Review: Lush BIG sea salt shampoo

IF THERE is a shampoo with more hype around it than Big, I haven’t heard of it!

Lush Big shampoo review | Extraordinary Days blog

Little container, big hype.

I finally got my hands in this sea salt shampoo, which promises to give hair a lot of lift and volume and make it “easy to get a comb through”.
It also has seaweed, coconut to make hair soft and fresh lemons and limes for shine.
Having thin hair, I really, really wanted this to work.
Unfortunately, my hair did not want to play the game.

Lush Big shampoo review | Extraordinary Days blog

Lush Big sea salt shampoo.

My usually tangle-free locks became a massive mess after I washed it with Big, so much so that I could barely comb it, even when wet. I was worried I’d pull out all of my hair before I got out all of the knots!
I tried this twice, once when I let my hair dry naturally, (which usually results in lovely curls) and once when I blow-dried and straightened it.
On both occasions I didn’t notice a difference in volume once my hair was dry.
After blow-drying it was just as fluffy as it always is and when I let it dry naturally I ended up with LESS curls than I usually do!
Sure, I got some loose, beachy waves but nothing like the tighter coils I usually get.

Lush Big comparison | Extraordinary Days blog

Hair after using Lush Big and air-drying and how it usually dries.

(The photo on the right is from this post about flower crowns!
While I didn’t get the results I wanted, there are some things I really like about this product.
It smells completely divine, it is made up of natural, vegan and cruelty free ingredients and the pot is made of recycled plastic.

Lush Big shampoo review | Extraordinary Days blog

I love Lush’s use of natural and sustainable ingredients.

Lush Big shampoo review | Extraordinary Days blog

It smells divine!

I’ve heard other people really love it so I’d say it’s worth a try!
Pick it up here.

Have you tried Big? What were your experiences?

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Time for tea!

OH HOW I love tea!
I’ve never been a coffee drinker and while until recently my morning beverage of choice was a Red Bull, I’ve always enjoyed a cuppa throughout the day, especially in the cooler weather.
But as I’ve been making the switch to finally having less caffeine (like I’ve been saying I would for years), tea has become an even better friend so I wanted to share my favourite brews with you.

Time for tea - my favourite blends | Extraordinary Days blog

Time for a cuppa!

T2 Melbourne Breakfast:

This English breakfast-type tea is my favourite to have with milk. It’s got hints of vanilla which gives it a really sweet taste. Predictably, it’s much better than T2’s Perth Breakfast, which is more like an earl grey. Perfect with morning or afternoon tea or after dinner if you’re not up to dessert. At the moment I’m using loose leaves with a T2 mesh ball.


Red Seal Relaxing Tea:

Red seal relaxing tea | Extraordinary Days blog

Great for nerves.

This caffeine-free herbal tea has been a massive lifesaver in recent times. I found it in a health food store while I was looking for something to help me de-stress! (For other excellent ways to calm down when things get rough, check out this other post I wrote.)

The tea has passion flower, strawberry leaf, valerian and, my personal favourite, catnip. I know valerian root tablets work for me when I’m having trouble sleeping so I think that’s the ingredient that has the biggest impact for me, but not so much that it makes me drowsy at work. I’d definitely recommend this one!


Twinings Herbal Infusions Pure Peppermint:

Twinings peppermint tea | Extraordinary Days blog

Fresh breath is a plus.

Lately I’ve been turning to peppermint tea after big meals as it’s supposed to help with digestion. This light Twinings blend also leaves me with a tingly mouth and fresh breath, bonus! No milk needed for this one.

 

Planet Organic Female Balance Herbal Tea:

Planet Organic Female Balance Tea | Extraordinary Days blog

Worth a try!

I picked up this tea when I was searching for something to help out with my skin, which was completely breaking out! I’m not sure of how much a difference this one makes but it’s worth a try if you’re searching for another way to help your skin. It has liquorice root, sage leaf, nettle leaf, chamomile flowers and lemongrass.

And with all this tea, you’re going to need some cute things to drink it out of!
This lovely Kikki K set was a birthday gift from two even lovelier friends of mine, Helen and Kerrie. (But you can get a similar set of your own here and here!)

Kikki K teapot and cup set | Extraordinary Days blog

Such a cute little set!

Kikki K tea cup set | Extraordinary Days blog

Live bright. Be you.

Sammy | Extraordinary Days blog

My little photoshoot helper, Sammy.

Are you a tea fan? What are your favourite types?

 

Getting flexible with a yoga app

YOGA is incredible! Unfortunately, going to classes doesn’t always fit into your schedule or budget.
That’s where the Yoga Studio App comes in.
I discovered this app a few months ago when I was looking for a way to get more active and because I wanted a way to stretch, relax and strengthen my muscles.

Yoga has never been more accessible! Yoga app review | Extraordinary Days

This app is seriously awesome!

I have trouble with a lot of tense and weak spots – my neck, shoulders and back are usually tight from my desk job and long commute and my weak glutes (yes, my physio told me I have a weak butt) have caused me a fair amount of knee pain.
I’ve been to a proper yoga class before and it was one of the most intense experiences of my life – my arms and legs have never shaken so much!
But, not wanting to spend much money or buy anything special, I downloaded the Yoga Studio app for about $4, picked a class and got started.
Using the app at home meant I could start slow and, if I’m honest, do a class in my pajamas.

Yoga has never been more accessible! Yoga app review | Extraordinary Days

You can choose from a range of beginner, intermediate and advanced classes.

The classes are easy to follow, have relaxing background music and a calming instructor’s voice and the video shows you every move and the beginner’s classes weren’t too overwhelming.
You can choose between beginner, intermediate and advanced classes and whether you want to focus on flexibility, strength or a combination of the two.

Yoga app review | Extraordinary Days

The ‘boat’ pose really works out your core muscles!

After only a couple of classes I remembered all of the poses and felt like I was moving through them more fluidly.
The thing I love most about this app is the different class lengths: 15 minutes, 30 minutes and 60 minutes.
When I’m short on time, 15 minutes is easy to squeeze in and I like having the option of the hour-long class when I want a more intense workout.

Yoga has never been more accessible! Yoga app review | Extraordinary Days

The app shows you every move, making it really easy to follow.

I invested in a yoga mat after a few weeks but before that I was practicing on a fluffy rug and felt that was sufficient.
The mat does help with trying to get the positioning of my feet right, though.
The app lets you study each of the poses before or after a class and you can create your own classes too.
I really like that you don’t have to use the internet after you download a class – it’s yours to play as many times as you like without running up a huge bill.

Yoga app review | Extraordinary Days

Warrior is my favourite pose!

I tried to think of some downsides for this app, I really did. But I honestly couldn’t think of anything I wanted to change about it!
I’m still on the beginner’s classes but I really want to step it up over the next couple of months.
It was also really calming and it helped me wind down at the end of the day.
If you want to try yoga or want to get away from structured classes, this is the app to do it with!
Check out Yoga Studio here and happy stretching!

Review: Lime Crime Carousel Gloss in Cherry on Top

PRETTY please with a cherry on top!
This Lime Crime Carousel Gloss is something I’ve wanted to try for ages and I just couldn’t go past Cherry on Top, with its bright colour and glittery finish.

Lime Crime Carousel Gloss Cherry on Top | Extraordinary Days

Such a lovely colour!

The colour pay-off is pretty good and I didn’t feel like I needed to use half the tube to get an even coverage.
That said, I’d seen other people say it lasts better if you put lipstick underneath it.
I tested this with Tony Moly Kiss Lover lipstick in Summer Orange (for a lighter red/orange) and Australia Colour Inject Mineral Lipstick in Cha Cha (for a deep red).

Lime Crime Carousel Gloss Cherry on Top | Extraordinary Days

From top to bottom: Cherry on Top by itself, over Tony Moly Kiss Lover in Summer Orange and Australis Colour Inject in Cha Cha.

Although the difference wasn’t that stark, I think it would stand the test of time and food to have a decent lipstick underneath.
This lipgloss doesn’t feel too sticky (although I’ve yet to wear it out with my hair down and in a strong breeze!) and is a nice change to matte-look lip colours.

Lime Crime Carousel Gloss Cherry on Top | Extraordinary Days

This lipgloss isn’t too sticky.

I still want to try the rest of this collection, which includes an icy white/blue glittery gloss (Snowsicle), a deep red (candy apple), a deep purple shade (Present) and, in a shade that’s not for everyone, emerald green (Hollygram).
Keen for more red lip colour love? I wore the deep red Australis lipstick with an incredible black lace dress.
And did you catch my last Lime Crime review? I wrote about the awesome hot pink lipstick, Centrifuschia.
This is a makeup brand I just can’t get enough of!

Have you tried any Lime Crime products? What did you think of it?

Little make up sponge – big results

GOODBYE, make up brushes – I’ve found a replacement!
As I don’t wear foundation every day (BB cream usually provides enough coverage), there is nothing I hate more than getting to the weekend, going to put on my make up before a night out and finding my brushes really need a wash.
The result ends up as a streaky mess!
I don’t have that problem any more though!

Chi Chi makeup blending sponge | Extraordinary Days

This little sponge gives great results.

I spotted this Chi Chi Make Up Sponge while killing time browsing in the beauty aisle and as it was only about $6, I decided to take the chance and buy it.
I won’t lie, using it for the first time was a bit daunting so I read the instructions carefully and watched a few YouTube videos before I tried to apply my make up with it.
When using it you first fully submerge it in water so the sponge can expand to its full size.
You then squeeze out as much of the water as you can (using a towel helps) and start using it to apply your make up.
I pump my liquid foundation (MAC Studio Fix Fluid) on to the back of my hand and use the wide, round end of the sponge to pat it onto my face in a stippling motion.
The pointed end is for around your nose and eyes – harder to reach places.
It feels a bit weird at first but the effect is seriously amazing.
These types of sponges were designed to give an airbrushed look and that’s exactly what it does.
I’ve also started applying my powder (MAC Mineralize Skinfinish) with the sponge and my blush and highlighter too.
I’d read not to drag the sponge through pressed powder as it picks up too much product and I’ve found this to be true – it’s especially noticeable when you end up with a cheek full of blush!
After using it I wash it with warm water and goat’s milk soap because I’ve used it on my face before and I know my skin can handle it.
The packaging says not to use anything too harsh to clean it because it could irritate your skin.
One thing to keep in mind is it seems to take ages to dry properly, even when wrung out properly and left in the open. I’ve previously washed it before going to bed and it was still slightly damp in the morning.
The original version of this product is the Beauty Blender but it’s $27 for a single sponge and I found the Chi Chi version works perfectly well without the price tag.
In the long run the Chi Chi version probably won’t last as long but the price is something to keep in mind, especially if you don’t know whether you will like putting on your make up on this way.
I have heard from people who still prefer using brushes.
All in all I really love this sponge though and definitely won’t be going back to brushes any time soon!
Bonus points – they don’t test on animals!
Get more info here.

Have you used a make up sponge? What did you think?

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water review

THIS is a product that I’ve been wanting to try for a while now but I honestly didn’t know if it would live up to the hype.
According to the creators it “removes makeup, cleanses and soothes” and is for use on your face, eyes and lips.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water | Extraordinary Days

Way more than just water!

It also promised “no vigorous rubbing or rinsing required”.
Those are big claims in my eyes!
But I thought ‘how is it going to clean my skin if it’s just water?’
How wrong I was!
Apparently the key is the active cleansing ingredient, the micells, which “act as a magnet to capture impurities makeup and sebum”.
This has really changed my cleansing process.
Up until now I’ve just been using goat’s milk soap to cleanse and remove makeup because for a long time, that was all my sensitive, eczema-prone skin could handle.
Now I’ve got my skin under control, though (more on that here) I could reassess what I use.
I wanted to use something gentle, that wouldn’t clog up my pores and that I wouldn’t have to roughly scrub my skin with just to get my makeup off.
To put it simply, this cleansing water just works.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water | Extraordinary Days

This has changed my cleansing routine.

To use it you put a bit on a cotton pad and wipe your face with it.
Foundation, lipstick, eyeliner and long-wear concealer have been no match for this product.
It usually takes about four cotton pads to remove a full face of makeup, including all of my mascara and liquid eyeliner.
The impressive part is there’s no residue left behind.
My skin feels cool and refreshed after I use it and not tight and dry like it does with a lot of soaps or other cleansers.
And, true to their word, I didn’t have to scrub heaps to get my makeup off.
I first spotted this in a chemist and really liked the look of the packaging (this happened with another Garnier product I reviewed here) – so their marketing people are doing a good job.
To sum up, this product is awesome, perfect for sensitive skin and I will definitely buy this again.

What’s in your makeup removing routine? Would you try a cleansing water?

MAC Saint Germain lipstick vs Savvy High Shine lipgloss

I CAN’T get enough of light, bright pink lip colours right now!
Today I wanted to review two very eye-catching lip products in my collection that are similar shades, MAC’s Saint Germain and Savvy High Shine Paparazzi.
Let’s start with Saint Germain.

MAC Saint Germaine lipstick and Savvy High Shine lipgloss | Extraordinary Days

Can you tell that lipgloss has rolled around in my handbag for a long time?

When I first picked out this colour I was intending to match it to the dress I wore to the Melbourne Cup last year.
Needless to say I should have actually brought the dress with me to the shops that day because while it would have gone well with the fluoro pink (can you tell yet that I’m a huge fan of fluoro?) it’s not quite what I was going for.

Melbourne Cup fluoro pink dress | Extraordinary Days

This was an amazing day!

But I’ve since teamed Saint Germain with other outfits like a little black dress and I really love how bright it is!
As far as lip liners go I’ve worn this shade just by itself with MAC’s lip clear lip primer underneath, with a rose-coloured liner and also with a bit of concealer on my lips to make the colour really pop.
My favourite was the concealer just for that boost to the colour but I really enhancing my Cupid’s bow when I don’t wear lip liner so I’ll probably just continue to change it up depending on how I feel.
I love how bright this is when you first put it on but unfortunately, I’ve found the vibrancy just doesn’t last.
That said, it’s still a lovely rosy colour when it does fade and I think there’d be people out there who would prefer that to how full-on if is when it’s first applied but I’m just not one of them.
Of course, there’s always the option to just keep applying it to keep the colour vibrant but that wouldn’t be my first choice.
Before I found Saint Germain my go-to product for that sort of shade was Savvy High Shine gloss in Paparazzi.

MAC Saint Germaine lipstick and Savvy High Shine lipgloss | Extraordinary Days

These two are a bright pair.

When I first saw the two side by side I thought they were very similar and it wasn’t until I put them together on the back of my hand that I saw Paparazzi is much darker.
Still, I think it gives that punchy colour I was aiming for on my lips and the thicker consistency makes the coverage a bit more even.
In terms of how long they last, in my books a lipstick will usually always win and this is no exception.
While I like lip glosses sometimes, at the end of the day if can’t stand up to me having a meal then it’s probably not going to be one of my favourites.
(My ultimate go-to lipstick/liner combination for THE LONGEST wear in my collection can be found here.)
So for my final verdict, both of these products are great if you bear in mind the colour-fade issue.

Would you wear either of these lip products? Let me know in the comments!