Wednesday, 15 October 2014

A Charlotte Tilbury Introduction

A few weeks back now a Net-A-Porter free shipping promotion proved a little too much for my (extremely weak) self control and I ended up clicking the 'Buy Now' button on this little booty. Damaged bank account aside it wasn't too bad of a slip up, I did get to experience the famous Net-A-Porter service (packaging fanatics, you need to try it) as well as getting my mitts on some beaut bits from Charlotte Tilbury's range. Make-up artist to the stars, Charlotte has created a range of accessible and easy to use products so you're never left questioning how to apply something. Nothing budget friendly here, we're talking $46 a lipstick, but as a little treat to one's self, why not?

First up let's discuss that makeup porn palette. This is the Luxury Palette Colour Coded Eye Shadow Palette in the shade The Dolce Vita (what a mouthful). Top left you have a light beige 'Prime' shade with a hint of shimmer, top right a gorgeous red/brown 'Enhance' shade, bottom right a super pigmented 'Smoke' shade and finally, that gorgeous 'Pop' shade. A highly pigmented, pressed glitter that, just quietly, may have been the reasoning behind this purchase for me. I can't wait for the night that I can build up a tonne of this for a rather eye-catching bedazzled lid.

All the shades are lovely and pigmented and *insert all those other words you want to hear in the same sentence as an eyeshadow here*. The only thing I would change if given the chance (I feel bad even suggesting this) would be replacing the 'Prime' shade with a matte version. I always find myself reaching for a matte base from one of my other shadow palettes as for me, four shimmery shades in one look is a little too much. I also like to take my base shadow right up to my brow bone to even out any redness and I feel something matte does this much better. That little jip aside, I can't fault this.

On to the Colour Chameleon shadow pencil and I of course broke the rules and went for the Golden Quartz for Hazel eyes even though mine are blue. Naughty naughty but I just preferred the other shade! This thing is seriously pigmented but not the easiest to blend out for something natural. It's not the sort of thing you'd opt for if you're just after a wash of colour but it's beautiful all the same. I've taken to applying a thin(ish) line along my top lashes and smudging out for a slighty smokey look. The small flecks of glitter make things a little more interesting but still something I'd feel comfortable wearing on the daily.

Have you tried anything from Charlotte Tilbury?

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

A 'That Time of the Month' Delivery?!

I'm sure all the girls out there will be with me when I say 'that time of the month' is the worst. Skin breakouts, mood swings, cramps.. pretty much just feeling crappy in general, that monthly visitor really isn't any fun. Having said that, do you believe me when I say I've found something to make it that little bit more bearable? I wouldn't blame you if you didn't, but trust me, I have.

Rewind back a week or so ago and a lovely email from Lauren over at Love Lois landed in my inbox introducing their innovative new subscription service. Specifically designed to be your best friend when that time of the month comes around this monthly box holds all the essentials to get you through. Simply select the box best suited to your cycle and preferences (heavy or light, pads or tampons) and the date you want it delivered each month. Not only does it include the all important sanitary items but tea and chocolate as well, 100% necessary to survive those mood swings! 

There's a range of boxes to choose from varying from only tampons or only pads to a mix or even organic! I opted for the Pandora Regular plan which features; 5 night time pads, 10 regular pads, 2 super light pads, 3 lights pads and some yummy treats. This time round I received a Guylian Praline chocolate bar, some Lindt balls and two Tea Tonic White Tea and Rose Petal tea bags but I believe this varies from box to box and month to month. All delivered to your door for just $22 a month I think that's well worth not having to worry about being caught short! Plus, it's always nice to receive a parcel in the mail, just me? 

I think this would be perfect for a young girl first getting her period or any busy woman who likes a little treat. I also think it's such a good idea to include a feedback form with stamp already attached, I've already filled mine out and will definitely pop it in the post box soon. Let me know if you've tried the Love Lois service or if your tempted to in the future!

P.S How cute are the little illustrations- love them!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The Chop

Rewind a week or two and I had locks that cascaded down past my belly button (eek!), not any more. Spying one too many gorgeous gals taking the chop and absolutely rocking the result, I couldn't resist any longer. You know when you set your mind on a certain hairstyle and all you can think about is doing it? Yeah, that. Except every time I thought to myself 'yep, it's definitely got to go' I'd miraculously have a good hair day, it's a cruel world. I finally took the plunge though, but am I happy with the result?

Pre-chop I was a gal guilty of not trimming my hair anywhere near regularly enough, split ends were all too common. Since removing those straggly lengths my hair looks oh so much healthier and thicker too. Volume is easier to achieve (and maintain!), it's quicker to wash/dry/brush/style and I use less product. Plus it's just in time for the hot Australian summer.

So yes, I do kinda miss my long locks at times but am I happy I took the chop? I think I am!

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Nutella Filled Choc Chip Cookies

Nutella lovers out there, raise your hands. There's just something about it, for a simple chocolate spread it seems to have quite the cult following- my boyfriend included. Something people seem to chow down on like it's going out of style, so why not spice up your traditional choc chip cookie with a little hidden inside? When I stumbled across this recipe on Butter Baking, who was I to deny my boyfriend one or two? And perhaps a couple for myself.

Super easy to make, this recipe is rather large though so I'd recommend either going for half, or you could do like I did and make the full amount but freeze half. Before baking simply take half the dough, roll into a log-like shape, wrap in clingfilm and pop in the freezer. Next time that sugar urge kicks in simply slice off as many cookies as you want and pop in the oven. Too easy.

The simple recipe is below for you to try yourself. Let me know if you give them a try, I'd love to see how you go! Also don't forget to check out Butter Baking, but beware; you will definitely be left craving something sweet!

220g unsalted butter (softened)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp salt (Natasha used 1 1/2 tsp but I prefer mine like this)
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 180 C and line baking tray.

Beat butter and both sugars until fluffy. Ones combined add the eggs one at a time beating well after each. Add the vanilla essence.

Slowly add the flour, salt and baking soda in continuing to stir until just combined. Mix through the chocolate chips. 

Now for the fun part. Take a heaped tablespoon of the dough in your hand and flatten. Place a teaspoon of Nutella in the center and fold the dough over it. Pinch the dough together to ensure the Nutella can't escape. 

Place on the pre-prepared baking trays and bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden. (Natasha recommended only baking for 10 minutes but I found mine took a little longer, perhaps because they're enormous!)

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Sunday, 28 September 2014

Sunshine Ready

Shoes- Cotton On, Sunglasses- River Island through ASOS, Nail Polish- Essie Mint Candy Apple, Maybelline Eternal Lilac
With temperatures in the high 20's we are well and truly in to Spring here in Australia. The days are full of sunshine and it's no longer acceptable to wear jeans on the daily *queue some much needed leg attention, read: winter coat removal*. Pins are stripped back to their hair free state ready to shine in all their white-as-snow glory, just me? It's definitely time to step up the hair removal game and experiment in a little faux glow to make my pins anywhere near 'sunshine ready'.

Starting on the hair removal front, I'm firmly sat in the razor camp. A bit of a wimp when it comes to waxing, eyebrows are about as much as I can bare, and I've never had much success with hair removal creams. I usually just opt for the cheap disposable options as I've never seen a difference compared to the more expensive offerings, but if there's one you'd recommend please let me know! Shaving foam wise I'm guilty of just reaching for whichever body wash I've got going at the time but definitely notice the difference when I use something like Gilette's Satin Care. A much closer shave and smoother limbs for longer. If things are feeling particularly dry I'll reach for a shaving oil such as this one by Palmer's which I've done a little review on here.

With the hair situation under control it's time to move on to the Snow White-esque appearance. I've never been one to be too concerned with the whole tanning thing in the past but for some reason this year, I'm determined to have a little summer glow. Knowing all about the dangers of too much sun exposure, a faux glow is the only way to go. To ease my tan-newb self into the whole thing I've opted for a gradual tanning moisturiser. This one from Garnier has proved to be pretty user-friendly, not as dark as some I've used in the past and none of the tell-tale dark smears, nice. After just a days use things are noticeably more bronzed and after a few days in a row a nice little tan has really built up. Definitely a good one for any other tan newbies out there.

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Sunday, 7 September 2014

An Anatomicals Round Up

Can we all just take a moment to appreciate the amazing person behind the naming of Anatomical products? They are some serious creative genius. Along with the ones shown above some of my favourites name-wise are 'no old bags allowed eye gel', 'be good with your hands in bed night time hand cream' and 'silly twits ignore their mitts hand soap', honestly worth prime positioning on my bathroom shelf for the names alone.

A self-named 'British, bold and ballsy' brand, Anatomicals have got quite the collection of body bits and pieces. From eye creams to moisturisers to hand wash, they aim to make your daily hygiene routine a little more fun. A bottle of body wash that can make me giggle is most definitely fun.

The products shown above were my first little foray with the brand and I'm sure they'll be more to come. Reasonably well priced (hand wash $7.99, body cleanser $8.99 and body scrub $8.99), they're not exactly budget but not overly pricey either. They work really well, the hand wash lathers up nicely and the fresh citrus scent really lingers, you know I love a good citrus scent. The body cleanser smells just like chocolate and the scrub is scrubby enough for a light exfoliation but gentle enough for daily use. I'm impressed. 

Have you tried anything from Anatomicals? Anything I need to try?

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

August Favourites

The end of another month means it's time again to have a little ramble about the beauty bits really floating my boat. It's a rather makeup centric bundle this time around and with one too many naughty purchases this month the outlook for next month is looking good too. Typical rambly favourites intro aside, on to this month's loves.

Don't you just love it when a freebie sample becomes your newest makeup obsession? That's exactly what happened with this little sample of Clinique's popular High Impact Mascara. I've never been one to invest in high end mascara offerings but this one may have just changed that. I can't quite pinpoint exactly what it does, it just makes my lashes look good. Lengthed but not spidery, volumised but not clumped... could this be my first pricey mascara purchase?

Talking eyes and another Clinique offering has really impressed me. I've read so many posts about Clinique's famous chubby sticks, eyes, lips, cheeks I've seen them all! I'm so glad I finally gave in and picked up Fuller Fudge for eyes. A shimmery bronze that's quick to apply, blends with ease and sticks around all day. I really like how you can apply just a little for something natural or go a little harder for something a bit more dramatic. It's been thrown in to my daily makeup bag and definitely makes the five minute face cut.

I have been embracing some serious bronzer lately and I've fallen in love with this one from NP Set. It looks a little red/orange in this picture but it actually looks so natural on the skin, even with my uber pale complexion. Buffed in to the usual suspects this deserves a post of it's own (stay tuned!).

On to a slightly more purse friendly offering from Bourjois. Their Happy Light Concealer has recently made it's way in to my daily makeup rotation. I simply take some on my Real Techniques Buffing Brush and stipple in to areas that need that extra coverage. It's not the heaviest duty concealer out there but it definitely helps to blur imperfections whilst still looking natural.

My final favourite for this month is Argania's Cashmere Hair Leave In Conditioner. I am well overdue a hair cut so have been trying to really ramp up the hair care to hide my damaged ends. A few spritz's of this post hair wash really helps detangle and nourish. Plus it smells like holiday which is never a bad thing, am I right?
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