Aveda Paddle Brush (Wooden Hair Brush) review

I have really grew a lot more caring about hair products over the past year, as once I was past late 20s  I can really feel the hair condition deteriorating (especially when I start dying my hair frequently etc). 

The Aveda Paddle Brush has long topped the Makeupalley.com product review chart ever since I started looking into beauty review websites many years ago (along with the Mason Pearson brushes, which have astronomical price tags (close to 3 digits) so despite really wanting to try them, I never bothered to look into it). 

I'm not sure if I'm imagining things but I never thought to try to Aveda brush because back a few years ago I remember when I checked they were like 35USD? (or equivalent to like 50AUD price tag or something hefty), however it is only 20 USD now on Aveda website.

Here it is, packaged in a really simple recycled paper sort of design. With Aveda logo engraved on the handle.

(there was a sticker on the back on the end of the handle which says Made in China- peeled this off now).

Detailed description of brush in the back of the packaging, says it is designed for scalp treatments and de-tangling. Features extended bristles that stimulates and massages the scalp.

This is a rather BIG brush, I have placed a standard bottle of OPI polish next to it for comparison (the OPI is full size, not miniature)- and sorry I forgot the color of this OPI polish- in any event it'll bound to get reviewed one day =)

Close up- it does have rather long bristles (plastic I think), the "padding" bit is slightly cushioned so there's air inside, and an airhole in the middle as you can see. The bristles have rounded ball tip "end". I'm yet to see any ball tip falling off, which is quite important for me, since once they start falling off it means it will get scratchy on the scalp.

Side view

Nice classy looking wooden back

Here's my hair after just random blowdrying, I didn't blowdry with a brush or anything, just a late night desperately trying to get my hair dried as soon as possible. It is still very slightly damp at the ends.

Here it is after just 5 brush strokes (the brush is so big it literally takes 5 brushes to do your whole head). I have to admit I have easily manageable hair- for many years I actually went by without a brush or comb since my hair simply didn't need one. It was straight and tangle free just brushing through with my fingers- so I'm not in the best position to say whether this brush works for those with easily tangled hair (at least MUA reviews seem to say so).

Overall I'm really satisfied, I know popular brushes is all boar bristled brushes etc lately, and I did purchase a round boar bristle brush from Japan this time for probably 25-35 USD or somewhere which is on the pricy side. That round brush was nice, but honestly this brush seems to be so convenient for after blow drying your hair or in the mornings when you are in a rush. It doesn't seem to cause much "static" hair effect either.  The bristles are long enough to reach all layers of the hair so I didn't need to brush in outter vs inner sections either.

The cushioned base also means it's really comfortable if you apply slightly more pressure in pressing the bristles closer to the scalp, it feels like a nice scalp massage while brushing your hair.

I see the brush will last a solid many years easily. Overall a rating of 5/5 for me. The $20 pricetag is reasonable in my opinion, I've had many $8 or $10 brushes that last about 6 months and start missing a bristle there or the rounded tip bit on the bristle so it starts hurting my scalp etc.


Bluspa Grapefruit Moisturizing Lip Balm review / swatch

Here's a really random online purchase I made- "BluSpa Grapefruit Moisturizing Lip Balm". Originally I thought the brand was affiliated with some Canadian brand etc (the back says product of Canada) or is some US brand similar to the Blue Spa etc. However on googling the websites listed it appears to be some Hk or Chinese company (the website www.bluspa.com is not even really set up just yet).

I purchased it as my regular seller just happened to list one and it was rather cheap (like $6USD or so) , so I just included it in my order since I'm always on the look out for new lipbalms.

It comes in a plastic screw-top container. It contains 15ml. While I'm generally not a fan of pots since constantly dipping your fingers inside is rather gross, I don't mind using pot lipbalms in the mornings (after I wash my face I tend to reach for the lipbalm specifically left in the bathroom, so my fingers are always as clean as it can be at this time anyway).

There's a clean plastic film on it that you can keep inside the pot.

Expiry printed on the back. You can see it's in fact a dome shaped inner design.

Ingredients: castor oil, coconut oil, beeswax and vitamin E.

It looks like a pinky-peach balm with medium hard consistency. It's not as hard as Carmex lipbalm, but definitely not as soft of kiehls lipbalm in a pot either. It does melt very easily with a bit of heat so once I apply it with my fingers it readily melts away into a soft balm.

Here's the swatch. It has an average, slightly tacky consistency, not too thin but not goopy thick either. The scent is a light pleasant grapefruit scent that is not too artificial. There's no particular taste to it either.

In terms of moisturising properties, it performs really average, it's more like a 'barrier" balm- i.e. prevents your lips from the wind etc and seal in any moisture, rather than adding moisture to the lips.

Which means this is really only best used when you just finished drinking or washing your face etc when your lips already have some moisture on it.

Other than that, a very average lipbalm, probably mostly sold in HK right now (sorry not too sure where to purchase it from). I'd give it a rating of 3/5. It's not bad, but the pot design and lack of moisturising property really means there are cheaper and better alternatives out there.


Paul & Joe Body Lotion B (2012 collection) review

Here's some Paul & Joe 2012 collection with the new release of limited edition Body Lotion B. (B stands for what I'm not too sure, maybe Blue? lol).  There's also a few other body lotions from Paul & Joe floating around which are in more standard "milky moisturiser" consistency as opposed to this one which features a refreshing gel consistency. They are around 20-25USD depending on which country you are buying it from. (the bottle is 200ml).

The official blurb claims:

Paul & Joe Body Lotion B is a refreshing, limited edition blue body gel.

This water based lotion is enriched with ingredients such as cucumber extract and water soluble polymers for a refreshing, cooling sensation, whilst hydrating and conditioning skin. A marine floral fragrance, with notes of fresh citrus and rose creates a sense of an invigorating sea breeze and leaves skin lightly scented, smooth and beautiful.

I have to admit I only bought this because the bottle looked way too pretty. It's a translucent blue bottle with a silver cap with Paul & Joe designs along the rim. (the bottle could be clear- I can't quite tell whether it's the bottle that's blue or the gel that's blue).

Here's the instructions:

The bottle is actually a "hard" plastic bottle, which makes the design seem very silly (pretty but not practical), as you can't just "squeeze" the bottle, instead I have to tip it upside down and shake some gel out. 

Here it is, it's a clear gel- it's quite light. I do not see any blue tint in the gel. Feels even lighter than a lot of those facial gel moisturisers like Clinique Moisture Surge gel-creme as an example, in terms of consistency.


It spreads really easily and dries quickly. It does have that ever so slightly tacky feel you get after using a gel moisturiser but it's not really that much. I usually only apply body lotions at night so transferring on clothing isn't an issue. (and if I apply this 30min before bedtime it seems fine so far and no transfers). 

The scent is not at all what I imagined, most Paul & Joe skincare comes with their signature orange blossom scent, this one instead comes with a generic body lotion scent, slightly floral slightly green. It's not the most pleasant scent but I didn't mind it (and the scent disappears very quickly following application).

Here's the beautiful silver cap again since I like the design so much.

Overall 3.5/5. It's sort of a fun alternative to normal milky or cream type of body moisturisers. In terms of hydration it does just average, it would not work for me for winter for sure as I do get eczema at times when seasons change and I need a strong nourishing moisturiser with some soothing ingredients ( I usually still go to Aveeno body moisturisers).


Chanel Le Vernis Nail Polish Colour 119 MUSE (discontinued) review/ swatch

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in shade number 119 Muse was definitely from a very old collection (based on the color code- you will notice most recent collections are codes 300s to 400s or 500s).  It's long discontinued.

In the bottle it looks like a palish french nude color that is more on a beige/cream side (not dirty beige or nude beige but more offwhite beige cream, there's either little or virtually no pink base in this. It is definitely on the sheer side for a nude shade, and more transparent finish compared to other recent whitish shades like Blanc Petale or Blanc Ceramic etc.  

Here is just 1 coat. You can see it's literally transparent besides some sparse shimmers.

Two coats in all pictures below:

You can see it's still rather sheer compared to the color in the bottle. In the bottle I'm holding you can see visible little flicks of very fine silvery shimmers. On the nails the shimmers still show through, but they are somewhat sparsely distributed and no matter how many coats you do it will still be really subtle. I had a series of formal work meetings this week so I needed a really conservative "my nails but cleaner" looking shades and this clearly fits the description.

Different lighting which captures more opacity and shimmer. You do get some minimal coverage over the nails like a sheer whitish french shade (apologies for the uneven side, that was seche vite top coat that overrun on the side).

In sunlight and yellow lights I can see there are even some finer pinkish shimmers in this, but in most other lights and indoors it always just looks like a sparse silvery flecks of shimmer in a offwhite creme sheer finish.

I applied 2 coats and decided to top, because I think even with 3 coats it will still be sheer. However it has a glossy smooth finish and it really looks like a very clean and polished shade.

Overall 4/5 when evaluated as a basic nude if you do not consider the Chanel price tag and how rare this shade might be now (i.e. if it floats around ebay you would be looking at like $50+ to $90+ easily). I've personally never really paid much above retail for any of my personal polish collection.  In my own opinion, I do not think this is anywhere near one of those rare Chanel polishes that people would pay astronomical amounts over, nor is it worth it. It's a very nice basic french shade with cute flecks of silver shimmers (that may disappoint a lot of people since it is sparse).

You can easily achieve the same look with layering any of the Chanel tokyo happenings shades from 2009 (they were all quite translucent , e.g. #397 Lune D'Argent  and #417 Galactic touch ) over a standard offwhite creme shade of polish.


OPI Nantucket Mist NL S26 Nail Polish colour review/ swatch

It's sort of getting cooler in Sydney by the day, I decided to wear a more spring shade while there's still a bit of sun left.

Here's OPI Nantucket Mist, which has been around for a while. It looks like a mid tone dusty rose with a touch of peach or coral in the bottle.

Code for this shade is NL S26.

Here it is on the nails, 2 coats and no topcoat yet. I applied a slightly more generous amount for each coat, given it's a creme finish so if you apply too thinly, it can look streaky and go uneven on the nails.

Two coats gave beautiful, almost full coverage (under the lights if I hold up my nails to the sun I can see my tips just showing through very slightly). It's a true creme, glossy finish, no shimmers or pearling or iridescence. Once I added my usual seche vite topcoat the finish looks like those gel nails- almost glazed finish.

Picture below is as dark as it can look under certain lights (seems darker in direct sunlight). The color on the nails is a medium nude corally rosy pink, it's got that peach or coral mix to it that lifts it away from yet another boring medium pink or plain rose pink color.

Here's as light as it can look under certain lights.

Here it looks a bit lighter under different lighting again- which will show almost like a yummy candy pink. The shade is very soft and wearable and definitely great for the office. I'm in a rather happy mood wearing this today.

Overall 5/5. Would love more OPI shades similar to this.


Essie Van D'Go #710 Spring 2010 nail polish review/ swatch

I've been pretty behind with these few years of Essies and OPIs and I only really buy them when I see my familiar sellers have some items up, not necessarily for cheap by USD RRP prices but certainly cheaper once I factor in shipping etc. ( I wish there was still cheap OPIs and Essies around on those transdesign or 8ty8beauty websites...)

Here's Essie Van D'Go, from spring 2010 collection. From all the websites and online swatches I thought I was going to get a pastel or medium peachy pink creme, which is my usual colors for the office days. In the bottle it does look like yet another Essie nudes or pales.

Well I was really surprised, in a not so pleasant way. I got a quite opaque full creme finish barbie pale pink shade once applied. Of course if you are looking for this exact color it'd be great, but I was in a bit of a shock once I saw the finished look. It's just too opaque and too full creme and way too stark on me. If you know those mod whites etc type of shade which looks like liquid paper on your tips, this looks like a pink liquid paper.

I had two coats on all fingers other than my index finger (finger on the very right of pic) which has a slightly thicker 2nd coat- you can see the pink base is even stronger. If you just wear one coat it's uneven and does not spread properly, a bit paint-like.

No flash, indoor light just to show you how it can look a bit stark on the fingers. The flash photography in the last few pics truely made the color look nicer than it was.

For me the color was a true barbie pastel pink, I saw a lot of online swatches where it was leaning towards a peachy look, I'm going to guess it varies a bit with your skintone, but for my skin color (usually 2nd lightest foundation shade or the lightest shade) it's just way too stark and strange looking.

I promptly removed it on day 2. Dear bf saw me putting it on and he didn't say anything but he clearly had the look of (wow that's not a good color).

The overall consistency of this polish is also quite disappointing, it's very liquidpaper-like! Although most flaws are masked with 2 coats, it still lacks a glossyness to it so it looks rather flat on the finger.  My personal rating for it is 1 out of 5. I really want my $10AUD back (yes that's how much they cost in Australia now even when you find it on sale.....which is about 10.50USD at today's exchange rate). Maybe if work has a christmas party with the 70s theme or austin powers I could bring this out. hrrmph...