October 2nd, 2014

September Empties

Bath & Body Works Anti-Bac Hand Soap in ‘Iced Gingerbread’ – This was the last of the stragglers from my stash of Bath & Body Works hand soaps, and I’m sad to see it go. My boyfriend LOVED this scent, so I am considering picking something else up from this range (if they happen to go on sale), when the Christmas range is released this year.

Glasshouse ‘Kyoto’ Candle (repurchased) – This is my new favourite candle scent, in fact I love it so much I even gave my BFF one as part of her birthday gift this year. It’s a beautiful scent, soft and floral without being overpowering or headache-inducing. We already had another one of these on backup ready to burn as soon as this ran out.

Pantene 3 Minute Miracle (repurchased) – These little tubes of magic have been part of my holy grail hair care family for many years now, and I like to whip them out from time to time when my hair needs some TLC. I used to use one full tube on my hair for one treatment, but now I only use them on the ends of my hair and can get about 3 or 4 uses out of the one tube.

Unico Protein Treatment (would repurchase) – I really liked using this hair treatment (and I think my boyfriend did too, at the rate it disappeared from the tub), and would definitely consider repurchasing it once I make my way through the many other deep conditioners I have stashed away in my beauty cupboard.

Firebird ‘Sugar’ Perfume Oil (would repurchase) – Oddly enough, this is one of my most-complimented perfumes. I’ve even had complete strangers come up to me on the street and tell me they like what perfume I’m wearing, when I have this on. It’s borderline sickly-sweet, but has a certain element to it that somehow makes it work. I can’t justify ordering any more perfume just yet, but I have this tucked away in the back of my mind for the next time I feel like splurging a bit.

Tags:
October 1st, 2014

Product Review: Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in ‘Tipsy’

Not all blush are created equal. Every now and then you come across a blush that somehow magically ‘lifts’ your entire face and makes you look a heck of a lot fresher than you feel. One such miracle is the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in the shade Tipsy. I first saw this blush mentioned in an EssieButton video earlier in the year, and made a mental note to pick it up for myself the next time I placed a Sephora order. I’m so glad that I did, because it’s currently my favourite blush. The Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushes are the best powder blushes on the market right now, in my opinion. I have a couple of other shades already, and the quality is unbeatable. They’re long lasting, not so heavily pigmented that they’re impossible to work into the skin, and are easily buildable. Tipsy is of the same standard as the other blushes I’ve tried from the range, and the colour is by far my favourite of the bunch. It’s a fresh peachy-pink that works well with my complexion and instantly brightens my face. My fellow fair-skinned girls need to jump on this immediately. The Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Tipsy retails for $26 USD and is available for purchase from Sephora.
September 30th, 2014

Spring/Summer Makeup Haul

As with my intention to ‘shop my stash’ for books, I failed dismally at my attempt to only shop my own beauty stash for the season. This is due in part to me being close to running out of a few of my beauty staples, so with that in mind I was able to justify placing a little Sephora order.

Lancome Hypnose Mascara – This is my daily mascara and I absolutely must have a back up tube ready to go for when the one I’m using runs out. I’ve been using Hypnose almost exclusively for about five years now. It’s one of the best mascaras on the market, and I can’t see myself straying from it anytime soon.

Hourglass Brow Arch – I’ve nearly reached the end of the Maybelline brow pencil I’ve been using lately, so I decided to pick this up on the recommendation of ViviannaDoesMakeup.

Beauty Blender Sponge Duo – Another daily makeup necessity. I decided to try out the black sponges this time around, although I’m not sure what the difference will be. Having said that, the pink sponges do tend to get some dark marks along the edges when it’s time to get rid of them, so not having that visible reminder on the black sponges might not be a good thing.

Givenchy Photo Perfexion – I go through a bottle of this foundation every few months. It’s the one I wear daily, so I like to make sure I have at least one back up bottle available to me at all times. The Givenchy foundations ARE available for purchase in Australia, but when I take into consideration the price different between here and the US plus the rate of shipping split over any other items I order, it ends up being cheaper for me to order replacements from Sephora every few months or so.

Tarte Power Pigment in Tipsy – This is the only thing from this particular order that I’m a little bit disappointed in. Which is probably my own fault, as I didn’t bother to read any reviews or look at any swatches before ordering it. Oops.

Boscia Blotting Papers – I tend to pick up a packet of these every time I place a Sephora order, as they’re the best blotting papers I’ve come across.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Tipsy – EssieButton mentioned this a few times earlier in the year, and the colour looked like something I would really like (and I do), so I decided to pick one up for myself. The Tarte Amazonian Clay blushes are up there with the best, in my opionion. This one is no exception.

additional samples: Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix, Phyto Specific Moisturizing Styling Cream, Lancome Definicils Mascara, and Smashbox Photo Finish Primer.

September 28th, 2014

Sunday Survey

01 Mood: Relaxed. It’s a long weekend so I feel like I have a little bit of extra time to get everything done this weekend.

02 Best thing about this weekend: Finally getting to catch up with my girlfriends after about a month of not seeing them. Oh, and going to the Royal Show for the first time in years.

03 Current Workout: I’ve started road-running again, after being at treadmill runner for about 6 months or so. It is (obviously) a lot harder to run on the road than it is on a treadmill, so I’m feeling the workout a lot more than I have been, which is a good thing.

04 What I’m watching: We finished up the second season of House of Cards, and were both in the mood for something else Washington-based, so we’ve started on Homeland. I’ve seen two seasons of the show already, but can’t quite remember what happens. I’m excited to see it all play out again from the start.

05 Skincare lust: A decent moisturising treatment. My skin has felt so dry lately, and I feel the need to slather it in something deeply moisturising. Any and all suggestions are welcome!

06 Listening to: I’ve listened to this song on repeat a lot this week. It’s a damn catchy song.

07 Favourite recent purchase: I saw a pair of shoes pop up on someone’s Instagram feed a few weeks ago, and made a mental note to check them out the next time I was at the shops. Lo and behold, they were still there. $25 from KMart – a cheaper alternative to the $170 Wittner pair I’ve been eyeing off.

08 What I’m reading: ‘Safe Haven’ by Nicholas Sparks. It’s completely different to the film, but somehow the exact kind of book I was in the mood to read.

09 I want: Tickets to see Ed Sheeran in concert next year.

10 Aim for this week: Plan this month’s book club meeting with my girlfriends. I got the ball rolling and enlisted some of my friends to get our book club started up again, now it’s time to plan our first ‘meeting’. Our first book is ‘The Returned’ by Jason Mott.

September 27th, 2014

Thoughts of the week…

01) Guys, Lauren Conrad released images from her wedding album. I love everything I’ve seen from her wedding so far. I’m surprised it wasn’t more ‘girly’, but then Lauren has always mentioned finding a balance between her style and her partners masculine style so I guess it does make sense that their wedding would be a good mix of both.

02) Speaking of Lauren Conrad, she also recently allowed InStyle to tour her home. It’s beautiful, but not quite what I was expecting.

03) My current ‘app’ obsession at the moment is the Wunderlist app. There are a LOT of list making apps out there, so I’m not sure if/how this one is better than any of the others on the market, but I’m enjoying using it. Basically I just love making lists.

04) My parents went to Europe for some of August and most of September, and brought me back a few gifts. One of which was a brand new bottle of Chanel Chance. I haven’t worn this perfume in years, and it’s bringing back a lot of memories from my early 20s. I think I’ll get a lot of wear out of this during summer.

05) Ed Sheeran announced an Australian tour for next year, and I’m already mentally planning who I can try and convince to come with me…

06) Emma Watson presented an impressive speech on feminism at the UN this week. What a truly inspiring young woman.

07) Lena Dunham’s ‘ask lena‘ Q&A series is absolute perfection.

08) Most of the news stories I read during the week are incredibly depressing, but not this one.

09) Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn have both been confirmed as leads in the second season of True Detective. I think this is some very interesting casting, although it’s not as interesting a casting as what I first read his name as when I saw the Rolling Stone article on Colin Farrell pop up on my twitter feed (read: Colin Firth).

10) 5 Second Summaries with Andy Samberg

September 25th, 2014

The Liebster Award

Liebster means ‘dearest’ in German and it’s an award given to bloggers by other bloggers.

Thank you to Kirstie Fitzgerald for nominating me for this award. It really is so lovely to be counted amoung someone’s favourite bloggers, especially someone so wonderful. As an award winner I answer the 10 questions selected for me by Kirstie, and then I nominate 10 bloggers I admire for an award. They then answer my questions and nominate their favourite bloggers and so on and so forth.

The Liebster rules for sharing the love:

– Link back and recognise the blogger who nominated me.
– Answer 10 questions given by the nominator.
– Nominate 10 inspirational bloggers for the award.
– Create 10 questions for nominees to answer.
– Notify my nominees.

1. Why did you start blogging? I’ve been playing around with website development for around 10 years now. There was a period of time where I stopped being interested in site building, but when I got the itch to come back and try again I figured creating a blog would be an easy first step. And here I am, quite a few years later.

2. What do your family/friends think about your blog? The majority of my friends don’t know about my blog, and to be honest I’d be slightly embarrassed if they were to find out about it (but that stems from a bit of personal insecurity). Nearly all of them have very little online presence, so I feel like it would be a bit difficult to explain the blogging community to them. My partner is very supportive, he comes from an IT background, so he understands the online community better than my friends would. My family does know, and I think they find it quite interesting. When I first started receiving items for review my parents thought I was squandering my money on superfluous beauty products, so explaining it to them was a bit of a relief on their end I think.

3. What’s the best book you’ve read recently? I’m not sure if I’d classify it as the ‘best’, but it was certainly the most interesting, and that is ‘The Circle’ by Dave Eggers.

4. When was the last time you had a good belly laugh, and what caused it? To be honest with you, I have those big laughter moments nearly every single day, thanks to my partner Sebastian. He is one of the funniest people I know, we get each other’s weird humour and we’re always laughing together. It’s wonderful.

5. What would you say is your best quality? This is a tough one for me to answer. I will fall back on what people have told me in the past, which is that I am a kind and thoughtful person. I think in this day and age kindness and thoughtfulness is somewhat underrated, because we all have a tendancy to get a little self obsessed from time to time. Knowing that, it’s a compliment that I hold dear to me.

6. What’s a pet peeve of yours? When people are unnecessarily rude to customer service people. We were at KFC the other day (don’t ask), and there was a woman going off her head at the poor manager of the store, because she’d had to wait too long for her chicken. I can’t imagine anything worse than having to slave away over a hot fryer all day, and although I have no idea as to how this woman’s day had been, I feel like yelling at someone was probably not the best way to go about resolving her problem. I mean, we all want our KFC chicken ASAP but come on.

7. What was your favourite class to take in High School? I absolutely loved English Literature, but my teacher was a little bit nasty which put me off the class a little bit. Still, as someone who has been a voracious reader of books since a young child, any class where we got to study books was absolutely ok by me.

8. If there was to be a movie made about your life, who would play you and why? Probably the actress Melanie Lynskey, because (apparently) we look quite similar. Or Leonardo DiCaprio so he could finally win an Oscar.

9. What is your favourite word in the world and why? For some reason, the word ‘gravity’ automatically came to mind and I’m not really sure why.

10. What do you want to be when you “grow up”? I’ve never been career driven, and I don’t think I ever will be. My main goal in life is to be happy. To be content and peaceful and live a calm little life is all I really want from the world.

I nominate the following bloggers:

Kimberley @ Pop Couture
Natalie @ The Mustard Jumper
Emma @ Emma Bovary Beauty
Jade @ Jade Musing
Kimberley @ Kimmmyberleyy

My questions are –

01) If you could ‘borrow’ the wardrobe of a tv character for the day, who would it be and why?
02) What is your favourite TV show at the moment?
03) If you could have invented any makeup product, which one would it be and why?
04) What is your favourite thing about blogging/vlogging?
05) What is your favourite ‘beach read’ book?
06) If you could create your own lipstick shade, what would you call it and what shade would it be?
07) How many tabs do you have open on your window at the moment?
08) If you could change one element of your blog/channel what would it be?
09) What is your favourite movie to watch over the summer?
10) What are you most looking forward to, as we head towards the end of 2014?

September 24th, 2014

Product Review: Demeter ‘Lemon Meringue’ Cologne Spray

I first heard about Demeter fragrances years ago, before they were readily available for purchase in Australia. This was frustrating, because there were so many scents from the range that I wanted to try for myself. I was recently made aware that MU Australia stock a wide range of scents from Demeter, including a little gem called ‘Lemon Meringue’. Now, Demeter fragrances are essentially supposed to smell like whatever the particular cologne is called, and this is no exception. This smells EXACTLY like a big ol’ piece of lemon meringue pie. Delicious. They have somehow found the right balance between the citrus element of the lemon and the sugar of the meringue without being too bitter or too sweet. If you’re a fan of gourmand scents with a sweet leaning, this is perfection. The only down side to the spray is that the scent is not long lasting, so I tend to chuck the bottle into my handbag for quick touch-ups on the go throughout the day. I’m sure everyone catching public transport with me is dying to figure out what smells like lemon meringue pie. Jokes on you suckers, it’s ME! If you’re keen to try one of the Demeter Cologne Sprays for yourself, there is a wide range of scents to choose from including pizza, and lettuce. Yes, you read that right. Honestly, I’m tempted to get the pizza cologne, just to see if my boyfriend can pick the scent. The Demeter Lemon Meringue Cologne Spray retails for $29.50 AUD and is available for purchase from MU Australia (note: this product was sent for consideration for review).
September 23rd, 2014

September Fitness Chat

Well well well. Another month (nearly) over. We’ve been noticing a steady change in the weather lately, although we did still have a lot of rain and some storms on the weekend. That was a nice juxtaposition against the lovely 34 degree weather of the day before. Ahh, weather. Why you so crazy? As we head towards summer it’s a LOT easier to fit in a workout in the evenings, mostly due to it not being pitch black at 6pm. I’m looking forward to being back home this week so we can take full advantage of the beautiful weather.

August Goals
I have been using the treadmill, but not as frequently as I’d hoped. However, when I have been running I’ve felt the need to push myself further and try to beat my previous efforts. I really miss that feeling, and I look forward to having that back full-time soon. I have started the Lorna Jane Squat challenge, and am steadily making my way through it. I haven’t given up yet, so that’s a good thing. As for my health, I am pretty much back to feeling 100%, and it’s wonderful. I do need to go back to see my doctor at the end of the month to follow up, but we’re definitely on the right track with diagnosing what was wrong with me. Phew.

Monthly Goals
I decided to try to hit a caloric burn goal for the week, from Sunday through to next Sunday. I’m going to try and burn 1500 calories in a week (just during my specific workout times, not counting regular day-to-day calories burned, obviously), so fingers crossed I can reach my goal! I also want to continue with the Lorna Jane Squat challenge, and start planning for next month’s challenge. I want to stick to a healthy meal plan as best I can (we’re going out for dinner quite a lot lately, and have some big social events coming up), and cut out all unnecessary treats.

Health & Fitness Related Goodies
* I remembered that the easiest way to motivate myself to workout is to watch Beyonce clips on Youtube. Trust me, it works. ** This is m favourite workout song at the moment, It’s silly, but it’s catchy and has a steady beat to run to.

September 21st, 2014

Sunday Survey

When I was looking through old posts on the site earlier in the week (before I transferred it over to private hosting), and I came across a few old posts that I used to frequently write. One of which was a weekly survey. I’ll be bringing these back from time to time, and to celebrate the ‘Sunday Survey’ comeback, my partner Sebastian has agreed to do one as well (read: he is sitting next to me as I type this, and I talked him into it).

– – – – –
JESSICA

01 Mood: Happy. We had a lovely day today, and it’s nice to feel a bit of summer in the air.

02 Best thing about this weekend: It was nice to head home and clean our house from top to bottom in anticipation of us returning there this week. I’m also looking forward to dinner with my family tomorrow night, to celebrate my brother in law’s birthday.

03 Last movie I saw: The Adjustment Bureau – I had seen this when it first came out, but went into it with no memory of what happened. It was pretty good, but then anything with Matt Damon in it is automatically pretty good in my eyes.

04 What I’m watching: We’re making our way through a few shows at the moment. Our most watched are 30 Rock, Fringe, and House of Cards. I love all of them for different reasons. Now that we’re up to season three of 30 Rock, it’s really found it’s stride. Fringe is drawing me in more and more with every episode, and House of Cards is just A+ all the way.

05 Makeup lust: There isn’t too much that I’m lusting after at the moment, although the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette looks pretty interesting. I’ll be checking that out soon for sure.

06 Listening to: John Mayer’s album ‘Born and Raised’. I listen to this whenever I’m driving around at the moment. It has the perfect summertime vibe.

07 Skincare Lust: I have run out of ALL of my Nivea fragrance free facial wipes, and I really need to stock up my stash again soon.

08 Haircare Lust: I still want the Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dry-Spun Finish.

09 Current obsession: My blog! I’m putting more effort into blogging lately, and I’m really enjoying it. I hope this feeling lasts, because it’s a lot of fun.

10 Aim for this week: Exercise! We have been out of our proper ‘routine’ this month, and it’s thrown us both off a little bit. I’m hoping getting back home on Thursday will help us feel a bit more settled, and in control of our weekly routines.

– – – – –
SEBASTIAN

01 Mood: Weird.

02 Best thing about this weekend: Random lunch.

03 Last movie I saw: The Adjustment Bureau – I thought it was very interesting and was probably a metphor for heaven and angels and all of that junk.

04 What I’m watching: We’re watching a lot. But the last one we watched was Fringe. I am keen to see what Jessica thinks moving forward, as I have already seen it.

05 Computer &/or Car lust: I’m lusting after a new exhaust for my car. Nyeooowwwwww.

06 Listening to: Random kids screaming around the neighbourhood.

07 Skincare Lust: Um…

08 Haircare Lust: Hair that’s not oily.

09 Current obsession: Car speakers.

10 Aim for this week: Don’t die. It’s a good aim.

September 20th, 2014

Thoughts of the week…

01) Lauren Conrad got married last weekend, and I am super excited to see pictures from the big day. We all know that her wedding would have been perfectly styled. So far we’ve seen a snap of her dress, and I can’t wait to see more.

02) I absolutely ADORE the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, so I was very excited to hear the news that an Ambient Lighting Blush Palette is on it’s way! I’ve been meaning to check out their range of blushes, and now I’ll be able to get three-in-one. Perfection.

03) Speaking of beautiful blushes, you ALL need to get your hands on the Tarte Amazonian Blush in the shade ‘Tipsy‘. It is to die for. I can’t say the same for the Power Pigment in the same shade, it’s a very patchy application, and feels quite drying on the lips. I’m really disappointed about that, because I thought the two would make a great pairing for a nice, bright, summery makeup look.

04) Mindy is back! I am SO happy about this show being back on my television, and now I can get back to the important task of stalking Mindy’s wardrobe every week.

05) Speaking of TV, you can see all of the fall release dates (for the US) right here.

06) Paulo Nutini performing ‘Scream (Funk My Life Up)‘ on Jimmy Kimmel is just… Wow.

07) I didn’t realise Blake Shelton was so attractive… I love Jimmy Fallon’s lip sync battles, and this latest one is no exception.

08) 21 cats that are better at photobombing than you.

09) This is my favourite song at the moment. It’s from an older John Mayer album, but I feel like it suits this time of year perfectly.

10) If you’ve been dying to try some of the beautiful Tanda candles I mentioned in a blog post a little while ago, now is your chance. The tripe wick candles are reduced to $55 (including the delicious sounding Liptember scent), and from the 26th to the 28th of September there will be specials on tins (2 for $20), small candles (2 for $30), medium candles (2 for $50), and large candles (2 for $50). Only the 29th all orders over $25 will be 25% off using code HAPPY25TH. Enjoy!