September Favourites + Highlights 2020


September has been an interesting month. A second wave of Corona Virus hit New Zealand’s shores in August and there has been a mixture of cases at the border and in the community. I feel as a country we will fluctuate between levels for some time. Also this month I received a letter with a date for my tonsillectomy – October 6th. I’m a little nervous anticipating what the pain will be like but in the long run I’ll be better off. I’ve got plenty of ice cream at the ready and I plan to rest and take it easy for a week or two. There’s been another hiccup with my mum, her magnesium levels have dropped right down again. The magnesium she was given in hospital isn’t available from a pharmacy and trying to find an alternative isn’t straightforward. Perhaps October will be a simpler month?

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Cotton On Body Cropped Fluro Hoodie – I purchased this hoodie last year and it is so comfy and cosy. I love the bright green colour and striped balloon sleeves, it’s certainly unlike anything else I own. The crop is not too short for my body and hits at the right place. It’s a good piece for the transitional months for layering too. I’ve included a picture of the hoodie below to give you a better idea what it looks like on.

2. Rimmel Magnif’Eyes Eye Primer – I only used this primer for the first time about a week and a half ago in my Full Face of First Impressions and boy am I impressed! I have not gone back to the Milani primer since trying this as it’s much kinder to my eyes. I don’t know if its seasonal but over the past few weeks the Milani primer has dried out my eyelids and made them sensitive. The Rimmel primer does set but not to the point where eyeshadow doesn’t apply on top and it feels like pigment is dragging across the eyelids. I like that this has a doe foot applicator, it’s easier to control how much to apply.

3. MAC Double Gleam Extra Dimension Skinfinish – Double Gleam is my highlighter focus for September and she is a beauty! I had heard so many rave reviews about this shade and it really is worth all the hype. If you have fair to light skin you will especially love this, it is the perfect lit from within glow and the type of shade that goes with everything. MAC describe Double Gleam as a beige that breaks silver and the unique cream to powder formula is lovely, it’s very soft and easy to build and looks flawless on the skin. It can be used wet or dry, I have only used it dry as I like the intensity that gives but I can imagine it would be even more glowy if applied wet.

4. GHD Gold Styler – At the beginning of the month I treated myself to a new straightener. In all honesty the straightener I had was fine and did the job but I would have to go over certain areas of my hair a few times as it is quite thick. Once my hair is straight it will stay that way until it is washed again. The reason I looked at a GHD is to cut down on the amount of time it would take to straighten my hair. I also really like that the GHDs remain at a constant temperature and you can’t accidentally hit a button on the side that bumps the temperature up. I have used the straightener once so far and it only took 10 minutes to do all of my hair, my other straightener would take about half an hour. The quality and technology is really top notch, the straightener plays a sound when you turn it on and another sound when it’s heated up (roughly 25 seconds later). Hair is left looking shiny, sleek and healthy.

Close up of the sparkly detail on the plates of the straightener.

September Highlights

  • Steps released a new single and announced they are releasing a new album in November. Within minutes of getting the email announcing the album you can bet I had a signed copy pre-ordered!
  • September has been a good month for new music in general with releases from Delta Goodrem and Kylie Minogue as well.

September’s Spotify Playlist:


How was your month? Share one of your highlights in the comments!

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Full Face of First Impressions

I have acquired some new makeup recently and there are enough products to warrant trying out a bunch together for a dedicated post. I love trying out new makeup and enjoy watching videos and reading about other people doing the same. Before purchasing products I always research and look up plenty of reviews and over the years there aren’t many products I’ve purchased that I really haven’t liked.

Products listed in order of application. Products marked with *** are new:

1. Natio Daily Defence Face Moisturiser SPF 50+*** – Natio face products work well for my skin. Their products are full of good, natural ingredients and the price you pay for the quality you get is sensational. The main ingredients in this moisturiser are Aloe Vera and Vitamin E which are wonderful for dry skin like mine. SPF 50 in a moisturiser is great too and this one doesn’t smell like sunscreen. It feels light and non-greasy on the skin. It spreads easily and soaks in quickly without leaving skin feeling like it’s parched.

2. BECCA Skin Love Brighten & Blur Primer*** – This primer was part of a set I purchased at the end of 2019 and I have been waiting to finish up a couple of other primers before trying this one. The primer is lightweight and blends easily into the skin. It’s less runny than something like First Light by BECCA and more akin to the texture of the Hangover Primer by Too Faced. I love the sound of this, it aims to smooth, brighten and nourish the skin and diffuse the look of pores to allow makeup to apply flawlessly over top.

3. Rimmel Professional Brow Pencil in 002 Hazel

4. Lancôme Teint Miracle Foundation in 005 Beige Ivoire*** – Since trying a couple of high end foundations I see a difference in how my skin looks and the overall finish of my makeup is nicer and more flawless. This particular foundation is a favourite of one of my closest online friends (Nadine) and she has dry skin as well so I knew it would be a winner. I purchased the lightest shade available 005 Beige Ivoire which leans a little yellow but in a good way that I can make work. I don’t know if bronzer on top would be too much right now but in summer when I’m a little less fair it should be fine. The formula is extremely lightweight to allow for breathable coverage and a natural glow. The texture is quite runny as it is a water based foundation but that also helps product spread easily over the face. I usually wear one layer of foundation but to test how this builds I used two light layers around my nose and chin where I get redness. The foundation built nicely and didn’t cake or settle into lines.

5. MAC StudioFinish Concealer in NW10

6. Fenty Beauty Mini Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Setting Powder in Butter*** – I got the mini size of this powder as a back up for when I have finished my Rimmel Match Perfection loose powder. Fenty Beauty’s powder is ideal for all skin types and the powder does feel silky smooth once applied. I have been enjoying using powder to set my concealer recently as it does make a difference to the overall look of my makeup. I purchased the shade Butter as it is one of the shades recommended for fair skin tones and aims to give a soft, brightening effect. I have heard a few people say this powder is messy but I’ll have to use it a few more times to see whether or not that’s true. The combination of this powder with the other base products left my skin feeling like velvet.

7. BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop*** – This is the third of these little mini highlighters I’ve purchased and they are some of my favourites! Champagne Pop is described as a soft white gold with pinky peach undertones. In comparison to the other minis I own by Becca Champagne Pop is warmer and more golden than Opal and Moonstone. This shade isn’t too golden for my liking and it’s absolutely beautiful on the skin, Becca highlighters have a lovely, soft formula that blends into the skin effortlessly.

8. Rimmel Magnif’Eyes Eye Primer*** – I have been using Milani’s Eyeshadow Primer but I notice sometimes it makes my eyelids dry and different eyeshadow formulas can be hard to apply and blend over top of the Milani primer. I’m a big fan of Rimmel and this primer was half the price of the Milani one. It reminds me a lot of Urban Decay’s Primer Potion which I love, looking forward to using this more!

9. Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette*** – I love neutral palettes and I know this has been discontinued but it’s an absolute classic! I picked this up brand new a couple of months ago and it has been sitting in my drawer since. I used the shade Bootycall as a base shadow, Tease to deepen the crease and Suspect all over the lid. I used the fluffy side of the double ended brush that comes with the palette to apply Bootycall and Tease and my ring finger to apply Suspect. The shadows were incredibly easy to work with and blended like a dream. I can tell I’m going to get a lot of use from this palette.

10. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara This mascara isn’t brand new to me but I haven’t spoken about it on the blog before. Does this mascara live up to its name, no, is this mascara the most lengthening and volumising I’ve used, also no. It is however a decent mascara and as the formula dries out I enjoy it more. The formula was very wet when I first started using it and it didn’t layer well and would smudge. I probably wouldn’t repurchase the full size of this mascara but I’m glad I’ve tried it.

11. BECCA Glow Gloss in Foxglove*** – I purchased three Glow Glosses from Becca and Foxglove is my favourite shade out of the three. It is a muted plum with cool silver pearl and gives me MAC Syrup vibes. The formula has little flecks of glitter but this doesn’t feel gritty on the lips and it’s very subtle. The gloss does have a minty scent and a bit of tingling upon application but nothing uncomfortable and it stops after a few minutes. The formula isn’t sticky, it’s very comfortable to wear and the gloss is nicely pigmented.

The Finished Look

Overall I’m impressed with how this look turned out and I’m a fan of all the new products I tried. Standouts after the first use that I’m looking forward to trying more are the moisturiser, foundation, eye primer and eyeshadow palette.


What do you think of this look? Have you tried any of these products or purchased any new makeup recently?

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GRWM: Drugstore Makeup Look

In June I shared this look using as many luxurious makeup products as I could. It was a lot of fun to create so I also wanted to do a look using a full face of affordable, drugstore makeup. Most of the makeup I own is more in the drugstore price range, I love products that are good quality and inexpensive and sometimes drugstore products can’t be beat!

Products listed in order of application:

1. Olay Complete UV Lotion Sensitive – I used to be all about a face moisturiser from Simple until 2018 when I tried this one from Olay and haven’t looked back. This is really nice, it’s lightweight, makeup looks good on top of it and it contains SPF 15.

2. Maybelline Master Prime Hydrate + Smooth – The more I have used this primer the more I have come to enjoy it. It is a little thicker than other primers in my collection but for work and everyday wear this is good. It soaks in quickly so you don’t have to wait before going in with your foundation if you’re short on time.

3. Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil in 002 Hazel – Still all I use to fill in my brows.

4. Max Factor Miracle Match Foundation in 40 Light Ivory – I got this foundation as a birthday gift in 2019 and it sat in my drawer for about a year before I tried it out. I put this to the test with three other foundations at the start of the year (post *HERE*) and whilst it was one of the lower ranked foundations I don’t want to give up on it yet. The undertone of this shade is neutral which works well with my skintone and as it wears throughout the day my natural oils come out and I don’t mind how it looks.

5. L’Oreal Infallible More Than Concealer in 323 Fawn – I purchased this concealer in April after seeing it on Arna Alayne’s YouTube channel. I was a little worried this would be drying on my dry skin but it’s not at all, this still feels nice and creamy! This concealer is full coverage but blends into the skin easily and a little goes a long way. I do find if I use too much this can make my skin look a little pale. This does have a bit of a weird smell but once product is applied the scent disappears.

6. Rimmel Match Perfection Loose Powder  – I am loving this powder lately. I have had it for a few years now but it still applies and looks the same on the skin. It’s translucent so it doesn’t alter how my base products look and it works particuarly well to set the L’Oreal concealer above in place.

7. Milani Eyeshadow Primer – I don’t enjoy this primer as much as Urban Decay’s Primer Potion but it gets the job done and keeps eyeshadow in place. It can make my eyelids a little dry.

8. Colourpop Lilac You a Lot Palette – Purple is one colour that really works for my skin tone and it was fun bringing out this palette for this drugstore look. I started by applying Zoned Out as a base shadow all over the lid then used Iffy to deepen up the crease. Finally I applied Fluff all over the lid with my finger for a pop of shimmer.

9. Colourpop BFF Mascara in Purple Prose – I have a back up of my holy grail Rimmel mascara that I didn’t want to crack open just for this post. The other mascaras in my collection at the moment are all high end and then I remembered this purple mascara I got from Colourpop last year. I love pairing it with purple eyeshadow and it’s fun to wear. Coloured mascara doesn’t take the place of regular black mascara for me but this does add length and volume to my lashes without looking clumpy and the formula is nice and doesn’t smudge. The more coats I apply, the more purple my lashes look.

10. I ♡ Makeup Goddess of Love Highlighter – This was my first highlighter and I still love wearing it. The pink, purple and silver tones look so nice on fair skin and this can be built up depending on the intensity you like. This highlighter looks natural on the skin and pairs so well with purple toned eyeshadow.

11. Dainty Doll Cream Blush in Billion Dollar Babies – I knew this blush would be perfect to add a natural flush to the cheeks. The cream formula is lush!

12. The Body Shop Rose Face Mist – This mist makes the skin lovely and dewy. It’s particularly nice on top of more matte foundations and if I’ve used setting powder. The rose scent is also pleasant, it’s not overpowering or too strong.

13. Revlon Lip Butter in Lollipop – Not only is this my favourite kind of lipstick colour to wear but it also looks good with anything! I love these lip butters as they are nicely pigmented as well as making the lips look juicy and glossy. The formula is sheerer than a regular lipstick but this shade in particular still packs a punch!

The Finished Look


What do you think of this look? What are some of your favourite drugstore products?

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August Favourites + Highlights 2020

I will start by saying the past two months have been full of disruptions and upheaval which is why I haven’t been posting. I wrote THIS POST at the start of August that mostly explains everything. Since then my mum was admitted to hospital for a third time (and has since been discharged and is back home). It was finally discovered she had a bad bacterial infection that had possibly been laying dormant for a while which is why the first two rounds of antibiotics didn’t kill it and why her electrolyte levels weren’t holding and she’d feel weak and fuzzy in the head. My life for the past two months has pretty much been eat, hospital, try to sleep and go to work when I can – I haven’t had time for much else. I really hope this is the end and she can continue to get her strength back at home!

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Ellie Goulding – Brightest Blue – I have been a fan of Ellie since she released her first album 10 years ago! Her voice is incredibly beautiful and angelic, I understand it’s not for everyone but it’s certainly distinctive. I never tire of listening to Ellie and when she announced her album release I was very excited – nearly everything she does is perfect in my eyes. This album really sees Ellie return to her roots, the melodies are quite simple which gives Ellie’s voice even more chance to shine. Her voice also has powerful, raspy moments and her lyrical phrasing is always something I look forward to hearing. Ellie’s music is uniquely her and that’s why I enjoy it so much, she’s uber cool and does things unexpected and different. Standout Tracks: How Deep Is Too Deep, Love I’m Given, Tides, Flux and Brightest Blue.

2. MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation in NW10 – I originally tried a sample of this foundation in NW13 and liked the formula and how product looked on my skin so much I purchased the full size in a shade lighter. Studio Fix Fluid has a natural matte finish and an oil controlling formula. I have dry skin but I don’t find this foundation too matte or drying, it gives a soft, velvety look to my skin. This is my current everyday foundation I use for work and it’s very easy to wear. It has SPF 15, is comfortable and long wearing and helps minimise the appearance of pores and imperfections making skin look smoother and more flawless.

3. Natio Rosewater Hydration Moisture Boost Day Cream-Gel – Natio is a brand I have used for a number of years. Their products are reasonably priced, good quality and contain natural ingredients. I was interested in trying a new daytime moisturiser and this cream-gel hybrid appealed to me. The texture is lightweight, product soaks into skin quickly and keeps it feeling moisturised throughout the day. This is what I thought Clinique’s Moisture Surge would be like but I was a little disappointed when I tried that. The scent of rose is noticeable but it isn’t overpowering and doesn’t irritate my skin or my nose. The pink tube is sturdy and travel friendly and looks cute on my dresser too.

4. BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone – I got a mini Moonstone as part of a three piece BECCA set from Sephora at the end of last year. As I have been focusing on a different eyeshadow palette and highlighter pairing per month in 2020, it was finally Moonstone’s turn in the spotlight in August. Moonstone is described as a pale, incandescent gold best suited for fair-light skin tones. The formula of BECCA’s highlighters is lovely; soft and buildable and they don’t look chunky on the skin. Moonstone is a great everyday highlighter that looks natural but can be built up if you want more glow.

August Highlights

  • I was keen to purchase another luxury foundation and settled on Lancôme’s Teint Miracle in 005 Beige Ivoire after one of my closest blogging/Instagram friends always mentions how much she loves it. (I’m yet to use the foundation but very excited to try it).
  • Purchased a shampoo and conditioner set from Function of Beauty. I’ve seen lots of good reviews and being able to customise my own hair products was fun. Let me know if you’d like a review once the products arrive and I’ve had a chance to use them.

July + August’s Spotify Playlists (since there was no July Favourites):


How was your month? Share one of your highlights in the comments!

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Hello + An Explanation

Hello, how are you? I hope you’re doing well! Sitting down to write this feels a little strange, it’s been over a month since I last posted and I think that’s the longest time I have gone without blogging without planning to. Let me start by saying July was an EXPERIENCE. It was definitely the hardest month of 2020 so far for me. I wanted to document some of what has happened to help me process it better.

The first few days of July started off well considering I had my second bout of tonsillitis for the year and was waiting for the result of my Covid swab. (It was negative by the way, don’t worry. I was advised to get swabbed as a result of my sore throat but the doctor and I were confident it would be negative). I was also talking to a guy and had been for the previous four months, pre-Covid and pre-lockdown. I’m very much a one person at a time girl and I was proud of myself for managing to keep this exchange going for that amount of time. I did have the occasional wobble and think am I boring this guy but then I told myself he wouldn’t message almost everyday for four months if he didn’t enjoy the conversation. We’d mentioned meeting in person more than once and obviously the first two months we chatted people couldn’t go out and socialise so I figured once the levels dropped it would happen. I get a little nervous when it comes to making plans because so many times they haven’t ended up happening or guys flake out and disappear off the face of the earth.

I had a Friday off work coming up and found out this guy finished work early on a Friday so I suggested we meet the following week to grab some food to which he agreed. The new week arrives and I don’t hear anything for a couple of days but I’m not someone who is always on my phone and understand life gets busy so I didn’t worry. On Thursday of that week my mum starts getting chills and feeling really cold and a few hours later her breathing starts going down. My mum is a severe asthmatic and any little niggle sets it off. The next day her breathing was continuing to decline and I mentioned seeing the doctor but I know how much they scare her. If I can keep her calm we can manage but the following day (Saturday) she called an ambulance and was admitted to hospital. This began two and a half weeks of struggles for both of us, I knew she was in the best place to get help but she wasn’t getting the help she needed. There were a number of mistakes made and things that didn’t need to happen that did.

The first week we saw progress and I managed to go to work and visit in the afternoons but things changed when a doctor prescribed her morphine. I still don’t understand why it was prescribed because she wasn’t complaining about pain. The drug didn’t fully affect her for a few days and then I started to notice strange behaviour. Mum seemed paranoid/scared, angry, not interested in talking to me, confused and was hallucinating and seeing things in her room that weren’t there. It was frightening to watch and she wasn’t aware she was acting that way which was more concerning. This was week two and I was barely at work, I wasn’t coming home in the evenings like the previous week because I was scared to leave her and she was scared when I wasn’t there. I basically lived at the hospital. I requested the doctors stop giving morphine and they did but the comedown was hard. The worst day was Thursday, July 23rd. I phoned my brother and urged him to come down as up until that point I was doing everything on my own and I hadn’t slept and eaten properly for days. I also phoned my boss in a state and she was so kind and understanding and later that day a work colleague came up to see if I was alright and took me to get something to eat.

My brother arrived on Friday and on Friday mum had improved from the day before. The doctors came around to say she would be discharged and we could go home. Mum was so happy to come home after being in hospital for two weeks but around 12 hours after being discharged she was re-admitted with dehydration. Mum had been on a machine that was helping her to breathe but because it pumps warm air into your body she was sweating a lot and losing her fluids. Mum was put on a drip which is something I thought they would have done before the re-admission. A couple of days later she was discharged again and has been home since. We did have a third setback and she ended up needing a second course of antibiotics from her GP but fingers crossed we’re on the home stretch now.

This takes me back to the guy I was talking to. I haven’t heard from him since before mum went into hospital which is about a month ago now. I did think about messaging him occasionally but most days didn’t have time, things would change that often and were unpredictable. I was also curious if he’d check in with me and he didn’t so I had a feeling I was going to be ghosted. A couple of days before the end of July I messaged him and explained what had happened and didn’t get a response. I’m not completely cruel and don’t like to think bad of people and maybe there’s something else going on there that I didn’t know about or he has been hurt before but it still sucks if someone doesn’t have the balls to be honest and can’t give you an explanation. It might be uncomfortable at the time but in the long run it’s less painful. I am close to giving up on trying to find a relationship to be honest, it’s hard to give so much of yourself and get nothing back and to feel like you’ve given time to someone who is stringing you along is disheartening.

July was a real mix of emotions and despite the crappy hand I was dealt there were also good moments. Ellie Goulding released a new album, Delta Goodrem announced shows in New Zealand for next April and I learnt yet more life lessons about people and who to trust. As twisted as it sounds the bad can sometimes lead to the good. Let’s hope the rest of the year is calmer and better things are around the corner.

Let me know what you’ve been up to in the last month?

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Empty Products #14

My first empties round up post lockdown! Has anyone else noticed they have been using less   due to not wearing making and not using as many beauty products? On the whole this bunch of products wasn’t the best for being ones I love and would gladly repurchase but there are a couple I really enjoyed.

Haircare

1. Schwarzkopf Leave In Treatment

I would apply this product after a shower when my hair was 80% dry and let it soak in. The smell was pleasant, my hair did look sleeker as opposed to if I didn’t use this but it’s not a product I’ve missed since finishing it up.

Repurchase: Probably not.

2. Schwarzkopf Ultimate Repair Shampoo

The scent of this is very manly but not in a good way. I didn’t find this worked well on my hair and I didn’t enjoy using it.

Repurchase: No.

3. Schwarzkopf Ultimate Repair Conditioner

Usually I can remember if I preferred a shampoo or conditioner more but I can’t with this range, I just know I wasn’t a fan of either of these.

Repurchase: No.

Makeup/Beauty

4. IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream in Fair

This CC Cream is totally worth the hype! I purchased a 12ml deluxe sample from Sephora in December and love how this looks on my skin each time I wear it. The quality day after day is consistent and it makes such a lovely everyday base. One light layer of product was enough for the finish I like and this does not cling to dry patches, it skims over the skin and gives a natural, healthy look. Product can be layered but I found I didn’t need more than one layer. I did notice Fair was a slightly better match for me in summer as opposed to autumn but I can still make the shade work.

Repurchase: Maybe. I see IT Cosmetics have come out with a new Fair Ivory shade but not in the 12ml size yet. I’d want to try the smaller size first in the new shade.

5. YSL Volume Effet Cils The Curler Mascara

I got this mascara as part of a set of YSL minis last year and started using it in February this year. The mascara has a plastic wand which I’m not usually a fan of but this formula was so good I didn’t mind the brush not having real bristles. This mascara gives length and volume and it’s super black which I love, it adds to the drama and really makes your eyeshadow pop. The formula was consistent throughout the time I used this and it was a nice medium between wet and dry. The formula wasn’t sticky and layered well without clumping.

Repurchase: No, sadly. Not because the product is bad but no full sized mascara is worth $70 – that’s ridiculous!

6. Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil in 002 Hazel

This brow pencil is all I have used to fill in my brows for the past four years. This shade matches in with my auburn hair perfectly.

Repurchase: Already have.

7. Delon Regular Nail Polish Remover

This did the job and wasn’t harsh on my nails when it came to removing nail polish but I didn’t like it as much as the Cutex Strengthening nail polish remover I tried years ago and loved. The Cutex product is difficult to track down though.

Repurchase: If it was the only type available then yes but there are other nail polish removers I prefer.

Skincare & Fragrance

8. The Body Shop Mandarin Energizing Face Mist

I purchased this thinking it would be similar to The Body Shop’s Vitamin C mist as they both target tired, dull skin and aim to give it a boost. I did not enjoy the scent of this and it felt a little sticky on the face. It didn’t soak in and leave my skin hydrated, it just kind of sat on top of other products.

Repurchase: No, my least favourite face mist out of all The Body Shop ones I’ve tried.

Body

9. The Body Shop Warm Vanilla Body Butter

When I purchased this body butter I was overwhelmed at how sweet the scent was but once I started using it the sweetness was manageable. The scent is easier to digest in smaller doses and the sweetness wasn’t too much once product had soaked into the skin. As with other body butters this feels lovely and silky to apply and keeps skin nourished and soft.

Repurchase: Possibly. This was part of a Christmas range but The Body Shop tend to release a vanilla scent nearly every Christmas.

10. Nivea Invisible Anti-Perspirant – Clear

Holy grail! This features in every empties for a reason.

Repurchase: Yes.

11. Dove Invisible Dry Anti-White Marks Deodorant

I strayed from my trusty Nivea anti-perspirant and this was nowhere near as good! The product was more like a cream than a liquid when applying it and it felt a little sticky. Product didn’t feel as moisturising on the underarms and I felt more sweaty. I used this during autumn/winter mainly working from home so I wasn’t getting particularly hot either.

Repurchase: No.

Discards

1. Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow – Perlina

I had heard so many good things about the Stila Magnificent Metals and when I purchased a set of three minis to try I was left scratching my head as to what all the fuss is about. One shade I threw out as product was non existent but I did want to make an effort to use up the other two shades in the set; Perlina and Kitten Karma. I went to apply Perlina on top of another eyeshadow recently and discovered it had dried up which I was disappointed about. I will not be picking up any of these in future as overall I haven’t had a good experience. I don’t know whether it’s because these are minis and the full sized shades perform better but I’ve been put off.


What was the last product you finished up?

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June Favourites + Highlights 2020

June has felt like a very busy month and not always in a good way. My brain has gone back to feeling a little overwhelmed at times and I’ve had a couple of low moments. Everything with Corona is still changing constantly and New Zealand went from having 24 days in a row with no cases to reporting new cases almost every day for the past two weeks. I for one was unaware so many people were returning to the country all at once so that’s why there are new cases but there have been slip ups along the way too – people haven’t always adhered to quarantine rules. It’ll be interesting to see if we have to move back up into different alert levels over the coming weeks/months.

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. MAC Love Me Lipsticks in Hey, Frenchie! and Très Blasé – Since falling in love with the formula of this range back in March when I purchased the shade Laissez-Faire I knew a couple of other shades would soon make their way into my collection. The formula is incredibly comfortable and the perfect mix between MAC’s satin and lustre formulas, the feel of a lustre with lasting power more akin to a satin. Hey, Frenchie! is a deep mauvey nude and Très Blasé is a light peachy beige. Très Blasé does pull pinky-peach on me which I don’t mind, it reminds me of a cross between two of my favourite MAC shades; Syrup and Patisserie.

2. L’Oreal Infallible More Than Concealer – I was a little apprehensive this concealer may not work for my skin as it is more on the matte side of creamy and I have dry skin but it looks so flawless once applied. I purchased the shade 323 Fawn after hearing Arna Alayne mention this numerous times on her YouTube channel, she has fair skin like me and her makeup always looks so beautiful. This concealer is full coverage and literally a few dots around my nose and on my chin is all I need. One layer is ample and this blends in seamlessly using my finger. Setting powder and bronzer apply nicely over top too and surprisingly product doesn’t sink into lines or emphasise dry skin.

3. Estée Lauder Pure Colour Envy – Intense Nude – A work colleague gave me this lipstick and I feel very lucky to own such a luxurious item. I hadn’t previously tried anything from Estée Lauder but I know it’s a renowned brand and the products are high quality. Intense Nude is a gorgeous pink-brown shade that’s not too far away from Très Blasé. The formula of this lipstick is extremely soft, it feels like you’ve got nothing on the lips. Colour fades evenly and lasts well throughout the day. This makes such a good work day lipstick and would also be a nice one for date nights.

4. MAC Fix+ Magic Radiance – I am enjoying using setting sprays lately. I featured The Body Shop’s Rose Face Mist in last month’s favourites post and I have also tried out Fix+ Magic Radiance numerous times over the past few weeks. This one is particularly good for dry skin or if you like a healthy glow – it’s packed with Vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and essential oils. It has a lovely fresh scent and gives a beautiful dewy look to the skin.

5. Normal People – Over the weekend I finished watching Normal People and really enjoyed it. I read the book a few years ago and the series is very similar, the author was heavily involved with it. I highly recommend watching it if you’re on the fence, certain scenes were emotional to watch and made me cry so have tissues at the ready. The series follows the relationship between Marianne and Connell as they navigate adulthood from their final days in secondary school to their undergraduate years in Trinity College. They weave in and out of each other’s lives and somehow always find themselves drawn back to each other. There is quite a sexual emphasis on Marianne and Connell’s relationship but as a reader/viewer you can’t help but hope they stay together.

June Highlights

  • Unintentional social media detox. Every once in a while I take a bit of time away from social media and go days or a week between posts. I try to upload when I’ve got something to say or share and try not to post for the sake of it.
  • I made two batches of chocolate chunk cookies. Photographic evidence can be found HERE. The second batch came out a lot better than the first, the key is definitely to crush up pieces of chocolate and bake them at a lower temperature. Let me know if you want me to share the recipe!

June’s Spotify Playlist:


How was your month? Share one of your highlights in the comments!

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GRWM: Luxurious Makeup Look

I am lucky enough to have some really beautiful makeup products that aren’t exactly on the lower end of the price spectrum. Before I purchase a product I always look up reviews and do my research, especially if I’m considering parting with a substantial amount of money. I definitely feel comfortable splurging in some areas and saving money in others. I know what works for my skin and how I want my makeup to turn out.

I wanted to be a little boujee and create a look using as many luxury products as possible. I didn’t doubt for a minute the look would come together well and I’m so pleased with it!

Products listed in order of application:

Products marked with an * means I didn’t have a luxury alternative

1. Olay Complete UV Lotion Sensitive*

2. Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer – I sampled this primer last year and fell in love with it straight away. I purchased a full size during lockdown. It makes my skin feel silky smooth and foundation applies beautifully over the top. A little goes a long way as this spreads really easily over the skin. It feels moisturising but it’s not at all greasy.

3. Rimmel Professional Brow Pencil in 002 Hazel*

4. YSL Touche Éclat Le Teint Radiance Awakening Foundation in B10 Porcelain – This is as close to a holy grail foundation that I have discovered so far. The shade is such a perfect match for my skin – it’s the right amount of warm and cool and like the primer, a little goes a long way. One layer is enough and the consistency of the foundation is light but blendable. Product is very easy to move around the face. This foundation makes your skin look like skin but enhances it and gives a dewy, healthy glow. I’m so impressed every time I wear it!

5. MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NW10 – This concealer blends nicely on top of the YSL foundation. It can be layered up and covers redness and spots well. This can sink into lines if my skin is feeling dry but using a good primer and foundation combats that. Studio Finish also feels lightweight and doesn’t clog my skin or make me oily.

6. Rimmel Match Perfection Translucent Setting Powder*

7. Milani Eyeshadow Primer*

8. xoBeauty Heaps of Sweets Palette – This palette cost around $55 (NZD) which compared to lots of other palettes on the market isn’t expensive. Ever since trying xoBeauty a couple of years ago I have been impressed with the price points of products in relation to quality. I tend to use drugstore eyeshadow palettes as I don’t have any high end ones but this is a good in-between. I went for a cool toned eye look, I used the shade Vanilla (light neutral that leans purple) as a base shadow all over the lid, Brownie (chocolate brown) to deepen up the crease and Cupcake (shimmery taupe) for a wash of shimmer.

9. YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils The Curler Mascara – I have been using this little mini since the end of February and it has lasted well! This has a rubber wand which I’m not usually a fan of but this mascara is really pleasant to use. The formula has stayed the same since it’s been open and it gives a bit of length and volume which I love. (Technically this mini wasn’t expensive as I got it as part of a set but if I purchased a full size it would be the priciest mascara in my collection).

10. MAC Double Gleam Extra Dimension Skinfinish – This highlighter literally melts into the skin. A little goes a long way and it gives the skin such a beautiful gleam. The cream-powder formula is flattering and doesn’t accentuate pores. This shade is versatile and one I see myself reaching for a lot as it will go with everything!

11. MAC Warm Soul – I was opting for a rosy-nude lip and knew this blush would be perfect on the cheeks to accompany it. Warm Soul is one of MAC’s Mineralize blushes so it has a baked formula and a gorgeous speckled marble effect that translates onto the skin. Like the highlighter, this blush is such a versatile shade and the combination of this and Double Gleam is a winner.

12. MAC Fix+ Magic Radiance – After setting my base with powder I knew a few sprays of this would re-hydrate the skin and make it look lovely and glowy again. Magic Radiance is even more hydrating than the regular Fix+ and it is packed with Vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and essential oils which are all great for the skin. This smells amazing too!

13. Estée Lauder Pure Colour Envy – Intense Nude – A work colleague gave me this lipstick as it wasn’t the right shade for her and it was the inspiration behind creating this luxury look. Estée Lauder is a brand I haven’t tried before. The bullet is navy and gold with a magnetic closure – it feels satisfying when the lid snaps back into place. Intense Nude is number 130 in the Pure Envy range and it is described as a moderately warm-toned light plum. This shade isn’t a true nude as it has hints of pink, brown and red but it is one of those shades that is a great everyday colour. The scent is lovely and the lipstick glides over the lips like butter. It’s incredibly comfortable to wear.

The Finished Look:

Close up of my eye makeup using xoBeauty’s Heaps of Sweets palette. Also wearing “The Romantic” lashes by xoBeauty.


Do you own any luxury makeup products?

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The Lockdown Me Spree

I kept everything as ‘normal’ as possible over the lockdown period and I did end up making a handful of online orders. I was in two minds about sharing the items as understandably a lot of people have gone quiet online and are being super mindful of the content they put out.

I do want to say I 100% purchase everything myself and I am in no way bragging. I was fortunate to be in a position to work from home and continue earning my salary. I am very much a saver and also go through periods of time where I don’t spend anything.


Hourglass

Since sampling Hourglass’ Veil Mineral Primer last year I have wanted the full size, but I held off as this primer is pricey. I purchased the 56ml tube (which is the largest size) as value for money wise it works out the best. This primer feels like silk on the skin and makes foundation apply like a dream over top. It has SPF15 in it too.

xoBeauty

1. Round Face Brush – I didn’t need another foundation brush but I wanted to compare this to my Zoeva 104 Buffer Brush. These two brushes are bigger than my others and I tend to reach for them when my smaller foundations brushes are dirty. This brush is dense and by the time I’ve applied foundation my hand is sore from buffing but the finish it gives is nice and worth it.

2. Kelly Lip Pencil – I only own one other lip pencil but I thought this deep brown toned mauve would work nicely with MAC Viva Glam III and other nude/berry lipsticks in my collection.

3. False eyelashes – Since trying false lashes from xoBeauty in March I have been obsessed with how good they look and I wanted to pick up another couple of pairs in different styles:

“The Girl Next Door” were designed for the utmost natural girls in mind. These are lightweight, natural, and not too long. They are perfect for anyone with not a lot of eye space, or anyone with hooded eyelids. They have a zig-zag pattern that looks feminine and gorgeous!

“The Romantic” were designed for the girly girl who likes a bit of flirt, a bit of length, and a bit of volume! They are super full but do not take over your eyes, so they can be worn day or night. Tapered on the inner corner for comfort, and finished off with a beautiful flick and curve on the ‘Outer V’ to elongate your eye shape.

“The Glamourista” are ideal for any glamorous look! Even though they are slightly more dramatic, you can still get away with wearing them for any occasion, day or night, because they are so wispy and lightweight.

Chemist Warehouse

1. YSL – Black Opium – Since trying a sample of this perfume at the end of 2019 I knew I would pick up a full size eventually. Black Opium is a great everyday perfume or one for date nights – the main note is vanilla but it also has hints of coffee and it’s a very warm, sexy scent.

2. Concealers – Cream concealers are best for my dry skin and I want a back up option if I am unable to pick up Collection’s Lasting Perfection Concealer – the brand is not widely available in New Zealand. I’ve always been curious to try Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind Concealer and I’ve also heard Arna Alayne praise the L’Oreal Infallible More Than Concealer on her YouTube channel as a great full coverage option.

3. Revlon Diamond Shine Gel Envy Top Coat – This is the top coat I currently use and it is great so I picked up a backup. The width of the brush is perfect and the top coat spreads so easily. It gives a lovely shine to nail polish and doesn’t chip easily.

MAC

1. Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Double Gleam – Double Gleam is a liquid-powder highlighter that gives a luminous, well-defined finish and is described as a beige that breaks silver. As I carry out my challenge of using one eyeshadow palette and highlighter per month I’m learning what textures I like and what works best on my skin. I have a few highlighters in the same colour family as Double Gleam but ultimately I enjoy being a minimalist and only keeping products I really love. I’m hoping Double Gleam will allow me to let go of a couple of other products I don’t reach for as often.

2. Love Me Lipsticks in Hey, Frenchie! and Très Blasé – I mentioned I was curious to try these shades when I reviewed Laissez-Faire, (also from the Love Me Range). Hey, Frenchie! is a deep mauvey nude and Très Blasé is a light peachy beige. I ordered both of these from the same company but there was a stock issue with Très Blasé so I am waiting for an ETA to hear when it will ship. If it doesn’t come back into stock I will look at getting it from somewhere else. I thought I’d mention it here anyway as I do intend to buy it.

Wearing Hey, Frenchie!

3. MAC Peachlite Strobe Cream – A little while ago I finished up a 30ml tube of Strobe Cream in the original Pinklite shade. I did enjoy using the product as a glowy moisturiser with no makeup on weekends or as a primer before applying foundation. I was curious about a couple of other shades; Silverlite and Peachlite. Silverlite was out of stock so I opted for Peachlite. Peachlite has a peachy pink sheen and is the shade of Strobe Cream that is probably the most universal and will suit all skin tones. I’ve worn Peachlite a couple of times since it arrived and my skin feels extremely soft and moisturised.

4. MAC Fix+ Magic Radiance – I have used the original Fix+ in the past and since MAC launched Fix+ Magic Radiance I have wanted to try it. I suffer with dry skin and this product is supposed to be super hydrating. Magic Radiance is loaded with Vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and essential oils. It aims to cool and soothe the skin, set makeup for extended wear and refresh lacklustre complexions. Fix+ is also great for spraying on your brush before applying eyeshadow or highlighter to make it more intense.


Hope you enjoyed seeing everything I’ve picked up recently! Have you treated yourself to anything during lockdown?

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May Favourites + Highlights 2020

I can’t believe we are at the end of May and it’s monthly favourites time again already! I’ve only got a small selection of products to talk about this month but they are really good ones.

New Zealand is also no longer under strict quarantine, most people have returned to work and businesses and shops have re-opened. Currently I split my working day between home and the library, I work from home in the morning and go into the office in the afternoon. This means there are less staff in the building until we fully re-integrate.

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Colourpop It’s My Pleasure Palette – I purchased this palette in July 2019 and I feel like it isn’t until now that I have really started to appreciate it. Don’t get me wrong I’ve always liked It’s My Pleasure and before purchasing it I saw so many people raving about it but I didn’t start to gel with it until recently. For May, June and July I’m rotating through my Colourpop nine pan palettes week by week and I’m already looking forward to revisiting It’s My Pleasure! I’ve got a better idea how the colours work together and what combinations I like. My favourite shades are Do Or Dough, Earthshine, Fan Fiction and Sleeper.

2. Wella Oil Reflections Shampoo and Conditioner – After getting my hair cut in February and being impressed with how the Wella products that were used made my hair feel I started looking at products online with the intention of purchasing some. I decided on the Oil Reflections range as it’s suited for all hair types and aims to leave hair cleansed and luminous. The scent is lovely too, a mix of vanilla, white tea and fruit. The products make my hair feel amazing and since I started using these my hair looks nourished, soft and more sleek. This is more pricey than regular shampoo and conditioner but I’m proud of my hair and I want it to look good so I don’t mind paying a little extra.

3. The Body Shop Rose Face Mist – I was not expecting to enjoy this as much as I have. I recently finished up the mandarin face mist from The Body Shop and I didn’t really like it so I was apprehensive about this one. The rose most is in an entirely different league and it really does make my skin and makeup look beautiful and dewy. The mist is fine and not too wet which is why I didn’t like the mandarin one, it didn’t feel refreshing and the scent wasn’t my favourite either. The rose scent is spot on, it’s very subtle and one I wouldn’t imagine would irritate you if you are sensitive to smell.

4. Colourpop Berry Good Lipgloss – This gloss was released alongside Colourpop’s Strawberry Shake palette. I have checked the website and this is no longer available but it is a beautiful shade that I have been reaching for a bit recently. Berry Good is a juicy pink-red that gives a lovely strawberry coloured tint to the lips. I purchased this gloss last year and the first time I wore it I wasn’t sure I liked it but I every time I have tried it since it has really grown on me. I purchased the other gloss from the Strawberry collection called Easy Bake (still on the website but showing as out of stock) and I personally prefer Berry Good.

May Highlights

  • I’ve been feeling more body confident recently and I very bravely shared *THIS* photo to Instagram. The comments are all so sweet!
  • I came up with an idea for a semi-regular Instagram series to share some of my favourite songs relating to a theme. For example, the first one featured five of my favourite feel good tracks (new and old). Feel free to leave any theme ideas in the comments!

May’s Spotify Playlist:


How was your month? Share one of your highlights in the comments!

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