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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January 2017 Beauty Favourites.

I didn't publish a December favourites for a few reasons:

1. I was generally lazy in the blogging department.
2. There was no shortage of '2016 favourites' posts to keep everyone occupied on that front.
3. I didn't really use a whole lot of products during the holiday season, anyways.

But I'm back this month with a bunch of new-to-me favourites that I picked up or discovered during my holiday break that I thoroughly enjoyed using:

I've been searching for a sunscreen/SPF product that doesn't leave me feeling oily for the longest time now. I saw this mentioned on Jackie's 2016 favourites video and boy oh boy was I missing out. It sure is difficult to get here in Australia, but finally uniting with this glorious baby was worth the effort. It's a mattifying sunscreen. MATTIFYING! It's literally the only non-oily SPF product that I've found, making it amazing for oilier skin types. Its SPF 45, which is a damn good amount of protection for a matte face product, and it completely disappears in to the skin. You literally cannot see or feel it at all. It's basically like applying a moisturiser, which is also what it does: moisturises. My life is complete.

I've commented on the condition (fine, damaged, dry, split ends, frizzy) of my hair a multitude of times in the past, and it's getting increasingly difficult to find something that suits my needs. This little beauty has really changed the game for me so far! It's a convenient leave-in (silicone free) spray that has completely transformed the look and feel of my hair. It has a light-weight, non greasy formula that leaves my hair much more soft and silky to the touch, feeling so much stronger and healthier and my split ends have reduced in appearance significantly. Ka-ching!

3. The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter
This is an old love, but I repurchased a tub of this cleansing butter after about a year of trialing different make-up removing products. It melts into your skin so luxuriously, removing all make-up gently and easily. This is definitely geared towards dry skin types (but is also amazing on sensitive skin), so I can't comment on how amazing this would be on oilier skin types as it is quite a rich formula, but the dry parts of my face absolutely love this stuff. I just apply a small amount to my dry face (and eyes!), massage in for a minute or so and rise off either in the shower or with a muslin cloth. It's super hydrating and leaves my skin feeling soft and nourished. Because this is so gentle, I tend to use this as a make-up remover rather than as a cleanser, so I do follow-up with a light cleanser afterwards. I just don't know how effective it is at cleaning the skin.

4. James Read Overnight Sleep Mask Tan
I'm going to start off by saying that I hate fake tan; I'm terrified of looking blotchy/orange/horrible. Well, at least I was. After a recommendation from a friend, I finally faced my fears and fake tanned myself pretty. Guys! There is literally no way you can mess this up! You put it on, go to bed, and wake up tanned. It's as simple as that! The formula is amazing in which they've really thought about your sheets and clothes - It's a colourless gel, meaning your bed, etc. isn't going to stain AND your sheets, etc. just plain don't stick to your body at all. How they did it, I don't know but it's a dream to use.

It's hard to find a moisturiser that works well on combination skin, and  although this is kind of pricey, a little bit does go a long way and it moisturises my dry areas better than anything else I've tried, so I'm okay (mostly) with paying a little more than I usually would for something that works well for me. I would be reluctant to recommend this to someone with extremely oily skin, but it works well to hydrate my dry patches whilst not contributing to the slight oiliness of my T-zone.

What products are you loving lately?

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, January 27, 2017

Friday Finds.

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

\\  This DIY footed vanity tray is so simple, but adds so much more oomph to the space.  //
\\  Matcha honey hot chocolate with toasted marshmallows sounds both fancy and delicious.  //
\\  These makeup sponge holders are so cute AND so cheap. I need at least 3 in my life.  //

\\  This DIY framed motivational prints tutorial makes me wonder why I haven't done it myself.  //
\\  Can you even deal with this BFF necklace cake?! The correct answer is no, you cannot.  //
\\  This DIY heart emoji chocolate box would make an adorable Valentines Day present.  //

Happy Friday!

Monday, January 23, 2017

My Month on Instagram - December 2016.

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 posted about the two highlighter loves of my life. You can see my full comparison here.

There's nothing that I find more beautiful than cotton candy skies. Maybe food. Definitely food.

How AMAZING does this dessert look?! Mango sorbet gets me every time.

Can we talk about the view we had for our works end-of-year lunch? Mosman Park did not disappoint.

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

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Friday Finds.

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

\\  How clever are these macaron "candy" favours?  //
\\  This DIY marbled soap is everything I need and more.  //
\\  I'm in love with these DIY rose petal bath salts.  //
\\  This beaded beanie DIY really adds a little touch of something extra.  //
\\  Giant doughnut cake - um, yes.  //
\\  This minimal striped foil nail art is so delicate.  //

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

We're (Finally) Homeowners!

I am beyond relieved that I finally get to publish this damn post. Honestly, there was a time where I thought that the day would never come. But here we are, a year later, and Jesse and I can officially say that we are home owners.

Well, actually. We can officially say that we are the owners of a sand pit at this point in time, but as of yesterday, everything has been set in motion and eventual homeowners we shall be!

The process was a difficult one for us. It should have taken four months at the most, but ended up taking almost a year. We may as well have given out our bank logins like my boss gives out business cards to our brokers and banks (yes, plural). We experienced set back after set back, mess around after mess around and just when I was beginning to feel as though I was going to live in my parents house until the day I died, the stars aligned, a new broker came on to the scene and he Got. Shit. Done.

So, after a year of back and forth, sending through document after document, and almost losing an arm to signing papers, we’re building a house. Living together, paying bills together and sharing chores together is going to be a big adjustment for the both of us, but I cannot wait to start the next chapter in our lives together.

Monday, January 16, 2017

December Look Back and January 2017 Goals.

Now, before I even begin this post, I'd like to put a huge disclaimer on the fact that these are in no way new year's resolutions. I truly believe that setting yourself small, attainable goals each month is far more effective that setting resolutions. I'm also acutely aware that we're already half way through January, but better late than never, amirite?

Also! What's this? New year, new graphic. Holla.

A look back at December's goals (and old graphic - so last year):

Meal Prep

"I've been taking my fitness super seriously over the past few weeks. I'm exercising like crazy, but it's not doing me any good without a solid meal plan. By the time I've finished work and left the gym, the last thing I want to do is cook a wholesome meal. It's so easy to pick something up on the way home, or heat up an oh-so-nutritious bowl of instant noodles which isn't doing me any favours. I'm dedicated to making Sunday "meal prep day" where I'll create a week's worth of healthy dinners to curb late night eating and 'easy' unhealthy dinners."

Cross: I literally did not prep one meal all December. Or any time ever for that matter. Major fail on this one.

Re-take old blog photos

"I went though a few of my very old posts whilst attempting the whole Pinterest thing mentioned above, and boy would I'd like to re-take a lot all of my (horrible) blog photos and create pinable images during my five week Christmas break."

Tick: Sort of. I re-took a few old photos (wassup, new goals photo. Also here) during my spare time, but I definitely would have liked to have taken more.

Enjoy the holidays without going too far (as usual)

"By too far, I mean eating double my weight in food every day for a month. I'm going to enjoy the food, fun and festivities, but I'm still going to attempt to keep it under control. If I can get to the gym even once a week over my break, I'll be a happy girl."

Cross: I did bad, you guys. So. Bad. But I sure did enjoy the holidays sooo, half tick, half cross?


"I've got a whole stash of stuff that I no longer want, use or need and I've been meaning to have a giant Spring clean for such a long time, but I keep putting it off to when I "have more time" (read: when I can be bothered (never)), but there's truly nothing better than starting a new year with a decluttered space and being able to fit Christmas your presents in your damn house."

Cross: What can I say? I'm lazy. I didn't have high hopes for this one and rightly so.

January's goals:

Get back on track with my exercise

I allowed myself (too much) time to enjoy the holiday season without worrying too much at all about hitting the gym, but now it's time that I get back in to my exercise routine and stick to it.

Continue giving new life to old posts

I'm proud of myself for editing the few oldies that I have over the past week or so, but I would definitely like to continue doing so, preferably by bulk taking photos whilst I'm still off of work. The photo taking is always what kills me. Always.

Eat properly

I've been eating a lot lately. Like a lot. However I've not been eating actual meals. I've more so been snacking on leftover Christmas bits and takeout because it's too damn hot to cook and I'm lazy and I just can't with life right now. BUT starting now, I'm making the conscious effort to eat nutritious meals and cut out snacking as much as possible.

Get back in to a routine of sorts

I've really (and I mean really) been slacking in every aspect of my life lately, so I'd like to start to get back in to something of a routine to ensure that going going back to work isn't going to be such a big shock to the system. Sleeping pattern, meal pattern, exercise routine. KGO.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday Finds.

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

\\  How adorable is oh-so-melty snowman affogato?!  //
\\  Have you been searching tirelessly for a unicorn hot chocolate recipe too? Finally.  //
\\  DIY chill pill-ow get it?!?! Huh? HUH?! DO YA!?  //
\\  I cannot contain myself over this rosΓ© granita with vanilla bean ice cream recipe.  //
\\  This ice sphere cocktail is so elegant. I need you to make me one now.  //
\\  I don't mean to alarm you, but champagne caramel popcorn!  //

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Happy Anniversary, Jesse.

On January 13, 2014, my life changed for the better. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have you in my life, dearest Jesse. My best friend, my rock, and my most favourite person in the whole world.

I knew you were something special from the very beginning. You were selfless enough to drive an hour to have lunch with me at work while you had time off, you were understanding enough to overlook my (many) flaws, you were nurturing enough to go above and beyond to take care of me when I was sick, and you were the best damn thing that has ever happened to me. Hands down.

You aren’t perfect, but you're perfect for me. You've sacrificed so much to support my dreams and help me to achieve my goals. You make me smile when I’m feeling down. You've seen me at my worst and stuck by me through it. You catch me every time I'm about to fall. Your dreamer personality teaches my realist self how to be more spontaneous and positive. But most importantly, I just plain enjoy spending all of my time with you. Not once in the 1,095 days that we've spent together have I tired of you, because life is easy when you go through it with your best friend.. That, to me, is true love.

We've shared many wonderful memories as boyfriend and girlfriend over the past three years and despite all of the ups and downs that come with any relationship, I know that you love me inside and out. Happy anniversary, baby. Thank you for being you. I can't wait to begin our new and exciting life chapter.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Winter Warmer: Hot Vanilla.

Here's your fun Christie fact of the day: I'm not the biggest fan of chocolate (I know, shoot me). The colder weather really makes me crave something warm and comforting. Something reminiscent of hot chocolate.. but without the chocolate. What's a picky girl to do to combat these cravings? She gets all creative and attempts to whip up an alternative. That's what.

Now, this post is actually an updated version of an old one of mine circa 2013 that I'm not even going to link here because that's how embarrassing my writing/photography/life was back then. Shudders. Since one of my recent goals was to re-take old blog photos and give life to the cringe worthy content of my young self, I thought that I'd put my somewhat improved upon blogging skills in to action and share my still favourite Winter warmer recipe. As it turns out, my terrible blogger 2013 self fluked it big time was a genius! I named my masterpiece: Hot Vanilla. I'm sure that this has been done before, but you know that I will be taking all the credit for this particular recipe. My creation contains only four ingredients, is sooo easy to make, and in my opinion, tastes very similar to melted vanilla ice cream. which is never NOT a good thing, amirite?

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt (trust me)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence or extract
  • Pour the milk in to a microwave safe container.
  • Add sugar, salt and vanilla essence.
  • Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar as best as you can
  • Place in the microwave for no more than five minutes on high, watching so the milk doesn't boil over. Story of my life.
  • Top up with some cold milk to cool down.
  • Add a few marshmallows if you like to party
  • ENJOY!

I've also tried this recipe cold and it's just as good - I swear on my mother's life.

If you do decide to give this recipe a try (DO IT!), definitely let me know what you think!

What's your favourite Winter warmer?

Monday, January 9, 2017

Beauty Empties #5

There's nothing better then starting off a new year with a freshly cleaned out beauty stash. I'll admit, I had been pretty lazy in the empties department last year. I just held on to everything until a day where I could be bothered (never) so this installment is a biggie. have always been the kind of person who rarely finishes a product before moving on to the next, but I really made the effort last year to use up what I had before buying more which really motivated me to fully finish the horde of products I've accumulated since I really love treating myself to new products.

Here's what I've used up recently:

Le Tan Fragrance Free Sunscreen Oil SPF 30+
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 a sunscreen, as it's so misleadingly named.

Repurchase? Always. I've had trouble finding the unscented offering again, but scented or not, I'm a fan.

No, you are not mistaken. There are in fact two empty tubes of this baby in the photo above. I use this every damn day, so it's not really surprising. 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 and leaving a matte finish. It does a nice job of disguising the purple undertones of my under eyes, but the application, however.. 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 is a shade or two lighter than my face for brightening and highlighting purposes.

Repurchase? Yes, Sir.

This baby is a constant use item for me. In fact, I've mentioned this damn concealer about ninety-zillion times on the blog, not including that time I compared it to Maybelline's Instant Age Rewind Concealer (here), so I won't spent too much time repeating myself. What I will say, is that although it does provide relatively nice coverage of dark circles, I tend to use this as an under eye brightener rather than a concealer as the light shade is amazing for brightening and highlighting. 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. The creaminess of the formula means it does not accentuate my dry skin.

Repurchase? Yes!

Zassni Orchard Dew Botanical Face Mist

This was given to me by the Bloggers United AU team during their 2015 Perth Meet in my goodie bag and I've not been able to find it anywhere since. This product, however, was what started my love of facial mists and I'm so glad I discovered it. Soothing, cooling, refreshing, packed with skin goodies - yes, please.

Repurchase? This particular product, no. Other facial mists (hi, Origins Ginzing Energy Boosting Treatment Lotion Mist), yes!

Palmolive Body Polishes - Passionfruit and Strawberry (Minis)

These adorable 45mL bottles were the perfect size for my gym bag. I love how natural Palmolive has gone with their body polish line - each bottle contains real fruit extracts, which equals antioxidants, and gritty seeds, which equal great exfoliators. Being that they are far more gentle than a rough sugar scrub, yet far more effective at exfoliating those cells than a regular gel, these sit perfectly  between a sugar scrub and a regular shower gel. They lather up so luxuriously and my skin is left feeling smooth and moisturized. The smell? Ah-mazig! They both smell so good, and the cheerful scent follows me around all day.

Repurchase? Perhaps once my massive shower gel collection has subsided substantially.

The Body Shop Shea Shower Cream (Mini)

I got a mini shea gift pack for my birthday back in October and I'm a huge fan of oh-so-moisturizing shea butter. 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 and very moisturizing, it's great as a shaving cream. It is quite hard to get the product out of the bottle 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.

The Body Shop Shea Body Butter (Mini)

Included in the above mentioned gift pack was this mini tub of shea body butter. We've allllll used The Body Shop's body butters, so I won't go crazy with the description. I found this to be super moisturizing, if not a little too oily for my liking. It has a pleasant, clean scent and really worked to remedy my disgustingly dry legs.

Repurchase? Sure, once I've used up my other 99,000 body butters.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

I love, love, LOVE this gel moisturizer. It's got such a clever formula that continuously releases moisture throughout the day without going too far and leaving the skin looking oily and blegh. It has such a refreshingly light and non-sticky texture that my skin slurps right up. My dry patches have been getting the nourishment they need and my skin looks nothing but supple when I wear it. The scent actually reminds me of jellybeans, which is an added bonus.

Repurchase? Of course.

LUSH Happy Hippy Shower Gel (Mini)
The love I have for this product is mostly based on how heavenly it smells. The fresh citrus-y grapefruit-y scent is a lovely pick me up first thing in the morning. The best part is that it doesn’t smell like dish washing liquid the way many citrus body washes tend to; it's just a natural scent that beats any of the synthetic ones. Period. Aside from the smell, the gel works into a luxuriously thick lather that makes me feel incredibly clean and refreshed afterwards. LUSH claim that you can use this in your hair as well.. I've always been too nervous to use anything other than shampoo as shampoo, but I can imagine it would leave your hair smelling delicious.

Repurchase? Yes! I'm currently using a full-sized bottle, and will continue to repurchase until the day I die.

Elucent's whitening range was also received at the Bloggers United event I attended. The range is designed to even out the skin tone by reducing pigmentation and balancing out the appearance dark spots, freckles, age spots, etc. not 'whiten' the skin, as is misleadingly stated. The range, however, just wasn't for me. I had to throw away about half of the product because they just weren't cooperating with my skin and its needs. I started off really liking the day moisturizer, guys. Like, a lot. It has a heavier consistency which I thought to be more moisturizing than most and it dried slightly tacky, which I used to enjoy because my foundation adhered to the skin nicely. I no longer really needed to use a primer. But then something changed. The thick formula meant my skin felt clogged and oily, and the tackiness made my foundation and powders look... wrong after an hour or so. While I appreciate the fact that this has SPF in it, I just didn't enjoy the congested sensation or the sticky, oily sheen that I was left with.

Repurchase? Unfortunately not.

The night moisturizer was probably the product that I got on the best with of the range.. That's not to say it was great, though. I didn't find it to be the best formulation for my skin; again, it was quite oily and didn't absorb the way I would have liked it to, but it was quite moisturizing, which is what I look for in a night cream.

Repurchase? Nope.

As you can see, I used up the products that I decided not to throw away at around the same time. I found the hand cream to be too thick to be absorbed nicely, leaving me with an oily, sticky feel, which isn't what I want when I deal with paper all day long. I also didn't feel as though it really moisturized my hands the way I would expect a hand cream to. Of these three Elucent products I used daily, none of them 'whitened' or made any noticeable difference to my skin tone or darker spots. I try not to be too negative, I've actually seen other bloggers who attended the event write up rave reviews about this range. It just didn't work for me.

Repurchase? No.

This is my holy grail brow product, guys. It's practically all I use. I was a bit nervous about the colour when I first used this, since Rimmel don't seem to make a blonde offering, but if I use a light hand, mid brown seems to match me perfectly. The application took a little getting used to since I'd only ever used a brow pencil before, but I feel as though I've mastered it now and I've had so many compliments about my eyebrows. I especially love the wax part of the kit - you can get such a defined brow that still manages to look natural, and the slight tackiness also helps to set your brows in place. The powder is lovely, too.  It's pigmented and wonderful if you're going for a softer look. I use it to fill in the middle parts after using the wax to outline, but the kit is so versatile you can use it basically any damn way you want.

Repurchase? Yes x100

This would be the pencil I mentioned above. I still use it occasionally on lazier (or rushed) days when I just can't take the time to use the wax in Rimmel's brow kit to outline. The pencil is perfect for quickly drawing on a sharp and precise outline (I prefer Kylie Jenner-esque pointier shape) before filling in the eyebrows. 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 is almost impossible to look overdone. It lasts a good while and is easily removed at the end of the day.

Repurchase? Yes.

Mascara is one of the things that I reeaaalllyyy need to get to using before I buy more so I stuck to using the older, less impressive formulas over the past few months. This one was nice, but nothing special. It's waterproof and did a nice job of elongating my lashes, but not so much curling them. The brush has so many close together bristles that it was basically impossible to clump and you could layer a thousand times if you wanted to, which was amazing. Basically, it's lovely to use in conjunction with another mascara for the plumping and curling aspect, but not overly fantastic on it's own. Nice for a simple everyday look, nothing too exciting.

Repurchase? Probably not. I'm forever in love with Maybelline's Lash Sensational.

Perfume! Perfume is another category in which I desperately need to clear out. I think I've had this particular bottle since my 18th birthday. The scent is lovely; a nice floral, musky (if that even makes sense) sort of smell. The bottle's pretty cool, too in its cute star shape, and even comes with a spiky-ass ring which looks like a weapon to me nowadays, but my younger tomboy self thought it was all the rage.

Repurchase? Probably Not. I'm in to fruitier scents these days.

An old scent that we're all familiar with. I do still have a large bottle of this left, but I used up its baby sister so that's something right? It has a lovely sweet vanilla-ish smell that's instantly recognizable and a cute bottle to boot.

Repurchase? Once I've used up my collection some more, sure.

Yet another product that I finally used up from the Bloggers United AU event. I love how gentle and refreshing this was on the skin. It gently removed the remaining traces of grit and cleanser from my face, preparing my skin for moisturizer. It almost felt thick? Which sounds ridiculous of a toner, but that's the best way I can describe it. This was definitely one of the more moisturizing toners I've ever used.

Repurchase? Probably not. I actually enjoy a harsh astringent (don't judge me).

Phew! You have no idea how good it feels to have finally thrown out this accumulated junk. What products will you be repurchasing this year?

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