GRWM: Girls Dinner

On Monday I went out to dinner with some of the girls from work. If you saw my post on Instagram earlier in the week you may be aware I was worried about the dinner. Social situations make me nervous and not being a very adventurous eater magnifies the nerves. Evenings out aren’t something I do as I don’t usually have company and part of me feels like I don’t deserve it. I knew I wanted to go because I felt grateful to be included and it was a big deal for me. I made everything out to be worse in my head than it was but when you worry so much it’s a natural instinct. If a similar situation arises again I will be less nervous which is a positive.

Not only was I nervous about the food/dinner – I stepped out of my comfort zone with my outfit. The restaurant had a dress code so it meant I had to get a little glammed up. I wore a dress AND heels and wanted to do nice makeup. This look features some newer products in my collection and products I’ve been reaching for a lot recently.

(Products have been categorised and listed in order of application under each category).

Base

  • MAC Strobe Cream – Pinklite – I applied this kind of like a primer and to give my skin more glow. I wanted this look to be soft and dewy.
  • Max Factor Lasting Performance Foundation in 100 Fair – One of my favourite foundations that I’ve tried to date; good coverage and a satin finish.
  • Collection Lasting Perfect Concealer  – 1 Fair – The pigmentation and creamy consistency pairs so well with the Max Factor foundation. I had a bit of redness I wanted to cover up and also I wanted my skin to look glowy and this concealer isn’t as matte as my MAC one.
  • The Body Shop Strawberry Smoothing Face Mist – This smells good, feels lovely on the skin and keeps makeup looking fresh. This was the last product applied before my lip colour.

Cheeks/Eyes

  • Rimmel Professional Brow Pencil in 002 Hazel – Used this to fill in my brows.
  • Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder – Light – I hadn’t used this for a few weeks and I missed it. Often in the morning when I’m getting ready for work I skip contouring as I’m short on time but I do really enjoy how this product looks.
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion – This little 5ml sample has lasted me over a year and is still going strong.
  • The Body Shop Honey Bronzer  – 01 Light Matte – This was dusted over the tops of my cheekbones, down my nose and across my chin. I also applied this in my crease as my transition shade.
  • BECCA – Royal Glow – I used my ring finger to apply this highlighter all over my eyelids as a base shadow and used it to highlight my cheeks as well.
  • Zoella x Colourpop Supernova Shadow in Bellini – Bellini is a high-impact, ultra glittery shadow with a metallic rose gold base. This shadow is so easy to use, I swipe product onto my finger from the applicator and transfer it to my eyelid. Product dries quickly and lasts all day, this shade looks a foiled shadow when set.
  • L’Oreal Paradise Extatic Mascara – This is starting to dry out and I feel like I haven’t had it open very long. It definitely doesn’t seem as long lasting as the tube of Lash Paradise I had. I’m not ready to let go of this mascara just yet as the dark, thick fluttery lashes it gives are so pretty.
  • MAC – Warm Soul – I wanted a hint of colour on the cheeks and I knew the highlighter and strobe cream would give the glow factor so I went for this light pink-beige blush. It gives a lovely natural flush.

LIPS

  • L’Oreal – 302 Bois De Rose – I mentioned in my August Favourites I wanted to do a makeup look for the blog with this lipstick and here it is! It’s a great shade for everyday wear and I knew I’d be eating so wanted something that would fade gradually. This shade gives me MAC Syrup vibes, this is a satin finish and more pink but super pretty!

The Final Look:


Let me know what you think of this makeup look! What type of look do you go for if you’re going out?

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Empty Products #10

This is my fourth empties post in a year which is a record for me! I definitely have noticed that using what I have before buying more is working and I’m getting through products faster and have less clutter. I have actually enjoyed being on a low buy and lately I have only being buying products to replace what has been used up or when I’m close to finishing something.

Haircare

1. Schwarzkopf Extra Care Shampoo Supreme Length

I tried the matching conditioner first and was a fan so decided to pick up a bottle of the shampoo and I like it equally as much. The shampoo doesn’t feel drying or make my roots look greasy and only a small amount is required for each wash.

Repurchase: I see myself picking this up again.

2. Schwarzkopf Extra Care Conditioner Supreme Length

This is the second bottle I have finished and this is a great, inexpensive conditioner. My hair feels and looks smooth when I use this and the smell is really nice.

Repurchase: I see myself picking this up again.

Makeup

3. Max Factor Smooth Miracle Primer

I picked up this primer after hearing a fellow blogger rave about it and I’m not disappointed. If you prefer moisturising primers this may not be your favourite but it doesn’t feel greasy or like silicone. Foundation applies nicely over top of this, it doesn’t make product pill and gather and it definitely smooths skin. The product gets pumped from the bottom up so every last little bit gets used and you know exactly how much is left. The packaging is lightweight and travel friendly too.

Repurchase: Possibly in future.

4. Tanya Burr Selfie Lash Mascara

I was sent this mascara by the lovely Dannii and I was surprised by how much I like it! I’m quite fussy when it comes to mascara, I prefer natural bristle brushes, a super dark black shade and a formula that is on the drier side without being clumpy. From the get go the formula was really nice, it didn’t change much throughout the 7 month course of using it which is impressive. The formula didn’t dry out and become sticky either. The wand is made up of small, silicone bristles which help to build length and get in to every lash. This is such a lovely everyday mascara.

Repurchase: Yes, if the mascara hadn’t been discontinued!

Skincare & Fragrance

5. Juicy Couture – I ❤ Juicy Couture

Out of all the Juicy Couture perfumes I’ve tried this is one of the lightest in terms of fragrance and lasting power. This is really nice for work as it’s inoffensive. The fruit notes are the most prominent and whilst they are pleasant they aren’t what I typically go for in a perfume. In no way is this a bad perfume, if I was gifted another bottle I would happily use it!

Repurchase: Probably not. There are other perfumes I like more.

6. The Body Shop Strawberry Body Mist

Over the past month or so I have enjoyed not spritzing a body mist before applying perfume and I’ve got to say I’m enjoying letting the perfume do it’s thing and getting the full scent. Some days I’ll apply a rollerball perfume to my neck and spritz a different perfume to layer the two scents together but I don’t need to rely on body mists. Usually body mists aren’t strong or long lasting either.

Repurchase: Maybe.

7. Trilogy Very Gentle Restoring Oil

This oil has been such a saviour for my skin! I’m currently using a serum from Antipodes and I don’t like it anywhere near as much. The oil is extremely gentle, delicate and is fragrance free. The oil aims to smooth fine lines and wrinkles and I agree with those claims. It’s rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants for soft, smooth, comfortable skin.

Repurchase: I have.

8. The Body Shop Honey & Oat 3 in 1 Scrub Mask

I used this face mask twice a week and it lasted me a couple of years. It’s good if you want a quick 5-10 minute mask and don’t like the tight feeling of clay masks. The honey and oats mean this is nice and gentle on the skin but the texture of the oats cleans and scrubs skin at the same time. The smell of this is lovely, I don’t usually like honey. The mask was easy to apply and wash off and is suitable for normal to dry skin but I also think this would suit sensitive skin. The style of packaging means every last bit of products gets used too.

Repurchase: Not sure. This mask has been discontinued and I didn’t notice any visible differences each time I used it but it’s not a bad mask.

Body

9. The Body Shop Strawberry Softening Gel Lotion

The strawberry range is usually one of my favourites from The Body Shop but I’m glad this lotion was only the travel size. I didn’t enjoy the gel texture, it wasn’t very moisturising and whilst it did soak into the skin quickly the strawberry scent was sweeter than other products I’ve tried from the range. The scent wasn’t light and fresh, it was sickly and synthetic. Squeezing product out of this little bottle was also annoying.

Repurchase: No.

10. Nivea Invisible Anti-Perspirant – Clear

Still my anti-perspirant of choice. Maybe after my current one of these is finished I’ll branch out and try something else.

Repurchase: Yes.


What was the last product you finished up?

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August Favourites + Highlights

Looking back over my mood tracker for the year, August has been a real mixture of feelings. The day this post goes up will be my last day at work for two weeks and I am looking forward to having a well deserved break. I have worked at the library for over two years now (105 weeks to be exact) and minus the two weeks off I have coming up I have had a total of three weeks off work in that time. I’m looking forward to relaxing and sleeping and just taking some time out. I’ve spent most of August counting down and getting everything ready for my last day to be honest. I’ve still been reading and made some online orders too!

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Lipstick – 302 Bois De Rose – This lipstick was gifted to me by a work colleague and boy did she choose well! I love how wherever I’ve worked I’m known as the lipstick girl and people gift shades to me they haven’t used or buy shades with me in mind. I don’t own any L’Oreal lipsticks but the satin formula of this shade is stunning! Bois De Rose reminds me a lot of MAC Syrup which is in no way a bad thing. The scent of this lipstick is lovely and the pigmentation and lasting power are excellent. I’d love to do a makeup look for the blog wearing this shade soon.

2. Zoella x Colourpop Group Hug Supernova Shadow Bundle – Products like this remind me why I love makeup. Both of these shades are impressive, have really good pigmentation, last all day and go with any makeup look. These are easy to apply and the shimmer stays on the eyelids and doesn’t get all over the face. I love a bit of sparkle and these deliver in spades! Literally a bit of bronzer all over the lid and through the crease, either OG or Bellini applied over top, two coats of mascara, lipstick and you’re good to go! Simple, no fuss products are my favourite!

3.Silver ring – I purchased this ring over two years ago but I’m really bad at wearing jewellery. I go through phases of wanting to wear it and then won’t wear any at all for ages (minus my rose gold Petite Melrose watch from Daniel Wellington). This ring is stirling silver and features a cubic zirconia stone in the centre with five smaller stones either side. The style of the ring is simple and elegant and I have enjoyed wearing it again this month.

4. NESCAFÉ Gold Crème Brulee Latté – I rarely drink coffee but when I do I tend to go for something milky and not overly strong. I enjoy the Vanilla Latte flavour from Nescafe and when I saw the limited edition Creme Brulee flavour I wanted to give them a go. I haven’t had coffee in a long time and I’m not someone that needs it daily to function. These lattes are lovely and smooth, the coffee taste isn’t overpowering and the sweetness of the creme brulee adds to the pleasant taste. A nice little treat when I need something to warm me up!

August Highlights

  • My second Colourpop order arrived! If you haven’t seen what I got yet, CLICK HERE.
  • Treated myself to lunch a couple of times this month, it was pie and chips weather.
  • Got a haircut and a third layer put back in.
  • Ordered three new perfumes online: Viva la Juicy La Fleur, Viva la Juicy Glacé, and Olympéa by Paco Rabanne. All smell lovely.

August’s Spotify Playlist:


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

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Perfume Haul

A couple of weeks ago I asked my female followers on Instagram what their favourite perfumes are. I’ve finished up a couple of fragrances recently and was looking for inspiration and new scents to potentially try. I looked up each suggestion I hadn’t heard of before and started making a short list. When it comes to perfume I’m very much a fan of sweet vanillas, musk and light florals – I don’t like strong, heady scents. I picked up three new perfumes and thought I’d share what I chose!

1. Viva la Juicy La Fleur by Juicy Couture

Viva la Juicy is my signature scent and I’m a fan of other scents from the line. I purchased a bottle of Daisy by Marc Jacobs at the end of 2018 and thought Viva la Juicy La Fleur would be a nice cross between Daisy and the original Viva la Juicy. This scent isn’t quite a cross between Daisy and Viva la Juicy, this is more fruity and has opening hints of watermelon. The smell is extremely pleasant and the lighter aroma is good for work and daytime wear. The perfume comes in a generous 150ml bottle adorned with pink, girly, floral patterns. The outer box packaging is stunning too!

Scent description:

Viva la Juicy La Fleur is a sheer veil of sparkling mandarin and wild berries, combined with luminous florals of lush honeysuckle, gardenia petals, and soft jasmine. A whisper of creamy gourmand reminiscent of the classic Viva la Juicy elicits an addiction that envelops the skin.”

2. Olympéa by Paco Rabanne

This recommendation came from one of my closest blogging friends – Rachael. I hadn’t smelt Viva la Juicy La Fleur before either but Olympéa was more of a blind buy as I know I like the Viva la Juicy line. I was assured when I saw vanilla in the description as I knew that would sweeten things up and stop this from verging into strong, headache inducing territory. The first spray of this on my wrist was strong but after 5-10 minutes it had settled down and the longer it sat the more I liked it. I think this will be more of an evening and special occasion perfume but that doesn’t mean I won’t wear it during the day. I’ve worn it to work already and enjoyed getting hits of the scent throughout the day. The bottle is stunning and lightweight and doesn’t take up much room at all. Thanks for the suggestion Rachael!

Scent description:

“A fresh oriental fragrance whose balance of the accords forms a genuine Paco Rabanne signature. The green mandarin, boosted by the floral and aquatic essences of ginger lily and hydroponic jasmine, awakens the senses. The sensual and luminous salty vanilla accord brings carnal and addictive magnetism. The cashmere wood and Ambergris accord magnify the fragrance and form a divine and powerful trail.”

3. Viva la Juicy Glacé by Juicy Couture

I was gifted a rollerball of this scent and I fell in love with it instantly. Picking up a full sized bottle was an easy decision. This contains the classic notes of Viva la Juicy with an added fresh, crisp element from the pear. The scent isn’t as sweet as the original VLJ but it’s equally as stunning! The silver glitter on the box is gorgeous and I’m glad the bottle wasn’t the same as I imagine glitter wouldn’t stick to the glass as well and would get everywhere. Instead the bottle is made up of frosted, iridescent glass and adorned with the classic ribbon around the lid complete with pink feathers. (Side note: This bottle is a dream to photograph as the glass isn’t see through and doesn’t pick up the reflection of the camera).

Scent description:

“The fragrance opens with a sparkling freshness, bursting with brilliant frozen mandarin and refreshing pear sorbet. Beneath a blanket of snow-white jasmine petals, scrumptious vanilla and milky sandalwood create a comforting warmth to contrast the alluring frosted sensation.”


What’s your favourite fragrance at the moment? Do you have a signature scent?

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July Colourpop Haul!

One Saturday in July I spent hours browsing the Colourpop website and added a bunch of eye products (and one lipgloss) to my cart. I have been impressed with the quality of products since my first Colourpop haul and knew it would only be a matter of time before I did another order. A few items I’d seen and heard about before but others I bought simply because I liked the look of them!

The items took around two weeks to arrive which is pretty standard for mail from overseas. I wasn’t charged customs when the package arrived in New Zealand but there was damage to one of the Super Shock Shadows. I contacted Colourpop about the damage and was given credit but I am a little bummed because the broken shade is the one I was most looking forward to receiving. The shade has been discontinued so I can’t use the credit to repurchase another one in my next order. The product is still usable but I’ll have to be careful how I store it and I won’t be able to travel with it.

Let’s get on with the haul!

Super Shock Shadows x 3

Colourpop are known for their Super Shock Shadows and after picking one up in my previous haul and enjoying the formula I wanted to try more. I picked up the shades Bouncy (cool toned bronze with gold and violet duo chrome), Nillionaire (bronze with pink and gold ultra-glitter) and So Quiche (soft olive with violet and gold sparkles). Seeing the shades written like that makes me realise how similar they sound and whilst they do look similar in real life there are subtle differences.

Bouncy – This is the shade I was most excited for and the one that arrived damaged. On the eyes the colour comes through as equal parts bronze and pink and the duochrome is prominent.

Nillionaire – I heard Emily Noel mention this shade in her Colourpop Top 5, Bottom 5 video and Googled it instantly. It’s such a pretty everyday shade. Nillionaire has the sheerest colour payoff and is the most golden of the three I purchased.

So Quiche – The olive tones in this shade make it the coolest toned out of the three but also it’s the only shade I picked up that leans slightly towards green-violet on the colour spectrum. This reminds me of a more shimmery version of Smokey Rose by Teeez Cosmetics (both products will make a great pairing).

Left to right: Bouncy, Nillionaire and So Quiche.

Group Hug Supernova Shadow Bundle

Top: OG
Bottom:
Bellini

I saw this bundle when Zoella’s collaboration with Colourpop was revealed at the end of February and I was always curious about it. After trying some mini Magnificent Metals from Stila and not loving them I half expected not to love these but, spoiler alert: I do! The formula is more like an eyeshadow once product has dried down and the glitter/shine is a lot more pigmented and long-lasting. The texture is smooth and unlike the Stila product these don’t flake off my eyelids and wear away throughout the day.

Looking at the two shades online, OG and Bellini look similar to each other but they are different. OG is a golden champagne with silver glitter and Bellini is a metallic rose gold. OG is more glittery (still with good pigmentation) and Bellini is comparable to a foiled eyeshadow. This kind of product is great for a quick and easy eye look and the milk carton packaging is the cutest! I knew this product wouldn’t be around forever so I wanted to grab it while I had the chance!

Snow Day Ultra Glossy Lip

I purchased this lip gloss because I thought it would make a beautiful lip topper and it does! Snow Day is described as a prismatic champagne but it’s more like a very light pink with flecks of gold glitter. The gloss does look pretty on it’s own and will be nice for simple makeup days but I wore this over MAC’s Kinda Sexy lipstick and it was super pretty! The formula isn’t overly sticky and goopy and is comfortable to wear. The one thing I don’t like is the applicator, it’s a small brush with individual hairs and isn’t the best at spreading product. The brush works well when using the gloss as a lip topper as you only need a small amount of product but if I want to wear the gloss on it’s own I have to dip the brush back in to the tube a few times to get even coverage.

It’s My Pleasure palette

Purple is a hard eyeshadow colour to get right but people I follow online have been singing this palette’s praises. Purple is a colour that suits my skintone and complexion and that’s what excites me about this palette. I get to play up my love for bold colours with the shimmers but there’s also lighter shades to compliment the shimmers and create more wearable everyday looks. Smaller palettes like this are good as I find it overwhelming when there’s lots of shades to choose from in a palette. I prefer limited combinations that work and mean I don’t have to try hard to come up with looks. It’s My Pleasure contains four mattes and five shimmers and is a nice combination of purples and pinks that lean towards purple.

Swatches:

Left to right: Kittenfish, Do Or Dough, Pretty Cruel, Bare Minimum, Earthshine, Chick Lit, Mr Sandman, Fan Fiction and Sleeper.

Custom 12 Pan Eyeshadow Palette

This palette is what I was most excited for because I curated it and selected the shades myself. I was also nervous because I only had myself to blame if any of the shades ended up being similar and if I didn’t like it. My inspiration for this palette was gold. It’s hard to find nice gold shades so I ended up purchasing four for this palette and they’re all unique. From there I came up with a mix of warm toned mattes and shimmers with a hint of pink and mauve thrown in. When the shadows arrived I organised them in a specific way, the top row is classic base and transition shades, the middle row is pinks and mauves and the bottom row is golden goodness.

Top row: Hear Me Out (matte white peach), Wake Up Call (matte warm sand), Side Tracked (matte terracotta with gold flecks) and Bel Air (matte cool taupe).

Middle row: Liar Liar (metallic pale pink), Ringer (metallic champagne), Chic Happens (matte cool mauve) and Goody Two Shoes (metallic gunmetal).

Bottom row: The Game (antique gold), Baby Lights (metallic green gold), Karat Cake (metallic chartreuse) and Night Show (metallic yellow bronze).

Swatches:

Left to right: Hear Me Out, Wake Up Call, Side Tracked, Bel Air, Liar Liar, Ringer, Chic Happens, Goody Two Shoes, The Game, Baby Lights, Karat Cake and Night Show.


Have you tried any of these products before? Is there anything from Colourpop currently catching your eye?

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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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July Favourites + Highlights

In the second half of the month I really picked up my reading game and the total number of books I finished in July is four, an average of one a week. I’ve been having lazy weekends and I’ve been enjoying curling up on the couch watching movies and TV shows or with a book. Work has been super busy recently so it’s nice to wind down at the weekend and recharge for the week ahead. I’m very much looking forward to having a couple of weeks off at the beginning of September. Towards the end of the month I did some online shopping and as I type this post I am waiting for three orders to arrive… oops! 😛

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Zoella x Colourpop Brunch Date Palette – This eyeshadow palette has been a real grower and every time I use it I like it more. I know some people were disappointed with the shades but the colours are really nice and there’s an even mix of mattes and shimmers. I still haven’t been brave enough to use the blue but I do plan on applying it to the lower lash line with a pencil brush when I next feel like experimenting. Having never tried makeup from Colourpop until I purchased this palette I am impressed, the formula of these shadows is lovely and the shades are pigmented and last well throughout the day. Initially a few of the matte shades seemed more difficult to blend but the more I use them I don’t think that’s the case. I find sometimes with makeup it has to be worn in a little and the shades do in fact blend nicely.

2. Zoeva 102 Silk Finish Brush – I recently mentioned this brush as one of My Favourite Makeup Brushes. It is comparable to the Expert Face Brush by Real Techniques. The brush blends foundation easily and the head of the brush isn’t too big for my small face. Product does apply nicely with this brush and it doesn’t cake up or take a long time to blend into the skin. The brush is made with Taklon bristles so it’s super soft and washes up well.

3. Palmers Moisture Rich Night Cream – This is a repurchase and picking it up again has made me realise why I liked it so much the first time. I like this better than other evening moisturisers I’ve tried. The texture of the cream is light and product sinks into the skin easily keeping it soft and well moisturised. The cream doesn’t feel greasy or drying and the slight cocoa butter and shea scent is pleasant. When I use this product alongside Trilogy’s Very Gentle Restoring Facial Oil it’s a dream combination!

4. Agatha Christie mysteries – I’m a sucker for an Agatha Christie mystery! Her stories are simply written but they’re so compelling and gripping. It doesn’t take me long to read a Poirot or a Marple because they’re written in a way that makes me want to keep reading. The last story of Agatha Christie’s I read – ‘Nemesis’ – took me less than two days. I understand for some readers her stories may not be super thrilling and action packed but the plot is always good.

5. Cricket World Cup Final – Something not many people know about me as I’m quite partial to watching one day cricket when New Zealand is playing and matches are on free to air television – which isn’t very often. I’d been following New Zealand’s progress throughout the tournament and we did well initially but there was a moment it looked like we might not make the semi-finals. A lot of people thought India would beat us in the semi-final but I felt so proud when I heard we made the final for the second consecutive time. I was even more excited to watch the final which started late on Sunday July 14th as I didn’t have to get up and go to work the next day. I did well to stay up all night and only fell asleep briefly during England’s innings. For the last hour of the game I was nervous and couldn’t sit still, I was literally pacing on the spot because of how close the game was going to be. New Zealand lost by the smallest margin but I personally believe we won the game, we just didn’t get to lift the trophy. The pride the rest of New Zealand felt after that game is amazing. Whilst it was sad not to win, I am extremely proud to be a Kiwi!

July Highlights

  • Someone left a KitKat in my pigeon hole at work.
  • Went out for wedges on one of my lunch breaks.
  • Placed my second Colourpop order.
  • Did some online shopping in the last weekend of July; purchased a MAC blush I’ve wanted for ages, a necklace and a couple of clothing items.

July’s Spotify Playlist:


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

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Shopping My Stash

I don’t know about you but whenever I purchase new makeup I always reflect and analyse what I have in my collection. I think it’s a way of me trying to justify the purchase and evaluate what I really need. The more I use makeup and experiment I come to know what I like and what I’m missing. I was rearranging products in my makeup drawer and I put some aside that I haven’t worn in a while that I want to pull out and use again.

1. Chi Chi Metal Foil Eyeshadow – Spice

This range from Chi Chi is described as, “highly pigmented shadows with brilliant metallic shine that are super moisturising, long lasting and enriched with Vitamin E and Jojoba Oil.” I agree with the claim that Spice is highly pigmented and moisturizing but I find the product slippery and it has difficulty adhering to the eyelids. Eye primer and applying a powder shadow as a base first helps but the product occasionally creases and is affected by heat/sweat. I don’t reach for this often because I’m not sure how the product works best which is a shame as the eyeshadow is a gorgeous shimmery cranberry-pink.

2. Teeez Cosmetics – Smokey Rose

This single eyeshadow is one I know I like, it’s just a case of it being tucked away and not in my line of sight as to why I haven’t used it for a while. Smokey Rose really is an appropriate name as this shade is a beautiful duochrome with hints of pink, grey and green. When this shade is on the eyes they look stunning and the pigmentation and buttery smooth texture are lovely. My favourite way to apply this is all over the lids with my finger.

3. Covergirl TruNaked Roses Palette

Naked 3 dupe alert! I’m not going to lie out of the three original Naked palettes from Urban Decay I find the Naked 3 least appealing. I don’t tend to be a fan of light pinks and mauves on my eyes as I have fair skin and personally I don’t find they look as nice as browns or neutral colours. This palette is very pretty though and it seems Covergirl picked the best shades from Naked 3 and did their own interpretation of the palette. The pigmentation of these shades is nice but I find the formula almost a little too soft and product can blend away easily. There’s not much variety between shades either. Each time I use this palette I can’t bring myself to part with it though as I won it in a giveaway.

4. xoBeauty Radiant Glow Highlighter Powder – Lucent

This highlighter is in no way bad and in fact it’s a lovely, light gold for fair skin tones. The powder is finely milled and gives a beautiful lit from within look. The highlighter can be built up to make it more blinding and the product can also be used as an all over face powder – I have been using the other xoBeauty highlighter in the shade Aurora this way recently. Lucent sits in my drawer and theBalm’s Mary-Lou Manizer sits in my everyday makeup bag so I tend to reach for that one more often. Both shades are different however, Lucent is more golden and Mary-Lou is more on the champagne side.

5. The Body Shop Metal Lip Liquid – Pink Nickel

I actually forgot I owned this! I purchased Pink Nickel along with Plum Titanium (a berry red) towards the end of 2018 and when I tried this shade on again I was pleased the formula was still mousse like and hadn’t dried up. Pink Nickel is a very wearable shade with a subtle metallic finish. A lot of you know by now I don’t like liquid lipsticks but this formula is an exception to the rule. This is a pretty nude that goes with a range of looks and I really need to pull this out more.

6. xoBeauty Kairos Lipstick

Kairos is described as a medium, muted peachy-pink which I think is slightly incorrect – Kairos is more of a muted coral-red. The matte formula is comfortable but not as comfortable as MAC’s matte lipsticks. I find with xoBeauty matte lipsticks lips have to be super smooth or else product sticks to little flakes of skin and gets into any lines. I will try this with a dab of Dainty Doll’s Wonderbalm underneath to see if that makes any improvement. Not my favourite lip colour that I own from xoBeauty.


Funnily enough most of the products mentioned are pink. Pink isn’t my favourite colour to wear on the eyes being fair skinned and that’s possibly why I have neglected some of these. Pink tends to be my go to lip colour and that’s usually how I incorporate it into a makeup look.

Are there any makeup products in your stash that you’ve neglected lately?

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My Favourite Makeup Brushes

When it comes to makeup brushes there are so many out there it can be overwhelming looking at all the brands trying to decide which brushes are right for you and trying to find what you want. I have around 30 makeup brushes which isn’t many in the grand scheme of things but I do notice myself reaching for certain brushes more frequently because I like the way they perform. I have selected the best brushes I own to talk about in this post.

Note: Many brands do similar styles to the brushes mentioned here and at the end of the day it comes down to personal preference and what you want to use the brush for as to whether or not it works for you.

Real Techniques

Real Techniques are known for their quality and affordable prices. Their brushes are made with synthetic taklon bristles which are super soft and wash up well. Real Techniques is fronted by beauty gurus Sam and Nic Chapman who also run a YouTube channel and share loads of makeup tips. The brand has themed brush collections but the original core collection can be broken down into categories based on what they are intended for and the colour of their handle:

  • Orange – base brushes
  • Pink – finishing brushes
  • Purple – eye brushes

I have never experienced any shedding from Real Techniques brushes and these are among the oldest brushes in my collection but still perform exceptionally well.

1. Expert Face Brush

I prefer to apply foundation with a brush and I like this brush in particular because it isn’t too big for my face and it doesn’t leave streaks. I have a small face and the size of this brush is perfect for spreading product, buffing it in and being able to get in around the nose and under the eyes. The bristles are quite dense but the brush works with all liquid foundation consistencies and layers product up nicely if I’m after fuller coverage.

2. Blush Brush

I very rarely use this for blush but the big, fluffy bristles mean this brush is a great multi-tasker. I love using this for powder as it’s soft enough to sweep powder over the face and I use this brush almost every time I apply bronzer. The tapered bristles help to concentrate application and keep product to certain areas of the face.

3. Shading Brush

Not only do I have a small face but I also have small eyes. This shading brush allows me to do a complete eye look with just one brush, it’s dense enough to apply base shadows, small enough to blend through the crease and also picks up good pigmentation from sparkly and shimmery shadows. I have considered picking up another one of these at some point because of how versatile it is.

4. Setting Brush

This is like a mini version of the blush brush and again this is a great multi-tasker. I like to use this brush to apply my Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder or to focus blush on top of my cheekbones. This smaller sized brush is perfect for more pigmented blushes to ensure product doesn’t go everywhere. This brush is commonly used for blending and buffing concealer into the skin and setting concealer with powder underneath the eyes.

xoBeauty

xoBeauty is the makeup brand and brush line from New Zealand YouTuber Shannon Harris. Shannon’s brushes are manufactured in Italy and like the Real Techniques brushes are made from synthetic fibres. I will say with some of my xoBeauty brushes the bristles stain but this doesn’t have any affect on the overall performance.

1. Tulip Crease Brush

When people refer to a fluffy blending brush this is what they mean. This brush packs on pigmentation and blends everything out in the crease beautifully to create a seamless eye look. I also like to use this brush if I am going for a super simple eye look to apply bronzer all over the lids and buff it in quickly.

2. Firm Blender Brush

This is another brush I like to use for my crease shades, particularly to blend the base shade and crease shade together in the socket. This is thinner than the Tulip Crease Brush and is even more precise. The flat shape of this brush allows you to blend eyeshadows on the lids together too.

3. Shimmer Tulip Brush

This reminds me of the blush brush from Real Techniques as it is another multi-tasker. Recently I have loved reaching for it to apply one of my single powder blushes and sweeping the colour over my cheeks. The brush is big and fluffy and disperses the product nicely, providing a lovely flush of colour. This brush is also beautiful to apply subtle highlighters all over the cheeks.

4. Detail Face Brush

For more concentrated highlight application this brush is perfect. The bristles are a cross between fluffy and dense and allow me to really buff highlighter into the skin. The brush moves over the skin so easily, little effort is required to blend as the brush really does do all the work. This is a relatively new brush from xoBeauty and is one of Shannon’s personal favourites.

Zoeva

As far as quality and price go Zoeva brushes are on par with the other brands mentioned here. I hadn’t tried any Zoeva makeup brushes until earlier in 2019 and I am super impressed. Each brush either comes individually boxed or in a clear plastic pouch depending on whether you purchase brushes from the rose gold line or the original black and silver line.

1. 102 Silk Finish Brush

The brush lives up to it’s name! My skin and foundation look lovely when I use it and in terms of size and performance it’s comparable to the Expert Face Brush by Real Techniques which is probably why I like it so much. The bristles on this brush aren’t as dense as the Expert Face Brush but they are longer which I think gives the silk finish effect. Both brushes are made with Taklon bristles.

2. 231 Luxe Petit Crease Brush

Zoeva are very clever for making two sizes of eye brushes and catering to those of us with smaller eyes. This brush is similar to the Tulip Crease Brush by xoBeauty but this brush is even more precise when colour is applied and the brush head is smaller. The bristles aren’t scratchy and don’t stain as much as the xoBeauty eye brushes. The full sized 228 Luxe Crease Brush by Zoeva is one of the brand’s most popular eye brushes and I can see why.

3. 110 Face Shape Brush

This brush could be used for many things, applying and blending foundation/concealer, applying cream blush to the cheeks and what I tend to use it for, contouring. The shape of the brush fits perfectly into the hollows of the cheeks and blends contour powder like a dream! The bristles are dense so only a small amount of contour is needed. This is one of Lisa Eldridge’s favourite face brushes.


What are your favourite makeup brushes? Have you tried any of these?

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Empty Products #9

It’s funny to think as I sit and type this up I’m already halfway towards finishing products for the next empties installment. I’ll keep the intro short because I do give mini reviews of all the products mentioned and this post is a wordy one!

Makeup

1. H&M Precision Makeup Sponge

I won this sponge in a blog giveaway a couple of years ago and I finally decided it was time to let it go. The sponge is in no way bad but I haven’t used it to apply foundation in a long time. The sponge is lovely and soft and bounces across the face easily. The sponge washes up well and is nice but I don’t use it anymore.

Repurchase: No. Not because the sponge isn’t good but I prefer brushes to apply foundation.

2. Johnson’s Baby Shampoo

Technically this would class as a haircare empty but because I use this to wash my makeup brushes I have included it in the makeup category instead. The shampoo cleans brushes so well and this product lasted for countless washes. As this is a baby shampoo it keeps the bristles super soft too.

Repurchase: I have.

Skincare & Fragrance

3. Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm

Funnily enough I won this cleansing balm in the same giveaway as the H&M sponge! Over the past year I have regularly incorporated this balm into my evening routine and I love it. The balm is creamy and effective at removing makeup and doesn’t leave a greasy film on the skin or break me out. The balm is unscented and suitable for all skin types.

Repurchase: I have!

4. Natio Clay & Plant Face Mask Purifier

I have used this product for a number of years and I still enjoy it and find it works well for me. The squeeze tube makes application easy and the texture of the mask is not too thick. Using this mask 1-2 times a week is more than enough and after rinsing the mask off skin feels soft and clean but not stripped or dry. The scent is barely there and this would suit a range of skin types. I have dry-sensitive skin and this isn’t harsh in the slightest.

Repurchase: Yes. I’ve finished up two tubes previously and it’s a lovely mask. I’m using another mask from a different brand at the moment.

5. Olay Complete UV Lotion Sensitive

I tried this moisturiser on a whim after using my beloved Simple Rich Replenishing moisturiser for the longest time and this is certainly comparable in terms of price and what it does for my skin. Possibly this is slightly more hydrating than the Simple moisturiser and makeup applies over top like a dream. This has an SPF of 15 and doesn’t have a sunscreen smell.

Repurchase: Yes, this is a nice day moisturiser for my skin.

6. Clinique Moisture Surge

I purchased a 30ml tube of this moisturiser as part of a set with a lipgloss around Christmas time. I had heard a lot of people talk about how good this moisturiser is and how it is one of their favourites and I wanted to see what the fuss is about. Whilst I didn’t hate this moisturiser it will not be making it’s way to holy grail status. I think for combination or oily skin types the gel-like texture would be more suitable. I like something that properly sinks in and feels hydrating. I’m glad to have tried the product but for the price I don’t see myself picking this up again.

Repurchase: Probably not. My skin didn’t feel nourished and product didn’t soak into my skin as much as I would have liked.

7. Simple Radiance Brightening Moisturiser

I discovered this moisturiser a couple of years ago and I love the fact it comes in a compact 50ml tube. This moisturiser would be even better if it either a) came in full size or b) was as readily available as other Simple products in New Zealand. The moisturiser is light and creamy and feels lovely on the skin. Makeup also applies like a dream over top of this one and the brightening effect the mango extract gives the skin is subtle but beautiful.

Repurchase: Yes but sadly this isn’t easy to come across.

Body

8. The Body Shop Early Harvest Raspberry Body Butter

One of my favourite bloggers, Rachael from Helpless Whilst Drying, loves this scent and when I saw it I wanted to try it. This body butter gets big brownie points from me for being a beautiful baby pink and having the texture I know and love; soft, malleable and moisturising. The scent is nice for spring/summer which is when I used this. I try and match scents to seasons e.g. fruits and florals for spring/summer and musky, heady scents for autumn/winter.

Repurchase: Maybe. This isn’t a permanent scent and there are other scents I would choose first.

9. Victoria’s Secret Vanilla Lace Body Lotion

This body lotion combines two of my favourite scents, vanilla and musk. Both of them work well with my body chemistry and they match my girly/sweet personality. The scent of this lotion is similar to the Vanilla Chai scent The Body Shop released a few Christmases ago but less spicy and more musky. The lotion soaked into the skin quickly which is what I like when I’m getting dressed and the texture was nice and easy to spread.

Repurchase: Yes but I think this has been discontinued.

10. Nivea Invisible Anti-Perspirant – Clear

Features in every empties. Love the scent, keeps me feeling fresh and does what it says on the label, keeps white clothes white and black clothes black.

Repurchase: Of course.

11. The Body Shop Almond Milk & Honey Shower Cream

I am unable to use shower gels and body washes due to my skin being extremely sensitive to SLS which is a common ingredient used in soap. Soap for washing my hands is fine but if I use anything like that on my legs the skin dries out and gets itchy and leads to eczema. I picked up this 60ml sample of Almond Milk & Honey shower cream as it doesn’t contain SLS and I was curious to see whether my skin would still react. I can confirm my skin was fine but I didn’t use this over consecutive showers, I used it once or twice a week to ensure my skin didn’t dry out. The product felt nice and creamy and made my skin soft but I didn’t enjoy this scent as a shower cream, I’ve used the hand cream from this range in the past and liked it better. Whilst this didn’t irritate my skin I wouldn’t pick up the full size. It is nice to know that other shower creams without SLS could work for me though.

Repurchase: No.


What was the last product you finished up?

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