Sunday, 22 March 2015

Beachy Vibes

A few weeks back now my boyfriend and I headed out for a Saturday afternoon by the seaside. Spending one of the last weekends of Summer soaking up some rays in the beautiful town of Fremantle sounded like a pretty good plan to me. Sun hat at the ready, we made our way down to the Bathers Beach Sunset Markets.


Monday, 2 March 2015

February Favourites

A little meander through my blog archives revealed that I haven't done a monthly favourites post since August... what?! How very rude of me. This month, though, I have had some stand out new additions as well as rekindled an old flame or two so thought it was about time I share the love. Those that have been reading along through out the month would have heard these pieces mentioned here and there, no surprises with this bunch.

Makeup-wise it seems to have been the month for powders. A new bronzer made it's way into my makeup bag as did an old favourite; Hourglass' Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light. The Topshop Bronzer in Sand Castle is one I talked about here and have been loving all month. Now that my skin has a slight hint of summer colour this slightly darker bronzer is lovely for sweeping just under the cheekbones and up onto the temple. I've been embracing a solely bronzer cheek recently sans blush and have been loving the more natural result. Getting back into using my Hourglass powder has left me wondering why I ever stopped. It literally is like an Instagram filter in real life, blurring imperfections and giving that glowing but not oily appearance. It's love.

Another old flame that's been rekindled is my love for Maybelline's Colour Tattoo in On and On Bronze. I sung praises of this stuff from the rooftop for such a long time and it's finally back in my makeup bag. With just a dab of your finger it looks like you've spent ages blending out different shades in the crease and like you actually know what you're doing (which I very rarely do...). Perfect for makeup beginners or experts in a rush.

Two skincare favourites in one month is a bit of a rarity for me, but something my skin is definitely enjoying. First up Sanctuary Spa's 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask. I've spoken about this a heap this month and you can read all the details here. If you suffer from dry skin and breakouts, check this out pronto. Finishing off with the spendiest of the month; Estée Lauder's Advanced Night Repair. I picked this up just after Christmas and have been using it daily ever since. Both morning and night I massage in a little post toning and it has improved the texture of my skin immensely. I don't think I've ever seen such a big change in the overall appearance of my skin from a skincare product before. My complexion seems so much more plump and radiant. Spots don't appear as angry and seem to heal faster. A pricey investment but one I think is worth it.

Have you tried any of these products? What were your favourites from February?

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Staying Organised at Uni

Being the beginning of March most Aussie uni students will be heading back to uni this week. The start of a new year is always a good time to start good habits study-wise but they often don't last past the first week or two. Heading into my third year of uni I've picked up a few tips along the way that have helped keep me organised all semester long and not breakdown the night before an assessment is due.

Use a diary: A simple one but so effective. If you don't like using a diary, learn to. Electronic or hand written, whichever you prefer, just use one. Write down everything you need to do; due dates, meetings, important lectures, assignments.. you get the drill. Think of it as a memory box, write down everything you need to remember but can't. I find it helps to take the time to hunt down a diary you love so you're more inclined to use it. I love Kikki K stationary and this year picked up their Cute Week to a Page Large Diary.

Write to do lists: Similar to using a diary this will help make sure nothing slips your mind. Prioritise what needs to be done and get to work on the most important things first. A large to do list can seem daunting so remember to reward yourself along the way. A half an hour Bloglovin' catch up once you've completed a certain amount of jobs is a good one!

Be prepared: Staying organised and reducing stress levels at uni (or any type of schooling) is all about being prepared. Before the semester even starts, go through your Unit Outlines and transfer all key dates to your diary. This way you'll notice when you've got 4 assessments due in one week (it happens to us all) and you can plan accordingly.

Don't be afraid to get ahead: This doesn't mean reading the entire text book before you even set foot in the classroom, it simply means don't be afraid to do a little background work. There's times when your study load may seem quite laid back and you've got a bit of spare time on your hands. Take this time to organise all your notes to date and look over upcoming content. Things like getting next week's reading done early because you know next week you'll be working on a fairly time consuming group assignment are great. It's little things like this that you might not necessarily want to do now, but you'll thank yourself for in the future.

Keep your notes organised: Whether you do your course work primarily on a computer or by hand, it's super important to keep all your notes in order. Keep them organised under relevant topic headings so come exam time, revision is simple. If you want to be super organised you could even do a little topic overview at the end of each section. Perhaps a one page summary of key points, new words and phrases along with their definitions and some examples to help illustrate what you have learnt will all come in handy when revising for a test or exams.

There can be some pretty stressful times through out uni but I've found that keeping organised is the best way to get through. If you've got any questions or want to share your tips, please leave them below or tweet me @annablush_.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Save vs Splurge: Brow Gel

Who doesn't like finding a bargain? Spending a fraction of the money on a superior product? I'm in. I've decided to start a little 'Save vs. Splurge' series here on the blog to discover what products are worth the splurge, and which aren't. I may even save you a dollar or two along the way.

First up we're talking brow setting gel/ clear mascara. I've never really been one to set my eyebrows until recently. Something finally clicked and now it's part of my daily routine, tamed brows all day long. My budget friendly offering is Australis' Clear Mascara, retailing at $10.95, and the more spendy option; Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel (shown here is a sample) at a slightly steeper $39.

I'm going to cut straight to the chase and say that Anastasia's offering is a better product. It sets brows hard all day long, they literally won't budge. But is it worth the splurge? $39 for a clear gel seems a little steep for me. The Australis offering doesn't set anywhere near as hard, it allows for a little more movement but I think I might actually prefer it. Whilst Anastasia's is the one to go for if you've got unruly brows and want to keep them set in place all day long, the Australis option just seems so much more natural and I'm never left with completely unruly brows at the end of a long day.

I'll be sticking to my much more purse friendly Australis Clear Mascara in the future. Have you tried any of these?


Monday, 23 February 2015

Mineral Foundation Take #2

I've always been a liquid foundation gal. I've dabbled with a little Bare Minerals in the past but was never the biggest fan. I put it down to mineral foundation not being right for my oily skin. However recently I've heard those in the skin care know praise the use of a good quality mineral foundation on problematic skin. Brands like Jane Irrendale and Inika were names being thrown around but I decided to have a little riffle through my own stocks and see if I had anything suitable. In steps Antipodes Mineral Foundation, from a well trusted natural skincare brand I thought why not give it a shot.

Now the shade range for this foundation isn't great, I think there's a grand total of 4 shades of which I have Light Yellow. It works fairly well with my pale skin tone but I do have to be careful not to go too OTT as it can come up a little orange.

Application-wise I opt for tipping a little out into the lid, swirling around my Ecotools Retractable Kabuki, tapping off the excess then buffing into my skin in circular motions, paying close attention to problem areas. It's one of those mineral foundations which seems like it's doing absolutely nothing, and you keep buffing and buffing then all of a sudden things change, and your skin looks even and radiant. It doesn't completely cover pesky pimples but does a nice job of evening out my skin tone. The tiny specks of shimmer (undetectable on the face I promise) add a gorgeous radiance to the finish.

The lasting power on my oily skin isn't amazing. Bearing in mind that it is the middle of summer here in Aus so I'll definitely be re-trialling come the cooler months. I love the way it looks on my skin and would highly recommend to anyone in cooler temps or with skin that isn't so much on the oily side.

Are you a mineral foundation fan?

Sunday, 22 February 2015

The Breakout Survival Kit

You know when that time of the month rolls around and your skin starts to show it? Or you've munched on one too many unhealthy treats and it's break out central? I hear you gurl. At times like these I like to have a few products under my belt that I know will work quickly to sort things out. Trialling many a treatment over time, I've managed to whittle down a survival kit of sorts that I'm suitably impressed with.

The first things I reach for when my skin's playing up are masks. My favourite way to kick a breakout in the butt before things get too out of control. For a general decongesting I love Sanctuary Spa's Five Minute Thermal Detox, full review here. For these pesky under the skin ones which seem to hurt for ages before they even show, I love Aesop's Chamomile Concentrate Anti-Blemish Masque. I good dollop of this seems to calm things down nicely, I've even been known to leave on as a spot treatment over night- no harm done.

In terms of a spot treatment for daily use I've recently discovered Lush' Vanishing Act. I believe this is the same as Grease Lightning (does anyone know for sure?), but I can't seem to find it on the Lush website. But what I do know is that it's loaded with blemish busting ingredients such as witch hazel, tea tree and rosemary, that pack a real punch. It dries completely clear so perfect for popping on under your makeup and reapplying through out the day if it's a particular nasty one (with clean fingers of course). It's nice to know that you've got something anti-bacterial on throughout the day to keep things clean.

What are your breakout survival kit essentials?


Friday, 20 February 2015

A Beauty Bay Haul

A glowing Caroline Hirons review paired with a '3 for 2' deal was a situation just bound to end in a splurge. I'd read one too many good word's about First Aid Beauty's Facial Radiance Pads written by the skincare Queen herself, I had to give them a try. Luckily for me, Beauty Bay had a '3 for 2' special on all First Aid Beauty so I took the opportunity to try a few bits from the brand. Then came the 'Simply spend $X more to receive a free upgrade to premier service' and so I picked up an eyeshadow palette I've had on my radar for quite sometime now. It's always the way with online shopping, isn't it?

*Quick side note: if you're planning on ordering from BeautyBay, be prepared to wait a while for delivery. My order was apparently dispatched on January 20th but I didn't receive it until the 18th of February. Shipping time is meant to be between 7 and 10 business days.*

First into my basket was a 60 pack of the very famous Facial Radiance Pads. Also from First Aid Beauty I picked up the FAB Faves to go Kit and Skin Rescue Purifying Mask with Red Clay. The little kit included a mini Face Cleanser, Ultra Repair Cream and 28 Facial Radiance Pads. I thought the mini pack of toner pads would be good to leave at my boyfriend's (fingers crossed I like them!).

Alongside the FAB purchases, Stila's In the Light Palette also made it's way into my bag. I've eyed this up so many times in Mecca Cosmetica and just couldn't resist the cheaper online price. Ten neutral shades with a mix of shimmer and matte, I'm so excited to test this out. Expect to see a review post soon!

Have you tried any products from First Aid Beauty? What about Stila?
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