Six Summery Nail Polishes

Six Summery Nail Polishes by Sam Granger

Six Summery Nail Polishes by Sam Granger

Now that it finally feels like summer, I’ve been feeling a little more inclined to do my nails more often. Here are some polishes I love for creating a summery mani-pedi, and most of them are inexpensive too! I’ve included links to online purchase options when shipping to NZ is available, plus I’ve include my local sources. Please note that prices are in New Zealand Dollars.

Six Summery Nail Polishes by Sam Granger

L.A Girl Splatter in Splash, $5. This one has chunky white and green hexagonal glitter, along with smaller white bits, in a clear base. I love this on its own, over pale green, or over a contrasting colour like crimson. The formula is pretty decent, but you do need at least two coats to get a nice effect. // You can sometimes find this brand in Postie and Makeup Clearance stores.

Sinful Colors’ Thimbleberry, $5, a deep pink cream formula. I love this on it’s own, but also underneath Splash. It’s a two or more coater to reach decent opacity, so apply it in thin layers to help it last longer. // I bought mine from Kmart, but I’ve seen the brand at Life Pharmacy, just more expensive than Kmart.

Mint Apple by Sinful Colours, $5, a medium aquamarine with a very pretty shimmer. This is another multiple-coater if you want it to be opaque, but I find I still see a bit of my nail line even with three coats. I like to pair this with Splash on accent nails. // Again, I got mine from Kmart.

Coral Colors’ Slate, under $10. My favourite pedicure colour of all time. I cannot tell you how much I freakin’ love this colour! It’s my go-to pedi polish when I do my own nails. It’s a two coater and I find the cream formula applies easily and nicely. I do wear it on my fingernails as well, but I just love-love it on my toes, all year round. The photo makes it seem slightly metalic, but it’s not at all. // I got mine a few years ago so I don’t remember the source, but many dollar shops and pharmacies stock the brand.

Sally Hansen’s Strobe Light, $8. If you watch my videos you’ll have seen me talk about this polish a couple of times. I am obsessed with this right now, I will not lie. Whenever I have it on I basically just stare at my nails twinkling in the light for ages at a time. For someone who is not a huge glitter fan, I am fully on board with this one! I love to wear it over pretty much anything, but especially the next polish, although it looks lovely by itself. // I grabbed my bottle from Kmart.

Limo-scene by Essie, $22, a pretty pale pink. This is a sheer cream polish. Even with three coats I can see my nails underneath, so if you desire full opacity, this baby is not for you. It would make a beautiful French manicure pink, because it’s quite neutral and subtle. As I mentioned above, I love how Strobe Light looks on top. The formula is decent, but it can be a bit streaky so be careful when applying your coats. // I bought mine from Farmers.

There you have it! See anything you like? Do share some of your fave summery shades with me, as I love adding to my wishlist.

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Songs of 2014

I feel like this year has been defined by music, for me, perhaps more so than in the previous few years. I decided to pick my top 15 tracks and put them together in a YouTube playlist to share with you all. Enjoy!

Songs of 2014
1. High – Peking Duk ft. Nicole Millar
2. I Wanna Be Yours – Arctic Monkeys
3. West Coast – Lana Del Rey
4. Settle Down – The 1975
5. Oats In The Water – Ben Howard
6. To Be Alone – Hozier
7. Cool Kids – Echosmith
8. The Epilogue – Crosses
9. Angel of Small Death & The Codeine Scene – Hozier
10. Yellow Flicker Beat – Lorde
11. Figure It Out – Royal Blood
12. Cannibal – Silversun Pickups
13. Left Hand Free – alt-J
14. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
15. Move Like You Want To – Ben Howard

My most listened to albums have been Ultraviolence by Lana Del Rey, The 1975 self-titled debut, Every Kingdom by Ben Howard, Hozier’s self-titled debut, AM by Arctic Monkeys, and Crosses self-titled debut. I’ve also been a rather enthusiastic Radio Hauraki listener, especially in the car – and yes, of course I sing along very loudly.

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December Favourites 2014

December Faves 2014

It’s that time again! I can’t believe how fast December has gone, that it’s Christmas tomorrow, and that 2014 is almost over. Where on earth has it gone? Anyway, for the lowdown on what I’ve been enjoying throughout the month, have a watch. Enjoy!

Merry Christmas, all! 🙂

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A Day Cream I Can Trust

A day cream I can trust by Sam Granger

A day cream I can trust by Sam Granger

I think I’ve found The One! In terms of daytime moisturiser, at least. This year has been a year of skincare product trial and error. I’ve been through so many creams and they’ve all left my dehydrated but oily skin feeling tight and gross. That is until I found Antipodes Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream. The little tube in the photo was part of a free gift set I got and oh my god, yes it is it. There is no tightness and it feels so nourishing without leaving my skin greasy. I use it in the morning after I cleanse and tone, and I sometimes pop a bit on top of my Antipodes Divine Face Oil in the evening, for some extra oomph. I can also go a few days without using my hydrating serum and my skin doesn’t completely freak out. Woohoo! While I wish my skin was hunky-dory on a supermarket-bought cream, it just isn’t – I’ve tried nearly every one of them just to be sure.

My skin – and by that I mean me – is developing an obsession for Antipodes products, no joke. You are likely to be reading (and hearing) more about this brand in the future, sorrynotsorry!

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My Favourite Makeup Remover

My favourite makeup remover by Sam Granger

My favourite makeup remover by Sam Granger

The bottle might say ‘for lids, lashes and lips’ but I use Clinique’s Take The Day Off everywhere when removing my makeup. It’s the best remover I’ve found so far, and I’ve been using it on and off for about six years. I keep going back to it after trying cheaper brands and being unimpressed. Nothing gets my eye makeup off as thoroughly as this stuff does! It is on the oily side and this prevents face cleansers from lathering as much as they usually would, but that is the only thing – besides the price tag – that I can find ‘wrong’ with it. The oiliness/lather issues don’t prevent cleansers from actually cleaning you skin, so don’t worry about that. Oh, and you don’t need heaps – just one or two dabs on a couple of cotton pads to get all the gunk off your skin.

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My Brow Routine

Eyebrows with Benefit Gimme Brow

My brow routine December 2014 by Sam Granger

Brows are an incredibly hot topic right now, so much so that just about every day I see an eyebrow meme on social media. I’m definitely not immune to the brow hype – I want my brows to look amazing at all times, with or without makeup. I’m fairly lucky that mine are naturally a good shape and managed to survive the Brow Disaster of 2003-2004, when I plucked them within an inch of their life into pencil thin lines. Yes, it was as bad as it sounds. Eleven years later I can say that, for the most part, I’ve got good brow game. Usually, I just pluck the strays and get a proper job done by a professional every so often. Once they’re tidy, I go over them with some brow products on makeup days. I don’t like wearing makeup without having, at least, a little bit on my brows, because I find it finishes the look off nicely, even with very minimal makeup looks. You can see below how my brows look without any product on them.

Eyebrows without makeup

When I want to use product on them, I start off by brushing them in upward strokes using a spooly. Then, depending on the type of look I’m going for, I use either a powder or a tinted brow gel. For a softer look, I use MAC eyeshadow in Coquette and I apply this with an angled eyeliner brush. I start in the arch and brush the powder out toward the ends, then using what’s left on the brush I fill in the front part with upward strokes. Sometimes I need a bit more product, but I always go light and build up. Sometimes I go over the powder very lightly with my Benefit Gimme Brow in medium/dark, but usually I just pop on a bit of ELF clear mascara to hold the hairs in place. You can see what this looks like below.

Eyebrows with powder

For a heavier look, I used my Benefit Gimme Brow instead of the powder, which you can see below. Because the colour is quite dark I tend to apply it lightly unless I’m going for very dramatic brows in the evening. I don’t need to use a clear brow gel over this because it holds my brow hairs enough, but some people might find a clear gel on top useful for stubborn hairs.

Eyebrows with Benefit Gimme Brow

I rarely use my Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil in 001 Dark Brown anymore, because I find it has a reddish tone to it which I’m not a big fan of. That being said, sometimes I get obvious gaps in the hairs and I find the pencil is needed to fill those in. Then I go over the whole brow with powder or tinted gel, and this minimises the reddish tone.

So that’s it for my brows at the moment. Pretty straight-forward, really. I’d love to try the Anastasia Brow Wizz but they are hard to get in New Zealand so I shall have to wait. Mega sad-face!

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Kids Christmas Gift Guide 2014

Kids Christmas Gift Guide 2014 by Sam Granger

I have six nieces and nephews and shopping for them at Christmas (and birthdays) is one of my favourite things to do. If you are anything like me, though, you might get stuck picking out the best gifts for a child – there is so much to choose from that it can be a tad overwhelming. Hopefully, in this guide, you will find some ideas if you are not quite sure what to buy for the children in your life. I look at options for the four to teenager age range. Enjoy!

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