Notes #8

Notes #8

Notes #8

Last Monday I received my Erin Condren planner in the mail, so of course I’ve spent the last week nerding out over planner use and decorating. When I ordered it I had no idea that people actually decorated planners at all, but YouTube has shown me that there is a whole world of planner craft. Not gonna lie, it’s super-fun. I will say that beyond the planner itself, which is not cheap, the decorating can definitely end up costing you a lot of money if you’re not careful. I’ve mostly been using what I already have in my craft stash, but I could do a lot of damage on Etsy if I had the cashflow.

The other highlight of my week was reaching Day 60 of my Whole90 on Wednesday. I did weigh and measure myself, and found I’d lost almost 2kg since Day 31, and another 8cm off my body in total. My jeans are getting seriously loose and I’m still feeling pretty good, except for being a bit sick right now. I’m looking forward to seeing what Day 90 brings.

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Lush Favourites

Lush Favourites

Lush Favourites

I’m a bit obsessed with Lush. Have been since 2003, when my eldest sister posted me a bunch of Lush body glitter melts when she was studying at Oxford. New Zealand didn’t have Lush back then, but now my local mall has a store and it is one of my favourite places there. The scents wafting out draw me like a seductive (invisible) mist. Or something. I want to keep track of which ones I’ve tried and loved, so here are my Lush Favourites.

Let’s start with bath stuff, which is probably my most favourite category. Floating Island bath melt – (pictured above, right) makes my skin feel soft and smooth, and I only use half per bath! Avobath bath bomb – a lemongrass scented delight. Butterball bath bomb – this smells delish, but the best part is the cocoa butter bits in it melt into the water and leave my skin so freaking soft. Honeybee bath bomb – (pictured above, left) might just be my most-loved of the bunch, caramel scented and kinda divine. The Dragon’s Egg bath bomb is a fun one, and smells so, so good. I just like all the bits, and ohmygosh, yes! Rose Queen bath bomb – I love rose so very much and this makes the water a gorgeous pink with actual flower petals in it. Sex Bomb bath bomb – another fresh scented one, gorgeous colours, and the flower in the center is super fun to play with. Blue Skies and Fluffy White Clouds bubble bar – (pictured above, center) I love a good bubble bath and this bar is fantastic. I only need to use about a quarter per bath.

For the shower, I like the Snowman shower jelly, which is not a permanent product and was released last year for Christmas. I hope it will be back because it smells amazing. Apparently it shares its scent with Carrot Soap, which I’m not sure we get here in New Zealand, and the Celebrate Body Lotion (not currently listed in the NZ website).

When it comes to face products, I do love a good mask. Cupcake fresh face mask – a chocolatey, cakey scented one for oily and teenage skin. Cosmetic Warrior fresh face mask – the one for when I have irritated, spotty skin. Bubblegum lip scrub – fruity bubblegum scent and flavour. Latte lip tint – a nice bronze tint with coffee and vanilla scent and flavour.

For the rest, I like Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter, a lemon scented rich butter for cuticles (I use it all over my hands).

Clearly I have a thing for bath bombs! I must branch out and try other things, so do let me know what you love so I can get ideas. 🙂

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Drugstore BB Cream Review

Drugstore BB Creams

Drugstore BB Creams

BB creams are kind of old news, aren’t they? Now we’re on CC, EE, and I don’t even know. Nevertheless, BBs are still a popular choice for people who want something to even out their complexion without being too heavy, or too nothing. I must say, at first, I was not at all sure what the fuss was about. I felt like they barely did anything for my skin, besides putting on a slightly tinted greasy layer. No, thank you! After some experimentation, though, I’ve figured out what works for me, and how to use them in a way that suits my skin.

Because I’m an oily gal, I generally use some sort of primer, even with a BB cream. My preferred primer is the Rimmel Stay Matte Primer, to reduce le shine. Usually I always conceal under my eyes and around/on my nose, because my nose eats makeup. I also powder over the top of my BB using something like Rimmel Stay Matte Powder or Revlon Colorstay Aqua Mineral Finishing Powder. There are some exceptions to these rules, though, which I will get to later. The following BBs are the ones I have used multiple times, and I feel like I have a pretty decent idea of how they work, for me.

Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream in Light – under $20 NZD. This is the first one I ever tried and initially I was not a fan. Partly this was because I was expecting some sort of complexion miracle to happen. BB stands for beauty balm (or some variation thereof), but it didn’t make my skin look beautiful, quite frankly. It was more ‘meh’ than anything and boy did it cling to my dehydrated patches! This one is also for normal skin, whereas I have oily skin, so, obviously, that will make a difference in how it sits on my skin. However, now I do like this one, despite it being for normal skin. The coverage is light, and the consistency is fairly thick, more like a creamy concealer. I definitely find priming, concealing, and powdering is essential, though. It does have quite a glow to it, which pretty much shows up as ‘greasy’ on my face, and it wears on my nose.

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB in Light – under $20 NZD. I tried this one next, and promptly spilled it down a white a top because I was expecting a consistency like the Garnier, but this one is runnier. Be careful! At first I hated this one, too, but it grew on me with time. The coverage is slightly better than with the Garnier, and up until recently, this was my go-to BB. It goes on so easily and blends in really well, using either fingers or a brush. It’s also easy to layer up if you want a little more coverage in some areas. Again, my prime + powder combo is necessary to keep things in place and reduce shine. It gets shiny within a couple of hours on me, and does wear off on my nose after awhile, so I conceal.

Moisture Mist BB Cream – $40 NZD. While this one is at the higher end of the drugstore, it’s my new fave. The coverage is pretty ‘full’ for a BB cream. It covers more than the previous two, so if you want something that gives you a little extra complexion-boost, this may be your BB. The consistency is thicker, much like the Garnier one, and it blends out easily with fingers or a brush. It does give you a glow, but it’s not super greasy on me. I can get away with skipping the primer before this one, using a touch of concealer around my nose, and a dash of powder to set everything. I do get shiny, but it takes longer (more like 2-3 hours, instead of 1-2), and the breakdown on my nose takes longer. The product is scented, so if that annoys you (like it annoys me…), give it a sniff before you buy. The other downside is that is appears to only come in one shade, and it’s not clear whether it’s supposed to match to whatever skin tone it’s used on. It’s definitely light, since it’s pretty much perfect for my skin and I’m pale (almost always the lightest shade of anything, except at the height of summer).

I’m always on the hunt for new-to-me BBs (or CCs or EEs or…ZZzzz?), so let me know what you love, hate, want, and so on!

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Notes #7

Notes #7

Notes #7

As predicted, this week was pretty crazy. I had lots to do for family, including picking my nephew up from school. We had a good time checking out all the local parks and he has a good time collecting acorns, haha.

I also spent all week trying to learn how to use Lightworks to edit my videos. I’m finally getting there but have discovered that my phone’s camera doesn’t record video and audio at the same frame rate, which means that the audio slowly gets out of sync in Lightworks, as the video progresses. Que me freaking out after I exported a finished video only to find that out. So I edited the whole thing again, thinking I’d fixed the problem, but no! This morning I managed to figure out a somewhat straight-forward way to fix things and now the video is done, ready to be uploaded later. I’m pleased with it because I can do way more in Lightworks (like cut-aways). The top right photo is a hint at what the video is all about!

See that birdie up there? That’s a rosella, a type of Australian parrot that was introduced into New Zealand in the 1900s. We have a few that live around my area and this one was having a feast on one of the apples in my tree. It ate half of it, the pig! So cute, though, and really pretty. New Zealand mostly has wildlife that is boring, green and brown, so it’s nice to see some colour. Wink.

A couple of things you guys might be interested in:

Happy Sunday! xx

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Notes #6

Notes #6

Notes #6

Life: This past week has been insane. On Monday night my poor mama broke her wrist, so I’ve been filling in for her by looking after my grandma and picking up my youngest nephew from school (his picture is above-left). I’ve also had a bunch of other things to do on top of my usual commitments, so I’ve been a busy bunny! I don’t mind, and the week went by really quickly, but it has meant I didn’t have much time for blogging or job hunting. I’m gearing up for another busy week, but it’ll be good. My nephew is five and we have a thing where we try out a new park each day, weather permitting. I can’t wait to have kids, so this is good practice, right?

Food: Today is my Whole90 Day 50! Nearly 2/3 of the way there. I must say that this week I really could have used some cake, because Lady Things. I’ve been a little bored with food also, so I think I need to hunt for new meal ideas to amp things up. Also, Thing I Thought I Wouldn’t Eat But Did: sauerkraut. Will I eat it again? Probably, because I paid $4 for that can so I better use my money’s worth, ha!

Beauty: This week has been about quick and easy beauty routines, so BB cream and bare eyes. That is, if I bothered to wear makeup at all. I’m feeling a little bored with some of my current products, and I wish I could go for a shop. Sigh. Aside from that, I’m back into a pro nail polish phase. While I pretty much always have some on my toes, I go through periods of not wanting any on my fingernails. I think it’s because polish chips and I get sick of it lasting only a few days before it looks awful. I hate having chipped polish, it makes my eye twitch (Hello, my name is Monica from Friends, let me clean your life). Earlier in the week I put on some Coral Colors ‘Slate’ with my Orly Matte Top Coat. While I loved the look, it chipped really easily and peeled off. Twitch. This morning I chucked on my all-time fave Essie ‘Maximillian Strasse-her’ (also on my toes) to brighten things up. This polish lasts pretty well, too.

Wearing: Let me just talk for a mo’ about how even though it’s autumn, it’s still really flippin’ warm. I’m over it, quite frankly, especially because Auckland gets really humid, so I’m basically damp from 8am until 11pm, if not later. I’m sleeping with the fan on again. I literally have no clothing that is comfortable to wear in this heat, so I’ve spent the week being a damp and sweaty mess. Definitely not the most pleasant and feeling gross isn’t particularly great for the ol’ confidence/feeling nice/esteem. Hello, Autumn, please hurry. There aren’t enough breezy shorts and tanks in the world to help this.

How’s your week been? Tell me all the things! xx

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February Favourites 2015

February Favourites 2015

All my fave products from the month of February in one handy video for you. I’m pretty in-love with all these!

Products Mentioned:
  • Macadamia Natural Oil Hair Repair Mask
  • Bourjois Micellar Cleaning Water
  • Mitchum Clinical Protection Deodorant (I accidentally bought one for guys, but the scent isn’t my fave so I repurchased the one for Women and I’m MUCH happier with that scent).
  • First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads
  • REN Vita Mineral Omega-3 Optimum Skin Oil, from Mecca Cosmetica.
  • Trilogy Blemish Control Gel
  • Moisture Mist BB Cream (no other shades according to their website, and I’m not sure how great it would be on darker skin tones – it doesn’t say it’s colour-matching).
  • Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Liner
  • Revlon Colorstay Lipliner in Red
  • Bourjois ‘Rose de jaspe’ blusher

What beauty products were you loving in Feb?

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Notes #5

Notes #5

Notes #5

Well hello again! It has been a while, I know. Fortunately, I now have a wee bit more free time on my hands to blog and film videos, so you should be seeing me on the regular. I must say I am very happy about that because it means I have finished university. Woohoo!

Anyway, let’s get on with it, shall we?

Life: I had my last exam on the 16th and got my results back this week, which means yesterday I was able to apply for graduation. That won’t take place until May 4th, but I may already be planning my makeup for the occasion. To say I’m looking forward to it is kind of the biggest understatement I’ve made in some time. It feels good to be done and to be looking for proper employment. Hi, adult world, nice to meet you! I must say, it does feel odd not preparing for a new semester of university, though. Usually, at this time of year, I would be sorting out textbooks, bus passes and all that. Now I’m sorting out my CV (it’s like a resume) and an appropriate interviewing/work wardrobe (on a mega-budget).

The other exciting thing that’s happened recently is that my parents’ female Alpaca, Olive, had a little girl, Poppy-Anne. Isn’t she the cutest?!?

Food: In my last Notes post, I mentioned how I had begun doing the Whole30 program to help with my health and weight loss. Well, I found it such an amazing experience that I’ve extended it into a Whole90, and I’m currently on Day 43. You can see the first 30 days documented on my Instagram (I try to use #Whole30NZ for any posts I make about it). I still post occasional updates there, but it’s not every day. I don’t really get a lot of visitors here, but if anyone is interested, I could write a post about it to share my experience in more depth. Let me know!

Beauty: Lately I’ve been about no makeup days whenever I can. Letting my skin breathe and do its thing is something I’m a firm believer in, so I try to do as much as possible. When I do have – or want – to wear makeup, I’m sticking to BB creams, concealer if needed, bare eyelids, a dash of mascara, maybe some blush, and lip balm. I’ve also been trying out some new products, and I will definitely share how I like them soon. At least a few will feature in my February Favourites video, so keep an eye out for that next week.

Wearing: As I mentioned above, I’ve had to purchase some interview/work appropriate clothing this week. I spent about 4 hours last Sunday out shopping for pieces that I could mix and match. My personal style is much more casual than may be appropriate for some work environments – jeans and t-shirts or casual tops, Birkenstocks, boots or trainers are really my things. I managed to grab a pair of trousers, two tops, a dress and some ankle boots, all from cheaper chain stores (including my beloved Kmart). While I would prefer to purchase higher quality and longer lasting pieces, I can’t because I’m unemployed and there’s no point given that I am slowly shrinking in size. When I have some savings and I’m at a size I’m happy with, I will splurge!

What have you been up to this week
Happy Sunday, everyone! x

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