Archive for January, 2011

Multi-Review: Self-Tanners

My work schedule and the if we be honest, rather average summer weather, has left me the perfect candidate for trialing a whole bunch of fake tans over the past few months to achieve a sun-kissed look.

Now, I’m only a fake tan fan if they’re done right. If you can’t or won’t; embrace your natural colour. There’s nothing worse than seeing a half-peeled orange walking down the street, with knees rougher than the pavement. On the other hand, I don’t advocate baking yourself to a crisp either, for reasons that are quite obvious.

A few years ago, I was a true fake tan virgin. Having only had one professional spray tan, I was scared to attempt myself. What if it’s patchy?! (Still happens in areas on occasion!) What if I look like a carrot, or worse, Paris Hilton?!

Hopefully you can amp up your fake tan artillery and work on your skills with a few of these suggestions, sure to leave you looking natural and glowing. Did you just get back from Hawaii?

Le Tan Daily Glow SPF 15+ ($7.99)

Oh, this is one product I buy over and over again – and I can afford to! It’s about $7 dollars or something crazy like that! (In fact I’m so excited by its greatness I can’t be bothered to look up its actual price. All right fine, it’s $7.99) I love it! A wonder 3-in-1 prod, it combines a daily moisturiser with SPF 15 and a gradual tanner of the awesomely natural Le Tan shade. I can slap this stuff on as haphazard as anything, and it doesn’t streak – ever. I’ve never been asked if I’m wearing fake tan – always the sign of great colour! – And it’s easy to maintain and apply. Yummy smell too. LOVE!

Le Tan in Le Can Instant Tan ($14.99)

I adore all of the Le Tan self-tanning range, mainly for it’s fantastic colour, which seems to suit my natural skin tone wonderfully, plus it’s cheap! Le Tan Instant Tan is a spray can, which I spray all over and then lightly rub and pat into place. It’s pretty fool proof, I haven’t had any disasters with this one. While this says instant, and it is, I would apply a few hours before you need it on as it does develop into a better colour over time. Warning: the scent is so delicious you may want to lick yourself. Don’t, I doubt it tastes as good as it smells! This also comes in a Jet Dry version which dries within three minutes. For both of these, I choose the Deep Bronze Glow shade. The Original Tanning Lotion is a great option if you prefer a lotion formula that develops over time, rather than instant. I can never go wrong with any of the Le Tan tanning range!

Fake Bake Gradual Tan ($45.95)

A cult tanning product from the UK, Fake Bake was easy to apply  – but I wouldn’t agree that this one was ‘gradual’. Admittedly I took slightly less care than I would with a full-strength, but because this was gradual, I thought I could build up the colour to erase any little uneven areas. The next day, this was quite stronger than I expected. Great colour, but this formula should be used as you would a regular tanner. Best for those who want to build up to a dark, ‘I’ve spent a month in the Greek Isles’ kind of tan.

Clarins Delectable Self Tanning Mousse SPF 15 ($45)

Oh, Clarins, you’re just divine. This white, whipped mousse is super soft and velvety to apply, and absorbs into the skin easily. I have been using this on my face and chest, as it’s non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores), SPF 15+, and well, it’s Clarins and somehow using it all over feels like a waste! It’s always nice to save the luxe-r products for your face, non? The colour isn’t anything too drastic, which was my concern about using tanner on my face, just a lovely natural glow. The scent is natural, fruity and fresh; the yummy smell of Clarins products! Mirabelle oil and vitamin E are added to nourish and hydrate your skin too. Worth the extra pennies!

Natio Self Tan Lotion ($17.95)

Another budget beauty winner at only $17.95! Much like the Le Tan, this Natio Self-Tanner is a fantastic natural colour, blends easily and develops well after a few hours. The added essential oils of lavender, ylang ylang and sweet orange are an extra treat while applying, There’s also a mousse and a spray in this range too. Added bonus; it is made in Australia!

Model Co One Night Tan

This is party tan in a can! The mousse comes out looking like chocolate gelati, and rubs into the skin easily with an instant brown colour to see where you’ve already been. I say party tan, because this does contain a shimmer too it – but not too much shimmer otherwise, as a firm advocate for minimal body glitter, I wouldn’t be raving about it. Important note: it didn’t rub off on my clothes, winner! It’s quick, easy, and makes you party-ready in a matter of minutes – perfect to have a few cans in your bathroom draw on standby.

St. Tropez Tanning Mousse ($43.95)

I was really excited to try St. Tropez, one of the most well-known self-tanning brands on the market. This was a great natural colour, but I found that it took a day to ‘settle in’ to become its best colour. The mousse was easy to apply, and blended well – no complaints about that process. St. Tropez also has an amazing tanning side product called Tan Go, which helps get rid of those pesky orange palms that no amount of soap and water can remove. Tan Go can be used on the hands, and any other areas where you think you may have overdone it, say, that splotch I left on my foot that day. It contains little exfoliating granules that help to scrub away excess tan, as well as a cleansing solution. An accessory every tan-fan needs!

Hissyfit Body Bronze $29.95

This thick lotion was ultra hydrating thanks to the included aloe vera and vitamins B, C and E. It was easy to rub in and didn’t leave any streaks apart from a blob I left on my foot – whoops! I loved the smell and the colour was great, but like the St. Tropez I felt it was even better on the 2nd and remaining days. This was easy to re-apply, as the colour didn’t build up in those scraggy patches I hate seeing on other people. Yes, I can be a fake tan snob…

Have you tried any of these brands?

Are there any wonders you’ve come across that should be on this list?


Lipstick Love: Clarins Rouge Prodige

A good lipstick is a real thing of luxury, don’t you think? One look at the brand new (launched just this Monday) Clarins Rouge Prodige range tells you you’re going to be spoilt.

From the luxe gold packaging, with the subtle dint on the side which features a ‘C’, to the Clarins branding that runs up the tube to the lipstick, you know that this is going to be something fantastic.

RRP $42

I received two shades for consideration, 121 Red Prodige (the reddest of classic reds) and 118 Clementine (a bright red-coral orange).

Red Prodige and Clementine

The formulas are divine, so creamy and thick without drying my lips out. If I could personify it into bedclothes (strange, I know) it would be the thick, luxurious cashmere dressing gown you’ve always wanted.  The formula contains marine algae extract for nourishment and a bevy of ceramides and waxes to prevent lip dehydration. It’s super long lasting – I think I touched it up once on a 9 hour shift, and that was after eating.

I love the high intensity pigment, one or two swipes is all that’s really needed, and the colour has a fantastic subtle shine without glitter or sparkle, thanks to Clarin’s High Fidelty Pearl which they explain to be “a polymer composed of multifaceted molecules which trap colour pigments”. Alright then, I would have thought it was a happily married sea creature. If I could have my way with everything, I’d have the formula just a touch softer, so that it easily blended right up into the corners of my lips. Minor whinge, though. (Update: After wearing Clementine again today, I’ve changed my mind – I think it’s softer than the red!)

Left: Red Prodige Right: Clementine

Even though it’s only an iPhone photo, you can see what I’m talking about. Strong pigment (this is one heavy handed swipe), subtle shine and the shades are gorgeous.

If you’re a lipstick lover, this is a must-try for your list. Winner!

RY to Donate $5 From Every Order – I Ordered!

Originally published in Onya Magazine.

The generous offers of donation to the QLD Flood Appeal continue to roll in from Australian beauty brands across the country, with (Recreate Yourself) being the latest.

The online beauty store company, who are based in South-East Queensland, are offering to donate $5 from every order to the Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal until 4.30pm on Friday January the 21st.

“We understand that sometimes it’s not always easy to find the money to donate to charity no matter how worthy the cause. So we see this as an opportunity for to make the donation on the customers behalf. Our customers have supported our Queensland business from the beginning and it’s time for us all to get behind the victims of this tragedy. So, if you were thinking of making a purchase we urge you to make it while this Donation Period exists,” said Bradley Carr and James Patten, RY Directors.

You won’t be lost for options with RY stocking an impressive array of premium brands such as Dermalogica, ghd, Clarins, Payot and Redken across all departments; skin care, hair care and makeup and beauty tools. Free shipping within Australia, a 100% price match guarantee and live help chat will ease you into online shopping if you’re a newbie, or impress the socks off you if you’re experienced.

So, get shopping ladies. Now seems like the perfect time to replace that old hairdryer, or get some skincare sorted for the coming year – the options are endless.

Good Onya, RY!


And replace that old hairdryer I did! That old hairdryer is months thrown out and I’ve been leeching off other people since. Not cool Holly, time to grow up and get yourself a hairdryer that’s serious about the business of, well, drying hair.

I had always heard about the wonders of the Parlux range of hairdryers, and after a quick Twitter-poll (the only way to make decisions these days) it was confirmed for me – Parlux are the shiz.

I ended up deciding on the Parlux 3800 Eco Friendly Supercompact Ceramic and Ionic in Black. Click on the link to read all the ‘under the hood deets’ – it sounds impressive!

So, if like me, you were putting off purchasing a beauty item, any at all, I would really recommend you to order through by 4.30pm today! The website is easy to navigate, the product options are endless and the ordering process was super simple and easy, which is how online shopping should be! Not to mention $5 from your order will go directly to the QLD Flood Appeal – what could be better!

I’m so excited for this baby to arrive, I’m gunna be a blow pro!

Save vs Splurge: Under-eye Illuminators

Under-eye dark circles and bags – the bane of many women’s beauty routine. How many products and remedies have you tried, let alone heard about? As a naturally dark-circled girl, I take great excitement in these two products, either of which I use every single day and which most importantly work. I can’t be bothered with thick and heavy concealers, I want to pat something on and go – which is why I love these two so much. Now, the only thing left to do is choose which one is best for you!



Garnier Roll-On Anti-dark Circles Light ($18.95)

  • There’s a lot of product (15mL) for the price – I can’t see this one running out any time soon!
  • While Garnier claim the metal roller ball will cool and de-puff your eyes, I think it’s a bit unrealistic. To effectively cool and de-puff, the roller ball would need to roll over your socket more than once – which would leave a huge and unworkable amount of product on your skin! One roll delivers the right amount of product, so that claim can be debunked.
  • The product effectively covers dark circles with a radiant finish, lightening the under-eye area.
  • It is easily worked into the skin – what you want when working around the delicate eye area.




Clarins Instant Light Brush-On Perfector ($59.00)

  • Love the sleek, luxe gold packaging. This is an item you’ll definitely want to whip out in front of others in the bathroom.
  • Blends easily into the skin, no need for rough rubbing or pulling of the under-eye area.
  • I love the brush tip applicator as it allows for more precise application; I can get it right into the corners of my eyes.
  • The brush tip allows for more versatile use; apply a line down the bridge of your nose for a slimming illusion, or my favourite, trace a line across the top of your lips and lightly blend for Angelina lips in a second!
  • One click delivers enough product, which helps eliminate wastage.
  • Effective coverage of dark circles with fantastic illumination and brightening of the under-eye area.


So, what do you think? Would you dish out a little more cash for some versatility and the luxe golden outer that is Clarins? Or would you rather stick to your budget and go the Garnier? I would love to know!




Event: Onya Aid – We’ve Got Your Back!

What are you up to this Australia Day? Is it as fabulous an option as Onya Aid, where 100% of proceeds go towards the QLD Flood Appeal, the champagne and good company will be abundant and auctions for your favourite items will be going off?

With a tiny $5 door fee (that goes directly to the Appeal remember) this is an affordable and fun way to celebrate Australia Day.

As Beauty Editor of Onya Magazine, I’ve already been busy organising some fantastic beauty hampers for Auction, and some singular items for the Lucky Dip. Trust me, you’ll want to dip your hand in that bucket!

If you’d like to RSVP (or have a little spy on who else will be there!) click here to see the official Facebook Event page.

Hoping to see you there,


Small Haul From My Makeup Mule

With the recent Aussie dollar parity with the US dollar, it’s fair to say that everyone has been going a little crazy with online shopping. Good on them I say! It’s hard to accept such hikes in item prices when explanations like ‘the exchange rate’ no longer apply.

After a recent trip to the US in June/July last year, which meant a month of squealing “it’s so cheap!” or, “that’s half the price it is in Australia” and buying up a few beauty items, I decided I regretted not getting more.

That’s where my gorgeous friend Lexie, (who I met in Paris but is from California and is dating a guy from Bendigo – she’s a global kinda gal), comes in. After a few months in the US, Lexie was coming back to Melbourne to visit. After my initial elation at the news of her visit, my mind turned to ways to exploit the possible vacant volume in her suitcase… She would be my mule.

Come on now, don’t act shocked – you’d do the same. I don’t mean the Mexico city type of mule that involves body cavities and the empty bellies of sharks, just some harmless beauty buying and stowing! Scared of my gang-like hold over Melbourne, she agreed, lucky for her. I jest! I did say please.

But, once I actually had to think about what I should request, my mind went blank! (I also didn’t want to get anything too heavy eg. lots of skin care/liquids)

Here are the items I came up with last minute:

Benefit High Beam

A replacement for my used up bottle. My first and favourite illuminator! The effects of 10 hours sleep and 10 litres of vege juice in a bottle – fake it ’til you make it, I say! Lexie also saw a ‘Benefit To Go’ version for $10 at the check out, and grabbed that too. How perfect for my handbag!

NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna

I requested this in anticipation of my current one fading. A few months ago the ominous silver metal circle that signifies the death of a product began to show, and it was all I could do to stop from tearing up. This stuff nears on $90 dollars in Australia, and I couldn’t justify a re-purchase – until Lexie offered to pop by Nordstrom for me, the doll. Love this bronzer, amazing natural colour with just a subtle gold shimmer.

Philosophy Bath and Shower Gel in Raspberry Sorbet

Have you smelled these shower gels? They are amazing! I believe they’re only sold at Mecca in Aus (for the eyebrow raising price of $38 dollars a bottle – in the US they’re $16!) You should definitely check them out. Rich and creamy, their signature is the incredibly true to life scents of each flavour. Next on my list is Belgian Waffles and Birthday Cake! They even feature a recipe to each flavour on the label.

Benefit Speed Brow

I love the importance of brows, and Benefit Speed Brow is kept in my handbag at all times to tame my wiry hairs lest they ever get out of line! A slightly tinted gel that’s applied by a mascara-like brush wand, Speed Brow is the quick and easy way to make your brows look ‘done’ in a flash. Another re-stock for my collection!

Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in r.s.v.p

After trying this shade (and also Birthday Suit) at the Benefit makeup counter, I knew I wanted it. Need, maybe not, but want, definitely! r.s.v.p is a gorgeous creamy pale pink shade with shimmer, and smooths on beautifully for a lasting finish. The intensity is easy built and I can go from wearing it as a pale wash of shimmer to a pigmented base, perfect for blending with browns and coppers.

That’s it I think! Amazingly, all this only cost me about $120. Go the Aus dollar woo hoo! Thank you to Lexie for willingly accepting this no doubt annoying task, I do appreciate it! Now, when are you coming out again? Haha!

Beauty News: Bloom To Donate 100% of Profits TOMORROW!

Not much else can be said about the unmeasurable devastation that has settled over Queensland, it’s all been said and it has all been seen, so horrifically, through our TV screens. For those lucky enough to have only seen it through the TV, now is the time for action. There are so many ways that we can help our Northern neighbours, and if there happens to be a way that also includes some of your favorite things, such as beauty and shopping, then that’s fantastic.

Like another fab beauty brand MOR whose offer I featured yesterday, Bloom Cosmetics will be donating an amazing 100% of net profits from sales tomorrow!

Bloom is offering a donation of 100% of net profits from all sales made tomorrow, Saturday 15th January. If you’re going to take advantage of this charitable event (and you should, my tip is the Sheer Colour Cream in Coy, gorgeous cream blush!) then please remember that only sales from their Flagship store on Chapel St, Melbourne, and their online boutique will be donated.

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