Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Colour Moisturising lipstick: Matte Review

Finding the right shade of lipstick to suit your everyday style can become quite the hunt. Over the years I have ended up with a collection of lipsticks that I  hardly ever used because testing them out at the counter on my wrist just isn’t the same as wearing it on my lips. And I had also gone through a phase of buying lipsticks online, and when they arrive in my mailbox the colour was never true on the website. Sometimes these things, you just accept that you got it wrong and there’s no way of returning it…that shade of lipstick goes to the bottom of the make up drawer or you try to pass it off to a close friend or your younger sister.

It was nice to sit down with Stephen Gaskett, Elizabeth Arden’s national make up artist to chat about lip shades that suited my skin tone. I can hardly find the time to attend these sessions, being a busy mum and all. And I can’t honestly remember the last time I stepped into David Jones! But I’m glad I did, as the customer service at the Elizabeth Arden counter was impeccable. Don’t get intimidated by their smart dressing and perfect make up…they were absolutely lovely to chat to and so helpful too.

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From Left: Bold Red, Coral Crush, Nude

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Wearing Coral Crush on the lips

So let me introduce you to the Elizabeth Arden newest released range of matte meets moisture lipsticks, these are available in 6 wearable shades. They have a 12 hour wear, the colourhas flexible satin-pigments that make the colour look ultra smooth and velvety on the lips. The lipstick is made of natural moisturisng ingredients such as manago, shea and murumuru butters, and argan oil and vitamin E to provide antioxidant protection. When you think of long lasting, matte wear sometimes the concern of it being ‘drying’ comes to mind, but after wearing the lipstick for my belated birthday bash, the formula didn’t feel dry at all and feels very comfortable on the lips.

Of course with food and drink the lipstick naturally comes off, but generally the colour does stay on for couple of hours. I find with habit I will reapply every 3-4 hours. I was very happy with the 3 colours chosen for my skin tone, I have been wearing them daily and it’s becoming a favourite!

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At the counter, I was especially surprised to see new technology that is used in the beauty industry, such as the skin matching tool below. The make up artist took a photo of my skin’s surface and it told me which foundation shade suited me best. I was totally blown away, imagine how much money this tool could save a girl from trying 50 different shades from different brands.

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Have you tried out this new technology on your skin? What is your tip to finding the best shade of foundation and lipstick?

E-von

 

 

Valentine’s Day gift box idea

Isn’t it great that Valentine’s Day celebrated around the world will fall on a Saturday this year? It’s nice to know, most people will be chilling out with their loved one or friends and just having a great time. It kind of annoyed me in the past when me and my Mister would want to organise something but Valentine’s day fell on a week day where we would be tired and couldn’t be bothered going out. I mean we still kind of shun the whole Valentine’s Day cliche, that we are expected to do something nice for your partner…so we usually push it out to the weekend. Now it is on the weekend!! And I have no plans!

What are your plans to sweeten it up on Valentine’s?

Although I am a big romantic at heart and adore gifts with thought, I put together a lovely pack for solos (I hate the word ‘Singles’) and partners to indulge and celebrate Valentines Day.

So if you would like to purchase a SELF Organics Valentine’s gift box, head to the online shop

This beautiful organic care package contains: 1 x SELF Determination chocolate soy wax candle, 1 x Petal lip balm, 1 x romantic rose bath salts, 1 x Berry Green Loose Leaf tea.

All for $35, you can also add a 100gm geranium and orange massage bar for an extra $5.

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*Postage before Valentine’s cannot be guaranteed at this stage.

For those who live in the Perth metro, you may be please to know that collection and drop off is available. Please contact me at info@selforganics.com

Hope your Valentine’s is sweet and full of love!!

E-von

 

 

 

Pantone’s 2015 Colour of the year: Marsala – Wine infused

This year is shaping out to be a lot of fun, especially when Pantone calls the colour of 2015 ‘Marsala’, a rich, mahogany wine shade that exudes luxury and comfort. Lately, in pages of interior design magazine I see the lack of exuberance, the main keywords in the spotlight are minimalist, industrial, nordic or Scandinavian style. The colours splashed on those pages are quite neutral, light, clean looking and easy on the eye. Maybe its because Australia is at its peak of the Summer season that people are still thinking of a less-fuss, simple styling when it comes to their home.

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When I think of the shade ‘Marsala’, for me it invites thoughts of old Parisian boudoirs, tuscan hallways and boho lounges. It is a strong and deep colour, so it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. I have a feeling this colour will make its way into the Autumn/Winter fashion and design trends as the year progresses… I’m hopeful! For I really love this darker shade of red.

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For those who do not want to go out and buy everything ‘Marsala’ and go on a decorating ‘Marsala’ spree…may want to find florals that are easily adaptable to any environment when placed in a crystal vase. Can we agree this shade of peonies are just gorgeous?

It is also a beautiful colour to use in make up or as a nail polish shade. The soon-to-be-released Lime Crime velvetine lip tint called ‘Riot’ was formulate before Pantone’s announcement of the Colour of the year, but it seems they are right on track. The colour is suitable on all skin tones, and is a very wearable and feminine shade.

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And I wouldn’t mind seeing more men sporting this colour in their wardrobe choices, I like guys in a deeper shade of red, it exudes confidence, intelligence and strength.  As seen in Berluti‘s campaign, as they specialise in Parisian gentleman’s attire.


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Maybe I’m partial to this shade because I am after all, I am an Aries woman. Red is my colour! I’m drawn to all shades of red. And Marsala is named after a wine, so wait a minute…I’m into that too! A good drop of red is great for the health.

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I think Pantone has chosen wisely this year of their Colour of the Year finalist. I’m pretty happy with their decision and will no doubt have lots of fun playing with it through design and fashion-wise.

Is Marsala a colour that you would find in your home? What would you like to turn Marsala colour if you could?

Hope you are enjoying your Australia Day Long Weekend to all my Australian readers! And to those around the world, have a great week!

E-von

 

 

*Photos sourced from Pantone.com, limecrime.tumblr.com, elle.com, Berluti.com, ellecanada.com

 

 

Review: Maybelline Better Skin Foundation

It’s nice to want everything in the foundation, for some wearing make up daily is a part of normal routine so it is a given to want a foundation to have added benefits. Personally, I wear make up 2-3 times a week when I have to go to work. Other times, I worry that wearing too much foundation will clog up my pores and send my face into a frenzy! This year, since turning 30 I realise that my face has reverted back to being more oily and prone to hormonal break outs. So I don’t really need added oil that comes from wearing foundation.

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I heard about Maybelline’s new foundation, Better Skin. The name sounds quite appealing to someone like me who wants better skin! Then again, don’t we all want nicer skin so we can feel more confident when we present ourselves to others. And I had problems with pigmentation and dull skin.

Better Skin contains Actyl-C, a vitamin formula that improve’s skin’s appearance within 3 weeks of use. It claims to evenly tone the skin, leaving it looking energised and healthy looking. It is also formulated with vitamin B5 + septonic M3, magnesium, zinc and copper to hydrate and plump the skin.

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So far in the trial, I have used the foundation for 2 weeks and have noticed an improvement in the look of my skin, it does seem a lot brighter and much healthier. The formulation is not oily either and on the bottle it says it is suited for ‘normal’ skin types. I chose the shade ‘NUDE’ because I select this shade with most of my foundations. I didn’t think it blended in as well because the colour was just too light for me. And I found that I had to wear a moisturiser or primer underneath, otherwise the result would have appeared to powdery and matte. I don’t mind the matte look, but it just felt a little on the dry side.

The pump dispenser is always nice, as it keeps the contents uncontaminated. And the cap keeps dust away. However, it as most foundation bottles it is made of glass. So always have to be mindful in the bathroom and around little hands.

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Overall it is a nice little foundation for those looking to achieve a healthier complexion. It also has SPF 14, for sun protection. A bottle of Maybelline’s Super Stay Better Skin Foundation will cost RRP$21.95. And comes in 8 different shades – Light Beige, Ivory, Cameo, Nude, Sand, Golden, Fawn, and Sun Beige.

Hope you liked the review.

Have you tried Maybelline’s Superstay Better Skin Foundation? What do you wish your foundation could do for your skin?

Don’t forget to enter The Lime Tree Bower giveaway that ends this Sunday! There are only 4 entries at the moment, so your chances are looking very good!

Happy Hump Day!

E-von

Review: Dirty Works Coconut scrub and body butter

Winter is the time when I get all bundled up and I tend not to pay too much attention to my skin. Bad I know! I look after the skin on my face much better. Whereas the rest of the body is hidden away for the next few months under jeans, leggings, pants and long skirts so for me…it’s something I don’t worry too much about. But I can’t say my skin looks all that great under the layers. And it doesn’t help that I sleep with the heater on! Skin is the largest organ, it is still growing and shedding and I just can’t hide away from the fact that well…the limbs are looking a bit dry and flaky.

So I was lucky enough to receive some new products from Dirty Works range to try out. I have never come across this brand before and thought why not give it a go…I’ll give anything a go if it can rescue my dry limbs! So please read on for my review on two products, a scrub and body butter.

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‘Life’s a beach coconut scrub’ 200 mL – $7.95

Hmm…the cold weather doesn’t really make me want to spend too much time in the bathroom. It is the coldest place in my house! Can anyone relate?  These products looked so retro and fun to try so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get some moisture and TLC back into my skin. When I first saw the purple and quirky packaging, I thought hey these look like cute! And there was even a retro babe in bikini on the ‘Life’s a beach coconut scrub’, hey looks like she is having fun on a beach somewhere…hopefully these will help me forget the freezing cold for a few minutes.

My skin was getting that white powdery look from the neglect and needed a good ol scrub. So I was quite excited about trialling this beauty. The scent is described as exotic coconut, I can say it does smell just like coconut milk with a hint of lime. It is a really nice pleasant smell that reminds me of holidays at a beach. Some may find the scent strong but I quite like it.

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The scrub is made out of pecan shell granules that gently scrubs dead skin away and sweet almond oil to moisturise and hydrate. When I was squeezing it out of the tube I could tell the scrub was quite disperse within the liquid, hence it wasn’t too rough and felt really soft to exfoliate away the dry skin. I concentrated on those ultra embarrassing and noticeable areas of dryness like elbows, knees and ankles. It was quite creamy once it was mixed with water in the shower, and kind of left my floors a bit slippery. So becareful when scrubbing away, be sure to wash the product down completely. My skin felt really soft and smooth after a good scrub, it was glowing, moisturised and smelt tropical!

I like the cute, clever packaging and for the price you pay it is a lovely scrub.

‘That Fiji feeling coconut body butter’ 300 mL – $7.95

The body butter is quite a rich, thick and creamy consistency. It has a similar smell to the scrub, however I felt this was a little bit stronger. After applying it to my skin, the smell lasted longer and noticed the fragrance could be smelt on my bed covers in the morning.

It contains cocoa butter, shea butter, sweet almond oil which hydrated my dry skin back to normal. This body butter was easily soaked into the skin, I found that the skin just absorbed it so well that it didn’t leave a greasy feeling or a film on the skin. That was one thing I thought was great about the product and another, it was easy to put my clothes over the top after application.

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These two were a perfectly paired, they worked so well together and helped my Winter skin  become soft and silky once again. I only wish I could be on a beach now! The scent definitely helps stir the imagination of being under a coconut tree on a warm day at a tropical destination. It’s an indulgent beauty treat at an affordable price.

If you are interested in tracking them down for yourself, the Dirty Works Coconut scrub and body butter can be found in Coles supermarkets nationwide.

Hope you liked the review, how are you keeping your skin hydrated this Winter?

E-von

Top 5 Au Naturel Beauty Products for Autumn

Essqueeze me Summer, you can go now…why are you still hanging around and making it hot and dry for everyone? My love of Summer is somewhat ‘weathering’ away (sorry…that was lame) but I am really looking forward to my favourite season of the year, Autumn, which rarely hangs around at all. Our Perth climate is funny one, as it tends to make a giant leap from Summer straight into Winter.

And I believe it is important to change skincare with the seasons. Summer beauty means lighter creams, and the cooler months bring the indulgent rich creams. So at the moment I am caught in between the season with what to slap on my skin.

One thing though that I realised, is my skincare has drastically moved from non-natural to all natural! Since turning 30, I have decided that it is absolutely key to take care of myself the best possible way NOW…to ensure that I maintain my youth as long as possible! Not only the outside but my insides as well. I have begun to look at ways to live more ‘cleanly’ e.g. eating clean and as well as my beauty products. It is the best thing I can do for my future self. Although I still have yet to learn to sleep at a reasonable time!

So today I share my top 5 au natural products that I’m currently using in between the seasons.

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  1. Neutrogena Naturals Multi-Vitamin Nourishing Moisturiser, this is an everyday light moisturiser packed full of vitamins to boost the brightness of the skin, hydrate and contains bionutrients that improve the look of the skin making it appear younger. It is non-greasy and absorbs into the skin nicely. It doesn’t contain any petrochemicals, sulfates dyes and parabens. So it’s doing a good thing for me, without me having to think about it!
  2. POD Self tanning body butter with SPF15, I really like this liquid tan, it doesn’t smell like other horrible tanners…it is actually smells like cocoa butter and the tan is gradual and subtle. My skin is quite fair so this really helps inter-seasonal when I want a healthy tanned look. Plus it is natural!! The tube is generous, so it lasts for ages.
  3. Cosmecology Mask Hydra, my goodness this mask is an absolute saviour! I was feel sick last week and at the end of the recovery I felt my skin had lost a lot of moisture. It felt so dehydrated so I popped on this mask and it my skin instantly felt soft and full of hydration! I like to use this once a week to awaken the skin again, it makes me feel human after a hard working week.
  4. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse dry oil, this is my favourite go-to multitasking product at the moment. I use this on my hair, skin and face. It smells so beautiful and makes me feel that way too! Something very luxe about this dry oil, it leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturised throughout the whole day and it is non-greasy even though it is an oil. Nuxe uses botanicals in their products and the smell of the oil reminds me of flower fields.
  5. SELF Organics, Calm Balm, a family favourite and one I make and sell at my online store. It contains lavender, eucalyptus, patchouli organic essential oils and organic shea, cocoa butter and beeswax that just melts into the skin. The other week I got bitten by a spider in my car, I didn’t know what to apply on the mark so I applied some of the balm and it helped with the healing process. I didn’t bruise as bad as I usually do with insect bites. And it soothed the itchiness of the area. The kids love it too, the smell makes them feel calm. It helps me get sleep too, when I apply it on my chest and temples, instant relaxation right there.

Do you like the sound of any natural beauty products above? 

What are looking forward to most during the Winter months? I am looking forward to winter wardrobe, drinking hot chocolate and sitting indoors watching a movie whilst listening to the rain pitter patter. *Sigh* bring on the cool I say…

Today I am going to church to watch my best friend walk down the aisle at my primary school church. I’m sure there will be plenty of tears of joy and laughter. Looking forward to this day since I first met this angel 24 years ago!

Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

E-von

 

Starting my French beauty affair

Sorry for the lack of posts of late. I have been super busy with SELF Organics (my little biz) and I will be sharing what went down at my first market stall. So watch out for that will be my next post…today it’s all about my French beauty affair!

It was around a year ago now that I was introduced to a range of skincare that would change my life! It so happened to be a coincidence that I stumbled across Bioderma, as I entered an online competition held by another beauty blogger and surprisingly won! The only knowledge of Bioderma at the time was very little and all I heard about this product was that it was hard to get in Australia and it was also one of the best make up removers.

And since that day, I have been a faithful follower of the Bioderma Crealine and Sebium facial cleansers! Whenever I would talk about this product to people, they would have already heard the hype but may not have tried it. Now it is made widely available in Australia at Priceline and Terry White Pharmacists, and everytime I walk into those stores the shelf is very much empty.

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Last week I met with Arnaud who represents a company in Australia called Cosmetiques de France. He came all the way to Perth to specifically talk to fellow blogger Sophie from Born to Buy and I about the Bioderma, Uriage and Nuxe range. It was an exciting experience to hear from the horse’s mouth about these beautiful products. We sat down at Subiaco’s Cafe Cafe with our fat buttery croissants and me with my chai (so typical of me!) to talk about beauty.

It was very interesting to learn about dermacosmetics and how they are specifically formulated to treat skin problems such as acne, rosacea, ezcema and other types. All the three brands are considered dermacosmetics but they all focus on different ingredients to solve these issues. Nuxe uses botanical extracts and their outstanding product is the Huile Prodigieuse (Dry Oil), Uriage uses a properties of thermal water and Bioderma is recommended by Dermatologists for its treatment of skin disorders. They have to go through strict measures to ensure that they are beneficial for the skin and can be a product that solves skin problems, otherwise they wouldn’t have the support of Dermatologists.

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I learnt so much, and my interest has always been in skincare. When the meeting was over, Arnaud pulled out a goodie bag with products to try and review.  I have heard only positives about them over the bloggasphere and can’t wait to get into them and share my experience. The one I am most interested in is the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse, or dry oil. Only because it is such a versatile oil that can be used on the face, body and hair…and I am that kind of ‘one product does all’ kind of girl.

So tell me…have you tried any of these brands before? Have you thought about buying a product from a chemist that can help with your skin problems?

We’re having a long weekend here in Western Australia. So I can’t wait to catch up with my R&R because it seems to be non-existent this week. I may have forgotten how to do this…Hope you have a great weekend!

E-von

 

Repurchased 2013 favourites

In 2013, I discovered a lot about my skincare and make up routine that have seem to stick with me. It surprises me actually, because when I finish one product I tend to try out something else. It is very seldom that I repurchase a beauty product unless it has absolutely blown me off my feet!

So I decided to stay loyal this time, because these products made my skin happy in 2013. And I have gone and repurchased the following two in the Priceline post Christmas sales. Do you remember when they were having 40% off make up and skincare. It was the perfect time to get back these winners.

I’m sure many of those in the beauty blogging world would have come across the Bioderma Sebium makeup remover. This stuff has almost reached cult status. It simple melts the makeup away leaving the skin feeling refreshed and cleansed. Like with most make up removers I feel I have to go through a second cleanse, but this does the job first time every time!

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I couldn’t find the exact bottle on the shelves at Priceline so I went with the last of the Bioderma Crealine. And this does the exact same thing, cleanses the skin without the harsh smell of regular perfumed cleansers. This is a large 250 ml bottle too, so I wonder how long will this last me. The little one took me 6 months!

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Next, is the Revlon Nearly Naked foundation in Nude. It has SPF 20 and the coverage is light but buildable. This one has stuck with me throughout 2013 and will also be with me through 2014. I found I stopped using my Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24 hour foundation because it was just too heavy and made me break out so I changed to Revlon’s Nearly Naked foundation instead. It has saved my hip pocket and it feels so smooth and comfortable on the skin.

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Well…I sure was a good little beauty blogger post Christmas, as I restrained myself from overspending. Sometimes these sales can trick me into buying more than I need. And then they end up at the back of the beauty cabinet! However, these two I definitely will NEED in the new year…can’t see how I will live without them.

Do you have any make up or skin care favourites that you have repurchased? What is it and how many times is your greatest repurchase?

Hope you’re all loving the short working week!

E-von

Beauty Review: NP Set Essential Brow Set

Last month I attended a make up application workshop run by NP Set Australia, it was held at my local Guardian Pharmacy which was only 5 minutes from home. The night was organised for ladies only, which included nimbles, sushi, drinks and clipboards! Yes, we were there to do our homework and learn some make up application techniques from the NP Set experts.

It went for around 2 hours, which involved a demonstration on how to use the NP products and an introduction to how to turn a day make up look into a  night one. The  group was relatively small, around 15 attendees. And I was quite pleased about how there was a mix of ages ranging from 19 to 80+. It was great because I felt the NP Set catered for everyone. And the NP set ladies were so gracious to provide advice individually at the end of the night. I felt that my questions were being answered based on the areas I wanted to know more about and they helped me to pick the right products for my face.

I left with a few goodies that I purchased on the night, which were a NP Set Essential Brow Set, a pore minimizing primer, a blending brush and eye shadow (duo applicator) brush.

I was mostly intrigued with the Brow Kit, I just want to achieve darker and more prominent brows. There’s something about dark brows, that makes a woman sexy and powerful I say! And so here are some photos of me playing with this NP Set kit.

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I really like the packaging of the NP Set. It is clean, white and simple. People often ask what is the difference between the NP set and Napoleon Perdis. Years ago I would buy Napoleon Perdis, but now I find NP Set would suit my lifestyle better. The obvious reason  is the prices and the professional quality. The NP Set would suit those who are interested in applying make up everyday with minimal fuss and want to look great day in and day out. The Napoleon Perdis range (usually found in dark blue packaging) is more suited for those practicing make up or offering professional make up services and it is a bit more expensive too.

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The NP Set Essential Brow Set includes a duo applicator with slanted brush heads, a set of tweezers and three palettes. The first on the left is a light brown colour (subtle brow), the middle is a darker brown (glam brow) and lastly, the shaping wax.

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This is me with my ‘naked’ brows. I try to colour in my brows whenever I head out of the house, because I find the natural colour of my eye brows aren’t dark enough…they appear almost grey or silver! It makes me look older than my age and my face also appears more washed out than it already is. They say that a dark and thicker brow can make your face appear slimmer and I really believe that!

First thing to do is to tweeze the shape of your brow. Making sure you don’t tweeze too much, as the hairs on the eyebrow can take longer to grow back and can become less dense. The set comes with a mini tweezer, but I hardly use it, it doesn’t do the job of holding onto the hair very well. But I’ll hang on to it in the case for emergencies only! You can tweeze a rounded or squared shape on the inner corner depending on what you like. I think my natural shape is rounded so I draw on a rounded brow.

I like to mix the two shades of brown together using the applicator brush and tapping off the excess so it doesn’t appear too harsh. Then with gentle stroke I swipe it along the hairs to allow the colour to stick.

If I use only the light brown shade it is too light, and the glam brow is just too dark. I like how they have included the shaping wax, it helps me keep any stray hairs in place and helps to keep the colour intact throughout the day.

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The finished result looks quite natural, I love how it makes my eyes appear larger! Plus it matches the colour of my hair which is also an important tip. Darker may sound better, but if you have very light or blonde hair you may want to test out the light brown first.

The NP Set Essential Brow Set  has become a staple for me, I use it everyday!

And a set will cost AUD$29.00. You can shop NP set online or at Target, Big W, Guardian Pharmacy stores.

Have you tried NP Set Products before? Does the appearance of your brows worry you?

E-von

*This post is not sponsored. I bought the NP Set Essential Brow set myself.