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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Friday Finds

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

Weekly snippets of inspiration found around the web

\\  This DIY glitter zip pouch is bringing back all of my 90's memories.  //
\\  I'll have four spicy watermelon sangrias, please.  //
\\  These DIY dried floral bath salts sound heavenly.  //
\\  A simle, yet chic DIY lace scrunchie, anyone?  //
\\  Aren't these DIY embroidered jean shorts fun?
\\  How gorgeous is this blackberry lavender naked cake?!  //

Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Beauty Empties #9

I rarely used to completely finish a product off before I moved on to the next, or brought another brand to try, but I've really been making the effort to use up what I have before buying more.
If that isn't motivation to get through the old stuff at a good pace, I don't know what is.
You know your girl is all about treating herself.

Here are my thoughts on the make-up, skincare and beauty products that I've used up recently:

Mini reviews on all of my empty beauty products

I loved using this on wet hair! It's basically a multi-tasking leave-in treatment that does everything from priming, to protecting, to perfecting the hair. It really did leave my locks looking and feeling smooth and soft and improved the condition of my split ends drastically. It does state that it's more for colour-treated hair (which I do not have), but my naturally light blonde locks really loved this stuff. It has a pleasant smell, is non-greasy, waxy, or heavy and really worked to fix my dry, damaged hair.

Repurchase? Yes!

Benefit It's Potent! Dark Circle Eye Cream*
I've tried a bunch of eye creams in my lifetime, but nothing comes close to my love for this little pot of moisture! My lids and brow bone have the tendency to become dry and flaky if they're not moisturised liberally enough (gross), which is my main concern at the ripe old age of 25. With repeated use, the few small, fine lines that I do have underneath my eyes are visibly reduced as well, which is not something that I've noticed with any other eye creams that I've tried. It's also a damn strong formula, so a little goes a long way.

Repurchase? Already have, and will continue to do so until the day I die.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5*
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 saviour to my dry, flaky skin and I really do notice its absence if I don't use it.

Repurchase? Always

Rimmel Match Perfect Foundation in "True Ivory"
This has been one my favourite foundations for years now (it's on par with Maybelline's Matte & Poreless*). It provides the perfect amount of coverage and I love the matte, but not dry, finish it gives the skin. I have dry skin and this does not leave me looking flakey or cakey, no matter how long I wear it. It blends out wonderfully, covering any blemishes, dark spots and uneven skin tone with ease whilst still looking natural. I can't believe that this formula is drugstore, but I sure am happy about it.

Repurchase? For sure

I mentioned a different bottle from this trio in my last empties post and I am pleased to announce that I've used up another bottle since then (I'm trying to use up a bunch perfumes - I have too many). All three of these smell more or less 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 wouldn't buy it myself, but I wouldn't be mad if I received another as a gift.

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer* in "Fair Clair"
I've mentioned this damn concealer about ninety-zillion times on the blog, but I do use it every single day so it's only natural. I tend to use this as a combo with Maybelline's Instant Age Rewind Concealer*. It provides nice coverage of dark circles, but I love to use it as an under eye brightener more than I do as a concealer on it's own as the 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 slightly dewy finish.

Repurchase? Always

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel
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 reminds me of jellybeans, too, which is an added bonus. A daily (and nightly) use product for sure.

This is such a refreshing spray! I used it every day after my lunch break during the warmer months to refresh and hydrate my skin after being out in the sun. It really does work to brighten the complexion (Vitamin C is bomb) and doesn't leave any greasy residue behind. The spray was very fine so it didn't leave my face wet and the pleasant orange smell was so uplifting!

Repurchase? Yes

Australis Make-up Finishing Spritz
I use this as more of a "fixer" rather than an actual setting spray as I don't feel as though it prolongs the wear of my make-up by all that much, if at all. I'll definitely use something along the lines of Urban Decay's setting spray over the very top of to actually set my make-up. I use this during my make-up routine, after applying my face products to fix any powdery looking areas and melt everything together for a much nicer finish. It feels quite refreshing and hydrating, with a pleasant rose scent to it. At the very least, it's a cheap alternative to using Fix+ on your brush to make your highlight pop.

Repurchase? Yes

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer* in "Fair"
As mentioned above, I like to use this in conjunction with Maybelline's Fit Me Concealer*. The formula is thick enough to cover the under eye area and fill fine lines without creasing, but is also smooth enough to blend out nicely. It does a nice job of disguising the purple undertones of my under eyes, too. The applicator, however... On one hand, I love that it's a wind-up but on the other, I'm not a huge fan of the sponge nib component. Although I've gotten used to it now, it's still impossible to clean and is quite large. The coverage and formula, however, I cannot fault.

Repurchase? Always.

AVON Nutra Effects Miracle Glow Lightweight Facial Oil
I love using facial oils on my dry skin - especially over the Winter months. I used this every day until it was all gone, massaging it in to my face focusing on the front of my cheeks, the sides of my nose and my chin (my drier spots). It left my skin feeling deeply moisturised and I genuinely noticed a brighter, healthier-looking complexion over time. It has a non-greasy, non-heavy finish but admittedly did take a while to absorb. I found that my foundation and concealers applied beautifully over it - I really felt as though it smoothed out my entire face.

Repurchase? AVON is no longer available in Australia or New Zealand. Otherwise, yes. :(

AVON Skin So Soft Radiant Moisture Shower Gel
If you ask me: a shower gel is a shower gel. This one is lovely - it has more of a creamy consistency but still lathers up nicely. It's super moisturising, leaving my skin feeling incredibly soft and it smells lovely, even if I do prefer a more fruity scent to a floral one.

Repurchase? Again with the AVON.

Makeup, Skincare and Beauty Products That I've Completely Used Up

I feel as though I'm getting better at getting around to these empties posts before I accumulate 10+ tonnes of pots, tubes and bottles.

What products have you loved and used up lately?
Is there anything here that you'd like to try?

See also: Beauty Empties 1-8

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. :)

Monday, June 25, 2018

How I Relax After a Long Day

Working at an accounting office can be incredibly stressful, especially come the End of Financial Year. By the time 30 June comes around, I'm pretty much spent. That's why I savour my night-time routine. It's my chance to let go of all of the stresses of the day and relax before doing it all again tomorrow.

I've compiled a list of my favourite ways to relax after a busy day at the office (or any day really). Once I've come home from the gym and dinner has been eaten, this is how I peacefully unwind for the night:

My Favorite Ways to Relax After a Long Day

Take a Bath
The number one way to relax, in my opinion, is to have a bath. I love to melt in to the warm water and feel all of the stress and tension of the day leech out of me. Light some candles, drop in a bath bomb, pour in some bubble bath - go crazy. I absolutely love LUSH bath products. The Big Sleep is wonderfully calming (be warned, it's a jelly bomb) and Twilight is great for a before bedtime soak. The Comforter is a must for bubbles, too. Your bathroom is going to smell all kinds of amazing, trust me.

Pop on a Face Mask
I love to use a face mask whilst in the tub. My favourite face masks at the moment all also happen to be from LUSH (I swear this post isn't sponsored by LUSH). Mask of Magnaminty is my favourite to use on congested skin and I just love using Cup O' Coffee to exfoliate and brighten!

Slather on Some Lotion
After a bath, I love to slather on a body lotion before slipping into some cozy PJ's. LUSH's Sleepy is my absolute favourite lotion for before bed as the subtle lavender scent helps to further relax me and help me to drift off to sleep. I'll also smear some of Palmer's Concentrated Cream*, which is great for dry skin, over my hands and feet, pop on some socks and wake up to beautifully soft skin come morning time.

A Cup of Tea and a Good Book
I absolutely love reading and I find that it relaxes me far more than sitting in front of the T.V. for a couple of hours does (although I do love me some trash T.V.). Now that Winter is here, it's the perfect time to spend an hour or two snuggled up in a fluffy blanket with a hot cup of tea in hand (no coffee!) and read a handful of chapters of my current read.

Spritz Some Pillow Spray
A pillow spray is so extra if you ask me, but it really does help me to drift off to a peaceful sleep. The brand This Works does a Deep Sleep Pillow Spray which is lovely. The lavender scent really helps to calm my mind, relax my body and ease my anxiety, helping me to get to sleep faster and more peacefully.

My top tips to help you relax and unwind after a busy day

What is your favourite way to relax after a hard day?
*This product was sent to me for consideration. All comments and opinions expressed are 100% my own. I would never promote anything to my readers that I do not 100% recommend.

Sunday, June 24, 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

\\  I'm dreaming of a mocha peanut butter pie.  //
\\  This DIY pom-pom photo frame is so cute!  //
\\  I love the idea of these cute little eucalyptus palo santo bundles.  //
\\  These DIY edible flower ice cubes are so pretty!  //
\\  Does mango citrus fruit punch not sound absolutely delicious?  //
\\  I would love to attempt to make a blueberry camomile galette! It sounds amazing!  //

Happy Friday!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Recent Reads Vol.5

It's no secret that I'm a major book worm. Winter is the perfect time for reading; this weather has encouraged me to snuggle up with a book and a cup of tea on multiple occasions - pure bliss.

I love swapping book recommendations! I believe that a good book should be shared amongst friends and family and I love adding their recent favourites to my own reading list in turn.

Here are my honest feelings on my most recently read books in the hopes of perhaps inspiring some new additions to your bookshelves, too:

Mini reviews of the books that I've ticked off my reading list lately.

Blurb: "Sky, a senior in high school, meets Dean Holder, a guy with a promiscuous reputation that rivals her own. From their very first encounter, he terrifies and captivates her. Something about him sparks memories of her deeply troubled past, a time she’s tried so hard to bury. Though Sky is determined to stay far away from him, his unwavering pursuit and enigmatic smile break down her defenses and the intensity of the bond between them grows. But the mysterious Holder has been keeping secrets of his own, and once they are revealed, Sky is changed forever and her ability to trust may be a casualty of the truth.

Only by courageously facing the stark revelations can Sky and Holder hope to heal their emotional scars and find a way to live and love without boundaries. Hopeless is a novel that will leave you breathless, entranced, and remembering your own first love.

My thoughts: The blurb does this book no justice. At first, I thought that this book was going to be your typical "he saves her, she saves him" kind of sap, but it is SO much more than that. Without giving anything away, it does cover some pretty intense social issues, but there were so many plot twists and I ended up really enjoying it. The chemistry between Sky and Holder is insane with some rather steamy moments. Y'all know I love me a steamy read. ;)

Blurb: "Secrets from her mother:
I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom with Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben-Hur.
Sammy the goldfish in my parents’ kitchen is not the same goldfish that Mum gave me to look after when she and Dad were in Egypt.

Secrets from her boyfriend:
I weigh one hundred and twenty-eight pounds. Not one eighteen, like Connor thinks.
I’ve always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken.

From her colleagues:
When Artemis really annoys me, I feed her plant orange juice. (Which is pretty much every day.) It was me who jammed the copier that time. In fact, all the times.

Secrets she wouldn’t share with anyone in the world:
My G-string is hurting me.
I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is.

Until she spills them all to a handsome stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger. But come Monday morning, Emma’s office is abuzz about the arrival of Jack Harper, the company’s elusive CEO. Suddenly Emma is face-to-face with the stranger from the plane, a man who knows every single humiliating detail about her. Things couldn’t possibly get worse—Until they do.

My thoughts: If you've read any of my Recent Reads posts, you'd have seen Sophie Kinsella's name pop up at least one in each instalment; I love her books when I'm in the mood for a light-hearted read. I loved poor little Emma - she's the kind of awkward, bumbling character that I can't help but root for. The plot could be seen as little cliché, but the story was comical enough to keep me entertained.

Blurb: "Roxanne: glamorous, self-confident, with a secret lover - a married man
Maggie: capable and high-achieving, until she finds the one thing she can't cope with - motherhood
Candice: honest, decent, or so she believes - until a ghost from her past turns up

At the first of every month, when the office has reached its pinnacle of hysteria, Maggie, Roxanne, and Candice meet at London's swankiest bar for an evening of cocktails and gossip. Here, they chat about what's new at The Londoner, the glossy fashion magazine where they all work, and everything else that's going on in their lives. Or almost everything. Beneath the girl talk and the laughter, each of the three has a secret. And when a chance encounter at the cocktail bar sets in motion an extraordinary chain of events, each one will find their biggest secret revealed."

My thoughts: Although this definitely isn't my favourite Wickham/Kinsella read, the nosy girl in me did still enjoy this book. Each of the main characters managed to annoy me in some way, but learning their secrets (and the plot twists therein) was so satisfying. The story, in my opinion, was just okay. It held a good mix of glamour and scandal, which is a great combination in my eyes. 

Blurb: "Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.
She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
She’s wrong.
After Mara survives the traumatizing accident at the old asylum, it makes sense that she has issues. She lost her best friend, her boyfriend, and her boyfriend’s sister, and as if that weren’t enough to cope with, her family moves to a new state in order to give her a fresh start. But that fresh start is quickly filled with hallucinations—or are they premonitions?—and then corpses, and the boundary between reality and nightmare is wavering. At school, there’s Noah, a devastatingly handsome charmer who seems determined to help Mara piece together what’s real, what’s imagined—and what’s very, very dangerous.

My thoughts: This book started off so well and then it ended... not so well. It has such an intriguing premise and I was so invested in finding out the truth of what happened to Mara and what she was experiencing. The (often wonky) paranormal aspect of the plot allowed for so many different paths that the author could have taken but instead, she decided to go down the cliché romance route. I just feel as though she could have done a whole lot more with the story. I loved the front cover, loved the start, felt a distance growing in the middle, and was left bitterly disappointed by the ending. Sigh.

Blurb: "Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. She steps into the world of the superrich, working for Leonard Gopnik and his much younger second wife, Agnes. Lou is determined to get the most out of the experience and throws herself into her new job and New York life.

As she begins to mix in New York high society, Lou meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past. Before long, Lou finds herself torn between Fifth Avenue where she works and the treasure-filled vintage clothing store where she actually feels at home. And when matters come to a head, she has to ask herself: Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you find the courage to follow your heart—wherever that may lead?

My thoughts: I don't think that there really needed to be any follow-up books from Me Before You, but I did still thoroughly enjoy Still Me. Especially after the let down of After You. The third instalment sees Louisa taking Wills advice and living her life to the fullest and maybe I'm biased because I instantly love anything to do with New York City, but I absolutely devoured this book. It definitely lacks the intense emotions of Me Before You, but you can't help but be proud of Lou for chasing her dreams whilst staying true to her quirky self. A warm end to the trilogy for sure.

Small Book Reviews of my Recent Reads

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 any books mentioned been sent to me, endorsed, or paid for by anyone other than me, myself and I.

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