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evo end doctor smoothing treatment

Hi everyone. πŸ™‚

Phew this week has been a busy and tiring one so far. Have had a really bad bug (cold but possibly flu) which hasn’t helped! I hope that you are all having a much better week than me!

I also hope that you enjoy this review. πŸ™‚

***

Discovered this product by chance – at my Mum’s house of all places! πŸ™‚ (A lil secret of mine – the brown part of my hair I dye at home – my mum helps! Thanks Mum. ;))

Last weekend, after colouring my hair, Mum encouraged me to give evo‘s end doctor smoothing treatment a try. She’s been using it for a while and stated that she thinks it’s pretty good.

I just had to laugh (in a good way!) when reading the packaging for this product; you’ll see what I mean!

(the comb is not part of the product; it was just sitting there as I'd used it!)

Price: $25.95 AUD

Where can I get it? exclusive to salons which stock evo or online at their site: evohair.com .

As you can read on the packaging shots above, this product is designed to do a few things – smooth unruly ends, provide heat protection, and also provide SPF protection (which would reduce rate of fading of colours due to sun exposure). On the latest version of the product packaging on evo‘s site, it makes specific reference to making curly wavy hair look good. This is ok as my hair type is wavy, however I do straighten my hair due to the cut I have!

I used the amount of product that my Mum stated she’d been advised to use – pea size (her hair’s about the same length as mine). It has a nice and mild fragrance and was easily absorbed by my damp hair.

This product didn’t leave my hair greasy, which is great, but it didn’t leave it looking any better than it usually does! I still had flyaways and the bits that tend to kick out really kicked out despite me using proper blowdrying techniques. So much for “taming” the hair! (In case anyone is wondering if the colouring of my hair before hand was a factor, I find that the colour I use tends to leave my hair shiny, smooth and healthy looking.)

As I’ve only tried this product once, do take my opinion with a pinch of salt, but I give it ~

Beautiful rating: quality 3/5, value 3/5. I love the packaging but it seems to be pretty average, given the price. (Sorry Mum – we’ll have to agree to disagree! ;-))

***

Does anyone else also like the use of quirky blurbs on products that they buy? Bed Head’s blurbs are my favourite! πŸ™‚

Mmm Strawberries & Champagne – Victoria’s Secret Fragrance Mist

Happy Sunday all! πŸ™‚

The weather has been absolutely stinking hot here! 😦 Today we are meant to have 80% humidity too, which is unusual for Adelaide… However this weather has meant that this particular product, Victoria’s Secret Fragrance Mist in Strawberries and Champagne, has come in very handy as it’s so refreshing!!!

Here are my thoughts…

Price: $12 USD or 5 for $30 USD online (I received this mist as a gift, I don’t usually look up RRP of gifts I received but this was necessary for the review – cheeky me huh?! ;))

Where can I get it? Victoria’s Secret outlets in the USA or online. Not sure if they ship to Australia or what the costs of that are!

This mist is true to its word, it does smell just like strawberries and champagne, with the strawberry aspect being most prominent. It is not overly sweet or overpowering.

As it is a mist rather than eau de toilette, it is not meant to be long lasting. As such I find it is great to spritz on during a hot day to give a bit of a pick me up, but would not use it in place of a standard perfume.

In all I think this product is great value and very nice. No complaints! If I had to look for some downsides, the only one I noted was the product’s large size (250ml) preventing it from fitting into smaller handbags.

Beautiful rating: quality 5/5, value 5/5!

Thank you for this nice gift Linda! πŸ™‚

***

Does anyone else use Victoria’s Secret beauty products? What do you think of them?

What are your top tips for keeping cool on a hot summer’s day? πŸ™‚

Fringe 2012: The LoveBirds

Hi! How has everyone’s week been so far? I’ve come down with some kind of cold, which seems strange to me because it is in the middle of summer (over 30 degrees Celsius here today!). 😦

Are any of my fellow Adelaidians attending Fringe shows this year? I like to see at least one or two shows every year! πŸ™‚ I also love hanging out with friends in the Garden of Unearthly Delights. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Adelaide Fringe, here’s a recap of my take on it from last week:

“For those of you who are thinking β€œwhat?” the Adelaide Fringe is an international arts, comedy, and performance type festival. Like the Edinburgh Fringe. It is the best time of year to visit Adelaide as for approximately a month the city comes alive with a, hmm, I would say β€œclassy carnival” atmosphere. (It only used to be held once every 2 years, but it became so popular it is now a yearly event, yaaaaay! :) ) Events are held all around the CBD but also in some of Adelaide’s park lands which are converted to what they call the β€œGarden of Unearthly Delights” (or just the β€œGarden” if you’re a local ;) ). There you can eat and drink to your hearts’ content, check out impromptu acts as well as buy tickets to cabaret, comedy, magic and other shows being held in tents (but classy tents! :) ) within the Garden. There are also carnival rides… OK the more I try and describe this the stranger it sounds, check out the official site if you are interested to hear more :) over here: http://www.adelaidefringe.com.au/

***

I was lucky to score tickets to see a cabaret performance on Friday night, called The LoveBirds*. I enjoy cabaret but had not read anything about this particular show, so was not sure what to expect! However I was very impressed and both R and I enjoyed it a lot!

The LoveBirds focuses on the stories of four LoveBirds enjoying a night of freedom. Rare, exotic and erotic creatures, they are ornately adorned in all sorts of feathers and sparkles – even the boys!

The story line was interesting, original, and funny. Costuming was excellent and I thought that each of the cast members had fantastic voices. The venue, the Spiegeltent, is always great but I thought the sound was a tad too loud at times. I’m not sure if this was due to me sitting towards the back, where additional speakers may have been placed.

I never really enjoy lining up for shows in the Garden of Unearthly Delights, as it is so crowded in the Garden, but the usher for this show was very professional and we were able to get into the venue easily. Here’s what the line looked like! (This is typical, however, for any show you go to see in the Garden.)

Don't fret! This shot includes a lot of people walking down the main path of the Garden (as the Spiegeltent is near the entrance). The line is at the far right of this picture.

I should also mention that this show was very interactive. The Birds interact directly with the audience which helps bring the show to life and makes it even more fun to watch! πŸ™‚

In all I strongly recommend seeing The LoveBirds if you enjoy cabaret. If you are not familiar with cabaret, this is a good show to provide you with an introduction!

I would give The LoveBirds 5/5, or 5 tweets! πŸ˜‰

To read more about their show visit the official Fringe webpage for The LoveBirds at http://www.gardenofunearthlydelights.com.au/event.asp?eventID=2536

*Tickets were provided to me for the purposes of a review. This did NOT influence my opinion of the show in any shape or form. As after all, only honest reviews are worth reading, right?!

Face of Australia (FoA) mini haul!

Well peeps I thought I might be able to handle 3 blog posts in one evening (as I have a lot I want to write about! :)) but I think 2 is my limit LOL (overambitious me huh?!).

Back onto the topic of beauty…. πŸ™‚

As of Thursday last week a local discount department store (Big W) slashed $3 AUD off of ALL of Face of Australias products that they stock… I think tomorrow may be the last day of this sale. (If you’re wondering “hey why didn’t Sarah tell me about this?!” I did – on my Twitter and Facebook accounts for the blog – visit my Contact page to find the details for these if you haven’t signed up already! πŸ˜‰ ).

To date I’ve found Face of Australia‘s stuff to be very good and good value for money; I’ve already reviewed their primer here and have also tried and loved their liquid eyeliner (first bought it a couple of years ago and when needing to repurchase keep going back to it!). So when I saw this sale come up I thought I’d treat myself (not that I need much convincing to go shopping!)…. πŸ™‚

Here is what I bought….

I got all of the above for UNDER AUD $12 (ohhh yeah I was excited about this! :)).

The Nail Polish Remover: acetone free is a good product. I’ve used this one before in the past and particularly like the soft vanilla fragrance it leaves on your nails, rather than that harsh chemically odour you get with most other nail polish removers on the market. I’d give this one the following Beautiful Rating: quality 5/5, value 5/5 (hell it was <$1 how can one go wrong?! :))

The Lip Quench SPF 30+ moisturising lipstick is a real treat. I’ve seen that many other bloggers are talking about the Lychee Crush shade but that doesn’t suit my skin tone, so I picked out a nude shade instead (Nude Satin). Applies well and I love the fact it’s SPF 30+, but staying power is not great. I’m also not particularly fond of the frangrance but I love the colour! On the 3 occasions I’ve worn it so far I’ve had to reapply it many many times throughout the working day or evening out. The Nude Lip Definer pencil I bought to go with it performs fairly well but is quite a dry formula. I would buy the Lip Quench again ($5.84 AUD usually $8.84 AUD at my local Big W) but not the lip liner ($3.something AUD usually $6.??). Lip Quench – Beautiful Rating – quality 4/5 (love the SPF and the colour), value 4/5. Lip Definer – quality 3/5, value 3/5 – found this product pretty average.

Some swatches of the lippie etc…

natural lighting & no flash - top the liner, bottom lipstick

liner + lippie, natural light no flash (hmm didn't line my bottom lip well here!)

natural light, flash

I then went back the next day (LOL huh?!) to pick up some more of the lipstick in Malibu Barbie (how awesome is that name for a lippie?! :)) and Power Surge. Sorry guys took these two pics in a hurry but they give you a good idea of how lovely and bright these two are (both pics with flash, taken at night):

L: Malibu Barbie. R: Power Surge

top lip: MB, bottom: PS

I would give these two shades the same rating as I did the Nude Satin. πŸ™‚ Of the three I think Malibu Barbie is my favourite, which is interesting as usually bright pinks are not my preferred lipstick colour!

***

Oops…Can’t believe I forgot to mention this earlier! I was lucky to have the opportunity to catch up with other Adelaide based beauty bloggers on Saturday. πŸ™‚ We had dinner at Wasai which is a pretty nice Japanese restaurant, however the service wasn’t so good! (Even delivery of our bill was slow…)

Fellow blogging attendees included:

… and last but not least a special mention to Celeste of Becoming Beautiful who had organised the event but unfortunately couldn’t make it in the end due to illness!

Nice to see everyone on Saturday and look forward to the next meet up! πŸ™‚

Roxette LIVE :)

Heeeeeyyyy! πŸ™‚ How is everyone’s week going so far? I hope to upload a few posts tonight but I think I may have overestimated what I’ll be able to manage as I’m pretty tired… As I was up late last night at the Roxette concert!

Roxette, as many of you know, are a Swedish pop group who were big in the 1980s and early-mid 1990s. (They have actually released albums since and their latest album, Charm School, was released last year. Another album is reportedly due out at the end of next month, Travelling.) As a kid I grew up listening to a lot of their music and was excited to hear they are doing a world tour after all these years, and visiting my home city! Australia is the first stop on their tour and you can read more about the cities they will be visiting on the tour here: http://roxetteblog.com/world-tour-2012/

The concert was absolutely EXCELLENT!!!!! I actually think that they sound better live than they do on their CDs. It was a fun night and they played a huge range of songs, including some of their most famous such as “The Look” and “Listen to Your Heart”. If Roxette are visiting your city I strongly recommend going to their concert! πŸ™‚

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get a lot of photos (long story!) but here are few from the night πŸ™‚ …

outside the venue...

opening act, 1927 (80s Australian rock band who I hadn't heard of before, but they were really good on the night!)

Marie! πŸ™‚

Has anyone else seen Roxette in concert? What did you think of them? πŸ™‚ Whilst it was great I think David Bowie’s concert here in Adelaide a few years ago remains my #1 concert experience!

Get it while it’s hot – free The Body Shop samples! :)

Hi everyone!

Just a quick post tonight before I head to bed… heading to bed early tonight as gotta get up early tomorrow!

Wanted to let you know that The Body Shop‘s Aussie stores are giving away free samples of the serum from their new Nutriganics range. This range is paraben free and over 90% of the ingredients included in products in this range are “natural in origin” (not quite sure what they mean by that, as petroleum based ingredients could arguably meet that criteria, but paraben free is good!).

I picked up a sample last week, after buying the perfume. Unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet; the sales assistant advised me that the sample package should last for at least 2 applications. Grab one while you can! πŸ™‚

This is the full size version of the serum (image: ebay.com).

Empties (January… a tad late!)

Howdy! πŸ™‚

Well, it’s been a busy week! I would’ve like to have blog more than I did but I guess that couldn’t be helped. 😦 At the moment I am also in the process of moving my blog from wordpress.com (wordpress hosted) to wordpress.org (hosted on a non-wordpress server) which has taken a lot of time to research. When I do make the move I will be sure to let you all know; in any case the blog will always be accessible via http://abeautifulstory.net πŸ™‚ (Advantages to having the site hosted elsewhere include that I can have a lot more freedom with how I run it and I have free reign with design, customisation, etc.)

When the new site is up and running I will be hosting another giveaway! πŸ™‚

Do any of you run a wordpress.org site? If so I’m keen to hear any tips/tricks; I’m not the best at IT to something that may take some people 10 minutes could take me 30 LOL (technically challenged huh?!)!

***

As promised, *mini drumroll*, this post is all about my January empties! There’s another product that I should’ve included in the photos, my usual perfume which is Estee Lauder’s “Beauty”. Lovely fresh fragrance but can’t seem to get it anywhere locally these days… and I used to be able to get it for a good price!

So as you can see it’s a pretty small Empties collection! πŸ™‚ My thoughts on these products, from L – R, top to bottom:

Dove Heat Defence Therapy Heat Activated Protect & Shine Mist

Price: I got it for $4 AUD on sale but the usual retail price is around $8-9 AUD.

Where can I get it? Supermarkets and some chemists.

This one is a beauty. Smells good, leaves my hair feeling good, and it has a medium spraying range, meaning that you don’t drench your hair or get it on your face when only aiming it at a small section of hair! (Which has been an issue with the ones I’m currently using, reviews to come!) I didn’t realise how good this one was till I tried some others.

These days it’s in a white coloured bottle but otherwise seems to be the same product.

Beautiful rating: quality 5/5, value 5/5

*

Johnson’s face care daily essentials fragrance free facial cleansing wipes

Price: approx. $6 AUD for a pack of 25.

Where can I get it? most supermarkets and some chemists.

I find these to be very handy in removing my makeup, before cleansing at night time. Decent sized sheets, moist enough to remove yourΒ  makeup, and the skin is not left irritated or dry.

Remember that such wipes are not sufficient on their own as cleansers; you really should follow it up with a cleanser and toner. I made this mistake once and I paid for it – broke out! 😦

The only gripe I have with these is that they are quite expensive. I’m wondering if unscented baby wipes would do just as good a job!?

Beautiful rating: quality 5/5, value 3/5

*

Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner

Price: approx $10 AUD

Where can I get it? Most supermarkets and some chemists.

Since switching to an alcohol free toner my skin has felt much happier and less dry on my non t-zone areas. This toner does its job well and leaves my skin feeling refreshed. I’m now onto my 2nd bottle of this product and don’t see a need to switch brands in the future (no not even to a Thalgo toner! πŸ˜‰ Now that is saying something! :)).

Beautiful rating: quality 5/5, value 5/5.

***

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this post. πŸ™‚ For those of you in Adelaide, enjoy the awesome Adelaide Fringe festival which is now ON! – I was lucky to receive a free pass to a cabaret show last night which was excellent and the Garden of Unearthly Delights was packed and buzzing. I will be posting a review of the show on the blog soon. πŸ™‚

For those of you who are thinking “what?” the Adelaide Fringe is an international arts, comedy, and performance type festival. Like the Edinburgh Fringe. It is the best time of year to visit Adelaide as for approximately a month the city comes alive with a, hmm, I would say “classy carnival” atmosphere. (It only used to be held once every 2 years, but it became so popular it is now a yearly event, yaaaaay! :)) Events are held all around the CBD but also in some of Adelaide’s park lands which are converted to what they call the “Garden of Unearthly Delights” (or just the “Garden” if you’re a local ;)). There you can eat and drink to your hearts’ content, check out impromptu acts as well as buy tickets to cabaret, comedy, magic and other shows being held in tents (but classy tents! :)) within the Garden. There are also carnival rides… OK the more I try and describe this the stranger it sounds, check out the official site if you are interested to hear more πŸ™‚ over here: http://www.adelaidefringe.com.au/

The Body Shop: Japanese Cherry Blossom eau de toilette

Hello! How was everyone’s Valentine’s Day? πŸ™‚

I saw one of the nicest forms of advertising that I’d seen in a long time on the streets of my home town yesterday… This was from a gourmet cupcake shop called Butterflies (who do YUMMY cakes in Adelaide if you’ve never tried them):

On the weekend I visited The Body Shop for a browse… I came out with some perfume! πŸ™‚ However, this purchase was justified as I’d run out of my usual perfume and have been unable to find it at local shops (I could try eBay but thought I’d try something new – see my upcoming Empties [February] post if curious!).Here are my thoughts…

Price: $31.95 AUD

Where can I get it? Exclusive to The Body Shop

What first caught my eye about the perfume was the size of the bottle. Compact enough to easily fit in my bag without weighing it down (which is a major issue with my usual perfume).

Most importantly, this smells lovely! It has a sweet and lightly floral scent with musky undertones. In other words = sweet and floral with a lingering light musky smell! πŸ™‚

It lasts a reasonable time but unlike my more expensive Vivienne Westwood perfumes (have only reviewed one so far over here) you will need to spray more on during the day or night. So far I’ve found that at work, if I reapply it at lunch time it lasts through to home time.

Whilst I like this fragrance a lot, I probably won’t purchase it again as I prefer fragrances that last longer, especially during our summer which we are in now (in which temperatures are typically 35 degrees + Celsius or higher).

Beautiful rating: quality 3/5, value 3/5. Smells lovely but not a standout product for me.

***

PS. I liked the shopping bags used at my local Body Shop! πŸ™‚ What do you think???

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! <3

Hi everyone! πŸ™‚

I know it’s not a very original theme for a post, but thought I’d write about Valentine’s Day! I hope that you all have a great day, regardless of whether or not you are in a relationship.

I’ve done a special manicure for Valentine’s Day… I’m not the world’s greatest nail artist so kept my nails pretty simple! First I’ll show you the nails before doing the arty part, featuring O.P.I‘s DS Reserve (DS027). I really like this polish and would give it a quality rating of 4/5 and value rating of 4/5 (O.P.I polish is not cheap in shops here, retailing for approx. $16.95 AUD/bottle):

Here’s what they looked like with some “art”! πŸ™‚ (Do you recognise the nail stickers?! LOL)

For more great examples of nail art including Valentine’s Day nail art designs check out the blog Tip Top Nails‘ latest post here. πŸ™‚

*

I’m not sure what R will be doing for me for Valentine’s Day but I have made him a cake! I cheated a bit as you will see, but I’ll let the photos tell the story! πŸ™‚

I had this in the pantry so thought I'd try it! πŸ™‚ (Yep this is in the new kitchen I promise to upload more pix of it soon!)

mmm chocolate cake batter which included choc chipssssss

...bake for 50 min...

... the cooked cake with the choccie icing (frosting), ready to decorate!

The finished cake! πŸ™‚

What I used to decorate the cake; available at supermarkets.

***

Have a great day everyone; thank you all for visiting, reading, following/liking/subscribing! xxxx

It’s a nice day for a ROMANIAN wedding…

Happy Sundayyyyyyyy πŸ™‚

As promised, some pics and thoughts on the wedding I attended recently (a week ago, to be precise)!*

The Ceremony

The bride and her family are originally from Romania, and so the ceremony was held at a local Romanian Orthodox church. The wedding ceremony was very similar to other orthodox ceremonies that I have attended; the bride and groom each wear a crown, which is associated with particular blessings made upon the couple and sets them up as the “king and queen” of their newly created family. From the research that I have done there does not seem to be a specific reason for why/how that tradition came about! Additionally, the ceremony is extremely LONG – it was approx. 1.5 hours in duration and it was standing room only in the small church (so don’t wear super high heels like I did LOL!).

I found a website that provides an overview of various Romanian Orthodox wedding traditions for those who would like to read more about this: http://www.ehow.com/info_8682059_romanian-orthodox-wedding-traditions.html … it mentions additional meanings of the crowns as well as discussion of hand binding, which did not happen at the ceremony I attended.

The bride and groom looked great and the bridesmaids wore neutral coloured dresses that were quite nice.

The Reception

cute place markers... these contained sugared almonds πŸ™‚

The reception was held at a resort hotel in West Lakes, a suburb which as the name suggests overlooks lakes! It was a very nice reception with nice food and great attention to detail. The cake was very pretty and designed by the bride; it was a marbled chocolate/vanilla cake with vanilla icing.

I thought these were nice too!

A bigger overview of the table setting:

What I wore

(My hair drove my crazy!!!
There were cyclonic like winds outside on the day which led to so/so hair! 😦 )

After some thought, I decided to go for a conservative but bright look. This meant that, as I was wearing a bright dress, I went for neutral and understated makeup; here I am with my boyfriend “R” (he’s suited up as he was one of the groomsmen!).

Face – NARS Firming Foundation in Deauxville (went for this one as it’s a sample I’ve been trying out!) + Prestige Skin Loving Minerals mineral powder in Light.

Eyes & Cheeks – Nutrimetics’ Marble Rouge in Jupiter (very versatile product this one…. have previously reviewed it here). Mascara – Nutrimetics’ Lash Lightening Mascara in Black (have also previously reviewed this one).

Lips – Prestige’s Lightshine Sheer Gloss Liner in Calla + Prestige’s Classic Lipstick in Sophia (also previously reviewed over here).

Nails – LOL after my experience with those “Kiss” nail stickers I decided to go for a simple and classic look with Cutex’s French Manicure polish in French Rose (fantastic bargain polish – got this for $2.99 at Priceline!) + some cute floral nail art stickers I bought from Morning Glory some time ago, as per below:

***

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this post; I’m very open to any suggestions on how I can improve my writing/posts and topics to write about so feel free to contact me or “comment”! πŸ™‚

This week I’ve got a Valentine’s Day, The Body Shop product review and an Empties (January) post planned… What do people have planned for Valentine’s Day this year??? πŸ™‚

*I sought permission from the bride before publishing photos of the wedding on the blog; hence only a limited selection of photos have been uploaded here.

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