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Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday Finds.

Here are some of my internet finds (and loves) from over the past week:

\\  Zucchini noodles with cherry tomato garlic cream sauce and breadcrumbs, enough said.  //
\\  Pistachio and pear is the best combination, so why not make it in to freakin' ice cream?!  //
\\  This grapefruit and campari sorbet is too pretty/tasty/silky/mind blowing to be this simple.  //
\\  How fun (and easy) are these diamond ring Jell-o shots? Yass!  //
\\  I love anything boho, and this braided half crown has me all kinds of in love.  //
\\  Mini party in-a-box - Wheeee!  //

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

My Month on Instagram - January.

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 that 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 over the past month looked something like this:

I've hated omelettes forever, so I'm unsure what exactly prompted me to attempt this, but I did.. and I loved it!

We're all aware of my unhealthy penchant towards cute teapots by now yeah?

I really tried to be healthy after Christmas. The fact is: I'm just too lazy for daily fruit water, no matter how delicious.

I posted this very recipe on the blog not too long ago and I'm still very much in love with the idea of watermelon ice.

Man, this photo just brought back all the time off of work feels. Not so much the study side of things, but I crave the water and a nice glass of bubbly.

It's rare I get the chance to pamper myself, so this was a real treat.

Of course, Australia Day was spent at the beach.

And then there's THIS beautiful piece of breakfast. It's too good, you guys. Too. Good.

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

Monday, February 22, 2016

Getting Out of Your Own Head.

Remember when I excitedly announced that I had finally begun chasing my dreams and enrolled in an events management course? Well I sit here at my desk on this rainy Monday morning, two months later, mentally exhausted.

I mean, I've complained about being mentally exhausted more times than I've complained about the colour of my lounge room walls but THIS. This is a whole other level of exhaustion. See, I attended a three day, 24 hour total, events workshop from Wednesday to Friday last week and I'm telling you, not even the weekend could fix the brain overload I am still experiencing to this day. I guess the fact that I haven't studied anything since my graduation from high school in 2010 has hit me, and it's hit me hard.


I didn't think that I was struggling with getting back in to "school" mode until I looked around at the five other attendees about mid-way through day one and realised how much further ahead they were than I was. How much more knowledge they had than I did. How much more motivated they were than me.

We focussed on the boring and tedious subjects that would be difficult to broach on our own - great in theory. I've always considered myself somewhat of a fast learner; when I'm motivated enough, that is. I listened, I read, I typed.. and yet and yet these five other super students were comprehending and submitting their assessments much faster than I. In fact, by the time I had worked through maybe half of the assessment, most of them were moving on to their next (or even number three in the case of one super SUPER student).

And once that insecurity set in.. well, it all went down hill from there..

I became flustered and self-conscious. I felt inadequate and insecure. I was too nervous to ask questions in fear of sounding as slow as I felt. I begun over thinking everything, and as hard as I concentrated, I simply could not focus or comprehend what was put in front of me, let alone submit something, anything, to be graded. I would get home from an eight hour day of attempting to work and spend another three hours catching up on and submitting everything I should have during the day.

I rocked up to day two feeling drained but determined. Until it was announced that we would be focussing on the budget section of the course, that is. Maths. Great. The one subject I never could understand. Deflated by the once again rapid clickitty click of the others' keyboards, day two went pretty much as day one did. Only worse. I got home, had a sook to Jesse, attempted to finish up at least one assessment and went to bed ready to give up on life.

It wasn't until I sat down with my study coach for a one on one right at the end of day three that I discovered how much longer before me these other "super students" had started the course. As a matter of fact, I was told that I was moving at an incredible pace considering my full-time job and other life commitments and my coach was convinced that I could finish the course three months before I was due to.

That's the thing about getting in to your own head. Had I kept my mind clear and focussed on me, rather than worrying about what everyone around me was doing, I would have been able to work through my tasks efficiently. Sure, I probably would have submitted my work a little later than everyone else, but they were far deeper in to the course than I, and the whole freakin' point of an online course is to work at your own pace, not compete for adequacy with your peers.

As it turns out, these workshops weren't out to get me. They're designed to help me. I mean shit, had I looked at the budget section on my own accord, I would have walked off from my computer, never to return again, and that's exactly why they were chosen for us to do.  If only I had believed in my abilities and taken the time to breathe and think about what I was trying to achieve with all of this: my dream career.

I now realise that despite what I thought, I did learn a lot, I did submit many assessments, far more than I would have had I not attended, AND I knocked out some compulsory work placement hours.

Do I have a long way to go? Yes, but I'm taking it at my own pace, and focussing on me and my future. Because when you get out of your own head, you stop making excuses, you dig a little deeper, and you show that determination. This is an amazing and rare opportunity to reach my full potential and I'm going to make the most of it.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Friday Finds.

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

\\  I'm in heaven with this homemade ramen with spicy tofu.  //
\\  Roasted peaches and blueberries with almond mascarpone creamYass!  //
\\  This soft twist wrapped bun is gorgeous!  //
\\  Vegetables are NOT my thing, but roasted cauliflower broccoli stuffed potatoes with cheesy butternut sauce? Yeah, I could deal. Fo' sho'.  //
\\  I'm having toasted coconut overnight oats RIGHT NOW.  //
\\  I know Valentines Day is over, but these heart shelves are lovely for any time of the year.  //

Monday, February 15, 2016

Nivea for Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm as a Primer Review

I'm sure you're all aware of this somewhat bizarre beauty hype by now. Brought to our attention by Nikkietutorials, many beauty fanatics have been using Nivea for Men's Sensitive Post Shave Balm as a make-up primer. Looking to save a buck (or 100) on ever expensive primers, I jumped on the bandwagon. At the very worst, Jesse earns himself a new post shave balm.
There are no losers in this story. None.

Sob story: I really struggle on the base front. In addition to suffering from dry, sensitive skin - meaning I'm used to having to accept less than perfection when it comes to my foundation, I also struggle on the primer front. I find most formulations to be too light and just sink right into my skin. And then there's the silicone formulas.. Don't get me started on the silicone formulas. This balm, however, has a thicker, yet runnier? consistency without being gluggy or pore clogging, and the ingredient that makes work so well as a primer is glycerine, which is in just about every face primer on the market. It kind of acts as a glue for foundation, creating a somewhat "tacky" (definitely not sticky) base for your make-up to stick to.

As it is formulated for sensitive skin, it is extra gentle and non-irritating. It also alleviates dryness surprisingly well and is 100% alcohol free (unlike most after shave balms) and we all know how drying and overall nasty an effect alcohol can have on skin. But for me, the best thing about this is the fact that even if it doesn't work for you as a primer as such, it's a great balm to even out that skin tone somewhat as it does a fantastic job of removing redness, and rightly so as it's formulated to soothe irritation after shaving.

I apply a smaller amount of moisturiser than I usually would (due to the moisturising properties mentioned above), rub a pea-sized amount into my hands until tacky, and slather it on to my face, letting it sink into the skin for a minute. Then I apply concealer and foundation as normal. For reference, I use Maybelline's Instant Age Rewind Concealer, Rimmel's Match Perfection/Maybelline's Matte & Poreless Foundation, Maybelline's Fit Me Concealer, and I finish it all off with a dusting of Rimmel's Stay Matte Pressed Powder and Urban Decay's Chill Setting Spray. Literally anything (but especially liquid foundation) I apply over the balm glides on smoothly and evenly, adhering to the base and blending absolutely beautifully, leaving me with a flawless, non-cakey finish.

The smell of the balm is 'manly'. Not in a gross, stinky kind of way - I actually like it but I can see how it may be off-putting to others. The scent is short lived, though and completely masked by the layers of foundation, etc. applied on top.

The longevity of my make-up really surprised me. Considering it's not an actual primer, it manages to keep my make-up looking just as fresh and even as when I first applied it throughout my whole 8.5 hour long working day with little to no need for touch-ups no matter how hot and sticky the day is.

All in all, this is the best priming product I have ever used. Ironic considering it's not actually a primer. It's affordable, it didn't irritate, but soothed my sensitive skin, hydrated my dry patches, kept any oiliness at bay, created a smooth canvas, kept my make-up looking fresh, and lasted all day. What else do you want in a primer?!

This was an amazing and effective little beauty hack. Don't you just love when things work out?

As always, this post has not been sponsored in any way, meaning that none of the items mentioned have been sent to me, endorsed or paid for by anyone other than me, myself and I, nor does this post contain any affiliate links. I will always disclose such information using an asterisk (*) for full disclosure to my readers.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday Finds.

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

\\  I can't get over these DIY conversation heart balloon strings.  //
\\  This simple half up twist is so dainty looking.  //
\\  Excuse me, DIY sparkle ice bucket, get in my life right this minute.  //
\\  I'm not usually one for anything sans alcohol, but this birthday cake mocktail sounds delish!  //
\\ For all you VDay cynics out there: this DIY broken heart piƱata still manages to be cute.  //
\\  Cheesy garlic pull apart bread oh me oh my.  //

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Beauty Empties #3

I think I waited too long in between 'Empties' posts. I mean, LOOK at all that rubbish I had squirrelled away in my room. It's a wonder my OCD allowed such blasphemy.
That's the miracle of Christmas, kids.

Also, can we take a moment to appreciate the fact that my photos actually have QUALITY now?! Remember the days when this was the photo quality you'd come to expect on Christie's Take on Life? Dies. I finally got the Panasonic Lumix I'd been lusting after (now THAT'S the true miracle of Christmas) so it's goodbye hideous phone images, hello Panasonic beauty.

 Here's a look in to the various empty bottles, tubes and tubs that I've hoarded over the past month or so:

I've never been a fan of facial wipes (and rightly so), but I will always have a pack on hand to remove as much waterproof makeup as I can before cleansing.. Or for when I stumble home unable to properly wash the mess that was once smokey eyes off my face #Whitegirl.
Moving on.. I usually love anything Simple Skincare and the idea of these sounded appealing: 100% alcohol free, non drying,100% oil free, pH balanced, brightening but they just didn't work for me. The textured bumps were too harsh and I felt more like I was rubbing my skin off rather than my makeup. As for the brightening properties: I used a whole pack and I didn't notice any difference whatsoever to the brightness of my complexion.. Perhaps you may if you use them everyday. Perhaps. On the plus side, they had a pleasant scent so.. there's that.
Repurchase? No Sir. I've since discovered Neutrogena's makeup remover cleansing towelettes which are much gentler on my skin.

I got this in a three piece set for my birthday. Nothing overly special to report on this one other than it's scent. If you love florals, you'll love this frangipani/jasmine scent. It's strong, it's feminine, and it's lovely. It hardly lathers at all, which forced me to use a lot more than I usually would, but it was luxuriously creamy, so I think the scales are balanced on this one.
Repurchase? Not likely.

It's literally everything I love in a shower gel: an amazing scent, a rich lather, a soap-free formula, nourishing. The smell is so incredibly refreshing and lingers hours after use. The addition of mango seed oil to moisturise and nourish the skin just adds to the experience. Top it all off with that rich lather and you've got yourself a party. 
A much mentioned and compared concealer on this little blog o' mine. I use this over the top of Maybelline's Instant Age Rewind daily as an under eye brightener rather than alone as a concealer. It's easy to apply with it's doe foot applicator and creamy formula allows it to spread and blend beautifully, whilst not accentuating my dry skin. It also means it's a little on the oily side and tends to slide off on hotter days. The 'light' shade instantly lights up the area under my eyes, making me look more awake and it does a good job of hiding those blemishes and red spots.
Repurchase? All day errday.

This mini came from a gift set and I used it daily. I have always loved how moisturising and softening The Body Shop's hand creams are and the delicious coconut scent doesn't hurt either. The formula is perfect in that it's instantly absorbed and non-greasy, it protects the hands, it's light, and I can actually feel the difference in the smoothness of my hands when I use it.
It doesn't get much better than that.
Repurchase? Yassss. All The Body Shop hand creams.

Yet another mini for a gift set. Man. It's your typical (wonderful) Body Shop shower gel in that it lathers beautifully, is soap-free, and is nourishing. It has a delicate, yet potent cherry blossom and magnolia fragrance that stays on the skin for a mass amount of time. Lovely.
Repurchase? Probably not this particular scent. I prefer my fruity smells.

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. In terms of application, though.. I love that it's a wind-up, meaning you can basically get every last drop from the tube, but I'm not a huge fan of the sponge nib applicator. You get used to it but 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 use Fit Me on top to brighten, while this does it's job of concealing dark circles all day long.
Repurchase? You know it.

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's 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.

AVON Glimmersticks Retractable Brow Definer (Blonde)
I use this to outline my brows for a more defined shape before going in with the powder from Rimmel's Brow This Way Kit. 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.

AVON Glimmersticks Waterproof Eyeliner (Blackest Night)
I've been using this eye liner for years now. Literally longer than I can remember. I've tried so many others, and this is what I keep coming back to. It doesn't glide on as smoothly as smudgeable formulas (obviously) but if you're looking for solid lines that stay put all day - this is your liner. It's waterproof, smudge proof, retractable (goodbye, sharpening), works on both the upper lash line and the waterline.. what more could you want?
Repurchase? Yes

Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Finds.

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

\\  I need this tank for the gym. NEED!  //
\\  Just look at these DIY glitter barrettes. LOOK AT THEM!  //
\\  Conversation heart doughnuts for Valentines Day anyone?  //
\\  These gradient message macarons are almost too pretty to eat. Almost.  //
\\ A grilled pineapple latte? What is this madness?!  //

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

January Beauty Favourites.

One: LUSH Angels on Bare Skin Cleanser
I bought a tub during my LUSH haul in January and I'm going to admit that I was actually surprised to find that I liked this cleanser. A lot. I've read mixed reviews so I was pretty sceptical at first, but I was honestly impressed. Sure, it's messy to use, and I don't feel as though it's as cleansing as my regular face wash, but using it after my normal nightly cleansing routine has proven it to be more than effective at cleaning off anything that my first cleanse may have missed, which happens all the time due to the gentle nature of my regular cleanser. I've always felt dry and tight after a facial cleanse but this is the first and only product I've found that has not given me that sensation. Instead, my dry, sensitive skin feels smooth, soft and healthy.

Two: Models Prefer Highlight and Contour sticks
These babies are perfect for the highlight and contour noob that I am; I'm so glad I picked them up (on a whim) during Priceline's 40% off cosmetics sale. They're incredibly smooth and creamy, making them so easy to use and blend, and are without any shimmer. The warm undertone of the contour stick and the pink undertones of the highlighting stick work wonderfully on my skin tone, but may not be the best for everyone, which brings me to the downside: there is literally no shade-range which is fine if like me, the tone of the sticks suit you, but you really luck out otherwise. Nonetheless, they're cheap and a fantastic beginner's tool.

Another favourite from my LUSH haul. Let me just start by saying: The smell of this stuff, guys. My God. It's like blackcurrant fruit pastilles and I can't even. Though the wibbly stuff is a little difficult to get a hold of when actually in the shower, I found that just a small spoonful lathers so luxuriously when used with a shower puff, and the scent lingers on your skin for hours, even longer when used in your hair. I honestly can't get enough.

Aside from the fact that I could look at the pretty marbled surface of the powder all damn day, my very first luminizer proved to be a win on a practical level too. The powder is velvet soft with a high frost finish, minus the dreaded chunky glitter. I feel I've gotten the hang of application since receiving it for my birthday (a little goes a LONG way), just applying a small amount to my nose and to the tops of my cheek bones with a fan brush gives me the most beautiful and natural looking glow that lasts all day. It also works as a lovely brow highlight.

As I'm sure we all know by now: Christie is a major lover of dark palettes and dramatic smoky eyes, so this colourful offering is yet another surprise love of mine this month. It had sat unused in my beauty stash since the Bloggers United meet right up until I tried a purple smoky look only a week ago. Since then, I've been using the whole damn palette for different looks. That's right: I, Christie Brown, have fallen in love with colour. The shadows themselves are highly pigmented and velvety, making them easy to blend with no fallout. I just love me a good drugstore beauty buy.

What products are you loving right now?

Monday, February 1, 2016

January Look Back and February Goals.

A look back at January's goals:

Submit one assessment and begin the next
"Creating somewhat of an assessment deadline really helps me get shit done. I'm surprisingly good at motivating myself to knock my work out and submitting them waaayyyy ahead of the due date, despite also working full-time. Hopefully I can keep this up to avoid the stress and last-minute throw-together work."
Tick: I don't mean to brag, but I nailed this one! I submitted three assessments before my first day back at work.

No non-essential spending
"I went a little lot crazy over December with multitudes of unnecessary purchases, buying masses of takeout (whoops), and clothes and makeup online. This month, I'm putting a total spending ban on clothing and "treat" items, as well as any takeout. I'm also limiting how much I can spend on things like outings and dinners etc. out."
Cross: Although I definitely reigned it in on clothes and makeup, I wouldn't say this was a success. I still spent far too much on food (always food) and outings over January.

Get back in to my workout routine and "good" eating habits
"Getting back to the gym has been hard. Really hard. I've been sporadically going for two weeks now and it's about time I got serious again, going every Monday, Tuesday and Friday without fail, as well as getting back to my healthier eating habits. Goodbye delicious takeout, you were a beautiful Christmas fling."
Tick: My healthy eating habits still need a bit (a lot) of improving, but I am now 100% back in to my gym routine and I'm loving it. For me, getting motivated all over again was the hardest part, which is why I'm considering this one a pass.

Lose 2kg
"This isn't so much a weight-loss goal, as it is a weight-correction goal? I guess? I want to lose that annoying 1kg I put on over Christmas, as well as losing another one on top of that so I feel like I'm making progress. Anything more than that would be a very welcome bonus."

February's goals:

Refocus on my studies
As I mentioned above, I had a huge leap in progress with my assessments over January, but since coming back to work, they've been untouched. I aim to complete and submit at least one task, and have begun another before the workshop I will be attending later on this month.

Improve my diet
Getting back to the gym was hard. The most hard. I've finally gotten back in to my workout routine, but my eating habits haven't switched from holiday mode yet. This month I'm focusing on getting back to eating the way I did before Christmas came along. It may not exactly be #cleaneating but it's what worked for me.

Get a sound system installed in my car
(You may judge accordingly)
I miss the doof doof days of my very first car, and I've been meaning to get my sub re-installed in my new ride for the longest time (read: since the day I bought it home).

Book my tattoo
Lately, I've been scouring tattoos on Pinterest daily and I've made myself the most keen for tattoo number two. It really is true what they say: once you get one, you can't stop.. I have my design ready and I hope to speak to the artists at Emerald Ink and book myself in for yet another torturous needle prodding session.

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