5 Dec 2016

2016 beauty favourites

I can't believe 2016 is coming to an end already, it feels like it was March only yesterday! 
My hair and beauty product collection has quadrupled through the year, so I thought I'd take 5 minutes to give you guys the run-down of my favourite products I've found this year....



Essano coconut milk hydrating shampoo and conditioner / $15.99 / Priceline
Perfect for hair which needs a little TLC, these products are plant based and contain no nasty parabens or sulphites they also smell incredible and leave hair soft and shiny.

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge / $16.99 / Priceline 
Literally a miracle for applying foundation and concealer, the round sides are perfect for blending makeup and the flat edge and precision tip make flawless application around your eyes and nose super easy! 

White Glo Bright Nights / $8.00 / Most supermarkets and large chemists
These White Glo whitening films are incredible, simply peel them from the packet and stick over clean teeth for a quick fix whitening treatment. Perfect before a night out or big event! 


Yves Saint Lauren Black Opium EDT / from $99 / most department stores 
With top notes of coffee, heart notes of white florals, jasmine and orange blossom and base notes of vanilla, cedar and patchouli this perfume is the perfect mix of sweetness and rock chick. The smell is almost addictive-I literally can't stop reaching for it. 

Loreal Nude Magique Cushion foundation / from $16 / most pharmacies
I finally found a foundation which matches my skin tone perfectly, this formula is absolutely incredible with a sheer - medium coverage it leaves me with the perfect glow and has built in SPF 29.  It comes with a sponge in the pack, however I team it with my complexion sponge for flawless coverage.

LUSH million dollar moisturiser / $54.95 / LUSH 
A little bit goes a long way with this beautiful moisturiser from Lush. Filled with nourishing shea butter and nutrient rich sesame oil it leaves my skin wonderfully hydrated. It also has reflective pigments which create a beautiful glow, I love mixing it with foundation for a dewy look! 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brown Pen / $38 / Sephora
My go-to for day to day perfect brows, the colour match is great and it literally only takes seconds to fill in my brows before heading out for the day, and it doesn't budge either which is awesome. 

L'Oreal False Lash Superstar Mascara / from $25 / most pharmacies 

I've honestly never had so many compliments on my eyelashes, this 2 step primer/ mascara eliminates the need for false lashes. First coat lashes with the white primer then layer on the black mascara, it lasts all day with no fall out at all...uhhhhmazing. 

Clinique Chubby Stick lip balm / $36 / most beauty and department stores
I've loved these lip balms since they were first released, Fuller Fig is my perfect day to day colour and the formula which is loaded with hydrating mango and shea butters, leaves my lips perfectly hydrated. 

Beauty Killer Palette - see below 


Moon child palette- see below 

Vanillary solid perfume / $9.95 / LUSH
Sweet, yet sophisticated this solid perfume melts into skin and leaves subtle notes of vanilla, tonic and jasmine. A little bit goes a long way. I also love layering this with 'Imogen Rose' solid perfume to  smell like the lush rose jam range. 

Real techniques expert face brush / $22.99 / Priceline 
There's not a beauty blogger in the world who doesn't own some Real Techniques brushes for good reason, they're incredible! Designed by beauty gurus Sam and Nic Chapman, this brush is the best seller in the range, it's Ultra firm and broad for application and blending of cream or liquid foundation, the bristles are super soft and 100% cruelty free. I also find this brush perfect for contouring! 

Real techniques brush cleansing gel / $17.99 / Priceline
Gone are the days of washing my brushes with soap, this formula gives brushes a deep clean restoring them to their former glory. 

Redken Beach Envy Wave Aid / $31.50 / Redken salons
This salt-free beach spray is amazing, it gives the most incredible boost of volume and creates perfect fresh-off-the-beach texture without the sand or salt water! 

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray / $23 mini or $49 full size / Mecca 
Absolutely miracle worker, a few sprays and makeup stays put for up to 16 hours. It has built in 'heat control' technology to help your skin stay cooler even in the Perth heat! 

Palmers facial cleansing oil / $14.99 / Priceline
Facial cleansing oil rose to fame in 2016, at first I was skeptical but quickly ditched the micellar water I'd sworn by for years in favour of this. Infused with oils and botanicals this gentle formula is perfect for sensitive skin, makeup removes quickly and skin is left feeling hydrated.

R and Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo / $29 / R and Co salons
R and Co are relatively new to the Australian market but their products are incredible. This dry shampoo is perfect for refreshing hair between washes and smells divine.


Jeffrey Star Beauty Killer Eyeshadow Palette  / $65 / online only
Thought Jeffrey Star disappeared along with myspace? You are wrong. The scene superstar re-rose to fame this year with his cult beauty products. Beauty Killer is a 10 shadow palette, each shadow is packed with intense pigment, with a mix of matte, frost & glitter shades this palette is ridiculously versatile! 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Moonchild Glowkit / $40 USD / online only
Sadly only available from the US this amazing highlighter palette is absolutely amazing. ABH has taken the beauty world by storm this year and these beautiful highlighters are no exception, perfect for every skin tone and makeup style the pigment builds quickly and effortlessly and lasts all night.



What are your 2016 beauty favourites?
xo



29 Nov 2016

Two years in Australia

At the end of September 2014 we packed up our lives and made the move to Western Australia.
One year on I wrote a re-cap about our first year in Australia, the first year was most definitely a rollercoaster of emotions and adjusting to living in a new culture, but by the end of the first year I had just started to find my feet and was starting to feel settled in Perth.

So what was year 2 like?



As we finished our first year in Australia we both were working pretty good jobs and had just moved in to a beautiful old cottage in Wembley with a swimming pool and beautiful tropical garden for the summer. We packed up our bags for a long weekend and head to Sydney  (psst click for sydney blog posts) where we got to know some of Australia's most iconic landmarks like the Opera House and Bondi Beach. We had an awesome time, but felt much more at home when we got back to Perth. 

It was relatively plain sailing counting out the rest of the year, we got to know Perth city a little better and at the middle of December welcomed Dan's family for a month. We celebrated christmas with the English family and the family who already live in WA, spent time on their boat, playing on paddle boards and watching dolphins in Mandurah. 


Not long after Dan's family flew back to England we hopped on a flight to Brisbane and explored the tropical Gold Coast. We teamed our flights to land not long after my mum, who was visiting a friend from England, and after a week in Brisbane we all flew back over to Perth. The timing was impeccable (I can't lie it was totally planned) as mum was able to help us pack up our short term rental to move up the coast into a longer term rental. We had a few short days with mum in the new house before she went back to the UK. It was heartbreaking as ever waving her goodbye, knowing she's so far away. Whilst mum was visiting I gained a clinical nursing position in the community.



At the start of March we welcomed number three in to our mini family, Jessie the border collie. Our lives changed forever and we fell totally in love with our crazy little ball of fur. The next few months were filled with walks, puppy school, crate training, obedience training and doggy day care (yes, it's a real thing). There were some horrid nights of being awake all night, but slowly Jessie somehow made us feel more and more at home, and after a camping trip for my birthday in April, where we spent the weekend watching her run up and down the beach, I thought I really really like living here. There was a love forming like nothing I had ever imagined, for a four legged friend, so unconditional that all the sleepless nights, peed on carpets and chewed shoes seemed so insignificant. 


The next few months were a total blur, and I grew to totally neglect blogging and social media. Our lives became balancing acts, but we formed amazing new friendships with people at work, started taking the 4WD out more and generally started to feel like Perth was becoming home. Almost in sync, both our careers took off and we expectations at work increased, we saved every cent we earned   and our evenings quickly became consumed with working from home. 

After a few months of work, work, work I realised I was beyond unhappy in my job and despite it sounding incredible on paper I was unsupported and over worked. A break was much needed so when an email landed in my inbox from a hotel in Bali we realised it was a sign we had to go and not long after we were floating in a pool with a Bintang in hand, the holiday flew by and on the way back I turned to Dan and said 'where are we going?' and he replied 'home'. 

When we got back we spoke at length and crunched numbers and realised the stress, the toll on my health and the lack of free time at my job just wasn't worth it..so one Monday morning, not long after getting back from Bali, I bounced in to my managers office resignation in hand. 


I felt a new wave of motivation and creativity. I threw myself in to new hobbies, jumped out of bed at 6am and felt a fire burning inside me that had been put out months before. The stars obviously aligned quite quickly, because before I had even worked my notice I had landed an incredible new role with identical pay but a lot less hours. 

I started my new job at the middle of September and was able to maintain my new hobbies, my twice daily dog walks and occasional stops at the gym for spin class. By the end of September we decided that Perth would be our home for a good few years, so started researching buying our first house together and hope to be in to something new in the next 6 months.

Once again, it's been a total rollercoaster, however we have grown umpteen amounts. We are no longer young people, but young adults with career paths and yearly plans, we have our own fur child who is the most incredible ray of sunshine on the darkest days. 


xo






31 Oct 2016

Top 5 packing hacks


There's nothing I hate more than not being able to fit everything I could possibly need in my suitcase for a trip away. I've learnt so many sneaky ways to make the most of my luggage over the years so thought it was about time to share them with you.

1. Write a list of what you need before you go


It sounds super simple but it avoids a) packing too much and b) leaving an essential at home (you know like your toothbrush, makeup wipes or emergency box of tampax)! Packing a capsule wardrobe filled with simple pieces makes mixing and matching much easier and saves so much room- I'm also fond of doing a 'test run' before my holiday to see if I've got any spare room in my case for an extra pair of shoes. If you're not great at list writing, there's hundreds of 'packing lists' available online! 


2. Roll or bundle your clothes.


Without a doubt, rolling clothes is the most space efficient way to pack and reduces wrinkles en route. Simply lay clothes flat and roll up before packing into your case, making sure to pack them in tightly to prevent them unravelling whilst on board. There's also the 'military roll' which is great for t-shirts or if the roll technique isn't for you, try bundle or 'clown car' packing. This space saving technique whereby you lay clothes in your suitcase with some overhanging (i.e the arms of the shirt), layer other items over at a right angle and tuck it all in over each other (google it- it's much easier than it sounds).

3. Make the most of your carry on luggage.


Most airlines offer between 5-10kg of carry on, make sure you check your entitlements including dimensions of bags, whilst packing. If allowed, I try to take one larger bag and one smaller one for airport essentials like my passport, purse, book and phone. In the larger bag I like to pack more essentials- a change of clothes, spare undies and toiletries. Great for freshening up mid-flight and in case of a bag loss emergency when you arrive at your destination.


4. Layer some tumble dryer sheets in your bag. 


Simple, but so good! Grab a couple of dryer sheets from your cupboard and pop them in your case before you leave, your clothes will smell fabulous when you arrive and throughout your trip, even after a couple of wears. It's also a life saver if the hotel room and wardrobe don't smell the greatest when you arrive.


5. Pre-book excess baggage before you get to the airport. 


Getting caught at the airport with excess baggage is every traveler’s nightmare, so weigh your suitcase in advance and send your excess baggage through World Baggage, the leading Australian excess baggage company. Doing so could save you up to 70% compared to airline fees and they offer a pick up service from your front door and the ability to track your belongings throughout their journey. Using it is simple-- enter the details of your bag(s) on their easy quote tool and receive a quote instantly online, you can choose different options to get your baggage to your destination safely and on time, either before or after you leave home.


What are your top packing hacks?

This post was written in collaboration with World baggage. Picture via pinterest. 

5 Dec 2016

2016 beauty favourites

I can't believe 2016 is coming to an end already, it feels like it was March only yesterday! 
My hair and beauty product collection has quadrupled through the year, so I thought I'd take 5 minutes to give you guys the run-down of my favourite products I've found this year....



Essano coconut milk hydrating shampoo and conditioner / $15.99 / Priceline
Perfect for hair which needs a little TLC, these products are plant based and contain no nasty parabens or sulphites they also smell incredible and leave hair soft and shiny.

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge / $16.99 / Priceline 
Literally a miracle for applying foundation and concealer, the round sides are perfect for blending makeup and the flat edge and precision tip make flawless application around your eyes and nose super easy! 

White Glo Bright Nights / $8.00 / Most supermarkets and large chemists
These White Glo whitening films are incredible, simply peel them from the packet and stick over clean teeth for a quick fix whitening treatment. Perfect before a night out or big event! 


Yves Saint Lauren Black Opium EDT / from $99 / most department stores 
With top notes of coffee, heart notes of white florals, jasmine and orange blossom and base notes of vanilla, cedar and patchouli this perfume is the perfect mix of sweetness and rock chick. The smell is almost addictive-I literally can't stop reaching for it. 

Loreal Nude Magique Cushion foundation / from $16 / most pharmacies
I finally found a foundation which matches my skin tone perfectly, this formula is absolutely incredible with a sheer - medium coverage it leaves me with the perfect glow and has built in SPF 29.  It comes with a sponge in the pack, however I team it with my complexion sponge for flawless coverage.

LUSH million dollar moisturiser / $54.95 / LUSH 
A little bit goes a long way with this beautiful moisturiser from Lush. Filled with nourishing shea butter and nutrient rich sesame oil it leaves my skin wonderfully hydrated. It also has reflective pigments which create a beautiful glow, I love mixing it with foundation for a dewy look! 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brown Pen / $38 / Sephora
My go-to for day to day perfect brows, the colour match is great and it literally only takes seconds to fill in my brows before heading out for the day, and it doesn't budge either which is awesome. 

L'Oreal False Lash Superstar Mascara / from $25 / most pharmacies 

I've honestly never had so many compliments on my eyelashes, this 2 step primer/ mascara eliminates the need for false lashes. First coat lashes with the white primer then layer on the black mascara, it lasts all day with no fall out at all...uhhhhmazing. 

Clinique Chubby Stick lip balm / $36 / most beauty and department stores
I've loved these lip balms since they were first released, Fuller Fig is my perfect day to day colour and the formula which is loaded with hydrating mango and shea butters, leaves my lips perfectly hydrated. 

Beauty Killer Palette - see below 


Moon child palette- see below 

Vanillary solid perfume / $9.95 / LUSH
Sweet, yet sophisticated this solid perfume melts into skin and leaves subtle notes of vanilla, tonic and jasmine. A little bit goes a long way. I also love layering this with 'Imogen Rose' solid perfume to  smell like the lush rose jam range. 

Real techniques expert face brush / $22.99 / Priceline 
There's not a beauty blogger in the world who doesn't own some Real Techniques brushes for good reason, they're incredible! Designed by beauty gurus Sam and Nic Chapman, this brush is the best seller in the range, it's Ultra firm and broad for application and blending of cream or liquid foundation, the bristles are super soft and 100% cruelty free. I also find this brush perfect for contouring! 

Real techniques brush cleansing gel / $17.99 / Priceline
Gone are the days of washing my brushes with soap, this formula gives brushes a deep clean restoring them to their former glory. 

Redken Beach Envy Wave Aid / $31.50 / Redken salons
This salt-free beach spray is amazing, it gives the most incredible boost of volume and creates perfect fresh-off-the-beach texture without the sand or salt water! 

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray / $23 mini or $49 full size / Mecca 
Absolutely miracle worker, a few sprays and makeup stays put for up to 16 hours. It has built in 'heat control' technology to help your skin stay cooler even in the Perth heat! 

Palmers facial cleansing oil / $14.99 / Priceline
Facial cleansing oil rose to fame in 2016, at first I was skeptical but quickly ditched the micellar water I'd sworn by for years in favour of this. Infused with oils and botanicals this gentle formula is perfect for sensitive skin, makeup removes quickly and skin is left feeling hydrated.

R and Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo / $29 / R and Co salons
R and Co are relatively new to the Australian market but their products are incredible. This dry shampoo is perfect for refreshing hair between washes and smells divine.


Jeffrey Star Beauty Killer Eyeshadow Palette  / $65 / online only
Thought Jeffrey Star disappeared along with myspace? You are wrong. The scene superstar re-rose to fame this year with his cult beauty products. Beauty Killer is a 10 shadow palette, each shadow is packed with intense pigment, with a mix of matte, frost & glitter shades this palette is ridiculously versatile! 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Moonchild Glowkit / $40 USD / online only
Sadly only available from the US this amazing highlighter palette is absolutely amazing. ABH has taken the beauty world by storm this year and these beautiful highlighters are no exception, perfect for every skin tone and makeup style the pigment builds quickly and effortlessly and lasts all night.



What are your 2016 beauty favourites?
xo



29 Nov 2016

Two years in Australia

At the end of September 2014 we packed up our lives and made the move to Western Australia.
One year on I wrote a re-cap about our first year in Australia, the first year was most definitely a rollercoaster of emotions and adjusting to living in a new culture, but by the end of the first year I had just started to find my feet and was starting to feel settled in Perth.

So what was year 2 like?



As we finished our first year in Australia we both were working pretty good jobs and had just moved in to a beautiful old cottage in Wembley with a swimming pool and beautiful tropical garden for the summer. We packed up our bags for a long weekend and head to Sydney  (psst click for sydney blog posts) where we got to know some of Australia's most iconic landmarks like the Opera House and Bondi Beach. We had an awesome time, but felt much more at home when we got back to Perth. 

It was relatively plain sailing counting out the rest of the year, we got to know Perth city a little better and at the middle of December welcomed Dan's family for a month. We celebrated christmas with the English family and the family who already live in WA, spent time on their boat, playing on paddle boards and watching dolphins in Mandurah. 


Not long after Dan's family flew back to England we hopped on a flight to Brisbane and explored the tropical Gold Coast. We teamed our flights to land not long after my mum, who was visiting a friend from England, and after a week in Brisbane we all flew back over to Perth. The timing was impeccable (I can't lie it was totally planned) as mum was able to help us pack up our short term rental to move up the coast into a longer term rental. We had a few short days with mum in the new house before she went back to the UK. It was heartbreaking as ever waving her goodbye, knowing she's so far away. Whilst mum was visiting I gained a clinical nursing position in the community.



At the start of March we welcomed number three in to our mini family, Jessie the border collie. Our lives changed forever and we fell totally in love with our crazy little ball of fur. The next few months were filled with walks, puppy school, crate training, obedience training and doggy day care (yes, it's a real thing). There were some horrid nights of being awake all night, but slowly Jessie somehow made us feel more and more at home, and after a camping trip for my birthday in April, where we spent the weekend watching her run up and down the beach, I thought I really really like living here. There was a love forming like nothing I had ever imagined, for a four legged friend, so unconditional that all the sleepless nights, peed on carpets and chewed shoes seemed so insignificant. 


The next few months were a total blur, and I grew to totally neglect blogging and social media. Our lives became balancing acts, but we formed amazing new friendships with people at work, started taking the 4WD out more and generally started to feel like Perth was becoming home. Almost in sync, both our careers took off and we expectations at work increased, we saved every cent we earned   and our evenings quickly became consumed with working from home. 

After a few months of work, work, work I realised I was beyond unhappy in my job and despite it sounding incredible on paper I was unsupported and over worked. A break was much needed so when an email landed in my inbox from a hotel in Bali we realised it was a sign we had to go and not long after we were floating in a pool with a Bintang in hand, the holiday flew by and on the way back I turned to Dan and said 'where are we going?' and he replied 'home'. 

When we got back we spoke at length and crunched numbers and realised the stress, the toll on my health and the lack of free time at my job just wasn't worth it..so one Monday morning, not long after getting back from Bali, I bounced in to my managers office resignation in hand. 


I felt a new wave of motivation and creativity. I threw myself in to new hobbies, jumped out of bed at 6am and felt a fire burning inside me that had been put out months before. The stars obviously aligned quite quickly, because before I had even worked my notice I had landed an incredible new role with identical pay but a lot less hours. 

I started my new job at the middle of September and was able to maintain my new hobbies, my twice daily dog walks and occasional stops at the gym for spin class. By the end of September we decided that Perth would be our home for a good few years, so started researching buying our first house together and hope to be in to something new in the next 6 months.

Once again, it's been a total rollercoaster, however we have grown umpteen amounts. We are no longer young people, but young adults with career paths and yearly plans, we have our own fur child who is the most incredible ray of sunshine on the darkest days. 


xo






31 Oct 2016

Top 5 packing hacks


There's nothing I hate more than not being able to fit everything I could possibly need in my suitcase for a trip away. I've learnt so many sneaky ways to make the most of my luggage over the years so thought it was about time to share them with you.

1. Write a list of what you need before you go


It sounds super simple but it avoids a) packing too much and b) leaving an essential at home (you know like your toothbrush, makeup wipes or emergency box of tampax)! Packing a capsule wardrobe filled with simple pieces makes mixing and matching much easier and saves so much room- I'm also fond of doing a 'test run' before my holiday to see if I've got any spare room in my case for an extra pair of shoes. If you're not great at list writing, there's hundreds of 'packing lists' available online! 


2. Roll or bundle your clothes.


Without a doubt, rolling clothes is the most space efficient way to pack and reduces wrinkles en route. Simply lay clothes flat and roll up before packing into your case, making sure to pack them in tightly to prevent them unravelling whilst on board. There's also the 'military roll' which is great for t-shirts or if the roll technique isn't for you, try bundle or 'clown car' packing. This space saving technique whereby you lay clothes in your suitcase with some overhanging (i.e the arms of the shirt), layer other items over at a right angle and tuck it all in over each other (google it- it's much easier than it sounds).

3. Make the most of your carry on luggage.


Most airlines offer between 5-10kg of carry on, make sure you check your entitlements including dimensions of bags, whilst packing. If allowed, I try to take one larger bag and one smaller one for airport essentials like my passport, purse, book and phone. In the larger bag I like to pack more essentials- a change of clothes, spare undies and toiletries. Great for freshening up mid-flight and in case of a bag loss emergency when you arrive at your destination.


4. Layer some tumble dryer sheets in your bag. 


Simple, but so good! Grab a couple of dryer sheets from your cupboard and pop them in your case before you leave, your clothes will smell fabulous when you arrive and throughout your trip, even after a couple of wears. It's also a life saver if the hotel room and wardrobe don't smell the greatest when you arrive.


5. Pre-book excess baggage before you get to the airport. 


Getting caught at the airport with excess baggage is every traveler’s nightmare, so weigh your suitcase in advance and send your excess baggage through World Baggage, the leading Australian excess baggage company. Doing so could save you up to 70% compared to airline fees and they offer a pick up service from your front door and the ability to track your belongings throughout their journey. Using it is simple-- enter the details of your bag(s) on their easy quote tool and receive a quote instantly online, you can choose different options to get your baggage to your destination safely and on time, either before or after you leave home.


What are your top packing hacks?

This post was written in collaboration with World baggage. Picture via pinterest. 
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