My Birthday Round Up! 🎉

My birthday falls towards the end of January and if you follow me on Instagram you may have seen a few pictures I already shared from the day. I intended to write a blog post as well sharing what I treated myself to throughout January. There were a few items I wanted to get my hands on and I totally used my birthday as an excuse!

A couple of days before my birthday I booked in for an hour long therapeutic massage and it was lovely to be pampered. My muscles were a little sore the next day but thankfully the day after that on my birthday the aching had subsided.

My birthday was very chilled out. I woke up at 4:30am and couldn’t get back to sleep. I got up around 6am to feed Halo, tried to go back to sleep for a little while but wasn’t able to. At 8am I got up properly and started the day with a coffee in my favourite cup. Mum and I went out to get a chocolate sponge cake and for the majority of the day I did chores around home. I showered, listened to music and did my makeup in the afternoon ready for my boyfriend to pick me up in the evening. We’d decided to do an evening treewalk through the local forest and it was magical, all the lights are beautiful! My favourite section was one that looked like the lights were specks of glitter. I took plenty of photos and videos and loved the experience. I’m not worried about heights so being up in the trees didn’t scare me and because it’s dark you can’t see the ground and it doesn’t feel like you’re up high.

I don’t expect presents from other people and it’s truly the thought that counts. People say that I’m hard to buy for but I joke in response they don’t know me well enough! I don’t mind spoiling myself anyway, it’s the whole independence thing. My mum gave me money and my boyfriend got me a beautiful pair of earrings. My brother is giving me a Sephora gift card which I plan on putting towards the Pat McGrath Mthrshp Mega: Celestial Divinity Palette.

Here’s what I treated myself to:

Bras from Triumph

I find bra shopping difficult as I have very narrow shoulders and I’m petite but curvy. A lot of straps are too wide set and slip off my shoulders. I purchased two bras from Triumph last year and they fit incredibly well, they’re stylish, comfortable, good quality and the straps don’t fall down. I purchased three bras at the start of January and the order came to less than $100 which is very reasonable for lingerie. Understandably I’m not going to share pictures of me wearing the bras but the collage above shows the styles and colours I chose.

BECCA Highlighters

BECCA highlighters have the most beautiful formula, they’re soft, buildable and blend like a dream! Pretty much all of my highlighters are BECCA and it’s fun to mix and match which shade I wear based on my makeup look that day. I purchased the BECCA x Barbie Ferreira set from Sephora which contains three mini shades: Vanilla Quartz, Rose Quartz and Champagne Pop. I already own a mini of Champagne Pop so I will gift this to someone. Vanilla Quartz is stunning and a great one for day to day.

I also purchased the full size of Prismatic Amethyst (not from Sephora). I love purples on me and the duochrome shift in this shade is surprisingly wearable and doesn’t look too intense. This can be applied with a subtle hand or really built up to intensify the purple, it looks great with all purple makeup too!

BECCA Lipgloss Trio

I actually made two Sephora orders in January and this lipgloss set was the basis behind the second order. This set is also part of the Barbie Ferreira collaboration and the glosses are absolutely stunning. There are three shades Sparkle (a sparkly gold), Facet (a sparkly purple and my favourite shade in the set) and Foiled (a sparkly pink). Foiled is the most pigmented in the set but honestly all shades are wearable and are great as lip toppers. The gloss is not sticky at all and the small size is great as it won’t be difficult to use these up!

Fenty Gloss Bomb in Fenty Glow

I’m having a moment with lipgloss lately. I’m loving wearing glosses on their own on no makeup days to keep my lips nice and plump and applying glosses as toppers over lipsticks. Fenty Glow is the original gloss bomb shade and it’s supposedly universal and suits everyone. On first impressions I did find the shade a little warm but it’s still nice. I look forward to wearing it more and finding lipsticks in my collection to pair it with.

Benefit Pencil Sharpener

This is the most basic item to purchase but it’s a necessity. My old pencil sharpener from school days is cracked and everytime I’d go to sharpen my Rimmel brow pencil the lead would snap and I’d end up wasting a lot of product. This sharpener caters for three different sizes and it even comes with a handy little cleaning tool. This sharpener is also baby pink so it’s totally my aesthetic.

Marc Jacobs At Lash’d Mascara

I added this mascara to my order on a whim so I could qualify for free shipping. I have really enjoyed trying sample mascaras this past year and this sample was $24 for 8.4g of product which was a lot fairer priced than sample mascaras from Tarte or Benefit. I haven’t tried anything from Marc Jacobs before but this mascara sounds good, it aims to lift and volumise which sounds great for my lashes. The black and gold striped tube is neat too!

Body butters from The Body Shop

Ever since The Body Shop store in my city closed down I have missed it greatly. I now am strategic when I buy and try to make a bigger order as I can’t pop into town for a look anymore. I wanted to utulise my 20% off birthday discount and I was running low on body butter so purchased two in scents I hadn’t tried before. I purchased a 50ml of British Rose as I didn’t know if the scent would be too strong (it’s not on first sniff) and a 200ml of Japanese Cherry Blossom Strawberry Kiss. I finished up the regular Japanese Cherry Blossom a little while ago and it’s one of the best I’ve tried. I love the strawberry range too so the combination of both scents is a match made in heaven.


Do you treat yourself for your birthday? Have you tried any of these products?

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Welcome 2021!

By now on the blog it’s tradition that the first post of the year will be wishing everyone a Happy New Year and sharing some words of wisdom.

Nobody knows what 2021 will hold but we want it to be ‘better’. I don’t have any expectations so that way I can’t be disappointed. 2020 was challenging for a lot of people (myself included) but there were also good moments. I try not to focus on the bad but realistically it’s not always easy. I applaud myself for getting back up each time something goes wrong and the idealist in me never loses hope that one day everything will be okay and it will all make sense. I don’t want this year to start off on a negative note so, goodbye 2020, I’m not sad to see you go and let’s move on!

The past 12 months were relatively quiet on the blog and initially I feel 2021 will follow a similar pattern. I have post ideas in the pipeline and will write when I get time and feel inspired but gone are the days when I would churn out new posts each week. I turn 26 at the end of the month and I will have been blogging seven (!!!) years in June – it’s understandable that over that length of time circumstances change. Blogging doesn’t hold the place in my heart that it used to but I still enjoy it and don’t want to stop.

For 2021 I need to be more selfish with my time and do what helps me to be happy and stay relaxed and as less stressed as possible. I’m getting better at being assertive and saying no and not feeling guilty for it. Often I feel like I’m letting people down but at the end of the day that person is me 90% of the time. This is me saying I’m done and I don’t want that any more.

Keeping a bullet journal is one thing that fell by the wayside in 2020 and when I’m able to clear my head and have a place to organise my thoughts it helps a lot. I didn’t have many pages left in my current bullet journal so I purchased a new one to begin 2021 and I can’t wait to spend time setting it up. Exercise is another thing that helps me feel good within myself. I got back into a routine during April/May last year and over the past 10 days I’ve started using the exercycle again. I’m going to try hard to keep it up!

2021 is the year I wish to welcome proper happiness. I want to let go of some of the fear I carry with me daily and embrace new things and experiences with people… who knows what the next 365 days will bring!


What are you excited for this year? Do you have any goals for 2021?

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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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Hello + An Explanation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Lockdown Life

Hello, it’s me! (Chanelle, Adele – they sound similar right?!)

I haven’t posted for a few weeks and to be honest I was enjoying downtime when I could get it. The past couple of weeks I have been quite busy with work and preparing for my return to the workplace. I did want to write this post to check in and share what I’ve been up to throughout lockdown. New Zealand is no longer in strict lockdown and on Thursday, May 14th the majority of businesses and sectors started back at work in the workplace (including me).

I’m not going to lie, I relished lockdown life! I am quite a homebody so didn’t find the staying at home difficult. I didn’t find my productivity suffered and I found I probably had more of a work-life balance. I was less stressed, I was eating less often but better and I got to spend time with my loved ones (mum and Halo). I also kept myself distracted with the following:

Reading

It’s natural that as a librarian I enjoy reading and I got through a good chunk of books! I would sit at the table and read as I was waiting for email replies, on my lunch breaks etc. Over the past seven weeks I managed to get through eight books and I’m currently 48% of the way through my Goodreads goal for the year.

I finished:

  1. Twas the Nighshift Before Christmas – Adam Kay
  2. The Longest Holiday – Paige Toon
  3. The Hunting Party – Lucy Foley
  4. If I Never Met You – Mhairi McFarlane
  5. I Dare You – Sam Carrington
  6. The Guest List – Lucy Foley
  7. She Lies In Wait – Gytha Lodge
  8. Our Stop – Laura Williams

Working

I was able to work from home and it was good to have a routine of sorts and a bit of distraction and something to focus on. I was able to do all the admin parts of my role including payroll, raising and receipting purchase orders, answering customer emails and phone calls and attending Zoom meetings as required. There’s lots of other little elements to my role as well and it keeps me busy.

Online shopping

I have possibly been more spendy than I should have during lockdown and I will share everything I purchased when it arrives in a separate post. Prepare for quite a few beauty bits!

Exercise

Along with eating less and eating better I was also able to start exercising regularly again. I’m probably not as ‘fit’ as I was a couple of years ago and my stomach and legs are certainly not as toned but I loved getting back on the exercycle and I will try to keep it up. Exercise helps stamp out any bad feelings and makes me feel more positive.

Singing

People most likely wouldn’t think of singing as exercise but it can help greatly if you’re asthmatic as it teaches you to breathe in different ways and gives you techniques that help with inhaling and exhaling. Singing has so many good benefits; it relieves anxiety, helps oxygen move and circulate around the body and teaches muscle memory when it comes to hitting the notes. I found during lockdown my voice was sounding better than it has for a while which I think is due to being less stressed which allowed the vocal chords to open up and created less constriction. I also like to sing whilst using the exercycle, proper little multitasker!

Playing with makeup

I didn’t wear makeup as often as I usually would but I did enjoy applying it and making myself look nice for Zoom meetings. I took some great selfies during lockdown too. (Shameless I know!) It was nice to take a bit of extra time to play with colours and products I felt like using on the day and apply my makeup in daylight again (usually I apply my makeup at 6am before sunrise).


I hope you enjoyed catching up with what I’ve been doing. I was actively reading blog posts and leaving comments the whole time as well as being around on social media.

Leave a comment and let me know if you’re still in lockdown, how you’re going and what you’re most looking forward to when it’s over!

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Collective Haul: Beauty + Entertainment

I still seem to go through phases where I buy nothing at all or place a couple of online orders around the same time. Does anyone else get excited for packages in the mail or is it just me?! I am really excited about the items (a little nervous for one but more on that later) and now that everything has arrived I can talk about them.

1. Max Factor Creme Puff Blushes in 10 Nude Mauve and 20 Lavish Mauve

I saw one of these blushes on sale in a shop for half price and although I’ve heard lots of good things about them I’d never swatched them for myself. The shade on sale wasn’t quite up my street but there were a couple of other shades that were. Before I commit to buying most makeup products I will research them and watch YouTube videos. Nude Mauve is a gorgeous brown-mauve and Lavish Mauve has more prominent pink-mauve tones. Both shades are suitable for my fair skin and apply beautifully on the cheeks. The formula is soft and buildable and the packaging is compact and feels sturdy.

Blush swatches:

Left to right: Nude Mauve and Lavish Mauve

2. xoBeauty “The Innocent” and “The Heiress” False Lashes

This is the purchase I was nervous about! I have never worn false eyelashes in my life and I feel like I will either be terrible at trying to apply them or I will get better with practice. xoBeauty is a brand I have purchased numerous products from and Shannon’s lash line gets a lot of love. I opted for natural looking styles that aren’t too long as I wear glasses. The Innocent are a short criss cross pattern that will add a nice amount of volume. The Heiress lashes aim to give a fluttery, curled effect and are slightly more dramatic. I haven’t tried the lashes yet but I will experiment on one of my days off.

3. Duo False Eyelash Glue (Clear, latex-free)

You can’t apply lashes without glue! On the xoBeauty site there are a few different glue options but I went for this one as it dries clear and is more suitable for sensitive eyes. My eyes aren’t overly sensitive but I liked the sound of this glue the best. The brush on applicator sounds really useful as well.

4. Lash Applicator Tweezer

xoBeauty have special tweezers which Shannon always uses to apply eyelashes and I’ve watched her use these in numerous YouTube videos – she makes it look so easy! The tweezers are nicely weighted, matte black and have a non-slip grip. The shape of the prongs is designed to aid with application and help fuse the false lashes with your natural lashes.

5. Louise – Heavy Love CD

Louise is a British singer-songwriter who found fame as one quarter of 90s R&B/pop group Eternal. Louise left the group in 1995 to pursue a solo career and released her fourth studio album in January 2020. It was a mission to get this CD, I pre-ordered a signed copy from Amazon.co.uk in August 2019 and during the week or two following release I didn’t get any update on my order. Amazon estimated the CD would arrive by February 3 (which it didn’t) and the next day I got an update saying there is an unexpected delay and delivery will now be between mid February and the end of March. I really wanted a signed CD and thought I’ll cancel my Amazon order and get one from Louise’s official store instead, it was more expensive but it was still signed. When I went to order from Louise’s store the signed CDs were sold out but luckily I found a company called Banquet Records who listed signed copies on their website. I tweeted to ask about stock and there were still signed CDs available. I cancelled my Amazon order, placed an order with Banquet Records and the order was dispatched within a few days.

6. Frankie Bridge – Open

In my life a lot of things seem to come back to music and this book is an example of that. Frankie is a singer I have looked up to for half of my life and my admiration for her multiplied when she revealed a struggle with anxiety and depression in 2011/2012. I am quite an anxious person and whilst I have never been diagnosed with a mental illness or been on medication some of the things Frankie says in interviews and this book resonate with me. In a way it’s comforting to know I’m not alone in some of my thoughts. I finished this book within 24 hours and it was great to learn more about Frankie. The book is written in such a kind way, it doesn’t come across as needy (not that I thought it would) and my only con is that it’s not longer.


What was the last thing you treated yourself to?

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Hello 2020!

Happy New Year lovely readers! I hope you all had a relaxing holiday season and have enjoyed the first days of January so far.

I had a quiet Christmas which I don’t mind as the day feels peaceful and relaxing. I don’t have a big immediate family so there’s nowhere to travel and there aren’t people to visit but my brother came to stay with mum and I for a week. On Christmas Day we all had a nice meal and I spent the afternoon watching a documentary about Michael Hutchence – I find music documentaries fascinating and this one was poignant and touching. The next day I went shopping and picked up everything on my list. Shops weren’t as busy as I expected either which was a nice surprise. As I have been working through the Christmas/New Year period I’m hoping to take some leave at the end of January around my birthday and have a break then.

I’m coming in to 2020 excited about blogging. I’ve got a few post ideas up my sleeve and I’m going to adopt a similar posting style to last year, posting and writing when I’m in the mood and inspiration strikes. Looking back over the most popular posts from 2019 the clear winners are haul posts and monthly favourites. There won’t be any major changes to the blog overall and I’m enjoying a more relaxed approach.

I’m not sure what 2020 will bring but there’s something refreshing about that and being able to let things happen as they come and be in the moment. I’m hoping this will be the year I get back into a better exercise routine, it’s something I’ve been trying to do for months but things keep cropping up. I’m excited that I’ll be seeing my favourite band, Steps, live in May as I never dreamed that would happen and it still feels surreal at the moment. Slowly I’m becoming more assertive and learning to stand up for myself and look after my needs without feeling guilty and worrying I’m putting other people out. Sure we all want to be liked and respected but constantly pleasing others is detrimental to yourself. Don’t let yourself be taken advantage of and don’t be afraid to speak up and let your thoughts be heard. That doesn’t mean being defensive and being nasty towards others, it’s about knowing your worth. I’ve realised that when it comes to dating and I’m not going to be with just anyone. There’s nothing wrong with having a standard and I’d rather wait for something meaningful than be with someone for the sake of having someone. I’ve always been independent and I need a man that can handle that and doesn’t question why I do or like certain things – you should be accepted for who you are. Work hard, don’t settle and persistence and determination will pay off.

I wish everyone a fabulous year and I look forward to interacting with you in the comments and online!


Let me know what you’re excited for in 2020 and if you have any goals you’d like to achieve.

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Yearly Highlights + Signing Off For 2019

Usually towards the end of each month I round up my favourite things but in December there hasn’t been anything new that I’ve come across that I haven’t talked about before. In lieu of December Favourites I’ve rounded up my favourite products of 2019. I will also be sharing some  highlights from the year. This is my final post for 2019 as I want to give myself a break from posting between Christmas and the New Year. Thank you to everyone for taking time to read and comment and for showing support. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and I hope you have the best day with your loved ones!

Base

1. Trying higher end foundations from YSL and MAC – 2019 is the year I stepped up my foundation game and ventured away from the drugstore options slightly. I got a sample of MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid Foundation which applied beautifully each time I used it and made me start looking into other high end foundations. After finishing the MAC sample I purchased a bottle of YSL’s Le Teint Touche Éclat in B10 Porcelain and it is such a perfect colour match for me. A little goes a long way with this foundation and like the MAC foundation it applies and sits beautifully on the skin. I have still got a couple of drugstore foundations in my collection and once I’ve used those up I can see myself heading more towards bases that are slightly more expensive but perform better. It takes me so long to finish a foundation that I’d rather it be one that I really like.

2. Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Light – I heard The Anna Edit talk about this product numerous times and I’d been curious to give contouring a go so I bit the bullet and purchased it. I wanted one shade that suited my skintone rather than purchasing a palette where most of the shades would sit untouched. This product is lovely to work with, the powder is soft and easy to blend and I don’t need to use much at all. I tend to use this over bronzer on days I want more definition.

Eyes

3. xoBeauty Heaps of Sweets Palette – This palette is a relatively new addition to my makeup collection. The layout and the number of different colour combinations excites me and makes me want to experiment with the palette. The pigmentation, formula and the combination of matte and shimmer shades is great and since the palette arrived I have not put it away, it’s sitting on top of my dresser within easy reach. Palettes like this that can be used for wearable everyday looks but also contain fun pops of colour are so versatile.

4. Zoella x Colourpop Group Hug Supernova Shadow Bundle – If I had to pick my favourite brand for 2019 it would be Colourpop! I hadn’t tried anything from Colourpop before and I remember asking on Instagram for product suggestions and someone mentioned that they didn’t like the Supernova Shadows. I didn’t purchase the Group Hug bundle in my first order but I am glad I picked it up in a subsequent order. The bundle contains the shades OG and Bellini and both are packed full of shimmer and glittery goodness. The pigmentation is stunning, especially Bellini, and they apply so smoothly and last all day. They are what I thought the Stila minis I have would be like but 100x better. Unfortunately this set has now been discontinued.

5. Colourpop Sol Palette – This is one of my favourite eyeshadow palettes in my collection and every time I use it I’m never disappointed, there’s not one bad shade. The warm, orange tones work really well with my hair and complexion and this palette is surprisingly versatile. If I had to pick one palette to travel with it would be between this and The Remix Palette from Shaaanxo and BH Cosmetics. One of the best nine pans Colourpop do in my opinion!

6. Colourpop Super Shock Shadows – One of the Colourpop products recommended to me were the Super Shock Shadows. This product is what the brand first started off with and having a creamy, highly pigmented texture with no fall out it’s easy to see why they are so popular. Across the four Colourpop orders I placed this year I purchased eight shades in total. My top picks are Slave2Pink (neon pink glitter loaded up with blue), Bouncy (cool toned bronze with gold and violet duo chrome), Nillionaire (bronze with pink and gold ultra-glitter), Dare (shockingly neon purple with hot pink and violet glitter) and I Heart This (taupe with silver ultra-glitter).

Lips

7. Revolution Jewel Collection Lip Toppers – These sheer, non-sticky glosses are packed with stunning shimmer to switch up your favourite lipstick. I have two out of three shades; Fortune (iced silver shimmer) and Exquisite (duo chrome sheer pink with cool silver shimmer). They can be worn alone or layered over lipstick for a high shine finish and colour shifting duo chrome effect. Fortune is my favourite!

8. L’Oreal – Bois De Rose Lipstick – A work colleague gave me this lipstick and the colour reminds me a lot of Syrup by MAC which I completely finished a couple of months ago. Bois De Rose has more of a rosy tone whereas Syrup has more of a purple-berry tone. The formula of this shade is lovely and creamy and it is such a lovely colour for everyday wear.

Accessories

9. YSL Black Opium – The 7.5ml perfume sample of Black Opium did not last me long at all, it’s finished already! I instantly fell in love with the scent and in the near future I definitely want to pick up a full sized bottle. The combination of warm, sweet vanilla and coffee with a hint of spice is extremely sexy.

10. Daniel Wellington Petite Melrose Watch – I purchased this watch last year and whilst it was an investment piece I love wearing it! My wrists are tiny (which I have a weird fascination with) and Daniel Wellington watches accommodate that. When you order from Daniel Wellington you can customise your watch by choosing the size of the dial, the colour of the dial and the colour of the strap. I chose the Petite Melrose in rose gold with a white 28mm dial. The watch goes with everything and looks dainty and elegant.

Top 5 personal highlights from 2019:

1. A personalised signed album from Claire Richards – Claire Richards has one of my favourite voices in the music business and she released her solo album in February 2019. Through Claire’s website fans could pre-order personalised signed copies of her album.

2. Securing tickets to So Pop 2020 – Speaking of Claire, Steps were announced as one of the acts for the So Pop 2020 series of concerts alongside The Pussycat Dolls, Jesse McCartney, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and others. It hasn’t properly hit me yet that I’ll be able to say I’ve seen my favourite band in concert even if they aren’t the headline act – 10 year old Chanelle never thought this would happen.

3. Finding a denim jacket – I knew that when I purchased my denim jacket from Pagani it is one of those timeless pieces that goes with everything. I often pair it with leggings for simple, casual outfits when I’m not sure what to wear and it’s a great layering piece that can be dressed up and dressed down.

4. Purchasing new perfumes – Halfway through the year I purchased a couple of new perfumes and I’m really pleased with all the scents in my collection at the moment. Girly, vanilla based scents are my favourite and you can’t go wrong with Juicy Couture in my opinion. The fragrances next on my list to buy are Viva la Juicy Rosé and a full size of Black Opium.

5. Being more social – I am by no means a social butterfly but I have been on my fair share of dates, attended a few quiz nights and been out to dinner with work friends this year.

December’s Spotify Playlist:


I hope you are able to look back on 2019 and the decade with fond memories. If 2019 didn’t go the way you planned I hope 2020 will treat you better and bring plenty of happiness ❤

I will still be reading posts and commenting but this is me officially signing off – see you in 2020!

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Favourite Instagram Accounts #2

A couple of months ago I shared a handful of accounts that are some of my favourites to follow on Instagram and I’m back with another installment! Currently I follow around 700 accounts so there’s not just a select few that are my favourites. I’m always looking for new accounts to follow so feel free to leave any recommendations in the comments and I’ll check them out.

1. Elle (Account: missjanebeauty)

Elle is also from New Zealand and I don’t remember how I came across her feed but it is incredibly beautiful! The majority of her posts are makeup flatlays but she does also share empties with mini reviews of each product and FOTD posts. Her feed is #goals!

2. Apartment Edit (Account: theapartmentedit)

The Apartment Edit is the home account of Sam Chapman (Real Techniques) and her boyfriend Ryan. I find with some home accounts they look too staged and the same as each other but this apartment is quirky and has colour and is not just white on white with chrome or gold accents. Sam’s cat Jojo also features in some pictures and Jojo even has his own Instagram account @cattojojo which I also follow.

3. Polished and Inspired (Account: polishedandinspired)

I love to follow makeup and beauty Instagram accounts and support my fellow bloggers. Polished and Inspired also has a blog by the same name – click *HERE* to visit – and is a Canadian beauty enthusiast. Her Instagram captions are thought provoking and informative and her blog posts are well written and well thought out.

4. Nadine (Account: nadine_blewett)

Nadine is one of my oldest blogging friends and such a beautiful soul that I have grown very close to over my blogging journey. Nadine is so supportive and kind and a genuinely lovely girl inside and out. We’re always there when the other needs a chat and is having a rough day or to leave sweet comments on each others pictures. If you love fashion and cute dogs, hit that follow button, you’ll find both of those in abundance from Nadine.

5. Katie (Account: katesvanityblog)

Katie is like the older (hope you don’t mind me saying that), American version of Nadine. Katie is another blogging friend that I have known for years and is one of the kindest, gentlest souls around. Katie is a fellow makeup lover and also posts cute pictures of herself and her boyfriend Ron as well as pictures of her cat Allie.

6. Taylor (Account: taylorjanelifestyle)

I wish I was as stylish and looked as good as this girl! Her accent is so cute and her stories are very entertaining. Usually on a Wednesday, Taylor will post ‘The Wednesday Wishlist Edit’ on her stories and followers pick whether or not they like each item. Sometimes it will be fashion, sometimes it will be homewares and it’s unique and a bit of fun, I don’t follow other accounts that do that. Taylor also has a blog which you can find linked in her Instagram bio.

7. Sophie (Account: sophielaurablog)

Look at all those gorgeous warm tones! Sophie is a beauty and lifestyle blogger from The UK and her photography is seriously stunning. There is often a mini story behind Sophie’s pictures and she is able to fit so much into her images without the image looking cluttered. Sophie is also an avid reader so I particularly enjoy her bookish posts and seeing what she enjoyed. Her stories are an extension of her feed and I love flicking through those too.


Let me know which Instagram accounts are your favourite to follow in the comments!

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