep my skin by cleansing and using a toner. When my skin is cleansed and prepped, I remove the protective layers from the mask, place it on my face and gently smooth it out so it adheres to my skin well. I found the process of placing the mask on was a little fiddly since the mask is very smooth so slipped around in my hands easily, but once placed onto the skin it stuck on well and didn’t slide at all. After 15-20 minutes I removed the mask and gently massaged any remaining essence from the mask and inside the packet onto my face and neck. I then follow with my usual skin care routine after.
“Allow the power of flower to bless your skin with a calming touch. Deeply infused with Organic Immortelle Flower Extract which has wonderful restorative properties, this soothing bio-cellulose mask effectively helps repair and rejuvenate skin.” – b.liv
Formula and scent
The soothe me now mask is meant to help soothe the skin, repair its barrier and also provide extensive rejuvenation. This mask would be perfect for those with irritated skin or redness. In terms of scent, it has an interesting somewhat floral like smell, though a little strong it is still pleasant and fades away fairly quickly. I can’t quite explain but it smells quite similar to a mask I had on when I went for a professional facial. I think the scent probably comes from one of the key ingredients for this mask – Organic Immortelle Flower.
Key Active Ingredients:
Organic Immortelle Flower
This Mediterranean plant has remarkable longevity – it never fades even when picked. It is known to be more soothing than German Chamomile, and more regenerating than Lavender.
Soothing Peptide (Acetyl Tetrapeptide-15) A tetrapeptide that helps increase skin’s sensitivity tolerance threshold and effectively reduces the sensation of discomfort.
Hyaluronic Acid Also known as HA in short, it lubricates joints and keeps skin layers full of moisture to stay in the right shape and place. It holds water, to be specific 1000 times of its weight, to keep collagen hydrated and promotes a youthful look.
When I initially placed the mask on my face it felt very cooling and soothing on the skin. After 20 minutes when it was time to remove the mask, it was still adhering well to my face well without any sliding. The mask left my skin feeling very refreshed, moist and soft. I was surprised that the mask itself was also still very moist and did not dry out at all. I found that the mask did leave up to its name “soothe me now” as it helped to calm the redness on my face, soothe my skin and bring back some moisture into my skin as well.
“Refresh yourself with an instant infusion of moisture and revitalizing nutrients. Made from Organic Spirulina, a deep sea blue-green algae, this moisturizing bio-cellulose mask is power-packed with minerals and amino acids to hydrate, repair and clarify skin. In addition, it helps protect skin from free radical damage.” – b.liv
Formula and scent
The hydrate away mask is meant to add moisturise back to the skin and boost the skin’s hydration level. So, this mask is especially useful for those with dry and dehydrated skin. The scent for this mask is more subtle than the soothe me now mask but has a somewhat similar smell that fades away fairly quickly.
I was kindly sent a box of lovely skincare goodies to try out by Ah…Skincare last month. I received three face skincare products perfect for my combination skin and one body care product as well. I have been using them for a while now so thought it was the perfect time to post up a review and to talk a bit about Ah…Skincare.
About Ah Skincare
Ah Skincare was founded in 2014 by Andrea Hutchins and is all about organic skincare packed full of goodies for your skin. All their formulas have at least 85% organic ingredients, are all handmade and free from all the nasties such as parabens, sulphates, mineral oils, any animal testing and more! The formulas for their skincare products are also PH balanced so will not disrupt the acid mantle, the skins natural defence barrier. Ah Skincare has a variety of products to suit all skin types, even for those with sensitive skin as they focus on creating natural products that are kind to the skin. So, now on to the reviews.
This Radiance Cleanser is meant to gently cleanse the skin whilst also nourishing and protecting it. It comes in a clear PET bottle with a turn to open/close pump that easily dispenses the perfect amount of product. In terms of scent, it has a fruity and soft scent that is subtle and not too strong which I enjoyed. The formula contains lots of natural and organic ingredients including extracts from fruits such as mango, strawberry, lemon, cranberry and more. The cleanser itself is white in colour and has a creamy texture. I pump out a small amount and gentle massage it onto my damp skin then rinse off with water. Though it has a creamy texture, I was expecting it to foam or bubble up but instead when massaged onto wet skin it is silky and slippery and cleanses the skin well in a gentle way. I liked how soft my skin felt after using this cleanser. It left my skin feeling moisturised and not dry or tight which is great as I hate cleansers that dry out and strip away all the skin’s natural oils in the process of cleansing.
This Skin Brightening Toner is a lightweight yet moisturising toner that is alcohol free and contains witch hazel. The toner comes in a clear PET bottle with a spray nozzle with a cap. The spray nozzle works well in dispensing a fine and even mist of toner. It has a unique scent that starts off slightly sweet and fruity, which I think comes from the grapefruit essential oil, followed by a distinct and slightly stronger smell that is probably from the witch hazel. Overall the scent is interesting and pleasant, and fades away almost immediately after applying it to the skin. The toner aims to help protect the skin and maintain the natural pH level of the skin. After cleansing, I spray a small amount of toner onto a cotton wool pad and lightly swipe over my face to gently remove any makeup or impurities. I sometimes like to spray some on my face during the day when my skin is in need of a quick refresher. I like how soothing this toner is (probably as it contains aloe vera leaf juice) and how refreshed my skin feels after.
This Tomato and Carrot Moisturiser is definitely my favourite of the bunch. It comes in a slim airless pump bottle that makes it easy to control and pump out the correct amount of product. The moisturiser is full of vitamins and minerals to help reduce shine, refine the pores and is also anti-aging. I like to pump out a small amount onto my hands and gently massage it on my face and neck. I love how soft, smooth and hydrated my skin feels after and how it does not leave any of the usual sticky, oily or tacky feeling that other creams with sunscreen sometimes have.
Last month StyleKorean had a ‘Try and review’ giveaway to test out the new Cosrx Clear Fit Blemish Cushion, and I was lucky enough to get chosen. I was happy to have gotten this opportunity to test out this new product as I have a tried and loved many Cosrx products. So here is my thoughts on this new cushion.
What is the Cosrx Clear Fit Blemish Cushion?
The Cosrx Clear Fit Blemish Cushion is a cushion type foundation that is meant to conceal skin concerns effectively. It contains Centella Asiatica Extract that relaxes and soothes the skin so is safe for those with sensitive skin or those with skin concerns. The formula also has SPF47 UVB/UVA sunscreen so it protects your skin from harmful sunrays. The cushion contains 15 grams of product and comes in 2 shades – #21 Light Beige and #23 Natural Beige.
The cushion case is matte black and square-shaped with the product name printed in a clear gloss. I really liked the simple and minimal design of the case. The cushion puff matches this monotone colour scheme and is grey coloured with the brand name ‘Cosrx’ printed across the band. One thing I found weird is that the sponge for my cushion was popping up in the centre to make a little mountain which meant whenever I opened it there was always some product transferred to the lid.
Formula & coverage
I got the Clear Fit Blemish Cushion in the darker shade #23 Natural Beige since Summer is coming up here in Australia and I sometimes get a little tanner. When I initially swatched this shade on my hand I was a little worried as it has a yellow/orange tinge and looked quite unnatural. Strangely enough, the swatch didn’t look great on my hand but once applied to my face it suited my skin tone well. Once I blended the product in to my skin it looked natural and evened out my skin. The Clear Fit cushion has a matte finish which is perfect for those with oily or combination skin and for use during Summer time.
In terms of coverage, it has a medium to high coverage that is very buildable without looking too cakey, as long as you apply in thin layers. I found that after applying one thin layer it had evened out my skin tone and covered up most of my blemishes and redness. I also tested with applying a thicker layer and it looked quite cakey and unnatural. A little product really goes a long way with this cushion so make sure to apply it with a light hand and layer as required. When using this cushion I usually just like to apply one thin layer all over my face then just lightly touch up some areas that needed extra coverage rather than applying a full second layer. I think the coverage of this cushion is high enough that even without the use of concealer my skin looked almost flawless since it concealed my dark circles and blemishes well.
The texture felt quite creamy and thick but once blended well into the skin it doesn’t feel too heavy. This cushion isn’t particularly moisturising so can make dry patches on the skin more obvious so is better suited to those with oily or combination skin and not for those with drier skin. Without using powder to set the product, after around 4 hours there was some slight shiny patches on my T-zone but nothing to drastically oily and a light powdering can’t fix. When setting with a powder just on the T-Zone there was barely any oily shine after 5 hours. I wouldn’t recommend setting powder all over the face but just the T-Zone area since the cushion already has a matte finish. My cheeks tend to be a little drier than the rest of my face so I found that when I powdered my whole face it looked a little cakey and dry.
September is finally here, which means it’s a new season! It’s officially Spring here in Sydney and I’m definitely excited for the warmer weather! So, as it’s a new month, it mean it’s also time for a new monthly favourites. Here were my favourites for the month of August.
To be honest, I only bought this Lip Ink because I was suckered into the cute packaging. But, even though I only bought this because of the packaging I ended up really liking it. The Lip Ink lasts a long time as it stains the lips so even after eating or drinking the colour still remains. This was a Limited Edition for 2017 – year of the rooster – which happened to be my Chinese horoscope so I couldn’t resist not buying one. I love that it comes with the cute little rooster cap attachment as it just makes the lip ink so much more fun and adorable.
The colour is a pretty, bright and vibrant pink-ish red but applied on my lips looks like a magenta shade. I usually prefer nude lip shades and don’t go for bright colours but I was surprised how much I liked this colour. It is a very fun and eye-catching shade, and makes for a good statement lip that isn’t too over the top and is still very wearable. I like that it wasn’t drying on the lips, as I find with many long-lasting lip products the formula can be very drying and make your lips look patchy. Also, a bonus is that it has a really yummy sweet smell, just like candy!
When I saw Colourpop releasing a range of pretty crystal themed products, I was definitely very interested. I bought this Lip Balm in two shades – Amethyst and Rose Quartz as the swatches looked very pretty and the most wearable. I preferred the Amethyst one as my favourite colour is purple and it has a beautiful pinkish purple shimmer. I liked pairing the Amethyst Lip Balm with the Peri Pera Lip Ink I mentioned above as they matched together really nicely and gave a pretty opalescent finish. I like how this Crystal Lip Balm can give a new look to any lipstick or tint you have by just simply applying it over the top. The lip balm gives a pretty opalescent shimmer that is not too over the top and very wearable, even in the day time. The Amethyst balm also has a yummy sweet and fruity smell.
I finally tried out using this Centella Blemish Cream in August and was wondering why I didn’t start using this earlier! I love how much it helped to calm angry pimples and heal them without scarring. I really like the formula for this cream as it is very gentle and doesn’t dry out my skin like a lot of pimple and acne treatment creams available. I’ll be sure to post up a full review of this sometime.