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Friday, February 23, 2018

Friday Finds

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

Weekly snippets of inspiration from around the web

\\  GUYS! A Cabernet latte! Yes! A red friggin' wine latte!  //
\\  I'm obsessing over these cactus macarons.  //
\\  I like the idea of this DIY essential oils wool ball car diffuser. Very cool.  //
\\  How much fun are all of these DIY sock makeovers?  //
\\  How delicious do chocolate covered strawberry jelly shots sound?!  //
\\  These simple gold leaf crowns are killing me right now.  //

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Beauty Products That I Want to Try in 2018

Does new make-up make anyone else insanely happy, or is it just me?Honestly, there is no better way to perk me up, or pull me out of a funk than treating myself to some new beauty bits. My bank account (and boyfriend) don't usually approve, but I'm all about that #treatyoself life.

Make-up and beauty are getting to be expensive passions of mine, what with all of these banging product launches that brands are coming out with these days and all; I feel as though my make-up wish list is never ending. I guess it comes with the territory of being a beauty junkie.

I'm narrowing the plethora of products out there that I want to try down to a handful of the main items that I've been dying to get my hands on for a while now.
So, here are a few of the items that I'm lusting over in 2018:

Makeup and beauty products that I want to get my hands on in 2018

I can already foresee how this post is going to go, so let's make it a little more interesting. Every time I say something about a products' availability in Australia, do a shot of Vodka.

P.S. I've linked stores that offer the best shipping to Australia. These links are not likely to be ideal for 98% of my readership - sorry.

Keihl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate
I feel that every beauty blogger and their dog has tried the Midnight Recovery Concentrate. Every beauty blogger except me, that is. I love me a good overnight treatment and I have loved everything that I've heard about this one - It especially appeals to me as a dry skinned gal.

Charlotte Tilbury Air Brush Flawless Finish Powder
Powders don't often work well for me due to my dry skin but I've heard that this offering is great for drier skin types as it contains rose wax and almond oil (!!!) for a more hydrating, creamier texture. A powder that doesn't dry you out and leaves you with an almost dewy looking finish is VERY appealing to me. I've always wanted to try some of Charlotte Tilbury's stuff (ohai, no Australian stockists) and I think that this is the perfect place to start.

This is something that you actually can purchase at Sephora Australia, or at least, you could. It always seems to be sold out.. or they just plain don't stock it anymore as I've never seen it restocked. I've wanted to be the owner of a Marc Jacobs something for so long now, and this bronzer really calls my name! The colour is lovely and the undertone looks amazing. The huge pan just sells it to me even more.

This was first brought to my attention by Nikkie. It's so unnecessary and extra, but that's what I love about it (and her, let's be real). I'm not a huge gloss girl, but this golden metallic shimmer would look amazing over a nude lip!

SO many people have been raving about this stuff! AND I can get it from the UK, too (much better shipping rates)! It's is a bit extra for a face mask, but I really like the idea of a "treat yourself" mask that'll hydrate the skin and leave it looking glowy and soft and from what I've heard, that this is just that. I love me a good watermelon scent, too.

Jackie Aina was the person who first brought this powder to my attention - she raves about it in almost every video but I never bothered to have a look for myself. Turns out I can get it in Australia! I'll have to put it in my next order. Hopefully it works well on drier skin types!

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream
At this point in time, it's impossible to get Fresh in Australia without going through a parallel import site, which I plain don't trust. I've heard rumours that Fresh is coming to Sephora Australia, though, so that's a plus. A good skincare product is always going to be high on my "to buy" list and I absolutely love rose on my skin. Everything that I've heard about this moisturiser, I've liked.

Are there any beauty products or new releases that you'd like to try this year?
Let me know if you've tried anything on my wish list! How did it work for you?

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. This post does, however, contain affiliate links. I will always disclose such information with an asterisk (*) for full disclosure to my readers.
Feel free to find and purchase these products elsewhere if you don't get down like that. :)

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Recent Reads Vol.4

I think that most of you know by now that I am a major book worm.
At this point in time, I'm just about getting through a book every second week, so I'm always looking to add to my forever growing reading list. Here are my feelings on my most recently read books in the hopes of perhaps inspiring some new additions to your bookshelves, too:

A Review of the Books I've Read Recently

This was such a good book! Definitely my favourite from this pile - I enjoyed it from start to finish. A sort of coming-of-age book, where it's not just the kids who are growing up, but the adults too. Following two families (who also happen to be very close college friends) each with their own set of troubles, there's a good mix of drama, intrigue and passion that kept me entertained the whole time. A couple of parts were a little predictable, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this whole dang book. The perfect Summer read.

"Friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring.
Back in the band's heyday, Elizabeth put on a snarl over her Midwestern smile, Andrew let his unwashed hair grow past his chin, and Zoe was the lesbian all the straight women wanted to sleep with. Now nearing fifty, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn, and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adult lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose—about themselves, and about the famous fourth band member who soared and fell without them—can never be reclaimed."

(also known as Sophie Kinsella)
The fact that this is about a Summer holiday to a gorgeous villa in a beautiful Spanish setting, which is described beautifully, makes this a great Summer read. I'm such a fan of Kinsella's writing style (she's been featured in Recent Reads before, and will be many more times to come). She's able to paint her characters in such a way that you instantly relate, sympathise or hate them.. basically, however she wants you to feel about a certain character, you'll feel it. Two families who are (almost) strangers that come from different lifestyles being unexpectedly forced to live together (and re-live some old memories) made for some behind-closed-doors drama which is what kept my scandal-loving self entertained. There was a little twist at the end that I didn't see coming, too.. Gerard's plan wasn't for the reason that it had seemed.

"Chloe needs a holiday. She's sick of making wedding dresses and her partner Philip has trouble at work. Her wealthy friend Gerard has offered the loan of his luxury villa in Spain -- perfect.

Hugh is not a happy man. His immaculate wife Amanda seems more interested in the granite for the new kitchen than in him, and he works so hard to pay for it all, he barely has time for his family. But his old school friend Gerard has lent them a luxury villa in Spain -- perfect.
Both families arrive at the villa and get a shock: Gerard has double-booked. An uneasy week of sharing begins, and tensions soon mount in the soaring heat. But there's also a secret history between the families -- and as tempers fray, an old passion begins to resurface.

Where She Went by Gayle Forman
Although I wasn't overly excited about If I Stay (reviewed in Recent Reads Vol.2), I ended up picking up  the sequel, Where She Went, which more or less follows Adam, whom we discover is no longer in a relationship with Mia years after her tragedy. As a whole, it was nice to see what became of the girl who lost everything, and heartwarming to learn that she fought to get back what she could. I did like reading about what Adam had been up to as well, but his character just ended up annoying me. He's so completely different to the warm, loving boyfriend in If I Stay. But I guess that goes to show how much heartbreak and anger can change a person. Following up on what the characters achieved in the year after gives the reader a sort of closure. I didn't think it was the best thing I'd ever read, but I'm glad that I did (at least this one has chapter breaks).

"Picking up several years after the dramatic conclusion of If I Stay, Where She Went continues the story of Adam and Mia, from Adam's point of view. Ever since Mia's decision to stay - but not with him - Adam's career has been on a wonderful trajectory. His album, borne from the anguish and pain of their breakup, has made him a bona fide star. And Mia herself has become a top-rate cellist, playing in some of the finest venues in the world. When their respective paths put them both in New York City at the same time, the result is a single night in which the two reunite - with wholly satisfying results."

The Island by Elin Hilderbrand
Although the premise of this book isn't exactly original, I did still enjoy it. A family of four women, each going through her own struggle, spend a few weeks together and end up fighting/bonding as each works out her own set of issues. All of the characters did end up annoying me at one stage or another through reading, however. They're all grown women who act far too childish. To me, it honestly felt like a soap opera that just so happened to be set on an Island.. Everyone has money, everyone is either unhappy in love or is falling instantly in love, and everyone has money. Stock standard. I did enjoy how well relationships within a family unit come across: strained mother/daughter relationships, sibling rivalry and jealousy.. everyone's emotions were mixed in such a realistic way. The story did have some drama and a small plot twist or two so I did have a good time reading it 0 another one that's great for Summer.

"Birdie Cousins has thrown herself into the details of her daughter Chess's lavish wedding, from the floating dance floor in her Connecticut back yard to the color of the cocktail napkins. Like any mother of a bride-to-be, she is weathering the storms of excitement and chaos, tears and joy. But Birdie, a woman who prides herself on preparing for every possibility, could never have predicted the late-night phone call from Chess, abruptly announcing that she's cancelled her engagement.

It's only the first hint of what will be a summer of upheavals and revelations. Before the dust has even begun to settle, far worse news arrives, sending Chess into a tailspin of despair. Reluctantly taking a break from the first new romance she's embarked on since the recent end of her 30-year marriage, Birdie circles the wagons and enlists the help of her younger daughter Tate and her own sister India. Soon all four are headed for beautiful, rustic Tuckernuck Island, off the coast of Nantucket, where their family has summered for generations. No phones, no television, no grocery store - a place without distractions where they can escape their troubles. But throw sisters, daughters, ex-lovers, and long-kept secrets onto a remote island, and what might sound like a peaceful getaway becomes much more. Before summer has ended, dramatic truths are uncovered, old loves are rekindled, and new loves make themselves known."

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Oh look, another Sophie Kinsella book!
I don't discriminate against books that fit in to the "Young Adult" category. In fact, almost all of my favourite books are classified as such, but this one may have been a little too Y.A. for me (am I getting old?!). I did enjoy it, don't get be wrong, but I just feel as though it was a little "young" for me. If I'm honest, I almost didn't buy this book because I was worried that it would be a bunch of "love cures mental illness" bullshit but that's not the way that it ended up panning out. Although Linus does help Audrey through some things, it is ultimately Audrey herself who progresses one step (forwards and backwards) at a time. Although this story covers some pretty serious topics relating to mental health, I felt as though it was handled wonderfully. It still managed to be funny, at times, and sweet. Heartwarming, too. But also honest and real. I enjoyed the dynamic of Audrey's crazy family too - it was a nicely balanced read between hard realism and light-heartedness.

"Audrey can't leave the house. she can't even take off her dark glasses inside the house. Then her brother's friend Linus stumbles into her life. With his friendly, orange-slice smile and his funny notes, he starts to entice Audrey out again - well, Starbucks is a start. And with Linus at her side, Audrey feels like she can do the things she'd thought were too scary. Suddenly, finding her way back to the real world seems achievable."

Books I've Read Recently. Book Reviews.

Is there anything on this list that you would like to read?
What has been your favourite read recently? I'd love some recommendations!

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.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Friday Finds

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

Inspiration from around the web

\\  This DIY embroidered hoodie is such a fun way too add some flayva to a plain hoodie.  //
\\  This sew your own half apron is what my housewife dreams are made of.  //
\\  How cute is this DIY sequin phrase pillow?  //
\\  A DIY scratch off travel map: What a good gift idea for a traveller.  //
\\  I love how casual-chic these DIY pearl slide sandals are.  //

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Beauty Empties #8

There's nothing better to me than a start(ish) of the year clean out. I'd been holding on to quite a few empties for the sake of this post, and I'm glad that I finally got around to throwing them away. I used up a fair few old favourites as well as some new products that I wanted to trial.

Recently Emptied Makeup and Beauty Products

I've rambled on about this dang product enough times on the blog, so I'll keep it short and sweet: The hype is real! I use it before my usual moisturiser, basically how you would use a serum and it just leaves my face feeling soft, moisturised and plump. This has honestly been a life saver for my dry, flaky skin. I really do notice it's absence if I don't use it.

Repurchase? Always

Reef Sun Tan Oil x2 - Dark and SPF15+
I've been using tanning oil almost every day on my lunch break and I must say, I'm looking quite brown these days. The formulation helps to promote a natural tan whilst also hydrating and leaving your skin smelling all coconut-y and delicious. I went through a "dark" bottle, which contains no SPF (because YOLO) and a bottle with an SPF rating of 15+, depending on how long I was going to be out in the sun.

Repurchase? Yes. It really does work to give me a natural tan, which I love.

I swipe this all over my face with a cotton pad in the morning when I'm after a more gentle, less drying approach to toning (I usually use a much harsher, alcohol-based toner). This offering is great for sensitive skin, and soothes and hydrates my face wonderfully. It's full of nutrients, balances pH and improves texture, and cleanses the skin, which is awesome of such a gentle product. 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.

Repurchase? Yes
I use the powder component of this kit every single day I do my brows. I usually use it to set my Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow but I also use this kit alone when I'm looking for a lighter brow look. For such a cheap product, the pigmentation is awesome and it doesn't smudge or fade throughout the day. Now if Rimmel could just make a blonder shade, damn it, and I'll be set for life.

Repurchase? Yes

If you ask me, a shower gel is a shower gel, more or less. This one is lovely - it lathers up so luxuriously and is super moisturising. I prefer a more fruity scent over a floral one so the smell didn't excite me a whole lot. Neither did the shimmer particles which stuck to my shower walls and floor, but a nice gel that left my skin soft and scented nonetheless.

Repurchase? Perhaps in a different scent.
I absolutely love rosehip oil. It's the ultimate skincare ingredient if you ask me! I apply 3-4 drops after my shower, before moisturiser, every night and I mix 2-3 drops in to my moisturiser every morning. It works to moisturise dry skin without leaving any oily trace of its existence; it just leaves my skin feeling soft and healthy. I always use Trilogy's Antioxidant+ Rosehip Oil* but decided to give Rosehip Plus' offering a go. This was great, but I definitely prefer the added antioxidants in Trilogy's one.

Repurchase? Not this brand, I'll stick to Trilogy's Antioxidant+ Rosehip Oil*.
I was on the look-out for a good drugstore eye cream as a cheaper alternative to my beloved It's Potent!* by Benefit. Unfortunately I wasn't overly impressed with the Natio offering. I don't know if I didn't like it because I'm just so used to my higher end cream, but this just didn't work for me. I can get quite dry eyelids so I need something rather intense to keep the skin around my eyes moisturised. I just felt as though this didn't do anything at all for me. Which is a shame, because the reviews were quite positive.

Repurchase? No

AVON Yoghurt Body Lotion in 'Mango & Passionfruit'
This is a lovely body lotion. It was so old (they don't even make these anymore)that I just wanted to use it up, so I sort of blew through the last 1/3 of the tub but I did enjoy using it. It left my skin feeling soft and moisturised and wasn't greasy in the slightest. It actually smells exactly like yoghurt, too! Not synthetic "fruit" but an actual tub of yoghurt.

Repurchase? I probably would if they still made it, once I'd used up more of my stash of body lotion.
I'm such a fan of Origins' GinZing Facial Mist* that I decided to give their eye cream a try. It was hydrating enough to keep any flaky skin away, which impressed me (that skin is dry) but I mostly liked this eye cream for how refreshing it was, especially on tired, puffy eyes. I ended up only using it on no make-up days or at night because the brightening aspect of this cream seemed to consist of little light reflecting particles which sat on the skin. I wouldn't have an issue with this if it didn't bunch up and form little balls when I applied concealer over it.

Repurchase? No. I just can't get past It's Potent!*.
I received this trio as a gift so long ago! I have that many perfumes that I'm currently trying to use up old ones. All three of these (of mine, they may have changed the formula since then) smell pretty much the same, and I have no idea whether I used up Lovely, Sexy or Spicy but that's more than okay by me because I absolutely love the scent!

Repurchase? I probably wouldn't buy it myself, but I wouldn't' be mad if I received another as a gift.
A dry shampoo that every person and their dog is aware of so I won't ramble on. It's relatively inexpensive and smells amazing. I use it on third day hair if I ever get that far without washing (I'm an every second night kind of gal), or for a boost when it's looking a little flat/oily. I haven't ever found it to leave any powdery white build-up against my blonde hair, which is exactly what you want in a dry shampoo. The cherry scent smells lovely, too.

Repurchase? Nope. Contrary to Batiste hype, I much prefer V05's offering - Plump It Up.
This cream is my life! I like to think of it as a face mask that sinks in, therefore, not sticking to your pillow. Although it's a cream, it has an almost gel-like texture which soaks into skin nicely and does a whole lot of good while you sleep. If you don't like the feeling of heavy creams or sticking to your pillow, then this is definitely one for you. It's light enough to layer over my heavier nighttime moisturisers (yes, plural) and rosehip oil combination for an overnight boost without feeling sticky, heavy or congested and I wake up with THE softest, MOST plump and supple skin. It's probably worth noting that it does have a very (and I mean very) strong scent, however.

Repurchase? Yes x1,000.

Maybelline FitMe Concealer* in "Fair Clair"
It's safe to say that this is a constant use item for me - I've mentioned this damn concealer about ninety-zillion times on the blog. It does provide relatively nice coverage of dark circles but I tend to use this as an under eye brightener, over the top of Maybelline's Instant Age Rewind*, rather than a concealer as the light shade is amazing for brightening and highlighting. It's easy to apply and its 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, either.

Repurchase? Always
This stuff is gooood. I absolutely love how my skin felt in the mornings after applying this! So soft and smooth, and clear of any dead or flaky skin. I'm often worried about acidic products or chemical peels on my dry skin and the fact that this is salon strength worried me a little at first, but it's surprisingly gentle (although don't get in in to any cuts on your hands/fingers - ouch!) as it contains ingredients such as Aloe Vera to soothe the skin as it works.

Repurchase? It's quite pricey for the size, but a little goes a long way. I probably would.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost x2 - Water Gel and Gel-Cream
I love, love, LOVE the Water Gel moisturizer! It has got such a clever formula that continuously releases moisture throughout the day without going too far and leaving the skin looking oily. 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 supple. The scent actually reminds me of jellybeans, which is an added bonus. I decided to give the Gel-Cream option a try as I saw that it is specially formulated for dry skin. Strangely enough, I actually prefer the regular gel formula over the Gel-Cream. I just felt that my regular offering much better hydrated my skin than the "intense" Gel-Cream. Strange.

Repurchase? Water Gel, always. Gel-Cream, no.
I got this is in a cute Kmart goodie bag put together by my friend. I wasn't expecting much from it and it turned out to be nothing special. It feels refreshing whilst you're wearing it (although the mask itself is pretty large and ill-fitting) and it has a lovely scent (if you like coconut) but I don't feel as though it did much to my skin.

Repurchase? No.

What products have you loved and used up lately?

See also: Beauty Empties 1-7

Recently Emptied Makeup and Beauty Products

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. This post does, however, contain affiliate links. I will always disclose such information with an asterisk (*) for full disclosure to my readers.
Feel free to find and purchase these products elsewhere if you don't get down like that. :)

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