Waterpik Water Flosser

I hope everything is staying safe, healthy, and sane in all the chaos in the world right now. I'm still working, but with social distancing I'm spending a lot of time at home (heck you won't catch me out at Bondi Beach!). I have acquired SO many new pretty things to play with lately that the very small glimmer of light is having time to really test things out. 
A couple of weeks I got sent this gadget to review, and seeing as my home self care routine is my piece of sanity, I have diligently using it every day and am now reporting back to share my thoughts. 
This is the Waterpik Whitening Waterflosser. I am admitting ignorance here that I didn't actually know water flossers were a thing until I got this, but every one I've told about it either already had one and loved it, or thought they were a thing that has been around for yonks. I believe they are meant to be great for anyone who has bracers, implants or orthodontics - not something I have but I haven't had my teeth properly cleaned in YEARS and with my horrendous Coke Zero addiction I also have some lovely staining going on. 
Although I have the Whitening one here, they do have several different models at different price points so suit your needs. 
Here is what they claim the benefits are:
Removes up to 99.9% of plaque from treated areas
Up to 50% more effective for improving gum health vs. string floss
Up to 2x as effective for improving gum healtyh around implants vs. string floss
Up to 3x as effective for removing plaque around braces vs. string floss. 

For me personally, I just really hate the feeling of string floss. And they fraying as you use it. And how you can't ever seen to get into the corners. Blegh! So I am quite taken with this gadget. More so my husband is OBSESSED with it. He's a shocker with dental hygine but finds this really easy and satisying to use. 
The cool thing about the whitening version is that it comes with a whole bunch of different head attachments and whitening tablets that you pop into the handle to dissolve as you use it. One tablet dissolves pretty fast so you get about 1 per tank filled with water which is enough to a quick go over. If you want to really get in there and be thorough, you need to refill. The tablet though are cheap and easy to pick up - I recently saw some on sale at Chemist Warehouse so I stocked up (why panic buy toilet paper when you can buy whitening tablets)! I've been using them for about 2 weeks now, and there is a very slight whitening effect. So don't expect an immediate change, but I can see over time that they will make a difference. 
As I said, this unit came with 4 tips: 2 of the Classic Jet Tip (good because my Husband has adopted one), one Orthodontic tip (for this that have them), and one Plaque Seeker tip (with little bristles to access stubborn plaque). I've mainly been using the Classic just because it has enough guts to do a great job of cleaning around my teeth. 
It was really hard to show a picture of how intense the pressure is if you turn it all the way up, but I was super impressed (just by playing with it in my bathroom sink, the pressure alone lifted all the soap scum). The dial on the side of the unit controls the pressure so you can build your way up. Both me and hubby did the same thing over getting really over-enthusiastic on the first try, cranking the pressure and then making your gums bleed (nothing drastic, and didn't happen after a couple of uses, but you're probably better off working your way up. 
Overall, I really like this machine. It's very intuitive to use, and does an amazing job of flossing - I can't see myself going back to string any time soon! If you want to check out the whole range, their website is www.waterpik.com.au and are available at Chemist Warehouse, Shaver Shop, Priceline and selected online retailers and Pharmacies nationally.

Skullique Nail Polish

There is a new Aussie indie brand out there, and I was so lucky to be one of the swatchers for them. So I am here to tell you about these gorgeous polishes and show you lots of shiny pictures.
The brand is called Skullique - they are currently selling on Etsy in Australia. The first collection to be released is Celtic Goddess. It consists of 3 earthy shimmery colours that are divine and perfect for autumn. Each of these polishes is $12, and is 15ml (so much larger than many other indie bottles). All of these polishes have an incredible formula, they are really easy to apply, dry incredibly quickly and a nice shiny dry down.
Blood Moon
This shade is a deep burgundy shimmer that is very warm and has a lot of depth to it on the nail. This one is opaque with 2 coats. 
Sacred Fire
A super shiny copper with a gold sparkle. This looks like it's actually glowing on the nails. Also opaque in 2 coats. 
Tree of Life
This is my favourite of them all! It's a stunning shimmery moss green with a brown shift. It gives it this magical earthy quality that makes it very wearable. It's very unique and SO stunning! You 100% will need this in you collection! It is a tiny bit more sheer than the others, so it is 3 coats for opacity. 
Be sure to follow Skullique and check them out! We need to support all our lovely indies as much as possible!

The Show - Sydney

This is a slightly belated post (the day jobs has been hectic so sadly I've gotten a little slack! But now I'm back into normal life I'm back to catching up!). But back at the beginning of Feburary, I got invite to attend a makeup show here in Sydney called The Show and the ICC. I believe this was the first year that it's run, so it was fairly small but full of fun things to check out. This was a little different to shows I've gone to in the past as it was open to the public (even though a lot of the stands were charging trade prices) and there was a big emphasis on SFX makeup. That said there were a lot of the iconic brands that do the rounds at fairs there, like Inglot, Crown Brushes, Real Techniques, and ModelRock. Literally every stand had some kind of great steal. There was also a large stage where there were 2 days of constant workshops and tutorials. So I did a few laps around, bought things and took lots pf photos - so here are a few snaps to give you an idea of what it was like. If you want to check it out further or have a look at the cool SFX stuff (it's not something I know a lot about, but if it's your jam you need to look!) then check their website at https://www.theshowsydney.com.au/

My haul for the day. A grant total of $35!

Dashing Diva

I have tried a lot of press on nails in my nail journey, some terrible and some amazing. So when Dashing Diva came into my radar at last years Beauty Expo (and their stand tempts me every single time I walk into Priceline) I knew I had to give them a run!
First off, if you haven't seen my previous post on why I think press on nails are actually a great thing and have a time and place in the nail world, here's some abridged dot points:
*They're great when you have a kid/teen that wants amazing nails but you don't want to expose them to the chemicals in false nails
*You don't have any nails on and need to go somewhere where you want your nails to look fab - it really is a 5 minute fix
*You've never had false nails before and want to see how different lengths and styles suit you
*You do your own nails but suck at doing your non-dominant hand (aka me!)
*You are someone who nervously scratches or picks at them-self - they put that to a stop realllllly quick!

So what differentiates between an amazing set of press on nails and a terrible set?
There's a few factors, but it mainly comes down to how many sizes come in a pack, how flexible they are, and what the adhesive is. For instance the worst offender I have tried is the Kmart glue on ones - they don't have a great variety of sizes and are quite thick and rigid so they don't bend around the nail at all. This means they may look nice to begin with, but they are only going to stay on for a day maximum.
But these ones from Dashing Diva have to be up there as some of the best quality ones I have tried. Yes they are a bit more expensive, but as apposed to something you put on for a novelty then bin a day later, you'll actually get to wear these. I'll go through all the items in more details, but the main things that I love are that they have sticky pads in them rather than glue so there's no nail damage, they stick really well and you generally get a weeks wear from them, there is a lot of nails in a pack so you might not get 2 full sets but there are certainly enough to replace the off nail that does lift or look manky, and their designs are hands down the best on the market!

Some tips and tricks I have for you as a seasoned press-on wearer if you want to get maximum wear from these:
*Prep your nails! Push the cuticle back, lightly buff the top of your nails and then swipe over with a dehydrator. These nail kits come with both a cuticle pusher and dehydrator pad. 
*Keep pressing. Once you put the nail on, keep coming back to it and putting pressure on it for the next half hour or so. I sit in front of tv and just press one after another. It might not be totally nessacary but I just feel it helps make sure they're well and truely stuck. 
*Don't fret if you loose one the first day! Sometimes for whatever reason one might just not want to stay. It doesn't mean you're whole set is doomed, just apply a new nail. I find if they make it through the first 24hours, they're on for the long haul.
*If they pop off or you want to take them off, save them! If they're still in nice enough condition once they're removed you can gently pick off the sticky substance, and you can either then pick up some new sticky tabs from eBay or some nail glue. Might not be as good the second time around, but you'll still get some extra wear!

All together I got 5 items - 3 sets of nails, 1 toenail set and 1 gel strips. So lets take a look at each of them:

The first set I tried out was from their large gem series (not still available on their website, but they have lots of very similar designs). I wore these for an entire week, and I probably could have gone longer but the crystals had almost all popped off the thumb and the pretty coating on the middle fingers was rubbing off. I have found that the crystals do fall off these nails generally pretty easily, so I do suggest grabbing yourself some nail glue for quick fix ups if you plan to wear them for a chunk of time. You can see the state they were in below, but by the time I removed them they were still stuck on really tightly, I was just ready for the next set. 
The next set was from their short range, and they are marked as a slim fit. I have pretty fat fingers and am far from a slim fit so I couldn't be quite as creative about which style I wanted on which nail, but there was still more than enough to get a very adorable mani. These were a soft touch matte finish that held up nicely. 
I'm sorry for feet pictures (I hope I don't regret this!) but these were an absolute winner for me! A few days after I put these on Priceline had some of their toenails on sale so I went and stocked up for future! I wore these for THREE weeks! And once again I only took them off because they were growing out a little and I was getting over it. Like above some of the gems did fall off, but being toes it was far less noticeable. Also note that I have almost zero pinkie toe nail so they were mostly stuck onto the skin - and I did have to replace one of them a week in (but you get lots in a packet so it's not a problem) but they stuck on surprisingly well. Absolute 10/10 and will be wearing these babies every time I have an open-toed event!
I didn't actually know they made gel strips until I was going through their site with a fine tooth comb, but once again I always have to try everything! I did find that they were a little thicker than other brands of wraps, but they were very easy to apply and didn't require much tugging and stretching. The downside was that I found the tips on my natural nails didn't want to stay down (although some top coat or a heat gun might help). The gems actually were on their own little stickers so you could place them on whatever nail you liked - I actually wish they sold packs of just these as they would be such a quick and cute way to jazz up some nails! And I did love the  amount of glitter and holo bling in this set (and most of their sets seem to have). Not sure how well they would go for long term wear, but they would look amazing for an event!
My last set is a lot like the first, except no gems which at first glance is sad, but meant these held up really well! Once again I love all the different designs of nails to mix and match with depending on how extra you want to go. The gold edge on the index finger wore off fairly fast and the coating on the middle finger rubbed a bit off but other than that they still looked pretty great by the time I took them off.
Hooray if you made it through my whole essay on how much I love these nails! 
Go and check out their whole range for yourself or find a local stockist at https://dashingdiva.com.au/

Ulta 3 - Dark Summer Collection

If you're an Aussie polish lover, chances are you're already in love with Ulta3. I have an entire drawer in my Helmer dedicated to them, and every limited collection I've raced out to grab (anyone else remember the scrum over getting all the speckled eggs and the watercolour set?). So when I saw that they were releasing a new collection I got a little over excited - and even more so that they kindly sent me these for review! 
The Dark Summer collection is all warm and dark shades for summer with lots of deep plum and berry shades and shimmer metallics. Here I'm going to run through all the items I got, but if you want to see the whole collection yourself, check their website here
Starting off with what I think is the crown jewel of the whole collection, Evolve - it's a duochrome that shifts between a burgundy to red and green. It's a subtle shift but it's incredibly pretty. And here I am wearing 3 thin coats, you could get away with 2 but I wanted maximum opacity to try and capture the shifty goodness. All their polishes are $2.95.
Next up is Thunder, a gorgeous deep shimmery purple. This is only one coat! It's insanely opaque but with a huge depth of colour. You can see if you look closely that it's made up of tiny metallic flakes, so it looks like quite a dark purple, but when the light hits it the shine is real!
The last of the nail polishes is Sangria. This is your standard 2 coater creme polish, but the colour is a very deep wine colour. Almost black but it has that hint of warmth to it that makes it very wearable. This is one that will be a great base for nail art or for anyone that likes a vampy nail. I know I'll be rocking it all autumn!

Ok on to the makeup! First is the Master Metals Eyeshadow. This comes in 3 shades and I have Bronze here to play with. This little single pan is very shimmery and soft and creamy texture. It feels so nice to touch. It's also really pigmented for such an affordable product! I've been wearing this on my lids for a quick day look, but also as a bronzer! If you're ok with your bronzer having a little shimmer than this actually works a treat! It's a vegan formula for those that look out for that. Each pan is $6.95. 
Longwear Matte Lip Cream - there are 3 vampy shades in the collection, but the one I have in Dark Dreams. It's so dark you can't even see the printing on the packaging! I will have to admit that 99% of the time I wear a nude lip so this scared me a little, but I popped it on for a day and actually really love it. It's a very very dark berry shade, when you get it very thin it actually looks more purple. Scroll to the bottom for my bad selfie, but I think it makes my brown eyes pop! The formula was really nice and actually long wearing (the swatch below took and entire day to get off my arm - no amount of makeup remover was getting it off!) but not drying at all. Once again for such an affordable item the formula is surprisingly nice. Once again cruelty free and vegan. $7.95 each. 
Last up is the Loud & Proud Volume Waterproof Mascara. Can't ever say no to a black mascara! This one claims to give you the look of false lashes with a non-clumping formula. It's a very bushy brush and I found it did coat my lashes nicely without clumping and stayed all day without any fall out that you get from cheaper mascaras sometimes. It didn't lengthen as much as some of my favourite high end versions, but it's $9.95! Perfect price point for everyday wear. Once again another vegan formula. 
Ok that's everything - here's a terrible selfie wearing everything at once,and the metal eye shadow as a bronzer. I actually like how it brings out the warmth of my brown eyes and red tones in the hair. So it's a win from me! What do you think? Any products that you will have to pick up?
You can get Ulta3 from their website or from any decent chemist (there's a pretty handy stockist locator on their website if you need help).