Total ♡ for The Body Shop

I have legit always been a fan of The Body Shop – ever since my first purchases of the cucumber cleanser and the banana shampoo! (I swear that every teen growing up in the 00s had these two products!)

But seriously, over the past year or so The Body Shop has got it so right. I feel like it’s the perfect high street go to for all skincare and beauty products – from shampoo, to body scrub to liquid lipsticks.

Lately I have been purchasing quite a few bits, and have also received plenty from work friends as birthday presents etc. – guess the bottle of body mist on my desk and my constant spraying of it was kind of a hint that I ♡ the stuff!

My definite favourites have to be the Fuji Green Tea fresh body sorbet – this stuff is such a dream, it’s pretty moisturising but is non-greasy and literally sinks straight in. I am also a big fan of their tea tree skin range – the …wash is amazing and I genuinely find that it seems to last for ages. Polynesian Island Tiare fragrance mist has to be one of my most loved scents from The Body Shop, it kinda reminds me of being on holiday and I have a soft spot for fragrances that smell of being in the sun! Their Rainforest shampoo and conditioner range has left my hair smelling amazing – I’ve even had others comment on it, and I totally love that it has no sulphates in sight. And finally, who cannot love The Body Shop lip balms, they are a staple lip product that I can’t help but pick up everytime I’m in there!

Share your favourites/recommendations below! xx

Lip Product Must Haves

I am soooo sooo happy with my two latest lip product purchases at the moment that it was a no brainer that I share them on the Balm & Blyss blog!

Both were kind of impulse purchases – I wasn’t really on the lookout for new lip products…I already have too many to count!

The lip liner is Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pilowtalk. It’s such a smooth consistency and genuinely the only lip liner that I have ever used where I can over-line my lips and it look completely natural. The colour is perfect and works well as a base under most lipstick colours.

The NYX product is one of their soft matte lip creams in the colour Toulouse. I actually bought this as part of a set where there were 3 lip creams in total, although in all honesty I only bought the set for this one colour which wasn’t sold on it’s own! This is the first time I have ever use one of NYX’s lip creams and I am so in love with the consistency, pigment and staying power. Like the lip liner, you can get away with over-lining/colouring your lips with this product without it being super obvious.

I also have a lip product that I am dying to test out that I bought when I was in Krakow from Sephora which I will review in an upcoming blog post!

Share any of your lip product/faves/must haves below!

xx

 

Mini Make-Up Haul

makeup-haul

Cool make up that’s reasonably priced AND available in the UK?

Hello to KIKO make up.

I actually first discovered them like 3 years ago when travelling to Madrid and purchased the perfect peachy nude creamy lipstick, and after to a recent trip to their London store I have a few other products to add to my collection!

I have never done a make up haul on Balm & Blyss despite the number of beauty posts that I do! (Check them out under the Balm & Blyss Beauty category)

But my recent visit to KIKO and a quick lil visit to the Nyx counter at Selfridges and I feel that it is totally necessary to share what I bought with you!

makeup-haul-2

makeup-haul-1

Weirdly most of my products from KIKO don’t appear to be named/numbered on their colour, however the eyeshadow is in 203and is this amazingly deep maroon/purple colour.

The nail polishes are surprising one of my faves (a steal at only £1 each!) and have a real nice consistency and seem to wear pretty well.

The gel eye liner is a re-purchase, however I can vouch that is THE best gel eyeliner I have come across. Super pigmented and wears literally all day.

And the NYX liptstick is a matt grey colour in no.34 which I have been after for forever – would you believe how hard it is to source a grey lipstick?!

Let me know what your favourite beauty finds are this month – do you change your makeup to match the seasons?

xx

 

Why You Need A Wooden Hair Brush

Wood for Good

Who doesn’t want healthy hair? And I bet that most of us want longer hair too right?!

You have the perfect hair oil that I mentioned in my previous post, so why stop there on your journey to the perfect hair?

It’s time to put down that tangle teezer and check out why you need a wooden hair brush in your life.

Here’s why…

☽  So a wooden hairbrush helps to absorb your natural hair oils which means when you brush through your hair it helps to distribute these oils evenly that help to keep it conditioned

☽ Helps to reduce static and breakage

☽ Provides a scalp massage particularly along the acupressure points – promoting good circulation and healthy hair growth

☽ If looked after, a wooden hairbrush will literally last you years & years – a definite worthwhile investment!

Tek Hairbrush 1

[Tek Wooden Hairbrush]

Tek Hairbrush 2

[Tek Wooden Hairbrush – Handmade in Italy]

I bought my wooden hairbrush a couple of years ago and honestly love it. It doesn’t drag like plastic bristle brushes tend to, it somehow doesn’t seem to get that unclean/messy, and it genuinely feels almost therapeutic when using it!

The brand I purchased is Tek which is an Italian brand where they hand-make their brushes. Did I mention that they are also FSC certified which means your hairbrush uses responsibly sourced wood. They are kinda pricey if buying direct through their website, however definitely check out your local TK Maxx as I grabbed mine there for a fraction of the price!

Let me know if you guys prefer plastic/wooden/any other type of hair brushes! Also if you have heard of or had any experience of the hair ‘inversion’ method I would absolutely love to know (blog post coming soon!)

xx

The hair oil you need in your life

 

Hair Oil

This shit is real…milk_shake glistening argan oil is legit the real deal.

Let’s backtrack sayyy 5-6 years when I was at University and first discovered argan oil.

I fell in love.

Hair dried quicker – check.

Smoother hair – check.

Hair feeling generally healthier – check.

So yep – I have pretty much used argan oil on my hair ever since.

I haven’t been particularly brand loyal, I’ve gone from using high street brands to the holy grail Moroccan Oil.

But there’s a new player in town, and if you haven’t heard of milk_shake haircare products already then check them out!

Long story short, my hairdresser recommended milk_shake glistening argan oil and that it’s seriously the best hair oil she has used. (She also used it on my hair and it felt aaamazinggg).

So me being me I kept putting off buying it and wanted to wait until I had used up the argan oil I was currently using. Anyway – cue me researching it online for weeks, checking where had it for the best price etc. until I found it on Beauty Bay.

Basically, they had it at the best price then something INSANE happened. I checked beauty bay on Tuesday and…the hair oil had been reduced to £3. Let’s take that in for a moment – this hair oil retails for £20!!

I ordered 5 bottles (they’re 50ml each) and it’s like the best decision I’ve ever made.

Milkshake hair oil 1 Milkshake hair oil 2 Milkshake hair oil 3

And I’m not sponsored or being paid for this post – I seriously sent an email around friends telling them as I feel that I should share this amazing find!

Let me know if you order any – I’m contemplating ordering more (I seriously have like FOMO in a shopping sense!) or what your favourite hair oil is!

xx

Save your Skin. Save the Sea.

Save The Sea Campaign

FOREO is a brand that has been on my radar for years, and recently I was so sooo lucky to receive their LUNA mini Save the Sea – and my skin has been pretty peachy ever since.

If you didn’t know already, FOREO are a Swedish brand that create innovative products that are seriously at the forefront in the world of skincare & oral health. What makes them different – and has always attracted me to the brand and their products, is the fact that they don’t use the conventional bristle brushes (silicone = way more hygienic) and that it is eco friendly – there’s no need to keep replacing ‘brush heads.’

So what is the LUNA mini Save the Sea campaign? Basically the guys at FOREO created a product that help give back to the environment – net proceeds from each sale of the special edition LUNA mini are donated to two different ocean conservation charities.

So aside from the fact that the LUNA mini and the team at FOREO are total stars when it comes to creating a product that gives back to the planet, the LUNA mini itself deserves all recognition it receives and more for a product that truly makes a difference to your skin.

Basically – FOREO LUNA mini > all skincare expectations. There are so many benefits and positives about the LUNA mini, that in true TheGlowDown fashion, I thought I would create a lil list for you guys…

FOREO LUNA mini 2

FOREO LUNA mini 3

FOREO LUNA mini 4

FOREO LUNA mini 5

 ? It takes only 1 hour to charge, and can last for up to 300 uses!!

? It buzzes at 15 second intervals so you know when to change up which area of your face you are cleansing

? It is super easy to keep clean, and waterproof – I use mine in the shower for ease!

 ? It’s super compact and portable

 ? I am in love with the Save the Sea design – skincare that is functional, charitable anddd has a cute design – erm yes please!

 ? My skin felt soft and more plump after the first few uses. Seriously. No word of a lie, I had to get my sister in on this because it’s kinda crazy how plumped and supple my skin now feels!

 ? My skincare products and make-up go on a lot more smoothly

If there ever was a list of reasons why you should have the FOREO LUNA mini in your life, I’m pretty sure I have got it covered! The LUNA mini is as an absolute skincare staple, and not only that – but I love that FOREO are a brand that are also passionate about global matters – a brand and message that’s worth investing in.

TheGlowDown xx

 

Why I Have Down-Graded My Skincare

Skincare Update

– ‘Down-graded’ in the sense of trying to get back to basics and simplicity in skincare.

At 24 there is something I have realised – I no longer want to use harsh/unknown/animal-tested products in my life anymore. You would think this would have clicked a lot sooner having being vegetarian/vegan on/off for years, but somehow the whole skincare part slipped my mind. I guess in an ideal world, wouldn’t everyone love to use all natural skincare – so we truly know what we are using?

Okay so I’m not quite there yet – but lately I have definitely been making a more conscious decision to change to products that are at least cruelty free where I can, and not so full of ingredients that I’m unaware of. But it’s also kinda a brand vs quality thing too, I have worked for a skincare/cosmetic brand and throughout that time heavily used higher end products in my routine…butttttt I have since found some great products that are just as good if not better at doing the same job and have not regretted the switch!

Sooooo here are some of the products I have switched to recently

New Skincare Staples

Going in order from L-R…

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

Garnier Micellar Water

So I want to say first that I’m pretty sure Garnier does involve animal testing so I feel kinda guilty for using this product but I am looking out for alternatives! Aside from that it does do a pretty good job at cleansing and removing makeup. I have an oily skin type so I hate makeup removers that are oily/greasy on the skin. This literally feels so fresh on my skin and removes all my eye makeup.

Simply Pure Light Moisturiser Sensitive Skin (Superdrug)

Simply Pure Moisturiser

Kinda in love with Superdrug’s own brand products as they aren’t tested on animals/cruelty free! And I wanted a very light moisturiser that sinks in to the skin pronto and this lil one happened to also be on offer! It’s 75ml size too and usually the more high-end moisturisers that I have used before are 30-50ml so it’s definitely a mega bargain!!

Bare Minerals Firming Eye Treatment

Bare minerals eye cream

I have always been a bit of a stickler for eye cream, I have no real concern for the skin around my eyes (yet!) but just the fact that is so much more delicate then the skin on the rest of our face (50% thinner to be exact) makes me want to pay it some tlc. Bare Minerals also states that it does not test on animals – yey! It’s a really nice consistency – not too light or too heavy, and blends in really nicely. Its a 15ml tube and seriously last me f-o-r-everrrr!!

Deep Action Deep Cleansing Lotion (Superdrug)

Deep Action witch hazel

So I use this bad boy as a toner (so after cleansing and before moisturising) and it makes my skin feel uber clean. It has salicylic acid and witch hazel to help clean and tighten pores and eliminate excess shine – phew!! Again its not tested on animals/cruelty free, it’s inexpensive and honestly lasts me forever (I know I’m saying this about every product but I swear it’s true!!)

Okay so this next thing might have you a little bit like WTH but after reading Fashion Lush’s blog post on it I have been kinda hooked on this ever since…

Jade Face Roller

Jade Face Roller

Okay so basically you use this roller to help massage your mositurising products in to your skin – the smaller end for the eye area and around the nose, the larger end for the rest of the face and neck area. It’s freakishly amazing and literally feels as though it has been stored in a fridge – the jade feels super cooling on your skin which really seems to help perk my skin up in the morning. Totally swear by it! Fyi – I googled jade face rollers and bought this one from a website and it cost me about £3 total!!

…Annnddd finally the no.1 most useful, cruelty free skincare product that you NEED to have is…

Coconut Oil!!

I use it on my hair as a deep conditioning mask the night before washing, I use it to oil pull (post coming soon) to whiten my teeth, as a lip balm and on areas of dry skin! You can also use it as a cleanser/makeup remover if you maybe have drier skin or prefer an oily consistency to remove makeup!

So there it is! I did do a skincare routine post back when I was living in Australia which hasn’t changed too much apart from I have substituted or ‘downgraded’ some of the higher end products for the ones you see here. For me it wasn’t an issue with the price of skincare – as I do believe in investing in taking care of your skin, but the fact that there are a lot of similar products with very similar standards of quality and that aren’t tested on animals so it has just been a natural move which I am still continuing to do!

What skincare switches have you made? What are your favourite products? I would love to know!

Happy Hump Day!

Top 5 Love Your Hair Tips

Processed with Moldiv

Eek yes that is my hair in the pic above!! Anyway so most of us are never completely satisfied with what our parents/genes/god gave us and that is especially true when it comes to our hair! And I am definitely someone who is never completely satisfied with my own – it never grows long enough, it gets dry and/or oily, it’s not as thick as I want it. Everything bar the colour (loving how my hairdresser colours it!) is always kinda in between – I’m talking a barnett with a mind of it’s own…who else is with me here?! So I have decided to narrow down my top 5 most important and crucial haircare tips that you can follow too to help rule reign over your do..

Haircare Collage

1. Use sulfate free shampoos – all those nasties essentially damage your hair as they are only in there to create a lather. Also avoid silicones if possible in your shampoos too.

2. Wash your hair less – Kim K only does it once every 5 days and so should you.

3. Use a hair oil – my favourite is the original Moroccan Oil. It helps soothe and smoothe, nourish and protect, my hair always feels a million times better when I pop some on freshly washed just-towel-dried hair.

4. Use less heat – banish those styling tools! Okay that’s a bit drastic but you should definitely limit them. Try let your hair air-dry or if you need to blow dry it, skip the straighteners.

5. Use gentle hair accessories – lover of a pony-tail or hair bun? Harsh elastics/bobbles break off your hair so opt for more hair friendly alternatives. Think alligator clips and invisbobble style bobbles – seriously they are the best thing since sliced bread..they even keep hair in place when working out!!

Oh and did I mention I am a serious lover of the sleep bun a la Lauryn Evarts on The Skinny Confidential? Yep the sleep bun means serious business and a must for that perfect next day hair with zero effort!!

What are your top haircare tips? Please Share!

Also check out my post here on the best dry shampoo I’ve found on the high street that only costs £1!

GlowBites x My Favourite Blogs

TGD 17

It feels like forever since my last GlowBites post! Sometimes it feels as though every other post is a GlowBites one so I wanted to throw in a few other posts and then of course return to my weekly thaaaang (LOL) And seen as I am loving blogging/reading blogs at the moment (btw…how well are bloggers doing at the moment?!) I thought I would dedicate this weeks GlowBites to the blogs that I without fail check daily, and help to inspire me as a blogger – plus a lil rundown of what to expect from each one if you didn’t already know!!

TGD Fave Blogs

The Skinny Confidential (Of Course)

>>Lifestyle/fashion/beauty/home/DIY<<

Milk Bubble Tea

>>Cute lifestyle bits<<

Zoe London

>>Quirky/edgy lifestyle and makeup bits<<

Cupcakes and Cashmere

>>Amazing home style/DIY bits/Advice<<

BLAWNDE

>>Fashion/Food&Health/Spiritual<<

Western Wild

>>Lifestyle/Advice/Fashion<<

Fashion Lush

>>Fashion/DIY<<

Queen of Jetlags

>>Travel/Fashion/Blog Tips<<

The Sunday Chapter

>>Lifestyle/Recipes/Blog Tips<<


 I love finding new blogs! I have actually written all of these down because my list is getting longer and longer and harder to remember to make sure I check them all! I’m currently loving The Sunday Chapter – she’s an Australian Blogger and I love that her blog is really simple, easy to read but has so much interesting and useful content – a definite recommendation, check her out now!!

Hope everyone is having a lovely week so far – nearly the weekend woo! What are your favourite blogs?

TheGlowDown Daily Top 10

Daily Habits

Here is my second weekly installment of a how to/DIY/to-do list style blog post and what better way to start your week and your month with making some new and positive changes to you day-to-day schedule!! So I have created my ultimate beauty/mind/health daily to-do list which I intend on doing for at least the rest of this month to help maintain a positive and balanced me! Plus…read on to find out my top secret #1 skincare tip!

 TGD daily To Do

Keep tuned in the next couple of weeks as I totally need to do a couple of posts on oil pulling (which I love) and jade face rolling – bye bye puffiness!

Andddd…here is my #1 to skincare tip (it’s so simple it’s silly)

Pat in your facial skincare products! That’s right – eye creams, serums and moisturisers! Don’t rub them in and drag your skin about, pat them in! They absorb better this way and I always feel as though my skin looks really fresh after doing it! Use your ring finger for around your eye, and the length of your fingers for the rest of your face and pat gently all over (inc your neck) until it is practically absorbed and you’re ready to go!

This week I’m keeping it short n sweet with my top 10 list! What are your daily to-dos for a better you?

Plump Your Pout

Plump Your Pout

So I am not naturally blessed with the plumpest of pouts, in fact circa 2003 (secondary school/high school years) I developed a slight complex over it as one boy told me that I had a ‘small mouth!!’ (Mega LOL) Anyway so jokes aside I think most girls have  sought after ways to plump up our lips and make the most of them. I am guilty of neglecting my lips when it comes to makeup at times but I definitely believe it should be at the top of our priorities to keep them healthy and moisturised >> a moisturised pout = halfway there to lips a la Angelina Jolie!!

Whilst I was having lunch and catching up with a couple of girlfriends we got on to the subject of fuller lips as I had just received my CityLips lip plumping gloss. And this is when one of my friends (who happens to be a beautician fyi) mentioned that she had heard of a method that plumps your lips without using any kind of beauty product!! She told us how if you create a suction around the lips, whilst the lips themselves are being sucked in to what is almost like a ‘vacuum’ then it draws blood to the surface and makes your lips swell/grow. Now the kinda things she had used were the necks of water bottles and it had worked for her. There is actually a brand that creates lip plumpers that mimics this exact suction/vacuum effect that you can watch here and buy here.

Now before you all think WTH and is she crazy I googled this craze and look a little more in to it and actually found endless posts and tutorials on how to use this method at home with simply using products you would already have around the house. So I decided to test out a couple of the methods and decided of a firm winner…the bottle cap.

So bear with me here…

 Yes it is just a regular bottle cap from any kind of drinking bottle – they are all pretty a standard size/depth. The technique with the bought version is exactly the same as with your DIY home alternative. Now I apologize as I won’t be creating or uploading a video on how to do this anytime soon (you look kinda crazy doing it!) But I will describe how it’s done.

Firstly, it is your choice whether you want to start with product free lips or to coat them first with a little lipbalm – either works just fine. Secondly you wana take your bottle cap (make sure it is CLEAN) and hold it over your lips >> smaller pouts will find if they pout they can pretty much cover most of their lips >> plumper pouts you may find you want to do this step in 2 parts. Once your pout is covered you want to suck until the bottle cap is suctioned in place and it holds in place on its own – no hands. You will then start to feel a strange pulling sensation as your lips start to plump – you then have to continue the sucking motion so the bottle cap stays in place – do this for about 15 secs then release. Repeat this process up to 6 times.

Lips Before

Before..

Lips After

…After!! So I changed in to a different top here just to clarify! And you can definitely notice that my top lip looks fuller, especially at the outer corners! They look lightly more pink/red as the blood has been drawn to the surface. This was with 4 lots of about 15secs – so you can definitely plump them more!

TIP: You can help plump and accentuate the outer corners of your lips or the top of your lip by moving and placing the bottle cap – you can allow the bottle cap to simply cover just the top lip, or move the cap to the left/right. This works best too if you have already naturally fuller lips.

And don’t worry..there will be some redness/marks from the bottle cap around your mouth area but these die down pretty quickly. Just don’t over-do it with the suction – I have read some people have caused themselves to bruise from being a little over enthusiastic!! Your plump pout won’t last forever unfortunately, fullness can last for 2-6 hours depending on your natural lips and how many times you repeat the steps. Although I have to say I feel as though gradually my lips seem to have become fuller – maybe it’s psychological?!

I hope you enjoy my weird trick to help plump your pout…I would love to hear of any strange and wonderful beauty tips/tricks you guys have to share! Also why not pair your new plump bout with some Kylie Jenner style lip colour and see how I re-create her look here!

How To: Look after you

How To: Look After You

So I want to start another kinda weekly series (checkout some of my regular weekly GlowBites here and here) and I’m really drawn to something that involves lists/how to’s/DIY/top tips as I find I always click on links that share something interesting to do/make. Now I’m not an all-wise guru who knows everything about everything there is to know but I thought it would be fun to share some ways in which I create! And the first idea that popped in to my mind (after a very spiritual/mindful last post) was a sort of how to/to-do list of ways in which we should take time to nourish ourselves – mentally and physically >> in other words how to take care of you…and don’t worry there is nothing expensive or wacky on the list, just a simple (if not ‘obvious) run-down of what works for me…

Mind

Everyone is so different – no two minds are alike. I think it is important to feed our brains in many different ways – enough water, nourishment from foods, sleep, mental stimulation. I think happiness and positivity are key to a healthy mind – I understand this may not be so easy to people suffering from mental health conditions, but I believe a positive mental attitude will always benefit you in life. Worrying always complicates our outlook and can cloud rational judgement (totally guilty here) sometimes it’s best to step back and stop thinking so much and take time to clear the mind – focus on what positive outcomes you may face – most times our worries will not change or affect the course of any actions.

Actually You Can

Sight

This one is kinda personal one for me but I do think it tends to get overlooked. Eye health is so important so make sure you have regular check-ups at the opticians.

Hair

So there are already a million and one tips and tricks that we are always being told to follow to make our hair grow longer, thicker or to get shinier, more voluminous hair. For me having oily hair means I like to keep it really simple but I think it’s something anyone can follow. Shampoo and condition with products that don’t contain sulfates or silicones (and cruelty free if poss!) If you want to go chemical free try out shampoo bars – these ones are great! Use as little heat on the hair and go longer between washes. Coconut oil makes a great over night mask too!

Skin

I think it’s really important to take care of our skin, we seem to forget that it is our biggest organ and therefore the most obvious part of us that radiates how we nourish and take care of ourselves. Moisturize everyday and I promise you will see a difference – skin looks more firm and toned, colour tone improves and so much more!

Body

So by this I am talking about fitness. I really believe that if you truly want to give yourself the best possible chances in life then you really need to take care of you body. Diet isn’t enough – period. There are far too many benefits of exercise to mention but I love the mental benefits you get from it – how good it makes you feel about yourself, how you are mentally and physically working towards something. I don’t care who you are, you are lying if you don’t feel more positive after a workout!

Health

AKA nutrition and what you put in that pie-holeeeeeeeee. I’m vegetarian but any diet has the same principles and food groups – not all protein is meat based. If we look to nature, all animals are grazers and eat throughout the day – what I’m saying is it makes sense to eat small meals more frequently than say 3 large meals. It gives the body more time to easily digest and you don’t feel so hungry for longer amounts of lime.

Relationships

Relationships are the sum of our mental and physical being. We need to be treated no less than we deserve. Stand up for what you believe in, but also remember it is always about give and take and balance. You will never be truly happy with others unless you are happy within yourself – don’t place the search for happiness in others. Be true to who you are, be kind and honest. << Big believer in karma!

Happiness

I would love to hear your input on some of these ideas and what you guys do to look after your well-being!

The perf Kylie Jenner-esque lip duo

Mac Duo

Pretty much every girl out there who loves her makeup has lusted after Kylie Jenner’s impeccable lip game – despite the whole has she/hasn’t she lip job debate! It’s actually something I never thought I would be in to, don’t get me wrong I love a nude lip but I have always played safe with a more pinky-nude rather than a brown-nude. Fast forward to Kylie Jenner and she is totally bringing back the classic 90s brown toned lip…only way better. Buh-bye dull browns/way off lip liner and hello to a sexy natural brown that only KJ could make so on trend.

I wasn’t really on the hunt for a KJ lip colour but then I am always a sucker for lip products –  and if you haven’t sort of noticed already (see my lipcare faves here) it’s the one thing I can safely say I have waaaaay too much of…if that can even be possible! I kinda found this lip combo by accident and I actually love it.

So here are the stars of the post…MAC Matte Lipstick in Honey Love and MAC Lip Pencil in Spice (a fave with Michelle Keegan don’t you know!)

Honey love and spice

Lips 1

Lips 2

The top of these two pout photos is just the lipliner in spice all over which you definitely could wear on it’s own and is still Kylie-esque. The bottom photo is with the honey love lipstick on top and I love this look the best. When I first tried it out I found it hard to get used to as I have never worn a lip like this but I love it now – channeling my inner Kylie Jenner!!

Top Lip Tips:

❀ This look is all about being matte – but to avoid the colour catching on dry lips, moisturise them before starting your makeup and then clean with a makeup wipe to remove any surface moisture

❀ Try over-lining your lips – this wouldn’t be a Kylie Jenner look without a lil overdrawing. No need to go extreme, just start of bit by bit and gradually build on your confidence and your lip shape

❀ I can be a bit lazy when it comes to applying lipstick, but for a real perfected look and a true Kylie pout, use a lip brush to apply your lipstick over the liner – esp. if you have overdrawn as otherwise it can get a bit messy!

I hope you enjoy my holy grail lip duo in the style of Kylie Jenner – I would love to know your guys recommendations on products you use in creating her look!

Fitness Probs ♀

Fitness Probs

Okay this is definitely one of those first world problem kinda posts ( and more for the girls ) but it’s just a bit of fun…Me and my sister do the same workout programme at the moment and we both started moaning about girl type things/problems so I thought why not create a list of the ‘dilemmas’ that us girls face when working out!

♤ Whether or not to wash our hair pre/post workout – it will only be getting sweaty again at some point in the near future!

♤ How much makeup?! For those of us who aren’t quite ready to go totally bare-faced and au-naturel, it’s a daily dilemma of whether that MAC girl about town lipstick is a bit OTT…

♤ Noise and some personal space – if like me and my sister you focus on at home workouts and still live at home, then finding a reasonably quiet space to workout can be a nightmare – famous last words…’please don’t disturb me I’m gona be working out’ and your mum strolls in mid plank!!

♤ Prioritising friends/family/bf and whatever else with your workout schedule – you want to eat-out but you want to look and feel good doing it >> which equals a workout somewhere in there!

♤ Or being a complete social butterfly and bumping in to everyone you know at the gym and spending half your workout on the bikes talking even though you finished on the bikes half an hour ago…

♤  Total Comfort vs Looking Good – there’s always that one gym bunny who looks perfectly flawless and stylish in her gym gear whilst we sweat it out in our bf’s old t-shirt

♤ Taking those all important progress selfies and then chickening out from ever posting them!

♤ Knowing you deserve that rest day but constantly guilt tripping yourself and feeling totally guilty for not getting a workout in!

♤ The vicious cycle of having a bad body day >> not wanting to head out to the gym >> realising going to the gym is going to help you feel better about your body >> but you got upset and bothered so you still don’t want to go as you might not give it your all/you’re not in the mood anymore.

♤ Treating the gym as a mean girls-esque high school social map..and finding the perfect balance between the cardio bunnies and the weight-lifting sistaaaas.

Do any of you have any l-o-l gym/workout moments? I think yoga inflicted workout problems deserve a category all of their own!!

Happy February!

Ps – sorry for the lack of posting or warning of no posting – I went on a last min ski vacay and had like zero wifi connection for a week!! > Pics to come! ❆

NB. Photo sourced from WeHeartIt and edited by me.

Dry Shampoo Saviour

Dry Shampoo 1

I just have to say it right away and put it out there before I write anything else…the dry shampoo I’m going to rave to you guys about is 99p..!! Yep. Under £1. I know. And it’s the best.

So here’s a lil back story for you all on my journey of a love/hate relationship with dry shampoo. Being naturally brunette was a bit of a bummer when dry shampoo first hit the shelves. The range and variety was initially minimal and therefore wasn’t so appealing to darker haired guys n gals everywhere. The first formulations left hair kinda chalky and straw-like that could be spotted a mile off from the grey-ish dull texture that it gave to darker hair. Blondes had it all – my sister was an absolute lover (and still is) of dry shampoo and even baby talc to help mask those greasy roots. For blondes it was a no-brainer, they could freshen up their hair anddd as an added bonus even help lighten any root re-growth!!

And another thing. I had this irrational cringe-factor at the feel of it in my hair. Even now the thought of it makes me shudder a little!! I hated how dry shampoo felt when attempting to massage it in with my fingertips – call me crazyyyy I don’t know what it was but it steered me away from dry shampoo for a long lime – like we are talking years here!

Obviously dry shampoo formulations have waaaayyy surpassed the early days and now you have different scents and different tinted versions for every hairtype imaginable – rejoice dark haired girls!! And so it was time for me to venture back out there in to the world of second and third day hair lovers. Now this is the part where I tried and tested so many different versions of dry shampoo. From mousse to powders to spray. And I have found a firm fav which has become a household staple with all of my family – including my brother (he will kill me for telling everyone!) and it’s from…Wilkinsons. You heard it right and you heard it here first!! It was a total accident I wasn’t even really looking for it the day I spotted it and for 99p I thought it was definitely worth a try. I got the version for brunettes which is slightly tinted, but there’s a million other types for diff hair. Lemme give you a run down of the pros to this holy grail hair saviour:

Brunette dry shampoo

♡ it smells divine

♡ the texture is fine so you can barely feel it in your hair

♡ the tint is natural and easily blended (and no nasty colour transfer!)

♡ it actually lasts ages!

♡ ..oh and did I mention it only costs 99p?!

Seriously, anyone who struggles with not washing their hair regularly or for those who want a bit of a volume boost or added texture – this is it. I have honestly tried much higher range versions which are still okay but don’t out-perform this guy.

Next time you’re anywhere near a Wilkinsons (deffo just a UK thing I’m afraid!) go grab yourself a bottle..or two..or three – the secret is out now so better stock up!!

ps. I totally feel like this is one of those #firstworldproblems kinda things..I’m definitely gonna have to do a good deed for the day to help restore some balance in life!  ☮

Happy Holidays x What I got..!

Everything starts with a dream

Happy Holidays guys! So Christmas Day/Boxing Day and other celebrations are over and done with for another year now…butttttt its is New Years Eve yeey – which fyi is my favourite time out of the Winter hols! I am always so excited to make plans and how everyone is in good spirits for the New Year! And I totally love the film New Years Eve – one of those cheesy-but-you-still-love-it kinda films that’s a must this time of year!

So anyway I hope everyone has had an amazing time with friends and family, and as tradition goes for many bloggers/YouTubers – it’s time to share with everyone what they got as gifts over Christmas time! I absolutely love watching videos like this, I find them so interesting and sometimes find inspiration for gifts myself! So I have decided to do a quick post on a few of my fave bits I got this year – hope you enjoy!

 Xmas presents!

Nail Polishes – Michael Kors

Laguna Bronzer – Nars

Ambre Vanille Body Souffle – Laura Mercier

Hamsa Necklce – Thomas Sabo

Russian Hand Cream – Primark ( I think!! )

Labrador Mug – Emma Bridgewater

So I am super happy/grateful/lucky as I feel I am every year!! I don’t really get 1 main present, more just lots of nice smaller bits which I love and kinda prefer! There were mainly a mix of skincare – beauty – home bits which is perfect for me – seriously have enough body butters and cream to last the year ahead! Fyi the one in this picture has to be my favourite body cream ever, it smells divine and the scent really lingers – even when I put my dressing gown on every morning I can smell it from the days before! And I would love to hear what you guys got this year too!

I hope everyone wherever in the world you are, has an amazing time tonight, may your New Year bring joy and happiness! And just one last little thought for the year..

Believe that anything is Possible

Find the best in others

Show others the best in you.

Leeds Shopping Bits!

So a Sunday spent shopping in Leeds was quite productive – I feel like I can always buy something on whatever budget I have as there is so much choice. I feel as though I would go as far to say that it is my faveeee city for shopping at the moment! It literally has every major branded shop you can think of and more, with the pretty big market and cute arcades filled with cute/original/totally cool independent stores from sweet shops to vintage clothing – there are even plans to build even more shop with a shopping mall planned for 2016!! The street style is another thing that I love Leeds for, I feel as though there’s a real mix of individual styles – it’s like people aren’t afraid to wear what they want!! I don’t feel as though I bought too much which is always a good thing for the purse! But I thought I would share a few bits with you guys so you can get an idea of what’s in the shops!

Primark – nothing overly exciting, just the usual bits – cute slippers, a couple of casual slogan tees, a candle, a running jacket that I actually love ( see it on here! ) and a couple of little decorations for the home! Oh and not forgetting some festive undies!!

Disney Thumper Slippers

Victoria’s Secret – so I already had one VS bra which I absolutely love which I wrote a whole blog post on before here. I then decided I had to have another one ( although a slightly different version ) andddd when I got to the till point they told me all VS perfume body mists were only £10 with a purchase so I grabbed the Bombshell one and I absolutely love it! People are always asking me what I am wearing – it has such a strong fragrance for a body mist!

Victoria's Secret Bombshell Body Mist

TK Maxx – I am loving TK Maxx so much at the moment and the one in Leeds is pretty huge!! I usually like to search home, shoes and beauty products – and I wasn’t disappointed with the shoes! I am loving slip on trainer-type shoes and when I spotted a Carvela leopard print pair I was seriously in love. They were a steal at £30 down from £100 and I have practically lived in them ever since!

Carvela Leopard Pumps

There are plenty of amazing places to have food and drinks in Leeds too and at the moment I am totally loving Leeds Trinity and Trinity Kitchen for food – you seriously don’t have to go any further! I recommend The Alchemist for post shopping cocktails and concoctions,  Giraffe for some good veggie options, and BangWok for quick, tasty and affordable Thai street style food!

If you have never visited Leeds before it’s an absolute must!! I think it is so up-and-coming and diverse – from Harvey Nichols to pop-up stores there is seriously something for everyone and it’s always such a pleasure walking about – I feel like there’s always something to look at and to do! ( Plus Neville LongBottom actor Matthew Lewis is from Leeds so it’s always worth a visit just in case you spot him! ) And it kinda reminds me a little of Melbourne which is always a plus as it is literally my favourite city in the world!!

Happy Shopping!

GlowBites

Another week another GlowBites – it’s crazy how fast time has gone since getting back home from Melbourne which fyi is fast approaching a year since I left on my journey there but let’s not talk about that!! So I have a little time off work for no real reason which is always nice, I feel as though I have a lot on this week (sort of) and plenty of things to look forward to – I always love having things to plan and look forward to. This past week has been pretty chilled for me, I spent my days off relaxing and attempting to write a few blog posts to help keep on top of it all – I definitely don’t have an excuse this week!! So I will quit rambling and roll with the rest of the post – enjoy!

Emma Bridgewater

Ahhhh this is my Emma Bridgewater mug which I lovelovelove (I’m having a bit of a thing for EB at the moment) and my new little Yankee candle in fireside treats – what a cute name?! I love to have a candle burning in my room, especially when the weather outside is miserable and it’s all cosy inside!

Sweet Potato Meal

So yeah I’m quite the chef at the moment! Last week I decided to make this for tea – it’s a mix of sweet potato, spinach, chick peas, chopped tomatoes and curry powder. It was seriously soooo good and really filling and I managed to get three lots of meals out of it which is definitely a bonus!

MAC Lips

Eeek a little Mac treat for myself! Btw – super impressed with Mac online, they were really prompt with letting me know when a product was back in stock and it was delivered supersuper quick even though I chose the standard delivery option so kudos for Mac! I don’t want to go in to too much detail about these bad boys as I am going to do a seperate post on this new lip combo which I may have kinda stole from Lydia Millen (check out here blog here!) Okay here’s a lil pretty big clue…it is a very Kylie Jenner-esque lip colour!

Omlette

Okay I look like I have a bit of an obsession with food pics in my weekly GlowBites but who doesn’t love to take a piccie of their food before they eat it?! My sister very kindly made me an omlette for lunch the other day as I spied hers and it looked so good and mine never look as nice! And okay she’s not that cute (haha) I created the ketchup heart on my plate to make it look more photogenic of course!

Kylie Jenner

And continuing with the Kylie Jenner theme, I’m obsessed with her mermaid/aqua/blue ombre hair. I actually have a hair appointment this Friday and I am so tempted and would absolutely love to try this but I’m not really brave enough to try it (sob!!) But seriously – having a bit of a thing for Kylie’s style at the moment.

So that’s it for another week of GlowBites! How is it Wednesday already?! I would also like to mention that it’s my mum’s 50th birthday today so would like to wish her a very special Happy Birthday!! ♡♡

Lipcare Must -Haves

Lipcare Favourites

I kinda have an obsessive desire to buy/hoard/collect any sort of lipcare product from lipsalve to lipstick to lipgloss. However I have always suffered from dry chapped lips no matter what time of year so I’m always on the hunt for a miracle product. Over the years I have tried heaps ( – a bit of aussie lingo for you! ) and some were definitely worth it more than others. So to try save you guys a little bit of time & money (they are all super affordable yey!) – who are in a similar situation to me, or just to see what lipcare products I would recommend – I have chosen my favourite 5 from over the past year!

The Multi-Tasker

Lucas PawPaw Ointment

 So this lil beauty comes all the way from Aus! I saw it in Woolworths and had read about in magazines and had to snatch one up – one of the best decisions I made ever! I won’t go in to too much detail about this bad boy as I posted here about it a while ago more in depth. Basically it’s a kinda holy grail / go-to product that has like a million and one uses – but more to the point it is amazing for taking care of your lips! It really soothes chapped and sore lips – perfect!

Pro – a teeny tiny bit of this product goes a long way. Once applied this product protects and moisturizes for a long time.

Con – the smell is a little unusual and the texture is rather thick so doesn’t sink in that quickly – but definitely something you get used to with the product!

The Practical/Cute One

EOS Lipbalm

I have actually always been a little dubious of buying one of these suckers and I am glad I have! (Also couldn’t decide between it being more practical or cute so I went with both!) It is literally so easy to throw in a clutch/purse/handbag and takes like 2 seconds to apply! Plus it comes in loads of different flavours and different coloured packaging!

Pro – super super easy to apply, the round shape of the balm means that you simply just have to pucker up and it is the perfect shape to quickly smooth across for an even coat of balm.

Con – as cute as it is, it isn’t the most effective at moisturising long term – but it was definitely worth being in my faves for it being mega practical and giving my lips some instant moisture relief!

The Plumping One

Malin and Goetz

So this one actually came free as part of a set with Elle magazine and I had never heard of the brand previously. A little research tells that two guys (Malin+Goetz duhh) came together in NY to create this brand that is formed from natural ingredients, is perf for  sensitive skin and for both men and women. It is a gel like texture and is not at all greasy or too shiny – which sometimes I prefer instead of a high gloss effect.

Pro – after continual use it seemed to have a plumping effect on my lips! Not too sure if it is down to the fatty acid absorption technology, but anything that fakes a hollywood-esque plumped up pout minor the fillers is good for me!

Con – now I kinda feel mean and picky for pulling this out as a con as I actually really struggled to find one for this product but here goes…it is a little hard to control how much product is coming out of the tube and the full size version has a rounded applicator (which you use to squeeze out the product and directly apply to the lip) which I am not a huge fan of.

The Fragranced One

Burts Bee's

Okay there are probably a million things I could have named this one, and for such a small and simple lipcare product it packs so much! This is the pink grapefruit scented lipbalm that is great for hydrating and refreshing – hence it’s punchy scent! It really does moisturise my lips and the scent is tdf – even my bf notices it! It is easy to use, I do use this one quite a bit on nights out as it fits quite well in a clutch.

Pro – it has to be the scent which is created from the use of pink grapefruit seed oil which not only gives it the gorgeous scent but also cleanses, clears and tones the lips – which for dry lips is a winner!

Con – it’s kinda a personal bug bear, but I find the packaging and the actual product can get a little grubby after a while – and I don’t ever use this product over lip colour. That being said it has never compromised its effectiveness so still a total must for me!

 The Original

Carmex

Carmex is kinda the original lipcare product – it has been around for 75 years! It is the #1 recommended lipbalm by pharmacists and here is why..it moisturises, heals, soothes and protects. It is great for sore chapped  lips and also to help soothe cold sore symptoms. It comes in like a million different varieties and you can get hold of it just about anywhere.

Pro – I really don’t think you can beat a good little pot of lipbalm – there’s just something about it! Plus I love the scent (minty) and the tingly sensation you get when you first apply it to your lips (menthol)

Con – I find there isn’t an awful lot of product and so goes down very quickly which is a bit of a shame as it is quite addictive to use, but on the plus side it is fairly inexpensive and does work!

I hope this was of some use to fellow lip product junkies out there, especially with the weather getting colder now! And this has actually been one of my favourite posts to write, and something that I haven’t really done before in this style so will definitely have to try doing more of them! I also have a new lip product that I am currently trialing and testing that was recommended by Lauryn Evarts on The Skinny Confidential that is a lip plumping gloss and so far I think I am on to a winner here so watch out for a future post on it!

Hope everyone is having a lovely start to November!

The Price of Knock-Off Beauty

So I felt slightly annoyed this morning as I went to open my new facial wash…and wanted to vent my frustration at my own naivety for buying a skincare product through eBay and it turning out to  not be the real deal!

This has never actually happened to me before, I rarely buy beauty products from eBay but I have actually sold genuine unwanted skincare on there before – so it is sooo annoying when a small minority are being sneaky and trying to sell fake products!

Elemis packaging 1

The bottle on the left is my empty Elemis that I bought from a genuine Elemis retailer.

Elemis packaging 2

So what is up? Well the product on the left is 100% Elemis, it was purchased from an Elemis counter. There are differences in the labeling on the packaging, the screw lid/pumps are different and the product is a completely different smell and texture. — The pump had actually already snapped off on the facial wash I bough from eBay as I received it in a thinly padded envelope and not its original box, and when I attempted to swap the pump from my genuine one it would’t fit.

So I guess it is my own fault for looking for a cheaper priced product from a site that doesn’t guarantee that what its users sell is genuine – if I had inspected it as soon as I purchased it and realised this then I would have asked for my money back! What has really dawned on me from this situation is that what is it that is actually in the bottle? A cheaper facial wash, or worse some unsafe concoction of god-only-knows-what?! So I have decided to cut my losses and get rid just to be on the safe side, and vow to only buy from genuine retailers from now on!!

On a brighter note, I have bought a new facial wash to try ( I can’t seem to find anywhere that sells Elemis in Australia?! ) that is a high street brand – I am planning on traveling soon so wanted something that is easy to pack and inexpensive, so fingers crossed!

Happy Wednesday xo

Tuesday Wanderings….☯ ✌❁

So last night and today I have been in a day dream kinda mood and fantasising of summer weather and what I would be doing if I was in the sun ( boooo winter weather in Melbourne! ) The weather is typical British Autumn type weather here, I’m actually not minding it as it is definitely not the worst place to experience so-so weather and kinda brings a sense of home comfort, although I swear I was born to live in a hot, sunny climate as I’m forever in want of a perfect tan!
I guess this is a bit of a random post/moodboard with a hippy/boho vibe for summer! I have recently got the ‘We Heart It’ app, I used to go on the website years ago and recently rediscovered it! It’s like a mix of Pinterest and Instagram – not sure I will be able to keep up with all three but I’m definitely enjoying all the summery inspired pics I have sound so far which I guess got me making my own ‘canvas!’ ( Find me here! )

image(11) image(13)

– I realise some of the images come up twice, they are from my same canvas I just couldn’t screenshot the whole thing in one go!

elegance

I love looking at other peoples mood boards to get motivated and steal a little inspiration, I swear it gives me such a can do attitude for the day and I get feeling creative! FYI I have edited these piccies after taking them from my We Heart It Canvas – Looks like I’m loving sunglasses and flowers, and how cute is that penny board?! ( Wishing I looked as chic on one! ) And here’s a little quote I found that I find really true – at first I think it can be taken the wrong way, assuming elegance can only come from something that has beauty on the inside and out ( and whose definition of physical beauty is the same?! ) but after reading it over, I think that anyone can create a certain appearance, but to have elegance is something that comes from within and only with true meaning, which is ultimately what gives something that external beauty! Hope everyone is having a lovely Tuesday xo

Australian Beauty Faves

Although I brought a lot of beauty and skincare products here to Australia from home, there are some brands and products I have discovered over here that I have grown to love and they are products that are local to Aus – cue having to stock up and buy supplies to take back to England! ( Actually I’m sure some of these products are available in the UK although I’ve never really noticed them before but of courseeee there’s always online shopping! )

Lucas Paw Paw Ointment
Lucas Paw Paw Ointment – this has become a pretty famous Aussie icon within the beauty industry but it has so many more uses than just your cosmetic needs. This ointment is created using fresh, hand picked papaya that is grown in Brisbane and is then fermented. And there you have it, the only other ingredients then added are wax and pharmaceutical grade petroleum jelly ( I guess for the smooth and easy to apply texture ) and a little Gum Balsam Peru ( a resin tapped from trees that is then formulated in to an essential oil and has been used for many years) It is literally one of the first purchases I made when I moved to Melbourne, I had heard of it the UK and had never found it. I bought it mainly to use as a lip balm ( I am a sucker for lip products ) as I always suffer from dry lips. It definitely has improved the texture and softness of my lips, a tiny amount goes a long way – it has a slightly greasy texture but is not heavy and soon sinks in. I have also used it on other areas of dry skin, insect bites and bruises. I find it a very similar product to Elizabet Arden 8 hour Cream which I used to use back at home. I would actually go to say I prefer Lucas Paw Paw Ointment as I find the texture a little smoother and it doesn’t have that strange smell to it!! Plus it’s a steal at around $5 for the 25g tube – I will definitely be stocking up!

Sukin Haircare
Sukin Moisture Restoring Shampoo & Conditioner – Where do I start with this brand?! Sukin is an Australian personal care brand ( they offer skincare, bodycare and sun products ) that are environmentally conscious in every way. Their products are free from harsh chemicals ( such as sulfates ) they are free from parabens, synthetic fragrances, and animal derivatives – making them vegan friendly! I have become more conscious of using products that are free from sulfates and that are cruelty free since moving here which is what attracted me the brand. So what ingredients do Sukin actually use? Well they focus on active botanicals and essential oils that help naturally restore vitality. Their products are really affordable, their packaging is recycled and biodegradable, they aim to create a sustainable business and future, and they are also involved in giving back to their communities in Eco initiatives. So if that isn’t enough to persuade you on their products let me tell you why I love them – I have pretty much not used any other shampoo&conditioner sine I have been here in Melbourne. The product lasts for ages, it just doesn’t seem to run out as quickly as other shampoos and that is with me washing my hair twice in one go! I have found my hair to look more healthy and shiny, I also think it has contributed towards my hair growth as there are no nasty chemicals stripping my hair. The only difference compared to most other shampoos is that it doesn’t lather up as much but don’t be fooled, it definitely cleans the hair efficiently and you get used to less lather – who needed all those extra bubbles anyway?!

Model&Co Everyday Tan
Model&Co. Gradual Tan Everyday Moisturiser – This brand was created by a former model agent and has the likes of the gorgeous Rosie Huntington-Whitely as the face of the brand. I Know that anyone in the UK will be thinking, ‘why is she using gradual tan in Australia?!’ But is winter time here now and I no longer have my tan from the summer! ( sob! ) So to try and re-gain a little colour I decided to go on the search for a gradual tan – something that is fairly subtle, easy to use and won’t turn my bed sheets tan coloured! I found Model&Co in a nearby drugstore and had never tried them before – some of their cosmetic products are sold at home but are not so widely available where I live. I guess what drew me in was the simple packaging and that it was suitable for all skin types. What I love about it is that after one application ( overnight ) it leaves a lovely subtle glow that is non streaky and non-orange!! A single application leaves me feeling sun kissed, a couple of applications however gives you a slightly more tanned look, but still achieves a natural look. It wears off  over the course of a week and doesn’t leave any nasty patchy areas. The scent of the product when applying is nice, I have found the next day that it leaves a slight fake tan scent however after showering this pretty much disappears. I find it moisturises perfectly too – two birds one stone!

There are a couple of other products I have discovered that are part of Australian brands that I need to try and have been doing a little research in to them – I’ve noticed they’re often featured on ‘best sellers’ or ‘top 5’ lists for Australian beauty products online, so of course that has me sold!

Jurlique – Jurliue boasts organic ingredients combined with science to create pure and powerful skincare, sourced from their farm in South Australia. I am actually lusting after their citrus purifying mist for oily/combination skin types, as my toning mist is running low! I always hear good reviews on their toning mists from beauty bloggers and youtubers and once I looked in to their brand I quickly decided I need to try their products!

Kora Organics – I have only discovered this brand recently – and it is none other than the creative genius of the beautiful Miranda Kerr! Miranda states that her skincare line is a reflection of her passion for living a healthy and organic lifestyle – and it is her secret to her own flawless skin! There are skincare and body products on offer, the one product I continuously find in beauty must have articles is the Luxurious Rosehip Body Oil, that claims to prevent skin tissue damage, hydrates and replenishes moisture, and improves skin tone and texture to leave the skin healthy, soft and glowing – and who doesn’t want that perfect, healthy skin complexion?!

What I have noticed is that products tend to be made locally and that brands are very proud of this, you can often find somewhere on the packaging ‘Made in Australia’ or stating proudly that they are an Australian brand. Obviously for a country so large and diverse, there is plenty of knowledge and resources to manufacture products locally which I really appreciate as it is more Eco friendly and you get more of a sense of who the brand is and it’s products. Often I think some brands are portrayed as a certain nationality but are then created in different environments – and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but I like the fact that Australians appear to be aware and conscious of an increasing demand to know more about the processes and developments of what we are buying and putting on our skin.

Oooh that was a pretty lengthy post but I realized I hadn’t posted on here for a few days but I have kinda been crazyy busy! The weeks go by so quickly here! Anyway I thought I would leave you with a little quote I found that I think is really true and made me think about appreciating what we actually do have…

xo

Everyday Skincare Essentials

My Skincare Routine

I Loveeeee beauty and skincare products and seen as I haven’t posted much about them here I thought the best place to start would be my daily skincare routine! I love nosying and finding out what others use daily to clean and prep their skin and I’m always open to trying new products – in fact I’m a bit of a junkie with these things! And I know sometimes the task of cleansing, toning, moisturizing, etc. can become a bit of a hassle, but I love that clean skin feel and the fact that I am protecting my skin – so when I’m 70 I will have the skin of a twenty-something-year-old!

My routine day to night doesn’t really change except for my face cream and this is what I have found works for my oily skin type. Some of you skincare fans may notice there is no serum in my routine ( shock horror!! ) buttt I have recently run out of serum and haven’t decided what serum to go for next as I feel as though they haven’t previously made much of an impact in my routine – so feel free to recommend any!!

Skincare 1

Sooooo from left to right there is an Avon Clearskin Pore Penetrating Black Mineral Mask, Elemis Soothing Chamomile Cleanser, Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial Wash, Elemis Balancing Lavender Toner and Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water.

– The Avon mud mask is amazing and I try to use this product once a week to help clear up excess oiliness and to help minimize the look of my open pores. It goes on a dark charcoal grey kinda colour and then takes 10-15minutes to dry to a light grey colour. Where there are visible pores the mask stays a slightly darker colour giving it this speckled look which is kinda gross but I like the thought that the oil is being drawn out and that the mask is really working! After rinsing my skin always feels amazingly smooth and soft, and I swear my pores instantly appear reduced!

– The Elemis cleanser is my faveee cleanser ever as it is really light in texture and not too greasy – I hate the feeling of a greasy product on my already oily skin! It has a light chamomile fragrance and works easily in to the skin. I use this on a night to remove my face make-up ( excluding the eye area ) by massaging it directly on to my face, working in, and then removing with a dampened cotton wool pad.

– Elemis Try-Enzyme Facial Wash where have you been all my life?! It’s a face wash but so much more, it is anti-aging and helps resurface and refine the texture and appearance of skin. It is mega lightweight and used on wet skin, it forms a gentle creamy lather that once you rinse of leaves your skin feeling fresh and soft. I use this first thing on a morning in the shower, and on a night time after using my cleanser to make sure I have removed all traces of make-up and daily grime.

– Elemis Balancing lavender Toner is perfect for combination/oily skins. The fragrance isn’t over-powering and definitely leaves my skin feeling refreshed. I spritz on to cotton wool and sweep over my face once I have dried my skin from using my Elemis facewash.

– The Garnier micellar water is something I have discovered in Melbourne, at home I used the Bioderma Micellar water and loved it as an eye make-up remover. This product is very similar and does the same job! It is literally water-like in texture, so it’s non greasy and fragrance free which I love because I think it’s is so important to be super careful around the eye area! It removes eye make-up with ease and doesn’t leave any kinda residue.

Face Creams

Okay so these are my face and eye creams of choice! Clinique All About Eyes ( the teeny tiny jar ) Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, and Elemis Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream.

– Clinique All About Eyes is a staple as it is a simple but effective, lightweight gel-cream formula that applies with ease and hydrates around my eye area. I always apply this after toning and before moisturizing and allow it to sink in for a few minutes first. I apply it up towards the temples too to help keep any pesky wrinkles at bay!

– Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream and the Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream are both an absolute staple. They are anti-aging moisturizers but I don’t find either of them too heavy. They sink in to the skin almost straight away and have this amazing texture that just kinda glides on! The Pro Marine Cream is such a cult product too and a definite must try – it gets its name from research that took place on sea algae and the preservative like properties it had ( ooooo! )  Also a little tip/advice that a customer once told me when I worked in skincare is to always apply your face cream down your neck to your decolletage – sounds simple right?! But I guarantee most of us don’t think to do it and in the long run it will help in preventing that crepe-y skin that is prone in the neck area!

So it’s kinda noticeable I use a lot of Elemis, and what I love is that they are plant based and not too heavy on added fragrances or nasties that some other skincare brands use, and with having an oily skin type I don’t want to over-load it with too many unnecessary ingredients that may encourage any excess oil.  I try to stick to this routine as much as possible but lets face it – everyone has those lazy days and neglects their skincare routine once in a while and I am one of them! I do think it is so important to look after your skin and body and that prevention is waaayyy more affordable and effective than a cure, and who doesn’t want glowy gorgeous skin?!   I also do use SPF if I’m in the sun, but at the moment with it being more dull and being indoors I rely on the SPF from my makeup ( SPF 15)

Happy Wednesday and happy grooming! xo

YSL Beauty Treat

Well it was more of a necessity than a treat…I ran out of my eyebrow pencil so needed a new one and defined brows are important!! To try and cut a long story short I have always gone between using either a powder to help shape my brows or a brow pencil – I kinda go through phases. Since moving here to Melbourne I found that just using a powder didn’t really work in this heat and sort of just wore off throughout the day. Luckily I had brought a Clinique Superfine Liner in soft brown from back home with me but not really used it. I decided to give it a go, and after a few attempts I was definitely happy with the finish and lasting power! My go to brow routine is first pencilling the shape of my brows, then setting it with a small amount of MAC omega eyeshadow ( or sometimes charcoal depending on how I’m feeling! ) with an angled brush.

It’s fair to say I have grown to love the superfine liner… cue me running out of it and nowhere nearby stocking it – nightmare! So I decided to jump ship and purchase a YSL brow pencil which I have never tried before. I went for this over other brands as the colour best matched the soft brown of Clinique’s. I also like the fact that it has a brow brush on one end, and what you see is what you get in terms of the amount of product ( you could never tell with the superfine liner how much product was actually left due to it being a propelled pencil )

ysl pencil

mascara

mascara wand

mascara and pencil

( Excuse the crumpled mascara box – it got squished in my bag!)

So far so good, the colour is perfect, the texture is soft which makes it easy to apply. I am still applying a small amount of powder on top of the pencil just to really help set it.  Staying power – I would say is good although today has been quite warm and only the first day of using it so I’m still holding out on that. I also treated myself to the babydoll mascara which I have tried before and is one of my absolute favourites, it has a plastic bristle wand – I kind of thought I was over the whole plastic mascara wand trend but I swear this one is so much better than any others I have tried! Plus who can resist the luxurious YSL packaging!

So now is the start of a four day weekend here in Australia…Happy long weekend! xo

New Hair!

Just a quick post to show my new hair with a couple of photos I took! The salon I went to is called Joey Scandizzo on Toorak Road in South Yarra. I really loved the salon and the experience was so different to the hairdressers back home!

I got inspiration for my hair from Guy Tang (Look at his amazing hair transformations here!) and wanted a lighter ombre style hair. My hair before coming to Melbourne was lightened underneath and darker at the roots, however the blonder parts of my hair were quite golden and I liked the looks of the more cool tone ombre hairstyles. So here are the results of my first visit..!

So I’m not too sure how well these pictures show my ombre hair, but the colourist feathered through the lighter colour and then added an ash rinse to give it a more cool tone. The roots are darker and fairly close to my natural hair colour. I am pretty pleased with it and have booked back in for 8weeks time to keep on top of it and to help it grow.

The colourist did mention that my hair was fine and that she wouldn’t use too much blonde on the ends as it would further damage and dry my hair. I have recently bought Moroccan Oil Light out here and have been using it on damp hair after every wash to try and add some more moisture. I have also just bought silica (on recommendation from the pharmacist) which is a liquid form mineral silica, which is meant to help boost and improve the condition of hair, skin and nails. I am trying to leave my hair longer in-between washes too (so hard!) and avoid shampoos that include sulfates. Anyway I am excited to see if the silica works, and will do a post on it once I have tried it! xo

Beauty Wishlist

In the UK I worked for a very popular and well-loved cosmetics and skincare brand which I absolutely loved – work never really felt like work, and one of my biggest passions is all things which are beauty related. Working for this brand also allowed me to test and try other products from the other company brands which was just heaven! So, I prepared and stocked up on most of my skincare and beauty essentials prior to my move to Melbourne, and so far my products have lasted me well – although there are constantly new products being launched and I’m a sucker for them!

 

The products listed are a mixture of skincare and cosmetics which I have been looking in to and researching, and I have found them through recommendations on popular beauty bloggers blog posts, YouTube channels, and some simply through shopping around, so here goes!

 

Foreo Luna (for Combination Skin)

 

I remember discovering this product after watching a video post from Chloe Morello (click here to visit her channel) and thinking I need this product! I have oily skin and very open pores so cleansing is a must to help minimise and prevent build up and further stretching of the pore walls. The rage for clarisonic and other similar products had never previously appealed to me but I feel that the Foreo appears different in that it is perfectly simplistic. It is basically a device that boosts the cleansing step to your skincare routine. It is made from silicone with one side being partly covered in small ‘touch points.’ You cleanse as normal and use the Foreo to help further break down, loosen and remove dead skin cells, and cleanse the pores more efficiently through its pulsations. The reason this is on my wishlist and for me wins over other cleansing devices, is that it is completely waterproof, more hygienic as it is easy to clean, it is simplistic – there are no extra parts or need for replacing brush heads, and a single charge lasts up to 450 uses. Foreo also provides a two year warranty which is reassuring and gives you peace of mind.

 

 

GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment

 

I found this product whilst shopping in a Mecca Cosmetica store at Chadstone. I had briefly heard and seen it in a magazine back home but never looked in to it anymore. Personally, mud masks are a god-send as they help to withdraw excess oil and impurities from pores. The Glam Glow mask is the mud masks of all mud masks; it contains added benefits such as glycolic and salicylic acid, eucalyptus, aloe, liquorice and a blend of other ingredients including patented pore reducing and rejuvenating technologies. It promises for a better, more rejuvenated skin and many other benefits and I think it is important for all skin types to regularly include face masks in their skincare routine. The appeal of this mud mask to me is that the extra added technology promises of a more refined skin texture with pores minimized, and also works on photo and age damaged skin – which is a concern due to how much time I have been spending in the sun over summer here in Melbourne!

 

Becca Cosmetics Ever-Matte Shine Proof Foundation

 

I find that probably like most people I go through phases with which products I use. Foundation is pivotal as it creates the base for the rest of your makeup to be applied. Everyone wants to have that perfectly flawless face that looks natural but also helps to conceal any imperfections. I read about this foundation through a blog post on pixiwoo.com and immediately I knew I would have to purchase this foundation at some point! Trying to get a hold of it in the UK proved difficult, I could not find a counter nearby that stocked all of the Becca products and so I couldn’t get matched up for a colour! What appeals to me is that it is a soft focus matte foundation – I prefer a matte finish due to having oily skin but don’t want to have that overly powdered look. My skin tends to turn foundations shiny particularly on the nose and cheeks. It also means that foundations don’t seem to wear very long on me so I have to touch up throughout the day. Since moving here I visited David Jones and was able to test the foundation and I am just as impressed as I hoped I would be! There is a great range of tones to suit different skins, the feeling was velvety on the skin but not heavy, and it didn’t seem to move or ‘melt’ off! The only reason this is something that is on my wishlist and not something I have purchased is that I cant justify buying it yet as I bought three of my current foundations to bring with me to Australia which need using up first! 

 

Kevin Murphy Angel.Wash and Angel.Rinse

 

After visiting the hairdressers today (I am going to do a post later on my new hair!) I was recommended the Angel range of wash and rinse by Kevin Murphy. I have become more conscious of what I am using on my hair and trying to protect it from heat and too many chemicals. I have been buying shampoo and conditioner that are free from sulfates, parabens and that are not tested on animals. My hair has also become a lot more fine over the years and can dry out at the ends regularly. As it was my first time at this salon I thought I would come home and do my research on the products a bit more, and have decided that I will definitely be treating myself to them on my next visit! The products are sulphate and paraben free and also cruelty free. The Angel range is perfect for me as it is for fine, colour treated hair to help add volume without weighing hair down or making it greasy. The list of gentle, natural ingredients and their benefits is amazing too, there is so much packed in to just the one shampoo!

 

I am so excited to hopefully purchase and try these products soon! I like to take care and do some research in to products before I buy to make sure they are right for me, as it is always a pain when a product goes unused and you usually end up giving it away because it  doesn’t suit you! Hope everyone is enjoying the week so far and looking forward to the weekend! xo