Happy Belated New Year + Hello 2022!

Hello and happy 2022! I know I’m a little late considering we’re halfway through January already but let’s not dwell on that. I hope the year has started off well for you and 2022 overall will be a bit easier.

Since my last post in November – Where I’ve Been… – I’ve felt out of the loop with blogging and haven’t had much motivation at all. New Zealand is in full on summer at the moment, getting up to nearly 30 degrees some days and the heat zaps and drains my energy which doesn’t make me feel like doing much at all. I cannot wait for it to start cooling down as I much prefer the cold.

In my last post I talked about some health troubles I’d had, high white blood cell counts and generally feeling lethargic. In early December I started feeling breathless, had sore chest muscles and pain swallowing occasionally. I went to the doctor and we concluded I strained muscles in my upper chest when overseeing a bar fridge delivery at work. I was prescribed some pills to help heal the muscles and some muscle relaxants. I feel fine now but it was an uncomfortable week or two.

I won’t lie, early in January I toyed with the idea of stopping blogging. Most weeks I don’t have the spare time I used to, I always feel ‘busy’ and since my mum got sick in 2020 our roles within the household have changed. It’s not something I’ve talked about before as most people don’t understand our situation and we’re both the kind that just get on with things and do things because we have to, there’s no one else to help us. Over the past week or so I did realise I want to keep this blog, it’s always somewhere I can come to and express what I’m thinking and the connections and friendships it has brought me over the years are very special. I also think my blogging mojo has been relatively non-existent since I’m not wearing makeup. With mandatory mask use when you leave the house there’s no point doing my face for work everyday and making a mess of my masks and making my skin feel more clammy and sticky. I do have some time off coming at the start of February so I will try and get my plan on and get some posts created and written so there’s not so much of a gap between content. If you’ve got any ideas of posts you’d like to see, feel free to leave a comment below!

In terms of goals for 2022, I’ve got a couple:

  1. Read 45 books (I managed 43 in 2021)
  2. Start driving lessons
  3. Get back into exercycling regularly

I’ve also set up pages for the year in my bullet journal. That was something that fell by the wayside last year and when I keep up with it I feel more on top of things and like I’m able to let go of the events of the day more easily and have a clearer head. I want 2022 to be happy and good and I’m starting the year off on a positive note in the hope it translates throughout everything else.

Here’s to 2022 and the year I’ll (hopefully) make a blogging comeback!

Share any goals you’ve got for the year as well as one good thing that’s happened to you recently!

If you’re still here after all these years, thanks for reading!

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Where I’ve Been…

Hello, hello! Long time no blog! In 2021 I haven’t blogged much at all, it’s not through not wanting to but I feel like I haven’t had much to say and I’ve been enjoying keeping under the radar a little bit and using weekends as chill out time to read and catch up on other things. I still read other blogs almost every day and do want to put out posts when inspiration strikes. This is kind of the reason for this post, bridging the gap talking about what I’ve been feeling and what’s been happening and a push to get me excited about blogging again.

I’ll start by rewinding back to April/May of this year when I felt things start to change. In April my mum was in hospital again, thankfully it wasn’t as serious as her admissions in 2020 but the situation doesn’t get easier. She came out a week later and over the past six months her and I have noticed improvements. She’s able to do more and walk further without getting breathless as fast and she came off prednisone after being on them for a year. At the end of April I had time off work and was able to recharge. Throughout this and a few months prior I’d been feeling really tired and sometimes didn’t know how I was getting through the day. My job can be intense so on top of feeling tired I was also incredibly drained. A few people suggested I might have glandular fever based on my symptoms and how I’d been feeling. In May I went to the doctor and mentioned the tiredness and she said it sounded like I was burnt out and suggested more time off work (which I didn’t take as I would have felt guilty) and a blood test. The results came back and my white cell count was up slightly so it looked like an infection of some sort. A few weeks later I had another blood test and the cell count had gone up. I was prescribed antibiotics and had another blood test after finishing them but the cell count was still the same so I was given more antibiotics. The doctor couldn’t figure it out as she said ‘I’m pretty healthy.’ In the end I had three courses of antiobtiotics and countless blood tests and still don’t know what was wrong. I asked to be tested for glandular fever but it didn’t happen. I haven’t seen a doctor or had a blood test since July so I don’t know what my white cells are like currently. I still feel tired some days but nowhere near as bad as I was.

While all of that was going on I made sure to be gentle and kind to myself and started taking more time at weekends to relax and started not to feel guilty if I stayed in my pyjamas one day or didn’t get the house all cleaned. I’ve started pacing myself and going with the flow a bit more and listening to what my body wants. I mentioned I feel like I’ve been under the radar a little bit and I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve still been quite active on Instagram and I’ve been trying to adapt to the new features of the platform such as reels but honestly sometimes I do lose motivation with it. Reels and video content is supposedly pushed to more people but I personally find they don’t get as many likes for me. I don’t know whether my followers aren’t seeing the content, they don’t like it or a mixture of both. I will keep perservering as they have been fun to make and I like watching reels from the people I follow. I am aware the feed content has been lacking since New Zealand went back into lockdown in August and I’m working on it.

The day the second lockdown was announced I was on annual leave and hours before had received my first Pfizer jab. Absolutely the right thing to do was lockdown the country as they didn’t know if it was a Delta case or not, that decision was ridiculed but it meant lockdown only lasted for a few weeks. If you look at where New Zealand is now, the day I’m writing this post we have had the highest daily total of cases since the pandemic started and most of the country is in Level 2 which means shops, cafes, restaurants and businesses can open with social distancing and safety measures in place and mask wearing is compulsory. Okay, more of the country is vaccinated now but the case numbers aren’t plateauing or going down.

Recently on an Instagram story I was sharing thoughts and feelings I’d been having and one of those was around the way I look. I’m not feeling too confident at the moment – perhaps that’s down to not wearing makeup for three months – but mask wearing makes me feel sweaty and overheat and I don’t like the way some things are looking on me. I don’t feel like I’ve eaten more  or gained weight but I think it’s that mindset of Covid is still here there’s no point going out anywhere or putting a nice outfit on. I’m still staying home and keeping activities to a minimum. I’ve also not been in the mood for dating or trying to meet anybody, I’m happy by myself at the moment and socialising with new people during times like these makes me nervous.

Onto the last and most exciting piece of news in this post, I’ve ordered a new phone. I’ve been an Apple user for years and when I saw they had released a pink iPhone it was destined to be mine. I ordered it last week and it should arrive in a few weeks. I was tossing up between the 13 or the 13 mini but I went with the 13 in the end as it’s a similar size to my current phone but doesn’t weigh as much. It’s going to be strange not to have the home button but I’ll soon get over it. I treated myself to this phone as a) the model I currently have is 6 years old (I bought it in 2019) and it won’t last forever b) how often do you see a pink phone and c) the base amount of storage is 128GB, four times as much as my current phone. That will be useful for making more video content.

Thank you for taking time out of your day to catch up with me.
Please say hello in the comments and let me know how you’ve been lately!

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Empty Products #19

Another empties post, the fourth this year! I’ve finished up a couple more products from my Project Pan and it’s rewarding to see how many things I’ve used up in total so far in 2021. Please leave a comment if you still enjoy reading empties posts or if you’ve tried anything mentioned here.

Haircare

1. Function of Beauty conditioner

I decided to give Function of Beauty another go after having a better experience with the products towards the end of finishing my first set of shampoo and conditioner. I changed up the hair goals and changed my formula to suit medium thickness hair rather than coarse hair. I think I just have a lot of hair which makes it seem thick but that doesn’t mean it’s coarse. The second set has been much more enjoyable to use and you can read more of my thoughts in this post *HERE*. I’m not far away from finishing the shampoo from this set either but let’s face it, 97% of people finish conditioner first!

Repurchase: Yes, my third set of shampoo and conditioner will be sent towards the end of September.

Makeup

2. BECCA Champagne Pop Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid

Who doesn’t love glowy skin?! I like a soft, lit from within glow that isn’t too intense and in your face. This liquid shimmering skin perfector was part of a set with two other mini products from BECCA and it’s beautiful! I would use this in place of a traditional primer and buff it in with my foundation, the effect it gave was lovely.

Repurchase: Possibly if BECCA weren’t closing down.

3. Garnier Micellar Water

I was so excited to try this when it launched 5-6 years ago as it’s a great concept for makeup removal but my skin didn’t agree with the product. I haven’t tried the version for sensitive skin but I’d be apprehensive as I didn’t like how this felt on my skin after makeup was removed. When I purchased some sets of false lashes in 2020 I re-purchased a small bottle so I could empty some product into a container and soak the lashes to remove any glue after wearing them. It works a treat and this small bottle lasted well over a year for that purpose.

Repurchase: Yes, to soak false eyelashes, not as a makeup remover.

4. Colourpop Pretty Fresh Sponge

I’m one of those people who doesn’t like applying base makeup with a sponge. I don’t find they give even coverage or the look I like and much prefer brushes. As far as sponges go this one is decent, it’s soft and bouncy and doesn’t absorb too much product. I’ve had this sponge for a wee while now and haven’t used it in months so it’s time to say goodbye.

Repurchase: No, not because it’s bad, I’m just not a fan of sponges.

Skincare & Fragrance

5. Natio Daily Defence Face Moisturiser SPF50+

I hadn’t tried this product before but I like my daytime moisturisers to have SPF and it sounded perfect for applying under makeup as it claims to be a non-greasy formula. The moisturiser is lightweight, hydrating and makeup applies nicely over the top – it’s a great day to day option! I have a different day cream from Natio to use next but I can see myself going back to this afterwards.

Repurchase: Yes.

6. Natio Rosewater Hydration Moisture Boost Day Cream-Gel

Natio is one of those brands whose skincare just works really nicely with my skin. They use a lot of natural ingredients and the price point of their products for the quality is very reasonable. That being said, this moisturiser isn’t my favourite product from them. It’s not bad by any means but I’m not a fan of gel formula moisturisers, I find them less hydrating for my dry skin. The scent of rose is also quite prominent, not enough to be annoying or irritate my nose but if you’re sensitive to smell this might not be for you.

Repurchase: No.

7. Destiny by Delta Goodrem

This perfume was one of the original 10 items in my project pan I started in January. I enjoyed the warmth of the scent and the notes of orange blossom which leant it to being a nicer winter perfume than a summer perfume. I didn’t find the longevity of this very good, the other Delta Goodrem perfume I mentioned in my last empties had better longevity and was more up my street overall.

Repurchase: No.

8. Juicy Couture – Viva la Juicy

This perfume is my holy grail and I consider it my signature scent! It’s got everything I love; vanilla, gourmand, sweetness and more. Certain perfumes work well in conjunction with a person’s body chemistry and this is one of mine. Whenever I wear this I feel confident and upbeat and over the years I’ve received compliments about how good this smells on me too. Viva la Juicy is feminine, fun and sexy.

Repurchase: Already have.

Body

9. The Body Shop Peppermint hand cream

This was given to me at Christmas time by a work colleague. I was pleasantly surprised by how good this smelled – like mint chocolate – and it felt pretty hydrating too!

Repurchase: Would happily use again.

10. Nivea Invisible Silky Smooth Anti-Perspirant

I deviated from my usual Nivea deodorant and this one is a winner! Past deviations didn’t leave me impressed but I would happily alternate between this and my usual in future. This is formulated with skin conditioners for silky soft and velvety skin and keeps black and white garments their respective colours.

Repurchase: Yes.


What was the last product you finished up?

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Empty Products #18

My second blog post in just over a week and my third empties post this year! I finished up another couple of the original 10 items I started project pan with and I’m making really good progress with that project. There’s only one item from this bunch I wouldn’t be happy to use again, the rest are all winners!

Haircare

1. Function of Beauty shampoo and conditioner

I purchased a set of Function of Beauty shampoo and conditioner in August 2020, started using the products in November 2020 and finished them in April this year. The set lasted a few months which is normal for shampoo and conditioner for me and the rose scent I chose is lovely. I did purchase a second set of shampoo and conditioner in March and changed a few of the hair goals to see if there was any difference and I’m enjoying my second set even more than the first.

Repurchase: Yes, I purchased a second set and plan on getting a third set in September as well.

2. Toni & Guy Damage Repair Mask

I have a Toni & Guy heat protectant spray and like that so when I saw this hair mask on sale I was curious enough to pick it up. The masks aims to provide intense nourishment to enhance softness and shine and has a deep conditioning formula that penetrates deep into hair fibres for advanced repair. I’d use this mask a few times a week after applying conditioner and leave it on my hair for 3-5 minutes. I like masks that are quick and don’t have to be left on for a long time. I felt this mask does work and hair feels sleek and soft with use. The scent is also really nice.

Repurchase: Maybe

Makeup

3. MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation in NW10

Ever since trying a sample of the Studio Fix Fluid Foundation I fell in love with it! The formula of the foundation is a natural velvet matte finish that doesn’t accentuate my dry skin. Products layer nicely on top of this foundation and it is such a good everyday one for work. The foundation doesn’t break down throughout the day and lasts for a long time, over the course of a day when the skin’s natural oils come out it still looks good. The only con is the pump I had broke and if I buy another bottle of this foundation which I certainly see myself doing, I’ll have to buy another pump as well. (The pump broke when I unscrewed it to decant the remaining product into a container).

Repurchase: Yes

4. Rimmel Brow Pro Micro in Soft Brown

I ran out of my trusty Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil at the start of the year and saw this micro brow pencil in store and decided to pick it up on a whim. The colour is a little cooler toned than the pencil I use but it still looks natural and works for me. I liked not having to sharpen a pencil and wasting product if the pencil snapped. The spoolie is a lot softer for brushing brow hairs up and the micro brow pencil doesn’t snap. Product is creamy but not patchy. The regular brow pencil is a little cheaper and lasts longer but I don’t mind paying a little bit more if the product doesn’t snap and there’s no wastage.

Repurchase: Yes

5. Rimmel Magnif’eyes Eye Primer

I still stand by my claim that this eye primer is a good dupe for Urban Decay’s Primer Potion. The doe foot applicator picks up a good amount of product at a time and doesn’t create any mess. I feel this doesn’t have the longevity of Primer Potion, not on the eyelids but once the product is open, it won’t last as long. You can’t see how much product is left and can’t see if there’s wastage, with the Primer Potion tube you can really squeeze product out. I wouldn’t rule out buying this again in future.

Repurchase: Maybe

6. Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray

I had never tried this classic setting spray until this year and I totally get the hype! I like the lightweight feel of the mist and that it doesn’t soak the face. It doesn’t upset the makeup underneath and melts products together which makes everything look effortless and gives a natural glow. I’m currently using the ‘Glow’ version of the All Nighter and both are pretty similar, one isn’t better than the other and the Glow version doesn’t add too much dew. If you want to buy the regular All Nighter and it’s out of stock I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with the Glow version.

Repurchase: Yes

Skincare & Fragrance

7. Delta by Delta Goodrem

Delta Goodrem is one of my favourite musicians and when she announced she was releasing a perfume I was excited. The fragrances are sold through Chemist Warehouse in Australia and New Zealand and she has released three so far; Delta was the first. I love the simplicity of the bottle and the little leaf charm around the neck of the bottle. This scent is fresh and feminine and out of the two Delta Goodrem perfumes I have this is the one I like better. It’s a good perfume for work but doesn’t have the best longevity on me.

Opening with notes of juicy mandarin, velvety nectarine and bright green apple, the scent’s top notes are infused with vivacious energy and sparkle. The heart of the fragrance shares Delta’s joyous style with a hint of sweet honeysuckle that mingles harmoniously with jasmine pearls and wild orchid. Rooted in the background are ingredients that lay close to skin with the softest touch including creamy sandalwood and warm vanilla wrapped in a white musk to embody pure luxury.

Repurchase: Maybe

Body

8. MOR Juicy Blooms hand cream

I have a little hand cream stash in my makeup drawer and this MOR Juicy Blooms hand cream came as part of a trio set I purchased in 2019. I try to match my hand creams to seasons and this one was lovely for summer. It was fruity and fresh and the formula is lovely, soft and moisturising. MOR products can be a little pricey but I would consider purchasing more of their hand creams.

Repurchase: Maybe

9. The Body Shop Shea Exfoliating Sugar Body Scrub

I really didn’t like this product. I love the Shea range and the fact The Body Shop do have scrubs that don’t have SLS in the ingredients list and won’t react with my skin. I use body scrub when I shave my legs to combat dryness and razor burn and this one did the job but it was really oily and slippery and would clog up the razor. I’m glad I only purchased the small size and it only took me a short while to use up.

Repurchase: No

10. Nivea Invisible Anti-Perspirant – Clear

Still my anti-perspirant of choice! I’ll be devastated if this gets discontinued.

Repurchase: Of course!


What was the last product you finished up?

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Re-reviewing Function of Beauty

This post is not sponsored or affiliated with Function of Beauty. Products purchased by me and all opinions are my own.

In February I shared my experience with shampoo and conditioner I purchased from Function of Beauty back in 2020. I’d been using the products for a few months by that time and felt I was well informed to talk about them. In that post I mentioned the products were middle of the road, not the best I’d used but certainly not bad either. After writing that post I realised I had been towel drying my hair more often using my previous formula and went back to letting my hair air dry (which is what I normally do) and saw an improvement. I mentioned in my previous Function of Beauty post I noticed more split ends which could have been due to the increase in towel drying my hair.

I decided to give the brand the benefit of the doubt and thought I would make a second order and see if my experience was more positive. Spoiler alert, my revamped formula was really enjoyable from first use and I’m glad I gave the brand another chance! Again, I got the 8oz (236ml) shampoo and conditioner as this lasts me a decent amount of time and stuck with the Strike a (r)ose scent with light intensity. I was also more decisive with the colours this time and knew I wanted a girly, pink set!

I updated my hair type and hair goals this time around which is what I think has made a difference. I said I have wavy hair that’s medium thickness (rather than coarse which I selected last time) and my scalp doesn’t get oily or dry, it’s normal.

One hair goal I kept the same and others I changed. I will list the hair goals I chose first time around that I changed and then list the five I chose for my second formula.

First formula hair goals that were changed:

  • Deep condition
  • Fix split ends
  • Anti-frizz
  • Replenish hair

Second formula hair goals:

1. Straighten – Relax and style unruly hair with a biolipid complex that leaves a sheathing film which naturally disciplines hair even in humid conditions.
2. Nourish roots – Stimulate your hair roots and facilitate the transport of key nutrients to hair bulbs and shafts for healthier, fuller hair.
3. Hydrate –
Restore your hair’s moisture balance, prevent future moisture loss and treat your hair with long-lasting hydration.
4. Shine –
Enhance your hair’s natural shine, luster and reflection while improving your overall hair health without weighing hair down.
5. Strengthen –
Increase your hair’s resilience and elasticity, stimulate healthy hair growth and protect your hair from breakage.

Delivery was super speedy! The products only took about a week to arrive from Amercia from the time my order was shipped. The products sat in my cupboard for a month while I finished my first set and I started using the second set straight after they were finished. I could instantly tell the difference and how much better these hair goals are suited to my hair. This time around I signed up for the subscription service so I will automatically receive another set of shampoo and conditioner in September. I’m extra excited for that as I will be trying one of the subscriber only scents Milk(shea)ke which is described as a rich and creamy shea butter and warm vanilla fragrance. I love vanilla scents so I can’t wait to smell this one. I’m also going choose the medium scent intensity to see how long the scent sticks around. Everything is customisable up until September so if I change my mind about colours, the size or the scent I can edit the formula as much as I like.

Function of Beauty shampoo and conditioner feels like a luxury treat that I’ve really been enjoying the past few months. My hair feels soft and looks shiny and healthy (partly due to a haircut in April as well). It does show it pays to pick the right hair goals as that can affect how the products perform.


It has been over two months since my last blog post, say hello in the comments and let me know how you’ve been! I didn’t mean to disappear for so long but I’ve had some stuff to deal with and in all honesty I’ve been enjoying taking a bit of a back seat from the online world and laying low. I’ve been meaning to get this post finished for a while but the weather wasn’t great for photos (blaming you winter) – I’m glad it’s finally up!

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April Favourites + Highlights 2021

April has been a month of two halves, the first half was stressful with my mum getting sick and being admitted to hospital again and the second half I had 11 days off work and felt like I had to catch up and recover from the first half of the month. The week my mum was in hospital I pretty much ran on adrenaline and it wasn’t until afterwards I noticed the toll it had taken on me. I don’t know if this is as a result of that but recently I’ve fallen out of love with blogging a little bit, I haven’t felt motivated to write or post often and I want my blog to be the best I can make it be. I don’t want to stop blogging but for the next wee while posts are likely to be scarce. I’m still very active on Instagram and reading/commenting on other blogs so I won’t disappear entirely.

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Benefit Roller Lash Mascara – At the beginning of the month I opened a new mascara and chose to go with Roller Lash from Benefit. I have heard so many good things about this mascara and I’m glad to say it hasn’t disappointed. The first time I used it I noticed the formula was a good mix between dry and wet and the product doesn’t smudge. It definitely gave length with the first use and the more I use it the more I like it. Now that it’s been open for a couple of weeks I notice the volume it gives as well and a second coat builds on the lashes really nicely. This does give a natural, fluttery curl too which looks lovely.

2. BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Spotlight Wand in Champagne Pop – I have used this as a highlighter on top of foundation and it is quite a natural looking glow compared to the powder form of Champagne Pop. I have been loving using this under my foundation instead of a primer. I have been dotting it on my face along with foundation and blending both products in together. It gives such a beautiful, healthy finish to the skin and works well with MAC’s Studio Fix Foundation in particular. I have now finished that foundation so I’m hoping it works just as well under others.

3. Nescafé Scorched Almond Mocha – I have mentioned before I’m not a big coffee drinker but now and again I purchase some sachets from the supermarket. I love Nestlé’s scorched almond chocolates so when I saw they had that flavour in coffee form I was curious to give it a try. I like the balance of chocolate and the slight nutty element, there is sweetness and it isn’t bitter. There are 10 sachets in a box and I have had over half of these already.

April Highlights

  • I feel like I have made so many online orders this month but I’m also equally excited for everything to arrive.
  • I had some time off work and while I didn’t feel as productive as I would have liked it was nice just to potter around and do what I like when I felt like it.
  • I’ve also been using the exercycle again so hopefully I can keep this up when I return to work.

April’s Spotify Playlist:

(P.S. it annoys me that Spotify have changed their share playlist feature – I don’t know how to align the playlist in the centre anymore. If anyone knows how to do it with HTML please let me know).


Share one of your highlights for the month and what you’ve been up to in the comments!

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Empty Products #17

Long time, no post! Life happened and I simply haven’t had energy or time to focus on the blog. I had this post written and the photos taken at the start of April but my mum got sick and was admitted to hospital again. It’s nice to finally share it!

I enjoy being nosy and seeing what products people have finished up which is part of the reason I continue to share what I use up. A number of products I started my project pan with feature in this empties, I’m proud of all the progress I’m making so far! A quick warning, these empties are VERY makeup heavy.

Makeup

1. Revlon Lip Butter – Lollipop

This is a classic example of what I dub “the Chanelle lip colour”. Lollipop is a beautiful bright fuchsia with hints of micro-shimmer and the formula is lovely. The lip butters were designed to be more like a stain but Lollipop can be built up and layered and is very pigmented. The formula can be quite glossy and slip a little but I didn’t have any trouble with this shade.

Repurchase: This range is discontinued but if it was still available I would consider purchasing Lollipop again. I do have other fuchsia shades in my collection.

2. MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NW10

I purchased this concealer in 2017 and it lasted me around 3 years. I didn’t use it solidly or exclusively throughout that time, I used other concealers in between. The formula works well with my dry skin, product can be built up and layered easily without looking cakey and clinging to dry patches. This isn’t the most high coverage concealer but as it can be layered it is able to cover redness and blemishes. Since finishing this up, I do miss it. I’m currently using L’Oreal’s Infallible More Than Concealer and while the coverage is amazing, it can perform differently depending on the foundation and primer used underneath.

Repurchase: Maybe

3. Clinique Rosewater Pop Lipgloss

I got this lipgloss in a set a couple of years ago. The colour is really pretty, it gives such a natural, rosy sheen to the lips. The formula isn’t sticky and this was nice to wear on no makeup days but the gloss didn’t have much staying power. Lips felt nice and soft after wearing this but it’s not something I would reach for often. I used this up because it had been with me for a while.

Repurchase: No.

4. BECCA Skin Love Brighten & Blur Primer

This primer has such a lovely fruity scent and the product itself is incredibly moisturising and hydrating. Where this fell down for me is I found it was too hydrating and makeup wouldn’t always sit nicely on top. I have dry skin so I need hydration but the texture felt thick and heavy on my skin. It’s nice to have tried this but I wouldn’t buy the full size.

Repurchase: No

5. Rimmel Professional Brow Pencil in 002 Hazel

I have used this to fill in my brows for about five years now. I am currently using a different brow product from Rimmel which I’m enjoying and I think the cooler brown shade suits me a little bit more at the moment. I do still enjoy the pencil as it’s quick and easy.

Repurchase: Already have.

6. Johnson’s Baby Shampoo

I use this to clean my makeup brushes which is why I’ve included it in this category. One of these bottles lasts me a couple of years and several brush washes. The product is inexpensive, brushes wash up nicely and my skin doesn’t get irritated when this has been on the bristles and they come into contact with my skin.

Repurchase: Already have.

7. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (4.8 ml)

In a previous empties post I used a sample size of Too Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara and was on the fence about it as sometimes the product would smudge onto my eyelids and I didn’t always get on with it. As the product dried out I did enjoy the mascara more but it’s interesting that using a second sample I had a different experience. What I think made the difference is the wand, the pink part of the wand on this sample was a lot longer so it was easier to hold and really get into the eyelashes and apply product. There was pretty much no smudging and my lashes looked really full and voluminous.

Repurchase: I’m not sure I would pay full prize for this mascara ($44 NZD) but I would use this mascara again if it was on sale, I was given it or received another sample.

 

Skincare & Fragrance

8. Natio Ageless Advanced Lifting and Firming Serum

I hadn’t used a serum before as I really enjoy facial oils but I decided to buy this one last year when Natio had a 3 For 2 offer on. I didn’t hate the serum but I also didn’t notice much difference when I used it. My skin didn’t seem plumper or softer but perhaps in hindsight laughter lines looked less prominent. This was easy to spread over the skin and it soaked in quickly but I also looked forward to finishing the serum.

Repurchase: No.

Body

9. Nivea Invisible Anti-Perspirant – Clear

Still using and loving this! A nice, fresh smelling anti-perspirant that doesn’t cause skin irritation or leave residue on clothing.

Repurchase: Yes.

10. The Body Shop Shea Nourishing Body Lotion

I love The Body Shop and the Shea range is a firm favourite but this body lotion isn’t quite how I remembered it. It used to come in a pump bottle and there used to be some product wastage but the texture of the lotion seemed to be softer, more moisturising and have a stronger scent. The squeeze tube as opposed to the pump bottle is great but the lotion doesn’t seem as malleable and it seems like more product is needed at a time.

Repurchase: Maybe. If the brand bring out a Shea Body Yoghurt I’ll be all for it! I love the texture of those and there’s no product wastage.

11. The Body Shop British Rose Body Butter (50ml)

I had always been curious to try a product from the British Rose range. I held off for a while as I was worried the floral scent would be overwhelming but I didn’t find the scent of this body butter too much at all – it’s a nice, fresh floral. This does give a glowy sheen to the skin but I don’t find the formula as moisturising as other body butters I’ve used in the past. Not sure I’d purchase the full 200ml size.

Repurchase: Maybe the 50ml size.


What was the last product you finished up?

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March Favourites + Highlights 2021

I didn’t intend to take a blogging break… it just kind of happened. I didn’t really feel like writing and over the years I’ve come to be more at ease with posting when I feel like it. Also, for the past month I haven’t had much to say, occasionally I have struggled with my emotions and I’m still getting my head around everything following the breakup. I’ve been enjoying quieter weekends mostly filled with reading and listening to music, I love that I can always fall back on those hobbies. I also had a couple of deliveries and shared photos on Instagram if you’re interested to see what I picked up.

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Nike Club Fleece Joggers – When I’m at home I love to wear comfortable clothes and with winter on the way I love being cosy and warm. In October last year I purchased a hoodie and joggers from Nike and a few times this month I have got the joggers out. The joggers are plain black and are incredibly soft and warm. They are actually men’s joggers and when I looked up the size guide the measurements for this pair were similar to a women’s pair but the women’s joggers were more expensive. I’m only 4ft 11 and the length is perfect on me. I’m not sure how men who are average height would get on but I’m not complaining!

2. Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray – This setting spray is one of the most talked about in the beauty world. I had always wanted to try it and purchased a 30ml size last month. I have heard people say they don’t get the hype around this and it’s overrated but I also wanted to find out for myself. The fact this has ended up in my favourites indicates I like it. The mist sprayed is nice and light which I like, I don’t like setting sprays that drench the skin and make the face wet. There is a slight scent but nothing offensive or overly perfumed. I like how this melts makeup together, it’s not too glowy and doesn’t make skin look greasy. If you have dry skin like me I think you would also enjoy this.

3. Rimmel Brow Pro Micro in Soft Brown – I was getting low on my trusty Rimmel eyebrow pencil and I couldn’t find one in store. I did see this product and decided to give it a go. It has a spoolie at one end and product that winds up at the other. It’s very easy to use and my brows look natural, you can apply as little or as much product as you desire. The one great thing about this is I don’t have to sharpen it. The colour is also a good match for me. Depending on how long this lasts I might have found a replacement brow product I like more than Rimmel’s regular eyebrow pencil.

4. Ana Luisa jewellery – I have been wearing jewellery a lot more regularly the past six months or so and I have had some beautiful pieces come into my collection. At the end of February I purchased two pieces from Ana Luisa after spending an age browsing their website and often hearing Arna Alayne talk about the brand on YouTube. The pieces are very reasonably priced and if you’re into ethical brands Ana Luisa is also carbon neutral. I purchased two gold pieces; an adjustable ring with a rope twist pattern and a gold horn necklace that reminded me of a dupe for the famous Missoma horn necklace. If you’re interested in taking a look at the site and want to purchase something for yourself you can use my referral link to get $15 off.

March Highlights

  • I’ve enjoyed playing with Pat McGrath’s Mthrshp Mega Celestial Divinity palette. Still a little overwhelmed when it comes to pairing shades together but the colours are so pretty.
  • I’ve made good progress on my project pan items, a handful of products have been finished up and other products have been swapped in.

March’s Spotify Playlist


Share one of your highlights for the month and what you’ve been up to in the comments!

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February Favourites + Highlights 2021

February has been the strangest month I’ve had for a while. The first half I was upbeat and the second felt like everything came crashing down. At the time this post is published it’s been about 10 days since my boyfriend broke up with me. It feels like I only just told people I was in a relationship again. To say the break up wasn’t expected is an understatement, two weeks before the break up we had such a lovely night together and we spent Valentine’s Day in each other’s company. I don’t know what changed and maybe I never will but after sharing THIS photo and caption on Instagram everyone online and in person has been so kind and supportive. I didn’t like the decision and I can’t change it but I know I’ll be okay and I genuinely wish him happiness.

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Silver stardust 15mm hoop earrings – These earrings were a gift for my birthday in January and they are beautiful. They are lightweight and dainty with a bit of an edge at the same time. The ball on the hoop is textured and designed to have a star dust effect. I love how pretty these look on, they go with everything and can be worn dressed up or down, I’ve been enjoying wearing them to work to add a touch of glam.

2. New bed – During the time I had off between Christmas and New Year I went bed shopping. I don’t think I’ve had a new bed since I was a kid and I was hesitant to switch from my previous bed as it was so comfy but I don’t regret my decision. The mattress took about a month to arrive as they are made to order and I chose a plush chiropractic model so it will be soft and good for my back too. I don’t have back problems but I did read plush mattresses are good to provide support for petite people and I didn’t want a medium mattress in case it wasn’t quite soft enough. The bed was delivered at the start of February and I have been sleeping well, most nights I don’t wake up at all (that’s quite normal for me) and it’s been easy to adjust. A practical purchase that will last for years.

3. BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Prismatic Amethyst – The lavender duo-chrome shift to this highlighter is stunning! Purple works really well with my skintone and I see myself reaching for this a lot when I’m wearing pinks and purples on my eyes and lips. I tend to stay away from pink highlighters (apart from Rose Quartz also by BECCA) as they can emphasise redness, purples don’t do that. The formula is up to the usual dreamy BECCA standard and I’m even more pleased I purchased this with the news that the brand will be going out of business later this year.

4. MOR hand cream in Juicy Blooms – I purchased a MOR hand cream trio in 2019 and after recently finishing up a hand cream I selected one of the scents from the trio to use next. I tend to use scents that match seasons and this one seemed nice and summery. Juicy Blooms has citrus notes blended with sweet almond oil and cocoa seed butter. The hand cream is incredibly soft and soaks in quickly whilst still feeling hydrating and being non-greasy. I haven’t painted my nails for a few weeks and they look and feel strong which I think is partly down to the formula of this hand cream.

February Highlights

  • February 5th. Everything about this day was wonderful; I had a day off work, I slept in, I wore a cute outfit (including a skirt which I rarely do), I spent the night with my boyfriend singing along to music and he said he loved me which was a big step as he told me he hadn’t felt that or said it to anyone before.
  • I purchased the Pat McGrath Mthrshp Mega: Celestial Divinity palette. I’ve used it a few times but I’m excited to play with it more.
  • Again, I’m impressed with my strength and ability to bounce back when I’m faced with adversity. Every day I’m getting stronger and more resilient.

February’s Spotify Playlist:


Share one of your highlights for the month and what you’ve been up to in the comments!

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Function of Beauty Experience

This post is not sponsored. I purchased these products myself and all opinions are my own.

Over the past year or so I have heard the name Function of Beauty crop up numerous times in the YouTube and blogging world. Function of Beauty allows individuals to decide what goes into their own custom hair products.

The site quizzes you on hair type, hair structure, scalp moisture and allows you to select up to five hair goals that you’d like your unique formula to deliver. You can choose a fragrance and how strong you’d like the scent to be but there is a fragrance free option too. You can name your formula, choose the colour (there is a dye free option) and the size you want to purchase. Shampoo and conditioner comes in 8oz (236ml) and 16oz (473ml) bottles and you can purchase a product individually or as a set. Pumps are included but if you re-order you can opt out of getting new pumps each time and re-use your existing ones. Before the checkout process there is the option of adding custom hair treatments like a mask or a serum to your order and you can even choose how frequently you’d like to receive your formula. I chose the one off option as it takes me a while to get through shampoo and conditioner and if I like the service I can re-order later on. I decided to try Function of Beauty when I was beginning to get low on my previous shampoo and conditioner and it sounded fun to be able to choose what was going into my formula and tailor it to my needs.

Function of Chanelle

Unique formula number: 2984668
Hair profile: Coarse + Wavy + Normal

The hair goals I chose:

1. Deep condition Moisturise and deeply condition dry damaged hair from the inside out, restoring hydration lost from heat and/or chemical processing.
2. Fix split ends – Smooth and coat your split ends for a sleek hair surface while building moisture content to minimise future split ends.
3.
Straighten – Relax and style unruly hair with a biolipid complex that leaves a sheathing film which naturally disciplines hair even in humid conditions.
4.
Anti-frizz – Hydrate and soften hair texture while protecting strands from frizz, static and breakage.
5.
Replenish hair – Replenish damaged, nutrient-depleted strands and protect your hair from environmental stressors.

Size: I purchased the 8oz shampoo and conditioner set without any additional hair treatments. I basically just wash my hair and let it air dry. Occasionally I’ll dry it with the hair dryer or straighten it but I don’t mind my natural hair and tend to keep things simple.

Fragrance: I was going to get a fragrance free formula but Strike a (r)ose sounded nice so I opted for the light strength of that. Strike a (r)ose has top notes of rose, black currant, sandalwood and orange blossom. Function of Beauty describe it as, “a cool, modern rose fragrance with a bit of edge.” When placing the order I selected the peach fragrance by mistake. I got in touch with the customer service team who switched the scents for me straight away. I love the rose scent and I’m glad I went for the lightest strength, I can still smell it the days between hair washes and it’s nice and subtle.

Colour: I couldn’t decide on a colour for the shampoo so I went for dye free and chose light purple for the conditioner.

As the products are custom made, from the time I placed my order to the time it arrived it took about three weeks which is not bad at all. When my order arrived it was well packaged, there were no leaks and everything matched what I ordered. Inside the box are stickers to decorate the outside of the bottles and a brochure with details about your formula. The box everything comes in is personalised too which is a lovely touch.

I ordered my shampoo and conditioner last August and started using them in November. There’s still about one third of product left in each and I wanted to share my thoughts once I’d had a chance to use them for a decent amount of time. Do I think it’s the best shampoo and conditioner I’ve ever tried? No, but I do like using these and my hair feels clean without feeling stripped and dry afterwards. I got my hair cut at the end of November and I do notice quite a few split ends, one of the hair goals I chose was to help with split ends. I will see if I notice less when I finish this shampoo and conditioner and go back to Wella. I also don’t think the products by themselves provide as much anti-frizz as I would like. I have been using a hair mask from Toni & Guy after conditioner and massaging in a hair oil when my hair is almost dry. That’s what I think actually makes my hair look straighter without having to reach for my GHD. My hair is naturally a little wavy but the frizz is more noticeable if I don’t use the hair mask and oil.

Once I finish these up I am on the fence as to whether I’d purchase from Function of Beauty again. Doing the quiz is fun and perhaps I’d change the hair goals a little bit to see if that made a difference. The products can be pricey if you don’t find a good offer or coupon but if you pick the right hair goals it’s worth it. I’m glad I tried the brand and I’m not disappointed, the shampoo and conditioner are pretty good. My mind will be made up about whether I’d repurchase or not once I try the Wella Elements products I’ve got waiting in the wings to use next.


Would you be interested in making your own shampoo and conditioner and trying Function of Beauty? What hair goals would you choose?

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