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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Thoughts on (Finally) Completing my Studies.

That's right! I have officially completed my course! I have obtained my Double Diploma of Events Management and I can't event begin to describe the feeling that I have right now.

Actually, I can. Pride. Pride is the feeling. See, I was never a good "classroom learner". I floated through school with "so much potential", doing only the bare minimum required of me. I graduated with 'good' grades, but was never the one to apply myself, which is why I am sososo glad that I did the one thing my lazy high-school self swore she would never do, and took up tertiary studies, because the fact that I managed not only to self-motivate, but to 100% apply myself and put my heart and soul in to my work on top of everything else that I juggle makes me feel the most proud.

I finished three months early. I feel so accomplished when I think about the leaps and bounds that I've made since school (or even since last year). I also feel not quite right. Empty, in a way, because my studies were all consuming over the past year. I would get to work, make progress on my assessments all day, then rush through all of my
actual job's tasks from 4-5pm. But now.. Now I feel as though I have so much free time. I've forgotten what it was like to have breaks during the day. I'm relieved, though. So many things that were a huge part of my life prior to beginning my studies had to take a back seat while I was focusing on my course. This blog, for example, has been increasingly neglected as I progressed, and I am beyond excited to get back in to it.

I learnt a lot about myself during the course of my studies. I learnt that I'm far more motivated than I had ever imagined, I learnt that I really can do something when I put my mind to it, and I learnt that good things don't come easy. You've got to work towards your dreams without fear of failure, because things only happen when you make them.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

High-End Highlighter Comparison: MAC Mineralize Skinfinish vs Mary-Lou Manizer.

I'm not sure about you, but a few years ago I never really heard much about highlighters, so upon the trends rise in popularity, I was completely overwhelmed by the multitude of offerings available in both the drugstore and on the high street when I first looked to up my glow game - a skill that I'm now rather proud of. I began with the drugstore brands - you know, the ones with the chunks of glitter and chalky formulas? Yep. They worked fine in the beginning, helping me to learn how and where to apply highlight, working out how subtle or intense I like it but I quickly grew dissatisfied with the cheap offerings of 2015 and that was when I purchased my first high-end highlighter. After about 4,687,076 years of researching and umm-ing and ahh-ing, I settled upon MAC's Mineralize Skinfinish in the shade 'Lightscapade' and it basically changed my life. It was amazing compared to the products I had been using and about a month later I purchased my first Mary-Lou Manizer compact. Oh lawd. I vowed to never go back to the drugstore offerings after the religious experience that was my first "proper" highlighter application. I became a complete snob when it came to my highlighter brands, and that vow still holds true today.. for the most part. Highlighters have come a long way since then, and I know for a fact that many drugstore products are just as good, and in some cases better than the high-end offerings. I've tried a few here and there, and thoroughly enjoyed them all, but I find myself going back to my high-end babies time and time again. I'm still a snob, what can I say?

After such a long-winded intro (why, tho), it's time to get down to the point of this whole damn post - and that is the comparing of arguably the two most talked about, and my absolute favourite highlighters: TheBalm's Mary-Lou Manizer and M.A.C.'s Mineralize Skinfinish in the shade 'Lightscapade'. Now, I don’t wear highlighter every day. I'm lazy and perpetually running late for work so if I do wear highlighter, it's for a special occasion, and I’ll pair it with a bad-ass contour and big ol' lashes. I like to use it on the highest point of my cheekbones, on my nose and in my cupid's bow. I feel it gives the prettiest glow - a sort of angelic effect.

Starting with the similarities, both highlighters are nicely pigmented and neither have harsh chunks of glitter in their formulas. Both are finely milled, meaning they have a luxurious texture and are easy to work with, and they both have amazing staying power. I have heard complaints that MAC fades from the skin after a few hours but honestly, I would have to disagree based on my personal experience, but that all depends on the foundation, primer and setting spray you do or do not use, the oiliness of your skin and what sort of weather conditions you experience when wearing it. I don't find it fades much, if at all throughout the day, as is also true with Mary-Lou.

The biggest difference between the two is the tone of the highlight.
Lightscapade is leans more towards a silvery tone - it's a very light, soft beige making it ideal for fair skin tones, while the Mary-Lou Manizer is of a more golden champagne tone, making it ideal for a more tanned complexion. I don't necessarily feel as though those "rules" should be strictly adhered to, however. I've used Mary-Lou Manizer on my pale Winter face, and Lightscapade in the Summer, and either way, they still look fantastic.

The second difference is the subtlety between the two formulas. MAC is definitely softer, which works really well if you're going for a natural-looking, low-key glow. It can still be built up to a more obvious highlight, however, as multiple layers won't leave you looking chalky. Mary-Lou Manizer is far more noticeable, whilst still remaining as natural looking as a luminescent face can, so long as you're quite light with your hand, Mary is perfect for those who like a strong glow or a nighttime look.

The one comment that I feel I should make, is the fact that buying MAC's Skinfinish 
can be a bit of a guessing game since you don't really know what veining you could end up with. I personally feel as though the powder is light and subtle enough that the veining doesn't matter too much - they're all going to be mainly beige with some blue and coral running through, but exactly how much of the blue and coral will be in your individual pan will differ.

All in all, both products are great and I love them both too much to choose a specific favourite; The only deciding factor that goes in to picking which offering I reach for is the type of look that I'm after that day. On days that I want a really stand-out highlight, I’d definitely go for Mary-Lou Manizer. For a more subtle, natural look, the Skinfinish is the way to go.

What do you think? Have you tried one, or even both, of these highlighters? Would you agree? I'd love to know your personal favourite brand of highlighter!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Friday Finds.

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

\\  This lace nail art: Insert heart eyes emoji here.  //
\\  These DIY gold twig hair pins are so delicate looking. I can't deal.  //
\\  Smashed potatoes with rosemary and burrata are giving me life.  //
\\  Quinoa with caramelized butternut squash and-roasted brussels sprouts - get in me!  //
\\  How perfect does DIY candy cane sugar scrub sound?  //
\\  This half up fishtail topknot is a combination of all 3 of my favourite hairstyles. Dead.  //

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Recent Reads

This was such a fun read! I basically devoured it in a week's worth of lunch breaks. A cross between Sex in the City and Bridget Jones, Bryony finds herself fumbling (and fucking up) her way through her twenties, a plot that was all too relatable to me.

Everything, Everything
by Nicola Yoon
This is such an easy-to-read book; I finished it within a 4 lunch breaks. I quickly fell in love with Maddy, a young girl stuck to the confines of her house due to her deadly allergy to the world (literally). An adorable "forbidden love" story which sort of reminded me of The Fault in Our Stars. The book comes complete with diary entries and illustrations, which added to the sense of authenticity and made it seem that much more real to me. Perhaps a little too "teen" for my liking nowadays (when did I start sounding old?) but an unexpected plot twist kept me hooked and I ended up thoroughly enjoying the book.

After You
by Jojo Moyes
This, I think, would have to be the only disappointing read of the lot. I actually finished it a while back, but I didn't really know how I felt about it until recently. Sure, it was nice to see what became of Lou A.W. (After Will). I fell in love with her dorky personality in Me Before You, I just  don't feel as though the sequel was strong enough.. Or needed. The grief portrayed in many scenes did still manage to hit me in the feels, but nothing comparable to it's predecessor (which left me in tears in the middle of a park like a weirdo). It's probably not right to judge this book based off on Me Before You, because at the end of the day, this isn't Me Before You, I was just left feeling somewhat disappointed upon finishing it.

How to be Parisian Wherever You Are
by Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline De Maigret and Sophie Mas

Every woman and her dentist are talking about How to be Parisian Wherever You Are, and I don't know what I was expecting from this book, but whatever I got wasn't it. In all honesty, I brought it as a pretty coffee table/Instagram prop but upon actually reading it, I found it to be a lighthearted and quite funny. If you don't take it too seriously, it truly is a fun satirical read.

What have you read lately?

Saturday, November 19, 2016

On True Friendships.

I've been thinking a lot about true friendships lately.
I've come in to the new year with a whole different perspective on what I thought to be my true friendships and I really think that 2016 is going to be the year that I discover just who my true friends are. Because I've discovered that having a falling-out isn't the only way you can loose a best friend..

See, some people have come in to my life that have made me question everything about the relationship I have with the person I've called a true friend for all these years. These people have treated me in a way that has made me realise that someone who stays in touch so long as we are in close proximity, someone who will only message me because they're bored or need something after months of no contact, someone who rarely makes the effort is not a best friend. What I thought was a true friendship, really wasn't a true friendship at all. As it turns out, a best friend can also be lost through a lack of effort.

I've unexpectedly stumbled upon a true friend. Someone who makes the effort to contact me almost daily. Someone who asks how I am, and is genuinely interested in how different aspects of my life are going. Someone who constantly sends me silly little messages throughout the day that let me know they're thinking of me, someone who pushes and inspires me to be the best possible version of myself. In the short time our relationship has had to blossom, they have seen me through tough times and picked me up when I needed it, they have listened to my worries, they have cheered for my accomplishments. This is a true friendship, and I didn't realise I needed that type of person in my life until I had it.

I guess it's been one of those happy-sad realisations. Just because you called someone your best friend in high school doesn't mean they will have that title for the rest of your life. It's okay to let go of those around you who no longer lift you up and make you strive to be a better person.

We all need that one close friendship with someone who can make us laugh when all we want to do is cry, who is unconditionally there for us, who will listen to your rant about the latest fight you've had with your boyfriend/family/boss/stranger on the train/world. Because that is what true friends do for each other.

I never expected I’d find anyone who perfectly fit the exact definition of an ideal friendship - you know, the ones you see in movies, some sort of Sex and the City-esque posse, but I have and in the best way possible - unexpectedly.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Friday Finds.

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

\\  Look at how cute these thanksgiving pie cakes are!  //
\\  This pumpkin spice sugar scrub is a perfect Autumn pamper DIY.  //
\\  Holy moly somebody make me cinnamon sugar apple puff pastry now.  //
\\  Honey vanilla pear margaritas sound right up my alley. All the way up my alley.  //
\\  These DIY glitter feathers would make perfect Autumn wedding/party décor.  //
\\  Pink champagne granita: I've died and gone to heaven.  //

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

My Month on Instagram - October.

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:

The obligatory Mean Girls Day/October third selfie. after years of hating beanies, this is the first and only one I ever did own (due to the immense peer pressure put upon me from Jesse), and I'm not even mad.

I've since completed my studies (!!!), but this was the hardest point of it all for me. The point where I reaalllyyy had to push myself to get assessments done. The light at the end of the tunnel and all that.

Oh lawd. If you're a fellow Perth-ian(?), get yo'self down to Millpoint Caffe Bookshop. It's adorable, sells food AND books and I'm in heaven.

WE'VE FINALLY HIT SUMMER-LIKE WEATHER HERE AND I COULDN'T BE HAPPIER! I can't wait for long days spent at the beach.  Eeee.

I love finding pretty new feeds to follow on Instagram; leave your account deets in the comments, or come find me: @christieee__x!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Friday Finds.

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

\\  Holy moly! Would you get  load of this plaid nail art?!  //
\\  What the butt?! DIY (edible) peppermint plates.. out of ACTUAL peppermints!  //
\\  Cranberry mojitos, anyone?  //
\\  This sweet potato gnocchi with broccoli rabe makes me feel nice and Autumn-y inside.  //
\\  How party perfect does this messy braided ponytail look?  //
\\  How about these blueberry quinoa pancakes for a healthy breakfast? Eh? EH?!  //

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Body Shop Haul.

 If you read my post-birthday haul, you'd know that there's nothing I like more than a good old discount.. Even if they are online only discounts. I mean, it's kind of like receiving presents weeks after your actual birthday. And we all know how I feel about dragging your birthday out for as long as humanly possible. I received a good old $10 discount on one online purchase at The Body Shop, which admittedly doesn't sound like a lot, especially when you have to either spend over $100 for free shipping, or blow said $10 on the damn shipping charge, but you know what? I still sleep well at night, and I got a whole bunch of goodies out of it, too. Let's just chalk this one up as a win and say no more, shall we? Anywhoo, here's what I bought. Happy birthday to me, from me:

This was actually a repurchase of a long ago emptied bottle. I mostly used it on my hair, and I loved the way it felt and looked after this was spritzed on my dry, brittle ends. Heaven! For my full thoughts on this baby, I mentioned it in a favourites post a while back.

Ethiopian Honey Deep Nourishing Mask
These damn superfood masks have been blowing up my beauty blogger feeds and I just couldn't not try at least one for any longer. After about 40 minutes of umm-ing and ahh-ing between the Ethiopian Honey and the British Rose offerings, I ultimately ended up opting for the honey as its been said to be the most moisturising of the lot, which is something my dry skin looks for in a mask. It smells so delicious, is as viscous as honey, and I just can't wait to slather it all over my face.

I've been seeking a night cream/light mask that isn't heavy or sticky for quite some time now and after reading glowing reviews from a few of my favourite beauty bloggers, I was convinced that my dry skinned, dull complexioned self needed this in my life. Overnight hydration, here I come!

In all honesty, this was literally bought just to make up the $2 I was short for free shipping BUT the idea of using a gentle facial buffer with my cleanser at night has always sounded A-Okay to me. Upon receiving it, it does feel as if it would be slightly too rough on delicate facial skin, but hey! Here's to hoping.

I never have been a fan of those weird mesh-like shower poofs that fall apart after about 3 weeks because apparently I have hulk-like strength when I shower. More coarse than the above mentioned facial offering, it sounds perfect for all-over body polishing and exfoliation. It's also made with recycled milk cartons, which is cool.

I also received a free British Rose Essential Collection (happy birthday, indeed) for spending over $100 during some sort of promotional period. Hoorah! The box contains the British Rose body butter, mini hand cream and mini shower gel, and a pot of The Body Shop's new vitamin E moisture cream, which would have to be my favourite surprise addition. All smell absolutely heavenly, are moisture rich (tick) and were welcome additions to my haul.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with my little assortment, and I can't wait to see how they fare. If there's anything specific here that you'd like me to review, let me know in the comments!

Monday, November 7, 2016

October Beauty Favourites.

One: Rimmel Kate Moss Anniversary Lasting Finish Lipstick in "My Nude"
I'm not going to lie, I originally only purchased this for the stunning rose gold packaging BUT I've used a few other Lasting Finish Lipsticks in my day, so I knew I'd love the lipstick itself too. Nudes are difficult for me to wear with my shitty skin tone, but this is actually flattering on me! It's light pink, beige-y nude with pink undertones that DOESN'T give me zombie lips - EUREKA! The formulation is a little different that my other Lasting Finish Lipsticks; this has a thinner, creamier consistency but does feels pleasantly moist, drying to a creamy satin finish. It's very comfortable to wear, without drying out the lips at all. The staying power isn't as great as the original formula, but hey! It sure does make for a pretty Instagram prop.

Two: Nip+fab Kale Fix Dry Skin Moisturiser
Don't laugh at me when I say that this is the most expensive moisturised I have ever bought. A whopping $50 AUD for 50mL of product is a huge spend for tight old me, BUT after years and years of painfully searching for the right moisturiser for me, the price seemed worth it. The concept of superfood for the face really intrigued me, and it's probably the best moisturiser I've found in all my years of searching. For drier skin types, this would be ideal for daily use (I prefer a moisturiser with SPF for during the day, but I have been known to use this one those drier days) but if you're an oilier gal, this would be better used at night as it's a little on the thick side. Not at the thick, goopy, uncomfortable level, but thicker than your standard day-time moisturiser. I usually pair it with a drop or two of my rosehip oil before bed and it has truly done an amazing job at comforting my (worse than usual) dry patches, and I truly do wake up with softer skin than I ever have before. I also very much appreciate the pump mechanism. The only thing I have a slight issue with, is the smell. It's not unpleasant, per se, it's.. well.. it's hard to describe. Like perfumed kale? Yeah. Not unbearable but definitely a surprise when I first used it.

Three: LUSH The Experimenter Bath Bomb
I've had this sitting in my inventory for months now, but with our recent bathroom revamp, the tub has been out of order.. until now. Naturally, I plonked myself in a bath of LUSH goodness the first day I was able. This technicoloured bad boy is a pleasure to watch pop (due to the popping candy) and fizzle away, spurting rivers of colours immediately upon contact with the waterOnce the bomb has completely dissolved (and this does take some time), the bath water is left a rather depressing murky grey but hey! We're here for the show, not the after result, am I right? The smell at first is rather smoky and musky, which isn't typically something that I'm in to, but once the sweet tonka and vanilla hits you, it's a pleasantly well-rounded scent which lasts throughout the whole bath (and lingers on the body some time afterwards). Overall a entirely relaxing experience.

I had myself a little post-birthday haul at the end of last month and this little package of joy was probably my favourite purchase of the lot, even though it was the only item that I ended up paying full-price for. Worth it. Of all the Naked palettes, 3 is my absolute favourite - I've been lusting after its rose gold toned goodness for my whole entire life and it's finally mine. I'm loving pinky nudey golds for the Spring season and this really cuts the mustard. As with all (most) of Urban Decay's shadows, this palettes offerings are nicely pigmented, for the most part, beautifully packaged, buttery, a nice combination of mattes and shimmers, and a dream to worth with. Life's good.

Five: Ben Nye Luxury Banana Powder
THIS HAS BEEN ON MY WISHLIST FOR ABOUT 3 YEARS NOW AND MY BEST FRIEND IS THE BOMB.COM AND BOUGHT IT FOR ME FOR MY BIRTHDAY. Phew. I'm still a little too excited over this pot of happiness and rainbows. It's absolutely amazing for baking/highlighting/life. The yellow-tone neutralizes the skin tone and doesn't show up with flash photography. I mostly use this to bake my under eye and forehead areas. It does an amazing job of highlighting and hiding any under eye bags that are somewhat still visible after concealer. The powder itself is super fine - just a little bit gives me full-face coverage and controls oil throughout the day. I like me a good matte finish, and this gives me a much warmer, natural looking matte complexion. As with any loose powder, it's easy to look somewhat chalky if used incorrectly ie. using too much, not blending properly, but it's really not hard to master after a go or two.

What products are you loving lately?

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Friday Finds.

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

\\  STOP EVERYTHING! Pumpkin gnocchi with vanilla brown butter! Dead.  //
\\  How pretty (and relatively easy) is this mermaid braid?  //
\\  These DIY marbled votives are pretty spiffy.  //
\\  Look at this DIY cherry pie potholder! LOOK AT IT!  //
\\  I don't mean to alarm you, but here's a recipe for polenta... made from popcorn. Wut.  //
\\  Is it just me, or does a pumpkin Nutella hot chocolate sound like Heaven on Earth?  //

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

October Look Back and November Goals.

A look back at October's goals:

Finish Event Registrations and make a start on Event Project
"GUYS! I only have two units left of my course and I'm done! I have a few months left until my completion date but my study coach has set me the goal of October 14. It's unlikely that I'll have it all done in less than two weeks, but I'd definitely like to at least have the Event Registrations assessment submitted by then."

I officially have my Diploma - THIS IS THE BEST MONTH OF MY ENTIRE LIFE.

Get back in to the habit of using MyFitnessPal
"I lost a lot of weight when I took the time to record all my food and exercise in the MyFitnessPal app. I got lazy and stopped for a few months, and it's showing in the results. Time to get back to staying under my daily calorie limit."

Tick: Although I'm too scared to weigh myself at this point in time, I'm pretty proud of myself for documenting my food and exercise religiously (for the most part). I feel much more in control now; as tedious as it can be at times.

Buy myself pretty new workout gear
"After losing my workout buddy, I find myself getting less and less motivated to get to the gym. I do only have maybe 3 workout outfits.. and they're all pretty daggy. I bet $100 that buying a pretty new Lorna Jane set will motivate me to get back in to it. For a little while, anyways."

Cross: aaannnnddd I'm still not feeling the motivation to go to the gym. Coincidence? I think not. I did buy a whole bunch of other stuff, though. Maybe next month I'll treat myself to some Lorna Jane goodies.

Go on more dates
"This whole saving for a house thing has meant that Jesse and I have sacrificed a lot of our old lifestyle. I'd definitely like to get out from in front of the TV (AKA our natural habitat) and do more fun things together. There are a lot of inexpensive and even free things we can do, especially now that it's warming up for Spring."

Tick: Considering I was at the back end of my course, I think we definitely did spend more quality time out and about together last month - which is the most important.

Goals for November:

Plan blogging schedule for the rest of the year
My September and October were hectic and my poor little blog had to take a back seat for a while, but now that I have all this time freed up, I can (hopefully) begin posting 2-3 times a week again. I have so many ideas floating around in my head that I wanted to post over the past few months, but didn't have the time for all the writing, photo taking and editing, proof reading, yadda yadda yadda. I really want to sit down and sort out my content schedule for the rest of the year before the holiday season gobbles up my 2016.

Christmas presents 
I'm a terrible gift buyer. I panic, I cry, and I end up with a bunch of totally random knick-knacks for everyone that are in no way what they want nor need. I want to have a proper plan of my Christmas gifts this year and at least have an idea of what gifts I'm getting everyone (10 points to Gryffindor if I physically have said gifts on my person and ready to give)

Create a Christie's Take on Life board on Pinterest
I don't know how many times that I've made this a goal and failed miserably, but I'm hoping that with my freed-up-time, I'll finally get around to updating old posts with "pinable" images and creating this damned board.

Cook a new dish
I've been lazy in my cooking lately. By lazy, I mean I haven't cooked a meal for Jesse and I for months. I'm talking months. I'd like to get back in to the kitchen and cook us up newly discovered recipe for dinner at least once this month.

What are your goals for November?

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