Friday, January 30, 2015

Natio Wellness Body Scrub

Back in the day when 'My shower routine" videos were popular on youtube (by the way, does anyone else find them a bit weird?) I always laughed seeing girls talk about the fifty step process they went through in the shower. I myself love a good lush product like everyone else, but the reality is my showers are more race in, race out because I'm late to get to school. I simply don't have the time or the energy to spend half an hour mucking about, and I also don't like wasting all that water.
One product that has been a consistent feature in my routine, however, is the Natio Wellness Body scrub. This was gifted to my Mum who was not at all interested in it, and she passed in on to me after I took one sniff of it and declared that it was mine!

This sugar scrub is apricot and pomegranate and every time I open it I just want to eat it! I love that this leaves the slightest hint of scent on your skin, so that if you want to wear perfume it is no problem but if you want to go without, you smell fresh and fruity. I love going to bed after having given my skin a good scrub because I just smell all clean and fresh. 

I use this scrub about once a week, usually on a weekend when I feel like giving myself a bit of pampering because it does take a fair while to scrub your body down! It's relatively gentle and not too abrasive so you probably could use it multiple times per week, I'm just lazy! Because the sugar granules are large, it really allows you to scrub fairly hard and get rid of all the dead skin cells that desperately need to be rid of! It also contains an oil that soaks into your skin completely and makes it feel smooth and moisturised.

You don't actually have to use much for this to be effective. The sugar granules are so large that they don't dissolve quickly and you can work at scrubbing the skin, massaging it in really well. I really love the jelly/jam like texture and it feels so good working it into your skin. It lathers up slightly so it's soapy and easy to work into your skin. If you only use this once a week like I do, I think it would last you quite a long time, and for around $15-20 it's worth every cent!

I've never felt the need for a body scrub before, but after this I am an absolute convert and I'm actually quite excited about exploring what else is out there! If you have tried any scrubs that you love, please let me know because I want to try it out!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Monthly Favourites - January

2015 is in full swing and I am thrilled to say that it is already one thousand times better than 2014 was! January was a freaking huge month for me - at the end of December I got my Ps, I received my ATAR (98.5 out of 99.95), I got into my Speech Pathology course and I caught up with all the people I love over the month and for my 18th birthday party. All in all it was a pretty amazing month to kick off the year with!

But alas, now for the favourites!

Face: I don't know what it is (probably all the junk food I've been inhaling lately) but my skin is the worst it has ever been. Ever. I have been breaking out so much all over my whole face and even foundation hasn't helped much. Of course, my tendencies to pick spots until they become disgusting great scabs that can't even be covered by makeup doesn't help, but agh, it's so frustrating! Nevertheless, those spots that can be covered I've been using the Face of Australia stick concealer for because I think it does a magical job. Mine's a bit busted because of all the travelling it's been doing, but it does the job.

Nails: This was such an easy pick, and when I think about it if I had done a 2014 favourites post this polish would have won the title for the year: Essie's polish in Mamba. It is the most perfect nude pink that is so flattering and subtle yet classy. I love the formulation of this polish (it is the first and only one I've tried from Essie) and gosh, it is just wonderful!

Eyes: Like the nail polish, if I were to make a 2014 favourites the Max Factor Wild Mega Volume mascara would have taken the prize for my top mascara. I use this and it was no different in January. For someone who has never been interested in volumising mascara, this has made me change my mind...

Lips: When I realised that I'd not even mentioned this product on my blog I was astonished because this lipstick is perfection! I'm not even sure why I was compelled to pick up the Rimmel London Matte Finish Lipstick in 107 but it was the best decision ever. This is the most incredible dark wintery red/berry shade that I just adore - you can tell how much I love it because I have been wearing it all summer even though it matches none of my summery outfits! Don't quote me on this, but I think it might be Youtube star Zoella's trademark lippie and I can totally see why. Get it.

Other: For the other category I was going to choose a particular book but in the end I just decided to go with books in general. Since being on holidays I have rediscovered my passion for books. I honestly don't know how I survived 2014 not reading anything because books are what keep me alive and well. It has been such a luxury sitting outside in the hammock delving into good literature. 

Well there they are, my favourites for January 2015. I hope the rest of the year continues to be as wonderful as this month has been!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

NARS Blush and Bronzer Duo in Orgasm and Laguna

NARS is one of those brands that for a Priceline kind of girl, is wayyy out of reach. Though all of their products appear to be absolutely stunning and are raved about by anyone who has been lucky enough to get their hands on them, they kind of cost a small fortune compared to your brands like Revlon and Maybelline. I was super lucky to win this Laguna and Orgasm duo (yep, they also have some pretty risque names!) and I have been loving it ever since.

Starting off with the packaging, although I love the simplicity and classiness of the matte black packaging and white print, it looks absolutely filthy in no time. I tried so very hard to keep mine looking fresh but in no time at all it had foundation fingerprints and blush all over it. The photos are quite deceiving because this is actually a mini version of the duo, so much so that I can just fit my brush into the pan.

Let's start with the blush first: It's easy to become all caught up in the hype when the whole world is raving about something, which is why I start to get very doubtful about a product and whether it really is that good. Well, in this case I am happy to join all the fans out there because NARS Orgasm has catapulted itself into my new favourite blush. It is a gorgeous mid toned, rich pink shade with a sheen of gold that just makes you glow. You know that mermaid blue shade with the gold sheen? Well this is simply a pink version of that. It is absolutely freaking stunning. I still can't quite understand why I love this so much because I've actually never been a fan of shimmery blushes, but this is just gorgeous.

And then we have Laguna. You didn't think anything could get better after NARS Orgasm, right? Well apparently it can. Laguna was the bronzer that taught me that it wasn't my useless skill in application that made me hate bronzer, but the fact that I'd simply not found the right one yet. This bronzer isn't too orange toned and doesn't at all look dirty or muddy on my face. My face has been perfectly contoured since this incredible product came into my life, and I have been enjoying life as a bronzed babe who looks like she's just come back from a summer holiday. I love this stuff!

It's a big call, but I think this has to be a holy grail product for me because I've been completely bowled over with how incredible it is. I have worn both the blush and bronzer non stop since getting it and I can't see that changing at all. One thing specifically that I was really impressed with is that at the end of the day it still looks like you applied it only moments ago, the lasting power is incredible. Of course, just my luck that to purchase this in Australia it costs $56 but I have a feeling that when this runs out, it will be a splurge that I am willing to make.

Those of you who have tried this out for yourself, do you love it as much as I do?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Beautiful book covers

I'm actually one of those people who genuinely doesn't judge a book by its cover. Some of my favourite books have the most awful covers and I don't even care. In fact, the plain orange Penguin classics appeal to me so much despite the fact they are absent of any real graphic on the front. However, it doesn't mean I don't appreciate a beautiful cover when I see it, because my oh my I do! I went through my ridiculous book collection to find my top 10 favourite covers. It was a really interesting exercise because, as you will be able to tell, there is a very definite style of front cover that I find appealing!

For the sake of it I've included a rating under each of the photos letting you know what I actually thought of the book itself but this isn't a review post so I'm focusing on simply appreciating their gorgeous front covers! All you book lovers out there, enjoy!

I would love to know what your favourite book cover is!

Rated 1/5
Rated 5/5

Rated 2/5
Rated 5/5
Rated 4/5
Rated 2/5
Rated 2/5

Rated 1/5
Rated 3/5

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What I think of Bio Oil 6 months down the track

When I posted my first impressions review of the infamous Bio Oil back in May 2014, I promised that I'd write another review a couple of months later once I'd given it a good chance to work its magic. As is the case with all skin products, they don't work magic overnight and require persistent and regular use to really work well.

Well, I've been using this for over six months now and I feel as though I've earned the right to give you my honest thoughts. I'm impressed.

I bought this in the hopes that it would help with my stretch marks. My stretch marks were relatively new and luckily not too deep, however they were quite dark in colour and I feared that they wouldn't fade to that silvery shade that I find easier to accept! I started applying Bio Oil each night in the hopes that it would encourage the fading and prevent them from turning into deep, dark scars.

A cynic in every sense of the word, I was prepared to write this update and give you all bad news but in all honesty, I really think it made a difference. It has done exactly what I wanted it to do: the stretchmarks on my body have faded to a light silver that is really only noticeable when you stand at the right angle under the right light! I don't know how necessary it is to continue use after they've faded (I wouldn't imagine it's importance because the way I see it, it's hardly going to stretch and change colour again) but I still lather the stuff on because it moisturises the skin.

Which brings me on to another point. Perhaps even more than its value as a means of fading stretch marks, I came to love it for the magic it did on my face. When I purchased it I knew there was no way this was ever going to go on my face because it is just so, well, oily. I have a really horrible habit of picking my skin when I'm stressed, sad, nervous, bored...basically all the time. It's no wonder that I have flaking, sore, irritated, red skin when I've literally torn it to shreds. It's a shocking habit that I'm working on. Anyway, after having practically ruined my face one particularly bad night, it was so sore that I had no choice but to slap some of my trusty Bio Oil on in the hopes that it would soothe my irritated skin and restore some of the moisture that it was lacking. I went to bed feeling like a greasy mess and woke up with the best skin I had ever experienced! It was honestly like some expensive intensive skin treatment because I felt so healed the next day! It's not something I use on my face often because it simply is too much, but I use it perhaps once or twice a month.

Since this Bio Oil seemed to be so magical I figured I would apply it to some keloid scarring (overgrown scar tissue dark in colouring) that I had. Well, I don't think it did anything at all to those scars but in all honestly I'm not surprised, keloids are nasty things.

So there it is, the magic I experienced with Bio Oil. Like I said, I was so doubtful about this product and had read both raving and condemning reviews about it before trying it and I thought mine wouldn't exactly be glowing. Obviously all skin types are different but if you are at a loss with some new (old ones unfortunately can't be helped much) stretch marks then I would 100% recommend you give it a shot. You can purchase it in a 60mL bottle for approximately $15 which lasts forever and I think it is so worth it!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

2014 Empties

I'm not good when it comes to empties, I've just got too many wonderful products to choose from that I never really get stuck on a product that I completely use up. Nevertheless, I've decided to post an empties for 2014 because I actually used up some makeup products and I'm hoping it will encourage me to get through some more in 2015!

Garnier BB cream 
I loved the Garnier BB cream when it first came out and then when the oily skin version came out (the one pictured above) I couldn't believe that they had made the formulation even better! This is a product that I literally use every single day and I've already repurchased it.

Rimmel Recover Anti-Fatigue Concealer
This was the first concealer I ever bought and I don't even know if they even sell it anymore, but it was pretty good. As the name suggests, it was more for under the eyes but being the unexperienced, new to makeup kind of girl, I just used it on whatever I felt like! I won't be repurchasing this again (if it is even still being sold) because there are better ones out there.

Face of Australia Concealer in Neutral
I really, really like this concealer and I've already picked up another one because it's affordable, a good colour match (despite there only being three shades available) and it does the job well. Face of Australia is one of my favourite brands too!

Essence Clear Brow and Lash Gel
This is my annual empty, I've used up a tube of these every year for a while now I just love it so much. Even when I'm having a no makeup day (and I mean not a scrap of concealer or mascara or anything) I still use this because I have nice thick brows that look amazing as long as they are tamed! I've already got a back up or three of this!

Covergirl Lashblast Length Mascara
I loved this mascara to death and continued using it wayyy beyond its use-by date (don't do it!). Having discovered so many other mascaras I've now realised that this wasn't quite as incredible as I thought it was, however it still is relatively good and served its purpose well.

Face of Australia Pressed Powder in Beige
Technically I only hit pan on this one but I am going to count it as an empty because that's a big achievement for me! This powder was okay but I wouldn't buy it again because I've tried others that are superior (although admittedly more expensive).

Girlz Only Dry Shampoo in Party Nights
Though this isn't the best dry shampoo in the world, it's $2 and it works just fine for me! Dry shampoo has made me the laziest person and I just love it. I've already repurchased a couple more of these.

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Fresh
Well what do you know, another dry shampoo! Batiste make really good dry shampoos so if you're willing to spend a little more then definitely go for their products. I've not repurchased because I'm stingy and find the Girlz Only ones work well enough for me.

Dove Deodorant 
I used up way more than one deodorant this year but I only showed this one because they were all Dove roll ons. I don't know why I tend to purchase Dove ones, I guess it's just habit!

Herbal Essences Split Ends Protector Mask
I quite enjoyed this product although it was by no means a huge favourite or anything. I think it did improve the state of my hair, but I've used other intensive conditioners since and I feel as though they all do pretty much the same thing.

Michika Complete Synergist Cloth Masks
This was the first time I'd ever tried one of these masks and I really enjoyed the experience! They were richly moisturising and left my skin feeling amazing. I'm not sure I'd buy these again, or any mask for that matter, because I just don't ever get around to using them.

So there are my empties, probably a dismal amount compared to others but not bad for me!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Getting personal with new years resolutions

I am one of those people who get all reflective when the new year comes around, so much so that I think less about starting afresh like most people and more about what happened the year before.

2014 was a shocking year, one of more bad than good. Undertaking year 12 whilst struggling immensely with severe depression was a recipe for disaster and had a heavy impact on so many close to me. It has been a year of struggle and suffering but one of learning too, and I am in a position where I couldn't be more ready for change.

I considered making resolutions, I really did, but coming from a place where some days I literally cannot get myself out of bed, I wasn't terribly hopeful about my chances of upholding legitimate resolutions. Instead there is one thing that I would like to work towards with no expectation of fully achieving it, and that is simply working towards happiness.

Ugh, so cliche, so broad. But it means a lot to me, and I hope to maintain a mindset whereby each day, each decision, each moment, I will consider if it will allow me to work towards happiness. Perhaps this will give me more direction whilst also allowing me complete freedom. Each opportunity presented will be assessed solely by one criterion: will this make me happy? Who knows where this idea could take me, or if I can attempt to live this way because I certainly haven't been doing so thus far.

It applies to everything in my life. For instance with my blog, I want to place no more expectations on myself concerning posting. If posting four times a week makes me happy then I shall, if it is once a month that makes me happier I will do that instead.

I look forward to a year of getting better and recovering, and there is even a little hint of excitement about what University might hold.
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