Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Neutrogena Naturals - review

When it comes to skin care, products containing natural ingredients might not have previously been perceived as being effective, or associated with any significant efficacy.  I know from personal experience that products I have used in the past which have been marketed as 'natural' came with a sacrifice - visible results.  However, time can only bring better discoveries and technologies - and it is promising to see the release of products which are not only natural, but are effective.  I have previously tried some great products from Neutrogena, so I was very interested to hear about the release of the Neutrogena Naturals range.  

Neutrogena Naturals has been formulated without harsh chemical sulphates, parabens, petrolatum, dyes or phthalates.  They have been formulated with bionutrients, which are naturally derived compounds that are needed for healthy skin.  The Neutrogena Naturals range includes face cleansers, face moisturisers, a face scrub, a lip balm and a face and body bar.  

For reference, I have oily-combination skin, open pores, and some redness on my cheeks.  Although I wouldn't call my skin sensitive, I do suffer from eczema around the edge of my face, such as near the jawline, near and around my ears, and on the top of my forehead.  So for my daily skincare regimen, I can't use any products which are too harsh or drying.  I have trialled a few of the Neutrogena products in this range, with my reviews included below.

Neutrogena Naturals Lip Balm 

All the info from Neutrogena
Neutrogena Naturals Lip Balm moisturises and soothes lips.  The long lasting formula with Vitamin E bionutrients heals dry skin and keeps lips healthy looking.  RRP: $4.99

My Review
One of my desert island products has to be lip balm.  It's a product that I am never without, and it's something that I have on my lips constantly - whether it's alone or under lip colour.  So it's virtually on my lips 24/7, and because of this, I am a bit more conscious about the type of lip balm I wear these days, especially the ingredient content.  Most of the time, I prefer to wear a lip balm with natural ingredients, so I was very keen to try the Neutrogena Naturals Lip Balm.

Not only is the natural ingredient listing impressive, but the formulation and texture is great.  It glides onto the lips nicely, without being too firm and waxy, but isn't that soft that it's greasy or slippery.  I find that lip balms that have a texture which is too slippery, feel oily and unpleasant on the lips, and slip off easily, requiring regular reapplication.  However, this texture is just right - it would best describe it as a satin texture.   The scent is very subtle - I sense a slight minty, slight cocoa scent, which disappears quickly.  

In terms of the emollient effect on my lips, it generally did a great job of keeping my lips hydrated and soft.  The weather is still mind here (the cold weather hasn't set in yet).  So it will be interesting to see how this goes over the winter months.

Lip balm packaging

Back of packaging/ingredient listing

The verdict:  This is a great lip balm all-round, and for me ticks all the boxes including texture (emollient, but not greasy), scent (subtle & not overpowering), and results (keeps lips smooth and hydrated).  And the 100% naturally derived ingredient listing gets a double tick!

Neutrogena Naturals Face & Body Bar

All the info from Neutrogena
Avocado and Olive Oil bionutrient rich bar gently cleanses and conditions skin. Neutrogena® Naturals Face & Body Bar gently cleanses, conditions and softens your skin without overdrying. This avocado and olive oil bionutrient rich bar nourishes skin. Specially formulated for face and body and fragrance-free. RRP: $4.99

My Review
It's been a while since I've tried a bar soap, as I tend to use body wash/liquid soap these days.  However, this was a great product to use.  It lathered well, and cleansed my skin nicely without stripping or drying my skin.  If anything, I thought I might be left with a bit of an oily residue on my skin, however it didn't do this.  There is no scent, so a scented body wash or other body product can be used following this Face & Body Bar without any issues with clashing scents or too many scents.

Back of packaging/Ingredient listing

The verdict: An effective, non-drying cleansing bar, that is virtually as natural as you can get, and is great for everyday use.

Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser

All the info from Neutrogena 
This face wash contains natural salicylic acid found in Willowbark bionutrients to penetrate deep into pores to detoxify and help remove dirt, oil and makeup, while rinsing clean without pore-clogging residue.Suitable for acne prone skin.

RRP: $14.99

My Review
The timing of trialling this product couldn't have been better, as my skin was feeling a bit congested.  We had a spell of humid weather, and then it suddenly went very dry - and the skin on my face and body just hasn't been liking it.  On my face, my pores have been getting clogged very easily.  I used this cleanser every morning for several consecutive days, and it was impressive. The consistency is what I would expect from a clarifying or purifying cleanser - transparent, not too thick and not creamy.  It produced a nice lather, cleansed my face effectively, but didn't leave that tight, dry feeling after, nor did it leave any sort of residue.  

The scent is really pleasant - it's a fresh, green apple scent, which isn't too overpowering and doesn't linger endlessly on the skin.  I also love pump designs when it comes to cleansers, as they are so much more convenient to use.  I used this cleanser in conjunction with the Purifying Pore Scrub (discussed further below), and I found that my pores felt much cleaner and less congested as the days progressed.

Texture & consistency
Back of packaging/Ingredient listing

The verdict:  A pleasantly fragranced, generous lathering cleanser that cleanses oils from the face, without stripping.  With consecutive uses, it helps to keep the pores clearer and less congested.

Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover

All the info from Neutrogena
Completely cleans skin and removes makeup in one step without stripping skin’s natural moisture. This Peruvian Tara seed bionutrient rich cleanser is clinically proven to soften skin naturally. Developed for gentle eye area.  
RRP: $14.99

My Review
My regular day & night cleansing routine involves using two different cleansers - the morning cleanser is targeted at clarifying and pore cleansing, and the night cleanser is aimed at removing makeup.  So the Neutrogena Naturals range made it easy for me to stick with this routine - I designated the Purifying Facial Cleanser for morning use, and the Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover for the evening.  

The Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover has a thicker consistency than the Purifying Cleanser (as can be seen below), which, ideally is needed for removing makeup.  I applied this cleanser on a slightly damp face, and then worked it into the makeup.  Although this cleanser doesn't lather like the Purifying Facial Cleanser, I could see that it was working to lift the makeup, because the cleanser was starting to change colour.  The first time I used this cleanser, I noticed some makeup residue on the towel after rinsing the cleanser off.  I thought perhaps that it hadn't completely cleansed my makeup off.  So I tested this theory with a makeup removing wipe, and found that there was barely any makeup residue left behind - it had actually done a great job at removing my makeup.   

For me personally, any slight makeup residue isn't an issue, as I remove my makeup just prior to showering, and I also give my face another quick cleanse with my SLS-free liquid soap.  Alone, my regular soap isn't nearly enough for a complete cleanse of my skin - I definitely need a designated makeup removing cleanser.  Depending on the type of makeup, one cleanse alone with the Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover might be sufficient.  But for me personally, I prefer to do a quick second cleanse as well.   

The scent is virtually the same as the Purifying Facial Cleanser - a fresh apple scent.  And as with the other cleanser, my skin wasn't left feeling stripped or dry.  Even though this cleanser is also designed for the eye area, I didn't use this on my eyes, as I didn't feel comfortable doing so - I have previously used cleansers with this consistency on the eyes & ended up with a lot in my eyes!  So these days, I prefer to use specific eye makeup removers that can be soaked into cotton wipes.  

Back of packaging/Ingredient listing
Texture & consistency

The verdict:  Without doubt, the Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover does a great job of removing makeup.  Depending on the type of makeup used, it might require a second cleanse.  However it makes the process of makeup removal much easier and effortless.

Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Pore Scrub

All the info from Neutrogena 
Gently scrubs away impurities and dull, dead skin cells that can build up in pores to improve complexion for fresh, clear skin. Suitable for even acne prone skin. Gentle enough for daily use. Won’t clog pores.
RRP: $14.99

My Review
What I first noticed about this scrub is the texture - it's creamy, so a little goes a long way.  However despite the creaminess, it wasn't greasy and didn't leave any residue on my skin.  The small beads of jojoba are very gentle, and for someone like me who gets clogged pores and congested skin easily, it's probably a bit too gentle for those areas, so I still needed to use a more abrasive scrub (such a salt, sugar or walnut shell based scrub) on my T-zone and chin once or twice a week .   I also had to use the Neutrogena scrub on a daily basis for effectiveness on my skin, which it was - my pores felt much less congested and blocked.  
The scent again is the pleasant and fresh green apple scent.  

Back of packaging/Ingredient listing

Texture & consistency

The verdict:  A great scrub which is safe and gentle enough to use on a daily basis, as an extra 'insurance policy' against clogged pores (in addition to a cleanser).  This would be great for someone who suffers from sensitive skin and can't use abrasive scrubs.  However for those with skin like mine, which can be stubborn and get clogged up easily, an extra weekly scrub using something more abrasive is probably still needed.

Overall verdict: The Neutrogena Naturals range has been a pleasant range to use - not only have the textures and scents been great, but they worked well to keep my skin clear, and didn't exacerbate any redness or eczema on my face.  For those who suffer from sensitive skin, this range is well worth a look.

Stockists: Leading supermarkets, variety stores and pharmacies nationally.

For more information, visit the official Neutrogena website: www.neutrogena.com.au

These products were generously provided for consideration, and has been reviewed in accordance with Chic Beauty's Disclosure Policy.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Mirenesse Lip Bomb Glossy Lacquer Stain - review & swatches

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Sunday, 7 April 2013

BYS Colour Change Lipstick

The concept of colour changing products is something I never considered that I would see in the world of cosmetics.  We have seen colour changing products in various other areas, such as clothing (remember those t-shirts!) and jewellery.  So it was interesting to find out about the BYS Colour Change Lipsticks, which is an additional colour changing product to the BYS range - they have also previously released colour changing nail polish. 

All the info from BYS - Colour Change Lipstick RRP: $3.95 

Makeup is fun, but what could be more fun than makeup that changes colour?  BYS have already introduced their colour change nail polish, and now they've launched their new colour change lipstick which changes colour depending on the temperature of your body!  

Green, purple and blue might not be a conventional lip colour - however they glide on like a subtle tint and as your body temperature changes, it will change into a deeper, vibrant colour like pink or fuschia.  Are you game to try out this range? BYS Colour Change Lipsticks come in 11 different shades including There's Monday Blues, Short Fuse, Change of Heart, Mood Swings, Turn Up The Temper, Happy Go Lucky, Good Vibes, Walking On Sunshine, Feeling Festive, Loud & Proud and Happy Chap.  

My review  

The shade of lipstick I have for review is 'A Change of Heart', which is a bright orange shade in the tube.  However, the front of the packaging has an indicator sticker, which lets you know which colour it will change into - in this case, a vivid pink.  

When I first applied the lipstick, it appeared as a peachy colour, and as time passed, it changed into a pinky coral shade.  The shade also intensified as the time passed - it applied sheer, but deepened and became slightly more pigmented.  In the picture below, I have 4 swatches of the lipstick - the far right swatch is after 2 minutes, and moving to the left, I applied a swatch after 30 seconds of applying the previous one.  As you can see, the far left one (which is almost immediately after application) is more orange toned and more sheer in intensity.  

Progressive colour change, from left to right

The texture of this lipstick is quite nice - it has a satin texture, which feels smooth and non-drying on the lips.  The longevity is also impressive, as it has a staining effect on the lips.  So even after the initial application of the lipstick wore away, I was left with a pink, 'flushed' look on my lips.  

BYS Colour Change Lipstick 'A Change of Heart', 2 minutes after application

The scent/taste of the lipsticks reminds me of grape bubblegum, but it's not too strong or overpowering.   

My only real 'hesitation' with this product is the ingredient listing - namely liquid paraffin (which is the first ingredient), the "synthetic" beeswax, and the two parabens.  These days, I tend to be a bit more conscious about the ingredients in the makeup that I apply - particularly lip products, and particularly the lip products that I wear frequently or continuously (such as lip balms and day-to-day lip colours).  However, the colour of this lipstick is not something I would wear everyday, and ingredients such as those mentioned don't really concern me if I just wear them occasionally.  

The verdict:  In addition to being fun and interesting, the BYS Colour Changing Lipsticks also have a great texture and finish - they glide on smoothly to the lips, are non-drying, and leave the lips with hours of colour.  

Ingredient Listing:

BYS products are available from K-Mart, Gloss Accessories, Cosmetics Plus, Ice Accessories, selected pharmacies and specialty stores, or online at www.fashionaddict.com.au  

For further information about the range, visit the official BYS website at www.bys.com.au  

This product was generously provided for consideration, and has been reviewed in accordance with Chic Beauty's Disclosure Policy.