Thursday, 29 January 2015

A Repurchase or Two...

Another one of Priceline's famous 40% off sales and another bag full of goodies added to the beauty stash. This time round Priceline offered up 40% off all skincare, sun care and tanning and I feel like I was fairly restrained. This bundle is all but one made up of repurchases- now if that isn't a sure sign of love, I don't think I know what is.

Starting off with the newbie, Jergen's Natural Glow Daily Moisturiser. Fairly new-ish to Aussie shores, Jergen's seems to be hugely popular in the States but I'm yet to trial any of their offerings. We're in the middle of summer now which means pin-covering attire is just not an option so 'natural glow' is highly sought after. There's a few gradual tanners kicking around my stash so I'll be sure to do a little round up soon and share my thoughts.

The other four are all repurchases, in some cases even for the 3rd or 4th time. The most repurchased of them all is Garnier's Intensive Replenishing Lotion in Cocoa Butter. This has been repackaged so I've got my fingers crossed that the formula hasn't been changed. It's just one of those cheap and cheerful, always-want-in-my-stash type products that leaves my skin feeling nourished and smelling yum.

Another one that's been shown around these parts a fair few times in the past is Nuxe's Reve De Miel. A cult product in the beauty blogger world, I'm sure you've read about it many a time before. Basically kinda pricey for a lip balm, but a dream for dry, chapped lips. One of those 'apply at night and you can still feel it in the morning' type balms. Oh, and it's got a lovely lemon scent.

One I talked about just recently is Sanctuary Spa's 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask. I sung it's praises in this post so for all the deets, check out that one. But basically, decongesting but gentle and not at all drying. Sensitive skins, you need to check it out.

My final pick was Avene's Thermal Spring Water, a hydrating spritz that has made it's way into both my AM and PM routines. After a cleanse in the morning and after the exfoliating toner stage in the evenings, it helps to calm redness and inject a little extra moisture. Plus, the aerosol application is oh so refreshing.

Did you manage to pick up anything in the sale? It's still on today if you're quick...


Sunday, 25 January 2015

Bronzer for Pale Girls

Being on the paler side of the skin tone spectrum, bronzed glow isn't a look I naturally radiate. I've never been much of a sun worshipper- don't get me wrong, I do enjoy a nice summer's day but I'm the kinda girl you'll find in a hat, sunnies and slathering on the SPF. I am just so darn scared of the damage that strong Aussie sun can do. Hence why, in the middle of Summer, I'm still not exactly bronzed. There ain't no shame in protecting your skin from the sun (others will wish they had when they tick just over 25 and look about 40.. eek!), it just means I reach for a little faux bronze every now and again.

Bronzers are notoriously hard for us pale girls to work into a look. Usually way, way, way too warm and you just end up looking a little Oompa Loompa-esque (never a good thing). However, with a little experimentation, I've managed to track down a couple that work even for us pale girls. First up one you've probably seen around these parts before, the palest of the two, it's The Body Shop's Honey Bronzer in 01 Light. An extremely pale option, I can even get away with dusting this all over, remembering to blend down the neck of course. It can be built up for a little subtle contouring, or simply dusted all over for a bronzed glow. I prefer matte formulations such as this one on my pale skin as they appear a little more natural.

My other option is Topshop's Sandcastle. I picked this one up rather recently and featured it in this post here. It appears to be much darker than TBS' offering in the above picture but it's actually surprisingly wearable. There's no denying that it's on the darker, more pigmented side of things but a light hand makes it suitable for even pale skin. The shade manages to look so natural on me, I even feel comfortable bronzing things up a little more than I normally would with this one.

Are you a fellow pale skinned girl? What's your favourite bronzer?


Wednesday, 21 January 2015

A Blemish Busting Duo

In my Christmas Eve Pamper post a little while back I touched on a new face mask pairing that had really been tickling my fancy. A few weeks on and I'm still absolutely loving the results, so much so that I've been treating my skin to them twice a week ever since. This dreamy skincare pairing is made up of Sanctuary's Deep Cleanse 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask and Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask.

Sanctuary's Deep Cleanse is a rather new addition to my usual rotation, a brand that not too long ago made it's way to Aussie shores. A Covent Garden based spa in the UK, the ladies over at Sanctuary have created a range of products to allow for a spa like pamper from home. This particular offering is a charcoal based treatment which heats up upon application, designed to cleanse and purify the pores. I wasn't sure that I'd be a fan of the whole warming effect but it's actually quite a nice sensation, only lasting for 30 seconds or so. Not just to feel nice, this is actually suppose to help open up your pores to allow for better penetration of the product.

Now being a charcoal based, clay type mask there's always the fear that this will dry out my skin like no other, but it doesn't! No rock hard, can't-move-mouth setting here. After the recommended 5 minute application this stuff removes with complete ease simply with a flannel and warm water. No need to scrub away at your delicate skin and everything is left feeling cleansed and suitably nourished.

To seal the deal and ensure that all redness will be completely reduced the next morning, I like to go in with a little Aura Manuka Honey. This Antipodes offering has been kicking around my skincare stash for quite some time now, you can read my original thoughts here. A very lightly clay based one which applies just like a thick cream. Left on for the recommended 15 minutes, or more if I'm feeling lazy, and it leaves my skin feeling calm and plump.

The morning after these two, my skin always looks noticeably less congested and radiant. That's a win in my books. Particularly good for keeping things under control when you know that that time of the month is just around the corner.

Congestion sorted and breakouts calmed, it's a pairing I'd definitely recommend to pimple-prone sensitive skin types. Now I've developed a slight obsession with Sanctuary Spa and have noticed Priceline currently has them on 3 for 2... any recommendations?

Sunday, 18 January 2015

One for the Stationary Lovers

As a self-confessed stationary fiend, I have no shame in admitting to the fact that sitting right at the top of my Christmas list last year was a diary. Probably not the most exciting of items for some, but nothing could wipe the smile off my face when I opened that gift Christmas morning, cheers bro. The culprits behind the diary that has managed to get me so hot under the collar are Kikki.K. A Swedish inspired stationary brand born when founder, Kristina, realised the stylish stationary she was use to in Sweden just wasn't available around the world. She's since created a range of absolutely beautiful products hosted in the cutest of shops, any stationary lover's dream really.

This particular diary (the large cute weekly) represents my first taste of the Kikki.K world, one I've admired from a far for quite some time but have managed to resist temptation, until now. Coming in at $32.95, it's not the cheapest diary out there but for something beautiful that I'll use daily for the next year? It's a price I'd be willing to pay. I opted for the 'week to an opening' variety over the 'day to a page' offering because, to be honest, my life just isn't that busy at the moment.

Not only is every page covered in the most adorable illustrations (see the pictures below if you don't believe me), but there's also a cute little activity at the end of each month. Think things like 'a delicious meal I ate this month' and 'my next adventure will be..'. A nice way to look back at the month and record some of your favourite moments, something I never do enough of! The back is filled with helpful pages for creating wish lists, budgets, recording addresses and even stickers to decorate your year. You can never be too old for stickers.

My first foray into the world of Kikki.K appears to have been an addictive one. I snapped up one or two bargains in the post-Christmas sales.. stay tuned for the deets soon.


Sunday, 4 January 2015

A Foray into Topshop Makeup

Fashion lovers here in Perth rejoiced when Topshop announced it would finally be making its way over. Although, unlike my fashionable counterparts, it wasn't the racks of clothes that caught my attention (although I may just have to pick up a pair of the famous Jamie jeans come Autumn) but of course, the makeup. I've watched enviously as bloggers from across the pond rave about Topshop's makeup offerings and now it's finally time that I get in on it. As if by fate there was a makeup sale the day I first ventured into the Perth city store, how could I refuse? I was also advised by the sales lady that MAC actually make Topshop makeup, now this I never knew! 

We're really in the heat of summer here in Perth (just a casual 41 degrees forecast for tomorrow) so I thought why not give a new bronzer a go. I'm terrified of sun damage for my skin so even in the summer months I remain on the paler side. Sandcastle is a matte bronzer with a fairly warm/orangey undertone. It's extremely well pigmented, I literally use the smallest amount to warm up the traditional '3' shape on my cheeks. With quite a buttery formula it blends into the skin with ease and actually looks really natural for such an orangey bronze.

Next up I just had to try one of the well known Topshop cream blushes. I picked up the shade Head over Heels after hearing Kate from Gh0stparties rave about it time and time again. A rather vibrant pink that I was a little weary of to begin with, but this stuff is actually really wearable. Again it's very pigmented however just a smidgen applied with my Real Techniques Stippling Brush really wakes up my face. I like to keep this towards the back of my cheek bones to avoid doll-esque pink cheeks and find that it really helps lift my face. Paired with a little of the bronzer just under the cheek bone things instantly look a little more chiseled.

So now I'm hooked, is there anything else I need to add to my collection Topshop wise? 

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

The Christmas Eve Beauty Prep

Presents wrapped, outfit chosen and your favourite Christmas movie ready to go, it's time for a pre-Christmas pamper. What better time than Christmas Eve to take a little 'me' time and prepare yourself for the festivities. Christmas PJ's at the ready girls, here's tonights lineup. 

First thing's first, bath time. It just wouldn't be Christmas without a festive bath bomb courtesy of Lush and put aside for tonight I've got Golden Wonder. A festive blend of orange oil, lime and cognac, this erupts with starts when dropped in. It also has a hidden turquoise centre so don't fret, no pee-coloured bath water here (Cinders, I'm looking at you).

Post bath I'll be slipping into some Christmas PJs, these cute penguin ones are from ASOS, damn I love that shop. Usual skincare on rotation I'll also be adding in a face mask pairing I've completely fallen in love with recently. More details are to come but let's just say for a pimple-busting, clarifying but in no way drying combo, there's nothing quite like Sanctuary's Deep Cleanse Thermal mask followed by Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey.

Whilst this combo works its magic I plan on sipping on a festive herbal blend of cinnamon, apple and chamomile tea. The camomile helps edge me closer to the land of nod while apple and cinnamon are just a match made in heaven.

Face masks removed, I'll be hopping into bed, pressing play on that Christmas movie (Elf anyone?) and paying my fingers a little attention. I think my manicure of the day this year will be this little duo I spoke about here. Subtle but festive... perfect.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

The Basics of a Good Smoothie

In my attempt to step up my game on the health food front I've developed a completely new appreciation of the humble smoothie. A speedy breakfast, nutritious lunch or an afternoon perk-me-up, there's no time in the day that a smoothie doesn't belong. The perfect way to sneak in some veggies and a superfood or two, plus there's a whole heap of ways to customise based on your tastes or whatever you've got kicking around the kitchen. The hard part comes when knowing what to add, how much to add and if those flavours will work well together. After a little trial and error I think I've come up with the basics behind a good smoothie.

The Base
This is what bulks out your smoothie, the base layer that you can add a variety of flavours to. My base always consist of a banana (the riper the better) and some sort of liquid. A non-dairy milk is my usual choice given that I'm dairy free, but water is ok too. I usually use oat or almond milk.

Sneaky Veggies
My main tip here is start small. Don't jump straight in to a 4 parts kale to 1 part banana combo, you're guaranteed to hate it. Dark leafy greens are good to add thanks to their high nutritional value and ease of blending. Spinach is a good option for beginners and it's my personal favourite. Even the most basic blender seems to be able to deal with it quite well and the flavour is undetectable. I like to shove in a good two or three handfuls and still can't taste the difference.

Flavour Enhancers
Whilst the banana will add a good amount of sweetness and help thicken things up a little, it's also good to add a little more fruit to the mix, especially if you're just starting out. Here's where you can get creative. Berries, kiwi, mango, passionfruit.. fresh or frozen, the choice is yours. Berries are always a winner as they freeze well so can be kept on hand for anytime. I usually opt for whatever is in season to help keep costs low. Experiment a little and see what you enjoy.

The Add-Ins
Not only are smoothies a good way to incorporate some veggies into your diet but you can also sneak in a whole heap of superfoods. I add in both chia and flax seeds as well as maca powder. Chia seeds are a great source of a whole heap of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as well as Omega 3 (particularly important for someone like me who doesn't like fish). Flax seeds are another one high in Omega 3 whilst maca powder helps keep you energised and balance hormones. I add about a teaspoon of each, chia just sprinkled on top and flax and maca blended in. If you're going to try maca powder it's worth noting that it can have a fairly big impact on your body (hormone-wise), so it's best to start with small doses.

Feel free to ask any questions below or send me a tweet. Let me know if you give smoothie making a try!

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