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  • When I found out Skinstitut had a makeup range, I had to try it!As a fan of their skincare, I was interested to see how their makeup would do. Currently stocked exclusively at Laser Clinics Australia, the range was born out of the need to provide something to patients who had undergone dermal treatments and wanted something for their face post-treatment, but that wouldn't be clogging or damaging to their healing skin. 

    The Skinstitut makeup range is essentially a hybrid between skincare and makeup, with each product in the range containing an advocated formula that combines cosmedical skincare ingredients with natural, triple milled minerals to give you something that you can wear after treatment and that will also help with the healing process.

    While I haven't had any dermal treatments recently, knowing how good for your skin these products were, I had to put them to the test - for reference, my skin sits a little on the oiler side; the main problem I get and which I use to test how good any makeup is, especially foundation, is whether or not the product separates and/or goes shiny on my skin throughout the day, or if it can tough it out and manage to stay looking flawless.

    Pressed Mineral Foundation 

    This product is a 4-in-1 deal, offering concealer, foundation, sun protection and a finishing powder, so you only have to put one product on your face and your base is caked and ready to go. Unfortunately, for me, this was probably my least favourite product out of them all. While it applied really well and looked great during the first part of the day, as I looked in the mirror in the afternoon, while it hadn't majorly separated, it almost somehow looked cakier than it had when I first applied. I also feel like it had a bit more a glow/highlight effect to it than regular foundation which I was living for all over my face.

    Loose Mineral Foundation

    This stuff is certainly one of my favourite picks from the range. Lately my skin hasn't been enjoying liquid foundation - its just been separating and looking super oily on my face for some reason, so I turned to this for a lighter option. This Mineral Foundation was the answer I needed - it manages to give my face an almost full coverage look, but while still looking very natural and by being able to use less product on my face, my skin isn't reacting as much with my makeup and staying put better throughout the day.

    High Definition Foundation

    This was another one of my favourites from the range. While I'm not currently using liquid foundation, as mentioned above, I did give this a go a few times when my skin was being less of a pain in the butt and I found myself really liking. While I will say it doesn't hold in place quite as much as my coveted Chanel foundation, this stuff certainly sits in a close second place. I found this foundation, while still giving a full coverage, is more light weight then the Chanel foundation I always use, so is a perfect option for when I want something a bit less intense but still want coverage.

    BB Cream - Blemish Balancer

    I've always been a bit on the fence when it comes to BB Creams - a lot of the ones I've tried in the past have either just given no coverage and sat more on the end of being a moisturiser than any sort of foundation, or they give coverage but the oil from my skin would seep though and seperate it all in no time. Still, I gave this product a go and I have to say I was pretty impressed. While it still wasn't my favourite of the lot, I feel like this is something that would be perfect if I was just ducking out somewhere and wasn't looking to be wearing makeup for an extended period of time. I also found, despite being a BB Cream, that it had pretty good coverage while remaining lightweight on the skin.
    . 11/19/19 .
    . 11/4/19 .

    On the 1st August 2019, my partner and I flew out of the country and off to America, a trip I'd be waiting years to go on. Starting in New York, we travelled to Washington, Miami, New Orleans and lastly, Las Vegas.

    I wanted to put together a little journal about my trip, the places we went and the things we saw, both as a series of commemorative posts for myself to come back to in years to come, but also to give you guys the low down on things to do, things to see and even some of the not-so-great things to be aware of if you ever find yourself in any of these American cities.

    To start our trip, we spent five days in the New York - and we still didn't see it all! So, I figured I'd start the guide here.

    NEW YORK - DAY 1

    To begin, I wanted to quickly mention where we stayed during out five days in the Big Apple. We rested our heads each night at Hotel Five44 - named for the street it's on. Our room was a downstairs room, so I can't speak for the rooms upstairs, but I did find the room a little dark as the one window we had looked into a court yard which was lined with tall buildings and therefore didn't allow for much sunlight to get in. It was great for getting to sleep at night (that and all the walking we did each day), but when we would come back to have a quick rest and get off our feet during the afternoon, it wasn't the prettiest place to stay. While I didn't mind it at all, and as we spent most of our time out of the room I wasn't overly fussed on the negative aspects of the room, we will probably find something with a bit more sunlight next time around, but if you're looking a cheaper option that is still not a bad place to get some shut eye, I would still recommend it - maybe ask for a room that isn't on the bottom floor if possible.

    I always figured that our first day would be on foot, just wandering around and taking in where we were. Our hotel was located only a few blocks from Central Park so we made our way in that direction as we searched for coffee. As we walked the blocks, I instantly knew this would be a place I'd be coming back to one day - the amount of streets and shops and sights to see, it wasn't something we could get done, even in our five days here.

    Just before we hit Central Park we walked into Columbus Circle. Columbus Circle is basically just a huge and heavily trafficked roundabout. Aside from being close to Central Park, the roundabout is also lined by a variety of high end shops and other commercial buildings.

    After walking through Columbus Circle and finding a stand for a coffee and breakfast muffin just on the border of Central Park, we made our way into the place that would quickly become one of the top highlights of the whole trip.

    As you step into Central Park, you will completely forget you're in the middle of a bustling city - you can't hear a single car, bus or truck as you make your way to the middle. You could literally wander around all day and probably still not see it all - there are so many areas to see, sit at and so many paths to take, it's kind of overwhelming. We ended up seeing about half of the park during our stay this time and I would definitely come back to just explore the other half.

    If you ever have a day with not a lot to do and it's a nice out, nothing would be better than taking some food and setting up a picnic and spending a few hours just laying around. Also, if you happen to go at the right time of the year, they have some pretty good acts putting on small gigs in the park - so always do some goggling on what's on during your time there to make sure you don't miss something awesome.

    Eventually finding our way out of Central Park, we choose a random direction in which to walk and kept exploring. As we wandered, we realised we were heading in the direction of the Empire State Building and decided to make our way there and tick another must-do item off our list. As we made our way there, we suddenly found ourselves in front of the famous New York Public Library and had to take a quick detour and head inside.

    Going inside the Public Library is free. Some areas are roped off and only accessible for people who are actually there to use the library's resources, but you can still go inside most sections to have a little look - and yes, you can go and see that famous room with row after row of desks and the classic lamps that you've no doubt seen in all the movies. You can't wander the room unless you're there to sit and read, but there is a small roped of area just inside the door for you to go in, check it out and take a quick snap.

    Then we made our way to the Empire State Building. Navigating the building is a pretty simple process, as you just follow the lines and roped off pathways to make your way to the top. In terms of crowds, at the time we went (on a weekday and a little bit after lunch time), the crowd wasn't anything to crazy. One part of the journey to the top which I thought was an awesome addition, was the elevator ride. As you wizz up level after level, the roof of the elevator plays a video of the construction of the building, taking you through the scaffolding and bare bones of each level as you make your way up.

    Once at the top, as you make your way through the crowd and find yourself a viewing spot, I can definitely say the view is worth making your way up there for. There are a few different buildings you can choose to go up and see the city from above (such as the Rockefeller Centre) but I honestly feel like once you've been up one and seen the view, you've seen it all. One of the most spectacular views was definitely seeing Central Park from above and really getting a sense of just how huge it is!

    Once we got back down to the bottom of the Empire State and back on the streets, my partner and I both agreed our feet were feeling pretty wrecked and it was time to make our way back to the hotel.

    As we navigated back, we made our way through Times Square, which was only a couple of blocks from our hotel.

    One thing to note about Times Square, whether you go day or night, it is always busy! Busy to the point it can be pretty hard to find a good spot to stop and get a few snaps, but I still highly recommend making your way there if you're ever in New York. I would also say try and go once during the day and once at night - it truly takes on another life at night (we went back at night on another day, so I'll post the photos of that in another post).

    New York can feel a little overwhelming at first - there is so much to do and so much to see, you wonder how you'll get through it all and honestly, unless you're spending a couple of weeks there, you probably won't and you'll need to make your way back at some point. But, after a day of walking around the city and trying to take it all in, I loved the city and knew this was one place I would be coming back at some point.

    . 10/30/19 .

    If you've been following me on Instagram then you're probably already quite aware of this, but just in case you missed it and have been wondering why the hell I've been so quiet and non-existent on this platform lately - it's because I OPENED A SHOP!

    societywild has both a brick and mortar location in Newcastle, NSW (1/111 Hunter Street, Newcastle) and an online store (societywild.com.au). It also has it's own blog to, of course (societywildstore.blogspot.com.au) and is across all the socials, including Instagram and Facebook.

    The idea to even step into the world of retail started literally two days after my partner and I returned from our America trip (posts are still on their way, I promise). I'd be looking to make a move away from the full-time marketing position I was in, but up until that point in time I'd mostly been looking at similar jobs just in different companies and different fields - most were in Sydney which meant a two hour commute each way every day, which I wasn't particularly keen on.

    Scrolling through Instagram one Sunday afternoon, I came across a retail store that was for sale about 40 minutes away from me. That's when the idea that maybe owning a store would be a cool venture started to swirl around in my head. What started as looking into buying an existing business eventually turned into the idea of just starting my own thing, thanks to the many comments and suggestion from friends and family.

    With a limited budget, I had no idea if this would even be possible, but as I began looking around for spaces to lease and thinking about the costs of stocking and all the other bits and pieces that go with starting a business, I came to realise this was something that might actually be possible!

    After back and forth with various agents, I eventually found what turned out to the perfect location for my store, as well as being at the perfect price for my budget.

    I signed the lease and within two weeks we were open! The space itself didn't require any major renovations, mostly a good coat of paint and the installation of a few fixtures.

    So okay, what is societywild all about and what do we stock?

    Well as would be expected from a new, small business who came together in such a short turn around time, the store and what we stock is slowly evolving and growing, but as we currently stand we stock both men's and women's clothing, both vintage pieces and modern clothing, as well as some accessories including vegan leather belts and bags, sunglasses and jewellery and some homely pieces like candles and room sprays. We may also have some stationary, including 2020 diaries, notebooks and greeting cards and some swimwear on the way ...

    In terms of what kind of vintage pieces we stock, we've got a whole heap of one-of-a-kind Harley Davidson tees and band tees, a bunch of Levi Cut Off Shorts (perfectly distressed and ready to impress), Levi Jeans, denim jackets and most recently, a select few genuine leather motorcycle jackets.

    We're now almost three weeks in since opening, and yep, I've worked every single one of those days - but I love it! At my previous office job, the thought of having to work even a couple of extra hours seemed like the end of the world. Now I wake up each day, even though I have worked so many days in a row, excited to see what the day will bring, what pieces people will love and working on all the bits and pieces that comes with having your own business. People ask me if I get bored sitting there each and every day, but you'd be surprised how you always find something to do - just when you think you've finished everything, you'll think of something else you could do.

    As someone you was a freelance copywriter before my full time marketing role and also having a father who has worked for himself for as long as I can remember, I always dreamt about and was inspired to get back to working for myself, and now that I am again, I realise this is exactly what I want to be doing.

    Starting your own business and going completely full time with it, putting your time and money on the line for it, is a bloody scary thing because, as much as you believe in what you're creating, you can never predict what is going to happen, especially in the beginning.

    BUT, if I had one piece of advice for someone considering starting their own business, no matter what area you're in - if you've looked into what is needed to get you going and you've thought, 'actually I could do this', and the only thing holding you back is your fear of the unknown and what will happen, then JUST DO IT!

    At the end of the day, if things don't work out as you hoped you can always go back to the type of job you had before starting your own and at least know you gave it your best shot - I promise you'll feel worse down the track if you never give it go and keep wondering 'what if' then if you give it a crack and roll with whatever happens.

    . 10/22/19 .

    Even though I've been going to Suki Hairdressing for over a year, it still amazes me how well my hair continues to grow. Since going to Suki, I've chosen to give my hair the chop twice - mostly recently I cut it short again before heading on my America trip (posts to come). Despite cutting it off twice, it seems that each time I go back to the salon my hair has managed to grow evenlonger than my last visit.

    Before I started going to Suki, I struggled to get my hair to grow for months and months, and each time I felt like I'd achieved some growth, it would just snap right off. Safe to say, that is no longer the case and my days of dead, lifeless hair are over.

    One of the latest products from Suki to help my hair grow is Hair Food from Apotecari. This is a vegan nourishing protein powder that can be thrown into a smoothie or just mixed with coconut water for a hair strengthening and structural reenforcement strawberry-flavoured treat. With a number of ingredients, including Vitamin C, which work together to enrich and protect hair and boost the production of collagen, this stuff not only tastes pretty good but it certainly does the job. 

    I've been having mine once daily, as well as still using my usual products including the Activance spray, and the difference in my hair is certainly noticeable.

    If you're having trouble with damaged hair that just won't seem to grow, give the girls at Suki a call!