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sarah@abeautifulstory

Enjoys reading, writing, eating!, watching anime, spending time with friends, walking and grooming my dog, learning new things, and mucking around with health and beauty products!
sarah@abeautifulstory has written 97 posts for a beautiful story

Blog has successfully moved!

Hi all! πŸ™‚

How’s your Easter weekend going? πŸ™‚

Great news – the new version of the site is now up and running! Go check it out at http://abeautifulstory.net πŸ™‚

Over time I’ll gradually delete content from this site. Currently there are some backlinks and pingbacks I have to properly update/upgrade on the new site so this won’t be for a few weeks at least.

If you follow me on Bloglovin please check to see you are getting new post updates during the coming week – 3 posts are planned. If not it means that my attempts to edit my Bloglovin profile have failed and I will be on a new profile within Bloglovin (if this occurs I’ll also alert y’all via Twitter and Facebook).

I look forward to hearingΒ  your feedback on the new site!

Best wishes,
Sarah X

Announcement – Blog is moving THIS week!

image: merchantcircle.com

Hi everyone! Has your week got off to a good start? Here daylight savings (for summer) has ended and we wound our clocks BACK 1 hour yesterday. This was great as I got extra sleep (yay!). πŸ˜›

If you read a beautiful story regularly you will know that I have been working on a privately hosted version of the blog over the past few weeks. Well, it is almost ready to launch! I’m excited about it and hope that you guys will like the new version of the site as much as I do! πŸ™‚

As I will be busy doing the finishing touches this week I will not be posting again until the Easter long weekend – which is this weekend. I will be launching the new site then and will post here and on Twitter and Facebook to alert you all to the move.

If you have the blog bookmarked please update your bookmark to http://abeautifulstory.net πŸ™‚

For those who are subscribed via email, unfortunately you will need to re-subscribe on the new version of the site once it is live. Same goes for RSS subscribers, sorry!

If you keep up with me via Twitter or Facebook there is no change. I’m not sure for Bloglovin as I did use the .net address when setting up that profile but, as it currently redirects here it attached the wordpress.com address to the profile instead. (I will be able to say more about Bloglovin once the new blog site is live.)

If keen, please visit my Facebook page to check out pics from yesterday’s High Tea meetup for Adelaide Beauty Bloggers! πŸ˜€ It was ABBM’s first birthday – ~Happy Birthday to You, ABBM!~ X

Enjoy your week and I wish you all a safe and Happy Easter, if you celebrate it! πŸ™‚

The Eyes Have It! Thalgo Voile Hydratant Moisturising Eye Care

As promised, here are my thoughts on a real beauty of an eye cream! I picked up Voile Hydratant as part of my recent-ish Thalgo haul (click here if you missed that post).

Hmm "sea salt"?!

Price: approx. $28.00 AUD online; RRP in Australia is $43.00 (ouch!)

Where can I get it? Your local Thalgo certified beauty salon or good ol’ eBay.

I was keen to use a Thalgo eye cream on a regular basis after being very happy with their Collagen Cream facial moisturiser. As Thalgo describes Voile Hydratant as offering “prevention against first wrinkles”, this particular product is designed for “young” skin (<30 years of age). (For those with more mature skin, don’t fret as Thalgo has a variety of eye products suited to different age groups.)

I’ve been using the product since I received it in early February. In a word, it’s AWESOME!:)

The cream is actually a gel, which is very refreshing under and around the eyes. As it is a gel, you do not have to worry about possibly dragging your finger across the skin when applying it, because it just glides. It is also fragrance free, which I prefer in products used on my face.

OK. So how does it go in terms of actual performance? I have a few fine (smile) lines around my eyes, and these have visibly reduced. Woot! πŸ™‚ It doesn’t, however, reduce puffiness which I can experience at times if I have had a late night.

Like most eye creams, a little goes a long way. I have plenty left, even after a month of use.

I strongly recommend this cream to the <30s.

Beautiful Rating: quality 5/5 (5 as whilst it doesn’t act on puffiness, it is not designed to nor advertised to target that), value 5/5 (on eBay).

Cocoa Butter Delight: Vaseline Cocoa Butter Deep Conditioning Body Lotion

Yeehah! It’s Friday! πŸ™‚ How has everyone’s week been? Ready for the weekend? (I’m sure you are! I am!)

As regular blog readers/visitors will know, I usually post at least twice a week and usually on a Sunday and/or Tuesday and Thursday. Things were crazily busy this week and so there’s been a delay. Sorry about that. However I am pleased to report that despite the busyness of the week I had a much better week than last week! πŸ™‚

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The Vaseline Cocoa Butter Deep Conditioning Body Lotion is my current #1 body lotion. I’m fussy when it comes to body lotions. I like them to absorb quickly, have a nice but not overpowering scent, and for the bottle/tub/container to last for a reasonable time so that I am getting value for money. This one certainly ticks all these boxes.

The range comes in pump packs as well as the different sizes and product types as you can see here:

Image

image: popsop.com

Price: approx $8 AUD for 375mL pump pack; if you get the massive 750mL “value pack” pump pack that’s only approx $11 AUD depending on where you shop. I’ve noticed that currently Chemist Warehouse have a sale on this product – $7.99 for the “value pack”!!!!

Where can I get it? Most supermarkets, chemists, and discount department stores.

I absolutely LOVE the scent of the lotion. Chocolate, caramel and vanilla all rolled in to one. It smells so nice that you could eat it (though don’t try that at home haha!). The scent is light once applied to your skin and appears to dissipate within an hour or so post application.

I’ve been using this almost every day and have found it isn’t too heavy on my skin. The skin on my body is drier than on my (combination) face, but if I use body lotions that are too heavy I am prone to break out. No break outs with this product – wahoo! πŸ™‚

The 375mL bottle, a month post purchase, has approximately 1/4 left. Not bad…

My only gripe with the pump packs is that you cannot close the pump once you open it post purchase. As such you’d need to transfer some into a sealable container for travel OR purchase one of the much smaller flip top bottles.

If cocoa butter is not your thing, you can also get this range in different scents including Cucumber and Aloe Vera.

Beautiful rating: quality 5/5, value 5/5 (no points deducted for the pump not closing as you can buy different types of containers in the range)

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I will be posting again soon on an eye cream I’m loving! I will also be making a few more announcements (all good news!) about the blog this weekend.

On Sunday I’m due to catch up with some fellow Adelaide based beauty bloggers for High Tea… I can’t wait! I love High Tea – any other High Tea fans out there? πŸ™‚ What is your favourite High Tea food or beverage?

News: Palmer’s have started a Men’s Range

Evening all!

I was reading through a Chemist Warehouse brochure yesterday (GREAT bargains there at the moment by the way – including 50% off all Garnier products! :)) when I saw that Palmer’s MEN Body and Face Lotion was discounted.

I didn’t know that Palmer’s had a men’s range so thought this news was pretty interesting. Palmer’s Aussie website lists this product as the only product currently in the range. The lotion is designed for both face and body, unlike their standard lotion range which is body only. It also has a special (manly, I guess haha!) “fresh scent” – I’m curious to find out what it smells like.

Behold, the first product in Palmer’s Men’s range!

image: freesamples.co.uk

Check out the US TV advertisement for this product here:

PS. It’s retailing at Chemist Warehouse for $5.69 AUD for 250ml, or $6.69 AUD for 400ml.
PPS. I do not have any affiliation with Chemist Warehouse. I’m just mentioning all this because they have got some darn good sales on at the moment and they are the only ones I’ve noticed advertising the product in Australia. πŸ™‚

I’ve been tagged! “Shtuff Y’all Don’t Know About Me But Probably Will After This Post”

Hi everyone! I recently got tagged to participate in a blog post with the above theme. Haven’t done this before so I thought, “why not?!” It will mix things up a little! I was tagged by the lovely Claire at http://msclairehana.wordpress.com/ πŸ™‚

In unrelated news, here are some cakes I got from "Cupcake Camp", a local initiative to raise $ for charity. I'm going to decorate this post with cake pix hehe! πŸ™‚

“The Rules

  1. You must post 11 things about yourself on your blog.
  2. You must answer the questions that the tagger has set for you as well as create a new set of eleven questions for those who you tag to answer
  3. Choose eleven people and link them in your tag.
  4. Go to their page and tell them! [In my case I’ve either told people before posting and/or tweeted them afterwards! ;)]
  5. No tag backs.
  6. Yes, you legit have to tag.”

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Part 1: 11 things about me!

Red Velvet cake

  1. When I was a kid, I dreamed of becoming a veternarian.
  2. I have a *slight* obsession with hats and love to wear them any time! Here’s a picture of myself that I took yesterday and surprise – I’ve got a hat on LOL! πŸ™‚
  3. I’m left handed.
  4. I would love to visit Japan and enjoy listening to Japanese music (J-Pop) as well as studying the language.
  5. I have American relatives but their actual nationality is not American OR Australian.
  6. I can while away many hours online without even realising it and admit that at times it is a form of escapism for me!
  7. I have (successfully!) studied at university.
  8. I believe that I am an introvert.
  9. Following from #8, my Myers-Briggs profile is actually ENFP.
  10. I would love to get a new (second hand) car this year… However I’m finding it hard to convince myself that it truly is necessary!
  11. I have seen David Bowie and Bjork perform live in concert, respectively.

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Part 2: Answering Claire’s Questions for Me

L: Raspberry, R: Vanilla (this one was my fave of them all!)

  1. You’re given a shopping spree but can only buy one type of clothing, i.e. shirts, blouses, shorts, jeans, etc., what would you buy?
    I would buy coats – I adore coats and have so much other clothing that it wouldn’t matter if I didn’t buy any of those for a while!
  2. The Mayans were right and the world is going to end. You’re allowed one toiletry. What do you grab?
    Shower gel. The hugest bottle I can find!
  3. What’s your favorite sound?
    Decent music.
  4. If you could be freakishly good at something, what would it be?
    Art… or writing… Can I choose more than one?! πŸ˜‰
  5. What type of life do you secretly envy? I.e. the party girl life, the holed-up bookworm life, the frat boy life, etc.
    The successful internet entrepeneur – I’d love to be able to work from home.
  6. What’s the longest you can go between haircuts before you’re going insane?
    I’m guessing around 10 weeks.
  7. Kill, erm… β€œmake love to,” Marry – Adam Levine, Robert Pattinson, Zac Efron
    Hmmm… Adam Levine – Marry, Robert Pattinson and Zac Efron – the first option!
  8. Sushi or Mexican food?
    Sushi all the way! But I do like Mexican food as well.
  9. You have to take classes in one subject for the rest of your life, what subject?
    Visual arts (practical).
  10. Describe your style in three words.
    Colourful. Accessories. Statement-pieces.
  11. What’s your favorite quirk about yourself?
    That I’m able to remember a lot of random facts and historical stuff about all sorts of things.

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Part 2a: 11 Questions for those I will Tag!!!

Chocolate. Tasty but a bit dry!

  1. What’s your #1 beauty tip?
  2. Who was or were your celebrity crushes when you were a teenager?
  3. What is your dream travel destination – and why?
  4. Dogs or cats?
  5. Tea or coffee?
  6. Chocolate or cheese?
  7. What is your favourite takeaway food?
  8. Have you ever had a hair colouring disaster? If so, what happened?!
  9. What is your favourite book of all time? (Can be fiction or non-fiction.)
  10. Have you met anyone famous? If so, who where and how? πŸ™‚
  11. Why did you start blogging?

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Part 3 – Tag 11 other Bloggers – Peeps please answer the questions I’ve come up with above, in Part 2a! πŸ™‚

L: Chilli Chocolate, R: Peanut Butter

  1. Lizzi at Makeup and Smell the Coffee.
  2. Sandylashxx at Pout Perfection.
  3. Tina at My Highest Self.
  4. Kira-Lea at BellaBoo Beauty Blog.
  5. Joline at Just Plain Delirious.
  6. Omega at Fashion Adjacent.
  7. Amanda at Thai Tales.
  8. Sakura at Sweet Days of Girly.
  9. Luci at The House of Tudor (HOT).
  10. Sierra Lei at SIERRALEI and last but not least!
  11. Lil Miss Shanghai at Lil Miss Shanghai. πŸ™‚

I hope that you tagged lovelies join in the fun and keep it going! Remember, however, that you can’t tag me back… Otherwise it’ll get like Groundhog Day!

***

L: Choc Turkish Delight (you wouldn't guess that from the icing/frosting, would you?! :)), R: Gluten Free Chocolate (mmm this was my equal favourite!)

Well readers and visitors, I hope you found this post interesting. πŸ™‚ All of the above blogs are well worth reading so if you have the time, do check out the links!

Would you like to answer any of the questions I have posed to my tag-ees? If so go for it in the Comments! πŸ™‚

I also plan to do a post tonight on a men’s product new to the Australian market. During the week I have a Thalgo product review planned – a real gem of a product – as well as a review on my new most-favourite-in-the-world-and-a-budget-price body lotion! πŸ™‚

Hope you are all having an awesome weekend and that you have an even better week ahead! x

What I’ve been reading lately…

Good evening everybody! πŸ™‚

Man, I’ve been having another “one of those” weeks. However, things have been starting to look up! πŸ™‚ I am making progress on the new (privately hosted) version of this site and on Twitter I was contacted by Australis (great Aussie cosmetics brand – you can check them out HERE) to be told I was one of their latest giveaway winners! πŸ™‚ Woohoo!!!! (I have won a finishing powder which I will be sure to review for the blog! :))

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Tonight I would like to tell you all about two excellent books I’ve been reading lately – one beauty related and one wellbeing related. Let’s start with the beauty! πŸ™‚

Recently I picked up Rae Morris’ Express Makeup from my local library:

imgae: borders.com.au

Rae is an Aussie makeup artist who has won the Australian Makeup Artist of the Year award, not once but four times! So when I noticed that was authored by her I was keen to check it out.

The book focuses on both technical and fun parts of makeup, including advice on looking after your skin and prepping it for makeup application properly. I found such information very useful, but my favourite sections focused upon how to create different makeup looks step by step.

Below are some shots from the book to show off the good quality of the photography that is included:

image: seechee.com

image: seechee.com

image: seechee.com

I haven’t yet attempted any of the looks but things are broken down clearly, and most of the looks genuinely appear to be quick to recreate (hence the “express”!). What I also like is that she has created looks for the book with a variety of women – different ages, races, and eye/hair/etc colouring. This means that there truly is something for everyone here!

I don’t have anything negative to say about it. However, I think this book would be even better if it was spiral bound as it would be more compact when resting it on your dressing table, bathroom sink, or wherever you do your makeup!

Express Makeup retails for $21.65 AUD on bookdepository.com.

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The other book I’ve been reading – and haven’t got far into yet – is from Dr Russ Harris. I don’t know if many or any of you would have heard of him, but he is one of the most well known Australian practitioners of a type of psychotherapy and arguably, approach to life, known as “ACT” (say “act” like you would in “acting”) – Acceptance and Committment Therapy. He’s written a number of self help as well as professional books and often tours around Australia delivering workshops. I have had the pleasure of attending one of his presentations in the past and found it excellent!

The Reality Slap (RRP $29.99 AUD) is his newest book. It’s a self help book designed to give some guidance and practical tools to people who have experienced a significant loss. For example, this may be a death of someone close to them, a loss of a job, end of a relationship, etc etc.

image: actmindfully.com.au

I’m only a few chapters in but am really appreciating this book. For those of you who have read some of his stuff before there is overlap, as he explains the key principles and techniques of ACT in all of them.

If any of you have not read his stuff but would like to learn more, I’d recommend you start with what I think is his first book – The Happiness Trap. He also has a website which you can visit HERE.

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Which books are you reading at the moment?

That’s all for tonight folks! I hope to post again on the weekend. Have a fantastic Friday and wonderful weekend! x

PS. If you haven’t yet, why not follow me on Twitter or Facebook? πŸ™‚ They are some of the easiest – and most fun – ways to keep up with the blog!

Ooh la la! Bourjois Paris Smoky Eyes Eyeshadow Trio – 05 rose vintage

Happy Sunday! πŸ™‚

Phew! The past week was exhausting… I was glad to start the weekend but now it’s almost over! Oh well I guess I’ve just got to make the most of . How has everyone else’s week been?

On a positive note I have recently been lucky to receive a few new eyeshadows to play with!!! I won two L’Oreal Infallible shadows in a giveaway from the lovely Tina (check out her blog, My Highest Self, here :)) and for my birthday a friend gave me a cute Bourjois Paris trio palette. As you can guess from the title, today’s post is about the palette. πŸ˜‰

Price: RRP AUD $25 (felt uncomfortable looking up the price as it was a gift, but this is a necessary evil!)

Where can I get it? Selected discount department stores (e.g. Kmart) and pharmacies.

I received the 05 – rose vintage palette. The first thing that struck me with this product was how cute and compact it was! It is approximately 5cm (a bit under 2 inches) in diameter and can easily fit into your handbag or travel makeup bag. I also thought “these colours look really nice”… and they were! The colour applied smoothly and easily, and blended well. However I thought that the brush included with the palette was a bit too small and finicky to hold and use (approx. 3cm or 1 inch from tip to tip!). In the future I’ll use my own, larger shadow brushes.

included this one so you can see what i mean about the brush!

The manufacturers claim the shadow is long-lasting and has “8 hour wear”. I wore this on an evening out… It seemed to stay put for the evening (say 5 hours or so) but when I got home I noticed slight creasing. This is to be expected in my opinion as the two lighter colours are frosty with a metallic tinge, and historically for me such colours are most likely to crease. A dab of eye primer prior to application should prevent that problem in the future. The shadow comes off easily with eye makeup remover.

The medium and dark shadows are quite pigmented, but I found the lightest shade to be much less so. However I forgave this as the three colours worked so well together. Here are the three shades swatched, with top to bottom = lightest to darkest. For each shade you can also see that I have done two swatches – one where I have simply just applied it, and then one where I’ve blended it. (You will also see what I mean about the lack of pigmentation with the highlight shade!)

I would consider repurchasing this palette for the colours, their general blendability and reasonable wear. If buying this yourself, however, keep in mind that you will need your own shadow brushes as you can’t rely on the included brush! There are also several colour trios in the range including blacks/greys, blues, greens, and golds which may suit those of you with different eye colouring to me. My eyes are green – you can see them here in this (dodgy – sorry!) pic of me with this shadow trio on! I would’ve applied the shadow much more heavily but I wanted a softer look.

Beautiful rating: quality 4/5 (deducting 1 point for the brush + ?pigmentation of the highlight colour), value 4/5 (also deducted 1 point for the same reason)

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I must admit I haven’t tried much of the Bourjois Paris range, despite them having been available in Australia for some years now! If you are familiar with the range, which of their products would you recommend?

Update!

Good evening all! πŸ™‚

I’m sorry I haven’t posted much this week; things have been hectic and today was pretty lousy. We’ve had severe storms in Adelaide today which disrupted our rail network and my garage is flooded! (Luckily nothing of value has been damaged.) 😦

Due to the severe weather I’m also having to miss Japanese class… 😦 I enjoy attending class and find it helps keep me motivated during my home study sessions. Does anyone else study a language? πŸ™‚ I did French throughout high school and still understand it reasonably well, but my spoken French is not good these days!

Currently I’m finding this book really helpful with my study – it helps you learn a few hundred of the basic Kanji via creative stories! (Kanji are the characters borrowed from Chinese script.) You can get it cheaply via bookdepository.com :

image: amazon.co.uk

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On a beauty related topic, check this video out! It’s from the series “My Strange Addiction”… This lady is addicted to makeup!

This girl is addicted to tanning (tanning beds 😦 – don’t try this at home!!!):

Hope you all are having a great week and I plan to post again on the weekend. πŸ™‚

PS. I’m also working on a new version of the site, which will be hosted privately so that I have more freedom with it and can customise it further. This has been a lot of work! *wipes sweat from brow* I hope that you will all like the new site… It will open with another worldwide giveaway comp! πŸ˜€

Etude is in da House! … or maybe not! Etude House Daily Mask + Fresh Cherry Tint

Hi again! For those of you who follow me on Twitter (you can find me at @beautstoryblog) you might have seen my promise yesterday to post not 1, but yep 2 posts that afternoon! As also seen on Twitter I had to go back on this promise! 😦 However, I had a good reason – I was going out for my birthday and was running late! I had a great time last night and want to say a big “thank you!” to all who came out to see me and hang out! πŸ™‚

I enjoy blogging but writing multiple posts in the one sitting is hard for me. I find it hard to maintain my concentration despite being interested in what I’m writing about! Does anyone else have this problem? More importantly, has anyone found a solution to this problem?! πŸ˜‰

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image: thegrandnarrative.com (this website is really interesting if you are into sociology - worth checking out!)

Etude House, like THEFACESHOP and Tony Moly, is a Korean skin care and cosmetics brand. I happened to order some of their products from an eBay seller based in Korea recently, including the Daily Mask Skin Essence (20 pack). They threw in some free samples, including that of the Fresh Cherry Tint in Red and Pink (it also comes in a peachy colour).

So, what did I think of these? Here we go! πŸ™‚

Daily Mask Skin Essence (20 pack)

hmm… too bad i can’t read korean! i didn’t follow the instructions properly, i think, and threw out the clear sticker on top of the bronze coloured packaging. i’ve since put the whole thing in a snaplock plastic bag to hopefully prevent the masks from drying out! :-0

Price & where can I get it?: approx $16 AUD on eBay, with free shipping from some sellers

I was very excitied to try these. I enjoy using face mask sheets as a bit of a pick me up, usually once a week. Seeing that I could get some for <$1 AUD each looked pretty awesome to me! (I realise that these are meant to be designed for “daily” use but doubted they’d be moisturising enough to warrant that.)

The packaging is nice and makes it easy to bring with you when travelling (if you leave the clear sticker on unlike me – see last pic caption!), and the sturdy box allows you to stack other things on top if need be.

When opening the box and getting to the mask sheets, I was hit with a strong plant like fragrance. It’s hard for me to explain, maybe smelling like a lawn after rain, or fresh soil? It wasn’t unpleasant but surprised me… Maybe it’s what Red Ginseng (one of the main botanical ingredients) is meant to smell like?! (LOL :))This fragrance dissipated when I took a mask out of the box. You need to be very careful when taking masks out as they can tear easily with this particular product!

I left it on my face for the full recommended time of 20 minutes. Unfortunately, it had mostly dried out by that time! This was very weird as I’ve never had that issue with any face mask sheet I’ve previously used. This makes me wonder how effective distribution of the serum is within the bulk pack of masks.

Make sure you are careful when closing the box to make sure it is properly closed. It took me 4 attempts to get it right! So it is more cumbersome than it looks, unfortunately.

I suppose if you are happy to just leave the mask on for a much shorter time (e.g. 10 mins) and don’t mind the possibility that the serum is not evenly distributed (which means that you may not get maximum benefit from the product), you may want to buy this. I won’t be repurchasing!

Beautiful Rating: quality 2/5, value 2/5 – doesn’t perform as it should!

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Fresh Cherry Tint – Pink

Price: approx. $8 AUD at present (going on the US –> AU exchange rate here! :))

Where can I get it? via various eBay sellers.

I’ll state my bias straight up – I am typically not a fan of lip tints. Without a gloss component, I find that they tend to leave my lips feeling dry and strange. I then have to apply a gloss on top, and I can be lazy at times, so then think well hey why not just get a tinted lipgloss?

Unfortunately this was the experience I had with the Fresh Cherry Tint. I only tried the Pink one out as I found that was enough for me to form an opinion on the product!

This appears super bright when out of the pack, as per below:

Strangely enough it did not make any noticeable impact on my lip colour, despite applying generously. However, it was very difficult to get it off of the back of my hand used in the photo!

This product is best suited to those who have very pale lips and who don’t mind the dry and tight feeling one can get with lip tints… or who can be bothered to do tint + gloss! πŸ˜‰

Beautiful Rating: quality 1/5, value 1/5 – despite not liking the feeling of tints I could not see any colour on my lips, which is of course the whole point of the product!

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Ok, so with the above being said, I won’t be buying more Etude House products.Such a shame as I find their advertising so cute!!!

Are there any Etude House fans out there? Which products do you recommend in their range?! Alternatively, does anyone agree with my views on Etude House products so far?

Have a lovely weekend ahead everybody. It’s Saturday night here and I’m having a quiet one, to recover from my birthday celebrations! πŸ™‚ For those of you in Adelaide, who are also enjoying a long weekend, be safe! Drive carefully and do not drink and drive. It’s just not worth it.

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