NECTAR FOR YOUR TRESSES: Kérastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique Review

Hey, babes!

I was recently given the Kérastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique when I visited Pead PR the other week, and have found it's quickly become an absolute necessity for keeping my hair soft and shiny. Since going shorter, I find myself blow drying and straightening my hair quite a lot lately. It's at that awkward length where I can't just wash and go anymore, and it needs a proper style and straighten most days. This is definitely starting to take a toll on my hair - despite using oil serums and masks, it's beginning to feel a bit dry and damaged at the ends from frequent heat styling.

A bit of background on my hair - some of it was bleached around a year ago, and I've gone over it twice with box dye to bring it back to a colour similar to my own natural colour. These parts of my hair are especially susceptible to damage until I grow and trim them out of my hair completely.
That's where the Nectar Thermique comes in - it's a heat protectant product that leaves your hair feeling smooth and undamaged while minimising further damage from heat. I've been using this since I got it and it's definitely making a difference to my hair - it tangles less, and just feels so much better to the touch than without using this beforehand. As per instructions, I apply a little bit to towel-dried hair before using my blow dryer.
The other thing I love about it is the deliciously floral scent - it's not too lingering (in case you love the scent of your shampoo/conditioner more haha) but is just so so pleasant to use. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a luxury heat protectant! It is a bit pricey at NZ $48, but it's worth it to me. Also, a 150ml bottle will last a LONG time! This gets a 5/5 from me.

What's your favourite heat protectant? I'd love to know your recommendations!

Lexie xx

rating scale
1 - Terrible: Negative effect.
2 - Mediocre: No change in skin/claims not met.
3 - Average: Performs as expected.
4 - Good: Would repurchase unless I try something better.
5 - Amazing: Meets trifecta of perfect packaging, formula, & cost.



where to buy Kérastase online (NZ)

where to buy Kérastase online (US)

where to buy Kérastase in-store
If you're in NZ, you can use this tool to find your closest salon that stocks Kérastase.


pr sample / contains affiliate links*

CLAY IT UP: Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask Review

Hey, babes!

I have a review about a mask I had to try a couple of times before I was ready to give my review on it. The Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay mask is unlike any other clay mask I’ve tried, and it really threw me for a loop. This mask is one of the most famous Kbeauty clay masks on the market at the moment, and I couldn’t not try it. It comes in two versions, Jeju Volcanic and Super Volcanic. The one I have here is the Jeju Volcanic, which is considered to be the regular strength version of the two. I do wish I had got the Super Volcanic for reasons that I’ll touch on later in the review.
The mask itself comes in a cardboard box, containing a plastic jar with a seal AND a lid to keep the mask wet and smooth for use. However, it doesn’t come with a spatula so I usually use a couple q-tips to get the product out to use. The clay this mask contains Volcanic Clay from Jeju Island, an island in Korea famous for its volcanic mud healing properties. If you look at the mask closely, you can actually see little black specks of volcanic ash - so cool! The mask itself has a very smooth and easy to spread texture - the first thing that surprised me. I had been so loyal to the Queen Helene Mint Julep mask for so long that I had forgotten that not all masks would have the same lumpy, difficult to spread texture. I also found that this mask was SO comfortable to wear, another thing which confused me - I was so used to masks hardening very stiffly on my face. I realised that I associated this feeling of stiffness = the mask is working, which is why I had such mixed feelings about this mask when I first tried it.


The directions say to leave it on for 15-20 minutes - I found that the mask did dry in this time frame anyway. I found that this mask didn’t oil spot on me either, which I also didn’t like because it made me think it wasn’t working. When I rinsed this off, I realised just how emollient this mask was. You know when you have moisturiser on your hands, but you go to rinse them and it feels kind of slimy and slippery? That’s how this felt when rinsing off. However, the bonus to that is my skin didn’t feel as dry and parched as it normally would after using a clay mask. Looking at the ingredients list, there's definitely a lot of emollients present, explaining why this clay formula felt so rich and moisturising:
I was pretty shocked that this was actually able to reduce nose and cheek pore appearance, considering it didn’t seem to do anything that my other masks did: harden, oil spot, or dry stiffly. The only thing that this mask didn’t do, however, was to affect existing pimples. I do find that most other masks will draw out excess fluid/sebum from new/recently popped pimples, but this left them fairly untouched.


Overall, this is something that I would probably continue to use, but maybe not repurchase. I do prefer stronger masks for my oily, acne-prone skin - so maybe I’ll give the Super Volcanic Clay Mask a go! This gets a 3/5 from me.

Have you tried this? What’s your favourite clay mask?

Lexie xx

rating scale
1 - Terrible: Negative effects on skin.
2 - Mediocre: No change in skin/claims not met.
3 - Average: Performs as expected.
4 - Good: Would repurchase unless I try something better.
5 - Amazing: Meets trifecta of perfect packaging, formula, & cost.

where to buy Innisfree online

where to buy Innisfree in-store
The Cosmetic Store | Vanessa

purchased / contains affiliate links*

AMERICAN (SHOPPING) DREAM: MyMallBox.com Review

glossier, mymallbox.com, mymallbox review, mymallbox, mymallbox new zealand
Hey, babes!

I was recently contacted by MyMallBox to use and review their mail forwarding service. I jumped at the chance, as I’ve never used one before and was keen to give it a go. I was provided with $25 worth of credit, along with a $5 credit for signing up. They provide two services - packing and reshipping items that you purchase yourself, or a Buy For Me service which incurs an additional $4.50 handling fee and 3% transaction fee. The Buy For Me service is recommended when purchasing from retailers that are known to cancel orders identified as reshipping orders, such as the U.S. Sephora website.

As soon as I was contacted for review, I knew which company I wanted to purchase from immediately - Glossier. If you haven’t seen this brand, you live under a rock. Effortless cool-girl aesthetic with splashes of millennial pink? Yes, please!

The overall process of registering and getting a U.S. address on MyMallBox is super easy. You create an account, enter your mailing address, and then they assign you a U.S. address in the state of Delaware. This bit is important because it means you DON’T pay any additional sales tax on what you’re ordering!

So, I hopped on over to Glossier.com and made my order on the 03/03/17. I grabbed the Skin Tint, Stretch Concealer, and Cloud Paint, all of which I’ll also review shortly. My order shipped fairly quickly and arrived at my re-shipping address on 06/03/17 according to the tracking. I received an email from MyMallBox on 08/03/17 that my parcel has arrived and was ready to be shipped out.

At this point, you can either order more stuff and have all of it consolidated into a parcel for delivery, or prepare it to be sent out to you straight away. I had it sent to me straight away because I COULD NOT WAIT to get my hands on these lil goodies! There were quite a few options I had to choose from for shipping - untracked USPS Airmail at just $6.58, USPS ePacket for $12.73, and a few more options that were +$30 each (USPS Priority or DHL Express). I went with ePacket, mainly because I’ve been sent stuff from the U.S. before with this service and I know it’s actually fairly quick to get to NZ. Things generally arrive within 7-14 days to my address in Auckland, perhaps a couple extra days if you live elsewhere in NZ/a rural area. I also chose it because I love obsessively tracking stuff online after purchasing. I know I’m not the only one! I also had to declare the value of my items so that their USPS shipping label would be accurate, but I noticed it still had the placeholder value of $3/each when my parcel arrived. Not sure what happened there but I’m glad it didn’t cause any issues!

After requesting my parcel to be repacked and sent with my chosen shipping method, I received an email with my tracking number issued by Globegistics! Woooooo! It was here that the only issue (if you would call it that) I experienced occurred. Basically, my parcel was floating around in America for about 10 days before it registered with USPS and actually got on it’s way to me. I kept getting messages that this tracking number hadn’t been scanned yet when I tried to check it on USPS.com since it was also not tracking/registering on the link provided in the email. I feel like this was the slowest part of the entire process. I don’t know if this time frame is the norm because Globegistics is used or if some other issue occurred, but it definitely meant that my parcel was delivered a bit later than I had hoped. It spent more time in America with Globegistics (11 days) than it did in-transit from the USPS office in Jamaica, NY to my doorstep (7 days).

I was curious if the parcel would be placed in a smaller container/envelope in order to save shipping costs, but it doesn’t appear so. Everything was securely and carefully packed inside a bubble wrap bag, which was enclosed in a bubble mailer. I even got a lil note from my re-packer - shout out to Ivan! Thanks, bud! I’m definitely quite happy that everything arrived in perfect condition and was so securely wrapped up.
mymallbox review, mymallbox.com, mymallbox new zealand
Overall, I’m so happy with this service and will definitely be using it to grab some other U.S. only goodies (MAC, anyone?)! I feel like the shipping costs are so reasonable and careful attention is definitely paid to ensure that customers’ items arrive in perfect condition.

If you’re curious about trying MyMallBox, get an easy $10 credit just for signing up AND using my referral link*. You will receive $5 for creating an account and another $5 if you use my link, so you can save on shipping and keep that extra coin for what you'd like to buy! Happy shopping, lovelies!

Have you tried a parcel re-shipping service before? How did it work for you?

Lexie xx

sponsored / contains affiliate links*

SWEET LIPS: Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask Review

Hey, babes!

I have a lip mask review for you today! I had seen a lot of hype around the relatively new Laneige Sleeping Lip Mask, so I grabbed it off of eBay when I had a chance. I was really curious to see how this would compare to my current HG nightly lip treatment, Lucas Papaw Ointment. The Laneige mask comes in quite a few flavours now, but I have the original berry flavour. Unfortunately, I disliked this smell more than I thought I would - it’s quite strong and artificial to my nose.
It comes as a solid balm with a small, hygienic spatula to help get the product out of the jar. Even though I could easily apply it straight to my lips, I prefer to apply a bunch on the back of my hand and then using my finger to smear it on my lips.

The balm melts down very quickly to a thin, oily consistency. I found this annoying, as it would kind of get inside my mouth and I could taste the product (and it didn’t taste very good at all). I also found it hard to apply a thick layer (as per the instructions) as it would just melt down again.
I went to bed to let it work its overnight magic, but unfortunately, I was pretty disappointed - my lips were not hydrated at all, and certainly not comparable to the results I would normally get from plain Papaw. I couldn’t figure this out! So, I tried using the lip mask during the day and found the same result - no matter how long I let it sit on my lips, it didn’t really do anything for me.

There's a lot going on in the ingredients, so I'm especially disappointed this didn't work for me.

Diisostearyl Malate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Phytosteryl/Isostearyl/Cetyl/Stearyl/Behenyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Hydrogenated Poly(C6-14 Olefin), Polybutene, Microcrystalline Wax, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Synthetic Wax, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Sucrose Tetrastearate Triacetate, Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-2 Diisostearate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Dimethicone, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Water, Potassium Alginate, Glycerin, Propanediol, Alcohol, Chenopodium Quinoa Seed Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Lycium Chinense Fruit Extract, Sapindus Mukurossi Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Fragaria Chiloensis (Strawberry) Fruit Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Rubus Chamaemorus Seed Extract, Magnesium Sulfate, Calcium Chloride, Sodium Hyaluronate, Beta-Glucan, Manganese Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Fragrance+/-CI 15850, CI 15850:1, CI 45410:1, CI 45380:2, CI 45380, CI 45410, CI 17200, CI 12085, CI 19140, CI 15985, CI 47005, CI 42090, Titanium Dioxide, CI 77499, CI 77491, Mica

I’m pretty gutted that this didn’t work well for me! I know it has worked well for others, so maybe I got a dud? I don't know. This gets a 2/5 from me.

What's your favourite way to pamper your lips?

Lexie xx

rating scale
1 - Terrible: Negative effects on skin.
2 - Mediocre: No change in skin/claims not met.
3 - Average: Performs as expected.
4 - Good: Would repurchase unless I try something better.
5 - Amazing: Meets trifecta of perfect packaging, formula, & cost.

where to buy Laneige online
Amazon* | YesStyle*


where to buy Laneige in-store
I've seen Laneige at 'Vanessa' in NZ.

purchased / contains affiliate links*

LASHING OUT: Kiss Me Isehan Heroine Make Volume & Curl Waterproof Mascara Review

Hey, babes!

Today, I’ve got a mascara that immediately shot to high rotation in my routine - Kiss Me by Isehan Heroine Make Super Waterproof Volume & Curl (I'm actually not sure which part of this title is the brand, I think Isehan?) This is probably one of the most well-known Japanese mascaras outside of Japan, and for good reason. This was actually my second choice compared to the Long & Curl from the same line, but I like this one better for lash separation AND lengthening.
I was looking for something new after being let down by Maybelline Lash Sensational, which left me looking super clumpy. I purchased this from The Cosmetic Store for NZ $28.90, which is an okay price considering most drugstore mascaras are NZ $20 - $30. I believe it does come in a non-waterproof formula, but a waterproof formula is essential for my lashes to hold a curl.

The first thing that I noticed (and LOVE) is that the wand isn’t loaded with too much product when you pull it out of the tube, an issue that I was having with Lash Sensational. The bristles are in a traditional conical shape, however they actually shorten on two sides of the brush. I always use the longer side and never have any issues doing so.

What I also love about this mascara is that it’s basically impossible to clump (unless you let a layer fully dry and try to apply on top of that, which I never do). I prefer my lashes to look long, defined, and fluttery which this mascara helps me achieve.

The only drawback is the waterproof formula can be hard to get off, and my favourite eye makeup remover to get it off is the Neutrogena Oil-Free Remover. There is a specific mascara remover* that Isehan sells, but the Neutrogena works fine for me right now.

Now, on to the before and after!

In the after, I've curled my lashes with my favourite Za Cosmetics Curler and then applied Volume & Curl. I ADORE how this makes my lashes look! It also wears very well throughout the day - no panda eyes or flaking. This gets a solid 5/5 from me!

What's your favourite mascara? Have you heard of or tried this brand before?

Lexie xx

rating scale
1 - Terrible: Negative effects on skin.
2 - Mediocre: No change in skin/claims not met.
3 - Average: Performs as expected.
4 - Good: Would repurchase unless I try something better.
5 - Amazing: Meets trifecta of perfect packaging, formula, & cost.


where to buy Isehan Kiss Me Heroine Make online

where to buy Isehan Kiss Me Heroine Make in-store
JapanMart | The Cosmetic Store

purchased / contains affiliate links*

HYDRATION STATION: Elizavecca Water Coating Aqua Brightening Mask Review

Hey babes!

I received this mask for review from Elizavecca, and am super excited to show you my results! This mask comes in a jar with a cute hygienic lil spatula. The mask itself has this super cool bouncy, gelly texture, which you can see in action here:

I’m not sure how else to describe it, but the texture melts down really easily and becomes very liquidy when rubbed into the skin, so a little goes a long way. I do find it’s quite strongly fragranced with a floral scent - it’s nothing that puts me off personally, but I can see it being off-putting for a few.
It honestly took me ages to figure out exactly how to use this mask - I saw various descriptions online, from a foaming mask (like Elizavecca’s super famous clay mask) to a sleeping pack, to a wash off mask. I used google translate to translate the instructions on the box, which only indicate to “take an appropriate amount and evenly spread on the skin”, without any instruction on where in the routine one should use this.
You can see the gel texture here - it sticks well together and doesn't slide off when I turn my hand upside down, but spreads easily as you'll see in the next two photos.

Sooooo, I decided to use it as a sleeping pack AND wash off mask to determine which I liked better. When I tried to use it as a wash off mask, I applied it just after washing my face - no essences or toners beforehand. In hindsight, I probably would have gone in with my hyaluronic acid toner to up the moisture, or even used this mask after a sheet mask to lock in any leftover essence. Anyway, after I applied a dollop on my skin, it eventually dried down to a matte-ish finish when I stopped trying to pat it in (I thought this would help but it apparently just needed to be left to set). After 20 minutes I tried to rinse it off with just some water, but instead I found out why this mask is called “water coat” - it had created a ‘coat’ on my face, effectively locking in any moisture to my skin and preventing it from drying out. After cleansing my face and completing my day skincare routine, my face was noticeably softer, even-toned, and hydrated. I definitely liked these results and was excited to see how well it would work as a sleeping pack.

As a sleeping pack, I applied it at the end of my nightly routine, swapping it out for my regular nightly moisturiser. Lately, I’ve been using the ‘7 skin method’, a popular method where you apply multiple layers of a hydrating toner to maximise hydration. I only need 2 layers to experience good results, so I popped the Aqua Coat over 2 layers of Hada Labo Hydrating Lotion. I woke up to AMAZINGLY well-hydrated skin - definitely better results than with my regular night moisturiser.


Again, the only drawback was that water alone wouldn’t rinse it off. When using this mask, it’s super important to remove any leftover residue to avoid blocking pores and causing acne. Unfortunately, I haven’t been using it for long enough to determine if it’s brightening claims on dark spots are working, but it does leave me with a nice, moisturised glow.

We can take a look at the full ingredients here:
Purified Water, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Propylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Ascophyllum Nodosum Extract, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Caulerpa Lentillifera Extract, Adansonia Digitata Seed Extract, Bambusa Vulgaris Water, Rosemary Extract, Origanum Vulgare Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Thyme Extract, Lavender Extract, Adenosine, Caprylyl Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl PEG/PEG-10/1 Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, 1,2-Hexanediol, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Chlorphenesin, Fragrance.

It's great to see niacinamide so high up the list - it's definitely the key ingredient for the brightening claims this mask makes.

Overall, I give this a 4/5 - the point is knocked off for the scent. I'm just not sure such a strong, lingering scent is necessary!

Have you tried this, or any other sleeping pack before?

Lexie xx

rating scale
1 - Terrible: Negative effects on skin.
2 - Mediocre: No change in skin/claims not met.
3 - Average: Performs as expected.
4 - Good: Would repurchase unless I try something better.
5 - Amazing: Meets trifecta of perfect packaging, formula, & cost.

where to buy Elizavecca online



where to buy Elizavecca in-store
The Cosmetic Store in Auckland Central.

pr sample / contains affiliate links*

BROW TALK: L.A. Girl Shady Slim Brow Pencil Review

l.a. girl shady slim brow pencil review packaging
Hey babes!

This post has been sitting in my drafts for AGES and I thought it was finally time to post this! I originally grabbed this brow pencil after colouring my hair black, but it’s been so long that my hair has now lightened to a dark brown, so I don’t use this colour anymore. It cost me NZ $9.99 at the new LoveMyMakeup store down the road from my work, which is reasonable considering how high NZ prices are for makeup. However, I’ve also seen it from NZ $7.99 to NZ $11 locally, with US $6 being the RRP.

It comes in 10 shades, with Black being the darkest and Blonde being the lightest. Honestly, what drew me to this brow pencil was how much it reminded me of the cult favourite Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, a brow pencil that boasts a super slim, tiny nib to help draw on natural-looking brows. Unfortunately, I don’t own ABH Brow Wiz, so I can’t attest to whether or not this is a dupe, but Brow Wiz is definitely what L.A. Girl is emulating with this product.

It actually contains the same amount of product as Brow Wiz, so Shady Slim definitely wins in the cost per ounce department. ABH Brow Wiz costs US $21 (or US $7,000 for an ounce LOL), while Shady Slim is just US $6 (or US $2,000 for an ounce!) Another thing I appreciate about this product is the packaging is NOT bulky in order to appear like there is more product than there really is. In fact, 0.003oz equates to LESS THAN A GRAM (0.08g), which is kind of insane to me but it kinda makes sense - how long would the pencil have to be to contain MORE product with such a tiny nib? However, the slim packaging means I do sometimes find it easy to lose this pencil amongst the larger brow and eye pencil products I have stored in my drawers.

The pencil is kind of stiff, but I prefer my brow pencils that way. It’s too easy to overdraw brows with a creamy product (like pomade) so it really helps me create a natural looking brow. The spoolie on the end is great too - even though I’m using a different brow pencil at the moment, I still prefer this spoolie for brushing through my brows.
l.a. girl shady slim brow pencil comparison review
You can see it here compared to the Maybelline Brow Satin Pencil, which I was using before I bought Shady Slim - the Shady Slim tip is SO small compared to Brow Satin, which looks almost cumbersome in comparison.

I’ve also swatched it - the lighter line was drawn the same kind of pressure that I’d use to draw on my brows, and the second is a hard swatch to show the true black of the pencil.
l.a. girl shady slim brow pencil swatch nc25 light medium skin
Overall, I would definitely repurchase and recommend this product! It’s cheap & does the job well. This wee little brow pencil gets a 5/5 from me!

Have you tried this or Brow Wiz? What's your favourite brow product?

Lexie xx

rating scale
1 - Terrible: Negative effects on skin.
2 - Mediocre: No change in skin/claims not met.
3 - Average: Performs as expected.
4 - Good: Would repurchase unless I try something better.
5 - Amazing: Meets trifecta of perfect packaging, formula, & cost.



where to buy L.A. Girl online

where to buy L.A. Girl in-store
LoveMyMakeup | Unichem Pharmacy

purchased
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