The Cruelty Free Haul
3/04/2015

The Cruelty Free Haul




A few of my friends have been converting to using solely cruelty free beauty+body products recently. While I'm not too sure I could entirely commit to that, I am trying to use more cruelty-free beauty products when I can do. Recently, iHerb had a sale going where there was discount across many of their beauty brands. It was a pretty good deal from what I can remember so I decided to do a little haul and pick up some products I'd been wanting to try out..

Deep Steep Brown Sugar+Vanilla Foaming Handwash-After ordering this handwash I received one for review in the post so I'm actually yet to open this one. It was an Alix inspired purchase and I know she loves it so I have high hopes for it.

Physician's Formula Lash Boosting Eyeliner+Serum-A liquid liner isn't something that I'd typically go for, but after hearing Tamira raving about it in one of her videos, I had to try it myself. The pen reminds me of the Tom Ford liner which Anna uses. This is ridiculously easy to use and that's coming from someone who usually ends up with black smudges in their crease. It's crazy long-wearing too and if you find liquid liner a pain, you should check this one out. As for the lash boosting properties, I feel like it has made my lashes longer. I'm not sure how that works, magic perhaps. I love this and will definitely repurchase it.

Hurraw Grapefruit Lip Balm-I loved my Coconut lip balm from Hurraw but it had recently run out so I decided to try a different scent this time. The grapefruit is even more divinely scented than the coconut one. I love these lip balms and how conditioning they are without feeling too heavy on the lips for daytime. 

Deep Steep Foot Stick-This was totally a 'what the heck' purchase. I think I was intrigued by the peppermint scent and the fact it was a stick for your feet. Again, what the heck. Basically you roller this on to your feet, put some socks on and wake up with ridiculously soft feet in the morning. Currently, it is far too hot for donning socks so I tend to massage it into my feet instead. It smells amazing and it certainly makes my feet softer. 

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge-Now this was a repurchase as I managed to break my first sponge. Props to me. I could've replaced it with the beauty blender but let's be real, that is one expensive sponge. This one's so inexpensive and does an amazing job of blending concealer in seamlessly. I use the flat side around my face and then the pointed edge under the eyes. Gently of course! If you don't own one of these yet, get one. You will not regret it.

*Have you tried any of these products before? What did you think of them?

-I hope your week's going great so far! Mine's been a bit low-key. I'm actually not studying this semester, so I am on the job hunt at the moment. Basically I spend a lot of my time on Seek. Not gonna lie, it's a bit of a frustrating process but oh well. One plus side is it means I can blog a bit more frequently and hopefully film too. Have a great Wednesday and I'll see you all on Friday with another installment of The Week xo.

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My Gratitude Journal
3/02/2015

My Gratitude Journal






Sometimes it's all too easy to get caught up in what is going wrong. Whether that be in our lives or someone else's. I have to admit, sometimes I get into a skeptical, pessimistic frame of mind and find it hard to shake. In an attempt to counteract that, last year I started a positivity journal. Each day I had to write one positive thought, whether it be about myself or something that happened to another person. I found it really effective and made me feel more uplifted. Perhaps it was a placebo effect, who knows. Well recently, I've been a bit down, stressed and a manner of other things so I decided to introduce a gratitude journal to my daily routine...

The journal in question is the botanical journal from Rifle Paper Co., a design they don't seem to make anymore. You can find similar styles here though. I'll be honest, this was a rather impulsive buy on a holiday last year. Basically I wanted every piece of Rifle Paper goodness I could find. It wasn't an essential by any means but I am glad I've found a use for it. If you don't want to splurge, look for a notebook among your collection or give a plain old exercise book a makeover. There's so many DIY's on Pinterest these days. 

In terms of filling it in I like to include a positive statement about the day. For instance, above I wrote "there is always something good in every day". Then I like to include a list of things from that day which made me happy. I usually end up with six+ things and it really reinforces that quote. More so if I thought I'd had a shitty day. Something like listening to Florence can make me happy. I then include some kind of visual below. It could be anything really-whatever you fancy! So far I've used the back of a lipstick packaging, photos, calendar excerpts and my own drawings. 

It's only been eight days so far but I'm finding this such a useful tool. Doing this at night leaves me in a better mood before I go to sleep and it reminds me, even if I'm in a bad mood, there's never days where it's entirely like that. I think gratitude journals are definitely something I'll be sticking to.

*Do you keep a gratitude journal?
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The Week #144
2/27/2015

The Week #144





Rosamund Pike's Oscars makeup: I'm a big fan of the understated, elegant look at red carpet events. Simplistic dresses and minimal makeup are fabulous. Throughout awards season I've been following a few makeup artists on Instagram, my favourite being Melanie Inglessis. She's looked after Rosamund Pike for all the major events and I loved this makeup the most. You can find out what was key to the look here. Just be warned, Chanel's Mademoiselle lipstick may make its way on to your wishlist as it did mine. #whoops

Blogger's Block: It's a legitimate thing, and it sucks. For me though, sometimes I'll come up with ideas then get to the nitty gritty of a post and decide to abandon it. Many of us find ourselves in similar situations from time to time, including Angela from The Sunday Chapter. She's generously compiled this list should you ever find yourselves in a similar boat. You're welcome. 

A new thing to love from Nars: Nars' Sheer Glow is a staple in many a girl's makeup arsenal. Their newest offering might have a similar effect. The Luminous Weightless Foundation comes in a heap of shades and does what it says on the tin. It offers medium to full coverage yet your skin still looks like skin. It's magic! I've been trying a little tester pot in the shade Mont Blanc and I am obsessed. I may have to invest in this one..

Nirvana White: Mary Kate and Ashley were on to something when they debuted their Elizabeth and James fragrances at Sephora last year. After receiving some fragrance cards and sniffing Nirvana White, I've become smitten with it. It's said to be similar to Stella, which I've not been able to find for ages in NZ. Side note: Does anyone know if it's been taken off the shelves here? Whenever I look for it, it seems MIA. One of my lovely friends picked up this rollerball for me in Sydney this week so I shall keep you posted.

Activewear from Nike that gets my 'tick' of approval: Call me a brand snob but I think Nike does the best activewear. It's relatively inexpensive and is always so comfortable. Let's be real, we want exercise gear that is comfortable yet doesn't look daggy. Nike's latest drop made its way into my inbox this week and it's looking pretty snazzy. I love this set (pictured). There's also some shoes with dotted soles, which I cannot find online but these are similar.

*As always, have the most raddest of weekends everybody! There's been a lack of life updates lately and I feel like I owe you all a little explanation, which will come in good time. If I've seemed a bit...off colour in posts or elsewhere online, know there is a reason for it. On a more positive note, I'm finally watching Boyhood tonight, can't wait to see it! I've also got a couple of friend-dates planned this weekend, including a day trip to look forward to. Have a good one! xo
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February Favourites
2/25/2015

February Favourites





I'm sounding the monthly favourites klaxon, reference c/Anna . This month's been a bit of in with the old and the new when it comes to beauty. I've rediscovered just how good a certain concealer is and found my new favourite bronzer. There's also my monthly book favourites and a DVD which I am sure will come as no surprise to many of you.. 

Beauty

Real Techniques Bold Metal Brushes, #100 and #300-My brushes are dirty so yep, I have not cleaned them. *taps wrist for being a bad blogger* On the other hand, that just shows how well loved and used these gems are. I've already written about these here but in short, the powder brush is amazing for setting makeup down. Its density means it doesn't pick up too much product so you aren't left looking caked in powder. The blush brush is ideal if you find application scary. Its tapered edge fits perfectly into the cheekbone area. Lovelovelove. 

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla-My concealer of choice for blemishes and whatnot offers great coverage but I find the heat just makes it slip off my face way too fast. I rediscovered this Nars one this month and haven't looked back. I love that I don't really need to touch up concealer with this on because it just stays put. The colour range is fantastic as well and it provides decent coverage without being too thick. 

Soap and Glory Solar Powder-Aside from its cardboard packaging, this bronzer is perfect. It's matte so there's no shimmer if that's something you like to avoid. These two shades are perfect for paler complexions as there's no orangey tones to them whatsoever. If you can get your hands on this bronzer, get one asap. 

Mac Lip Pencil in Soar-This seems to be sold out everywhere online but try in stores because they may be floating around there. You've probably already seen this liner online a lot. According to Kim K, it's little sister Kylie's liner of choice. This mauve-pink liner is such a flattering colour. It'd complement a range of skintones. It makes your pout look fuller, regardless of whether you overdraw your lips. I like to wear this on its own or under my more brown based nudes. 

Fairydrops Quattro Mascara, a gift-Fairydrops is notoriously difficult to find unless you're in Japan or can easily access a BeautyMart. One of my friends bought this back for me from her travels recently and I'm not gonna lie, I was quite excited. The wand on this one is quite bizarre, google it to see what I mean. The effect it has on the lashes however is stunning. It's not the most dramatic of mascaras but it really separates the lash and holds a curl.

Extras

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven*-This has to be one of the best young-adult novels I have read in a long, long time. The way it presents mental illness, dealing with grief and the multi-faceted role that is being a young adult is fantastic. In no way does this book romanticise any of the serious issues at hand which some YA books/films tend to do. I found this book really touching and beautifully written. Read it. 

New Girl Season One-As always, I'm a bit late to the bandwagon with this one. I freakin' love New Girl though. It's one of those shows that never fails to put me in a good mood. The hilarity and awkwardness of Zooey's character, while a bit too relatable at times, is brilliant. Not gonna lie, I think Schmidt is rather fit as well. 

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell-I couldn't pick one book this month so you're getting two. Again, Eleanor and Park deals with some heavier issues. It also unites two outcasts who bond over pop culture and their different upbringings. It's a sweet story but be warned, it will make you feel all the feels. 

-What have you been loving during February?


*PR Sample
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New in Beauty
2/23/2015

New in Beauty




Another week, another lineup of beauty goodness. Many of these products are either out already or set to be released within the next month. Start saving those pennies! There's some good'uns here from a mascara that's taking over the beauty world, to an eyeshadow quad that won't break the bank.

Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour*-March is a good month for beauty and at the end of the month we have this new contour stick from Clinique landing on shelves. There's a highlighter stick too which I've heard is amazing. It's early days but I really like this contour. It looks scary orange when you stripe it on, but once blended out with fingers or a brush it becomes less frightening. I'm not sure I'll be able to pull this off in Winter but for Summer and Autumn, this is a great option to sculpt your face.

Essence Quattro Eyeshadow in To Die For*-I've never actually tried any Essence products before, but I was excited to be sent some of their things. Wow, these shadows are buttery soft, super pigmented and blend like a dream. The lighter shades are perhaps not as pigmented as I would like but that bronze shade (bottom left) more than makes up for it. It's rare to find a quad with all the colours I'd use in it but this one delivers. It's under a tenner too which adds to the selling factor.

Soap & Glory Solar Powder-Soap & Glory's not an accessible brand here in NZ but I spotted this on a makeup sale page over on Facebook and had to nab it. If your complexion sits more on the paler side of things you will love this bronzer. You can layer it up and things don't look too orange or Oompa-Loompa esque for once. I'm obsessed with this bronzing duo and know it's going to become an everyday staple in my collection.

Mac Lipglass in Nude Awakening, limited edition*-What we have here is essentially Patisserie lipstick in liquid lipstick form. It reminds me so much of one of my favourite Mac lipsticks and for that reason it's amazing in my eyes. Mac's lipglasses are super pigmented and don't have too much stick to them which means they sit comfortably on the lips. They also tend to leave behind a sheerer stain of colour when they do eventually wear off so top-ups become less of a worry. If you get one thing from the Mac 'Isabel & Ruben Toledo' collection, consider grabbing this.

Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Mascara*-This mascara was one I wasn't expecting to like, seeing as I'm really not a fan of They're Real. Thankfully, I love Roller Lash. The packaging is fun, but sophisticated and I love the colour scheme. As for the mascara, the wand is packed with tiny plastic bristles which are supposed to 'hook' onto your lashes. The wand really gets right into the lash root so you get the best curl. I do find myself still reaching for my curlers first, just to give my lashes some extra oomph, but you could skip this step. I love how this mascara looks on my lashes and may just have to repurchase. Keep an eye out for this one when it launches next month.

GlamGlow Thirsty Mud Mask-My SuperMud mask ran out a while ago. While I loved it, I did want something a bit less intensive so I added this mini size to a recent Sephora order. Thirsty Mud is designed to rehydrate and calm the skin. Lately my skin's been a bit dull looking and this mask promptly revives it. GlamGlow's masks are pricey but they're totally worth the splurge.

-Which of these products will you be keeping an eye out for?

*PR Sample
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