iHerb is an online site that I initially thought was some online health food store that sold a variety of vitamins, supplements and expensive healthy foods. Then I heard that they were the place to purchase RealTechniques products, since they were half the price of Priceline, and had decently priced shipping. I later discovered that they had a beauty section, which is actually quite nice. It contains a lot of nice products that you can’t get in store in Australia, as well as most being natural and a lot of vegan friendly beauty. I thought that I’d show you what I purchased (over two orders, so it’s a bit of a collective haul) and my thoughts on the products, service and prices! (TL;DR at the end for those who are too lazy to read through)
AN: All of these items were purchased with my own money, this post is not sponsored and none of the items were sent to me.
Hurraw! Balm is a brand that prides itself in making lip balms from premium organic, vegan and raw ingredients. They claim that their lip balms are super smooth, not draggy, not sticky, not sweet not too glossy, not too smelly, never grainy and long lasting. Quite a lot of claims right? I mainly wanted to purchase a few because they seemed to have many flavours I’d never heard of or seen before, and I’d heard good reviews of them. I also liked the ovular shape in comparison to the typical cylindrical shape, meaning that they won’t roll around everywhere and get lost easily, as well as sit almost flat in your pocket.
I purchased five as you can tell: the moon balm which is blue chamomile and vanilla, coffee bean, green tea, lemon and grapefruit. The moon balm is meant to be thicker than the other formulas and better for night time.
Note about my lips, they’re very temperamental. In other words, some days one lip balm will work extremely well on them, and other days it will make sticky lip peel flakes on the inside of my lips. They also never co-operate well with lip balms overnight, as every lip balm I’ve tried will bunch up in this white almost icky sticky lip peel build up around the inside of my mouth, and I hate it.
Let’s start with what I like about the Hurraw! Balms. The scents are absolutely GORGEOUS. The moon balm has a very calming scent; the coffee bean one smells and tastes a bit like a dark chocolate covered coffee bean, maybe slightly bitterer; the green tea smells exactly like green tea with a hint of matcha (my favourite); the lemon smells as refreshing as the scent of fresh lemon zest; and the grapefruit smells as refreshing as a fresh grapefruit.
I love the ovular shape, because it means that if they’re dropped, only roll once or rock back and forth. You won’t have to go crawling under your bed to find all those lip balms hiding right at the back because they rolled away from you. This is a major positive in my book, since I used to constantly lost lip balms because of this. They believe they fully live up to their claims of being super smooth, not draggy, not sweet, not sticky, not too glossy and not too smelly.
I’m not vegan, so whether my products are vegan or not don’t really bother me. For those who prefer to buy or do buy vegan products, it’s nice to know that there are good quality products out there that share the same beliefs as you. So the fact that they are vegan-friendly is nice, and even though it may not bother me whether my products are vegan or not, it’s nice to know that the ingredients are organic and raw, meaning there’s no chemicals.
As for the slight downsides of the products, you might see that in these images, the green tea one looks quite full. I actually finished it in less than two months of daily use, and filled it up with another lip balm who’s tin-pot packaging had broken on me (which just happens to look exactly like the original). It does go through quite quickly, but it might be due to the fact that I like to layer on my lip balm thickly. I would totally purchase another since it’s my favourite scent, but I have four more to go through…and all my other lip balms in my collection.
I mentioned above that they live up to most of their claims. As for never grainy, I experienced my green tea lip balm getting grainy for a day or two, and then it became smooth again. As for long lasting, they’re not exactly my definition of long lasting. When a lip balm is long lasting for me, I will still be able to feel it on my lips for 4-5 hours without eating (because I like to layer up my lip balm a lot), and they’ll stay moisturised for up to 8 hours (but by then I’d probably have already reapplied twice). These moisturise my lips for about 4 hours, but the feeling of them is gone within the hour. So as for these claims, it really depends on the person, but I think I might just be a tad bit too picky.
Most of them are around the $4-5 mark which is quite decently priced compared to many lip balms you find in local drugstores. Pretty good since it’s vegan and a great lip balm right? I would actually think that they’re a bit overpriced, since the below picture is already like $25 worth of lip balm. Now it’s starting to sound like a lot. There’s also many lip balms that are cheaper on the site, also vegan and almost just as good that when bought in bulk, equal to less than 80c each! (see further below this post for this too good to be true deal, absolutely amazing for gifting).
Overall, I think these Hurraw! balms are great, and I definitely don’t regret purchasing 5 and would definitely buy more in the future! (although my inner opposition of the hoarder tells me that I have way too many lip balms already and NEED TO STOP.)
Here I have the Madre Labs Unscented Hand Cream, Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque, Eucerin’s Aquaphor Healing Ointment and Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge.
I don’t have much to say about the Madre Labs Hand Cream, since I bought it just because it was 14c. It’s not the best hand cream out there, since it’s slightly sticky and just meh at moisturising. Definitely not worth the RRP of like $10 though in my opinion.
Queen Helen’s Mint Julep Masque has been highly raved about all over YouTube, and despite me having quite dry skin, I thought I’d buy a small bottle just to try out on my oilier area. It smells absolutely divine, with a refreshing minty scent, and upon application it tingles slightly. It’s a mud mask, so it dries quickly, within 10 minutes and does the whole tightening crackly thing that mud masks do (I suck at describing things). When washing it off my forehead, I find that my skin feels really clean and slightly dry and tight. It’s very inexpensive, so I would recommend if you have normal-combination skin, or combination-oily skin. I think I’ll only be using this if my skin turns really oily.
Eucerin’s Aquaphor Healing Ointment is a thick, sticky ointment that is designed to to heal and protect dry, cracked, irritated skin against the effects of the weather. I’ve had this patch of dry skin inbetween my pinky and ring finger on my right hand, and it just doesn’t go away. It turns flaky, dry and even hurts if I don’t apply anything to it. It’s been there for quite a while, and still doesn’t go away, but aquaphor prevents it from getting to the hurting stage. I’ve also used it on my face overnight if I have a lot of little dry flakes on my face (particularly on my nose and chin), and none of my skincare seems to be doing the trick. A little goes a long way, it’s quite inexpensive and it’s gentle enough for sensitive skin with no scent, and even okay for babies. The only negative I can think of it is that some might think it’s too thick, sticky and leaves an oily sheen.
I also purchased the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge but didn’t wan’t to photograph it since I don’t have the original packaging anymore, and didn’t want to put it on a surface to photograph it where it would get more bacteria. It’s a really nice sponge that provides a dewier, sheerer finish and blends makeup in well. It’s also easy to clean when I use my Daiso Detergent for Puff and Sponge (which gets everything out – highly recommend). It’s a lot nicer than some of the other sponges that you see by other brands, but around the same price. I’d highly recommend it if you’re looking for a dewier finish and natural, sheerer coverage.
The next product was the EcoTools Airbrush Concealer Brush. I originally purchased it for my concealer, but I find that I don’t wear a lot of face makeup on a day to day basis because of my lack of time management. I ended up using it for setting my under-eyes with powder, because unless I do that properly, my eye makeup will smudge. I like this brush because it’s quite multi-purpose, in the way that you can use it to blend in your concealer, but you can also use it for applying eyeshadow, setting powder etc. It’s also super soft, kind to the environment and comes with a nice pouch which will be handy for travelling. So far there’s no negatives with this brush for me.
As for the picture above, I never intended to buy two. I originally ordered one, and the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. I opened my order and found two of these instead of the two brushes I ordered, and contacted iHerb immediately. They have an online customer service chat available most of the time, so I contacted them and after chatting back and forth with them answering quickly, they gave me a refund for the item that I didn’t receive. They also let me keep the second brush I received as a free gift! I’d give their customer service a solid A+!
These Sierra Bees Variety Packs come with 8 lip balms of different flavours and are a very popular item on iHerb. They’re all organic lip balms made of sustainable, eco-friendly and bio-degradable ingredients. Each pack comes with one cocoa butter, honey, mint burst, pomegranate, unscented shea butter and argan oil, tamanu and tea tree, unscented and unflavoured and a creme brulee.
Firstly, the value is phenomenal. Each variety pack are sold at a price tag less than $7 AUD. That equals to less than $1 a lip balm. Even better, I found that some of the items I intended to buy had an offer where if you purchase a variety pack in conjunction, you get a further discount. (You’ll find these options beneath an individual product’s listing). I ended up getting each variety pack for less than $6, with each lip balm for around 70c each. Even better is the fact that you’re not only getting them for a fantastic price, but you’re getting fantastic quality too.
I did intend to to give these all away as gifts, but I saw that they had a creme brulee flavour and had to try it. It smelt quite similar to creme brulee, and the lip balm itself was quite nice. It kept my lips soft, smooth and moisturised, quite like the Nivea ones that I like. They’re not overly shiny or glossy, meaning that they’re great unisex balms, as I know that many people don’t like lip balms making their lips all shiny and glossy. They make great individual stocking stuffers, cracker stuffers or even gifts, which is what I bought them for. If you should buy anything from this haul, I’d highly recommend these Sierra Bees Variety Packs.
As for their service, they have a flat rate of around $5.50 AUD, and when your order is over around $55 AUD you get it for free. They ship through Australia Post, it comes with a tracking number and it’s quite fast. I find that both of my orders arrived days for the expected arrival period. They also give you $5 off your first order (or even more, depending on how much your order is as it’s basically 5% off after items costs, shipping and taxes). If you share your link, anyone who orders through your link will get the $5 off, and you’ll get $5 for yourself! So if you’d like $5 off some great products, you can click here (: Not only that, they’ve got great customer service, which in my experience was really kind, quickly responded and readily available for me. I would say that overall their ordering experience has been great so far in the two orders I’ve received, and I’m definitely going to order from them again in the near future!
Here’s a TL;DR for those who are too lazy to read:
Positives: Smell amazing; nice, clean, attractive packaging; when accidentally dropped don’t roll away from you (!!! mega bonus points in my book !!!); vegan-friendly; live up to their claims (mostly)
Negatives: Used up quickly, more expensive; don’t work on chapped, dry, flaky lips (better for just dry lips)
Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask
Positives: Cleanses my face nicely; refreshing minty scent and slight tingly feeling (doesn’t burn my sensitive skin); inexpensive
Negatives: Leaves my dry skin…dry and a bit tight (I only use it on my oilier areas and they still end up slightly dry
Positives: Great multi-purpose ointment; no scent; little goes a long way; gentle enough for sensitive skin/babies; short ingredient list
Negatives: Some might not like the texture (thick and sticky); leaves an oily finish (not great if applying to face unless at night)
Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge
Positives: Multi-purpose (applying foundation, applying concealer on blemishes/undereyes, setting makeup, applying cream blush etc.); supposedly is a great dupe for beauty blender; inexpensive; easy to clean (I use Daiso’s detergent for puff and sponge – gets everything out of it)
Negatives: Absorbs some product when applying; gives a dewier, sheerer coverage than brushes (to those who prefer fuller coverage)
EcoTools Airbrush Concealer Brush
Positives: Great multi-purpose brush (wash of colour over eyelids, setting undereyes/around nose with translucent powder, blending concealer), super soft bristles; comes with a carrying case; brand is socially responsible and are kind to the environment with materials used
Negatives: Nothing so far
Sierra Bees Lip Balms
Positives: Extremely inexpensive; made with sustainable, eco-friendly and bio-degradable ingredients; moisturising, smell nice and have scents for everyone, not too glossy
Negatives: sTUPID CYLINDRICAL PACKAGING ROLLS AWAY FROM ME EVERY TIME (but almost every single chapstick is in this packaging and I’m always dropping them so it’s kind of my fault)
I know it’s been 9 days since I last posted and I promised more frequent posts, but I’ve kind of been lazy. As a matter of fact I have been lazy. Ever since school ended all I’ve been doing is sleeping, binge watching shows and online retail therapy (!! NOT GOOD BUT I CAN’T STOP !!). Everytime I bake something, I swear I always forget to take photos of it (bECAUSE I’M SO STUPID) meaning no blog post. I’m pretty sure I’ve baked like three times in the past fortnight, all of them being really pretty and delicious and forgot to take photos of them -.-. But it’s all good because I’ll be re-baking them again. Hopefully I’ll get better discipline and REMEMBER TO TAKE THOSE PHOTOS. So this time when I say expect a lot of food posts, you’ll actually get those food posts. I’m also going to try my hardest to stop being lazy and actually post more often.
Hope you’re having a lovely day wherever you are!