Pages - Menu

Thursday, April 30, 2015

April Bella Box Unboxing.

 I missed reviewing last month's Bella Box because it honestly wasn't worth the time; seriously, not even worth writing a bad review. I came so very close to cancelling my subscription because I'd been pretty disappointed the past few months, but I'm glad I didn't. This box has restored my faith; three full-sized products, no junky 'filler' items, and all things I'd actually use - Hooray!

This month's theme was 'Mindful Beauty'

Before I go on, I'd just like to apologise for the terrible quality photos; I'm in the process of fixing my camera.
Until then, smartphone to the resuce!

Marc Daniels Blue Cypress Blonde Smooth Ends Treatment
My hair is naturally blonde, so I don't have the bleach fried hair this duo was intended to assist. What I do have is hair that is constantly straightened and blasted by heaters (especially now that the weather's getting colder) so it's always on the dry and brittle side, especially my ends. This boasts a protective and nourishing formula, that fights unwanted tones with the help Australian Blue Cypress tree oil, which provides a blue pigment that helps to counteract brassy and yellow tones. I'm always looking for products to fix my (increasingly ugly) ends and I'm down for a boost in my blonde department without the dye, so I'm excited to give this a try.
RRP: $12.99

Joico Moisture Recovery Shampoo & Conditioner
I used the shampoo alone at first, and I did feel a little strength and moisture come back to my dry hair but I don't feel as though it did anything overly amazing. That was until I used both the shampoo and conditioner together. Aside from the fact that this stuff smells amazing, they work wonders as a pair! My hair still feels light and moisturized and has been that much more manageable since. I would probably not recommend this for super fried hair as it's not moisturizing enough or limp/thin hair because it does make hair more "flat", but it's a great combo for semi-damaged hair.
RRP: $27.95 each.

Nivea Lip Butter in 'Caramel Cream'

I was excited to see this in my delivery this month as my lips are doing something a bit scary with this cold weather. First off, the caramel scent is pretty delicious. It's very a smooth and buttery  formula which means it's a little greasy if you use too much, but used sparingly, it melts right in to my lips and leaves them feeling soft and moisturised with a shiny glaze. I'm not a fan of the unhygienic, pain-in-the-ass to open tin but I'd overlook that for the nourishment it delivers.
RRP: $5.19

Yes to Carrots C Me Shine Lip Gloss in 'Playful Nude'
Instantly, I loved three things about this gloss: The name (I can't even), the fact that it's 95% organic, and the shade. It looks a little orange-y in the tube for my taste, but it comes out as such a beautiful and subtle peachy nude on the lips. It's not sticky at all, rather too on the thin side so it hasn't got the best staying power, but it is smooth and conditioning. I was surprised to learn about it's peppermint-y smell and I've put it down to the menthol. It really softens your lips, but if your lips have a tendency to peel, I'd definitely recommend exfoliating before application.
RRP: $9.95

Pure Therapy Gentle Soap Free Body Cleanser
I love me a beautifully scented shower gel, but sometimes the added fragrance agitates my sensitive skin. I gave this a go last night, actually and I was really impressed. It's soap free, which felt wonderful on my skin and being as there's no added fragrance, it delivered that clean feeling without the irritation I usually get. The scent reminded me of Aveeno's moisturiser (which we all know I LOVE); It's just a lovely, clean, natural smell, probably because they both contain Colloidal Oatmeal which is great for soothing and moisturising dry skin. I just felt soft, clean and moisturised as I towelled off - fantastic!
RRP: $11.95

BONUS: Nourish Anti-itch Lotion
This was just a bonus sachet. I'm not overly fussed, but it'll definitely come in handy, especially on my legs which itch like crazy when they're even slightly dry.
RRP: $12.95

Overall, I'm incredibly pleased with April's box! There's not one product I won't use.

What beauty box do you subscribe to?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Empties #1

I have always been notorious for not finishing beauty products before moving on to the next.
I was the sort of person who jumps from one product to the other a lot of the time, because I hadn't truly found the combination of brands and products that worked for me. Since getting in to blogging, I've read so many helpful reviews and I think I've finally found the products that are right for me. The ol' blogaroo has also given me a reason to fully finish the horde of products I've accumulated before I even think of buying another and I must say: it’s a satisfying feeling!

Here's what I've used up recently:

This is a dry shampoo that is incredibly inexpensive and does exactly what it says it does. I use it when my hair is looking a little flat/oily and this fixes both of those issues right up which is particularly good for second day hair. Once massaged in and brushed out, my hair feels refreshed for the rest of the day. I haven't found that there is any bad powdery white build-up against my blonde hair and you honestly can't tell that my hair is actually dirty'. I very much like the scent but it's quite strong. I definitely didn't mind it lingering in my hair, but I can see how others might. The only issue - I liked it a bit too much and used it up real fast.

Repurchase? Yes. I recently bought a can of Bastille's dry shampoo, but I've quickly found that I prefer V05's offering. I'll be buying another can as soon as I've used up the rest of my Bastille shampoo.

AVON Naturals Orchid & Blueberry Shower Gel
This. Smells. SO. Good! It's such a sweet, fruit scent that reminds me of Summer. An artificial Summer, but a Summer nonetheless. It lathers easily and leaves my skin lightly scented and feeling moisturised, which really is all I look for in a shower gel.

Repurchase? Yes, once I use up the other 50,000 shower gels I have in my bathroom.

Le Tan Coconut SPF 15 Oil
I've still been using this almost every day on my lunch break in the sun. The formulation protects and hydrates the skin to help prevent peeling and dryness, leaving your skin smelling all coconut-ey and delicious (I get told that I smell like a lamington by my co-workers almost every day). It sinks in nicely IF you don't use too much. Honestly, you really only need a little bit; sand/grass tends to stick everywhere if you use even the slightest bit too much. Just bare in mind, that just because it has an SPF doesn't mean you can go ahead and bake all day to achieve a tan as this is essentially a tanning product with SPF, not sunscreen.

Repurchase? Yes. Just last week I bought the SPF 30+ version. Because I'm sun smart.

The Body Shop Coconut Shower Cream (Mini)
Again with the coconut.
I love how thick and creamy this is. It doesn't lather as well as a shower gel would, but considering it's a shower cream, you shouldn't expect it to. You do have to use a fair bit if you're using it all over your body, but because it is so very creamy, very moisturizing which is fantastic and it's great as a shaving cream. Admittedly, I do feel that it could have a more realistic coconut smell; it does smell more synthetic than the other coconut products from The Body Shop, but I still like it. I got the mini bottle in a gift pack for Christmas, and it's really hard to get the product out once you've used past the half-way mark because it's so thick, but I know the jumbo size comes with a pump, which would be ideal.

Repurchase? Probably not. If I did, it would be to use solely as a shaving cream.

Chanel N°5 Eau de Toilette Spray (50mL)
I got this as a Christmas gift from the bosses at work.
If you're in to your wooden, musky scents, you're going to love this one. It's an incredibly long-lasting perfume; I was receiving compliments at the end of the day after having spritzed some on in the morning before work. It's also very strong, which also means that it's incredibly easy to use too much and burn out the insides of your nostrils over the course of a day.

Repurchase? No. I prefer fruity over musky scents. I have so many perfumes, I really just wanted to use this one up.

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer (Light)
I've previously compared this concealer to Maybelline's Instant Age Rewind concealer (here) and this one came out second best. Honestly, I use this as an under eye brightener rather than a concealer. It's easy to apply with it's doe foot applicator and creamy formula allows it to spread and blend beautifully, leaving a dewier finish all the while feeling so soft on the skin. I use the 'light' shade and it instantly lights up the area under my eyes, making me look more awake. The staying power isn't all that great, however, but it still does a good job of hiding those blemishes and red spots. The creaminess of the formula means it does not accentuate my dry skin, but it also means it's a little on the oily side and tends to slide off on hotter days. Because I apply concealer quite high up (between the nose and inner eye corners), I find that I'll have to wipe off a line that has settled into my eyelid crease right about lunch time.

Repurchase? Yes. Only to be used for brightening in conjunction with Instant Age Rewind.

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder (Silky Beige)
This is another product I use daily; on top of Rimmel's Perfect Match foundation.
I love it! It leaves my skin smooth, and not powdery, even if I use a lot. It' such a great setting powder, and will give a light coverage if you're heavy handed with it and even then, it doesn't give me that gross, cakey look or settle on dry patches or in to creases. It does it's job well, controlling oil while keeping you matte and your make-up in place majority of the day.

Repurchase? Yes. On to pan number two already.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Concealer (Fair)
I use this every day under my foundation. The formula is hard to beat: It's thick enough to cover the under eye area but also smooth enough to blend out nicely, filling in fine lines without settling into them or creasing, while still not accentuating my dry skin (which is pretty rare for me) and leaving a matte finish. The application, though.. On one hand, I love that it's a wind-up, meaning you can basically get every last drop from the tube, but on the other, I wasn't a huge fan of the sponge nib applicator at first. Although I've gotten used to it now, it's still impossible to clean and is quite large, making it difficult to get the product into the smaller parts of the eye. The shade 'fair' is the lightest shade in the range and it matches my skin-tone perfectly however I like to buy a concealer that's a shade or two lighter than my face for brightening and highlighting purposes and this just doesn't do that. I'll use Fit Me on top to brighten, while this does it's job of concealing those bags all day long.

Repurchase? Yes, Sir. I've always got a backup tube ready.

AVON Glimmersticks Retractable Brow Definer (Blonde)
After never having bothered doing much with my eyebrows, it's amazing the difference even a little outline makes and that's literally all I do: outline. I absolutely love this formulation, and the colour 'blonde' perfectly matches my brows and being a twist up, pencil means no sharpening required. It goes on easily and with a light hand does not look overdone. It lasts a good while and is easily removed at the end of the day.

Repurchase? Yes. I actually bought one last month, and got a two-for-one deal. KA-CHING.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Relapse.

I'm not sure how to even begin to write a post about these sorts of things. Do you start with a Web MD definition? Do you start by explaining that you didn't put the word 'depression' in the title because you're stubborn and don't like labelling these things because you try so very hard every single day to be strong?

Trying to be strong.. That is the exact reason I chose to use the photo up there for this post. Because that photo was taken less than a week ago, when I was in the midst of the shitstorm that had become my emotions. It's almost too easy to convince myself that everything is fine and plaster on a convincing smile, even when every fibre in my body is yelling out that it's not. 

Maybe sometimes should label these things, because sometimes symptoms are chronic enough to affect your whole life. I grew up like this. Not that I was raised like this, but you can say, this is who I am and now, well.. some things have happened in my life recently that have had me beginning to feeling like I did back then. Back when I was gripped by anxiety and depression. I feel like the world has been crushing me. Slowly. And it's getting worse. I just thought, "maybe I should open up", because every symptom I once had is coming back. Slowly but surely, it's running through my veins all over again.

It's strange writing about this into this open and public blog. Not that I haven't mentioned anxiety and other worries, because I have. It's just so weird, finally letting my guard down and dropping my pride and simply coming out, saying, "I have this, it is real, it affects me every day.
This post is going to get real, guys.

I still remember the day.. I got out of bed having had no sleep the night before. I drove to work and sat at my desk and one by one, my co-workers would come in the door, saying their good mornings and their how are yous and I'd smile politely and offer my greeting. Clients began streaming in soon after, expecting a smile and a friendly chat from the receptionist. I smiled and waved. I small talked and acted happy. I loved my job, I loved my friends, I loved my family, I loved life. But I had lost interest in all of them. All of it.
Looking back, losing interest in the people who loved me was the worst.

At about 10am that morning, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I excused myself to the bathroom where I curled up and cried. I was found almost 20 minutes later by the office manager who had innocently ventured to the bathroom to pee in peace. Instead, she found the mess that I had become sobbing on the floor. I hate to be seen in a time of weakness so I asked her to take me home where I took three sleeping pills in one gulp and that was the end of that day.
I went to see a psychiatrist in secret almost a week later and at 17 years of age, I was told that there might be a chemical imbalance in my brain. He prescribed a mixture of pills and the whole time, I had an uneasy feeling about the whole thing.
I don’t think I can form a string of words to accurately describe the effect this kind of thing has on you. It becomes every part of your being. It is never ending. All you want is peace but even sleep can't give you that, because it wrecks your dreams and turns your days into a puddle of horrid blackness. It destroys your personality, your relationships, your work, your love life, it affects them all. Your ability to give and receive affection is gone. You want to grab it and smash it, but you can’t get a hold of it. I wracked my brain night after restless night, asking myself if there was something I had done that justified the suffering.
Four months on, I barely ate, I never saw anyone, I had watched Spring turn to Summer through the window. That was the real world out there and I was there, in my room living in a whole other world. I was now on about 11 tablets a day and not getting any better. It was obvious to me I was never going to get better. My desire for death was now much stronger than my desire for living.
I went to see a friend of mine after a particularly bad episode. We sat opposite each other in her bedroom. I looked at her for about a minute or so and I began to cry. For an hour and fourty minutes, I talked and she listened. That hour and fourty minutes was more effective than any cocktail of pills had ever been and it had saved my life. Driving home that night, I knew that I was going to better.

Fast forward to today. I am fully off of any medication. For me, it was never the answer. I was in such a good way, so proud of the leaps and bounds I had made between then and now. I had fooled myself into thinking I was 'cured'

..Until two weeks ago. The reason I find myself re-living that darkness.
Because it can't ever truly be cured.
I haven't mentioned this on the blog, or to anyone other than my boyfriend and my mum: just over a week ago, I crashed my car. Nobody was harmed (except my precious car). I'm completely fine, physically. It really was incredibly minor. I'm actually quite embarrassed to admit that I've been on somewhat of an anxiety and depression relapse ever since.

The truth is, and I hate to admit it.. but the truth is.. I'm scared. Of so many things.

I'm scared of having to face up to memories I have buried. The experience had dredged up some terrible flashbacks and memories of what happened with Alyssa. Flashbacks and memories I thought had been successfully blanked from my brain years ago in self-preservation.

I'm scared because I can't bring to open myself up. I'm in a constantly irritable mood; I've barely muttered more than two sentences to anyone other than Jesse for a week now. I've been declining invitations to see my friends, and I rarely want to go out. I just can't be bothered living a life.

I'm scared that my anxiety is getting the better of me. The thought of being in control of a vehicle again, it sickens me. Those 'what if' thoughts, those pictures of what could have happened circle my head when I'm left alone. I find myself dreading going to sleep each night, knowing I had to wake up the next morning and travel to work, and on that hour long bus trip, I become hyper-aware of everything on the roads around me. It's exhausting.

I look back on the personal struggles I’ve had and wonder how differently things may be had I sought help sooner than I did. Perhaps I would be equipped with the answers to be able to deal with the way I feel now.

But I believe that these feelings are a message. My body is trying to tell me that something in my life isn’t right and I need to address it. It's forcing me to stop and search myself for answers. It encouraging me to look at my inner life and free myself from the things that were preventing me from expressing my full being.
And that scares me.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Finds.

\\  This painted watercolour popsicle DIY would be a perfect thing to do for a Summer party.  //
\\  We all know Christie lover her starfish, but how cute is this starfish burlap head piece?! srsly.  //
\\  I'd never have thought of grilled cheese croutons. So simple. So clever!  //
\\  This sweater states my life mantra.  //
\\  This outfit is my Autumn/Winter fashion inspiration.  //
\\  How yum does this roasted strawberry milkshake look? Especially with the addition of chocolate pistachio brittle. I die.  //

Happy Friday, kids!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

An Urban Decay Giveaway!

If you've been reading my recent posts, you'd have picked up on my subtle hints that..
Okay, who am I kidding? I literally came right out and said it:
I'm hosting a giveaway and it's finally here.
Yay for free things!

Why? Because we love you, that's why.
Natalie from Yours Truly, NY and I both wanted to team up and host a giveaway for you guys to show y'all how grateful and thankful we are that you've chosen to read our little blogs.
One winner will receive Urban Decay's Shadow Box palette, courtesy of the two best people you've ever met.

Urban Decay is among my favourite eye shadow brands ever (Naked2 was actually the first high-end palette I ever owned). Their shadow box palette has the most gorgeous colours, especially for a night-time look.

The rules:
This is an international giveaway, and will be open for three weeks, beginning on April 15 at 12am (GMT+8), running through to 30 April, closing at 12am (GMT+8).
All entries will be verified; any fraudulent or bot entries will be discounted.
Any unfollowers as at the announcement of a winner will be disqualified.

What are you waiting for?! Get on entering!
Good luck!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Finds.

\\  I don't mean to alarm you, but here's a cotton candy ice cream recipe. I die. //
\\  This messy chignon tutorial makes it look so easy! It reminds me of Jennifer Lawrence's 'do at the 2013 Critics' Choice Awards.  //
\\  I've found my next nail design; I love me some black and gold action.  //
\\  If you know me, even 1%, you'll know I basically live off potatoes. This warm honey dijon potato salad recipe has me feeling all kinds of excited.  //
\\  These paperclip bows are something I'd spend hours making during a slow work afternoon.  //
\\  This tee! Oh Mean Girls: your quotes will always be relevant.  //

Happy Friday, kids.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

My Month on Instagram - March.

If you've been following Christie's Take on Life, you'll know by now that I'm a major lover of Instagram! It's the perfect outlet for posting inspiration and little snippets of life, and seeing what my favourite bloggers and friends are up to.

There are so many times my Instagram posts never make it to my blog, and that's a damn shame because I consider myself to be quite the photographer..
..Not really, but it's a shame nonetheless.

Instalife the past month looked something like this:
I was gifted a 100 pack of nail stickers from on of the girls at work. They look so cute, but it took me about an hour to do because I'm an unco perfectionist..
Nail stickers: 1
Christie: 0

Guys, if you're going to Hog's Breath any time soon, get this cocktail! It's called 'Red Candy' and it's basically liquid sex. (dirtiest sounding saying)

Jesse and I had a spontaneous dinner at Miss Maud's which was well worth the trip. This is literally only 1/4 of the smorgasbord table (conveniently the dessert 1/4), and it's all so damn good! I was double my weight by the time a walked out.

Did I mention that I went to the Future Music festival? Only about 4,000 times.

Did I also mention that Drake sung to me? DRAKE! I die.
I made Jesse wait at the same stage for 7 hours to get a front row spot. WORTH IT x1,000 OMG.

I've posted this photo on the blog before, but it's just to typical of our friendship. This is the definition of a true best friend-ship.

That's right. I'm still obsessing over avocados.
Especially if I can eat them in my natural habitat: bed.

Every Friday, the work boys and I go across the road to our local pub for lunch. After years and years of just getting chips, they put this beauty: the 'no mean treat' on their specials menu and OMG. Pumpkin, mushroom, sundried tomato and aioli goodness all in one glorious concoction.
My heart's broken every week since, when I see that it's not on the menu.

The days are getting colder, and the trees at my favourite lunch spot are starting to turn orange. Autumn's officially here.

I love this photo of Jesse and I.
Sidenote: I swear I wear more than just yellow tops..

I maded something, I maded something!
Again with the avocados.. Not to brag, but my breakfast sandwich recipe is too good. Okay, totally to brag.

I love finding new bloggers to follow; leave your Instagram links in the comments!

Monday, April 6, 2015

March Beauty Favourites.

One: Olay Advanced Cleansing System
 I've been wanting to try a brush cleansing system for a while now, but spending $200 on a Clarisonic just wasn't going to happen. I bought this at Priceline for only $40 after hearing it's a pretty decent dupe for the Clarisonic and have been using it for three weeks now. When I first used it, I was quite impressed. Not only does it really clear out your pores, leaving your skin super smooth, but I find it also keeps my make-up on longer! It did make my skin purge slightly during the first week, but I stuck it out and I'm so glad I did. Now not only do I have a noticeable glow to my face, but I have no pimples except for the hormonal ones (yay for being a girl) and my scars are fading and all those little bumps along my hairline are gone. It comes with a small cleanser/exfoliant that you're suppose to use it with but I haven't tried that yet, I just use my normal cleanser. The bristles of the brush are quite soft but I can imagine it's easy to over exfoliate so I'll use it every second night.

Two: Lush Feeling Younger Skin Tint
I've not had much luck with highlighting products, but I'm so very glad I bought this! I was a bit hesitant at first, because a tiny 20g pot (downside: it comes in a pot) costs a massive $18 but after using this, I see that the pot will last me a very long time as a little goes a long way. The consistency is quite thick and very creamy, but once blended out with warm fingers, it feels nice and light on the skin and not sticky at all. The colour is beautiful; a  metallic white with pinky-gold shimmer, almost like fairy dust. I've mixed it into my foundation for an all over glow (just be warned, there's some subtle shimmer so go easy) and I've also applied it to the tops of the cheekbones and the bridge of my nose after my foundation and it works wonderfully either way. Unfortunately, when used alone, it doesn't blend too well, and can really sink into your pores, but either under or over foundation works wonderfully.

Three: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel
Remember when I received a sample of this stuff in my February BellaBox? That time I said I didn't have high hopes because Neutrogena has really messed with my skin in the past? Well, ignore everything past Christie said because she's a damn fool. I've been trying this for the past month and I'm in love! The temperature here's really dropped off, so I've been needing a whole lot of moisture on my face lately. I reached for this tube on a particularly dry morning because it claimed to continuously release moisture throughout the day. I was worried it may go too far and leave my skin looking oily and blegh but that hasn't been the case. The gel has such a light, non-sticky texture and my skin's been slurping it right up. My dry patches have been getting the nourishment they need and my skin looks nothing but supple when I wear it under my foundation. There's a downside, though.. It does have a scent, one that actually reminds me of jellybeans, so there's some definite added perfume, but it's not reacted negatively with my sensitive skin, and I actually like the smell so that's not bothered me at all. I've been using a sample tube, but the full-sized product comes in a pot, which has actually put me off buying it.

Four: Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Concealer
This is an old favourite that I practically forgot about until I compared it to Maybelline's Fit Me concealer in this post. Ever since that day, it's risen back to the top of my list as all-time favourite concealer. The formula is thick enough to cover the under eye area but also smooth enough to blend out nicely, filling in fine lines without settling into them or creasing, while still not accentuating my dry skin. It has such great staying power, covering those under eye bags and blemishes all dayThe only thing I don't necessarily love is the applicator. On one hand, it's a wind-up, meaning you can basically get every last drop from the tube, but on the other, I it has a huge sponge nib applicator and although I've gotten used to it now, it's still impossible to clean and is quite large, making it difficult to get the product into the smaller parts of the eye. honestly, it really is worth taking the time to get used to the application for dat all-day matte coverage, yo.

Five: Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water
I can't remember how I was convinced to buy 'expensive bottled water' to remove my make-up, but I'm so glad I was. I use it after I've had a shower, just before bed to get rid of anything my cleanser has missed (you'd be surprised). If I'm omitting the shower, I feel like I need at least 2 cotton pads to do a thorough job of it. It's great at removing dirt and make-up at the end of the day without leaving that sticky-feeling residue.. you don't even need to rinse it off after using it. Admittedly, it's not the best at removing mascara, particularly waterproof mascara, but it does work. I like to use it on a cotton bud to get at the mascara and eyeliner close to my lashes and even then, it doesn't hurt my eyes at all. I just love the super gentle feel it has on the skin, and it doesn't feel like it's stripping and drying at all. I've heard good things about a French brand, Corine de Farme, so I'll be giving that a go once I've used this up if I can get it in Australia.

What are your latest beauty favourites?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Friday Finds.

Here's what I've found and loved this week:

\\  I can't describe how much I loved Big Hero 6! Basically, I died when I saw this Baymax shirt!  //
\\  This super easy floral candle DIY! There’s nothing like some fresh flowers to get you into the mood for spring—even if it's coming in to Autumn where you are (sigh).  //
\\  This Whipped green tea & coconut moisturiser  sounds good enough to eat, and the ingredients are all super good for your skin.  //
\\  I fell in love with these polka dot shoes when I saw them styled on My Fash Avenue.  //
\\  This brulee oats recipe! It's like breakfast.. but.. dessert!  //
\\  How cute is this Paris nail art?! Oui.  //

Happy long weekend, kids!

Sharing is Caring!