Thursday, 31 December 2015

Favourite product of 2015

For years I've wanted to try Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush lip glosses but they weren't available in Australia so I couldn't. I very nearly bought one at the Singapore airport four years ago but didn't because I figured I had enough lip glosses. Silly me.
A few months after we left Perth a Victoria's Secret store opened at the domestic airport. The cruel irony of that is not lost on me. Thankfully Tiger is happy to pop in there and pick things up for me. The first thing I asked him to get me was a Beauty Rush gloss but they told him they didn't stock them. I was so disappointed and told myself they probably weren't that great anyhow. 

A few months later Tiger came home and presented me with a lovely pink bag. Inside was a Beauty Rush gloss! He'd remembered that I wanted one so when he saw them there he got one for me. As you can see from the photo above, he's returned several times to get me more. 

If you like flavoured glosses, these really are perfect. If you don't like flavoured glosses, they're still awesome. Why do I call Beauty Rush glosses the perfect gloss? They tick every box for me:
  • Hydrating
  • Nice taste
  • Thick enough to last a few hours
  • Non sticky
  • Squeeze tube
  • Don't bleed into lip lines
  • Pretty colours (although thanks to my pigmented lips most of them look clear on me     
I really want to get my hands on Minty Shine, I'm hoping Tiger will be able to find it for me. 

Have you tried Beauty Rush Glosses? What's your all time favourite gloss? What was your favourite product of 2015? 

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Scents of Summer

Do you change your perfumes according to the season? I don't normally, but at the moment I'm trying to use up my current stash so I'm restricting myself to a few different perfumes that I rotate until they're finished. I just finished two perfumes so have pulled out a few that I'm planning on using all summer, hopefully I'll manage to finish one or two of them.

I'm not very good at describing scents so I won't even try, I'll just give you my interpretation.

Hugo Boss Jour for her - Of all my summer picks, Jour is the most sophisticated scent, it's the one I wear when I want to feel pulled together and grown up. It's a lovely fresh, summer floral.

The Body Shop Italian Summer Fig - This was love at first sniff. I smelled it in store, sniffed my arm all day then went back and bought a bottle the next day. Also, how pretty is the bottle?

Issey Miyake - I wore this on my wedding day so it holds a lot of sentimental value for me. It'd have to be one of my all time favourite perfumes, I'll immediately replace when it's finished. I love the gorgeous floral scent, it makes me feel all girly.

Clean Sweet Layer - Clean perfumes are a little difficult to find now, so if you see them, grab one or two! I'd love to have more of them, they have a really clean (haha), freshly washed laundry scent. It sounds a little strange, but the smell is beautiful.

Philosophy - I don't think they make this anymore as I can't find it on their website, which is a real shame as it smells beautiful. The scent is fresh, green and reminds me a little of Fresh Sake. 

What's your favourite summer perfume?

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Thoughts of the week

1. Christmas is over for another year. I'm sure a lot of people are feeling relieved about that. We don't do christmas, which I'm eternally grateful for, it seems like such an expensive, stressful time.

2. I've been thinking about womens issues lately and wondering why we women aren't more vocal and forceful about our needs. For instance, there is still a GST on sanitary products. GST is supposed to be on luxury items. Sanitary products are not luxuries they are necessities. So why have we allowed this? Why haven't we lobbied the government to get this changed? 
As women we are strong, it's time we recognised that strength and banded together to make things happen.

3. Are you an encourager? I am. When someone tells me they've come up with an idea, I almost always tell them it's a great idea, even if it sounds crazy. When my brother in law told me he was going to Shanghai to do a course to become a spiritual healer, I told him it was a great idea. When my Dad told me he was thinking of starting a religion, I told him he'd meet lots of very interesting people. There are times I wonder if I should offer a less enthusiastic response, but I figure life's short so why the hell not try something new, even if it does sound crazy.

4. The new Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist Deluxe Edition looks beautiful. I want it just for the bottle. It's being released on the 24th of January and will cost $79. (Not sponsored or anything, I just think it's pretty).

5. This clip has had the boys and I in stitches all week. We've watched it about twenty times and still find it hilarious. 

Friday, 25 December 2015

For Festive Sake Friday

As we all know, the shops are crazy this time of year. FFS.

I decided that this week I'd avoid the shops to miss the craziness. It didn't happen. FFS.

I went to the farmers market at 8am last Friday morning, hoping to miss the rush. They were really, really busy. FFS.

Next I tried to do my supermarket shopping online as I had an email code giving me free delivery and $20 off. I ordered everything I wanted (which took ages as the kids were "helping"), added the code and it didn't work. FFS.

I had to go to the shops with the kids. FFS.

They were in fine form. FFS.

I'm sure the whole supermarket heard them yelling and screaming. FFS.

Naturally, because they were on their best behaviour I saw three kindy mums there. FFS.

I got home and realised I'd forgotten eggs. FFS.

That meant I had to go to the shops with the kids again. FFS.  

That trip was just as bad, but I figured at least it was my last trip for a while. Wrong! FFS.

I got home and that night when I fed Bella I realised she was nearly out of food. FFS.  

Another trip to the shops. FFS.

Chai does not understand the concept of school holidays. FFS.

He's very excited about being a Pre Primary boy now and keeps on asking when he's going to Pre Primary. FFS.

I've told him that he's on holidays for six weeks but he just doesn't get it. FFS.

Now that he's finally happy about going to school I'm hoping the enthusiasm will last and he'll be happy to go next year. 

Typical that he only decided he loved Kindy in the last two weeks of his final term. FFS.

Oh well, at least he got there. Not FFS.

I'm not sure that I'm going to survive the school holidays. FFS.

I love having Chai home, but he and Eljay have been fighting non stop and it's driving me crazy. FFS.

Nothing I do helps. FFS.

Sunday was the perfect example. They were whinging and complaining from the second they woke up so I decided to take them to the play centre. They were really excited about going there but the second we walked in the door Eljay threw a tantrum. I have no idea why. We walked in, sat down at a table and I asked him if he wanted to take his thongs off. That kicked the tantrum off. FFS.

He spent the next ten minutes screaming whilst I tried to figure out what was wrong. FFS.

Thankfully my Dad, brother and nephews showed up a little while later. Turns out that half an hour of Poppy cuddles was what he needed to cheer him up. Not FFS.

Later that afternoon the boys wanted something to do so I got out the water balloons for them. You'd think that'd be a great idea wouldn't you? You'd be wrong. FFS.

Eljay likes to carry his balloons around and not use them, Chai likes to pop his. You can see where this is going can't you? Chai popped his on Eljay so Eljay started crying. Whilst I was trying to calm him down Chai popped his last balloon and tried to pinch one of Eljays. Eljay refused and that kicked off another round of screaming from both of them. And so it continued. By some miracle we all survived until the end of the day. FFS. 

I asked my Dr how I go about getting admitted to a mental hospital. FFS.

He thought I was joking. FFS.

I wasn't. FFS.

Lately I've been wondering where I've gone wrong with the boys. I try my best to be a good parent. I'm kind and loving (most of the time), I set boundaries and limits and do the best I can. Obviously I have bad days and am by no means perfect, but overall I think I do okay. The last week has me really wondering wtf I've done wrong. The boys have been a nightmare and nothing I do helps. I've been giving them a lot of love and attention, I've been keeping them entertained (we go to the park twice a day), feeding them healthy meals and doing the best I can but it's just not helping. I feel like giving up. FFS.

The Sephora Saga continues. Tuesday I got an email from Toll wanting to know if they could pick up the eye shadow on Thursday. FFS.

I'm so over the whole effing drama. I emailed back and said that I'll leave it in the letterbox and asked if they'll take it this time as I don't have the paperwork they said that I needed. They got back to me and said that there's another form I'll need to fill out which they'll bring with them when they come to pick up the package and that I need to be home. I'm very tempted to tell them to take a flying jump. FFS.

The BIL and SIL kindly sent christmas presents over for the boys. Not FFS.

They asked what the boys would like so I told them that Chai likes Star Wars and Eljay likes Cheeky Monkey. I sent them a link to the Cheeky Monkey products so they'd know where to find it. They don't have kids so understandably don't really know what kids like. 

The Cheeky Monkey book and toy arrived first, they'd ordered it from Malaysia so it was a very bad knock off and nothing like the one that Eljay likes. The reason he loves Cheeky Monkey is that the books are really detailed, they have a lot of things to look at on each page, he spends hours reading them and looking at all the different animals. The book they sent over is plain and sparse, so he's not interested in it. FFS.

The Star Wars products arrived next. They got them two paper Star Wars figures that need to be assembled. It's not even cardboard, it's normal paper. The instructions are six pages long. I predict that after I spend three hours assembling them, they'll last about two seconds before the boys destroy them. FFS.

Oh well, it's the thought that counts isn't it.

Happy Christmas everyone!    

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Products I repurchased in 2015

I always like to know what products bloggers and people with a large collection use up and repurchase. For me it's pretty rare that I'll repurchase something, I always have something new to try. It's only if I really, really love a product that I'll repurchase it. This year I've repurchased a few items, there are more that I would have repurchased if I'd finished them, no doubt they'll make the list next year. 

Subtle Energies Facial Blend -I call this my calm in a bottle, it's a product that I will never be without. If you are looking for a hydrating facial oil that smells like heaven and absorbs quickly, this is the one for you. You can read my full review here.

Puretopia Face Scrub - I'm on to my third tube of the Puretopia face scrub, it's gentle enough to use every few days and doesn't irritate my sensitive skin. 

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen - I am allergic to a lot of sunscreens, this is one of the few that I can use on my face without any irritation. I've got Tiger and my Dad onto it too. Dad refused to use sunscreen because it'd sting his eyes, now he happily uses his Neutrogena sunscreen every day. Tiger used to be covered in pimples because of his sunscreen, he hasn't had that problem since he switched to Neutrogena.

Crazy Rumors, Carmex and Burt's Bees Mango Butter lip balms - These are some of my all time favourite balms, I always have them in my collection.

Garnier Miracle Skin Cream - If you love Origins VitaZing you'll love this! I can see myself using Miracle Skin Cream all the time in summer, it's light enough to be layered and is undetectable on my skin.

Little Bird Paw Paw Balm - It's no secret I'm a multi purpose balm fiend, I have them stashed all over the house. Little Bird Paw Paw balms are awesome, they come in four lovely flavours, they're cheap and you can get them at the supermarket (Coles).

Palmolive Fig and Coconut Hand Sanitiser - I love these little bottles of hand sanitiser, they're non drying, smell great and are the perfect handbag size.
This is me trying to get artistic with the early morning light
What products did you repurchase this year?

Monday, 21 December 2015

Most worn make-up of 2015

2015 was a year of minimal make-up for me. A lot of the time I had horrible hayfever eyes so couldn't wear eye shadow, Chai started kindy so my mornings became rushed and I just don't have the time to spend fifteen minutes doing my make-up every day. I really miss being able to put my make-up on at my leisure, it was a part of my day that I really enjoyed. I look forward to the days when I can once again spend time doing my face every morning.  

To make things quicker in the mornings and in an effort to finish products, I put my most used items in a small make-up bag. Doing this made getting ready so much easier. It's also great for travel, I just packed my make-up bag and off we went.

As you can see, I was all about natural make-up, my aim was to make it look like I'd had a decent nights sleep (not an easy task!) 

I'm in love with the Hourglass Ambient Lighting range. The powders and blushes are second to none. 

Garnier Miracle Skin Cream is one that I've written about plenty of times already. On days where I needed more coverage I'd put the Nude by Nature foundation over the top. When I need more radiance I put my Hourglass powder over the top. 

I kept my eyes neutral, most days were MAC Painterly with just eye liner. I'm in love with the Art Deco mineral eye liners, they are so gentle, I could use mine even when my eyes were really irritated.  When I did wear eye shadow it was either Bobbi Brown Long Wear cream eye shadow in Slate or Clarins Ombre Matte eye shadow in Taupe. 

My concealers of choice will be no surprise to regular readers. Bobbi Brown Corrector and Benefit Fake Up. Fake Up is great as it's hydrating and doesn't crease even when layered. It's good for touch ups during the day too. 

Brows are usually my Shu Uemura Hard Brow pencil. I've had it forever (over 10 years) and I'm determined to finish it. Hopefully 2016 is the year!

Too Faced Shadow Insurance is my eye primer of choice. I prefer it to the cult UDPP as I find it more gentle on my eyes. Added to that, it's easier to get hold of here in Australia.

One you might not have heard of is the Givenchy Hydra Sparkling Magic Lip and Cheek balm. I'm not sure why they call it sparkling, that makes me think it'd have glitter in it which it doesn't. Lip and Cheek balm is one of those products that adapts to your skintone. On my lips it's a rosy flush and on my cheeks it's a natural looking pink flush. I prefer to use it on my lips as it has quite a shiny finish and it feels a little tacky on my cheeks, however having said that, it does work well as a blush, the tackiness goes away and gives it good lasting power.     

What were your most used products this year?

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Thoughts of the week

1. I'm no longer a kindy mum. Chai has finished his first year of schooling. It's a strange feeling. I'm relieved that it went well and that he loved it. I'm not looking forward to him having to go to school full time next year, they expect so much and he'll only be five, that's still a baby. 

2. Having said that, I have no idea how I'm going to keep both the boys entertained these school holidays. They're so full of energy, we'll be spending lots of time running around outside (if it's not too hot). Actually, I won't be doing much running, my knee is still too sore. 

3. Speaking of my sore knee, who knew a bruised bone would take so long to heal? I'm told it'll take up to six months. 

4. This week Tiger got me a CD player so I can play my calming music. So far it's not having any effect on us but I'll persevere. 

5. It'll be 2016 in 12 days!

6. Try as I might I just don't like Adele's new song. 

Friday, 18 December 2015

FFS Friday - Sephora Saga

The Sephora saga continues. FFS.

Their customer service is disgusting. FFS.

I'm still trying to return the eye shadow that they sent me incorrectly. FFS.

It's such a fucking nightmare. FFS.

After many emails back and forward trying to arrange a suitable time for the eye shadow to be picked up, Toll arrived on Tuesday. Not FFS.

They'd emailed me a form to fill out, but it wasn't the right one. FFS. 
As I didn't have the correct paperwork they couldn't take the eye shadow. FFS.

Now they want me to go into the office to fill in the appropriate paperwork so that the eye shadow can be returned. FFS.

When I asked if they have the required information to fill in the paperwork, I was told they aren't sure. FFS. 

Apparently I need a copy of the original invoice, a delivery address, company number and all sorts of other things. FFS.

How am I supposed to get all that info? I have no idea why they need the original invoice because the product I'm returning isn't listed on there. FFS. 

What a fucking joke. Sephora sent me the wrong product and they expect me to jump through hoops to return it to them! FFS.

All for an $18 eye shadow. FFS.

They can get stuffed, I'm done. FFS.

I'm not going to waste any more time trying to get their eye shadow back to them. FFS.

I'm definitely not going in to the office. Tiger is at work so I'd have to take both the boys with me and no doubt I'd be there for ages trying to sort things out. Not going to happen. FFS.

You'd think they'd just send me a return envelope or give me an address, but that'd be too easy wouldn't it. FFS.

If they cared about their brand reputation they would have told me to keep the eye shadow, but no, they want it back. FFS.

Stupid thing is it's not even a colour I'd wear, so it'll probably go in the bin. 

At least I'm not the only one complaining, blogs and forums are full of complaints about their crappy customer service. 

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Dear Chai

My darling boy. Today you finished kindy! What a year it's been for you, so many milestones. This month has been a big one too. Just this month you stopped wearing nappies at night, learned to ride your bike without trainer wheels and finished kindy.

I'm so very proud of the child you are. Your kindy report said that you are a very friendly, social boy. You love people and are kind and considerate, always concerned if someone is hurt or upset and offering words of comfort. You love looking after your girls and are always making sure no-one upsets your princesses, it's so cute.

I can't believe you have finished kindy already. It feels like it was only a few months ago that I was dropping you off and walking away with tears running down my face and now it's all over. Not long and you'll be in full time pre school. 

You are full of energy and very active, always on the go. You have two speeds, flat out and asleep, you've always been like that. You still love Ninja Turtles and superhero's, your favourites are Batman, Spiderman, Hulk and the Avengers (although I'm not sure you know who they all are). 

Watching the relationship between you and your brother is wonderful. You have lots of moments where you fight, but you both stick up for each other and have lots of time when you play happily together. If Dad or I upset one of you the other one is very quick to tell us off. I love that you have such a strong relationship.

My beautiful son, I am so very glad that you chose me as your mother, I love you.   

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Top Fifteen of 2015

Here it is, the fifteen products that I've used and loved the most this year. Some of these are products I discovered this year and others are long time favourites.

The Natural Supply Co - I know this isn't a product, but they had to make the list. Launched late last year, the Natural Supply Co are brilliant. They stock a great range of natural products, the customer service is amazing and they're Australian based. There's always a whole pile of things that I want to try and I've discovered brands that I'd never heard of. If you haven't checked out the Natural Supply Co what are you waiting for?

MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Foundation - This is a recent addition to my collection, I got it at the start of November. It was love from first application, I can see this being my perfect summer foundation. It's the first matte foundation I've found that's suitable for my dry skin. The wear time is amazing, even in hot, humid weather it doesn't budge. I'll post a full review soon, but meanwhile, if you have dry skin and are in the market for a new foundation, get yourself a sample of Pro Longwear.

Armani Perfume - As you can see from the photo I absolutely loved my perfume, so much that I've now finished my bottle. Since I'm terrible at describing fragrances I'll hand over to Armani: Sì is a tribute to modern femininity, an irresistible combination of grace, strength, and independent spirit. A modern chypre reinvented, Sì opens with deep blackcurrant nectar that softly recedes to airy florals. A base of musky blond wood adds lightness while grounding the fragrance for a lingering, distinctive trail. The notes are chypre, blackcurrant nectar, airy florals and musky blonde wood.

Lanolips 101 Ointment Cranberry - Every christmas Lanolips release a limited edition product. The last few years it was the much coveted Mulberry tinted balm, this year it's a cranberry version of the 101 Ointment. I've already purchased a back-up, I'm sure it won't take long to sell out. The cranberry fragrance is the perfect blend of tarte and sweet. Whilst Lanolips products aren't usually flavoured, I'm sure this one tastes good, but maybe I'm just imagining that.

Eco Tools BB Brush - Pre children I was alll about using brushes and sponges to apply my make-up, I love the flawless finish they give, however since having babies I just don't have the time it takes to apply my products with a brush, so I've gone back to using my fingers. A few iHerb hauls ago I added the Eco Tools BB Brush to my order because it was white and looked pretty, as good a reason as any. I really love how flawless this makes my BB look. It takes me about the same amount of time as using my fingers does, but the finish is a lot smoother.

Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush Lipgloss - I've already post about my love for the Beauty Rush glosses so it's no surprise they made my top fifteen. They meet all my criteria for the perfect gloss: squeeze tube, good flavour, hydrating, long lasting without being sticky and a good range of colours. Gloss addicts, you need these in your life.
Clarins Lip Oil - Ah Clarins, they really can do no wrong. The Lip Oils were released overseas ages ago as a limited edition and were snapped up in record time. I waited what felt like years for them to be released here, when they finally got to Australia I rang the counter and placed my order the day they arrived, I'm sure the m/a thought I was slightly crazy. There were two colours release and the good news is that one of them is permanent, so if you haven't tried one yet you haven't missed out. Despite what the name suggests, these aren't runny at all, they're like a medium to thick, hydrating, non sticky lip gloss. 

Bite Beauty - I don't even know where to start with Bite Beauty. Put simply, they are perfection. All natural, cruelty free and individually hand crafted in Canada, Bite Beauty products are heavenly. If you have dry lips you'll love the Agave Lip Mask, it's my go to overnight lip treatment. You can read my brand overview here.

Hourglass Ethereal Glow Ambient Lighting Blush - I'm pretty sure that this is the only blush I've worn all year. I wear it every day, it's fool proof. My other blushes have languished unloved because my Hourglass blush is so easy to use, I can just whack it on and off I go. I don't have to worry about being too heavy handed, it gives a gorgeous glow and makes my skin look younger. Whilst I'd love to use up my other blushes, I fully intend to replace my Ambient Lighting Blush when it's finished. I'm seriously considering tossing all my other blushes and just keeping my Ambient Lighting blush. If you haven't got one in your collection, get onto it!

Clarins Taupe Ombre Matte Eye shadow - Another Clarins product on my list. Taupe is my favourite eye shadow colour to wear, I have so many of them, but you can never have too many taupe eye shadows. Taupe's so versatile and easy to use. I love it paired with navy eye liner, the combo is magic. Ombre Matte eye shadows are a unique formula, somewhere in between a cream and a powder. There's no creasing or fading, at the end of the day my eye shadow looks the same as it did when I applied it in the morning. I'll be adding more shade to my collection next year. 

Chi Chi Brow Pomade - Chi Chi are a really underrated brand, I'm surprised they don't get more publicity as the products are great quality and very reasonably priced. They have a great range of products and stay on trend by regularly releasing new products. One of their more recent releases is the Brow Pomade. Thanks to Anastasia Beverly Hills brow pomades are all the rage. I haven't tried the ABH version, however the Chi Chi version is brilliant. It's waterproof and smudge proof, once it's on it stays on. All Chi Chi products are cruelty free.

Puretopia Face Scrub - I've reached the age in life where daily exfoliation is a must. Normally I use a chemical exfoliant (not as scary as it sounds), however a few times a week I'll use my Puretopia face scrub. It's a lovely, gentle scrub that doesn't scratch my sensitive skin. If you're after a strong, gritty scrub this is not for you, but if you like gentle and non irritating scrubs, give this one a go. 

Subtle Energies Facial Blend - This is bliss in a bottle. The scent is amazing, it makes me feel instantly relaxed and destressed. I need to bathe in the stuff! I really wish it came in a perfume version, I'd buy it by the bucket load.My full review is here.

Skinstitut Skincare - Finally I've found a skin care range that's effective and affordable. If you're looking for products that actually work, check out Skinstitut. Since I started using Skinstitut products my skin is in the best condition it's been for years. You can read a review of all my Skinstitut products here

Garnier Miracle Skin Cream - Years ago I loved Origins VitaZing, I used it every day until Tiger stole it and refused to give it back. I kid you not. Seriously, what's with men using tinted moisturiser? Anyhow, since he pilfered my tube I didn't bother buying another one. When Garnier released the Miracle Skin Cream I was onto it as it's said to be a dupe of VitaZing and it is. It has slightly more coverage than a tinted moisturiser and slightly less than a BB, just enough to even out my skinton. I like to use it with a little bit of powder over the top on days when I don't have time/can't be bothered putting on foundation. Read my full review and see Miracle Skin Cream in action here.

What were your most loved products this year? If you're a blogger and did a post with your favourites, please give me a link to your post.