28.5.17

May Obsessions



I cannot believe another month has almost passed! This year is flying by so fast. However it also means it is time for another instalment of my monthly favourites. Again there will be a mix of beauty and lifestyle pieces so if this floats your boat, read on my friend:

SKINCARE

I picked up the Cult Beauty Box this month and included was the Indie Lee COQ-10 Lotion/ Toner. I had not included a toner in my skincare routine for quite some time and am so glad I do now. This toner has instant effects, making skin feel soft and plump. I have not experienced such instant effects with any other product and could not recommend this more. It is an amazing product and I cannot imagine my skincare routine without it!

I also really enjoyed getting back to using the Glossier Balm dotcom. It has been getting colder and I wanted that extra layer of protection on my lips at night, which I most certainly got with this. It is thick and rich without being shiny (in fact, it has quite a lovely matte finish). I didn't think much of this product when I first bought it, but now I really appreciate having it around.

HAIRCARE

I have been neglecting my hair this month- I haven't been to the hairdressers in quite some time and have serious regrowth. I also haven't been bothered to wash it as frequently as I usually would so CoLab's Dry Shampoo has been getting quite the workout. I love that it is an invisible formula (no dreaded white powder residue in the hair) and it also gives an added boost of volume.

When I do get around to washing my hair and showing it some TLC, you can guarantee it has been the Wet Brush I have picked up (pictured below). My hair is fine but I have lots of it! I have an Evo Paddle Brush which was great when I had a fringe, but it doesn't cut it when considering the bulk of my hair. The Wet Brush is great by comparison as it has dense boar-like bristles and longer nylon bristles so it can actually reach my scalp through all of my hair. It also works on wet hair, so added bonus!

LIFESTYLE

At Home With... Podcast is a new podcast by two British Blogger/Vloggers Anna (of The Anna Edit) and Lily Pebbles. The podcast is designed around Anna and Lily visiting the homes of figures of the beauty & fashion world. The interviews are a relaxed, conversational style and I really enjoy listening to it. I listen to the podcast on the Acast app as each episode is accompanied by photos which pop up on the app as the episode plays. I like to play the podcast while working on my Bullet Journal (which is a brilliant segue into...)


Bullet journaling was a new concept I learnt of towards the end of April. With my obsessive nature, watching one Youtube video about BuJo (a better acronym than BJ...)  quickly spiralled into having watched 26 videos and sitting at a desk creating my own. All you need is a notebook and pen and you can create your own bullet journal. It is essentially creating a custom journal where you can track whatever you wish to and keep yourself organised from a Yearly to Monthly to Weekly view. I have had mine for one month and feel it has really helped me keep on track with my health goals (see my previous blog). 

I have also been getting more organised with my Instagram account. I was inspired by other accounts on Insta where the feeds were so cohesive and every post looked like they belonged to the one account (compared to my mish mash of different products and colours). So I did a bit of research and came across the Preview App and its articles suggesting ways to organise your feed. This might not be interesting to those who don't blog, but it has definitely changed the way I run The Beauty Obsessive Insta account. My feed is now colour themed because I am insane love to change things up. It has turned my feed from this...
to this...

I was finding it difficult to get to sleep one night earlier this month and remembered someone telling me to read cook books at bed time. The idea is to read something non-stimulating to drift you off to sleep (unlike my usual science fiction or crime novels). I started to read Tanya Bakes which was gifted to me at Christmas time and found that instead of drifting off to sleep, I was inspired to bake again! This book has been given quite the workout in recent weeks- the crowd pleasing recipes include Nutella Biscuits, Raspberry Cupcakes and Custard Tarts. Delicious and a must-have for anyone with a sweet tooth and knack for baking.

My final monthly favourite for May is the Tubereuse Candle by Diptyque. Part of me never wanted to burn this candle as 1) it was expensive and 2) it smelled lovely without burning. However one day it was cold and gloomy so I lit this baby and once I started I just couldn't stop. I love the smell of tuberose and one small Diptyque candle can fill a room (and then some) with the scent. I will be sad when this finishes but will be able to put the glass to good use with makeup brush storage.

This brings my monthly faves to an end. There were no makeup pieces included as I did not find I was enjoying one particular product more than others. However let us see what June brings!
25.5.17

Intensive At-Home Manicure





I love nothing more than a fresh coat of polish on my nails! There is nothing like looking down at your nails and having no chips or imperfections showing in the varnish. However in recent times I have started to take proper care of my hands and treated myself to at-home manicures. I don't mean just removing the old, chipped paint and coating nails with a new colour. I mean taking care with your cuticles and skin: the whole shebang. This is great to do when you are in the middle of a Netflix binge and can sit in front of the telly or computer for an hour or so and tend to your nails while you watch! So here are my steps to giving yourself the best DIY manicure:



1. Remove old nail polish: if you want to be kind to your nails, try to stick with acetone-free nail polish remover. And to state the obvious, if your hands are dirty, first step would be to wash them, then remove polish.

2. Clip & File: Cut your nails down to the desired length and then file into shape. Try to always file in the one direction to prevent damage to your nails.

3. Oil & Soak: apply cuticle oil to your nail beds and massage in. Grab a bowl of warm water and soak your nails for a few minutes (don't wait until your fingers resemble prunes!). You can use coconut oil to do this as well and even pop a few extra drops of oil into the warm water. Your hands will feel soft and moisturised after this step.

4. Push & Clean: Use an orange stick to gently push cuticles back. You can also use this, or a metal file tip to clean under the nail. I know it is a bit gross to talk about but it is important! It is much better to do this after soaking the nails to prevent harshly scraping away the underside of your nail.

5. Buff: If you do not have one, I would recommend picking up a four-sided buffing block from your local pharmacy or beauty store. I have a mini block from Sephora (not pictured) which has a side to file, another to remove ridges, one to buff and another side to shine the nail. It works a treat and provides a lovely, smooth surface on which to apply polish.

6. Moisturise: apply a small amount of hand cream and massage into your hands and around the nail bed. People say the nail should not have any creams or oils present before polish application, however I have found my polish is unaffected from adding in this step. My cuticles however are much better off from this extra step of moisture. If it worries you, grab a cotton bud, dip into nail polish remover and run it over the nails before polish application.

7. Base & Colour: Now comes the fun part. Apply a thin coat of base polish to the nail. I use Help Me Grow by Essie (pictured below) which I have been really impressed with. It prevents nails from staining with colour and I swear my nails are stronger and longer from using this. Pick your weapon/ colour of choice and apply two thin layers, allowing time to dry in between coats. To test if they are dry, tap your two pinky nails together- if you can feel any tackiness or sticking, they are not dry enough! You can finish with a top coat however I have been foregoing this step as it always seems to re-wet the polish underneath.

Here is my colour collection I have been frequently wearing over the past few months. The Sally Hansen polishes are recent additions and are designed to treat the nail while wearing (they are infused with Argan oil). I haven't tested them out properly with regards to chipping however the Essie polishes are definitely a great option. My best run was wearing Go Ginza for 6 days before chipping!


From Left to Right: Essie Help Me Grow Base Coat, Essie Bikini So Teeny, Essie Go Ginza, Essie Haute in the Heat, Sally Hansen Colour Therapy Blushed Petal, Sally Hansen Colour Therapy Steely Serene, Essie Mademoiselle, Essie Lady Like, Essie Sole Mate

I hope you enjoyed this post and give this manicure a try on the weekend! I know it can be hard to find time- after all, this post is being typed out by nails that currently have four coats of polish on them. I could not be bothered did not have time to remove the original colour before trying out one of the new Sally Hansen colours. Oh the hypocrisy! 

Until next time...
21.5.17

Caroline Hirons x Cult Beauty Box: First Impressions





I was so excited when this parcel from Cult Beauty arrived. I had seen Caroline Hirons discuss previous Cult Beauty Boxes on her Youtube channel but had never been able to get my hands on one...until now. This box features some of CH's superhero skincare products that she counts in her all-time favourites list. So I was most excited to try some of these items for the first time!

The products all came individually packaged and homed in a giant, black Cult Beauty Box. It was accompanied by a small booklet highlighting Caroline's thoughts on each product and how to use them.



I started out first with the Tata Harper Restorative Eye Cream and Indie Lee CoQ-10 Toner as I did not have an eye cream or toner included in my current routine. First impressions of the Indie Lee toner were "Where have you been all of my life?!". It made my skin feel so so soft- like nothing else I had used before. I was telling everyone at home to touch my face to see how soft it was! The results were instantaneous and I am already planning to repurchase this, once I run out (although the bottle is a very generous size and I am sure will last me quite a few months).

I loved the citrus smell of the Tata Harper eye cream- it felt lovely to apply however the effects are not instant so will have to get back to you on this one, after using it for a longer amount of time. The cream is housed in gorgeous gold and green packaging that exudes the luxury that is Tata Harper skincare.

I have used the Dr Dennis Gross alpha-beta pads before and loved the effects so was happy to have a small stash of these again. They provide a very effective acid treatment which is much better for your skin compared to a physical exfoliant. I am going to alternate them with Pixi Glow Tonic so I don't run out so quickly.


I have not yet tried the Pixi Double Cleanse (I cannot believe I have shown such control) as I frankly have too many cleansers on the go. Once I run out of my Oskia Renaissance Cleanser, I will crack this baby open. It has a solid oil/ balm cleanser on the left side to remove makeup and a cream cleanser on the right to clean the skin. As it was created by CH herself, I can only imagine wonderful things! 


I gave the Zelens Power D Treatment Drops are whirl last night and really liked the feel of them. They are an oil/serum but apply more like a serum and don't leave as much of an oily residue on the skin like other facial treatments. They come with a handy little dropper and a heavy glass bottle (I love weighted packaging!). It is meant to target the deeper layers of skin to make it more resilient and help with skin's elasticity. Like with the eye cream, I will need to use this long term to see the effects but so far I like this product.

I also have used the Moisture Balancing Lotion by January Labs and really like the effects. Being a lotion, it is not as thick as other moisturisers and blends beautifully on the skin. I have oiliness in my t-zone so really like the light weight finish this product gives. I think this lotion would be particularly great for Summer time when I hate the feeling of anything thick on my skin. 

So if you find yourself ever on the Cult Beauty site and see there is a Box available, I would highly recommend it (particularly if curated by Caroline!). This box is an example of fantastic products offered at a great discount and I am so glad I broke my spending ban in order to buy it!

17.5.17

My Beauty Wishlist


As my sister and I have been planning to move out (yes, out of our family home at the age of 27....stop your judging!), I have been cracking down on my spending habits. So instead of buying everything impulsively, I have been adding them to my wish list. This is beneficial as 1) I won't forget the items I would like to buy and 2) it removes the urgency of needing them right now!


THE LIST

Surratt Relevee Lash Curlers

I have been using the same old pair of Revlon curlers for an embarrassing number of years. They now pinch my lids every time I use them and probably should be thrown out. But that would mean they need a replacement and if so, the Surratt curlers (or Kevin Aucoin) will be my curler of choice! I have heard great things about these- they are not as tightly curved as other curlers are and so many people have said they are the best curlers they have ever used. Also, they have a very sleek, all-black design which is quite different to others on the market.



Drunk Elephant

Honestly, anything and everything from this brand is on my wish list. They have a very beautiful minimalist packaging with pops of colour and a great selection of serums that are popping up all over my insta feed. One of my friends is currently loving everything about this brand and it is becoming contagious. The only thing that is stopping me is the price tag. The products, in particular the serums, are expensive but if you are going to invest in any part of your skincare routine, it should be on facial serums and oils (in my humble opinion).



Charlotte Tilbury Revolutionary Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask

Charlotte released her dry sheet mask shortly after awards season and noted that she had used it on star clients such as Nicole Kidman. I do enjoy a good sheet mask, even though they make me look like Mike Myers from the Halloween movies. But Charlotte's is different because it is a dry formulation, not a wet mask like you can buy from nearly every makeup and skincare store. This means the active ingredients won't evaporate off your skin and because it is a dry mask, it can be re-used up to three times! Bargain! Right? Well, kind of- it is still expensive but if you are going to use each mask for three times, it is pretty on par with the price of wet masks. I am very curious to test this product out!


Tata Harper Restorative Eye Creme

I love Tata Harper products and have used their lip treatment and facial cleansers both in the past and currently. They use all natural products (no synthetic ingredients) and this eye cream has long been on my wish list. It is meant to brighten dark circles, reduce fine lines and hydrate the eye area but also comes with a pretty price tag and short shelf life (2 months due to the natural ingredients used and lack of preservatives). Mainly it has been the price preventing me from purchasing however as you will read further below, I may have gotten my hands on it for a very good price!


Sunday Riley CEO Antioxidant Protect + Repair Moisturiser

I love Sunday Riley's Tidal Moisturiser- it is part of my current skincare routine and is unlike any other moisturiser I have used. It texture is, well, there is no other way to describe it but "gloopy". Like silly putty you played with as a child, remember that? But it does its job and does not leave my skin oily so I am chomping at the bit to try their newest moisturiser which is packed full of Vitamin C and E and antiOxidants (hence the CEO).


Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse


I love the CH- she is the queen of skincare and knows everything there is to know about products that go on your skin. So when she released her own cleanser with Pixi, it went straight onto my wish list (and is soon to be in my hands, as you will discover further). She has always spoken of the benefits of the double cleanse so naturally her product contains both a balm cleanser on one side and a cream cleanser on the other. Two in one cleansing goodness. Who doesn't love that?


Tanya Burr Sunday Walk Lipstick

I have raved about Tanya's cosmetic range before and featured my collection of her products on my blog (see here). She has just recently released a new collection, Neutral Ambience. I love the formula of her lipsticks so instantly checked out her two new shades Sunday Walk (rosy pink) and Bear Hug (peach shade). I then instantly decided my collection of lipsticks was lacking a rose hue so added Sunday Walk to my wish list!





Byredo Hair Perfume Gypsy Water

I wrote in my Fragrance post how much I love Gypsy Water. It is a beautiful woody and citrus fragrance and apparently it now comes in a new formulation for your hair (?!). Hair Perfume. Because spraying perfume in your hair isn't good enough, they have designed a new formula which is meant to treat the hair and smell beautiful, all at once. This item is so luxurious and unnecessary and yet I have added it to my list. Will it ever come off the list because I made the purchase, I cannot say, but I love the idea of having that same lovely scent, spritzed through my hair. 


I was casually browsing online and came across a list of items to be included in the next Cult Beauty Box (curated by none other than lady Hirons herself!). These Cult Boxes are great to keep an eye on as the savings offered are amazing (this box equated to 40% off). When all of the items in the box have been on your wish list at some point or another, it is very hard to resist hitting that "Add to Cart" button. So much so, there was probably no resistance at all on my behalf and I did make a purchase. So my spending ban is off to a bad start but my skincare routine is going to look amazing once my new purchase arrives in the post! The savings were so good, I ignored all of the spending I did to get it. And I can now cross the Tata Harper Eye Creme and Pixi Double Cleanse off my list!

If you too are trying to save money, I hope you are off to a better start than me!
Until next time...
14.5.17

Online Beauty Shopping Guide


I love shopping online. usually make most of my beauty purchases online, unless I want to swatch an item or get matched for a foundation in-store. Not only is it more convenient but you also have a better ability to shop around and compare prices (including overseas) to get yourself the best deal. I noticed last year around the time of Brexit, that the GBP dropped and purchasing beauty products from overseas became much cheaper compared to shopping in Australia. Don't get me wrong, I will still shop from Australian companies, however for particular brands, the price difference is too great to ignore. Also, there are some brands that are simply not available to the Aussie customer, unless you shop from an overseas supplier. 

Below I have rounded up some of my favourite online stores and tried to list the benefits and drawbacks of each one.  I hope you find this little guide useful!

MECCA
www.mecca.com.au
Mecca has several retail stores around Australia branded under Mecca Maxima and Mecca Cosmetica. The online store is a combination of the two, with a huge range of makeup, skincare, fragrances and haircare. I purchase from the online store often and they have very fast shipping times with the parcel sometimes being delivered within 24 hours of ordering! They offer free shipping for orders over $75 which I think is quite reasonable compared with other Australian retailers. 


Brands I Love to Buy from this Store: Nars, Origins, Byredo, Escentric Molecules.
Benefits: Loyalty program that offers Beauty Loop boxes and complimentary makeup application and classes; free shipping for purchases >$75.
Drawback: Almost never offer discounts or sales.

CULT BEAUTY
www.cultbeauty.co.uk
Cult Beauty is based in the UK and has a huge range of brands, some of which are difficult to locate in Australia. Purchases are made in GBP and if you are based outside of Britain, VAT is removed at the checkout which means even lower prices for Aussies. I love purchasing Charlotte Tilbury from Cult Beauty for this reason (it works out much better value compared to charlottetilbury.com and net-a-porter). They also have some amazing niche products (see anything from the brand Bed Of Nails) and also release a Beauty Box every fews months which means even better savings for the products included.
Brands I Love to Buy from this Store: Charlotte Tilbury, Tata Harper, Sunday Riley, Pixi.
Benefits: works out to be cheaper compared with Australian prices, particularly if you qualify for free shipping. 
Drawback: Due to overseas location, you cannot buy nail varnishes or fragrances due to aviation/shipping laws.

LOOK FANTASTIC
www.lookfantastic.com
Look Fantastic is another UK based store with a large range of skincare and haircare products (I feel as though there are more haircare brands on offer). They often have sales on and offer promotional codes with purchases so you can get some amazing savings compared to shopping from Australian stores. As they are based in the UK, you can access some great brands that are not available in AUS.


Brands I Love to Buy from this Store: Oskia Skincare, Real Techniques, Illamasqua, Sarah Chapman.
Benefits: if you sign up, they often offer 15% off discount vouchers via email.
Drawback: Due to overseas location, cannot ship nail varnishes or fragrances due to aviation laws.

FEEL UNIQUE
row.feelunique.com
Feel Unique is another UK stockist I love to shop from with a range of beauty products from beauty blogger brands including Tanya Burr Cosmetics, Zoella and Fleur De Force. I also recently discovered they had added Charlotte Tilbury to their range and some of her products are cheaper again, compared to Cult Beauty! This is one to remember for around Christmas time as they run great "3 for 2" offers on many ranges.



Brands I Love to Buy from this Store: Tanya Burr Cosmetics, Charlotte Tilbury, Zoella.
Benefits: Cheap prices and offers unique brands that are difficult to locate online elsewhere, such as Tanya Burr Cosmetics.
Drawback: Due to overseas location, cannot ship nail varnishes or fragrances due to aviation laws; long shipping periods/ expensive Express freight costs. 

ADORE BEAUTY
www.adorebeauty.com.au
Adore Beauty have a wide range of beauty products and tools, from Benefit to the expensive Mason Pearson brushes (which are on my Beauty Wishlist). They are based in Australia and therefore have fast shipping periods. I like to purchase a lot of my haircare form Adore Beauty as they stock both EVO and Kevin Murphy. The site often also has a Live Chat session available which means you can get some great advice from a Customer Service Consultant, whilst shopping (which let's face it, isn't always on offer in physical Retail Stores).

Brands I Love to Buy from this Store: Dermalogica, Alpha H, Kevin Murphy.
Benefits: often offers discounts on products. Located in Australia so faster shipping periods. 
Drawback: price (with no discount) is not comparable to some overseas sites such as Cult Beauty.

SEPHORA
www.sephora.com.au
Well we all know who Sephora are and what they are about. Sephora AU online is unfortunately not as well stocked with labels as the US version however still has a great range of items. Their rewards program that offers discount is a major drawcard for me, as other sites don't offer a loyalty of any kind (and if so, almost never a discount as a benefit of the program). I don't purchase a lot online as they now have two retail stores in QLD, however I did have my moments in the past where I frequented the site. They also have an app available for iPhones which makes shopping online even easier!
Brands I Love to Buy from this Store: Ouai, Guerlain, Dr Jart, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Tarte, Zoeva.
Benefits: Loyalty program where you are rewarded the more your spend in the form of discounts (10% off and 20% off); range of brands not available otherwise in Australia.
Drawback: Australian orders are shipped from an overseas warehouse and therefore shipping periods are slightly longer compared to Australian based stores.
11.5.17

A Little Movement Motivation



I am changing it up guys! I know it is usually all skincare and makeup but I wanted to share with you my health journey (and to make myself even more accountable so I stay on track!). Occasionally I may post a Lifestyle related article, if that is what I am feeling, as I want to remain true to myself and get things out in the open when I feel I need to. I will be adding a new Lifestyle section to the blog, so I can put all of these types of posts together. So here goes...

My Health Journey

I have decided that May is the month to get my physical health back on track! I have never had cause for concern regarding my weight, however in the last year, I have gained 10 kilos. After being diagnosed with hypothyroidism over a year ago and progressively gaining weight even after treatment, I am trying to make healthy changes. My metabolism is not what it was and I can no longer get by eating some of the junk I used to and not exercising frequently. So I am trying to eat whole foods and cut back on the processed garbage. Don't get me wrong- I am not going to completely eliminate chocolate and cakes but I am cutting back on them heavily. I am definitely the type of person that craves something more, the instant I am told I cannot have it. So I am not cutting anything out- I am just switching things up! Physically, my aim is to move everyday in some way, whether it is a yoga workout, circuit training or walking the dog (all of which I do from home as I am also trying to save $$$ and don't want to add a gym membership to my budget).

Below is a list of things that I have found have really helped me get motivated with fitness and exercise again.

Fit Bit

I purchased a Fit Bit Alta almost one year ago and for the last few months it had been lying with a flat battery, in my desk drawer. So in April when I first wanted to increase my physical activity, I dug it out of said drawer, re-charged the batteries and started to track how much I was moving. Which wasn't a lot. At all. I have since been aiming to increase my steps and I think the Fit Bit is really good at keeping me on track and giving me that wake-up call to move my ass, when needed!


Activewear

I am one of those people who instantly has more motivation to workout after purchasing new gym gear. Let's face it, working out is not the most fun thing to do (for me at least) and it is made less desirable when you feel frumpy or daggy, or even worse, find you have to pull your pants up every minute throughout a workout (whilst thinking, remember to never where this to the gym ever again!). I love Lorna Jane gear (see below colourful sports bras), in particular their Core Support tights, as they really add that extra level of support to your midriff. If you don't want to spend a lot on gym gear, Kmart also has a great range of workout shorts and tights on offer. I picked up two pairs of shorts for $12 each and they are really great quality!

Online Workouts

As mentioned, I do not want to spend a large amount of money on a gym membership, in order to get healthy. So I have been turning to Youtube for some workout inspiration. So far, I have really been enjoying Blogilates for short but intense pilates workouts. I love that these videos are shorter and target particular parts of the body. I usually select at least two videos to do in the one workout session and boy, you can feel the burn!

I also have been a long time watcher of Yoga with Adriene. I love yoga and it is brilliant for helping stretch out stiff muscles that have been worked on earlier in the week. I also have been relying on some dance workouts I downloaded during my February membership of B.O.D by Rachael Finch. I love that I am so focused on getting the dance moves right, I am not so focused on how much my legs hurt and how much my heart is pumping etc. I find dancing to be a really fun form of Cardio!


Another great workout I have been doing a couple of times a week is the fitness app, 7 Minute Workout. It is a circuit workout you can do at home (no equipment required other than a chair and step). You can do the circuit as many times as you wish but I honestly feel so sore and tired after just two circuits! I hope by the end of May, I have built it up to three circuits at a time.


As you can see, I am trying to keep the variety up so my body is constantly guessing! It also means I won't become bored and continue down the couch-potato path.


Added Inspiration

Some extra little things I have found to motivate me are:

  • Telling people about what I am trying to achieve- I feel I am held accountable and now the people around me are going to expect results!
  • Online fitness bloggers/ vloggers such as Carly Rowena and Madeleine Shaw have great tips on how to stay on track! When I feel uninspired, usually one of their videos will have a new recipe or workout to relight the fire!
  • Healthy recipe books are always great to have on hand so you can try something new and different- my current fave is Eat Beautiful by Wendy Rowe which has really simple recipes that are full of flavour and nutrients.


So now that I have put my intentions out on the world wide web, I am hoping this will also make me more accountable for my actions (particularly actions involving shoving cake in my mouth). I hope you may have also found some of this useful if you too are trying to create a more active lifestyle.
7.5.17

Top 5 Face Masks


I am an avid user of facial masks, both tube/tub form and sheet masks. I wanted to highlight my favourite traditional masks that I frequently use (no white sheet masks included here...although that may come in a future post). Each of these masks targets a different skin concern and I feel they form a well-rounded skincare arsenal. 


Manuka Doctor Rejuvenating Face Mask
This is the newest product to be added to my range of masks. I have only had the pot for 2 months (which was received as a free gift in an online purchase). I love a mask that you can slather on your face and not have to rush back to the bathroom after 10 minutes, to rinse off. This mask is intended to be left for 30 minutes (I have left it on longer) and once smoothed over the skin, appears transparent. Not one that you would be embarrassed to wear, if the doorbell rang. It is the complete opposite to masks that make you appear like an extra from a horror film- this is the mask that no one can tell you are wearing. The effects are plumped and firmed skin. I personally also find any redness on my face appears calmer after using this mask too. No redness, no dryness, just calmed and firmed skin. 
Texture: Creamy, very thick and balm-like. Transparent on the skin. 
Aim: to help firm skin.
Available from: Look Fantastic

Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant

I am in desperate need to repurchase this mask, as I finished my current tube a few weeks back (which will make tube No 4 of this amazing product)! It was my first foray into chemical exfoliants upon learning the damage physical exfoliants can do to the skin. This is so soft and creamy to apply. It does not set hard, or make your face feel tight while wearing. There is the slightest tingling sensation, which is the lactic acid working away at removing dead skin cells. If you have sensitive skin, I believe this to be one of the most gentle masks to use if you want to exfoliate your skin (hence the name...). I use this mask twice a week (or three times if I feel my skin needs it). 
Texture: soft and creamy. Does not set, appears white on the skin.
Aim: to exfoliate (great for sensitive skin types). 
Available from: Mecca and Dermalogica stockists such as Pure Indulgence stores.

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask

Whenever my skin is feeling tight (a sign of dehydration), I know I need a good hit of moisture. I get that in the form of the green Origins mask. No need to worry, the tube is green but the product is transparent. The product is so smooth and you just gently wipe it over your face (do not rub it in) and tissue of the excess. The mask is designed to be left on overnight and it honestly has visible effects on fine lines in my forehead. I love this mask so much and my sisters both love using it too. Origins have a great range of masks (I also like there pink tube Clay Mask) and price wise, they don't break the bank.
Texture: soft and silky. Transparent on the skin.
Aim: to provide hydration and moisturise.
Available from: Mecca.

Sephora Mud Mask Purifying and Mattifying

This is also relatively new to my routine and it is courtesy of my sister (thanks Kate!). She picked this up from Sephora and was raving about how good it was at mattifying her skin. I get very oily around my nose and T-zone so naturally, gave this a try. The mask is your typical clay mask and is very dark in colour and dries whilst on the skin to a lighter hue. Once I washed the mask off I had a genuine "Holy s**t" moment. My skin was sooo matte...and it was not uncomfortable or dry. It did not feel like my skin had been stripped of its hydration, but the excess oil and shine around my nose was gone! If you suffer from excess oil, I would recommend giving this a try!
Texture: dark, thick paste, slightly grainy. 
Aim: to clarify skin and control excess sebum/oil.
Available from: Sephora.

Charlotte Tilbury's Goddess Skin Clay Mask

Although this mask is also a clay mask like the above, it is completely different. First of all, it is a pink clay mask (very feminine, which is very in line with Miss Tilbury) but it is also combined with Almond Oil to provide moisture to your skin. Unlike other clay masks, this does not set or dry while on, and your skin is left deeply cleansed but also bright and glowing. It is not like any other clay mask I have tried. I love wearing this mask while having a long bath on a Sunday evening. My skin is left glowing and feels baby soft. 
Texture: soft, pale pink cream formulation.
Aim: to brighten and clarify the skin.
Available from: Charlotte Tilbury (most expensive), Net-a-Porter and Feel Unique (least expensive). 

So that is a run down of my current favourite masks. I like having this range available when my skin needs it, as they all target different issues. I think an important thing to remember is that you can apply different masks in different zones of your face- you do not have to apply it all over. For example, my nose is oily but my cheeks usually need moisture, so I use the Sephora mask around my nose and the Origins mask on the sides of my face.

Let me know in the comments below, if you have tried any of these masks or if you have other masks you would recommend. I always love trying new products! Also, I have worked on creating both a Facebook page and Twitter account for my blog, so please click the social links at the top of the page to follow me. I will always leave updates for new blog posts through these channels! 
3.5.17

Favourite Fragrances



I have a sweet tooth when it comes to food. Cake, pastries and lollies are some of my favourite things to eat. But when it comes to fragrance, sweet is bottom of my favourite scents list. I prefer citrus and woody scents and the fragrances I mention below have been my constants for the last year or two.


I discovered Byredo Gypsy Water EDP in Mecca Cosmetica a few years ago and it was love at first spritz. Not only is the packaging gorgeous, with minimalistic vibes and a heavy, magnetic black lid- the scent is like nothing else I had smelled before. In my opinion it could be considered unisex with notes of lemon, sandalwood, pine needles and pepper which definitely appealed to my inner citrus-and-wood-loving bohemian. I keep this for special occasions, as at $240, it is very expensive to spritz everyday.


My everyday perfume is another Mecca purchase, but this time from the brand Escentric Molecules. I picked up Molecule 01 after hearing other bloggers talk about how unusual the scent is and how they always receive compliments when wearing it. Genuinely, I too had never received so many compliments on a fragrance and questions about what I was wearing, until I started wearing Molecule 01. The ironic part here is that as much as strangers may enjoy the fragrance, I can barely smell it on myself. It is designed to mix with your own body chemistry to create a completely custom scent for each wearer. It has a slight woody scent when first applied, however, I cannot smell it on myself from then on. This fragrance is clearly well loved and the closest I have come to finishing a perfume bottle in a long time! 


I own several miniature colognes from Jo Malone (available in David Jones) and one of my favourites is English Pear and Freesia. Jo doesn't mess about when it comes to naming the scents, because guess what English Pear and Freesia smells like? 
Jo Malone scents are designed to be layered over each other and I have a larger bottle of Wood Sage and Sea Salt which compliments most of my miniatures quite well. The service at Jo Malone is also incredible and worth mentioning. The assistants are very knowledgeable about which scents work well together and usually give a few different testers to take home so you can experiment with layering. I always have a few sample fragrances rolling around the bottom of my handbag, which come in handy after a sweaty workout or for freshening up after work. 

Tip: Keep your perfume bottles out of direct sunlight to prevent the scent from degrading. This will mean a longer life for your fragrance. I store mine in a drawer in my dresser (although it is tempting to have them sitting on top, so I can admire the pretty bottles).

I would love to try out more scents from Byredo and also from Aerin (I love the packaging she uses for her fragrances but have not gotten to an Estee Lauder counter yet). If you are looking for something different from the stock standard fragrances you see at department stores and in chemists, I would recommend visiting Mecca Cosmetica to try out new brands and something slightly left of field.

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