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Friday, August 28, 2015

Spring Inspiration Boards.

The lead up to September 1 would have to be in my top 5 exciting times of the year: Spring is approaching. I am always more than happy so see the back end of August; the back end of the miserable cold, of depressing rain, of sodden spirits. I've been psyching myself up for Spring ever since our first downpour, looking to good old Pinterest for Springtime inspiration - cute dresses and strappy sandals, Spring fruits and fresh salads, floral scents and new life. Spring is by far my favourite time of year. Here is a selection of my favourite pieces of Spring inspiration that helped to get me through the Winter:

One  Two  Three  Four  Five  Six

One  Two  Three  Four  Five  Six

One  Two  Three  Four  Five  Six

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Spring Lust List.

Spring is almost here! I'm not going to lie, I've been counting down the days.
It's usually about this time that I start window shopping online for a few cute, yet well thought out and quality pieces that will liven up my wardrobe for the coming months. I've found some real lovelies for Spring, and I thought I'd share them with you all today:

Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday Finds.

Here are a few of my finds (and loves) from over the past week:

\\  These funfetti cake batter popsicles sound amazing, and easy to make, too.  //
\\  I don't mean to alarm you, but Toblerone salted caramel swirl cheesecake. //
\\  This copper tape vase DIY is infinitely cheaper than buying a detailed vase, and just as pretty.  //
\\  I'm not 100% on how a frozen hot chocolate exists, but I ain't even mad.  //
\\  Have y'all heard of this heatless halo curls method yet? My life would be 110% easier.  //
\\  I'm going strong with ALL THE FOODS this week. So I'll just leave this chocolate covered strawberry cake ball truffle recipe here.  //

Heads up! Don't shit your pants when you're left Friday Finds-less next week. Jesse and I are taking a (much needed) holiday. I've scheduled some posts like a good little blogger so you can still get your regular dose of Christie. I know you were incredibly worried.

Happy Friday, kids!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

August BellaBox Unboxing.

No lengthy introduction today. I wanted to smash this one out before my holiday; I apologise for the shitty phone camera photos (again, I'm rushing).

Here's what I received in my August, 'Beauty by Design' Bella Box:

Pil'aten Collagen Lip Mask
This whole thing is written in Chinese, so I have no idea what's in it which makes me nervous, but the packaging's cute and supposedly, it's used by celebrities including Lady Gaga and Jessica Alba, so it can't be too bad, right? It's designed to restore moisture for softer, plumper lips, you just have to sit with a huge mask over your mouth for 20-30 minutes, which is quite a commitment - it better pay off. I'll give it a go because soft lips are life, but if I waste valuable time not eating for nothing, Im'ma be pissed.
RRP: $4.95 each

Original Source Skin Quench Shower Gel
Vegan friendly = Christie's tick of approval.
I received an Original Source shower gel in my February box and I loved it! This blackcurrant one, though, smells amazing! Like those purple snake lollies. Oh man! It's safe to say that I was stoked to receive a full size bottle of this stuff.
With the help of natural oils, my skin was left feeling soft and nourished and was lightly (again: oh man!) all day.
RRP: $4.99

Chapstick Night Repair
I applied this right before bed last night and woke up with the softest lips this morning. It has no scent and a thick and sticky consistency, which I don't mind of my overnight lip products - I feel it stays on better while I roll around like a madman.
RRP: $6.99 (day & night set)

Max Factor Masterpiece Max Mascara
I've always been a fan of Max Factor, so I was pleased to see this full sized (!!!) tube of their mascara in my box and tried it out the very next morning.
I am all about length when it comes to eyelashes and this definitely lengthens. It also volumizes and defines the lashes better than most mascaras I've tried. Unfortunately It doesn't layer too well, clumping pretty badly by the second coat, but I found that one coat was enough for a daytime look. I don't love it for my bottom lashes, but I found it did the job if I applied just a tiny bit. It wears for hours, holding a decent curl for hours without flaking, and despite this not being a waterproof formula, it didn't smudge or run during the (rainy) day.
RRP: $23.95

Skin & Co Roma Truffle Therapy Serum
The name just sounds so luxurious, and the fact that this is made with truffles makes me feel all kinds of fancy (plus, dat $100 price tag).
I applied it as a base under my moisturiser to amp up the hydration and boy! It was heaven! It has a runny, milky consistency, which is slightly tacky to touch which was great under my foundation because everything adhered nicely. It absorbs in to my face super quickly and has a delicate smell, leaving it velvety soft and more even. I wish it was cheaper, I really do. I'd definitely go out and buy the full sized bottle. At least a little goes a long way! I can see this sample lasting me a while.
RRP: $99.95 (sigh)

BONUS: Dermal Therapy Heel Balm Platinum
not photographed
RRP: $13.95

All in all, I was very impressed with everything I received this month, and full sized products are always more than welcome.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

#Bloggersunitedau Perth Bloggers Meet.

 I was lucky enough to secure myself a ticket to Bloggers United AU's sell-out Perth event, which took place at Gramercy Bar and Kitchen last Saturday afternoon.

Leading up to the event, I was beyond excited to attend my very first blogger meet, but on the drive to the venue, I was struck my a sudden nervousness -I'm awkward, I'm shy, and strangers make me anxious. My fears were quickly put to rest as I was warmly welcomed by a bunch of the loveliest ladies I've met in a long time. That, and cupcakes. Many cupcakes.

Once I'd done some mingling, shoved numerous cupcakes in my face, and chosen a seat, I was taken aback by the number of goody bags waiting at each place. I mean, really taken aback - there was literally no table space. Table or chair space, for that matter. I sympathise with the girls who chose to catch the train in to the city that day (thanks, Jesse).

We started off the meet with a few prize draws and trivia questions, followed by  speakers in from Elucent, L'Oreal Professional, Embacci, Weleda, John Plunkett, and Lush. I love learning about new products and brands, and I gathered as much information as my brain could hold. We all received goodies from each spokesperson's respective brand so it was great to learn a bit about the companies and how their products work (plus, demonstrations are fun). 

image credit: Sophia of Sophia LCS Makeup

Pictured below: Mischelle of Mishelle's Sleepy Time, Sophie of Born to Buy Blog
image credit: Jackie of Jackie Mellor MUA

Pictured below: Mastura of Veiled Beauty, Bonnie of Bonnbeauté, Alex of The Speel, Juvelle of Running in Chanel, Angie of Peplum and Prosecco
image credit: Jasmine of Sweetaholic Beauty c/o BloggersUnitedAU

Mischelle of Mishelle's Sleepy Time

I guess I should move on to the part you've all been waiting for, no?
das goodies, ja! We were incredibly spoilt receiving SEVEN bags each which was so very generous of Bloggers United and all the contributing companies to have supplied us with so many goodies to try out. It took me a solid five days to go through everything for this post. I wish I was over-exaggerating.

 The Bloggers United bags were filled to the brim - literally!

Let's start with my favourite topic: FOOD! We all received a bottle of Barker's Lite Blackcurrant Syrup, which tastes like Ribena, and some Sour Cream & Chive Bagel Bites. Let's just disregard the fact that you can clearly see that it's already been opened. I may or may not have eaten them all prior to taking a photo. Don't judge me. Also pictured is the Redken Frizz Dismiss Finishing Sheets - which I'm incredibly excited to try out, a voucher for a free pair of jeans from Jeanswest, a perfume sample from OneSelf in 'Hawaiian Flower Lei', a Valencia Soy Candle in 'Manhattan', Pureology's Multi-Tasking 21 in 1 Hair Beautifier for Coloured Hair, L'Oreal Professionnel Perfecting Multipurpose Spray for Coloured Hair, and aEssence of Jasmine candle - I got the scent 'Cranberry Crush' which smells amazing! It also doubles as a hand and cuticle moisturiser if you can dip your fingers in the warm wax. A tiny Bioderma Micellar Water, a Waxaway Kit, Rosehip Oil in both a bottle and a 'skin boost' roll-on, MaxFactor Kohl Pencil and Chi Chi Rich Bitch Black Eyeliner, both in Black, Chi Chi 3D Magic Lash 3 in 1 Mascara, a Covergirl Lipstick in 'Croquette', Nuxe Multi-Purpose Dry Oil, a Furless Cosmetics makeup brush, Chi Chi duo eye shadow palettes 'Rich Gems' and 'Smokeys', Sea Siren Nail Polish in 'Sea Shells' and Scentrelle's Reverse Time Face Serum were also included.

The first thing I noticed in the second bag was the acrylic make-up organiser which now houses my (previously disorganised) lipsticks. We also received a pot of Brite Organix Hair Shadow (like hair chalk), L'Oreal Nude Magique BB Cream, Optiva Radiance Refresh Tonic, Eco Tools Fresh & Flawless Five Piece Complexion Set, Zassni Orchard Dew Botanical Face Mist, Slim Secrets Protein Pud in 'Strawberry Indulgence' which will be great as an after gym meal tonight, a tube of Uriage's Soothing Repair Barrier Lip Balm, Wella's Blow Dry Lotion, Chi Chi Creamy Matte Liquid Lipstick in 'Flirt' as well as their Chandelier Lips Lip Laquer were all welcome additions. Also included were Weleda Sea Buckthorn Hand Cream, Carmex Lip Balm in cute leopard print tin, a sample sized Eyeliner and tubular Mascara from Blinc, Matrix Turbo Dryer Blow Dry Spray, L'Oreal Professional Color Corrector Crème for Blondes and Antipodes' Saviour Skin Balm.

Elucent were beyond generous with their bag of treats, supplying us with full sized bottles of the entire whitening range, along with a note pad and pen. The Whitening range consists of an Eye Cream, an Exfoliating Cleanser, both Day and Night Moisturisers, Hand Cream, and a Spot Corrector. We learned that the 'Whitening" line is designed to even out the skin tone by reducing pigmentation and balancing out the appearance dark spots, freckles, age spots, etc. NOT 'whiten' your skin (this is why you listen to presentations, kids).

We were gifted a bag by Enbacci containing their Vitus Vinifera 3 Step System, made up of a Rejuvenating Gel Cleanser, Essence Toner and Essential Crème Moisturiser, as well as sample sized bottled of their Detoxifying Clay Mask, Microdermabrasion Exfoliating Scrub and Moisturising Hand Cream.

We each received a cute little bag from Dr. Hauschka, which held sample sized bottles of their Soothing Cleansing Milk, Facial Toner, and Night Serum.

Our set from John Plunkett contained their NS-5 Cuticle and Nail Complex and Glyco Peel 5 minute facial set - which I'm quite excited to try out.

 I waited for what felt like the longest time to open my Lush gift box. The citrus-y Shiny Happy People kit contained Green Fun in What A Softy!, Happy Hippy Shower Gel and Bohemian Soap - all of which I've used every night since their opening.

We also received a single rose which was a lovely touch.

Phew! I'm as exhausted now as I was by the time I plonked myself in the car on Saturday evening - a good kind of exhausted. The kind of exhausted you feel after a good day.

I'd like to end this post with a big ol' thank you to the Bloggers United team for organising the event, as well as all of the brands who contributed towards our massive goodie bags! I was incredibly happy to receive such a range of products from companies that I wasn't familiar with to begin with. To the ladies I had the chance to meet, thank you for making me feel welcome - everyone was so lovely. Unfortunately, there were so many bloggers that I didn't get the chance to say hello to - gi'me a shout!

image credit: Jasmine of Sweetaholic Beauty c/o BloggersUnitedAU

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to find a home for the mountain of products at my feet.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Friday Finds.

Here are a few of my finds (and loves) from over the past week:

\\  If I were capable of DIY-ing successfully, these cloud lights would be all over the place.  //
\\  A tropical banana rum and melon breakfast bowl: healthy breakfast + rum.. I could deal.  //
\\  This looks a little.. strange, but the idea of cotton candy affogato has gotten me curious.  //
\\  How delicate does this rose chignon look? Someone needs to teach me. Now.  //
\\  These rainbow unicorn tie dye s'mores are the prettiest damn things I've seen!  //
\\  I have a tiny wrist tattoo, therefore I'm eligible to wear this tank. Right?  //

Happy Friday, kids.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Things are Looking Bleak.

Christie's Take on Life used to be a 'lifestyle' blog. If you would even call it a blog. To me, it was a journal. Somewhere along the line, I stopped writing from the heart. I guess my growing following scared me away from putting such personal details about my life out there for all to see. I love beauty posts, don't get me wrong, I'm just disappointed that I cowered away from something I once loved.

and that seems to be my theme right now: disappointment. In fact, this post isn’t going to be very cohesive (so bear with me).

Lately, my life has been reminiscent of a 1-2 punch, except something more along the lines of a 1-2-3-4-5-6 punch. It's one thing after another, after another.. It's as though my life scales cannot tip past a certain point; Just when I think my life plan is coming together, just when I do something good for myself, something pops up to slap me in the face and reminds me not to be ridiculous, to keep the balance of my scales in favour of the dark side.

Oh, Christie. You joined the gym, good for you.
BAM You have an internal infection,
BAM You're drifting away from your best friend,
and finally, the pièce de résistance:
BAM you've lost your car.
That'll teach you.

I haven't told more than maybe 5 people, but I was the victim of a hit and run.

I always try to look at things from a positive perspective.
"Oh, I almost died, maybe it's time I spent more quality time with the people I love. Maybe it's time to plan the trips and outings we've been too lazy to do. Maybe I'll be nicer to people". But this time.. this blow upon the precarious pile of recent blows to my world, has left me with an inability to be positive.

I stepped away from my wrecked car yesterday afternoon, with all the belongings it held in my arms, and just stared around me at all of the people walking around as if the day was just an ordinary day. The thing is, it was. I know this type of intense grief is unjustified. It's a fucking car and I'm acting like someone has just died. I'm sure my reaction is the effect of a string of unfortunate events - the car was just my tipping point.

See, there are very few things I care about in this world - my close friends, my boyfriend, my pets, my car. And when these things don't go to plan, I lose a part of myself. I put too much of myself in to these things and make them my centre - I guess I care too much. I mean, I try to be grateful for what I have and how things played out, but I just don't care any more. I was miraculously 100% uninjured after smashing in to about 3 trees and yet, I don't care. My car is gone and that's all that matters. The car that I emptied my bank account to buy less than a year ago. The car that someone selfishly took away from me..and she got away with it.

There are some really big and exciting thing coming up for me and thinking of what's to come makes me feel a little better, a little bit more like myself, but then the dark cloud catches up to me. What will go wrong after this bit of positive leeway? Because that's what happens. That's what always happens. I have Jesse, who has been nothing but a rock. My solid ground in the shitstorm that I'm in, and we will always be on my team no matter what, but I just can’t focus my thoughts or what little energy I have on day-to-day tasks. I don't care about anything other than keeping a smile on my boyfriend's face any more - even though I can see the worry in his eyes. I'm so very tired, physically and emotionally. I'm lost, and I don't know how strong my desire is to be found.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

My Month on Instagram - July.

If you've been following Christie's Take on Life for any amount of time, you'd surely 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 can't believe it's been five weeks since I joined the gym. Five weeks of no waffles. Five weeks of no waffles with gelato on top. Five weeks of hell.

The boss-men took us out to lunch to celebrate the End of Financial Year. I had about five of these Lychee Passion's, on top of more glasses of Vodka and wine than I'd like to admit. Free drinks are the best drinks.

Jesse and I got around to trying the new local pub, which was an absolute winner. I loved this freakin' turnover! My heart has literally broken when I discovered that they've since changed the menu, omitting this bad boy.

Sometimes, I actually cook food, and I get too excited about my creation.
This was one of those times. I must admit, it was a damn good baked potato.

I love finding new bloggers on Instagram; leave your account deets in the comments!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Friday Finds.

Here are a few of my finds (and loves) from over the past week:

\\  Sweet potato and coconut milk with brown rice and lentils - just what I need on a cold Winter's night.. Like tonight, matter of fact.  //
\\  These printable kiwi coasters make such cute Summer party décor.  //
\\  How delicious does confetti cake lip scrub sound?! It's packages adorably, too. Need.  //
\\  I'm making these huge-ass watermelon slice Jell-O shots for my next party.. With four times the amount of Vodka, of course. Holy moly.  //
\\ These mint and gold nails are life.  //
\\  I need to make a beach lantern exactly like this one.  //

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

July Lookback & August Goals.

July goals lookback

Goal: Figure out and stick to a regular gym schedule
Yes, I, Christie Brown, joined a gym. I've not even been yet, and I feel a deep self-pitty. I'm actually quite determined to make it a regular, scheduled thing, and stick to it for the next 18 months but something tells me that it'll be fun for a week, then I'll never go again, while they rub their hands together and laugh while they take money out of my account each month.
Must. Gym. Always.
Tick: I've been going three times a week, every week.

Goal: Eat less crap
I wouldn't go so far as to say 'eat healthy', because homegirl over here just can't. Aiming to cut out snacking on junk food throughout the week, and stop eating nothing but takeaway on the weekends is a more realistic target.
Tick: I still wouldn't say I eat healthy, but I've definitely cut out a lot of junky snacks and my takeaway intake has more than halved.

Goal: Plan and book some time off
That pay raise I was dancing about on Tuesday? It came from a glowing annual performance review. One point in said review was that I have waaayyy too much annual leave accrued. Time to plan some time off, me thinks.
Tick: Jesse and I are getting away down South in two weeks.

Goal: Go to the dentist
This was my goal waaayyy back in May and surprise, surprise I still haven't been. Whoops. It really is something that I need to bite (Bite? Teeth? Dentist?? I'm hilarious) the bullet and do because that tiny hole in my molar ain't getting any better.
Tick: I did it. I needed a filling. It sucked. I'm never going again. Ever.

August goals

Re-visit old blog posts
Back in my beginner blogger days, I'd post almost daily. These posts would MAYBE be seen by a few people, and have since disappeared into the blog post graveyard. I've been poking around in those old posts lately, and I'd like to think my #BloggerSkillz have improved since then. I've seen there is more that I could squeeze out of most of my old content, things I can improve, font colours I need to change.. Even the sub-par posts can be repurposed in some way - the ideas are good, but the overall post is of amateur production. I recently recycled an old beauty hack post and it already has over 4x the amount of  views as the original.

Post a recipe
I've been whipping up a few new recipes lately and I'd love to share them. In my experience, recipes have brought the most traffic to my blog (thank you Pinterest) and It'll give me a chance to put my spin on some recipes that I pinned and then totally forgot about. I see zero down sides. Zero! 

Leave more comments
To me, it seems pretty asshole-y not to leave a thoughtful comment on a post you enjoyed reading, and you're pretty ignorant to assume people will comment on all the things if you don't reciprocate. It's something that used to be second nature to me, but I've since gotten shamefully slack. I aim to leave around 5 meaningful and encouraging (read: not shitty spam - I actually hate you) comments per day on blog posts that I liked.

Lose 3kg
My gym sessions are still consistent, but I'm falling back in to bad habits food-wise. If I can muster up the will power and monitor what I put in to my body more carefully, there's no reason why I can't lose at least 3kg this month. Because after photos amirite.

I've been getting lazy with my responses lately. Responses of all kinds, from blog-related emails and comments, to personal Facebook messages. Not only does it look bad from a professional point of view, but I'm missing out on a lot of information and events.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

July Beauty Favourites.

I really got out of my comfort zone over July beauty-wise. I purchased quite a few new products that I wouldn't normally consider, and brands I'd never tried, and yet, I loved them all! It just goes to show how much there is out there, and how easy it is to surprise yourself if you just give the unknown a try. Some products I picked up towards the end of the month, and I'm already in love with the majority; I'm sure they'll make an appearance in my August favourites.

One: Live by Jennifer Lopez
This was my all time favourite perfume, in fact, I wore it every day. I've fallen back in love with Live after discovering a half bottle hiding at the back on my perfume stash. It's incredibly long-lasting, it's sweet, it's fruity, it's feminine, it's delicious. What more could you ask for?

Two: Moreish Resurgence Hand Cream
If there's one thing I can't stand, it's that dry hand feeling. Seriously. I cannot cope. So when it comes to hand cream, I'm incredibly picky. As the rest of Moreish's skincare range, this contains Moroccan Argan Oil and is of the organic/natural variety (ka-ching). It's non-greasy and quickly absorbed, moisturising and protecting the skin - even on days that I've had the driest of hands, this has left my hands and cuticles feeling soft and nourished all throughout the day.

Three: Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask

   This shit smells edible. I kid you not.
I don't even class this as a mask - I categorise it as an exfoliator. The consistency is thick and sticky, almost like honey and it rinses off like a gel. Evan after one use, I noticed a difference - my skin was brighter, less congested and felt much smoother. It does tingle on the skin.. Actually, it's pretty intense for the first few uses - definitely not for everyone. It manages to get into every little pore and cleanse deeply without drying me out. I use this no more than once a week; mostly when my pores are feeling especially clogged. It cleanses and exfoliates away those pesky blackheads without stripping my skin.

Four: Caudalie Moisturising Toner
I always make the effort to tone my face in the morning but the brand I used, although effective, was harsh and full of alcohol (I'm bad, don't judge me). I bought this on a whim because a moisturising toner is the polar opposite to what I'd been using and I must say, it sounded heavenly after years of stripping my face. What a difference! It's so gentle and softening on my sensitive skin. It helps to remove any impurities and traces of make-up my cleanser didn't pick up while toning, moisturising, and leaving my skin feeling fresh, soft and balanced. I've since thrown away all bottles of my harsh toner and I haven't looked back.

Five: Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water
I rarely use a primer, but this fancy face water is the perfect spray to use before foundation, especially if you have drier skin. It's such a hydrating spray, I've even used it throughout the day to re-hydrate my skin when it's feeling dry. I pump a couple of spritzes on my face after applying my moisturiser and wait for it to dry slightly tacky. It feels super light and refreshing, my make-up glides on beautifully and everything sticks like glue. I've heard mixed things about using it as a finishing spray to prolong the wear of your make-up, so for now, I'll stuck to using it as a primer.

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