November Favourites + Highlights 2020

November has been a really happy month overall. I still have the odd day I feel anxious or stressed or down but I’ve also had a good reason to feel happy and keep picking myself back up. I have been seeing a guy for a little while now and last week we made it Facebook official. Before announcing anything he met my mum and I met his family. We’re still in the getting to know each other phase but we enjoy each other’s company and we’re always joking around and laughing. He’s super sweet and supportive and honestly after the year I’ve had I’m pinching myself that this has happened.

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. NESCAFÉ Cookies and Cream Latte – You might know I’m not a big coffee drinker and I certainly don’t need it to function but I have tried a few different flavours of NESCAFÉ’s latte sachets over the years and found a couple I like. I tend to prefer sweeter, milky coffees where the coffee taste is less prominent. The cookies and cream latte tastes very similar to the vanilla latte which is the nicest flavour I’ve tried. I will happily devour the rest of these sachets over the next month or so.

2. Nike Swoosh Hoodie in Barely Grape/Iced Lilac – After my tonsillectomy I was looking online and wanted some good quality, comfy sweatpants. I stumbled upon a pair from Nike and also saw this gorgeous purple hoodie at the same time. The hoodie is designed to be oversized, I purchased a medium and it’s a nice fit; hugs in the right places but still has room to move. The material is lightweight but warm and I love how this looks on, I’ve already worn it a lot since it arrived.

 

3. Urban Decay Naked2 Palette – I am so happy I purchased this palette! These kinds of shades are my favourite, they go with any look and the shimmers in this palette are stunning. If you’ve got a ton of neutral palettes you don’t need this but I’ve loved reaching for this palette every time I’ve worn makeup in November. I don’t mind that there are a lot more shimmer shades than mattes as the matte shades that are included are everyday staple shades that you don’t need multiples of in a palette. I’m planning to write a round up of all the palettes I’ve rotated through this year but I already know this is one of my favourites overall.

4. Maybelline Master Primer Pore Minimising – I have tried a number of different face primers this year and this is such a good one! About two months ago I finished the Hydrating primer from Maybelline and that was pleasant to use as well. I do think when I wear this primer my pores seem less noticeable and my base makeup looks more flawless. Before reading reviews and committing to purchasing this primer I was under the impression it would be a matte texture and feel drying on my skin but it’s the opposite; the texture is incredibly smooth and soft. A little goes a long way, it has more slip than the Hydrating primer from Maybelline but I don’t mind that.

November Highlights

  • Kylie Minogue and Steps released new albums!
  • Halo turned 3.
  • I got a haircut for the first time in 9 months.

November’s Spotify Playlist:


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

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Products I’m Decluttering

Usually I include any discards when I do empties posts but recently there have been a handful of products I’m ready to let go of which warranted it’s own post. On the whole I’m not wasteful and I’m happy to pass on products that don’t work for me. There is only the odd product that ends up in the bin normally because it has dried out, separated or I’ve had it too long.

1. Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation – 010 Light Porcelain

I have only used this foundation a handful of times and I just don’t get on with it. It was one of the four foundations I tested at the start of 2020 and it was the worst ranked. I was a little disappointed as Rimmel is one of my favourite brands and I used to love their Match Perfection foundation. This shade wasn’t right for me, I think it was too light (which never happens) and it didn’t look right on my skin. The formula felt very thick and wasn’t easy to blend or build. The coverage wasn’t what I like and my face looked too shiny and dewy. This has had minimal use so I’ll try passing it on.

2. Max Factor Miracle Match Foundation in 40 Light Ivory

I was tossing up whether or not to keep this foundation as it’s not entirely bad. This shade matches me extremely well and the coverage is nice but this can emphasise my dry skin and it has the worst smell of any foundation I’ve tried. This was picked up during a clearance sale so perhaps it had been sitting in the store for a while before I got it. Despite this not being the worst foundation I’ve had I don’t find myself reaching for it often enough to justify keeping it. This would have been used less than 10 times so I’ll try and find a new home for it.

3. Origins Drink-Up Intensive Overnight Mask

I had heard so many wonderful reviews of this face mask and I was excited to try it. I picked up the smaller size and as it turns out that was a wise choice as this didn’t agree with my skin. I have dry-dehydrated skin so I thought this mask sounded perfect to help try and combat that. I would only use this mask every once in a while and it wasn’t until after using it a couple of times that I noticed the next day I would start to break out, especially on my forehead. Having drier skin I don’t tend to get a lot of acne and it seemed like too much of a coincidence it was happening each time I reached for this mask. I’m not sure whether one of the ingredients didn’t work with my skin or if I was leaving the mask on too long but I made the decision to stop using it. It’s such a shame because the scent of this product is really lovely. Hopefully I can pass this onto someone with less sensitive skin than mine.

4. Max Factor Excess Shimmer in Pink Opal

I have tried to make this colour work for years but I’m convinced the formula of this shadow is not right. I have another shade from this line and the formula is soft and creamy, this from the first time I used it has felt dry and crumbly – I’m not sure if it was sealed properly in the shop or if this shade is formulated differently and that’s how it’s supposed to be. The shadow isn’t so dry that it’s unusable but it doesn’t have much shine and pigmentation on the eyes compared to when I swirl my finger in the pot, the product doesn’t translate well onto the eyelids. I was using all of my single shadows throughout October and after reaching for this again thought it’s time to get rid as I have similar shades in eyeshadow palettes and rarely ever reach for this. The colour of the shadow itself is stunning but it’s not the easiest to work with. This is sadly going in the bin!

5. Stila Magnificent Metals – Kitten Karma

I dedicated this post to why I didn’t think this particular set of mini Magnificent Metals by Stila were worth the hype and I still stand by that statement. Kitten Karma was the best performing shadow in the set, it was right up my street in terms of shade, the formula wasn’t thin or watery and there was a nice amount of glitter. The two other shades in the set had previously been discarded and thrown out as they had dried up and when I went to use Kitten Karma in October the same thing happened. Shadows like this clearly need to be used up quickly as they aren’t long lasting. I wouldn’t pick up any of the full sized shades as I wouldn’t get my money’s worth. I don’t recommend these if you’re not going to reach for them often.

6. Milani Eyeshadow Primer

I have had this primer for about a year and started using it in January of this year. For the first few months it was fine but the more I used it the more I noticed it would set very quickly on my eyelids and make them feel dry. I understand the purpose of primer is to make product last longer and make product adhere to the skin better but this became so uncomfortable I’d rather apply no primer and have eyeshadow fade. I won’t throw this away as there’s still plenty of product left, I will try and pass it on.


Have you gotten rid of any products recently?

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Empty Products #15

This is my fourth empties post of 2020 but it feels like I have used products up so slowly this year due to Covid and lockdown and being home more, has anyone else noticed the same? Overall in this round up all of the products were good, there aren’t any I’d begrudgingly use again if they were back in my collection.

Haircare

1. Wella Professionals Oil Reflections Conditioner

The scent of this range is lovely; white tea extract and camelia. This conditioner aims to work in 30 seconds to smooth hair and lock moisture in but I always leave conditioner in for a couple of minutes before rinsing. The conditioner does help hair feel and look shiny and smooth. The one slight gripe I have is that the shampoo and conditioner don’t come in the same size bottles, the conditioner is only 200ml. Most people tend to use more conditioner than shampoo and I wish brands would keep both products the same size or have larger sized bottles of conditioner so products can be finished up at the same time. (I am still using the shampoo at the time of publishing).

Repurchase: I can see myself using this again.

2. Wella Oil Reflections Luminous Reboost Mask

I got this mask in a set with the shampoo and conditioner and most of the time I would alternate between using this or the conditioner. Occasionally I would mix this mask and the conditioner in together if I wanted super silky, soft hair. The texture of the mask is not as runny as shampoo but it’s not thick either, it’s malleable and able to be massaged in really easily. I do think my hair wasn’t as smooth once I ran out of this mask but at the same time I won’t rush out to repurchase it.

Repurchase: The mask on it’s own, no, but if I find it as part of a set with the shampoo and conditioner again I would happily use it.

Makeup/Beauty

3. BECCA First Light Priming Filter

I had heard so many good things about this product so when I saw it as part of a BECCA set on the Sephora website last Christmas I snapped it up. The packaging of this smaller size is beautiful, it’s a pretty purple iridescent tube reminiscent of the primer inside. If you like glowy skin or want something light to wear on top of moisturiser on minimal makeup days I think you will enjoy this. I liked the glow it gave but I found with certain moisturisers and base products if there wasn’t a matte element it would pill and crumble up on my skin.

Repurchase: No.

4. Maybelline Master Prime Hydrate + Smooth

The more I used this primer the more I enjoyed it. Unlike the BECCA primer this would apply the same no matter which base products I used and give a nice smooth, even look to my skin. This is a good, all round every day primer that does what it says. I don’t know how oily skin types would get on as they may find this a little slippery but if you have normal-dry skin you’d probably like this.

Repurchase: Maybe.

5. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

Most people either like this mascara or they don’t and I sit somewhere in the middle. For a lot of people this is their holy grail and I will say when this mascara is good there is plenty to like. When I first started using the mascara the formula was wet and it would smudge but as it dried out I started to like the formula more, the mascara layered and built volume better. The brush is a nice hourglass shape and made of real bristles which I prefer. I’m glad to finally have tried this mascara but it won’t be taking holy grail status.

Repurchase: No. If I received the mascara as a gift or in a set I would use it again though.

Skincare & Fragrance

6. Trilogy Sensitive Very Gentle Restoring Oil

This is the third or fourth bottle of this oil I have finished up over the past couple of years. The oil is not heavy or greasy on the skin and three-four drops is ample. The oil soaks into the skin quickly and keeps it feeling nourished and hydrated. If I am applying this oil I do so in the evening after washing off my makeup. I haven’t had to reach for this oil a lot this year due to winter being mild and trying a new night cream that would do a good job on it’s own most of the time.

Repurchase: Yes. This is lovely applied over my nighttime moisturiser when my skin feels especially dry.

7. Natio Renew Radiance Night Cream

I started using this at the beginning of the year and the 75ml tube lasted the best part of a year with almost nightly use. Natio products seem to work well with my skin and I love that the brand uses plant and natural ingredients. This cream contains pomegranate and vitamin c and the blend is lovely. The texture is very lightweight and a little goes a long way. Product soaks into the skin quickly without compromising on hydration. I found with using this I didn’t need to reach for facial oil as often, my skin wasn’t getting as dry.

Repurchase: Yes. I think the brand has discontinued this range *sad face* but I have found a tube online which I purchased.

8. Olay Complete UV Lotion Sensitive

This is the second bottle of this lotion I have finished up. I used to only use Simple moisturiser but after trying this it’s more hydrating than the Simple product and I haven’t gone back. I do use separate day and night moisturisers – this is such a nice one to wear under makeup, it’s lightweight and non-greasy. This contains SPF too which is an added bonus.

Repurchase: Maybe. I’m currently exploring other daytime moisturisers.

9. Marc Jacobs – Daisy EDT

Before trying this perfume I had seen the bottle as a prop in tons of photos but didn’t have any idea what the fragrance actually smelt like or what the notes consisted of. I first tested this in store and really liked it, it’s fresh, light and bright, floral and feminine. The scent is not overpowering and has good lasting power. This perfume is a perfect one to wear day to day, to work and it’s good for a first date too. This is a safe, all rounder that I will definitely purchase again once I’ve used up some of my other perfumes.

Repurchase: Yes.

Body

10. Nivea Invisible Anti-Perspirant – Clear

I have been using this anti-perspirant for over 5 years now and I don’t tire of it. It works so well and does what it claims and features in every empties.

Repurchase: Yes.


What was the last product you finished up?

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October Favourites + Highlights 2020

October has zoomed by! I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since my tonsillectomy and I’ve been back at work two weeks already! I did get more spendy in October compared to a usual month and I haven’t been reading a lot either. I will still meet my Goodreads target of 40 books for the year but I want to spend more time reading again in November. I haven’t really been up to much this month, mainly sleeping, relaxing and taking it easy. It’s been nice to have time for self care.

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Colourpop Easy Bake Ultra Glossy Lip – Easy Bake was released by Colourpop last year as part of their Strawberry Shake collection. This shade is a sheer strawberry pink that can be worn on its own but I love wearing it over top of lipstick for added shine. This is the perfect neutral gloss that looks good on top of everything without altering the lip colour underneath. The scent is nice, the formula isn’t sticky and goopy and the packaging is adorable!

2. Revlon – Gel Envy Nail Polish in Silky Negligee – I was placing an order online for magnesium for my mum and needed something else to add to the order to qualify for free shipping (it was a chemist website). I had seen this polish in a store the same day and snapped it up immediately. Silky Negligee is a glossy metallic silver grey and it looks stunning on. Two coats is perfect and the polish lasted for almost two weeks with Revlon’s Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat (which I have loved for years) applied over top. The polish was a little difficult to remove but nothing like removing glitter polishes. I also picked up another shade from the range called Standing Ovation (glossy metallic lilac pink) which I’m yet to try.

3. Trilogy Hydrating Jelly Mask – There is a facial oil from Trilogy I love and I saw this jelly mask on sale for half price so decided to give it a try. The mask contains rosehip, hyaluronic acid and manuka honey and it aims to smooth the appearance of skin as well as deeply nourish and refresh it. There is a little spatula that comes with the mask and makes it easy to scoop product out. The texture is like jelly and feels very cooling on the skin. Product is easy to spread and after a few minutes it sets a little but doesn’t feel uncomfortable. The mask only needs to be left on for 5-10 minutes and washes off with minimal effort. This is a lovely mask that I’ve been reaching for once a week and a little goes a long way.

4. The Body Shop Japanese Cherry Blossom body butter – I purchased this body butter over a year ago and I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned it on the blog before! I didn’t start using it until around lockdown but the scent is gorgeous – it’s light, fruity and floral and a nice feminine scent to use after a shower. The texture of this body butter feels slightly more luxurious compared to the standard ranges The Body Shop is known for. The price point of this is slightly higher as well but it doesn’t bother me.

October Highlights

  • It was nice to have a break from work after my surgery. I hadn’t had a proper break since February.
  • Purchased some comfy tracksuit bottoms and the most gorgeous purple hoodie from Nike. You bet the first cold day that comes I’ll be wearing them!
  • Finally got to watch Knives Out this month. Not going to lie though, I was a little disappointed. I didn’t like the fake accent Daniel Craig’s character had.

October’s Spotify Playlist:


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

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Tonsillectomy Journey: Part 2

Read part one of my tonsillectomy journey that was published on Wednesday *HERE*. That post talked about events leading up to the surgery and what happened on the day of the surgery. This post is a diary documenting pain and the recovery process. They say it takes adults approximately 2 weeks to recover from a tonsillectomy and for the most part I agree. For the first week I didn’t have much of an appetite but a week after the surgery I hit a turning point and things started to improve.

Wednesday October 7

The pain isn’t unbearable but my mouth feels dry so I make sure to drink regularly. I managed to eat toast and fruit salad for breakfast and I was given my discharge papers around 9am. Mum picked me up an hour later and on the way home we stopped at a pharmacy to fill my prescription. I had icecream when I got home but it wasn’t very enjoyable. I was still tired from the anesthetic and had a sleep in the early afternoon.

Thursday October 8

The pain is definitely more noticeable and I feel like I can’t talk very well and have a swollen tongue. There feels like extra saliva in my mouth which causes me to dribble in my sleep. I spent most of the day relaxing in bed. I caught up on a bunch of YouTube videos and listened to some podcasts. I also had slight bruises forming on each of my cheeks near the back. For dinner I had an omelette and mashed potato.

Friday October 9

This was probably my least favourite recovery day. I’d say pain was at the highest on this day and I had two tramadol capsules along with paracetamol and ibuprofen throughout the day. This was the first time I had taken tramadol but didn’t notice any side effects which is good. I brushed my teeth for the first time since Tuesday, I wanted to to give it a couple of days so I wouldn’t hurt my mouth or disturb the wound. I really didn’t eat much or feel hungry today but by the afternoon I felt sick and lightheaded and knew I had to eat something. I spent most of the day asleep. I managed an iceblock in the evening but even licking wasn’t easy with a swollen tongue.

Saturday October 10

I woke up quite early and went on my phone for a while. I was a little frustrated that I couldn’t eat much at this point and earache like pain started which made me a bit grumpy. Mum and I watched a movie in the afternoon then I went back to bed and had a nap. I felt well enough to have my first shower since the surgery in the evening and also started a new book.

Sunday October 11

This is the first day I didn’t need a nap since surgery. My tongue was still swollen and I had pain in my right ear when I ate/chewed. I was back on tramadol and took one capsule when I woke up. Mum and I popped out to vote and pick up our groceries. In the afternoon I watched The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and really enjoyed it. Perhaps I’ll check out the other films in the series too.

Monday October 12

I reached for another tramadol again today but it is the last one I needed to take during recovery. I woke up with a bit of pain but the regular taking of painkillers keeps on top of everything. I think I sneezed for the first time since the operation which was extremely uncomfortable. In the evening I painted my nails for the first time in months using Silky Negligee from Revlon.

Tuesday October 13

This was the pivotal day in which everything started to turn. Still taking painkillers at regular intervals and managing pain ok but my tongue didn’t feel as swollen. I placed a couple of online orders, one with MECCA (MECCA is like the NZ/Oz Sephora) and one with Colourpop. I had my first proper dinner in a week and managed butter chicken (cut the pieces up small), rice and naan bread and it was delicious!

Wednesday October 14

Yesterday was definitely the turning point. I was able to eat larger portions of food, had minimal mouth and ear pain but still a little sensitivity if having something cold. I posted photos of makeup items I’m keen to pass on to Instagram and watched the 2018 film Whitney about Whitney Houston. I love watching music documentary films.

Thursday October 15

This is the first day I noticed there wasn’t any pain with eating and the tooth and ear sensitivity had calmed down. The dribbling in my sleep seems to have calmed down too. It was really cold and wet weather wise. I finished my second book of recovery, I haven’t read as much as I would have liked but for the first week I was very tired.

Friday October 16

A relatively pain free day. Had to run a couple of errands; popped to the supermarket and picked up the bits I ordered from Mecca on Tuesday. I did give authority to leave the box in the mailbox but the courier didn’t see that instruction which was a little frustrating. Also treated myself to a couple of jewellery pieces from In the Frow’s Edge of Ember collection. I like simple jewellery pieces and I tend to prefer silver so I chose a dainty little ring with a white topaz stone and a birthstone necklace. The garnet pendant looks elegant on the gold chain.

Saturday October 17

Woke up at 6am and couldn’t get back to sleep. Pretty much pain free from this point on. Did a full face of makeup for the first time in almost two weeks. Listened to music for the first time properly in ages and even managed to sing a little.

Sunday October 18

I didn’t have a very peaceful sleep. Had quite a productive day getting a few jobs done around home like laundry and washing my makeup brushes. Picked up the grocery order in the afternoon and had fish and chips for tea. My appetite had well and truly returned by this point.

Monday October 19

I returned to work. My biggest worry was what to take for lunches as I’m still trying to eat food that’s easy to swallow and nothing too hard or crunchy. I coped fine and it was nice to see everyone again! One of my colleagues left a packet of my favourite chocolates on my desk which was so sweet and thoughtful. I spent most of the day catching up on emails.

Tuesday October 20

Two weeks since surgery! I had an annoying headache most of the day, possibly due to not sleeping well the previous few nights. Nothing much else to report.


I hope you enjoyed reading these posts and getting an insight into what recovery has been like. In all honesty the pain wasn’t terrible and I’m thankful it was mostly manageable with paracetamol and ibuprofen. If you still have your tonsils and get regular bouts of tonsillitis it’s worth considering getting them removed. Give yourself a good couple of weeks to rest and take it easy. Regular painkillers are the key. You will be over sugar and sweet food by about day three but push through and be kind to yourself and your body. Everyone has a different rate of recovery and while I noticed a big change after a week it may take someone else 10 days or two weeks to start making progress. At the moment I can’t say whether the removal has made a difference but it will be interesting to see what happens the next time I get a cold.

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Tonsillectomy Journey: Part 1

I promise I will stop going on about my tonsils and getting them out eventually. I wanted to write this post as I thought it would be helpful to anyone else going through something similar. The post will be split into two parts, this part will give a brief history of my experience with tonsillitis and talk about the procedure and part two will be a recovery diary.

Up until this past year I didn’t have trouble with my tonsils, if I got a cold it was always my nose that was the problem. On March 1st I woke up with the driest, scratchiest throat I’ve ever had and no matter how much I was drinking the dryness wouldn’t go away. It turned into a cold and a few days later I went and saw a doctor who told me it looks like tonsillitis. I was given antibiotics which were too high a dose so I ended up with stomach pains and cramps and couldn’t keep the antibiotics in me. This meant the antibiotics weren’t effective and the tonsillitis didn’t completely go away. A few weeks later I returned to the doctor and was prescribed a different antibiotic which did the trick this time. Fast forward to the end of June and I come down with tonsillitis again. I had been fine all throughout lockdown but once you start mingling and being around people again you’re more susceptible to catching something. It was the same for lots of people at work, the week before I was off about eight staff were sick some days. At this doctor’s appointment I was referred to the hospital to get my tonsils out. I was all for it as it’s going to stop recurrent sore throats every few months.

From the time I got referred to getting the actual procedure it was 3 months which is quite quick in my opinion. I had my initial appointment with the surgeon in July, a phone call with the pre-op team in August and then it was a matter of waiting for a surgery date. Originally I could have had the procedure done at the beginning of September but my mum was in hospital when I received the call and I didn’t need that pressure. A couple of weeks later I got a letter in the mail with a new proposed date of October 6th – I accepted.

On the day of the procedure I was up early and at the hospital before 7:30am. I changed into a gown and robe and was told my surgery would likely be late morning, any children having the same procedure that day get done first. An anesthetist came over for a chat and then it was a matter of waiting to hear my name called. I went into the operating theatre shortly after 11am and was out less than an hour later – the operation itself is very quick. When I woke up I remember initially feeling pain in my throat and was very sleepy from the anesthetic. Most people are allowed to go home the same day a couple of hours after the procedure but my oxygen saturation levels dropped a little bit so they wanted to keep me in to monitor those.

I spent the next few hours dozing until I was more alert. My mum was by my side the whole time but left to come home at around 4pm. After she left I went back to sleep and shortly before 6pm it was dinner time. I was nervous not only to eat in case it was painful but anxious to see what food was on my plate. Dinner was pork and apple meatloaf with mashed potato and vegetables with lemon curd tartlet for dessert. For hospital food the meal wasn’t too shabby and it didn’t cause me pain to eat. I was offered an iceblock after the procedure but I was too sleepy so didn’t feel like it at the time. I wasn’t offered an iceblock or icecream after that.

After dinner I was wide awake so I killed some time on my phone (thank you hospital wifi) and did some crossword puzzles in a magazine I had with me. I went to sleep around 10pm but didn’t have a restful sleep at all, I woke up several times during the night and even started reading an ebook for an hour to pass time. I went back to sleep around 4am and woke up properly between 6 and 7. Breakfast came around at 8am and I ate most of a piece of toast and some fruit salad, I wasn’t brave enough to face the cornflakes. A doctor (coincidentally one of the doctors my mum had during her hospital visits) and a house surgeon came to discharge me just after 9am and gave me a script for three different types of painkillers. After that I was allowed to go home.

Stay tuned for part two which will be up on Friday and will document each day of recovery for two weeks after surgery and how I was feeling.

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Dear 15 Year Old Me

Back in July the lovely Jennie nominated me to do the ‘Dear 15 Year Old Me’ tag. The idea is you think of an answer for each of the five prompts that your 15 year old self would appreciate and give advice you wish you had heard when you were younger. The tag was originally started by Everyday Magic With Jubilee and Mom Life With Chiari.

Rules:

  • Post the tag and image above
  • Mention the creators of the tag and link back to their blog
  • Thank whoever nominated you and link back to their blog
  • Nominate 5 other bloggers that you love and notify them by commenting on their latest post

1. Don’t be hard on yourself because…

You’re your own biggest critic. We are toughest on ourselves when we often don’t need that pressure. If something is not going to matter in five minutes or a month from now don’t spend time worrying and stressing about it. Those who are closest to you appreciate you for who you are.

2. The relationship you’re in…

You won’t be in relationship for a few years yet but don’t settle and worry too much, things will happen when they happen. Waiting to get into a relationship rather than forcing anything or being in a relationship for the sake of it makes you realise what you actually want and teaches you how look after yourself and treat other people. When it finally happens you will feel more grateful and it will be special.

3. You will get through this because…

You are stronger than you know! Music will always be there after a hard day too.

4. Don’t get caught up in thinking…

School life is how things will be once you have finished and left school. If you don’t feel like you fit in or you don’t enjoy each part of your day that is okay. Being independent, doing things for yourself, staying motivated and working hard will take you far.

5. These experiences will help you learn…

You are going through one of the most unpredictable times of life. Feelings change constantly, emotions are high and you’re still discovering and learning about yourself. Have hope that everything will work out how it’s supposed to. Take time, enjoy the small things, be kind to yourself and keep going.

I tag:


What advice would you give your 15 year old self?

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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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