May 27th, 2015

5 Things To Buy From Sephora

It can be tricky business buying things from Sephora from here in Australia, but if you work out a way to do it it’s pretty wonderful (and can end up cheaper in the long run). I purchase items from Sephora myself, have them shipped to my Hop Shop Go address, and then forwarded on to me. This works about 75% of the time, and to be honest the times that it doesn’t work I really couldn’t tell you why. If you’re willing to take the gamble and place an order, I recommend picking up the following 5 products.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Tipsy – This is the current frontrunner for the title of my favourite blush of all time. It’s an extremely flattering peachy-pink shade that never fails to lift my complexion and brighten my face. The lasting power of these Tarte blushes is second to none, and even though I know this I’m always pleasantly surprised to see that I still have a face full of blush when I get home from work at the end of the day.

Beauty Blender – Once you go Beauty Blender you never go back. At least, I haven’t (and won’t). Nothing has ever managed to give me the same level of flawless liquid foundation application that the Beauty Blender does. Somehow this little miracle of a sponge just manages to work everything into the skin and leaves it looking perfect. Buy two.

Fresh Tinted Lip Conditioners – These are my favourite lip products, and I own them in nearly every shade currently available. I’d say out of all of the shades I’ve tried, “Rose” is my favourite, so if you’re planning on picking one up maybe try starting with that one. It’s probably the easiest one to wear, as it’s one of the more sheerer shades from the range.

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder – To be honest with you, I could never really tell if my loose powder was actually doing anything until I ran out of this one and had to use something else in it’s place. Somehow this powder is the only one I’ve found that keeps my face matte for the majority of the day. If you’re prone to a bit of oiliness, check this out because it works really well for me.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner – I have shaky hands, poor eyesight, and hooded eyelids. To put it bluntly, if I can manage a decent looking winged liner using this, anyone can.

May 25th, 2015

NOTD – Essie ‘Angora Cardi’

I’m actually really surprised that I’ve never done a nail of the day post on this polish, as it’s one of my all time favourites. I was getting a bit bored of wearing Max Factor’s Burgundy Crush every day, so I mixed it up with this Autumn-friendly shade. This is an absolutely beautiful colour, and the polish wears really well. I went a whole week without having to cover any chips of flakes. If you’re looking for a beautiful nail polish to wear throughout Autumn and Winter, definitely pick this little beauty up.
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May 24th, 2015

Thoughts of the week…

01) So….. I didn’t love the Bad Blood video, and I don’t think it was worth the hype. Just sayin’.

02) Speaking of Taylor Swift, I guess those Calvin Harris rumours can be laid to rest?

03) Joy Williams released another song from her upcoming album, and it’s a beauty. This is apparently about the breakup of The Civil Wars, so as someone who came to know Joy through their music this one is pretty interesting for me.

04) We started watching Mad Men last week (about a hundred years behind everyone else, I know), and we’re both obsessed. We managed to power through season one over the course of a few days (it helped that Sebastian couldn’t move from the couch post-op – TV marathon time!), and will be starting season three very soon.

05) Chris Pratt dancing on the set of Jurassic Park.

06) Wheel of musical impressions with Jamie Foxx.

07) Stephanie sent me the link to this blog during the week. Amazing.

08) Listening to Mumford & Son’s new album on Spotify may not have been enough to convince me to fork out the cash for it, but it worked for Nicki Minaj’s The Pinkprint. I purchased it, and I’ve been listening to it non stop all week.

09) Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande covered one of my favourite Crowded House songs, and it’s a beautiful rendition of a perfect song.

10) I really enjoyed the first Maze Runner film, so I was excited to see the preview for the second film. It looks good, and I know less about this book/film than the first one, so I’ll be going into it blind.

May 20th, 2015

May Wellness Chat

Last month I brought up the fact that I talk about a lot off different kinds of goals in life, but rarely about mental wellness and the sort of things I want to achieve to help me with that balance. I set some wellness goals for the month, so lets see how I did:

– Buy an adult colouring book (and nice pencils)
– Go screen-free after 9:30PM on week days
– Read a little bit of my book every night before bed on week days
– Make an effort to keep up contact with friends
– Spend more time “with nature” and in the garden

My obsession with colouring is going strong, as evidenced by the image that the top of this post. I struggled with going screen free after 9:30pm, I might need to push that back to 10pm moving forward. I feel like I lose track of time in the evenings, and although we go to bed relatively early, I’ll often look at my phone and it will be well after 9:30pm. Oops. I’ve fallen off the wagon with my reading, and I really need to get back on track. I need to make more of an effort to read and unwind before falling asleep, but I find as soon as I crawl into bed during the week all I want to do is sleep! Keeping in contact with friends has been much easier since my girlfriends and I started a group WhatsApp group chat. We now converse daily (in some way), which is wonderful. I haven’t spent much time outside lately, mostly due to time restrictions. Soon! Here are my goals for the upcoming month:

– Spend time on Tuesday and Thursday evenings doing things for me
– Meditate once a week
– Spend some time on Sunday evenings in ‘wind down’ mode
– Practice daily affirmations
– Work on a vision board

What are your wellness goals for the month?

May 19th, 2015

5 Things To Buy From Adore Beauty

I think I’ve mentioned it a few times, but I’ll reiterate it again. Adore Beauty is one of the best beauty retailers out there, and they have the added benefit of being an Australian site. You even get a quintessentially Australian TIM TAM with every order. Guys, What a win. I’ve cut back a lot on what I spend on beauty products, but when I do get the urge to spend, more often than not I’ll do it at Adore Beauty. Here are my top 5 most repurchased products from Adore:

Skindinavia Makeup Setting Spray – I hate it when my makeup has a dusty sort of look to it, so I spritz this on my face after I do my makeup every morning and it makes everything look a bit more fresh. It also does a fairly decent job of keeping my makeup on my face, although as I’m prone to oiliness sometimes that wins the battle.

Kerastase Nectar Thermique – If this is not already a staple in your haircare routine, it’s time to get out your purse. This is an essential in my beauty cupboard and I use it every day prior to blow drying my hair. There is a noticeable difference in the softness and smoothness on my hair when I use this, so I’ve stuck with it ever since.

Lancome Hypnose Mascara – Are you sick of hearing me rave on about this? Next time you’re in the market for a mascara, pick this up. I promise that you’ll never use anything else ever again. This stuff is amazing. I always get a bit depressed when I reach the end of a tube, which I’m about to do. Sad.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant – This is an old favourite of mine that I recently rediscovered. I was a huge Dermalogica fangirl for a loooong time, and although I’m still faithful to the brand I’ve introduced some Paula’s Choice products to work alongside my Dermalogica ‘old faithfuls’. This is a really wonderful exfoliant, and if you’re looking to add something new into your skincare regime, I highly recommend checking this out.

Glasshouse Candle in Kyoto – This is one of the best smelling candles I’ve ever purchased. I think we’ve gone through about four of the full sized versions of this candle, we like it that much. I’m not huge on floral scents, but this is so subtle and lovely, I really like it.

May 18th, 2015

May Health & Fitness Chat

I feel like quite a lot has changed in my life since my last health and fitness chat, and if you’ve been reading my blog since then you’ll know it’s because I’ve cut about 90% of wheat and gluten problems out of my diet. This has cured me of my chronic stomach pain, which is a huge relief. Thankfully I’m not coeliac, so I can reduce my wheat intake but still have it from time to time without worrying about it too much. Here’s how I went with my goals for April:

– Keep a daily food journal and track any side effects I have from the foods I’m eating
– Start utilising the gym again
– Stretch my hamstrings after every workout
– Cut down on chocolate (Easter was a killer)
– Pick up my water intake again

– Switch to decaf tea 50% of the time

Not too bad all up. In general, my health has been on the mend. My fitness, however, has been lacking quite a bit. This is mostly because Sebastian has been unable to do any kind of physical exercise, due to a leg injury that he had surgery on last week. Thankfully this means he’ll be back on track for exercise soon enough, and I won’t feel so bad ducking off for an hour or so to get a workout in at night. Here are my goals for the next month:

– Try and cut back on processed ingredients in our dinners
– Write up a fitness goals list/chart for the next few months
– Look at joining a gym in our local area
– Stretch my hamstrings after every workout (I’ll need to continue doing this for a while)
– Eat more fruit
– Try a local pilates class

What are your fitness goals for the month?

May 16th, 2015

Thoughts Of The Week…

01) Guys, I’ve become addicted to Keeping Up With The Kardashians. It all started when I had a couple of days off of work during the week due to a stomach bug. I marathoned the show in bed and now I can’t get enough!!!! SEND HELP ASAP.

02) Kimberley and Julia’s latest Podcast was great! It got me thinking about all of the books I’ve struggled to finish over the years. This year the one book I just can’t seem to get into and finish is Frog Music by Emma Donoghue. I will persevere though, and must finish it before the end of the year!

03) What would your name be if you were born in today? Mine would be Olivia. Sebastian’s would be Alfredo, which I find hilarious.

04) Seems like the feature length film featuring David Brent might be going ahead. Fans of The Office UK, rejoice!

05) I love this blog post about desk styling for a student, post-grad, and career woman. I guess it makes sense that my favourite of the three is the desk styling for the 30-year old woman. #old

06) Joy Williams released a second song from her new album, and although I don’t love it as much as ‘Woman (Oh Mama)’, I’m still really excited for the album release.

07) Did you guys know there is a new Mission Impossible movie coming out? We’ve done the right thing and have re-watched the entire series in preparation for the fifth installment. Say what you want about Tom Cruise as a person, but he’s so damn watchable on the screen.

08) Egg Russian Roulette with Anna Kendrick

09) Lifetime have greenlit a movie version of Virginia Andrews’ book ‘My Sweet Audrina’, which I think I’ve read about 300 times. The more VC Andrews books made into movies the better, in my opinion.

10) This video on how Disney recycles animation is fascinating.

May 12th, 2015

Autumn/Winter To-Do List (check in)

Guess who is not doing particularly well with goal setting/achieving lately? Yes, that’s right. Me. I find checking in with my list of goals is a great way to kick-start my motivation, and now that I’ve looked at this list again I feel inspired to start crossing some of them off. Here are the things I want to do this Autumn/Winter season:

– Make peppermint hot chocolate (I haven’t done this yet, but now I have an epic craving for peppermint hot chocolate. thanks, self)
– Perfect 3 new cookie recipes (See above)
– Go away for the weekend to celebrate Sebastian’s birthday
– Get a professional pedicure
– Paint the house
– Enjoy lazy Sunday mornings in bed and around the table (pots of tea, indulgent breakfast, books) (My biggest struggle with this is finding the time, or really setting the time aside to do this. There are always so many things to get done on the weekend, and ‘winding down’ isn’t ever a priority)
– Make big pots of soup every weekend (I made one pot of soup and it was a fail, so that put me off)
– Re-read ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy
– Buy a nice new winter coat (I ordered a coat from ASOS recently but it ended up being a huge shapeless sack. Back to the drawing board)
– Learn how to make a great curry from scratch
– Spend rainy weekend evenings playing board games with the family (Soon!)
– Invest in a good hydrating face mask (and use it weekly!)

See how I haven’t crossed one item off of my list yet? I’m glad I checked in! How are you all going with your seasonal to-do lists? Jen from JenLovesKev just posted about her Summer Bucket List, and it’s pretty amazing.

May 11th, 2015

How To Achieve the ‘Playfully Wavy’ style from Watson X Watson

image credit: getty

Fashion week hair and makeup can often seem quite, well… unwearable. One of the more wearable hair style options I saw at Fashion Week 2015 was featured at Watson x Watson. This playfully wavy hair is easy to recreate, and Schwarzkopf’s National Technical Educator Grant Withnell is here to tell us how. Simply follow these steps:

1. Start with clean hair, shampoo and condition your hair and towel-dry. Apply a treatment or oil to help detangle and smooth the hair surface – go for one that will also help protect against heat damage.

2. If you have naturally wavy or curly hair, spritz with a sea salt spray or spray gel to help set your natural curls.

3. For straight or fine hair, comb a large dollop of volumising mousse through wet hair.

4. Remove any excess moisture with a blow dryer before you start the styling process. To get more volume, flip your head upside down and scrunch with your hands.

5. Once excess moisture is removed, use a small round brush, blow dry sections of hair and roll the brush away from your face. If your hair is long, first divide it into four sections from ear to ear and straight down the centre, securing each section with a clip. Then complete the blow dry one section at a time. Tip: start at the nape or underneath section of your hair and direct the nozzle of your hairdryer directly down the hair shaft so the air is blowing along the mesh of hair. This will make the cuticle layer sit flat and reduce fly-aways.

6. Now use a curling iron, the size of the curl/wave will depend on the width of the curling iron. Wrap 1-2 inch sections of hair from mid-shafts to ends only (leave the roots straight). Curl random sections of hair in different directions to create a more haphazard, rough texture.

7. Gently tousle your hair with your hands or a paddle brush to break up the curls.

8. Finally, finish with a spritz of lightweight hairspray all over your hair to hold it in place all day.

Not sure what to use to achieve this look? Grant recommends these six products from Schwarzkopf:

Be sure to let me know if you try out these steps to achieve the playfully wavy look. I’d love to know how it worked out for you! I might just have to try them out for a very special event I’m attending on Saturday night…
May 9th, 2015

Thoughts of the week…

01) If you’re ever in need of some mental calmness, try Pixel Thoughts.

02) I’m on the lookout for an amazing coffee scrub. I can’t drink coffee anymore, so I figure this will be something of a substitute for me in the mornings. Wishful thinking. If you have any recommendations, please let me know! I’ll definitely be checking out the Frank scrub, at twitter folk’s suggestion.

03) The Met Gala was on this week, and although my favourite Kate Bosworth didn’t attend, JLo showed up and killed it.

04) Cats and boxes, man. Cats and boxes.

05) Vance Joy’s cover of I Know Places is beautiful.

06) Speaking of Taylor, she’s been dropping hints about the Bad Blood music video, and I’m excited.

07) I made a nostalgic playlist on Spotify and I’m quite proud of it.

08) Mumford and Son’s new album is available to listen on Spotify. I’m glad because I’m not sure I would fork out the $21 for the album on iTunes, to be honest.

09) Jimmy Fallon and Jack Black is up there with Jimmy Fallon and Kristin Wiig with making me laugh.

10) Mindy Kaling is releasing another book!.