My January favourites are here! I’ve been into some body, hair, skincare, nails, makeup and scrapbooking things this month. Enjoy!
Life: Another hectic week has come to a close. It included beginning my first Whole30 – which, while it’s definitely had it’s hard parts, has actually been okay so far. There was also the test I had on Thursday – it was okay? I never can tell, ha! On Friday, I spent a bit of time with my mum and three out of six of my nieces and nephews; we did some exploring in the bush on the family farm. We also ended up having to rescue three baby bunnies (I’m holding ’em all in the photo above – in one hand!), which you can read more about below. Then, yesterday, I finally took the plunge and got a hair cut. Not just a trim, this time!
Nope, this time I got it cut cut. It’s now shoulder length and fabulous! Although I adored my long hair, it was getting to be too much in the heat and I was ready for a bit of a change.
Food: This week I began my Whole30 journey, which you can follow along via my Instagram – I update about once a day on how the day has gone. So far it’s been pretty good, though I’ve definitely experienced some hardcore cravings and my fair share of bad moods as my body adjust to ZERO added sugar and junk. I’m on day eight and I’m so proud of myself for making it this far.
Beauty: Hands down my favourite beauty thing this week is the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette that I received from one of my best friends for Christmas (it took a while to arrive, we thought it was lost!). I have no words. The colours are beautiful and the quality is fantastic!
Bunnies: For those interested, the baby bunnies were in a burrow made in a pile of bark – not a particularly suitable area given it’s susceptibility to collapsing, and also being extremely easy for predators to access. Speaking of predators, one of my parents’ dogs and cats found the nest, and, well, you know (yeah, sorry!). Generally, if you ever come across a nest of baby rabbits, you should always leave them alone, or remake the nest if it’s been disturbed. Rabbit mums only come back to the nest at night, when it’s safer, so even if it seems like she’s not around, she probably is. Unless you know for sure she’s dead, just leave them be. Despite my mum trying to make the burrow more hidden and safe, the cat still managed to get to them, so at that point Mum decided to remove the remaining three bunnies.
I spent ages researching online about baby bunny care and found that the chances of survival are extremely slim for a variety of reasons; they’re very delicate wee things. We were unable to source any milk formula that would be suitable, but after speaking to an expert she suggested Critical Care herbivore liquid as an option, and offering blades of grass and clover. We knew they were about two weeks old base on their weights. Despite mum’s best efforts, the poor wee things didn’t make it. Ugly-cry. At least we tried, I guess. The photo below is of the one my niece named Strawberry, asleep in her hand, awaiting the emergency bunny bed.
Even though they are no longer with us, at least we have these photos to remind us that baby bunnies are probably the cutest kind of babies around, right? I mean…?
Take a peek inside my bag and see what kind of kitchen sink I carry in it. Wink.
Life: Life this week has been rather hectic! You may have noticed I didn’t post on Thursday as per usual, and my crazy university work-load is to blame. That being said, I did manage a moment to try out the new Salted Caramel Magnum (pictured) – it’s silver on the outside, then has a layer of chocolate and then the ice cream inside with caramel swirls. I must say it wasn’t as salted as I like my salted caramel to be, but the pretty silver was a novelty. On Tuesday is was my nephew’s 5th birthday, and Saturday was his party. We had a great time and you can see a photo from that below (classic Tyler!). The other birthday this week belongs to Phoebe, my sweet cat. She was born around mid-January 2014, so I picked the 16th to celebrate. The middle and right photos above are from the day I adopted her in April last year, and the one on the left is from Friday. Love that cutesicle!
Food: On Wednesday I went to lunch with a dear friend at one my favourite restaurants, Orleans. It’s on Customs St East in Auckland city and serves delish southern American cuisine. We both decided to get a main, one side each, and split two sides. Well, we will not be doing that again because we were basically stuffed to the max after. Except that we, of course, had to get some desert from Milse, because tradition. Yeah, needless to say, our eyes were much bigger than our stomachs and we have learned our lesson. Probably…
Beauty: I splurged on the Sigma E40 brush from here, and, man, it is good! It really is an amazing blending brush and I highly recommend it (or one like it) to get beautifully diffused shadow. Game changer, for sure.
Happy Sunday! x
I did some playing around with most of the blue shades from the BYS Striking Shades palette and came up with this look. Kinda reminds me of the dress Elsa wears in Frozen. Enjoy! x
The more I get into beauty and makeup, the more I find that high-end products are creeping onto my wishlists. Maybe it’s psychological – the element of supposed luxury that comes with certain products. Perhaps it’s that some of these products genuinely are better quality (I wouldn’t know, I’ve barely tried any of them!). Whatever it is, I just want these at some point, okay?
By Terry Ombre Blackstar Cream Eyeshadow stick in #13 Perfect Brown and #1 Black Pearl // I’ve been looking for a really good eyeshadow stick for ages, and I just can’t find one (except by Dior, but the colours are extremely limited) that I think is a great formula and has the colour range I’m after. I keep hearing good things about these By Terry sticks, so maybe these are The Ones?
Jardin de Chanel Blush in Camelia Rose // It’s just so, so pretty! It’s the perfect mix of colours, I think, and then there are the pretty flowers. Oh yes, I love her.
Clarins Instant Concealer in 01 // Okay, this one is such a trend-follow for me – pretty much every beauty blogger and YouTuber I follow loves this stuff, and I want to know what the fuss is about.
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl // I love a good matte and in pencil form and that stays in place through food. Apparently these do, so, obviously I need one. I mean, duh!
Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade // So, Anastasia products are supposed to be the Holy Grail for brows, and I want in on that, yes I do. This Pixiwoo brow tutorial is my Brow Life Goal. Yes, there is such a thing as a Brow Life Goal and I would like to know what yours is, no joke.
Clarins Ever Matte Skin Balancing Foundation in 108 Sand // On a whim, I tried this out one day when I was wandering around Farmers, and I really loved how it looked and felt. I thought it lasted well through the day and helped minimise some of my oil, so I definitely want to splurge on this in the near future.
What’s on your wishlist?
Life: Uni started back this week. I have six weeks of summer school until I am officially done with my BA degree! I’m very excited to be finished, but I’m also rather nervous about what comes after that. Mostly, right now, I’m trying to find some balance between school, a bit of work, and my hobbies – this blog and making videos. This week was also my Mum’s birthday, so on Thursday we had a lovely family dinner to celebrate her and I managed to get all of us except one nephew in a family photo. That is an accomplishment, indeed. Also, next week is my youngest nephew’s 5th birthday! How on earth?!
Food: I went grocery shopping on Tuesday and stocked up on lots of fresh veg, fruit and meat, and I’m basically eating just that, apart from the odd treat (like Brookies). I also picked up a jar of almond butter and it is actual food heaven, I think? I can’t believe I haven’t tried it before, how insane!
Listening: Lots of The 1975, Ed Sheeran, Arctic Monkeys, Hozier and Ben Howard. I’m still extremely sore about missing out on a ticket to see The 1975 at the Logan Campbell Centre here in Auckland. It’s a small, less-than-amazing venue and I would have thought they would draw large enough ticket sales for a bigger venue. Maybe they like to keep it small though? Either way, I am pipped. Better luck next time, I guess.
Beauty: I picked up Essie’s Maximillian Strasse-her nail polish, which is an amazing grey-green and I can already tell it’s going in my January faves! Also, yesterday I picked up the Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner, which I’m loving already. It’s really refreshing in this heat.
Given the warmer weather and the little time I have to get ready on summer-school days, I thought I’d share the makeup I’ve been wearing this week. It’s a) quick, and b) not heavy on the skin, which means my skin can breathe in this blimmin’ heat!
Oh autumn, you own my soul.
I often find myself reaching for different products according to the season and many of them end up in my makeup for when I’m out and about. Speaking of makeup bags, the one in the photo was part of a Baylis & Harding gift set I received one Christmas, so I don’t have a link for that, sorry. I just switched to this bag, actually, because my other makeup bag is…disgusting. They get messy pretty fast, don’t they?
As usual, I try to provide links to buy the products online, and I always try to use stores that are New Zealand-based or that ship to NZ.
Right, let’s get to it. The most important thing for me is to have a sunscreen on hand. I always apply it before I put on my makeup, but I like to have it with me for putting on my body. If I’m not wearing makeup then obviously I reapply it to my face as needed. I like the Neurtrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch SPF 85+. It’s not one of those hideously greasy sunscreens that are a nightmare for anyone, but especially oily people.
I like to take a couple of concealers out with me. One for under the eyes, like Revlon Colorstay Under Eye Concealer in Light. The other is for blemishes, though you can use it under the eyes as well: L.A. Girl Pro.conceal HD concealer* in Classic Ivory. To set everything, I always keep my Rimmel Stay Matte transparent powder in my bag. Sometimes I even brush it over my skin on no-makeup days to keep the oil at bay. I use an UBU kabuki brush (from Kmart) for application – this is not the best brush in the world as it’s a little scratchy but it does the job for now. I also like to carry my e.l.f. Makeup Mist & Set spray with me to a) set my powder, and b) it’s refreshing and on a hot day it’s actually really nice to mist over the face, just because. I feel a bit more alive when I use it.
For lips, I always like a few different options: a balm, a gloss, and a lippy. This means I can change up my look pretty easily on-the-go, without having to faff about with eye makeup. At the moment I’m enjoying my Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in 035 Charm, which is basically my lips but better. I get a lot of compliments on this one when the balmyness goes and the stain is left. It’s so pretty. For gloss, I like Clinique Long Last Glossware with SPF 15 in 08 Guavagold, which is a nice peachy pink (and mine is a handy travel size). Then for lippy, I like Australis Go Long Longwear Lipstick in Boho, which is that classic ’90s brown matte.
Then I carry a few extra bits: obviously a decent compact mirror is necessary – this one was a limited edition Farmer’s release and has a magnified side; hand cream is so important for me because I wash my hands a lot when I’m at uni (people are gross and they touch things) – I like these mini Neutrogena Hand Cream tubes; for dry cuticles I like O.P.I Avoplex Cuticle Oil; and for a bit of scent this tiny sample of Jimmy Choo Eau de Parfum is perfect – God, it smells good!
There you have it, the beauty essentials I take out with me just in case. How about you? What’s in your makeup bag at the moment?
*This link is for an NZ online store, but you can buy it much cheaper at Makeup Clearance stores. Beauty Joint also stocks it but I wouldn’t buy from there unless you’re getting other things, because of the international shipping cost.
One of my favourite things to do is decorate my flat. I like to switch things up every now and then, but I don’t have a lot of money so instead of repainting or buying a new sofa, I stick to things like artwork and special collections. Today I’m going to walk you through some of the art I have in my home and break down the cost for you, plus I’ll share some of the tips I’ve picked up over the years.
The above photo is the gallery wall I have in my living room. I’ve recently changed a few of the pieces and I like this version much better. I’ve collected a bunch of difference sized pieces that I really love, with some similar colours and textures. When I do a gallery wall I tend to lay all the pieces out on the floor to get an idea of placement, and then I eyeball the arrangement on the wall. Sometimes I take a photo of the floor arrangement on my phone, so I can refer to that if necessary. For more precise instructions, try this tutorial.
Right, now onto the kinds of art I like to have in my home!
Frame magazine posters/pages, pretty paper, etc: One way of getting cheap art is to use things from magazines, be it a poster (Frankie magazine provides one every issue) or a pretty page. Alternatively if you come across some nice wrapping paper or even a fabric remnant, you can frame those too.
On the left above is a Frankie poster that I framed. I grabbed the frame from The Warehouse for $20, but unfortunately I can’t find it on their website. Sigh. I love this frame not only for how it looks but because it comes with two mats: the one you see above as well as a collage with eight photo spots, so if I feel like doing something else I can. I’ve done the same thing with another Frankie poster in my bedroom (above right), this time using a hand-me-down frame, so this project was essentially free.
Find cheap ‘finished’ art: Another option is to find art that’s ‘finished’ or already framed – i.e. stuff you don’t have to do anything with but hang. Aside from begging friends and family for stuff they don’t want, you can try thrift shops if you’re that way inclined. I don’t usually have a lot of luck finding great finished art in second-hand shops. I either like the print/painting but hate the frame or vice versa. Thus, you will typically find me scouring stores (especially those of the department variety) for pieces that are in the reduced/last-call section or that are covered by a sale. Stores I particularly like to check out are The Warehouse, Kmart, Farmers, Briscoes, Typo and Bed, Bath and Beyond.
The framed rabbit print above is from The Warehouse ($20), which I grabbed this on sale for about $12, although I don’t think $20 is super-expensive for a framed piece of this size. I really love this print, it’s just so cute and…well…BUNNY. I’ve been really impressed by The Warehouse’s art range lately. Some of my favourites are:
Get creative: If you’re of the creative persuasion and like getting stuck in and making things, this route may be a good option for you. If you paint, draw, take photos or make anything else you can hang on a wall, go to town and have fun! If you aren’t super crafty or are just stuck for ideas, here are some places to start: literally chuck acrylic paint in complementary colours on a large cheap canvas, make a collage of Instagram photos and frame or stick them onto a canvas, make a weaving, or draw on heavy paper or canvas with a Sharpie.
The above canvases were ones I whipped up one afternoon. I took two very cheap white canvas squares, did some Google image searching for inspiration, sketched the designs lightly with pencil and then went over using a black Sharpie. I carefully erased any left over pencil, then hung using 3M picture strips. One tip with this is that you can paint the canvas with a layer or two of acrylic paint first, which will make things smoother for the pen. You could use white paint of course, but any colour will do. This project cost me about $8 for the canvases and 3M strips.
Buy online: Of course, you can find a lot of great art online. Etsy, anyone? The beauty of being able to buy online is having access to greater variety and, sometimes, affordable one-off original pieces. The most frustrating thing is finding something that you like because there is just so much to look through (or maybe the ridiculous shipping prices some shops have). My tips for this is to think about where you need a piece of art to go, what size you’d like it to be, any particular colour scheme you’re looking for, and what kind of mood you want the piece to have. Then you can narrow it down again by subject matter, style (realism, abstract, illustration, etc) and meduim (photo, oil, acrylic, pen and ink, watercolour, digital, etc). Use all of these parameters to help figure out the best keywords to use in your search.
The above print is one of seven that I bought from Flapperdoodle, by wonderful artist Kate Gabrielle. I love these cute illustrations of her Flapper girl character. The 1920s have always held a soft spot in my heart so these prints make me especially happy. I’ve dotted them around my gallery wall to fill in space between the larger pieces.
So there you have it, a basic guide to finding and using inexpensive art to make your space a little more homey. I hope it was helpful and please do share any of your own tip, tricks, and sources in the comments!
1 and 2. Thrift store finds.
3. Limited edition print from ArtSharkDesigns, frame bought from The Warehouse several years ago.
4. Gift from a friend, source unknown.
5. From a market in the Gold Coast of Australia, 10 years ago.