Beauty | Lifestyle | Health

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Monthly Favourites: October 2014


It's that time again - the end of another month is here (is it just me or are they going progressively faster...?) Right - let's get straight into it...

OPI Nail Polish - Hot and Spicy. I always used to be a pink nailed girl all the time - now I'm going for something a bit more firey. I think mostly because this looks amazing with a tan and makes me feel like I'm helping bring about summer (because weather in New Zealand is pretty rubbish at the moment...). OPI always do fantastic colours that seems to last really well, this one I can usually get 5 days consistent colour out of with no chips.

Hurraw lip balms - Coconut and Moon Balm. I'm sure I've spoken about these before, but the newly discovered coconut one is amazing. It smells delicious and is probably the most moisturising of the Hurraw lip balms I've tried. I bought mine from an Auckland based online business - Oh Natural. The packages are always wrapped absolutely beautifully, it's like getting a gift in the post.

The Olive Branch Shower Gel. I bought this one for a few reasons, one, it's the only Lush shower gel I've never tried and two, I saw one of my favourute bloggers - Kate from Gh0stparties - rave about it and lastly, it smells very similar to the Dorothy bubble bar that I've always loved the scent of (but can't really use due to my eczema). I took the plunge and bought this beautiful olive oil and mandarin peel gel and my word. It smells tart like marmalade but has a real sweet note under it too. it's very gentle on irritated skin and lingers in the air and on your skin long after you've turned the shower off.

Grease Lightning/Vanishing Act. Again, I saw this on another blog and remembered using it years ago. It hadn't been stellar for me back then but as my skin had changed and I thought I'd give it another go. I'm so pleased I did, my skin is so much clearer and doesn't feel tight after applying. It's a beautiful natural spot treatment and doesn't just reduce redness but helps prevent spots from spreading. My t-zone hasn't looked so clear in ages.

Anything I need to try for next month?

Claire x

Confessions of a Beauty Blogger Tag: Part 2

I saw this tag on Hello Octobers blog (one of my favourite bloggers) whilst looking through her archives (because I'm a massive blogging creep). I actually really love reading these and think you get to know bloggers a lot better behind their usual posts - so here's part two! (If you want to read part on you can find it here). 

When did you start your blog?
I started a beauty blog around a year ago now on Tumblr but I felt I wanted a more professional looking platform and something that was entirely my own creation. I moved to Blogger only a few months ago back at the end of July. 

Have you had any past online presence before (other blog, YouTube)?
Yes - as above I had a Tumblr beauty blog but it never really turned into what I wanted it to be/wasn't what I ultimately wanted to go for in my blogging life. 

Why did you start a blog?
I had done so previously but really I was in need of a hobby - I've just started working full time this year after graduating last year. I now have far more free time (third year uni was killer - weekends were a distant memory...) a new camera as of last year and a growing love for all things beauty. That, along with more disposable income than I'd ever had previously made me re-consider blogging. What made me actually start I was (again...) on Suzie's blog and read this post, it really inspired me to bite the bullet and get onto it.

When did you become serious about starting a blog?
I guess when I started this blog - it's still definitely a work in progress and probably always will be but I really wanted it to be something to be proud of. I set my mind to posting three times a week and being as "myself" as I could. 

What was your first post?
My first post aside from my introductory one was a first impressions of Frank body scrub - if you're a regular here you know that Frank is now a regular visitor in my shower haha.

What has been your biggest challenge about blogging?
Trying to fit it in can be a challenge - but then I love writing and taking photos etc. so it's not really a bad thing. The hardest bit for me is probably photos - I think I've improved a lot since I started but I still have a long way to improve.

Where do you see your blog in one year?
Hopefully a lot bigger and better than it is now - I expect a new theme, hopefully more readers, I'll be using social media more. In terms of the posts themselves I can never tell - I plan things a few months in advance as I always have new or different ideas, but I can't see myself getting bored of writing them any time soon! 

What is the most rewarding thing to you about blogging?
I think just having a creative outlet in my life and knowing there are a few people that seem to be regulars and come back now and again to check in. I absolutely love when someone comments that something I've posted has helped them in some way or that they enjoyed reading it.

What is the most discouraging thing that happens to you?
I don't really find anything discouraging (yet). I suppose new readership is hard to find at times but I know I could probably change that if I utilised twitter and instagram etc. a lot more. I'm really just doing this because I enjoy it.

What's your lasting inspiration or motivation?
Reading other blogs, trying new products, reading magazines, finding new things or tricks that work. A whole lot of things really. Reading the tips sections in big blogs like Nouvelle Daily Blog, Gh0stparties and The Lovecats Inc. really help remind me I have only been at this a few months and give me new ideas for posts, how to better my photos etc. Really though, I've said it so many times already, I just love writing about things I'm enthusiastic about, it never feels like a chore and I don't really need any other motivation than that it's a lovely way for me to discuss and share something not a lot of people I know are interested in.

(I feel like I said "blog" too many times in this post...)

Claire x

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Top 5: MAC Must Haves


One: Eyeshadows. The range of shades alone at MAC is pretty mind boggling. While it can be a little overwhelming I think there's definitely going to be a few shades that suit every skin tone and taste in colour. In terms of the quality I've not found anything better - they apply beautifully, last all day and are highly pigmented. In the palette above I have (from top left, clockwise to bottom left) Patina, Wedge, Embark and Woodwinked. Although they look similar they have a very different effect - two matte shades and two shimmery ones are perfect for a variety of everyday looks. I have a list as long as my arm for other shades I'd love to try.

Two: Lipsticks. Can't go past lipstick really can you? From the packaging to the variety of finishes (satin, matte, frost, amplified, cremesheen etc...) and of course the colour range there is something for everyone. They're long lasting, have rich pigmentation, a beautiful finish and even smell beautiful. My favourite finishes are satin and amplified - similar consistency but the amplified, as the name suggests, are super bright.

Three: Fluidline. This is my soul-mate eyeliner. Yes, it's gel and yes, that makes it a little harder to use. However, it's very dark, dries quickly and won't easily rub off. So if you're a contact wearer like me or tend to rub your eyes then scream internally because you forgot you were wearing eye-makeup this might be good for you too. I like to use it with an Eco-Tools angled brush.

Four: Mineralise Blushes. I'm a big fan of dewy skin, even though mine can look a little oily. These blushes are a great way to get that glow without weighing down oily skin with cream products. They're not sparkly (which is good because I hate "sparkles" as such) but more pearly. I have several more of these lovelies on my to-buy list for this year. The finish is very natural and I think it's harder to over apply these than conventional blush too.

Five: Pro-Longwear Paint Pots. These are the holy grail of oily eye-lids. I find some of the darker matte shades of MAC eye-shadows were inclined to crease on me, not so with these babies. The three shades I have are Painterly (a pink toned matte finish), Groundwork which is very similar to Wedge eye-shadow but a little darker, and again a matte finish. Finally I have Constructivist which is a brown with a reddy purple undertone to it. I've created a smokey eye with this one alone. The idea behind these is they can be used on their own as a cream eye-shadow or as a primer for other powder based products over the top. I love these as they last all day at work and have never irritated my angry and irritable skin.

I've also done a NARS must haves post which you can find here.

Claire x

Sunday, 26 October 2014

5 Ways: Dealing With Stress

I consider myself quite the expert on this topic after years of exams, assignments and now a full year of work with no leave taken. Sometimes things can pile up and wear you down to the extent that it's hard to even enjoy the things that used to make you happy. I've found a few things really help me and I love reading posts like this myself so here are my top five ways to calm my shit.

One: Exercise. Yes, it's that boring one everyone suggests which is why it's my number one so we can get it out of the way. Even though it's sometimes really tough to make yourself get up and go to the gym or even out for a walk it really does help. Often at the end of the day you may be mentally tired, but your body is still perfectly able to use some physical energy. As you probably know, exercise does release endorphins which help perk you up.

Two: Getting outside. Similarly to exercise, I think there's something about being outdoors that helps refresh your brain a wee bit. Sometimes being in the same environment can feel a bit stifling, getting some fresh air and going to a local park or reserve if you live near one can be a great way to let your mind process what's going on and in the very least, forget about what's bothering you for a bit.

Three: Shopping. Now, by this I don't mean max out your debit card or whatever. However I do know that if I've had a particularly horrid week or am feeling really worn out buying myself a few "treats" can really help my state of mind and gives me something to look forward to. Whether that's buying something online (who doesn't like getting "presents" in the post?!) or going to your favourite local strip of shops can be great. Me personally, I love going to Lush. Buying a few bath bombs or something new for my skin or to use in the shower always makes me feel lovely. Then, aside from the shopping you have an excuse to have a night in, which brings me to my next tip.

Four: A night in. I've made a post about a night-in treatment here and have another one on the cards soon - so keep an eye out for that. Having a night in with a face mask, bath or lovely shower if you prefer can make you feel like a new person. Using products that make you feel happy is a sure way to relax both your stressy brain and your body as well. Even if it's just painting your nails, putting effort into yourself is fantastic for boosting your mood overall.

Five: Spending time with other people. This one is a bit of a no-brainer really. Calling or seeing my boyfriend, best friend or mum when I'm feeling a bit shit always makes me feel good. Going out for coffee or whatever you prefer is a perfect excuse to get away from home for a bit, have a chat about what's going on and often helps put things into perspective.

Claire x

Weekend Post: Labour Weekend

This week has been absolutely killer, I'm so exhausted at the moment. Yesterday I had some problems that needed to be sorted before I went out so my Saturday plans got a little bit ruined. So to make myself feel better I've just played with my makeup all day and thought I'd share the result with you guys. I used the Naked 3 palette - if you want to see a review I did on this palette you can find it here.

Chronic resting bitch-face (no one chooses to sit next to me on public transport I'll tell ya that for nothing) but I love this makeup look - it's very much a "going out" look for me but I like to practice these first because the stress of trying a new look the night I go out freaks me the hell out. I haven't got any lip colour here but I think I'd just pair it with a nude like my MAC Myth lipstick.

I'm wearing the xobeauty lashes in The Flirt - they're demi lashes and are just the cutest little things - I'm not amazing with application but because these are only half lashes they're super easy to apply and look really natural. Wavy beach hair from yesterday is still sort of there as well.

Now I'm just sitting here blogging, drafting posts for the next few weeks - I have a plan from now until Christmas so I have my work cut out for me...! In the mean time - have my weekly nail - OPI Hot and Spicy with a glitter one I bought last weekend and can't remember the name of right now.

Hope your weekends have/are more eventful than mine...!

Claire x

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Naked 3: Swatch and Review

When it came to picking an eyeshadow palette I thought long and hard about it - so many brands and some you can't bloody get in New Zealand. Beauty Bay had all three Naked palettes, I already have a few bronzes and browns so the Naked 3 with it's pink and taupe tones seemed the logical and slightly different option. I've been using it for about a month now so I thought it was about time I did an in depth review and swatches for anyone else considering the palette themselves. 

naked 3 palette


Colours l - r: Strange, Dust, Burnout, Limit, Buzz, Trick

Colours l - r: Nooner, Liar, Factory, Mugshot, Darkside, Blackheart
I think the colour range in this palette is actually really good, they look pink-toned but they're not pink as such - it's definitely got a lot of wearable tones with the second six being more cool toned browns and taupes. Aside from that there's a really good mix of satin, mattes and shimmers in there too. In terms of which colours are the best I love all of them really, in particular burnout, limit, buzz, nooner and liar. The final four are really more taupe toned darker shades, the darker shades all have the best payoff but the only ones that let the palette down a but are that dust is just exactly that - it's a little dusty and the most prone to fall out.

In terms of how long lasting they are I definitely think a primer is a good idea - I find they stick to the lid better and don't crease. Without a primer the colours aren't quite as vibrant but then they are meant to be neutral kind of shades regardless. There's definitely a lot of potential for some really dramatic looks with these or you can easily do really simple day looks too. I like Nooner through my crease and Limit on my lid for a matte look and for a more evening appropriate look something like Nooner through the crease with a combination of Liar, Factory and Mugshot is beautiful and still fairly neutral.

The brush inside is also pretty good quality and as it's double sided is perfect for getting shadow precisely into the crease and pressing colour directly onto the lid.

All in all I'd say, given the palette cost me $75NZD and there are 12 colours in here it's worth every cent - especially when a MAC eyeshadow alone is $30. I think out of the three palettes the pink tones in this one are the most unique, definitely love with this. If you want something with a little more colour but aren't ready for full blown bright shades this is a fantastic option.

Which Naked palette was your favourite?

Claire x

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Shop My Stash: The Lush Edit

Being the Lush fiend that I am, I thought it was about time I dug through my stash of bath and shower products to come up with a few cocktails for the bath. I've been pretty stressed and tired the last few months and it seems a waste to have products sitting around not getting used - also, it justifies the two Lush trips I've had in the last few weekends (oops...). I didn't include any skin care or hair care in this - purely bath and body products. Out of the bits I rummaged through I think I have a few winning recipes for the next few weekends worth of baths. 


Combination number one: The Honey and Chocolate One. 
Who doesn't enjoy a bit of sweetness? I certainly do and the smell of the honey and rhassoul mud in this bath bomb is heavenly. It's meant to be a very cleansing bath bomb which will be lovely after a long week. This, followed by a really thorough massage of my legs with the Soft Coeur massage bar on my legs and shoulders will compliment the honey bath bomb nicely and Charity Pot is a delightlfully chocolatey cream that sinks in and makes your skin really glow.

Combination number two: The Uplifting One. 
Sometimes I prefer something a little more reviving and I think the Olive Branch and its olive oil and mandarin scent will do that nicely. To make sure my picky skin doesn't get too upset in the heat of the bath I'll take Ceridwens Cauldron for a test drive - the oats and lavender sound like a dream combination for problematic skin. Finally, Karma Kream often gets me compliments in the office on its tropical and refreshing notes of pine and orange and again, it's wonderful on dry skin (particularly legs!).

Combination number three: The Comforting one. 
One of my favourite smells in the world is vanilla. It's a sweet, edible and comforting smell and I always feel "myself" when I have a perfume on with strong vanilla notes. Sadly I don't have a soap to go with this one however I think coconut Frank would be a nice accompaniment. Butterball bath bomb was my first ever Lush product and is a very special one to me. It's a plain little cream ball but it's filled with cocoa butter and smells like what dreams are made of. Following this up with Sympathy for the Skin and it's banana and cocoa goodness and a dusting of Vanilla Puff to take away any stickiness before bed is sure to be a winner. 

Any favourite products I need to add to my collection?

Claire x

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Top 5 - New Zealand Businesses

I love supporting New Zealand run businesses. I get a lot of products from these guys and love their branding and the customer service for any one of these brands is always wonderful. Most if not all ship internationally if you're interested in any of their products - I'll include links where I can!

1) xoBeauty - I'm a fan of anything Shaaanxo and her brush/lash brand is no exception. They've been a favourite of mine since I started buying them last year and the majority of my collection is made up of xoBeauty brushes. They're a good combination of natural and synthetic hair brushes and are unbelievably soft. This brand does ship internationally and the brushes are always beautifully presented when you open them. I think I'm due to make another lash order this coming pay day...that aside, Shannon has released her own jewellery range and I cannot wait to get my hands on one of her rings (the sun design is my favourite). 

2) Pagan Marie - Fantastically quick shipping (I'm talking overnight from Christchurch up to a rural area of Auckland), great customer service and a wonderful variety of clothes and makeup brands. I'd wanted a top from here that was out of stock, I posted on the facebook page asking if they were coming back in stock and within the same day got a message back saying they would be on pre-order on x date. Aside from that Pagan offers free shipping to all urban addresses, ships internationally and allowed me to get my hands on a long awaited Lime Crime Velvetine lipstick.

3) Meadowlark - Meadowlark jewellery is some of the most unique and beautiful of it's kind. They're unique, edgy and have the perfect balance of more feminine piece to very statement and out their designs as well. The facet earrings Jack bought me for my birthday get a lot of wear and I'm saving up for one of their protea rings. They can make any ring you want custom - whatever metal or stone you'd like. I love the idea of purchasing something that's been made just for me and also has never been worn by anyone else (just me?!).

4) Trilogy - This brand is one of my holy grail skincare brands - the fact alone that they make rosehip oil is reason enough to love them. Aside from that they provide natural skin care that is also cruelty free and made in New Zealand. Their products all apply and smell a dream from their Age Proof Night cream to their instant tanning gel. I use a heck of a lot of their products in both my morning and evening skin care routines. 

5) Wallace Cotton - I'm a big interior person and seeing as the only room I currently have to myself I love decorating my bed accordingly. They make beautiful new designs every season and are amazing quality. I currently have their 750 thread count duvet set and one of their quilts (which you'll see both of in a room tour I have planned). 

6) Whittakers - I kind of cheated with this one so I'm going to call it my wild card. It's actually a chocolate brand but everyone needs some chocolate in their life sometimes. In my case it's a block of creamy milk every week. Go look at their website - it looks like it's made of chocolate *died and went to chocolate internet heaven* I may or may not have been eating some whilst writing this post.

Writing blog posts is much easier and more enjoyable with a block of creamy milk beside me. 

Claire x

Weekend Post: Oops, Shopping Again

Honestly, it's not really my fault. I went out last weekend and Lush and Kikki K didn't have everything I wanted, and I had a free Sunday so what else? I drove to the bus station and bussed into the city - saving myself petrol and parking fees so I did well really.

After yesterdays ghastly weather today was surprisingly beautiful. It was cold in the morning but warmed up really nicely later on to the extent I just about stripped down to my singlet on the way back to the bus. Enjoyed listening to some 60s music (thank you, Boat That Rocked sound track) on the drive home with the sun beating down on the car - was bloody lovely.

I went to Lush and Kikki K - one for some interior stuff I wanted to peek and and some potential stationary for next year. I ended up getting the lovely little faceted vase I'd spied on their website. If you haven't heard of them they're a Swedish brand who do lovely stuff both stationary wise and home wise - it's very Scandinavian in design but still fairly understated so can fit into any room regardless of style. I also got some cute little diamond post-its - at work I get through so many of these so I think incorporating them into my home life will be a good idea (and who can resist the cute shape?!).

To be fair I did get the face mark for free - I took 5 black pots back to Lush. The new products I bought smell heavenly - I've been meaning to try Honey Bee bath bomb for years for a start. The Hot Toddy shower gel is like a mix between Ginger Beer and Big Red gum. 9 to 5 is a staple for me - sadly they were out of stock of the larger bottles. Reindeer Rock soap smells absolutely mouth-watering, like black currants - it's beautiful to look at with little reindeer carved into the soap with gold glitter on top. I'm not a huge soap person but this one was a keeper. Santas lip scrub I admit I've already tested - it tastes like Cherry Cola and it's absolutely delicious.

I was quite hungry by this stage so made myself some water with tangelo juice, and some toast with Marmite, avocado and capsicum jam on. (If you like marmite trust me on the avocado thing - try it, it's delicious). Followed this up with a couple of kiwifruit - I love fruit and these are pretty cheap while they're in season.

Now I'm frantically trying to get enough photos taken to draft up more posts for this week - I'm in serious need of a holiday and thankfully for me, next weekend is a long weekend. This week I've got a Shop My Stash post planned (again - Lush related) and an in depth review of the Naked 3 palette.

Next weekend will involve a lot of relaxation and a nice bath. More on that later this week.

Claire x

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Fake Tan Routine

My fake tan routine is pretty simple - as yet it's still fairly cool in New Zealand but my arms are out more than they were a few months ago and it's nice to start integrating bronzed skin back into my beauty regimen.

Really I think you only need three products for a good tan - personally I prefer instant but gradual tan as it's easier to clean up and not so obvious if it goes wrong.

To start off with, always scrub everywhere you're going to be tanning. This takes off any patchy skin - your skin cells naturally renew every 28 days so you want them all to be as fresh as possible so when your tan wears off, it does so naturally. I love coconut Frank the best for this - it's hydrating on your skin so leaves some moisture on you for the tan to cling to and leaves you amazingly smooth.

Shaving your legs after you've scrubbed is always a good idea - I find shaving after a tan tends to strip the tan off faster as it also takes that top layer of skin off as well. This way you'll have perfectly smooth and hydrated skin all prepped for your tan.

When it comes to actually applying the tan I like to put a bit of something waxy or creamy on my hands first - this stops the tan from staining your hands quite as much and makes it easier to wash off. No one wants super brown palms and a golden glow everywhere else.

Then I get a blob of tan - I currently love the Trilogy Instant Bronzing Gel, it's not too sticky on the skin, doesn't have a heavy smell and dries very quickly. This means it doesn't transfer to your sheets/clothes/people you're hugging (hah). Working quickly and using long sweeping motions up your limbs then buffing in once you have an even coverage is often the best way to go and helps avoid one very dark patch from where tan starts to set before you've blended it out.

To maintain your tan a body lotion is a must - in summer I apply night and day. During the evening something heavier is nice as your skin really has a chance to absorb it when you sleep - something like Charity Pot helps cover the tan smell and really helps to lock that tan in. The better condition your skin cells are, the longer they'll hold your tan.

Do you have any favourite tan products I should try?

Claire x

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The Zoella Cosmetic Bag

Ahh, the guinea pig Zoella cosmetic bag. My first thought was SO MUCH ROOM FOR ACTIVITIES. This is one spacious little bag. The above products are what I'd need for a usual day look along with all the brushes. Amazingly they all fit into this cute little bag with room to spare.

It's as though Mary Poppins herself helped design this bag because there's endless space and it's the right length so your brushes don't get all mushed because the case is too small. Aside from that, the pink print is very cute, its PVC which is the most common sense material for a bag to be - given that it lives in the bathroom. I've downsized to this little guy so my bathroom looks less cluttered with my dauntingly large makeup case being safely stored in my bedroom.

I'm not a huge bath person and I always tend to go for the most natural alternative where possible when it comes to cosmetics but from the Zoella collection this really stood out to me. It was only £8.00 so if you're in the market for a new bag to store your daily makeup/a nicely proportioned little travel case this may be for you. I bought mine from Feelunique as you can't get these in shops in New Zealand - shipping was really quick (I got it within the same week it shipped).

Claire x

A Note on Body Positivity

I know this is a very current topic at the moment and I feel the need to put my two cents in. I'm sure not everyone will agree with what I have to say but I've tried to word myself as best I can. It all started to me when songs in the media at the moment like Anaconda and All About That Bass ripping into skinny girls have caused quite the stir. I myself am very little and have been a size six jeans and size 8 top half for some time. I find several problems with this kind of message - it might not be important to everyone but it's certainly important to me.

I do have a problem with these songs but not entirely for the reason most people think. On forums, facebook etc. I see a lot of girls saying skinny girls never get bullied for their size and get all the modelling jobs etc. For a start, that is entirely not true. Being called too skinny, being asked if you're anorexic and the like is incredibly insulting - not only are you making mock of a debilitating mental and physical illness you're having a dig at someone purely because of how they look. How is that any different from calling someone fat? Aside from this, the idea of it being being "curvy" vs. skinny is absurd. Pitting one "body type" against any the other isn't a solution - it's not mutually beneficial and will bring one down whilst boosting the other which is exactly what people with a larger t-shirt size have been fighting against this whole time. I mean really, is this the most important issue at hand? Aside from this the ideal "curvy" figure is often more unobtainable than the typical small figure is - imagine Barbie tits, a tiny waist, big hips and bum and relatively slender legs. So much of your body comes down to metabolism and genetics - you can't dictate where your body fat goes. Ultimately this image can be just as harmful as the incredibly thin models we see on billboards and cat walks.

People's bodies come in different sizes - of course there is a healthy variance - some people will be more an "extreme" than others and still be healthy physically. Your body fat percentage can be anywhere between 17% and 28% and still be in the "healthy" range which is a far better measure of health than BMI. There's nothing wrong with being closer to one end than the other - trying to force your body to be bigger when it's naturally small, or smaller when it's naturally bigger isn't helping anyone, least of all yourself. What people need to accept is health is most important - I am by no means discriminating as I think different shapes can be beautiful in different ways. What I do have a problem with is the kinds of bodies that that ultimately debilitate your own health and the body's ability to function as it should. I am pro-body love but what I don't condone is bodies that are more of a hindrance to the person inhabiting it than they are a home. Having bodies at the extreme ends of the spectrum isn't a positive or healthy thing - and promoting that every kind of body is beautiful when it's potentially harming the person with that kind of body in my mind is not a good thing to do.

Finally, my issue with this whole thing is - why does everyone need other people to think they're beautiful? I was reading an article in one of the UK papers recently about an actress who was that typically gorgeous kind of figure and face when she was younger. She made an incredibly valid point that really struck with me, in her era people weren't driven to be "hot." These days we have a mania about being beautiful to everyone, what happened to being caring, intelligent, anything more substantial than just how we look? I'd rather be remember for who I was than for being a face in a million.

Personally, when I get dressed in the morning, I do it for myself. I'm not thinking what other people will think, whether they'll like my makeup, I do it because I like it. The thing I think is most important is not comparing yourself with someone else, or competing to be "the most attractive" - be the person you want to be and look how you want to look. Ultimately, how other people perceive you accounts for a very small amount of how you experience life. How you perceive yourself accounts for a huge amount of how you'll experience things - if you're thinking "she's skinnier" "she's prettier" whatever the case may be rather than enjoying the here and now as it were how much are you going to be missing out on? Enjoy your body - it lets you move, experience life and there's always going to be someone who loves what you have, one of those people should be you. No ones opinion of you is more important than your own, and please remember that you are more than just your body.

Claire x

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Room Tour

My bedroom is a very special place for me - mainly because it's the only place in the house that's really "mine" but also because I love decorating my own little space. There's definitely a few things I'd love to change but I'm somewhat limited by the fact mum doesn't want holes in the walls and the furniture isn't all allowed to be removed at my leisure...

Ever growing perfume collection along with photos and a few accessories. 

Game of Thrones books, beauty products and notebooks a-plenty. 

My Buddha from Nepal is a very special little guy - I love having him on my dresser. He's come with me to every house I've lived in. 
The tall boy in the corner of my room is a great place for candles, light and the Lush box I keep mementos in. 
Quilt and duvet both by Wallace Cotton - 750 thread count cotton. 

What's your favourite part of your room?

Claire x

Sunday, 12 October 2014

3 Ways to Drink More Water

1) Buy a nice glass to drink out of - I always think beer tastes best straight from the bottle but water tastes best coming from a lovely glass.

2) Put something tasty in the water - I like to squeeze a lemon or a tangelo into my bottle to flavour it a little. Frozen raspberries are another refreshing option. If you get bored of the "nothing" flavour this is quite a good way to do it!

3) Buy yourself a nice 1 litre bottle to put it in - drinking more water is easy when you can see how much you've had. I easily polish off a full litre if not more now purely because the bottle is pretty and I can tell "that only looks like one glass worth of water" in my bottle. If there's water near you - you'll drink it without even thinking about it!

Claire x

Weekend Post: Shopping Haul

Seeing as it was pay week this week as mentioned in a previous post I went a little nuts. I'm back into saving mode now but I thought I'd share what I got. I went to Lush as I hadn't been in a while and had a big spend up - the girl in there was a bit over eager but I felt mean telling her I'd been shopping at Lush for seven years and didn't need her following me around the shop - anyone else have this problem?!

I also went to Shampoo and Things to get a new Kevin Murphy shine spray as well as my favourite department store Smith and Caugheys. When I heard Ecoya had a new fragrance in their range - more specifically a candle in coconut and elderflower. I also happened to walk past the OPI counter and somehow ended up with a new nail polish too.

Driving so much always exhausts me so after a big sleep in I did the boring adult thing and cleaned and after that took too many photos for my blog and got on with some gardening. My little plants needed re-potting into bigger tubs so my Lush pots are now vacated.

This also means I have enough black pots for a free face mask - now sitting here deciding which to get and trying to sort out my photos (damn things keep loading portrait when I want them land scape on blogger...)

After much struggling with my photos I think I've sorted the problem. I'll spend another hour or so drafting some posts before washing my hair (I've got so much product in it I just about have dreadlocks), taking some photos and having a relaxing Sunday evening.

Claire x

Thursday, 9 October 2014

First Impressions: Lime Crime Velvetines

Left: Red Velvet. Right: Suedeberry

I'd been anxious to get my hands on these shades for a while - I did what any rational person suffering from indecision does - I bought both. The colours are Suedeberry and Red Velvet - retailing at $30 in New Zealand (not including postage...)

Both are very matte in finish, with incredibly vivid and opaque colour pay off. The Red Velvet was the first I got my hands on and I think it's my favourite of the two. It's a beautiful deep slightly blue-toned red though I expect it would look slightly different on different people. Best part about Red Velvet aside from being a total statement lip colour is it makes your teeth look brilliantly white. 

The Suedeberry is more a strawberry tone with an orange undertone and I think a little more wearable day to day. I tone it down with a nude lipstick if I don't want it to look too obvious when I'm at work. 

Both are very long lasting - the Suedeberry lasts around 5 hours with eating and drinking at work. The Red Velvet even more so because once you put it on the only way you'll get it off is with oil/an oil based cleanser (like my much loved Ultrabland from Lush). Due to this the Red Velvet is a little more drying and will show up cracks in your lips more than the Suedebery but if you put a little balm over the top this can be counteracted (though the lipstick will slip/transfer a little more easily if you do this). 

Overall, two absolutely stunning colours with great wear, a big impact and a solid matte finish. I can't wait for an excuse to wear them out more. 

Claire x

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

What's in my Handbag

I had been looking for a leather hand bag for a long time, I found this one in Country Road. The price was a little steep (around the 300 dollar mark). In the end I went back because, well hell I'd been hunting for bloody years for a bag I loved as much as this and Country Road only releases a few of each bag before they change the designs. Turns out I was fortunate with my loyalty program and 25% off specials and got it for $120. It's the perfect size and a nice length. If I buy too big a bag I end up filling it with too much stuff. This one is juuust right. (Looking at the contents...can you tell I like green?!)

On the inside:

My mouse notebook and an ejector pencil - I often have little ideas at work, when I'm out and about and need a space to write them down. I prefer pencil because I hate having things crossed out (so this pencil has a rubber too...). It's filled with blog post ideas and photography tips.

A little mirror - Everyone needs a wee mirror in their bag, whether it's to apply your lipstick or check your teeth after a pesto lunch they're always handy. I've had this one for years and it's the perfect size.

Ray Bans Aviators - As soon as I saw these green aviators nearly a year ago and felt like I needed them. I used a decent portion of my first pay at my current job on these babies and I don't regret a cent. I needed a new pair of sunglasses as I tend to destroy the cheap pairs I've bought and these fit the bill.

MAC lipsticks - I usually have a few in my bag at a time, at the moment I have the shade Brave and Myth. They mix really well and can dress a look up or down - one being a nude and one being a berry colour.

Hurraw lip balm - This one has an SPF so is great for New Zealand sun, it's a physical barrier lip balm and creates a nice base for lipstick too.

A Tangle Teaser - Light and great for easily tangled hair such as my own and can be used on wet hair. Much more portable and durable than my boar bristle brush I take this with me everywhere.

Keys - Gotta have my car keys, house key and a swiss army knife. Never know when you might need to snip a loose thread or cut off a tag.

Wallet - I bought this Rip Curl wallet a few years ago, just right for all the cards I have and isn't too clunky, fits in the inside pocket of my hand bag just right.

Nars (very abused) Multiple - This is a great portable bit of makeup - as the name suggests, it has multiple uses. I can use it as a lipstick and freshen up my blush after a day at work.

Anything you keep in your bag that I'm missing?

Claire x

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Weekend Post: The Snip

No, I didn't get a hysterectomy but I did get a hair cut. I used to have waist length hair but ever since I was 17 it started thinning and it's about two thirds the volume it used to be. So I am gradually tricking my mind into a long bob - I've done the old "I'm going to cut my hair all off!" a few times in the past and have regretted it. Now that I'm older and my face isn't a child like circle I feel I can pull off shorter styles. This time I decided to go for very blunt ends, shorter in the back and a few minimal layers so it doesn't thin it out further.

My local hair dresser is so casual - he's literally a no appointments hair dresser and is so affordable - he cuts my hair for only $25 which is amazing. He always does exactly what I ask and I always love it, he's so much experience and has owned and run his own business for years. Just goes to show the super expensive salons aren't always the best! I saw Jack after and had a quiet evening in with him - steak, chips and onion rings for dinner. 


 I decided to get an early start on the weekend on Friday with a cider and some blog planning. I've got the next month and a half of blog posts planned - pretty pleased with myself on that. 

Next week is pay-day so next weekend will mean a trip into the city. In the mean time I'm going to watch the weeks episodes of The Block hair tied chillin' with no makeup on (definitely not when I'm the prettiest). Anyway, until next time. 

Claire x

Thursday, 2 October 2014

5 Newly Discovered Beauty Tricks

1) Wash natural makeup brushes with an olive oil based soap. I use a hand soap with olive oil in it on my natural bristle brushes and it cleans them beautifully, leaves them soft and without and residue or strong smell that some anti-bacterial soaps can have.

2) Applying foundation with your fingers first then buffing in with a brush will mean you get a less streaky finish and use less product. When you're using something like Nars Sheer Glow every pump counts!

3) Shorter nails will chip less than long nails. This one is pretty common sense but if I need my nails to go the distance if I have meetings all week or I need them to look shiny and strong for longer I shape them shorter and don't skimp on the top coat!

4) Lip balm your lips after foundation and before anything else. By the time you get to applying your lip liner your lips will have absorbed the balm and won't dry out or be too oily for your lip products.

5) If you've bought a nude and find it makes you look too washed out, use it to "water down" a colour that is too bright for day time wear. E.g. I love Brave by MAC but I think it looks better in Winter as it's quite a berry toned colour, a swipe of Myth over the top and it's set for work.

Claire x
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