Saturday, 31 August 2013

Katy's beauty secrets is celebrating it's first birthday! You get the gifts!

On September 3rd, 2012, I began my blogging journey. With limited resources and zero audience, it was a bit of an uphill battle. Over the first couple of months, I posted and posted, and enjoyed it so much that I did it every day! In a very short amount of time, I had 1000 views every month, then 2,000, then 3,000. It was amazing. Now, a year on, I'm happily pulling back the reigns and only posting twice a week, to keep my workload manageable, and I'm so happy to say that between the blog and the YouTube channel, we're averaging 3,500 views every single month! Those views don't happen by magic just because I posted something. They happen because readers like you have taken an interest in my work and you keep coming back for more.

I can't thank you all enough for making my first year of blogging so amazing and enjoyable. I know that my numbers are relatively small, compared to a lot of other blogs, but right now, this is a great size for me. It feels like I have a little community happening, and I am grateful for every single one of you.

Now, I would absolutely LOVE to give all of you an individual gift to celebrate my blog's birthday, but unfortunately, that would be a logistical nightmare. What I can do, with the help of some really awesome brands, is celebrate by doing some giveaways that will allow a few of you to win some really great prizes! Stay tuned tomorrow for the first giveaway of 3 (or more) that will be happening over the next month. Details in the giveaway posts.

I would like to send out my warmest and most heartfelt thanks to Sukin Organics and John Frieda Hair care, who have sponsored this celebration by providing products for the giveaways. Without the cooperation and support of beauty brands like these guys, my blog wouldn't be half as awesome as it is. I have to acknowledge all of the wonderful PR reps who I've built a wonderful working relationship with over the last year. It really has been a pleasure.

So once again, thank you all so much, and here's to many, many more birthday celebrations!

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

REVIEW: John Frieda Precision Foam Hair Colour.

You know when you find a hair colour that just works for you? You had a colour in mind, and when you bought the at-home colourant it just worked out exactly the way you wanted it to? That happened to me this week. I don't think it was by accident, or good Karma, or Divine Intervention, though. This is just a really kick-ass product that does what it says it will do.

The awesome people at John Frieda sent me some of their new hair colours to try out, and it really is a new and different way to apply hair colour at home. I'll go through the process in a sec, but first I want to talk about what you get inside the box. There's the colour, the developer, a weird nozzle for the bottle, instructions, gloves and after-colour conditioner. Let's just take a second to talk about the gloves. They are actually really awesome gloves, not the crappy, noisy plastic type that never fit on your hands properly. These are like the kind of gloves my hairdresser in the salon wears. I really appreciate the little extras in a product like this, and for the extra little bit of cost in the product, they make life a lot easier.

So you mix the colour with the developer, and it ends up completely liquid, and with what looks like not much product in the bottle. The instructions then say to squeeze the middle of the bottle and dispense product into your hand and here is what happened:

FOAM! I don't know what I was expecting, considering it says FOAM right there on the box, the bottle and the ads on TV. Still, I was thoroughly impressed by the foam. Here's the upside of using the foam on your head; there is a lot more product in the pack. If you have long hair and usually need 2 colour packs, I would try this one. There was too much product for my fine shoulder length hair, and I didn't use about a third of it. Also, the mess... if you're usually a bit messy with your hair colour, this is the product for you.It wipes off of skin (and benchtops) so easily, and it's just generally easier to apply neatly and without making a massive mess of yourself. I've seen girls wandering around, thinking they look great (even beauty bloggers at events have been guilty of this!), with dye stains on their ears and in their hairline, which is NOT a good look. This foam colour seems to reduce that. In fact, I had not one bit of colour on any of my skin, clothes or bathroom when I was done, which is quite a feat.
So now for the important part. The results. What I was going for was "proper ginger", and I chose 6.5C, Lightest copper brown. I think I'll let the "After" picture speak for itself. I'm absolutely delighted with it!
I will definitely be going back to this colour for the forseeable future, because it's exactly the colour I wanted, easy application, great results, and the after-colour conditioner is just beautiful on the hair. I adore this product, and I highly recommend it to everyone who colours their hair at home.

You can find it for yourself at Chemist Warehouse, Priceline, Woolworths, Coles, Target and selected pharmacies.

Fair and full disclosure: John Frieda sent me this product free of charge for my consideration. I was under no obligation to review it. I endeavour to bring you honest reviews of products that I have personally tried and loved. Did I mention that I really love this hair colour?

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Special Announcement: Liptember has made me an official blogger in 2013!

I'm absolutely delighted to announce that Liptember have offered me the opportunity to be one of 10 official bloggers for their 2013 campaign!

As you all know, this is a cause very close to my heart, and I became involved as a lipette before I was even aware of their blogger network initiative. I'm so, so happy that they have given me this opportunity.

I told you all in my last Liptember post about how you can get involdved, so for the moment, stay tuned for more awesome posts and challenges once Liptember starts next week!

Once again, if you want to sponsor me, you can at :

Or sign up yourself and help to raise some funds for womens' mental health! 

Saturday, 24 August 2013

The review you've all been waiting for: BABYFOOT! - WARNING- gross alert.

Real baby feet. I took this picture when my Max was
 less than a week old.
A few weeks ago, I tried out the new craze in Pedicure products that is taking Australasia by storm. Babyfoot is a chemical peel that works on your feet for up to 2 weeks after the initial application.
It's activated by water in the days and weeks after you use it and I have some tips below for better results.

It comes as a pack of 2 plastic "socks", filled with a chemical, which you have to put on your feet, tape up tight and leave on for 2 hours.

*TIP #1: If you can avoid walking at all while you have these on, it will work better. Plus, they are really slippery and it's dangerous.

At $30 per pair, it seems a bit steep, but I have seen them in different places online for a lot less.

So I soaked my feet in these crazy socks, all the time hoping that my feet didn't fall off when I took them out. I'm always a bit wary of anything that has harsh ingredients, particularly acids whether they are natural or synthetically produced.
 They were really good with the not leaking. I had expected them to be messy, but they didn't leak at all, even when I walked in them, and they were relatively low fuss to put on and take off.

After I took the socks off and rinsed my feet, tghey looked pretty much the same as they had before I started. Perhaps a little softer because they had been soaking in liquid for two hours, but largely the same. I didn't have terrible looking feet to begin with, so that might explain why I didn't experience the massive wh
ole-foot peeling that other people seem to get. Here's a pic of my feet after I soaked them:

The first thing I noticed in the couple of days after I did the initial application is that my nail polish chipped and flaked off.It was glitter polish, the most formidable of nail polishes, and it flaked right off. This concerned me greatly. I kept waiting for my whole foot to fall off.
Over the next week or so, every time i took a shower, I peeled my feet. The peeling was minimal after a shower, so I decided to take a bath and really soak my feet. That really helped, and the skin started peeling off in big chunks. *TIP#2: The more you have baths/soak your feet, the more you will peel. Also, the worse shape your feet are in, the more results you'll get. The finished product seems about the same for everyone, it's just the journey to get there that differs depending how gross your feet are.
After-shower peel
After a bath - the HORROR

All in all, definitely something I would do again. My feet have been lovely and soft with little maintenance, for weeks afterward, and I'm sure when I get back from Texas my feet will be in need of some TLC. The extreme heat there will mean I don't wear shoes and socks for most of the time I'm there.

Definitely check them out. Your feet won't fall off, and as long as you can deal with bits of skin in your socks, your bed, your bath, and everywhere you walk for a couple off weeks, they are well worth the effort. Don't pay $30 a pair for them, though. shop around online, searching for "babyfoot, babyfeet, or butterfly feet". I'm sure you'll find something.

Have you used this product? Did you like it?

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

SNEAK PEEK! OPI's brand new San Francisco collection!

I managed to get a sneak peek at OPI's brand new San Francisco collection a couple of weeks ago, and I wanted to wait until after the release date to show you guys and make sure that you could all rush out straight away and find these gorgeous shades in your Myer and David Jones stores!
I was sent 4 of what I consider to be the best shades to try out and show you guys, and the video shows you some great ideas for nail art, as well as some awesome swatches. This collection is quite jam packed with real winning shades, from garnet reds to teals and browns, and even a holographic type of colour that I found to be really unusual and particularly appealing.

The colours, as OPI describe them, are as follows:

A-Piers to Be Tan – a chocolaty caramel tan
Dining al Frisco – feast your eyes on this fresh shade of blue
Haven’t the Foggiest – it wouldn’t be San Francisco without this misty grey
Peace & Love & OPI – an unusual holographic blend of eggplant and sage – very funky
Keeping Suzi at Bay – an assertive navy blue
Incognito in Sausalito – keep this almost-black blue under wraps
Lost on Lombard – you will get all dizzy with the glorious shade of garnet
I Knead Sour-Dough – a warm toasty brown
Muir Muir on the Wall – a trailblazing shade of plum, just ask the magic mirror
In the Cable Car-Pool Lane – get taken away with this rich burgundy.
Embarca-Dare Ya! – a marvelous magenta
First Date at the Golden Gate – a shimmery ruby
It’s All San Andreas’s Fault (Liquid Sand) – a textured earthy taupe
Wharf! Wharf! Wharf! (Liquid Sand) – a textured rich matte blue
Alcatraz…Rocks.  (Liquid Sand) – a textured shade of grey

Which one is your favourite? Is there a shade you're just dying to get your hands on? Let me know in the comments section.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Mini Chi Chi haul and makeup look

Today I went to Gloss to "try out" my visa load and go travel card for when I go to Texas, and I had no idea what I was going to buy.....until I saw the big sign that said "50% OFF SELECTED CHI CHI PRODUCTS!!!!"

It was decided at that point that I would like to spend a little bit of money and pick up a few chi chi products. I have a couple of things from the brand, but haven't really tried out much of their stuff. Now I have a gorgeous green eyeliner in "Glamazon", a to-die-for pink matte creme lipstick in "Flirt", a shimmery awesome metallic eyeshadow crayon in "Barbarella", and my favourite item, an absolutely gorgeous eyeshadow quad in "Paparazzi Princess".

With the exception of the green eyeliner, I later decided that they would make a really gorgeous, understated makeup look, which I have created here for you. If you guys want to see a tutorial of this look, please let me know, and I'll make a video either while I'm away, or when I get back.

Let's have a closer look at the products I used in the makeup look:

Metallic eyeshadow crayon in "Barbarella".

This is a fantastic product either for an eyeshadow base, to highlight the inner corner, or even blended out as an under-brow highlight. It has a beautiful gold sheen, but isn't overpowering. It's an awesome team player for any makeup look.

Viva la Diva matte lipstick in "flirt"

This lipstick is my ideal. It's the perfect shade of pink, its creme finish is so comfortable and luxurious-feeling on the lips, and it has a matte finish to die for. I can really see this becoming my go-to lip product once Liptember is over. I loveloveLOVE the packaging. It's really beautifully designed, and the lipstick closes really solidly, the lid clicking into place and reassuring you that you won't find your awesome lippie smeared all over the inside of your handbag.

 Last of all, my very favourite of the haul, my new eyeshadow quad in "Paparazzi Princess". The colours are stunning, a perfectly put-together quad for me. I love the gold and pink shades, and they really suit my skintone. There's enough highlight and shadow here to create a really multi-dimensional look, but it's still simple enough for daytime wear. This is a really great all-purpose palette, and I see myself using it for daytime looks, night time looks, and special date makeup.

My look was completed using my normal foundation products and eyeliners/mascaras, but I did use the light pink eyeshadow from this quad as a blush and the lightest colour as a highlight. I think it really lends itself to the multi-purpose very well.

I'm definitely a new chi chi (prounced "she-she", with a french accent) devotee, and I even changed my Sephora budget for when I'm in the states to accommodate more chi chi purchases when I return. I have my eye on their mosaic blushes and their gorgeous foundations, which come in a really awesome range of shades.

Check them out at Myer, Target and Gloss!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013


I received my Bellabox this morning, and quickly rushed home to make the unboxing video for you guys.
I'm semi-disappointed because one of the products is very misleading in its size, but overall quite happy with the products that I received, even though they are all sample-sized and we received no full size products. I'll be really interested to see what others get in their boxes before I decide if I got the dud box this month. The Talavou Naturals product is inside a full sized container, but here's what's inside it:

Check out my video for the full scoop on what I got in my Bellabox this month:

Wednesday, 7 August 2013


Can you see that there is a theme this week here on Katy's Beauty Secrets? I'm interested in all the different causes that beauty brands are getting involved in over the next few months, and this particular one has sparked my interest so much that I am getting directly involved.

I don't often share really personal details about my life here, but I feel like my story is one that a lot of women can relate to. I am a diagnosed anxiety sufferer. I'm a single mum, I have a very busy life, and on top of all of that, I am (along with my amazing partner, who is so supportive in every way) managing a VERY long distance relationship, which will require more time, perhaps even a couple of years, before we can be together permanently. After speaking to my doctor about my anxiety problems, we have concluded that my anxiety is definitely situationally-based, and that the best way to treat my anxiety is with over-the-counter medications to help me sleep better (insomnia is a big side effect of the anxiety), and a prescribed medication which I can take if things get a little overwhelming. It helps me to be able to treat the anxiety directly, and only when it is at an unmanageable level, rather than blanket-coating with a combined medication. That's what works for me. Everyone is different, and manages their stuff in their own way.

That is why Liptember appeals to me so personally, because Liptember is to raise funds, awareness of, and support for Women's mental illness. I am lucky. My condition is very minor, compared to what some women go through, and I want to help out in any way that I can.

So what's the deal with Liptember?
Well, basically, I'll be sponsored to wear a specific lipstick, which I'll go into more detail about below, for the entire month of September. No matter what look I'm wearing, it will be my Liptember lippie that I wear. You guys can look forward to some tutorials of different ways to dress up the same lippie next month. I am even going to wear my Liptember lippie when I run Tough Mudder on the 14th of September! Really, it's just a donation to the cause, but the buying and wearing of the specifically marketed Liptember lippies adds a bit of extra fundraising, through the brand partners releasing the lipsticks, and just a bit of fun, to make the people involved feel like there's something they are actively doing to  "earn" their sponsors' donations.

All funds raised from Liptember will be donated to the Centre for Women's Mental Health and Lifeline Australia. Studies on mental health patients are largely done on male patients, and then applied to women, which often misses the mark. For example, postnatal and menopausal related depressions are not the same as general depression, and women's situational depressions and anxieties often stem from different causes than men's. Hence the need for specific research into women's mental illness. This by no means suggests that women are more important than men in this regard, but this cause is specifically targeted towards women's mental health issues.

So, let's hear all about the official lipsticks, shall we?
Revlon are an official brand partner of Liptember, and they have released 4 exclusive shades especially for the event. There's a red, a pink, a coral and a grape colour, so there is something to suit anyone's taste. They are $9.99 and available from Chemist Warehouse, My Chemist and My Beauty Spot.

I chose "Liptember Pink", obviously that was the go-to choice for me, as I'm a pink lipstick lover. That is the lipstick that I'll be wearing, rain, hail or shine in September.

As with any Revlon lipstick, they are lovely and creamy on the lips, the colour lasts well, and they don't dry out or feel gross on your lips at all.

Like I said, they are available in 4 different colours, and I actually think I'll be sad if mine runs out and I can't replace it after Liptember is over. Maybe I should buy a couple more, just in case.

If you want to get involved in Liptember, head on over to THEIR WEBSITE and sign up, or donate to someone who is raising funds. If you would like to sponsor me for Liptember, you can head on over to MY SPONSORSHIP PAGE and donate directly there.

I'll be posting countless Instagram pics of myself during Liptember wearing the lipstick, so if you're interested in seeing some fun pics as well as some challenges and other fun stuff during Liptember, you can follow me on Instagram @katylylak.

Get involved! It's a great cause, and it should be lots of fun!


I finally got around to filming my July favourites video! I had a whole bunch of stuff to show you guys this month, so please bear with me while you watch this 16 minute video.

Also included as a favourite are all of the products that I got in the DCC July Bravehearts fundraiser, and there are some really great ones!

Check it out!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Supernutrient: Rose Hip Oil

I've recently been doing some research into "bio" oils, and things which claim to fix scars, psoriasis and other chronic skin conditions, and the one thing that keeps popping up on my radar is Rose Hip.

Now, this is by no means a new concept, but I do feel the need to share what I've learned with you guys, because it really is fantastic.

The traditional "beauty" way to apply rose hips is by using the oil of rose hips directly onto the skin. It contains fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins and essential nutrients, which helps to repair skin damage, and to promote healthy growth of new skin cells. Everyone I've spoken to about it, and the reviews I have read, have all been very, very positive.

You literally need 2 drops of rose hip oil for your whole face. As it is, after all, an oil, we don't want to slather it all over our face, because that's going to unbalance things and cause us problems.

So what can we use rose hip oil for?

As a daily moisturiser, particularly for dry skin.
As a treatment for anti-age.
As a treatment for psoriasis and other chronic skin conditions, including eczema,  acne scarring and lupus rashes.
As a treatment to assist in the prevention of stretchmarks.
As a treatment to reduce the appearance of existing stretchmarks.
As a treatment to reduce the appearance of scars.
As a treatment to assist in the correction of uneven skintone.

So, as you can see, it's pretty much a fantastic all-rounder product, it's all natural, and it's readily available.

I do want to recommend one particular brand, both because they have a fantastic range of skincare options, but also because they are teaming up with the McGrath foundation for the next 3 months to raise $20,000 for breast cancer research. They are also an Australian company, which is just awesome.

Sukin Certified Organic Rose Hip Oil is, at $19.95 (25ml) and $32.95 (50ml), an incredibly affordable product, and with their pledge to donate $20,000 to the McGrath Foundation, I can't think of a better place to put my Rose Hip spending money.

Sukin Certified Organic Rose Hip Oil is sourced from wild-grown rose hips, and cold pressed to harness the maximum amount of super-nutritive goodness. 98% of users would recommend this product to you, and I'm happy to say that I am among them (and that this is not a sponsored post, nor have I received free product).

You can find it from now until the end of October at selected pharmacy and health food stores nationally including Priceline, Chemist Warehouse, My Chemist and Terry White Chemists.(Limited time only, while stocks last.) Look for the pink box to ensure you're helping to support their breast cancer fundraiser.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

OPI Special Breast Cancer awareness pack

Every year, I can't wait for the special OPI pack that finds its way into stores in September or October for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Pink of Hearts is a pack of two nail colours, full sized and in the pink theme, this year with bonus nail stickers and crystals, which you can find in David Jones from September 13 at $24.95.
100% of profits from the sale of these packs is donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, a cause close to my own heart, as I have several family members who have fought and won the battle with breast cancer.

Pinking of you
More than a glimmer
My mum's older sister, my Paternal Grandmother, my Dad's younger sister, and my "adopted" mum, who is my close friend's Mother, have all done battle with the dreaded Breast Cancer beast, and I am particularly mindful of checking myself out regularly. Early detection is our greatest weapon in the fight against Breast Cancer, while the research continues in hopes of finding a cure or prevention. OPI are continuing to help out with that every year, and for that, I applaud them.

Quite aside from the awesomeness of their cause, who needs an excuse to go and buy a couple of new nail polishes!?!?
I will definitely be out to get mine when they hit the stores next month, make sure you keep an eye out for them too.

In the meantime, here are some pics of last year's Pink of Hearts colours, "I think in pink", and "You glitter be good to me", and some arty ideas I had for their use.