KMS Styling Range Review

So far all of my experiences with KMS California have been really positive so when their PR rep offered to send me the new improved range I was pretty excited. New and improved is a always a little nerve racking when you love a product range, I can’t tell you how many times I have products I love then the company “improves” them and they just start sucking.

Funnily enough this time they actually took on board some of my feedback and gave the ugly plain packaging a make over! Seriously my biggest complaints with the products I’ve reviewed from KMS was that even though they are in the higher price range, the packaging and design didn’t reflect that. They’ve been given a complete make over and now have bright and prettier packaging.

So I was sent 5 items (and received one more in the bags from ABBW which I’ll review later), here are my thoughts.

KMS Hair Styling Range

 

Kiehls Beauty Review

A while ago I went to an event to celebrate the Kiehls price drop here in Aus. The idea is that they finally move prices into line (roughly) with the rest of the world’s prices. Yay that! So I was given a couple of items in a gift bag and here is my review of them.

Khiels Review

Thoughts:

So this is a huge bottle. HUGE. It’s the kind of thing you could knock someone out with. If you were going to try this I would suggest going for the small version for $10 to see if you actually like it because I have no idea how I’m going to use all this lotion XD

It smells like standard moisturiser and is really thick. It leaves the skin silky and smooth but I don’t like to use it on my hands because it’s a little slippery afterwards. Feels nice on legs though. So it’s a very nice lotion but there was nothing about it that made me excited, it’s just a standard good lotion. Nothing bad about it but for some reason there are just a lot of other lotions I reach for first before this for some reason.

Khiels Review

Brand: Kiehls

Product: Lip Balm #1 in coconut

Price: $12

Thoughts:

I actually really hate things that are coconut scented but I found this really growing on me. It’s hard to describe but it’s kind of sweeter than coconut scents usually are. You don’t need much at all to coat your lips and it feels very moisturising. After reading so many rave reviews on what a life saver this balm is I was quite apprehensive about it and while it didn’t disappoint I don’t think I’m a raving fangirl here either. It absorbed into my lips quite quickly but the soft feeling didn’t last long so I felt myself reaching it for it much more often that the balm I was using before it. After using several times a day the last few months I haven’t seen long term effects. It’s been nice to use, the price is great and I would definitely give it as gifts to my beauty loving friends!

Khiels Review

Brand: Kiehls

Product: Acai Damage Correcting Moisturiser  

Price: $68

Thoughts:

This moisturiser has been a lifesaver for me. When I think of Acai berries, I think of those terrible weight loss infomercials so I was pretty sceptical when I started using it. It’s billed as being able to smooth and even skin tone and for me it worked really well. The pump bottle is great because none of it is wasted and it makes application nice and easy. When I had allergic reactions to other products I applied this to soothe it and the blotchiness that usually hangs around for days was gone overnight, my skin felt less dry and more moisturised. It felt softer and smooth. I don’t think it’s a miracle cream by any means but it works well for my skin type. The one drawback I have is the price, even with the price drop it’s still 1/3rd more than the US version which while I understand that we have higher minimum wage etc still sucks. At $68 for quite a small bottle if I had infinite money I would definitely repurchase but in reality I’m rationing it so it lasts as long as possible 😉 This is one of the examples where I think a higher end product is worth the extra money though.

 

VERDICT:

So while not everything was for me there were no major negatives. 2 products that I liked and one that I loved. I think these particular ones were a good introduction to the brand in general and I would definitely head back to Kiehls to check out other products whether they are out of my budget or not. Definitely worth a look, especially the last one!

Clinique 3 Step Skin Care System Review

Since moving to Melbourne I’ve had problems with dry skin. The air here is really dry compared to Queensland, honestly going back to Brisbane was like walking into a sauna >_<

Clinique 3 Step Review

Clinique’s PR rep offered to send me their 3 step kit to see if it made a difference to my skin. I haven’t tried Clinique’s skin care before even though I’ve heard a lot about them so I was pretty interested to see how it performed. To be honest I always thought that they would be out of my price range so I didn’t give them much of a look over XD I was sent the #1 pack for dry skin and used it for a couple of weeks to test, it certainly was a mixed bag!

Inspired Nails Nailart Decals and Custom Nails Review

I know after seeing my monogrammed nails last week quite a few of you were waiting for this review so here it is 😀

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I think it’s pretty obvious that I love nail art and when Eileen from Inspired Nails contacted me to get some feedback on her new products I was all for being guinea pig 😀 When that sentence included “custom designed with your logo” I almost had a heart attack with excitement! Stamp something else I own with my monogram? YES PLEASE! We chatted ideas for a while and eventually we came up with some designs together. Did I mention that Eileen is actually a long time reader here so everyone say hello!

This post is a mishmash of reviews, tutorials and discount codes so please enjoy ^_^

She even included chocolates (not pictured because I ate them mwahahaha) and some little flowers from her craft stash! So let’s break this review up into the different products: Custom full cover false nails, black/white decals and colour decals.

Inspired Nails Review

 

First up the full cover nails!

Inspired Nails offers a bunch of very pretty designs on their site but what’s more exciting to me is the option to design your own nails and have them specially printed for just US$12. Considering that most regular decent quality sets will set you back at least $15 here I think the price is really good because you can get anything you want printed and it’s cheap enough that you could just get them done for a special event. Some of the suggestions on the site are for corporate logos, photos and pets but I think the best use would be custom matching blog nails for events! I’m a bit biased though haha 😉

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So what you get is 20 nails in 10 sizes, the design is printed directly on to the nails and top coated before being sent off. You apply like any other false nail, give it another top coat and you’re good to go.

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I received 3 set of nails: pink leopard print with my logo and two of my custom logo design at difference opacities. I submitted my design and she printed several test sets to make sure that the opacity and colours were right which I thought was a really nice touch.

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I know with most printers if you submit something and it doesn’t work out first time the response is “sucks to be you” so I was really impressed that she took the time to work with me until we were both 100% happy with the results. I think that’s the difference with working with someone who clearly has a real passion for what they do!

Inspired Nails Review

 

Quality wise the nails are on the thicker side but still flexible. I found them easy to file and cut to shape (they only come in square tips at the moment) but they didn’t splinter or shatter like cheap nails. Very close up you can see the individual ink spots from the printer but unless you’re looking at it 3cm infront of your eyes I don’t think anyone is ever going to notice.

One think I would watch out for in application is that because they are printed on a white base when you file or cut the ends you need to be very careful the angle you do it on otherwise the white base can show up on the tips. If that happens just paint over the tips with a matching polish colour.

In case you were wondering how I apply my nails here is a short video ^_^

Black and white decals!

I love these, they were hands down my favorite thing in the package. These are not those thick vinylish decals that I’ve reviewed before, think of these as like temporary tattoos but for your nails. That’s the best way I can think to describe them!

Inspired Nails Review

To apply them you cut out the one you want, dip in water till it’s soaked, slide off the decal and press it onto the nail. Smooth it and add a top coat and that’s it. I love these because #1 they look fantastic when you use the right polish underneath but #2 you don’t need to be a genius to apply them.

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These are FANTASTIC for girls who want extra pop on their nails but don’t have the time or patience to sit and paint something themselves. These black and white sets range between $3-10 and the full cover sets come with 24 while the smaller ones like the comic book designs come with 82 in various sizes. For me I think that’s awesome value too because you can again get completely custom designs.

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These are the nails that I used my custom monogram ones on for the Adelaide Beauty Conference, so cute! I gave the girls a quick run down on using these while I was there too XD

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With these I would really suggest using them over a medium to light base colour and over the top of glitters they just look AMAZING. Glitter leopard print for the win and the fact that you can change up the base colour for different designs makes them very versatile. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about these and I know I’m going to be ordering a whole lot of other designs too.

 

And in case you were wondering, here is a quick tutorial I made on how to apply them 😀

The Inspired Nails website also has a bunch of tutorials and tips on application so if you get stuck check that out.

Full Colour Decals!

Ok last but not least Eileen sent me a second package with her newly arrived full colour decals and I tested them out last night. These ones are a new product and I found them a little bit more tricky to get the hang of than the b/w ones.

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I was sent cupcake ones, Alice in Wonderland ones and also some more of my monogram but in colour. I tried out the monograms and the full cover cupcakes and these were my results.

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Eileen gave me some tips on the application because while these ones are still thin they are a bit thicker than the b/w versions.

One quick tip with the color decals because the film is slightly different.  Let them dry for a few seconds on a paper towel after you separate them from the backing. Place a drop or two of ordinary rubbing alcohol on your nail and then apply the decal. The alcohol will adhere the decal to your nail and allow you to smooth it out and press it in place before you apply the topcoat. It also makes the decal a little flexible so you won’t have any tearing when you apply the topcoat. However, you can’t “slide” the decal around on your nail if you use the alcohol method.  Rubbing alcohol is also called surgical spirit, isopropyl alcohol or ethyl alcohol. Our new packaging will include an alcohol soaked pad with the decals.

This is the monogram on a plain white nail base:

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So I gave them a try, once with and once without the alcohol and I would definitely suggest using it to soften them up, without it they go on the nail fine but they like to spring back against the curve of the nail and so while drying mine tore a little bit. With the alcohol I found them to work like a dream and they applied almost as easily and the b/w version.

Full cover cupcake on a pink base:

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One more thing to keep in mind is that these ones are opaque all over if you don’t top coat them so a white background can be seen if you don’t use a topcoat (which you really should be doing anyway). The photo below has half topcoated and half not so you can see what I mean:

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Still the possibilities with these really excite me because I am imagining using them as a base while adding some diamantes and points of interest over the top. Much quicker than hand painting!

The end result here after top coating was really slick and pretty.

So verdict?

There wasn’t anything in the package that I wouldn’t recommend. The custom full cover nails are good quality and a really cool accessory to have. The designs up there that they’ve done themselves look really beautiful (go check out the Van Gough Starry Night nails and the pink leopard print French tips with diamantes especially!) and there is a good variety of both designs and products to choose from.

The colour decals are pretty awesome too and I can see them as being a great way for people with not much time/skill to have awesome show stopping nails. They are a bit more complex to use but I still think that a beginner could manage it and there are enough extras included in a pack that even if you make a few mistakes you’re not going to run out!

The show stopper, in my opinion, of the group had to be the black and white decals though. Perfect texture, perfect finish, great usability and I think I could put them on in my sleep and still get a great result. They are very forgiving to mistakes so perfect for beginners and are so versatile that I can’t see myself getting bored with them any time in the foreseeable future. The prices are very reasonable considering the volumes and still much cheaper than other places I’ve seen.

DO WANT.

Now what you’ve all been waiting for DISCOUNT CODE!!!

Being a reader herself, Eileen was kind enough to extend an awesome offer to you guys a great discount ^_^

Just type in  VIOLET15  when you check out to get  15% off your entire purchase, excluding shipping costs.  One use per customer.  Expires December 31, 2011

I know a couple of the girls I spoke to were concerned about the shipping costs between the USA and here so here’s a word on that too, they use real-time shipping calculator so there’s no minimum charge rubbish, it’s actually worked out along the way so according to Eileen 1 set of nails to Aus is around US$5 and my whole box of stuff (including lots of chocolate) was under US$7. So even with that added on it still makes it worth it in my opinion.

Go check out Inspired Nails

Hope you enjoyed the review/tutorials/photos/discount code, I can’t want to think up more ways to use my monogram decals 😀

Top 10 Beauty Picks Under $5

I think it’s a myth that to get the best beauty stuff you need to spent a lot of money, a lot of my top 10 favorite products of all time cost under $5. Considering the general beauty prices here that’s not bad haha XD

So without further ado I present you….

My favorite beauty picks under $5

Top Beauty Picks Under $5

Vanity Box Review pt.2- Ameli Make Up

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Following on from the Vanity Box review I did on the clothing and accessories last Friday, today’s review is all about the make up products they sent me.

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