That bi-annual time of the year is here again where Priceline roll out their famous 40% off cosmetics sale for two days. Last year I went both times and picked up some quality stuff, but this time around I have to get real with myself about the fact that I already have more than enough makeup than any one person really needs, and therefore I don't need to go. This doesn't mean though that I can't casually browse through the online portion of the sale and live vicariously through that. I also figured, considering that you still have time today to go out and grab yourself a bargain, I'd share some of the bits I probably pick up if I was going.
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Tuesday, March 21, 2017
I can't deny that I get super excited whenever I get the chance to try new products. Recently, when I was doing my makeup, I realised I had almost a full face of new products to try from GENIE Beauty and Platinum Beauty, so I wanted to share my thoughts on them with you guys.
To start off my face I applied the Instant Line Smoother from Genie. This primer has a nice consistency, not to thick and not to runny, and it sunk quickly and easily into my skin while not leaving me feeling oily or with any sort of residue on my face. Next I used the Nutratanicals Antioxidant Foundation from Genie. I'm not really a powder foundation user, I've always been a bit sceptical of them, but I was intrigued and determined to give this a go. I applied this using Genie's Kabuki Brush, which I found really soft and smooth to use. For me, using powder was a weird experience, as it doesn't show up on your skin as much straight away compared to using a liquid foundation, it's something that you really need to build, but means that it's perfect to give you either a more natural, light coverage for days out, or something heavier for heading out at night. I found their lightest shade matched me quite well for when I wasn't tanned, and I dusted a little of a darker shade just to give me a bit of colour and life. I followed with Genie's Line Smoothing Concealer, which I put under my eyes and on any little red blemishes I had. I found this concealer quite thick compared to what I'm use to working with, and I found it a bit tricky to blend, especially over the top of the powder. I think this type of concealer is best used before foundation to just cover redness, and a more fluid concealer should be used over the top to help brighten the eyes and any other areas of the face. The thickness of it however meant it did do a create job with coverage, and once I figure out the best way to use the product I think it'll be a great addition to my makeup collection.
To finish off my base I tested out Genie's Cashmere Powder. I used the Kabuki Brush again to pack some under my eyes to let them bake, and used the Platinum Powder Brush to dust some over the rest of my face. All the Platinum brushes are super, super soft and easy to work with, and they apply powder products beautifully, without leaving any sort of brush marks behind. The final new product I got to test out on my face was Genie's Cashmere Blush, which I applied using the Platinum Blush Brush. The blush has great pigmentation, so a little goes a long way, and it's also super buildable for either a soft glow or something more dramatic, depending on your desired look.
Next up is eyes! I used my existing MUD Eyeshadow Palette, which I previously showed my love for here, to give a light and natural look on my lids using a combination of the Platinum Contour Eye Brush, Platinum Eye Shadow Brush and Platinum Base Blending Brush. As with the face brushes, these eye brushes were super soft and flawlessly blended out the shadows. Onto the lashes, I tested out Genie's Million Dollar Lash Kit, which contains as TLC Plus Lash Booster and TLC Plus Mascara. The lash booster is a white formula, which aims to initially help with the length of your lashes, and the white colour helps bring out the black of the mascara. Using the two together I was really happy with the result. The formula of the mascara looked a bit clumpy to me, but it ended up giving me a full, yet somehow natural looking finish to my lashes. I also used it on my bottom lashes, which I usually only ever reserve for something that is waterproof to avoid my mascara falling and leaving me with panda eyes by the end of the day, however this stuff didn't budge at all which I super surprised and happy with.
Overall I have to say I was highly impressed with both brands, and will certainly be making them a part of my makeup routine from now on. Have you tried anything new lately?
Saturday, March 18, 2017
Most of us probably think of treating blemishes as something that we do once they've appeared on our face and ruined our lives. However, treatment should be viewed as a preventative thing more than a reactive thing. Having a good skin care routine, especially if you're a makeup wearer, can go a long way to making sure your face stays fairly blemish free. To help you get in the habit, Medik8 have a great little Blemish Starter Kit that has all the steps you need for a preventative skincare routine.
beta Cleanse - Exfoliating Foaming Cleanser
This cleanser aims to remove any dirt, oil, makeup and impurities from your skin without leaving it feeling dry. It aims to help unclog your pores while respecting your skin's natural oils and ensuring it doesn't strip them away. I'm not generally a massive foam cleanser fan, something about them to me leaves me feeling like it can't have really tackled any dirt or impurities on my skin that hard, I tend to prefer something with a bit more grit and that creates more of a soapy lather. For me, as someone who double cleanses, this is a product I would use for my second round of cleansing if I had a day were I didn't wear to much makeup, or would just use twice on my makeup free days. After using it either way I have to say my skin certainly feels clean afterwards, though, for a product that says it exfoliates, I can't feel any sort of small beads or anything in the product when I'm rubbing it onto my face. This stuff also has a quite citrusy scent, which I think may come form the tea tree oil, which I quite like.
Hydr8 B5 - Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin B5 Serum
This serum aims to give your skin a big hydration boost while also re-establishing the natural hydro-balance in your skin which gives you texture, suppleness and luminosity. This stuff felt really nice to massage onto my skin and dried quite quickly. I'm such a fan of using serums in my skincare routine these days; I've noticed such a difference in the overall quality of skin since I've introduced them. This stuff can feel a little oily when you first apply, which I have to admit scared me thanks to my not so lovely history with oily skin, but it sunk into my skin really well and hasn't broken me out like some oily products can.
Retinol 3TR - Advanced Night Serum
This serum is an extra step for you to add in when you're doing your skincare routine at night, Popping this on before the Hydr8 B5, the serum aims to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and help to speed up the natural peeling process of dead skin cells. This one can also feel quite oily, like the Hydr8 B5, but just like that product also, it sinks into the skin really well without leaving any oily residue behind.
beta Moisturise - Skin Balancing Mattifying Moisturiser
I tend to use this stuff during the day to keep my oils at bay, and use a more specific night time moisturiser at night. You can feel it mattifying your skin as soon as you apply it, and it sinks quickly and easily into your skin. I certainly notice my skin looks less shiny throughout the day, with or without makeup, when I use a product like this. It aims to help keep your skin hydrated without clogging up your pores, while also having anti-inflammatory properties and encouraging cell regeneration and repair.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
A couple of weekends ago, a few of my friends and I made the five hour or so road trip down to Canberra to catch up with a few of my friends who recently moved down there for work. Unfortunately it was a bit of a dreary weekend, with the rain constantly being undecided on whether it wanted to fall or not, so we spent a lot of our time inside, at cafes.... eating. So I figured why not share some of the places we went and the food I got so if you ever find yourself in Canberra, or are thinking of making a trip down there, which I would honestly recommend, you can have some suggestions on places to grab some quality coffee and foods.
We'd arrived at Canberra at around 11.30 on Friday night, and after long hours of driving through torrential rain and Sydney traffic, a bed and a shower after our hellos was all we could muster.
The next morning the weather was looking less than impressive, so our planned hikes weren't looking to promising. Obviously we all needed to eat, so we figured the easiest thing to do first to see how the weather went before deciding on something to do, was to head out for breakfast/brunch. There were about eight of us trying to all have showers with only one bathroom available, so we didn't make it out until around 10.
We headed to a place that our friends who lived there had been hearing about called Lonsdale Street Roasters. It was bloody packed, so when we saw a table of older women slowly starting to pack up, we made a beeline for it and unashamedly hung around it like a desperate flock of seagulls, but it was the only way we were going to find a space for us all to sit. I ordered myself a Latte and the smashed avocado without the egg. I always tend to try the smashed avocado at places when I go there for breakfast for the first time, unless something else catches my eye, because I tend to think if they can do a good smashed avocado then the rest of their dishes should be pretty good. Sounds silly because surely it isn't that hard to make some smashed avocado and chuck it on some bread, but I've had both some pretty bad and pretty good ones in my basic bitch time so far, so if you can impress me with some avo on bread you've got me sold (I'm open to any offers from cafes for free smashed avocado in exchange for a review FYI).
Overall the response to the place wasn't that great. I didn't find the latte half bad, however my friends, who are much bigger coffee drinkers and experts than I will ever be, said they were pretty disappointed with theirs. When it came to the food, for the price we paid, while it tasted nice, there was barely anything on the plate, in fact some of us were hungry again by the time we were ready to leave (maybe it's their tactic to get you to buy more food, I'm not sure), but the price certainly didn't reflect the overall quality. The smashed avocado was one piece of sourdough with a small slathering, nothing like the usual two pieces with mountains of avocado to satisfy for your days that I find most places give you. It had a super cool and quirky interior with a cool vibe, but I don't think I'd really recommend heading there for anything major to eat.
At some point in the day we got to talking about freakshakes, and so of course we eventually headed to a place that had some because some of us (including myself) had never ordered one from anywhere before. It was about lunch time when we got to Patissez, aptly named 'The Home of the Freak Shake'. I ordered myself one called 'Mint Condition' while my other friends got the 'Fruity Freak' and another that was peanut butter flavour - I can't seem to find the name of it anywhere, including in my brain. They were bloody filling and while I certainly enjoyed mine, it's something that, now I've had one, I don't think I really ever be ordering again. I loved the mint flavoured milkshake that was in mine, and would happily order that again on it's own. The mint whipped cream on top was a nice touch, and while the ice cream sandwich on top, with mint ice cream in between, would be wonderful on it's own at any other time, combined with everything else, it was a bit overwhelming and a bit much for my stomach.
My friend devoured the 'Fruity Freak' so it must have been pretty good, and she's obviously a boss when it comes to eating. My friend said the peanut butter one was good, but there was a hell of a lot of peanut butter flavour going on, so I think she only got about half way through hers, so you better bloody LOVE peanut butter if you find yourself with that creation in front of you. Overall though the shakes certainly delivered what the pictures promised and they were a pretty reasonable price for everything that was going on. I certainly recommend Patissez if you're keen to devour a freakshake and never feel hungry again.
Though I was convinced I wouldn't need to eat for a week after weakly tackling the freakshake from Patissez, somehow we ended up ordering some takeaway dinner from Brodburger after an afternoon of cider, cheese and biscuits and boardgames. I knew there was no way I was getting through a whole burger by myself, so a friend and I split the Veg burger and we also ordered a heap of fries to go around. The burger was honestly delicious, and I had high expectations going into this meal after my friends raved about how good they were. Safe to say I was impressed, though I'm not sure I took it in and enjoyed it as much as I should have because I was already so full and pretty much eating simply because I felt the need to try something after hearing about how good it was.
The place itself was also only walking distance from my friend's apartment, so we got to take a beautiful night time stroll along the foreshore and past all the buzzing restaurants and bars.
Our very last food stop before we left was Urban Pantry. We headed there for breakfast on the Sunday, and considering there was such a large group of us we were so lucky to rock up just as another group where finishing, it was packed! So if you're really keen on eating there on a Sunday morning I might just suggest making a booking. I have to say, considering just how busy it was, we all were served quite quick. As usual we all started with various coffees and drinks, and if you happened to catch my Instagram post yesterday, you would have already seen what I picked for myself. I got the Berry Coco smoothie, with contains mixed berries, banana, coconut cream, muesli and almond milk, and it tasted amazing! My friend also got one and added a scoop of vanilla protein as well, which added quite a nice vanilla taste to the drink, which could make the perfect post-morning workout treat. The muesli is also nicely blended into the mix so you don't get any big chunks stuck in your straw.
For food, and this will come as no surprise, I got the Urban Avocado without the poached egg, which yes is basically smashed avocado - I'm a basic bitch at heart and I don't care. After such a disappointing smashed avo at Lonsdale Street Roasters, I was hoping to actually get a meal size that would sustain me for some of the hours of the car trip home; and this time they delivered. It tasted on point and I got exactly what you should always expect when ordering such a dish, two pieces of bread piled up with green goodness.
The only downfall for this place came when it was time to pay. With such a big group of us, it's always handy if a place can split bills, and as a few of us started to pay they said they were happy to do so. However, after a handful of us had gone up to the register and paid, they eventually turned around and said they could no longer split the bill. I'm not sure whether they just didn't normally split bills and there had been some miscommunication, but as far as I'm concerned, especially when there is such a big group of us and so many things on the bill, if you start off by letting us pay one way, it feels odd and unacceptable to turn around about halfway through and choose to change the payment system. It also isn't the cheapest place around to go for food; it's certainly great quality and I don't think you'd ever been disappointed in the food itself, but after such a weird fiasco with paying, I don't think I'll be rushing back there should I ever been in Canberra again; plus there's just so many other places to try!
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
When it comes to skin and skincare, I'm quite lucky in that I can generally use almost any type of product, and my skin will react pretty well to it; I've only had a couple of bad experiences in my time where products haven't properly cleaned my skin and left me breaking out as a result. For some people though, I know the struggle with skincare can be real, especially if you suffer from acne or some other skin condition that needs real treatment. Sometimes just picking up any old product from the shelf won't cut it, you need something with a little more grunt behind it. There are quite a few brands around now that can offer more professional formulated products, that contain ingredients that are made to really tackle temperamental skin. Obviously if you have a real problematic skin condition that you want fixed, you should certainly head to a doctor or dermatologist and see what they have to recommend, but if you're at a stage where you're just looking yourself for something new to try, I've got a couple of brands to recommend. They tend to fall on the pricer side of the spectrum, but if anything is worth spending money, especially if it's a bit temperamental, it's your skin, because after all you do have to live with it for your entire life.
I've used a number of products from this range, and I've always been impressed, which is no surprise considering it's the number one choice for most skin care professionals. This brand helped take skin care from a cosmetic concern to a real health issue to be taken seriously, and they never put anything cheap and nasty like artificial colours, fragrances or mineral oils in their products. They have products to suit all skin types and a wide range of skin issues, and are constantly releasing more.
This product is one of the latest releases from the brand and probably one of my favourite so far. I've used the Daily Mircofoliant before (read down further to hear more about that) and loved it, but I think I prefer this Superfoliant if I was to choose between the two. First off, it pretty much has no smell to it, which is a massive difference from the Mircofoliant, and I kind of love the black colour of it (which isn't a major turning point for your skin, I just personally like it). The exfoliation beads are only small and feel nice and light on the skin, which is why it's totally fine to use daily. I've really noticed a great reduction in dry, flaky skin, particularly around my nose area, since using a product like this every day; I couldn't recommend it enough; totally worth the money.
I just briefly mentioned this one above, and I certainly love this product. While I think I will probably be reaching more for the superfoliant from now on, this is a classic tried and true product. The thing I've never enjoyed about this product (though I'm able to push past it because of the great results this product gives) is the smell; it is literally like I'm putting crushed panadol all over my face. It should be a deal breaker, but the effects of this product actually outweigh that negative. Again, the exfoliation beads are only small so it's fine for daily use. The difference with this product compared to the superfoliant is that it also aims to brighten and smooth your skin as well as exfoliate. I think, when it comes to choosing between the two, it's all about trying them out for yourself and seeing which one suits you best, but again I was highly impressed and would recommend it to anyone considering it.
I've also raved about this product on my blog before and currently have it in my cleansing routine. As the name suggests, the product comes out as a gel, and using the smallest about, it foams up nicely on the face. I'm always hesitate with gel cleansers, as I've had a few in my time that didn't foam at all and left my skin feeling like I hadn't even washed my face, but I'm happy to say no such thing happens with this product. As well as getting your skin squeaky clean, the gel contains calming balm mint and lavender to help soothe your skin and any redness from breakouts you may be having.
This is a new brand to me, and I'm yet to try some more products from their range (keep your eyes peeled on the blog for that), but I do have one product I've used and would certainly recommend.
This is the first product I ever tried from the Medik8 brand and the formula really intrigued me. The white powder that comes out has a slight exfoliation to it, but when you mix it with the smallest drop of water and massage it into your face, it also feels like sherbet; it also has quite a pleasant smell. It's the funniest feeling, and I've never come across a cleanser with such a texture, but it certainly does the job and leaves my skin feeling super clean.
Anyone who knows me or reads my blog knows I'm a BIG face mask fan. I've always had a particular love for clay masks, but recently I've been getting more and more into sheet masks for helping to rehydrate my skin, and I have some favourites from Skin Republic to share. The best part is they won't actually break the bank to hard. All the masks are scientifically formulated, derma-logically tested and are hypoallergenic, and they seem to have something to help everything from your eyes to your feet.
Apart from making you look a little funny when you have them on, these under eye patches aim to decrease dark circles and puffiness while reducing fine lines and wrinkles; everything you want when treating your delicate under eye area. The patches themselves are a light green colour and quite sticky, so they certainly won't come off your face during the half an hour that you leave them on. There are three pairs in a packet, and an important added bonus is they're not tested on animals.
If you're looking for something super hydrating, look no further than this baby. Packed with Sea Minerals as well as collagen (duh), argan oil and anti-aging serum, this mask will also help smooth and plump your face to bring out a more youthful look; it's worth it despite looking like some kind of creepy serial killer while wearing it, I promise.
Really want to tackle those fine lines and wrinkles? Consider trying this one out. Packed with serum full of all the good stuff including, marine collagen, vitamin E and elastin, you're skin is going to be left not only feeling hydrated, but also boosted in the fight against fine lines and wrinkles.
If you have more sensitive skin, then this is a brand to consider checking out. Most of their products are infused with Thermal Spring Water which is great at soothing skin and is full of awesome anti-oxidants. Most of their products and the ingredients they use are also drawn from current medical research and they always carry out numerous clinical tests, so you can be sure you're spending your money on the good stuff.
We all know how awesome micellar water can be at cleaning the skin, especially when it comes to removing makeup at the end of the day. Sometimes you can run the risk of being left feeling pretty dry after using them, and while you normally do follow with a moisturiser of some kind, it's still never a good sign if a product is drying out your skin at any stage of your routine. Safe to say this stuff won't do that; what it will do is help effortlessly remove your makeup and help reduce any redness in your skin. It also has no added fragrances or parabens, so nothing nasty is going on your face.
If you have sensitive or allergy prone skin, then this night moisturiser just might be perfect for you. Not only does this product have their famous Thermal Spring Water within it, it also has Neuroensine, which really tackles skin irritations caused by dryness. Using this product can really help to reduce any skin sensitives you may have.
Essentially this is the day-time alternative to the product above. It's more light weight which is what makes it perfect for day time use, but you still get a load of benefits. This stuff will keep your face hydrated throughout the day while also working to soothe your skin to help give you relief from any skin irritations or allergies you may suffer.
I've used a couple of products from this brand before, and I currently have their Eye Duo in my skincare routine. The beauty of this is there are two products in one, a day eye cream and a night eye cream. While this product is certainly on the pricer side, you can't put a price on taking care of the sensitive little skin around your eye area that can easily wrinkle and age without proper care; it's all about prevention. The AM side is all about helping to calm your under eye, getting rid of puffiness and dark circles, while tightening and firming to help you look more alive to the world during the day. The PM side is all about regenerating while you sleep, to help reduce any wrinkles and fine lines.
I've already used my whole tube of this stuff, so I can tell you this is good shit. This contains little exfoliation beads with are perfectly fine to use on the daily; the beads are also biodegradable, so a big thumbs up for being environmentally-friendly. This product will help unclog your pores and boost your cellular turnover to leave you with cleaner and brighter looking skin.
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Winter is coming, and I'm not just referencing the fact that I'm super excited that the new Game of Thrones season is getting closer. In Australia, those hot days on the beach and crisp summer nights are coming to an end, and worst of all the days are already starting to get shorter. I'm personally not the biggest fan of winter, I wish we could just have sorchers all year round. However there are some little perks of the colder months that I have to admit I enjoy; wood fires, chai lattes and cozy nights in on the couch. To start giving your life a little bit of winter feels I've gathered some bits and bobs from my place that can bring both some winter and wooden vibes to your place.
I’m certainly not a habitual watch wearer by any means, but I can definitely appreciate them as a good accessory every now and then. To be honest, most of my watches don’t even have the right time set on them, unless someone I know has become overly annoyed at the fact and done it for me. I was blown away by this company as soon as I opened my package; not only is the watch beautiful, the entire box, down to the instructions, have had time and thought put into them. The watch itself comes in a beautiful wooden box with a magnetic lid and a little drawer compartment so you can easily store your cloths and the wood oil they provide to keep your watch in tiptop shape.
The watch itself sits nice and comfortable on your wrist, and it’s thin strap means it isn’t obnoxious looking. JORD have a variety of woods and face designs to choose from. The brand clearly put a lot of time, care and love into the products, so if you’re a fan of accessories with a textured look to them, I’d highly recommend checking JORD out. If you do love the darker colour wood, you can grab one for yourself here.
If you’re looking for something to display a special photo or two, and you want to add a little wooden texture to your décor, this Anesbury Card Frame from Corner Block Studio. The lovely Natalie sent one over to me, and I think it's so simple but goregous. She has various sizes, including some to hold books or record covers, so you can make something you already have into an awesome piece of wall art.
I’ll admit, this is my one of my housemates, but it smells so good and I love it so much that I had to include it; shout out to housemates with on-point candle taste. So not only does the Vanilla Bean scent smell delicious, the other niffy thing about this candle is the sound it makes. The wick crackles just like real wood on a fire; some may find it irritating, but I personally love having it burning in the background while reading or getting some work done.
First of all, the brush quality is on point; they're super soft and apply makeup beautifully, all while helping the environment. The handles are made from recycled bamboo, all their packagaing is 100% tree-free and they're all cruetly free!
If you can't get enough of your music like me, than this speaker from Typo, with a wooden-look finish, is for you. This little bluetooth device sticks to your glass shower screen and lets you jam out to your favourite tunes while in the shower.