Tuesday, May 24, 2016

2016 Empties - First Quarter

We're close to finishing the second quarter of 2016, so I thought I'd get a wriggle on and finally pop up the first instalment in my empties for 2016. I've already started filling up my empties bag with the next batch, and I'm hoping to really dwindle down my shower and body stash this year to get it to a manageable level.
The Body Shop Shower Gels (Vineyard Peach + Satsuma) are so damn good, they're my favourite for lathering up and the scents are always really interesting, albeit more pricy than my Original Source (Lime) supermarket staple. I reeeeally enjoyed the Palmolive Heavenly Vanilla Body Wash and will definitely have that as a staple when my stocks are depleted, vanilla is everything, for real. I also finished off my tub of Lush Ro's Argan Body Conditioner*, the perfect lazy-girl winter moisturiser but a bit of a luxe bathing treat for me.

Yet another Rexona, and I finished off my Hollister Silver Strand Beach body spray (that I actually used as a room spray, bit too artificial for my tastes) Have any of you been into a Hollister store? I loved the one in Doncaster, it was dark and mystical in there with the constant sound of rolling waves thanks to the beach film on the walls there - sad to see that the store is gone! Only one hair product finished (Schwarzkopf Ultimate Repair Anti-Damage Mask) and I may have just forgotten to include the Bvlgari Rose Essentielle perfume in my last empies as I think I finished it quite some time ago.

An average makeup remover (Maybelline Make-Up Remover*) and lacklustre micellar water (Caudalie Cleansing Water) are gone, as is a dried up pack of Yes To Cucumbers Wipes*. Sad to see my Bioderma Crealine, Dermalogica Precleanse and La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (aka the love of my skincare life...) finished but they will all be repurchased at some point. Cracked out the Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips and the My Beauty Diary Red Vine mask during a husband-wife pamper night so they're all gone as well.

How are you going with managing your beauty stash?
Are you good at keeping things manageable, or do you struggle like I currently am?
-Emma x

*Provided for consideration. Honestly used up, ha!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

City v Country Haul // Sephora, Op Shopping, Revlon & T2

Living a while away from a loved one can be so tricky sometimes, so I was elated to be able to enjoy a mid-week stay with my best friend Candice a few weeks ago in Barfold, Victoria. We wanted to just spend some chilled out time together so after a lovely dinner cooked by her hubby we snuggled with tea in front of the projector and watched The Bounty Hunter - Gerard Butler, need I say more?!
In the morning we wandered around her yard checking out all the plants and vegetables, it definitely made me envious as I've not got a green thumb in the slightest. I had cuddles with her adorable husky Kye, and we ate eggs and drank coffee with the morning sun streaming in through the window - definitely one of those moments to think back to when having a hard day at work! Sometimes life can get a bit hectic, but relaxing in such a beautiful part of Victoria helped me to sit back and think about how lovely life can be.


We drove into some country towns for a spot of shopping and I wanted to share what I bought at the op-shops and country stores, but I also hit up the shops in Melbourne CBD as I had to pass through to catch the V-Line train. Here is my modest haul, city v. country edition!
I hit up the cardigan and jumper section of the op shop pretty hard, coming home with 4 new knitted pieces to add to my wardrobe. Coral seemed to be the colour of the day but I must say I'm most enamoured with the bejewelled navy pullover I scored - nanna chic is my favourite style, for sure. Brand new pillowcases were a slightly less exciting purchase at Vinnie's, but I needed it! I also took advantage of my high spirits and finally picked up the Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Sultry, which I've seen on so many blogs I admire and I think it will be a great shade for those really cold days when I need to crack out my dark winter coats.
Another beauty purchase was my very first Sephora Australia pick - Formula X nail colour in Sparklebomb which is a champagne and gold glitter. I will have a full post up on this shade, I'm quite excited as I've always wanted to try Formula X and now it is so much easier to buy in Australia!
I just couldn't go to the CBD without hitting up T2, I wanted to get Candice a box of tea to go with her birthday gift and couldn't resist picking up this Red Choc Mint rooibos tisane to try out, I'm so obsessed with chocolate mint tea at the moment that I want to try any that I lay my eyes on! Candice also rifled through her tea cupboard and dished me out a few to take home and sample, how sweet is that?!
I had such a lovely time in Barfold with Candice, and I'm so happy to be heading up there for a party at her place this weekend with Mister in tow - nothing better than enjoying the company of a few of your favourite people at the same time!!

Hope you're all well!
Emma x

Thursday, May 5, 2016

My First Mecca Beauty Loop Box

Despite being a diehard beauty addict, in the last few years my budget has leaned towards home wares and house projects over a regular big splurge at the beauty counters. I think that is why I've only just managed to reach the first real tier of Mecca's Beauty Loop program despite having been a member for quite some time. I am now a Level 1 Beauty Discoverer, which means I've spent between $300-599 annually in store. As well as the quarterly sample boxes I receive complimentary makeup application on my birthday, and as you move up the rungs to 'Level Two - Beauty Devotee' and 'Level Three - Beauty Aficionado' you get birthday gifts, makeup applications and lessons as well as special events etc. Here's a link to all of the details if you want to take advantage. The sample box is very cute and I didn't need to make a purchase in order to receive it, they simply scanned my card and were really friendly overall (as they always are at Mecca!) It comes with a card of product details which I think is a nice touch, and very reminiscent of beauty subscription boxes.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance Anti-Crease Eye Shadow Primer
I've used this before and really liked how it felt on my lids and how it gripped onto my powder eyeshadows to help them last. Experience has told me that I can stretch a sachet like this out for 2, possibly 3 uses if I don't let it dry out.
Josie Maran Cosmetics 100% Pure Argan Oil 4.5ml
This was easily the most exciting product in the L1 box, how dinky is the miniature bottle? I've always wanted to try out something from Josie Maran and I haven't used an oil product in the longest time, so this is a wonderful addition for me!
Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Cleanser 2ml
Another brand I've yet to try, I have heard great things though so I'm looking forward to trying out this foaming exfoliating cleanser for the first time!
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer 1ml
I love a good primer, and this is meant to be the bees knees! I know the lovely Vita from Making Up 4 My Age liked this one so fingers crossed it works for my skin.

Have you tried any of these products?
What store cards do you find the most beneficial, and which aren't worth it?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

She's a Bad Muffuletta - OPI New Orleans Collection

As soon as I caught wind of the OPI New Orleans collection, I knew I was going to indulge in a bottle or two. I love their travel collections and after binge-watching Hart of Dixie I had popped New Orleans onto my travel bucket list, so the timing was perfect for me. I made my way into Myer planning on perhaps getting the the green I'm Sooo Swamped shade and the bright blue Rich Girls and Po' Boys - but as you can see from this post, the full bottle I purchased couldn't be further from those shades! I chose the hot red crème She's A Bad Muffuletta - but she isn't just an ordinary red...

I had never heard the word muffuletta before this collection launched, and I had to look up what it was after I purchased this polish. This is what Wikipedia taught me:
The muffuletta is both a type of round Sicilian sesame bread and a popular sandwich originating among Italian immigrants in New Orleans, Louisiana using the same bread.
That wasn't really what I had predicted but it makes me laugh that I love a sandwich on my nails ;) In some lights this throws a pink edge and in others it looks more red (also noted in this swatch post) but the tone is definitely flattering on my pale skin and a red that I desperately needed in my collection - I'm often quite scared to wear red despite loving the shade on others, so this was the pep up I needed to brave the colour myself.

I'm really glad I chose a full bottle of this, I can see it working as both a warm and cool weather colour and I would have run through the mini bottle too quickly. I also picked up the OPI New Orleans mini pack when I went to Myer, so expect to see those shades on me at some point, too.
Next on my hit-list is Got Myself Into a Jam-balaya from the same collection as I just can't get the peach coral out of my head, and I don't think the mini bottle I have in the pack will suffice.
Did anything from the OPI New Orleans collection catch your eye?
What is your ultimate red nail polish?
-Emma x

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

New on Shelf - April 2016 Edition

It may be well and good to love decluttering and ridding yourself of great chunks of your makeup and beauty stash, but for someone like me who adores trying new things (and spending money in general) I have to balance my purging efforts with a good window shop (or in most cases, an online beauty shop where I don't check out my cart!) I've spotted some new products that have hit the shelves in April and wanted to share my window shopping bounty with your eyes - feast, my friends!

I don't know how I managed to do it, but I've misplaced my Violet Candy Styler from ghd straightener and my VS Sassoon set that had lasted me over 10 years has finally carked it. I am struggling without a straightener for this crazy mop, and thinking of a new VS Sassoon since the quality is definitely there. The VS Sassoon Goddess Ultimate is mighty pretty and sparkly ($142.95AUD)

I have such a soft spot for Bobbi Brown, and after seeing Jessica on YouTube rave about the Art Sticks I'm lusting over the new Bobbi Brown Art Stick Duo ($80AUD) The colours seem so pigmented and they look like a fancy version of my beloved Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencils.

Dermalogica always knock it out of the park and I'm eyeing off the new Hydrablur Primer ($70AUD) I'm a fan of primers that blur pores as I have some large areas around my cheek and nose that could do with some spackle before I apply foundation!

I've been waiting for Garnier to release an updated anti-dandruff shampoo as my stockpile of the discontinued blue bottles is running low! Grow Strong Anti-Dandruff Shampoo ($5.95AUD) looks like it is worth a try, and I might pick up the hair mask from this release to give it a whirl.

Kiehl's Turmeric + Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque ($58AUD) is reminiscent of the Peter Thomas Roth masks, and goodness knows I do love a good face mask! I have my go-to moisture masks and a great clay mask from Kiehl's for spotty days, but radiance is always a plus and I love the turmeric aspect of it most of all.

I had to include something for Mister as I scrolled through the new beauty bits for the month, and he's in need of a good moisturiser for his flaky cheeks and he likes the L'Oreal Men packaging. L'Oreal Paris Men Expert HydraPower 48hr Moisturiser ($15.95) sounds like a safe bet to grab for him at Priceline, so he can stop stealing my products!

I also liked the look of the new The Body Shop British Rose Collection so I may have to sniff that in store soon...
I love being able to chat about new product releases without buying each and every one when they're released - are you like this as well, or does it frustrate you not to own all of the exciting beauty goodies that are out now? How do you maintain a balance in your makeup and beauty collection, do you purge frequently or limit what you buy?
*Not a sponsored post, just an honest window shop for you to peek at!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Currently Trialling - April '16

I fell off the trialling wagon for a while there while my house was having a run of bad luck, but now I'm back in the game and enjoying all the new bits and bobs that are cluttering up my desk and makeup drawers. A new fragrance, skincare bits and a wonderful new Color Tattoo that I am quite enamoured with.
Maybelline know what they're doing when it comes to that paint-pot style cream product for eyes. I love Bad to the Bronze as does practically everyone I've spoken to about it, but this new Creamy Beige Color Tattoo that I bought on sale while doing the groceries is seriously enhancing all of the powder shadows I've been piling on top of it - nice work MNY!

Another new drugstore release that I'm sure you've seen a review or two of is the Rimmel The Only 1 lipstick* - creamy, very pigmented and colourful! They are a bit more intense and moisturising than I have been going for lately (I'm all about matte everyday kinda colours) but gosh I can see these being favourites for those who sport bright lips all day errrday.

Thanks to my favourite The Belle Lumiere I won a Paula's Choice skincare pack; I finally get to try the brand that everyone raves about! This Hydralight Moisture-Infusing Lotion isn't my favourite for hydrating and is a bit whiffy, I think I need to try something targeted to a drier skin type. Another mascara hit my stash, the Rimmel Scandaleyes Xtreme* which gives me a great lash look, but can tend to smudge on my eyelids and brow bone unless I'm super slow and careful with it....

Something really cool I've added into my routine in recent months is the Australis Banana Powder! Many moons ago I almost picked up Kim Kardashian's favourite Ben Nye Banana Powder but wimped out at the last moment, so to be able to try a similar product for $14.95 made me very happy indeed. I've been using this to set my undereye concealer and haven't decided how I feel about it yet...

I'm sure you've seen the new unisex Calvin Klein CK2 fragrance around on social media, I think the bottle is very cool and modern but the scent smells nicer on my husband than it does on me so it has been passed on. The new Sisley products never fail to impress and I'm trying out the new Sisley Nutritive Lip Balm*, which is nice but the Black Rose Face Mask* from the brand is definitely the star product from them at the moment!

Last but not least I am trialling the new Too Faced Born This Way foundation that I shared in my recent haul - I love the high coverage but I need to get some moisture back into my skin before I can totally enjoy this product.
What are you currently trialling?
-Emma x
*Products provided for consideration. Honesty, always.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

April Goals / To-Do List

I'm definitely not what you would call an organised person, so setting mini goals and using my Erin Condren Life Planner keeps me on track most of the time. I've been setting weekly routine checklists and making ongoing to-do lists, but I thought I would make myself more accountable by popping up a few things from my to-do list and turning them into monthly goals to post on the blog. I love reading planner and goal orientated posts and find they motivate me quite a bit, so if you have posted anything along those line feel free to pop a link in the comment section so I can check it out!
April To-Do List
-Mug cupboard clear-out
-Redecorate the laundry
-Walk Winston for the first time!
-Organise a birthday catch-up with my best friend
-Haul some planner stickers
-Keep up with my BioElixia daily routine
Do you use a planner and write a million to-do lists like I do?
-Emma x
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