Posts belonging to Category 'Products'

Beauty Product Review: Philips Lumea Precision Plus AKA At Home IPL!

Having done IPL before (bikini line), I had a sense of what to expect with the Philips Lumea Precision Plus system (RRP $1,299.95). I assumed it’d be a gentler process purely because the people using it don’t need a course and a qualification to use it.

The set consists of the handset, two interchangeable heads of differing sizes, a charger and a bag. The head is much heavier than the handle and some care needs to be taken since your hand is sitting very close to the power button. Because I was always using the Lumea after a shower, I’d be lightly steaming, which didn’t help. I ended up wiping off the handset after every second pass or so to make sure I didn’t slip around and accidently switch it off.

The light is a very bright red, as opposed to the white light of the salon IPL systems. While the flash is bright, it also doesn’t “imprint” on your field of vision. My cat scuttled out of the room two flashes in.

While the interchangeable nozzles attach to the handset securely, you’re also required to press it firmly into the skin to attain the “airlock” that allows you to pull the trigger safely, and if you’re careless and inadvertently drag it along the skin at that kind of pressure you’ll probably knock the nozzle off. This will result in hot glass-skin contact which is unadvisable.

After the first application, the most noticeable difference was a longer growback period, and many of the hairs when they came through came through a bit stunted – either doubled over, or oddly curled. I have strong, straight leg hair, so this was very noticeable on me.

The regrowth slowdown and cessation seems to happen on an individual hair by hair basis – some follicles immediately shut down, some grow oddly, some are determinedly still growing as they always have. I have big channels on my legs where hair has completely disappeared next to unconcerned normal growth. But as each application comes around, the normal hairs are shriveling up and eventually give up and don’t grow at all. There’s a perverse kind of enjoyment in this.

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Meanwhile on my belly it only took two zaps for this finer hair to disappear, and in my underarms there seems to be the same amount of hair, but the hairs are thinner and finer. But even if I’m still shaving, shaving is a good deal easier and I do not need to do it as often. I’m confident that with repeated applications this lot will slow down and cease as well.

I’ve used this machine six times and the results have varied depending on where I’m applying. Stomach has been perfect, underarms have been encouraging and a lot more manageable, my legs have been patchy but steadily progressing. I should stress again that my leg hair is monstrous and will almost certainly put up more of a fight than yours.
I’ve done full, 12-session courses of salon IPL, which cost me far more than I’m willing to think about.

The Lumea system is admittedly expensive, but less so than doing it through a salon and it gives you the option of topping up your applications on a whim. All up, you will likely need to use the Lumea more often to get the results of the salon IPL, but salon IPL is also something of a trauma for your skin – it’s a good deal more powerful and the tradeoff is tender, red skin for a while afterwards. The Lumea did not irritate me at all. There wasn’t even any pinkness. I could slather on moisturizer directly afterwards and nothing bad happened. I’m really impressed by this system – would recommend it for those considering IPL through the more traditional means.

Find out more about it on the Philips website!

Product supplied for consideration.

Have you tried IPL in salon or at home before? Leave a comment below with your experiences!

Review by Suzanne, who also blogs over at Don’t They Know Who I Am?

Be well,



Beauty Treatment Review: The Ultimate Facial by Arbonne!

♥ My facialist Maryanna Lucror

What better way to start a weekend than with a facial? Make that an ‘at home’ facial using one of the finest skin care brands, Arbonne. Now you’re talking!

The lovely Maryanna Lucror treated me to an Ultimate Facial last weekend, and my skincare resolutions for 2013 (to stick to using one brand) are now set in stone. Luckily, Arbonne is a product that my skin knows and loves (I have never had clearer, more glowing skin than when I used to use it), so I’m looking forward to getting that glow back!

♥ The beautiful Arbon, how amazing does it look?!

Hailing from the Swiss village Arbon, the highly regarded, premium skincare brand is inspired by nature and each product contains clinically proven and botanically based ingredients, which, in combination with meticulous research and testing, exceeds industry standards for purity.

My facial began with Arbonne’s FC5 Purifying Cleanser + Toner, a lightweight formula designed to simultaneously cleanse and tone the skin while visibly reducing oiliness. Ingredients include witch hazel and strawberry cells – yum! This was followed by the FC5 Exfoliating New Cell Scrub, a vitamin rich exfoliant with a slightly clay-based texture. The scrub feels warm on application and tingles slightly as it deeply purifies to reveal fresher, brighter skin. I love this scrub, and use it 3 times a week now!

My skin was then treated to the RE9 Cellular Renewal Masque – its key ingredients include pineapple, papaya enzymes and algae extract, which function to improve skin tone and texture and minimise pores. What I loved about this masque was that it didn’t dry and harden, which can be very harsh on the skin, particularly if it is sensitive. This masque is actually equivalent to two dermabrasion sessions (but without the risk) so to replenish the skins moisture, Maryanna applied the FC5 Skin Conditioning Oil. The oil hydrates, conditions and softens without being greasy or heavy on the skin.

I have quite dry skin, so to give it that extra moisture boost, the FC5 Intense Hydration Mask was then applied. This is a lighter, gel based mask containing fresh mango, sunflower seed oil and pomegranate extract. The RE9 Regenerating Toner was spritzed gently on my skin, followed by RE9 Eye Crème and FC5 Oil Absorbing Day Lotion with SPF 15.

♥ My Arbonne goodies!

The Arbonne Ultimate Facial was such a treat. It was relaxing, informative and luxurious and a product I really believe in. Since the facial, I ordered the FC5 Complexion Revitalizing Set and have been using it religiously! My skin loves me for it.

To purchase Arbonne or to find out more, contact Maryanna at

Or check out the Arbonne website

Do you have a favourite skincare brand that you have always used? Or have you tried Arbonne? I'd love to chat in the comments below!

Review by Lucy, Arbonne convert and preacher!

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Be well,



Yoga DVD Review: Eoin Finn's Blissology Project!

If the thought of coming home from a day at the office and being whisked away on a Balinese yoga retreat appeals to you… then this is the next best thing! Filmed in the midst of a serene Balinese backdrop, Eoinn Finn's 6 DVD Blissology Project contains a Vinyasa Flow yoga and meditation routine for each weekday and one for the weekend, and at just $30 from Amazon it's a real bargain! Each day focuses on a different area of the body and mind to guide you through the week.

Eoin is a well-known Canadian yogi and surfer who has studied and taught yoga and meditation for many years. He regularly teaches workshops and holds retreats as well as having a line of DVDs. Eoin was also one of Lululemon’s first ambassadors!

He describes Blissology on his website as “the art of consciously finding the balance between one’s personal desires and our impact on the web of life. It is not just a brand but a way of being. It is a path of interconnectedness and love.

Eoin approaches yoga holistically, encouraging us to adopt its philosophy into our everyday lives. There is no reason not to get some yoga practise in every day with this DVD set, with each weekday disc giving you the option of a ‘quickie’ (usually around 30-35 minutes)if you’re strapped for time, or a longer routine of around 45-55 minutes if you are after a more intense session. If you’re new to the world of yoga there are beginner’s options throughout, as well as a reference guide to help you perfect those postures.

If you are looking for more of a challenge, there are alternatives during each session to help you push yourself further. Every routine also finishes with a 10 minute meditation to keep you grounded, present and feeling like you don’t have a worry in the world.

Practising yoga at home with the assistance of a DVD is a great complement to your usual yoga or fitness routine, and is an excellent option for those of us who don’t always have time for classes before or after work, or who may not be in a position to commit to a full membership or course.

If you are a true beginner this is an enjoyable introduction to the yoga lifestyle, however I would recommend that you do combine your at-home practise with some guided sessions at your local yoga studio in order to truly understand and master the various postures and sequences, and of course to avoid injuring yourself.

You can even pop the DVD into your laptop, take it outdoors and practise in the park or at the beach… I can’t think of a better way to shut out the world and get some quality me-time in!

The DVD can be purchased in-store at Lululemon, or online at Amazon. You can also find Eoin’s range of other videos on the Blissology website, which can all be downloaded straight to iTunes.

I'd love to hear if you've tried the Blissology DVD's, or are keen to, and what your favourite yoga DVD's are at the moment – so leave a comment below!

Review by Alice – yoga-lover who would really like to attend a retreat in Bali sometime soon!

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Be well,



Health Supplement Review: Plant-based Protein Powders + A Recipe!

Firstly, let me just say that in no way am I suggesting that a plant-based diet needs to be supplemented with protein powder – it is now common knowledge in the health and wellness industry that we can get adequate protein from a wholesome and varied plant-based diet.

I personally choose to include protein powder in my diet because I’ve amped up my exercise load, I’m trying to increase my muscle mass and because I like to include it in smoothies to create more substantial and filling snacks and meals.

Whilst it is easy to get lost in the endless shelves of chemical laden protein powders and meal replacement shakes full of false promises, more and more natural alternatives are popping up in Australia. I definitely do not consider myself a protein powder connoisseur but in my search for a healthy AND palatable post workout drink (let’s face it, natural does not ALWAYS taste best – especially where protein powders are concerned) I’ve tried a few plant-based brands and would love to share my experiences with you. All of the below protein supplements are dairy, gluten, soy and refined sugar free.

First up is vanilla flavoured Sunwarrior Rice Protein: Bio-Fermented, Raw, Sprouted Whole Grain Brown Rice Protein sweetened with stevia, 16.8 g of protein per serve.

This was my introduction to the brown rice protein brigade and I have to admit, I nearly spat the first sip back out. I then pondered on how I was going to get rid of it and considered pushing it on to a friend. A month later I gave it another shot and actually slowly began to enjoy it. I think the trick with protein powders that are sweetened with stevia is to not mix them with sweet fruits, unless you’re after a total sweet taste bud assault. I enjoyed Sunwarrior blended with almond/soy/rice milk and loads of ice or with frozen raspberries. Once I learned to enjoy the taste the only downside I found was the slightly chalky texture. Which lead me on to my next tub…

Growing Naturals Organic Whole Grain Brown Rice Protein Isolate in Vanilla Blast, sweetened with brown rice syrup and stevia, 24 g of protein per serve.

I like the fact that this one is sweetened with brown rice syrup as I enjoy the taste more than stevia. This would also suit someone looking to include more carbohydrates in their diet as brown rice syrup contains both fast carbohydrates suitable for muscle recovery and complex carbohydrates for sustained energy. It has the same texture as other brown rice protein powders but I enjoyed the taste more. I also used it in a banana muffin recipe which turned out well.

Ezy Protein: Organic, Sprouted, Bio-Fermented, Raw, Wholegrain Brown Rice Protein sweetened with stevia, 25.8 g protein of per serve.

This has the same texture as Sunwarrior but is a little sweeter and tastier. I quite like the tub that it comes in as your hand doesn’t get coated in protein powder as you try and scoop out the last few serves.

Vega Sport Performance Protein in Chocolate and Vanilla: A complete multi-source, alkaline-forming, plant-based protein blend sweetened with stevia, 26 g of protein per serve.

This is a little different to the above proteins as it contains a mixture of yellow pea protein, SaviSeed protein, sprouted wholegrain brown rice protein, hemp protein and alfalfa protein as well as a branched chain amino acid complex, glutamine and a digestive enzyme blend.

I like the fact that this contains a variety of protein sources and includes other ingredients which assist recovery and improve digestion. I found the texture to be a lot smoother than plain brown rice protein powders and it blends far more easily. Chocolate is my flavour of choice, I’m not a big fan of Vega’s vanilla.

In the end none of these protein powders are delicious, but they do contain high quality healthy ingredients which can compliment your diet and exercise program, and possibly boost your results.

Overall Vega has been my favourite protein powder based on taste, texture and ingredients, but there are still other brands out there that I’m keen to try such as Garden of Life RAW Protein, Juice Plus Complete and David Wolfe’s Raw Sprouted Brown Rice Protein.

Have you tried any of these or ones I haven’t listed? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience.

Bonus: My Choc Raspberry Smoothie Recipe


♥ 1 scoop of vanilla or chocolate plant-based protein powder
♥ milk of choice (almond, rice etc) I used around 100 mL in the one above but I like mine super thick
♥ 1 cup of frozen raspberries
♥ 1 tbsp of raw cacao powder (less if using chocolate flavoured protein)

Blend, serve and enjoy :)

Article by Emma Smyth, nutrition student & health coach who blogs over at This Sparkly Life!

Be well,