Hair & Beauty Reviews

Product Review: VO5 Dry Shampoo

Do you have naturally oily hair? Want to maintain your hair colour? Are you always on the go? Want to make your vintage styles last longer? Then Dry Shampoo maybe for you!


Recently a client pointed me in the direction of VO5 Dry Shampoo as she had very fine hair that needed daily washing so I headed to the supermarket and grabbed the “Plump it up!” version. They have two available, the second being Refresh me quick! and are great value at $8.99 for 200ml. Plump it up is recommended for fine, flat and oily hair – “Boost body and grip while refreshing your style”which is perfect for my limp,humidity attacked hair.

Our mornings are usually busy with the three of us getting ready so it has been a quick boost for my hair, spraying it in at the roots,  massaging it it and styling as usual. In comparison to Batiste Dry Shampoo this does not leave and obvious residue and it smells lovely.

The obvious bonus is that it does create great volume and is create for refreshing my bangs and thickening them up – also perfect for victory rolls as it thickens the base up minimizing the use of back combing.

Do you use a Dry Shampoo? What do you love about it?


Beauty review: Antipodes Hosanna H2O Intense Skin Plumping Serum

I had such a great success and result after using the Antipodes Juliet Skin Brightening Gel Cleanser ( see post here ) that I was only too happy to purchase from the range again when looking for a new deep moisturizing serum. This time I decided on the Antipodes Hosanna H2O Intense Skin Plumping Serumthis comes in a 30  ml bottle and retails for $49.50 at Farmers.

DAILY RITUAL: Apply to face, neck and decolletage with the lid dropper. Use daily for immediate hydration and the best long-term results.

ELEMENTS OF BEAUTY: Waiwera mineral water * Vinanza Grape® * Mamaku black fern





Being a 30 something I’m only too aware of the affects years of running around in the sun and not looking after my skin have made so the idea that my collagen production would be enhanced was a win for me!  After using it for two weeks I have noticed my skin again is looking brighter, pores have reduced in size,my skin feels smoother and very well hydrated!

The serum is 100% water based and as a result spreads beautifully , I only use 2-3 drops to cover my face and neck during my morning and night routine. Overall I am very pleased with the results, the product delivers what it claims and I’m looking forward to purchasing more from the Antipodes Scientific Organic Range. 

For New Zealand based readers you can purchase Antipodes from Farmers Department stores, Hardys Health Stores and other good health stores.


Product Review: Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream

Today’s product review is the classic Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream. Developed by Elizabeth Arden in the 1930’s as a protective cream containing  beta-hydroxy (in one of its first recorded cosmetic uses). 8 hour cream is well known for its moisturizing properties, soothing skin irritation, chapping and as a anti inflammatory. Ms Arden was so impressed with the product that is said she used it on her horses legs to sooth them.


The Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream is now my holy grail must have product for both my purse and in my professional kit. I purchased mine from the Elizabeth Arden Counter for the very reasonable price of $36, selecting the fragrance free solution as it would be the best fit for all my clients. The cream is a rose tinted formulation, thick and lovely and very little goes a long way. Personally for myself I use it on my lips, sensitive patches on my skin, brows and for general moisturizing.

On clients I have used it on the lips, as a moisturizer, brow taming, as a highlighter, over shadow for the glossy modern eye and to tame hair frizz. The uses are endless and it is a great open-ended product to have tucked away, ready to pull out when the need calls.


How gorgeous is this packaging in the UK ? I wish it was available here in NZ! Do you use Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream and what do you like using it for?


Antipodes Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream

Sweet Painted Lady Antipodes Skincare review

We all know that I’m already a fan of Antipodes Scientific Skincare since switching to it last year after some major skin complications and seeing some notable results from the Juliet Skin Brightening Geland the Hosanna H20 Intense skin Plumping Serum ( reviews in the links ). This time around I decided to spurge on the Avocado Pear Nourishing Cream in hopes of battling the dry skin season change blues

Please note: When I do a product review I prefer to have used the product for 5 days or more in order to give it a fair trial. No fluffy reviews here!

Sweet Painted Lady Antipodes Review

The Technical

Scientifically shown to stimulate synthesis of collagen production in human cells by up to  92%*

Nature’s anti-ageing by night, beautiful skin by day! There’s no better way to resurrect your skin than with the superior restorative qualities of 100% pure avocado oil. This facial night cream also features calendula oil from marigold petals, highly regarded throughout history for its healing and repairing properties. Active manuka honey soothes and moistens your skin, while potent antioxidant Vinanza Grape helps neutralise free radical damage.

DAILY RITUAL: Apply at sunset by caressing into your face, neck and cleavage. For a super-restorative effect, apply after your favourite serum.

ELEMENTS OF BEAUTY: Avocado oil * Manuka honey active * Vinanza Grape

PURE PLANT FRAGRANCE: Ylang ylang, jasmine & sandalwood


Antipodes Scientific Organic Skincare

Sweet Painted Lady Antipodes Review

The cream comes in an attractive 60ml brown glass jar and retails for $62.50 at Farmers department stores. You can make the most of their buy 2 get one free deal that pops up from time to time.

I began using this 5 days ago and I have started to see a difference, in particular I found my skin soft and smooth for makeup application . On opening the jar I initially found the scent strong and smelling of Calendula, however it doesn’t overwhelm you on the skin and I grew used to it ( I quiet like it now) . The cream is lovely and thick, absorbs well into my skin without leaving a greasy film, however I found my nose greasy in the morning so I now do not apply it there

Antipodes Avocado Night Cream Review

The formulation is quite thick and hydrating, spreads well and little really does go a long way .

My skin afterwards is now feeling well hydrated and looks brighter, I have seen a little difference in my finer lines on my face which is an added bonus.

I would recommend this cream for dry, normal and combination skin, if you have oily skin you may find this too rich.

What is your favourite Antipodes Scientific Skincare product?



Beauty Review: Dancolys Angel En Provence- Part One

Hello lovely’s,

As you know I love styling hair and new hair products so when Professional Hair Brands emailed me asking if I would like to try some of their  new “pure natural and environmentally friendly” products I was happy to say yes and thank you very much!

Dancoly is devoted to the corporate and social conservation and sustainability of out planet. We are dedicated to environmental improvements that supports a sustainable future so future generations can enjoy a clean green planet.

I received a beautiful package of Dancolys Angel En Provence skin care and hair care so this will be a two part review. The cosmetics have been developed by Frenchman Gilles le Bret who formulated products with botanic extract and oil resulting in products that contain

  • No Parabens
  • No Sodium Laurel Sulfate or Laureth Sulfate ( I have a mild allergy to foaming agents)
  • No Mineral Oil or Parafen Oil
  • No Propylene Glycol
  • No Animal Testing
  • Organic Natural Ingredients

There are a variety of products available to suit different hair needs, I selected the Lavender extract range for fine/ limp hair.

shampoo and conditioner

Lavender Full Energetic Shampoo – Full product description here

Lavender Full Energetic Conditioner – Full product description here

Formulated for fine hair, packaged in attractive recyclable bottle with a easy to use pump, the shampoo and conditioner has a lovely Lavender scent ( not over powering) and you only need a small amount to cleanse your hair. When my hair had dried I found it sat beautifully with a nice shine. I wash my hair 2 x a week between styling etc and on day 3 my hair was not yet looking oily.

Argan Oil

Argan Active Oxygen Instant Repair Oil – Full Product description here

I call this my little miracle worker in a bottle! My hair is quiet dry from all the styling I do it on it so 2 small squirts provided enough coverage ( you will have to experiment with the amount depending on your hair length ) My hair dried glossy and I received a few comments at work about how great my hair looked that day ( WIN!)

thermal spray

Grapefruit Thermal Protection Spray –  Full product description here

Packaged in a handy spray bottle with a pleasant Grapefruit scent I sprayed this on my hair prior to flat ironing my hair, leaving my hair nourished after styling. Also recommends using it on damp hair before using your daily heat styling tools.

Overall review

The packaging for the Angel En Provence  range is attractive and well designed to minimize product wastage as well as being recyclable – You could re-purpose them for other products etc later on.

I used all the above products within 24 hours and I’m impressed that my hair didn’t look or feel overloaded with product. – my hair cops a fair amount of stress and it holds up well to that!

Overall the product is a great all rounder and as a mother I was more than happy to use the shampoo on our son as i know its not packed full of nasty chemicals and skin irritants plus he smells lovely afterwards!

Look out for part two of the Dancolys Angel En Provence  range shortly.

* * This is a sponsored product review from Professional Hair Brands




Beauty Review ” Cel Derma T-Laser HydroGel Mask

I was recently given some Cel Derma T-Laser Hydrogel Masks to try , so last night I gave one a whirl. As all the instructions are in Korean I jumped on the all wise and wonderful Dr Google land a found a handful of you tube reviews and some sites stating that it is Korea’s number one selling face mask….intriguing!


The packaging is attractive and you receive four masks in a box. each mask is in a easy tear foil packet, unfortunately as there are no English instructions on the packaging so I had no idea what to do. You tube provided the necessary information so leave it on for 20-40 mins.


After opening the foil package I pulled out the mask, I was a little confused as it comes in two parts, there is a lot of plastic and they are folded in one another so try have a clean surface or towel out to lay them on. I also noticed there is still alot of gel left in the packet that could be used later.

I took the first white plastic covering off and placed it on the face aligning the eyes up etc then the lower face part, then realizing there was a clear plastic shield that needed to come off too ( Lots of plastic ). Once these are taken off you are left with a gel like formula on your face that doesn’t slide so you can walk around and do other things while you wait.


The mask feels amazing on! Cooling and refreshing and has only a slight fresh scent to it. I left it on for the 40 mins to maximize the results! Hubby did find the overall look amusing comparing me to the Phantom of the Opera! Thanks babe!

After 40 mins I peeled the mask off and my skin felt amazing!! I rubbed in the residue gel and left it for the night. I also took the extra gel from in the packet and slathered that all over my neck and hands.

15 hours later my skin still feels amazing , smooth and hydrated! ( No morning moisturizer today)  I have really dry and sensitive skin and this has settled all of that with no dry patches to be seen. I would properly only use the mask once a week prior to bed, maybe twice during the heat of Summer as that is all my skin seems to need.

I have been unable to find a stockist here in NZ but have found plenty online via Ebay etc so its worth investigating.


7 Days of Antipodes Skincare

Recently I had noticed a growing reaction to my current skincare products resulting in painful contact dermatitis, dryness, and darkening under eyes so I decided to bin my skincare ( Avenno and Olay ) and start fresh with some new gentle products.

I had  a chat with my followers on the Sweet Painted Lady FB page and what a great wealth of knowledge they are!  We discussed great products for 30+ ladies  and the general consensus was that the Antipodes range was best for overall results, quality and price. Miss Victory Violet also wrote a timely post a few days later about her results with Antipodes so that sealed the deal so off to Farmers Department store I went!

I selected the Antipodes Juliet Skin Brightening Gel Cleanser, this retails for $39.00 in a 200ml bottle. It is a lovely light gel that foams lightly when worked into the skin.


Antipodes description:

 Reveal clean, clear and blemish-free skin thanks to the action of exfoliating extracts from the New Zealand kiwi superfruit and vibrant hibiscus flower. Manuka honey’s antibacterial powers and antioxidant-packed Vinanza Grape form the perfect union to help reduce and balance oil production, helping grant your healthiest glow ever. Lightly scented with refreshing green apple and cardamon.

I then made a  little photo diary to document if there were any changes


Before: Darkness under eyes, sensitive and redness around nose, irritation around right eye, Break outs in t-zone.  Washed skin  according to instructions left my skin feeling fresh, no stinging and it smells lovely. ( Apologies for poor pic quality though it does capture the irritation)

Day Two: Reduced redness in complexion, under eye darkness receding, mild redness around nose and existing irritation around right eye, mild break out on chin

Day Five: Have been sick with the flu but kept on trooping, this is the best my skin has been in a long time and a friend commented that my skin was looked great! Win! Overall  brighter and clearer complexion, still a little dryness around the nose, no irritation around my eye.


Day Seven: I’m really happy with the overall result, my complexion is clearer and brighter, pores are more refined and the under-eye darkness has faded. Apart from the dry irritation around the nose and mild break outs I’m really happy with the results. After cleansing my skin fells fresh though a little dry so I will be investing in a Antipodes moisturizer that is more hydrating as the Almond oil is not enough to counteract the Winter drys.

Thanks so much for to my followers for your recommendation!


Le Keux Whistle Bait Lipstick and Black Cadillac Gel Liner

Recently I was given some Le Keux products from the New Zealand Supplier Debonaire Doo’s to review.
Le Keux Cosmetics ia a U.K base company and is the creation of Lynsey Le Keux and hair stylist Diablo Rose. They both wanted a product that would meet their clients needs and was pleasing to look at.
Le Keux
On receiving the Black Cadillac eyeliner and Whistle Bait lip paint I was impressed with the packaging. The boxes are well designed with tips on each side, the pots themselves are a good weight, not flimsy and look great on the dressing table.
I like that the products are in a pot which means no product wastage and for a make up artist it is easier to keep sterile between clients.
First up I tried the Black Cadillac eyeliner, it notes that it is Vegan Friendly ( bonus!)  on their site, high Pigment and easy to use. On the side of the box it demonstrates three eyeliner looks you can choose from; Rockabilly, Classic and Femme fatale – a great visual guide for those just starting out with vintage eye make up.
It took me a few goes to soften the eyeliner up but once it was it glides on like a dream, I don’t have the Le Keux Dual end brush so substituted with my fine tip eyeliner brush.
Next I tried the Whistle Bait lip paint, on opening the pot I noted it was scented, now normally I don’t like scented lipsticks but this brought back some childhood nostalgia and could help but keep smelling it trying to pin point the smell…Cherry!The side of the box demonstrates that it can be worn Matt ( Apply, blot and dust with translucent powder ) Hollywood( Apply, Blot and reapply) and Gloss ( Apply and leave as is).
I love the intensity of the Red when I painted it on and was impressed that it was still on my lips an hour later when I checked.
You can check out stockists here if you are interested in trying Le Keux Cosmetics.
Micheline Pitt’s Modern Pin Up Hair and Make Up Dvd Review

Recently I was fortunate to borrow a friends copy of Micheline Pitt’s Modern Pin Up Hair and Make up Dvd that Micheline released early this year.

If you don’t know who Micheline is then I’m sure you know Pin Up Girl Clothing where she designs for the Deadly Dames in house range. Micheline is a Makeup Artist, Hair stylist and Eyebrow Guru as well as a model! Most recently modelling for Rick Baker of M.A.C Halloween range.
 Modern Pin Up Hair and Make up comprises of 3 discs and its great to see that it is Multi region! The amount of times I have invested in a dvd to find it will not play here in New Zealand is frustrating, though most dvd players/ laptops are now moving into multi region..
The 3 discs include Make up techniques and Hair for the 1930’s through to the 1960’s and a section on brows and contour.
Micheline goes in in-depth for each look explaining each technique she uses and its interesting to hear her approach to certain looks. I have adopted her technique for contouring just under your bottom lip to make it look bigger, this works for me as I have naturally thin lips. Another technique I have adopted is her use of 2/3 foundations on her client to mimic the different shades we have on our face. I used this on a client the other day and her skin came out beautiful with lovely definition.
In some of the looks Micheline does have a tendency to go quiet while she is working on a particular hair style or make up technique. If you are a beginner you can use this time to work along with her and recreate the look on yourself or a friend, pausing when you need to. If you understand the technique she is demonstrating then you can just skip ahead as I did.
Each look is clearly broken down and very well explained, you may hear a few techniques repeated when she is explaining the foundation application etc but that is to be expected as your base is the most important part followed by blending.
As a whole the dvd is a good investment if you want to recreate classic and pin ups looks. The tutorial on eyebrows is great as many individuals forget or need some refinement in this area. As a make up artist I learnt some great new tips! Which is important and always a bonus!
 So if you are in New Zealand and want to grab the DVD you can find it at or pop into Rachels store on Great North Road, Point Chevalier, Auckland.