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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May 2017 Beauty Favourites

I pretty much only bought this because the outer packaging looked so damn luxurious. This powder to "milk" formula is scooped into a running bath and turns the water beautifully milky. Y'know, like Cleopatra did. Now, I say "milk" because this product does not actually contain any milk whatsoever. The Body Shop website states "the classic milk has been replaced by plant-based ‘milk’ developed to care for the skin leaving it super soft to the touch". Scandalous. The powder does contain a whole bunch of soothing and moisturising ingredients, which leave my skin feeling super soft and nourished once I've stepped out of the bath, which was the whole point in me buying it. The instructions say to use 5 scoops.. I'd honestly like to add a few more to make it a little more viscous, but I get roughly 5 baths from 5-6 scoops per session, and I don't feel as though I could justify the price for any less. It's probably more of a novelty, to be honest, but I really enjoy getting to feel a little bit fancy on occasion and this is the perfect way to do that.

Two: LUSH Lava Lamp Bath Bomb
Aptly named, Lava Lamp instantly releases waves of bright orange colour into the bath after coming in to contact with the water and eventually, the purple discs start to dissolve release and streams of oil, which separates and pools to look exactly like a lava lamp would. Of course, all of that extra virgin olive oil makes the bath water incredibly moisturising and softening. I feel like this is one of LUSH's longer lasting bath bombs and I thoroughly enjoy the gorgeously cheerful, sweet citrus scent that remains on my skin (and in the bathroom) hours after towelling off. Some of you may have experienced the Lava Lamp bath bomb in the past. LUSH has since reformulated and re-released the bomb to fix some (eek) tub and body staining issues. I've only tried the reformulated version, so I cannot comment first-hand on the improvement, but my body definitely did not stain, and the purple oils that ended up sticking to my tub's walls were easily wiped away.

Three: Australis Make-up Finishing Spritz
I prefer to use this as more of a "fixer" rather than an actual setting spray. I mean, I do use it as a setting spray during the week on my work day face, but don't feel as though it prolongs the wear of my make-up by all that much. I mostly like to use it during my (non work day) make-up routine, after baking and applying a setting powder to fix any powdery looking areas without comprising the matte finish. If it's a special occasion, or I just need my make-up to last, I'll apply Urban Decay's setting spray over the very top of all that to actually set my make-up. This does work very well to meld and settle my powder in to my foundation for a smoother, less cakey finish (this is particularly helpful if I've gone overboard with the powders). It sprays a lovely, light mist without leaving my face wet and leaves my skin feeling quite refreshed and hydrated due to the Aloe Vera and Rose Water it contains. At the very least, it smells lovely and is a cheap alternative to using Fix+ on your brush to make your highlight pop.
My skin has been so very temperamental lately and my usual alcohol-based toner has not been doing good things to my dry face, so I've been using this as a toner for the past 2 months. It's soothing and hydrating - my skin has been drinking it right up. It's full of nutrients, balances pH and improves texture, and for something so gentle, I was surprised to see how much it cleansed the skin too - my cotton pad comes away grimy from the remaining dirt and make-up left on my skin, even after cleansing (ew). An added bonus is that glycerine is listed as the second ingredient, so it not only helps to prep my skin for the rest of my skincare, it also acts as a primer for my make-up, which is great in itself.

It's pretty hard to say anything exciting about a dry shampoo, but this offering is incredibly inexpensive and does exactly what it should. I actually 100% prefer it over Batiste's offerings. I (obviously) use this when my hair is looking a little flat/oily and it fixes both of those issues right up, adding body and removing that oily sheen, which is particularly good for second, and even third, day hair. Once brushed out, my hair feels refreshed for the rest of the day and I haven't found that there is any white, powdery build-up. The scent is a pleasant one, too.

What products have you been 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 it contain any affiliate links.

I will always disclose such information with an asterisk (*) for full disclosure to my readers.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Winter Inspiration Board

What is your first reaction when I say the word "Winter"?
Do you rejoice for the moody days and cozy outfits, or do you lament the cold and refuse to surface from a grumpy stupor until Spring? I personally fall in to the latter category. I've always been a Summer gal; the months of June-August are by far my least favourite and it's all because those are the Winter months here in Australia. We've experienced our first bought of Winter weather over the past week or so and I can already feel a sense of dread taking hold of me.

At the start of every new season, I like to create a sort of mood board. The Winter board is always the most important. It helps to cheer my up somewhat and set the tone for the colder months, reminding me that although Summer is quite long gone, Winter can still hold the promise of beautiful things if I let it.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday Finds

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

\\  These chill pill chocolates are the best things I've seen all week.  //
\\  Are these rose cookies not the cutest things you've ever seen?!  //
\\  How much fun is this DIY watermelon potholder?  //
\\  I need caramelized onion breakfast croissants every morning.  //
\\  Yes to mango and pineapple white chocolate macaroons!  //
\\  This banofee eton mess is everything I love combined in to one glorious dessert.  //

Happy Friday!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Yet Another Priceline Haul

What's that I hear you say?

"Christie, you literally just had a Priceline haul"?
"Christie, stop spending so much money on make-up"?
"Christie, we need to talk. You have a problem"?

It's true! It's all true!

All I needed was an eye liner pencil. One eye liner pencil that would have cost me no more than $6. One eye liner pencil that I could not be bothered actually going to a store for. Do people still do that? Go to actual stores? So, yes, instead of getting off my ass and spending $6 on an eye liner, I logged on to my trusty Priceline account and spent a little over $100 (for the free shipping, of course) on a bunch of goodies. I need professional help.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in 'Stockholm' and 'Milan'
These have such a creamy formula, yet they still quickly dry down to a matte finish, which makes these the most comfortable liquid lipstick to wear. The staying-power isn't the best for a liquid formula (they're marketed as a lip cream, however, not a lipstick) but my lips have been the driest and flakiest they've ever been lately, so I'm absolutely loving being able to wear pop of colour on them again! The shade Milan is a lovely cool-toned pink. I actually expected something a little on the browner side but I was pleasantly surprised. As someone who rarely wears pinks, this is a welcome addition to my collection. Stockholm is much a much more brown-nude with peachy undertones which is right up my alley. I'm definitely keen to pick up a few other shades in the future.

This is a forever repurchase of mine. I've mentioned this concealer more times on the blog than you can imagine, so I won't waste your time with repeating myself. All I will say, is that I use this every day, as a concealer base (It's not overly brightening, so I use Maybelline's FitMe on top to lighten). The formula is quite thick, but still smooth enough to blend out nicely, filling in fine lines without settling into them or creasing. It conceals those dark circles wonderfully, all the while managing not to accentuate my dry skin.

I've only recently gotten in to the habit of adding an eye cream to my routine (oops) and I've been on the look-out for a good drugstore eye cream for a few months now. After reading pretty good reviews on Natio's offering, I decided to give it a try. I like to give new skincare a couple of months before I make a comment on how they've worked for me. Fingers crossed it's as good as I hoped in the long-run!

This is another repurchase for me; I buy a new pencil about every two months as this is my 'every day' eye liner. I do prefer pencil eye liners to liquid liners when I'm in a rush - I just find I'm much more efficient with a pencil. It does have a tendency to smudge a little when used on the waterline, but once set with eye shadow (see my eye liner setting hack here), it stays put all day long. It's super creamy and easy to apply, making it perfect for when I'm rushing to get ready for work (always).

This bronzer is absolutely perfect for the "every day look" and an amazing option for pale-skinned girls. The colour is light and not muddy in the slightest, which makes it perfect for either contouring or just adding a glow to the face. The powder itself is smooth, yet (somehow) creamy and the smell, guys! Summer-y, coconut-y goodness.

Do you want to know the worst thing about this whole endeavour? The day after I placed my order, Priceline had a huge sale. Goody bags and all. Story of my life.

Is there anything on this list that you'd like to try for yourself?

As always, this post has not been sponsored in any way, nor am I affiliated with Priceline Pharmacy, meaning that none of the items or links mentioned have been sent to me, endorsed or paid for by anyone other than me, myself and I.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday Finds

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

\\  This recipe for marbled rainbow toast (with Nutella, naturally) is all I need in life.  //
\\  YOU GUYS! These cupcakes are actually DIY glitter cupcake bath bombs!  //
\\  How decadent does a rosewater cream pavlova sound?  //
\\  This pineapple mango rum punch will chase away this week's dreary day blues.  //
\\  How fun and simple are these giant googly eye balloons?  //
\\  I could use about 200 watermelon cupcakes right now.  //

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

My Month on Instagram - April 2017

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:

We discovered the cutest little cafe and the best part? It's local! Gone are the days of travelling 30+ minutes for a decent smashed avo.

I mean, can you even deal with how cute this place is?!

The long weekend was spent driving through the Swan Valley and a necessary stop off at the macaron cafe. I died.

This is what my version of heaven looks like: Carbs, upon carbs, upon carbs. 

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

Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday Finds

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

\\  This smiley face piΓ±ata is everything I need on a Friday afternoon.  //
\\  Coconut crusted tofu with sweet chili sauce sounds like a recipe that I need in my life.  //
\\  EXCUSE ME! Is this homemade galaxy ice-cream not the prettiest thing you've ever seen?!  //
\\  Ever wished that you had a skincare ingredients guide? You're welcome.  //
\\  An avocado margarita: Have you ever heard of such a thing?  //
\\  I love macarons, I love cocktails, I love macaron-inspired cocktails!  //

Happy Friday!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Recent Reads Vol. 2

I'm a major book worm, you guys. Major. Each and every lunch break consists of me laying in the sun at the park, engrossed in a book so I'm always looking to add to my reading list. I thoroughly enjoy scrolling through fellow bloggers' book recommendations and reading lists, and after all of the positive feedback I got from my first Recent Reads post, I thought I'd share my feelings on my most recently read books in the hopes of inspiring some new additions to your bookshelves:

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This book is based around one choice and the adverse affects each decision can have. What if Hannah had stays at a party with her high school boyfriend? What if she calls it a night and goes home with her best friend? It was interesting to read how much one seemingly simple choice could affect a life so differently. I've found some "what if this, what if that" books to be confusing and hard to follow, but with the two scenarios unfolding in alternating chapters, I had no problem keeping up with the story line and staying enthralled in the repercussions of both choices.

Official blurb:
"At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan. Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan? In concurrent story lines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate? Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him."

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
This was probably my favourite read of the lot. It was super easy to get in to and to fall in love with the characters. I found myself just as emotionally invested in unwrapping the mystery of Lina's father and the life her mother had before she died as the character was. Combining my love of Italy and coming-of-age romance stories, I was hooked from the beginning, and the beautiful description of Florence, the people, and it's attractions made me want to transport to Tuscany upon every read.

Official blurb:
"A summer in Italy turns into a road trip across Tuscany in this sweeping debut novel filled with romance, mystery, and adventure. Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn't in the mood for Italy's famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She's only there because it was her mother's dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn't around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home. But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina's uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother's footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept from Lina for far too long. It's a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father--and even herself. People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more."

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
I picked this up purely for the title - books and Paris, what more could I ask for? I didn't really know what I was expecting, but this surely wasn't it. Even after reading the blurb, the story didn't really stick to what was promised, I feel as though it went a little off-course. I still enjoyed reading it, but it definitely didn't live up to my expectations. Honestly, it was a little hard to read language-wise. I don't want to say that it's an "advanced" book, because that just sounds pretentious, but a lot of the language, phrases and words used (I don't know if it's because it has been translated from German) made it difficult for me to follow, and I consider myself quite the reader.

Official blurb:
"On a beautifully restored barge on the Seine, Jean Perdu runs a bookshop; or rather a 'literary apothecary', for this bookseller possesses a rare gift for sensing which books will soothe the troubled souls of his customers. The only person he is unable to cure, it seems, is himself. He has nursed a broken heart ever since the night, twenty-one years ago, when the love of his life fled Paris, leaving behind a handwritten letter that he has never dared read. His memories and his love have been gathering dust - until now. The arrival of an enigmatic new neighbour in his eccentric apartment building on Rue Montagnard inspires Jean to unlock his heart, unmoor the floating bookshop and set off for Provence, in search of the past and his beloved."

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
I haven't seen the movie, so I truly didn't know what to expect from this book, but I found it a little... underwhelming. The fact that it has no chapters also made it hard for someone like me, who stops reading at a chapter's end, to read. The story is based on heartbreaking real-life events and don't get me wrong, it was sad, but I just didn't find that it hit me as hard as it could have. I'm the biggest crier when it comes to sad plot lines, and I don't think I even shed a tear throughout the whole book. To me, the ending seemed kind of rushed.. It just kind of ended all of a sudden. I'm not really sure how this would translate to a movie, so I'm on the fence about whether I'd go out of my way to watch it, but if you have seen If I Stay, let me know what you think!

Official blurb:
"Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, adoring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. Then, in an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the one decision she has left—the most important decision she’ll ever make. Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving."

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
I know that I'm super late to the party with this one, but this is another I-haven't-seen-the-movie-yet read for me. I don't usually get in to whodunit's or mysteries, but I actually found myself emotionally invested in this plot line. I did kind of guess who the murderer was quite early on, so it wasn't much of a surprise to me, but even so, I still enjoyed reading every page of this book. Even though I know the way it all pans out, I'd still actually like to watch the movie.

Official blurb:
"Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She's even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. 'Jess and Jason', she calls them. Their life - as she sees it - is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough. Now everything's changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she's only watched from afar. Now they'll see; she's much more than just the girl on the train..."

Is there anything on this list that you would like to read?

What was your favourite read recently? I'd love some recommendations!

see also: Recent Reads Vol. 1

As always, this post has not been sponsored in any way, meaning that it does not contain any affiliate links, nor have the books mentioned been sent to me, endorsed, or paid for by anyone other than me, myself and I.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Friday Finds

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

\\  I'm all about this pull-through double braid today.  //
\\  This balloon doughnut wall installation is all kinds of amazing.  //
\\  How adorable are these DIY clam macarons? My mermaid dreams are coming true.  //
\\  Avocado and asparagus tartines with basil pesto. Have you heard of anything so heavenly?   //
\\  I would rock this subtle rainbow eyeshadow every day if I could.  //
\\  A super easy DIY matcha body scrub is all that I need from life right now.  //

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

April 2017 Beauty Favourites

We all know how fantastic Argan Oil is on hair, so it's no surprise that this mask delivers such soft, healthy-looking results. Looking at the ingredients, I was sososo happy to discover that this is primarily a plant-based formula and as a result of all the goodness of natural oils, so much moisture has been put back into my dry, damaged hair. This also helps to protect against further damage, too. A slathering a week after shampooing has truly fixed my split ends, treated my dry, frizzy strands and just generally left my hair looking and feeling soft, smooth, healthy and shiny.

 First off, Milk is actually an Australian brand (founded by Olympic swimmer, Michael Klim and his wife), which is a bonus for me. This is a multi-tasking bad boy that works to exfoliate with the use of walnut shell, cleanse and moisturise your skin all in one go. It has a creamy consistency so it's for sure one of the more moisturising cleansers that I’ve used and there is a high enough walnut shell content to effectively exfoliate, whilst still managing to not be rough or harsh on the more sensitive skin of the face. It contains a skin-loving mix of ingredients including seaweed, spirulina and aloe vera which leave my skin feeling smooth, clean, moisturised and healthy. This can be used all over, but I've only used it on my face as I prefer a slightly harsher scrub for my body to really slough away those dead skin cells.

Finding a cleanser that works on my temperamental skin is hard, but this truly does tick a lot of boxes for me. I was originally attracted to this because although it's marketed as a foaming cleanser, it's actually quite creamy, which is what I need for my dry skin. Typically, foaming cleansers are a no-no for dry skin-types but this surprisingly didn't have any drying or negative effects on my skin whatsoever. In fact, I actually feel as though the slight foam helps to clean my skin of dirt and oils, without stripping my skin. Perhaps because I'm used to using gentle cream cleansers, but boy does my skin feel clean these days. It has a gorgeous light rose scent, too, which I absolutely love.

4. LUSH Scrubee
If this is not the cutest thing you've ever seen then I don't know what is! This is basically a multiple use body butter bar, with exfoliating stripes to nourish and smooth your skin. Honey and cocoa butter act to moisturise, while ground coconut shells and almonds gently exfoliate the skin, leaving my whole body feeling soft, smooth and hydrated. It smells absolutely amazing, too - a sweet honey-citrus scent that I cannot get enough of. This is unfortunately part of the limited-edition Mother's Day collection here in Australia so go ahead and get your hands on it before it's too late!
I've only recently really made primers a part of my every day routine, and I'd been using Benefit's POREfessional for quite some time, but I recently found this to be a pretty good dupe at a fraction of the cost. It's also readily available at Priceline for all of my Australian readers. I have quite large pores on the front of my cheeks, next to my nose, so I look for a primer that will help hide those bad boys and this truly does. "Pressing" this in to my large pores and allowing to dry slightly before applying another light layer all over my face really fills up my pores. It has quite a... chunky texture (it's kind of off-putting at first) when first squeezed from the tube, but it's easily smoothed out over the skin, drying to a matte finish, giving a smooth, velvety finish and as a result, my liquid foundation just glides on. I don't have overly oily skin - just a touch on my forehead by midday that's easily blotted away, but this really keeps that at bay. Rarely do I even need to think about blotting when I've used this under my foundation. If you have sensitivities to silicone-based products, however, I'd give this a miss.

What products have you been loving lately?

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