Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Beauty Confessions

It's been years since I read or wrote a beauty confessions post. I always enjoy reading them, so if you do one or have done one recently, please leave me a link in the comments.

Without further ado, here are my confessions:

1. I don't really like liquid lipstick. It's too messy, I get it all over the place and it fades so quickly.

2. I think contouring, baking, strobing and other trends like that are silly. To me they just aren't an everyday thing. Sure, for special occasions but who could be bothered doing that every day? Not me.

3. Matte lipstick and I are not friends. They make my lips look all wrinkly and horrible.

4. I rarely use a highlighter. 

5. Despite having several of them, I don't wear bronzer, mainly because I just can't apply it properly. It's either undetectable or I look really silly.

5. I never curl my eyelashes. I have a wonderful heated eyelash curler but I have no idea where it is and frankly, I don't notice much of a difference when I don't curl my lashes so why bother?

6. I've only worn false lashes once in my whole life. 

Monday, 29 May 2017

Shanghai Suzy Winter 2017 Treasure Chest Collection Lipsticks

Since they changed their flavour and formula Shanghai Suzy have very quickly become one of my favourite lipstick brands. Whilst the old formula was good, the new formula is amazing and even better, they are now made in Australia. 

I've been eagerly awaiting the launch of their winter range. Sadly not a lot of online stores stock the seasonal ranges and none of my local stores do, they seem to just stick with the basics range. Thankfully you can purchase directly from the Shanghai Suzy website which is what I did. Individually the lipsticks cost $14.95, however they have a great deal where you can get five lipsticks for $50, or you can purchase the whole winter range of eight lipsticks for $80 what a bargain!

I purchased three lipsticks from the winter range, Smoky Topaz, Jewel, Moonstone. The winter lipsticks come in the Satin Luxe formula which means they feel like a lip balm instead of a lipstick. It also means that they aren't as long lasting as the whipped matte range. I don't find that to be a problem, I still get two to three hours wear which is standard for a satin lipstick.

I love every one of the colours that I chose. Smoky Topaz is the one colour I wasn't sure about, Shanghai Suzy describe it as a warm pewter with mauve undertones and I thought it might not suit me. I needn't have worried. On me it's a deep browny mauve with a slight shimmer. It looks very close to my natural lip colour. 

Jewel is beautiful. It's a lovely mid tone, cool pink that stands out without being really bright and in your face. It's a great shade when I want to brighten up my face without wearing something really bold. 

Moonstone is a pale mauve and the colour that I reach for the most, it's a great, easy to wear every day colour. Moonstone is a lighter version of Smoky Topaz.

Top to bottom: Smoky Topaz, Jewel and Moonstone

I'm in love with all of these colours and can't wait until the next seasonal range is released!

Have you tried any Shanghai Suzy lipsticks? What are your favourite shades?

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. Why do people think it's okay to speed if you are running late? Do they really think a police officer will let them off? I can just imagine it 
Police: Why were you speeding?
Idiot: I was late.
Police: Oh okay, that's fine, off you go then.
I don't think so. 
I used to work next to the police traffic branch and one of the officers always used to tell me it's better to be late than dead on time. 

2. For a while now I've been wanting to start bullet journaling. I was going to wait until next year but instead I decided to start from June to see how I like it. I spent a few nights this week setting it up and even though it's not June yet, so far I'm loving it. I've already found a few things that I'll change in next years diary, I'm keeping a list at the back of my current journal so that I don't forget.

3. This week Tiger and I went to the dark side. We got iPad's. We've always had Samsung phones and tablets but the tablets die so quickly. We're lucky if they last two years. So far I like but don't love the iPad. It misses some basic functionality that Samsung has, like being able to make phone calls.
I also don't like the way Instagram looks. It's not full screen so looks strange and is difficult to navigate. Notifications are  super annoying. Instead of just giving me one notification per app I get a notification about every single thing. Because I only use my tablet a few times a day it means I can have hundreds of notifications. Very, very annoying. 
I'm sure I'll get used to it.

4. Eljay's kindy application was officially lodged this week. WTF am I going to do next year? And the year after? I'll have no kids at home!

5. Which leads me to my next point. I have no idea what I'm going to do for work. BIL thinks I should do something in health care because there is always a need for it. He has a good point. My BFF thinks that my idea of doing journalism is a good one. I really don't have a clue. 

Friday, 26 May 2017

FFS Friday - Too Good to be True

Last week Tiger was all excited because he'd found a deal where we could get 7 nights in Phuket for $298.

Being me I was very sceptical about it.

The company were ringing him up and wanting him to make a decision straight away. 

That always rings bells for me. Anyone who is pushing for a decision is usually not someone that I want to deal with. 

Tiger was insisting that it was a legit deal and itching to book it.

I asked him to google the company before paying anything.

They wanted payment via paypal over the phone and then a receipt number given to them.

Doesn't sound great does it?

I asked Tiger if he thought it was a legit deal and he said he thought it was too good to be true.

That answered the question for me and I assumed he wouldn't go through with it.

He did. 

I'm not joking.

Once I realised he'd done the deal I googled the company. Whilst they were a legit Australian business, they had 1 star reviews. Great.

It also turned out they were a timeshare company and expected us to sit through an hour long presentation, which they had forgotten to tell us.

I showed Tiger the reviews, he read some more reviews on other sites, then called them to get our money back.

They refused.

I got angry and told Tiger to tell them that one way or another we'd be getting our money back. 

The guy wanted to talk to me and tried to convince me they weren't dodgy. It didn't work. I yelled at him for a while (never mess with a tired, sick Mum who has had very little sleep thanks to two sick children, whilst also having gastro. Bad idea dodgy time share man.)

He still refused to refund our money so I lodged a PayPal dispute, called the bank and cancelled our credit card.

Tiger called them again, told them that his brother would be visiting them to ensure we got our money back (their office is in the same place where BIL lives) and they assured us that we'd have our money back within three days. 

Fifteen minutes later I got an email from PayPal saying my dispute case had been closed as my money had been refunded. Yay!

Unfortunately I'd already cancelled our credit card.

Saturday afternoon I went shopping, tried to use our savings account and I couldn't. 

The bank had failed to tell me that when we cancelled our credit card, it would also mean that we had no access to our savings account (our savings account is linked to our credit card so we use the credit card to access our savings).

Thankfully I had enough cash on me to pay for my shopping and we stayed home on the Sunday.

The bank told us we'd have our new cards within three days. I'd asked for them to be sent to my PO Box. Every day we checked the PO Box.

They arrived to our home address four days later. 

Ah well. There's a lesson to be learned. Two in fact.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 

Secondly, don't try to reason with a tired, sick and grumpy parent, you won't win. 


Wednesday, 24 May 2017

iHerb Haul

Looking back over my posts I realised that I haven't done a haul post in ages. One of the places that I purchase from regularly is iHerb. They have a great range of products that we can't get here and if we can, they cost a lot more. They even stock Pixi now!

I was stocking up on some vitamins a few weeks ago, but couldn't resist adding a few extras into my basket.

I bought two more of my favourite deodorant. If you have sensitive skin and are looking for a natural, bicarb free deodorant, check out Alaffia. It smells lovely, keeps me smelling nice all day and doesn't irritate my sensitive arm pits. I've seen it at one health store in the city but it was $11. Depending on the exchange rate I pay between $6 or $7 for it from iHerb.

For months now I've been wanting the EOS Sheer Pink Shimmer lip balm but my only local stockist hasn't had it. When I found it on iHerb I added it to my cart immediately. Luckily I did because a few minutes later it was out of stock.

The last product that I purchased was the Andalou Luminous Face Mask. I haven't used any Andalou products before but I needed something cheap to give me free shipping and this looked good. This is a single use mask (great for travel). After it'd been on for a few minutes it started to sting but it wasn't unbearable so I left it on for a few more minutes. My skin wasn't red or irritated so it must have just been the mask doing it's thing. My skin felt soft and looked brighter and more healthier. I'll definitely be adding a few more Andalou masks to my next order. 

If you'd like a discount on your next iHerb order enter code YUF175.

Have you tried any of these products?
What do you buy from iHerb?

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. Chai got his first wobbly tooth this week and he's so excited!

2. I'm considering buying the Welle Co Alkalising formula. It's very expensive but seems good. Has anyone tried it? Thoughts?

3. I'm so very glad that soup weather is here.

4. This week my Dad left for a six week trip overseas. He's meeting a friend there but will spend part of the time travelling alone. I'm equally excited and worried for him. 

5. YSL have just released limited guitar editions of their glossy stains. WTF?

Friday, 19 May 2017

FFS Friday - Excited

Tiger is one of those people who has to complicate everything.

If there is an easy way and a hard way to do things, he'll choose the hard way every time.

It's infuriating.

This weekend we have the chance to go out, at night, together, with other adults!

I'm so excited.

I don't remember the last time we got to go out at night. I don't think we've gone out together at night since we had kids. We've gone to friends houses but not out properly, to a pub or restaurant etc.

I told Tiger about it and he was so excited he had to complicate things.

We're going out and we can take the kids with us, there will be other kids so we don't have to worry about trying to get a baby sitter, Chai not staying with someone etc. It's perfect. At least that's what I thought.

Tiger, instead of being happy that we got the chance to go out, had to complicate things.

"How about we get my parents to come and look after the kids so we can go out on our own?"

"How about we let them stay up late and we'll put them to bed when we get home?"

"How about we get my Dad to pick us up so that we can both drink?"

I say how about we grab the chance to go out, take the kids with us and we'll all have a good night instead of making things overcomplicated and having to go home early because the kids are tired and need us.

We've decided that's what we'll do, but naturally something had to go wrong. 

In the early hours of Wednesday morning I woke up with gastro. 
I timed it pretty well cause Tiger had just got home.

The next day, right after his eye appointment, Chai came down with gastro too. 

Chai was better on Thursday, I'm still feeling off colour. 

What's the bet that Eljay or Tiger will come down with gastro on Saturday so that we can't got out? I'd put money on it. 

Poor Chai just can't catch a break at the moment. Last week he saw the health nurse and we found out that his eyesight isn't very good.

I'm a little annoyed about this because I thought there was a problem last year but our Dr told me he was fine. 

All this time he hasn't been able to see properly and I've done nothing about it!

It just proves to me that I have to trust my instincts and not believe everything that I'm told. 

My job is to advocate for my children and I need to do that to the best of my ability.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Concordia Handcrafted Skincare

A while ago I won a competition on Instagram and received a package of Concordia Handcrafted Skincare products to try.

Concordia Handcrafted Skincare is made in Tasmania by Natasha and James. Natasha is a naturopath who has sensitive skin, eczema and acne. She decided to create a skin care range to alleviate her skin complaints and Concordia (meaning harmony in Latin) was born.

First up, how gorgeous is the packaging? I love the little mermaid (especially her glasses). The other thing I noticed is that the products aren't white! The cleanser is greeny grey, the moisturiser is yellow. It's nice to see products that aren't boring white.

I received the following products:

Purifying Cream Cleanser
Balancing Face Mist
Brightening Moisturiser
plus samples of the hand cream and body lotion.

In short, everything is beautiful. From the packaging down to the products, I love everything. The cream products make a very satisfying plop sound when they're dispensed (it's the little things).

Whilst all the products are designed for combination/oily skin, they work well for my normal to dry skin, I really think they'd work for anyone.

The Purifying Cream Cleanser contains seaweed, green clay, tamanu, mango butter, peppermint and lemon. It plops out looking like a clay cleanser but feels a lot lighter than any other clay cleanser I've used. I was initially worried about using peppermint on my sensitive skin, but it didn't irritate at all, even on my eyes. 

I've found this to be a very effective, gentle cleanser that I'll definitely purchase when mine runs out. It easily removes make-up, smells great and doesn't leave my skin feeling dry or tight. 

Balancing Face Mist is one of my all time favourite face mists. It contains sea salt, lemon balm, rose and cucumber extract so as you can imagine, the smell is amazing. When my skin had it's change of seasons freak out, this was my saviour. I used it prior to moisturising and every few hours during the day to soothe my red, angry skin. After a few days my skin was back to it's normal, happy self. 

Last of all is the Brightening Moisturiser. With seaweed, lemon myrtle, calendula, jojoba and cantaloupe extract, this is a very gentle, soothing moisturiser. Looks can be deceiving with this one, a little bit goes a long way. The first time I used it I pumped out the same amount that I'd use with other moisturisers and had way too much. I managed to cover my face, neck, chest and both arms it went so far! I only need two pumps which looks like it won't be enough but it is. 

This is a lovely, hydrating, quickly absorbed moisturiser. Despite being designed for combination/oily skin it works well for my dry skin and provides enough hydration that my skin doesn't feel parched or tight half way through the day.

I asked Natasha if there is any exciting news and there is!
Later this week there will be a new range of bath soaks available for online purchase and they are currently in the trial phase for a dry skin range which will include a cleanser, toner and moisturiser. They will also have a  facial exfoliant which will all be available hopefully by Spring.

I can't wait to try all the new products! I'm hoping a lip product will be added to the range soon. 

You can purchase Concordia products from their website

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. NBN with Telstra is awful. It's constantly not working and so painfully slow. Dial up was faster than our NBN is some days.

2. Chai's school had a fundraising thing for Mother's Day. For $20 they could design a cup for us. In my opinion $20 is a total rip off but I did it anyway. The cup arrived and it's magnificently funny. I posted a photo on Facebook, most people saw the funny side like I did but a few were telling me that I should treasure it because it's made with love. I do treasure it but honestly, paying $20 for this work of art is really, really funny. 

Even more amusing is that Chai's not happy with it, he's annoyed that he had to spend three days working on it so every time I use the cup he feels angry, hahaha.

3. It's important to be able to see the funny side of life.

4. I'm still trying to decide what job I'm going to do when the kids are at school full time. If only I could get paid to be a coffee drinking, crazy hippie witch.

5. I love this song.

Friday, 12 May 2017

FFS Friday - I have a dream

I dream of a home by the ocean
where I can hear the waves crashing at night.
Where the sound of the ocean lulls me to sleep.
Secluded but not remote,
a sanctuary.

A private cottage, warm and inviting, 
The front yard filled with plants and a backyard free to roam.
With creepers out the back, overhead so I can look up at them.

An inviting fire to warm me in winter and a cool breeze that flows through the house in summer.
A garden full of herbs so I can make salves and potions, 
with rich, fertile soil ripe for planting.

I shall make a fairy garden and plant a weeping willow.
I'll grow gerberas, sunflowers, jasmine and roses.

A window seat where I can lay in the sun and read or sleep.
Curtains on both sides so I can hide when I want to.

Walls filled with books.
An attic to fill with treasures.

A home where my babies can run free.
A place where my soul is soothed and I feel at peace.

This is my dream.

Monday, 8 May 2017

My Essential Winter Skin Care Products

Here in Australia the weather is starting to cool down. We had a very mild summer and it looks like we are in for a long, cold winter. I pulled out the flannel pj's and winter doona's in April!

I've already had to switch up my skin care routine to combat dry winter skin. Some of my favourite winter products are now back in rotation so I thought I'd tell you about them today

Lanolips Allover cream - When it's cold I can get very lazy with my night time skin care routine, I just want to get it done and jump into my warm, cozy bed. Multi-purpose balms are ideal for times like this because I can slather them all over my face, lips and hands then I'm done. All Over cream is perfect for that. It's super hydrating and can be used all over (pun intended). If my skin is extra dry I'll apply an extra thick layer because it acts like an overnight mask. 
Added bonus, it makes a great treatment for dry heels. 

Clarins HydraQuench Bi Phase serum - On those days I need an extra shot of hydration I use HydraQuench. It's very light and feels like I'm putting water on my face, but the hydration is quite amazing, my skin feels noticeably better and I don't get that horrible tight feeling half way through the day. 

Egyptian Magic - I've been using this as a night cream/treatment and it's amazing. My skin feels so soft and smooth the next day. The first few times I used it I couldn't figure out why my skin was feeling so good the next morning, then I realised it was thanks to Egyptian Magic. My sore hayfever eyes love it and it's done wonders for my dried out hands and lips. If you have irritated skin, this is the product you need.

Arbonne RE9 Intense Hydration overnight mask - For lazy/time poor people like me this is magic. It's a sleeping mask! I love that sleeping masks are becoming more popular. Here's hoping more brands release them. 
The Arbonne mask is applied over the top of your usual night time skin care routine. It's super hydrating (as you might have guessed from the name) and leaves my skin soft and baby smooth.

Trilogy Vital Moisturising cream - This is a recent addition to my routine and it's love. Despite being quite a rich, hydrating moisturiser, it absorbs surprisingly quickly and doesn't leave a greasy residue. If you have normal to dry skin, get your hands on a tube next time Priceline has a sale.

Weleda Skin Food - Regular readers have probably had enough of me talking about Skin Food but it really is such a great product that I have to include it. Skin Food has a multitude of uses but my favourite way to use it as an intensive treatment. I pick a day when I'm not leaving the house and slather on a thick layer. I put on another layer at lunchtime then wash it off before bed and apply another layer. The next day my skin is amazing! This technique would probably work with any rich treatment, if you try it with a different product let me know how it goes.

Bite Beauty Agave lip mask - Surprisingly my lips don't get drier in winter, probably because they're dry all year round (thanks to Crohn's I don't absorb vitamin B well). One of the most effective lip treatments I've found is the Bite Beauty Agave lip mask. It's a very thick treatment that I apply generously at night. When I wake up in the morning I still have product on my lips, I also have soft, happy lips. I usually scrub off the remaining product with a soft flannel to give my lips a thorough exfoliation. Whilst they call this a lip mask it also works well as a lip balm, there are tinted versions available that are great for days when you want a bit of colour on your lips.

Simplicite Great Outdoors moisturiser - Whilst Simplicite call this a moisturiser, I use it as my winter sunscreen. It has an SPF of 15, it's light, non greasy and quickly absorbed. I find that it makes a great base for make-up, I don't need to use a primer over the top. An extra bonus is the lovely Aussie bush scent.

What are your cold weather skin essentials?

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Thoughts of the week

1. This week we met a police puppy in training. He was so cute! It was really interesting hearing about the training process too.

2. School has been back for two weeks and I'm already over it. Bring on school holidays.

3. I see some fabulous people when I'm out and about. Last week I'm pretty sure I saw the most fabulous person ever. She was an old lady in her 70's, walking laps in the swimming pool wearing bright red lipstick. I love her. If I hadn't been in the middle of Sprint 8 I would have gone down to the pool to talk to her. I want to be like that when I'm old.

4. Grumpy Farmer cold pressed coffee is life.

5. I lodged Eljay's kindy application this week. Somebody hold me.

Friday, 5 May 2017

FFS Friday - Crap Mum

Lately I've been a crap Mum. A really crap Mum.

You know what? Whilst I hate it and I'm not okay with it, I'm totally okay with it.

I don't subscribe to this Mummy guilt bullshit. Sure, I'm constantly thinking I could have done better and trying to improve, but I'm not going to give myself a hard time for the times that I fail. I fail all the time, almost every day and that's okay.

I'm not perfect and it's unreasonable to expect that I'll never make mistakes. There will be times I'm an awesome Mum, times I'm an okay Mum and times I'm a totally crap Mum. In my opinion the most important part is how I come back from the crap times. I don't always get that right either and that is also totally okay.

My kids need to see that it's okay to make mistakes, it's okay to apologise and it's also okay to forgive yourself and move on.

This parenting gig is hard. Lately I've felt like I'm drowning. The aloneness of it really gets to me, it's such a lonely job being a parent. The times when you really need someone, in the middle of the night when you're exhausted and the kids won't sleep, when your baby has been awake every two hours for the last three nights or when you've had enough and the kids won't STFU, you're alone. There's no-one there, just you and the kids. It's in those raw, gritty moments that I struggle. That I make bad decisions, yell at the kids, get angry, or just walk away and leave them to it. It's not pretty. It's ugly and raw and primal.

I hate those moments. I hate the feeling when I've absolutely had enough and can't take any more, when I feel like I'm about to explode. When I want just a few minutes alone to breathe. I don't get that time. I can't take time out, I have to keep on parenting. 

These times make me feel so very alone, like I'm on an island with no-one around. That aloneness doesn't go away. It stays with me all the time, like a stone in my shoe that I can't get rid of.

I wish more people talked about these tough times. I look at the other parents I know and wonder if they go through the same things, if they feel the same way that I do. I'm sure they do, but rawness and brutal honesty is not something that most people can cope with.

As I type this the kids are parked in front of the TV. I'm sure they have been getting way too much screen time lately, but I'm struggling so that's just the way it is. It's either eat junk food and have me constantly angry or sit in front of the tv whilst I cook and have a few seconds peace. 

To you all you people who are struggling, feeling lonely, think you're a crap Mum, you're not alone, I'm right here with you. If you ever need to talk I'm always here. 

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Aprils Outgoing products

Sanctum shampoo and conditioner - I've finally found my holy grail shampoo and conditioner. By some sort of magic I managed to finish the shampoo and conditioner on the same day, that never happens!

The Body Shop camomile cleansing oil - I loved this and will repurchase it again when I finish the cleansing butter that I'm currently using. 

Dermalogica Age Smart cleanser - Whilst this is a nice product it doesn't come close to my holy grail Trilogy cleanser. 

Pleasures perfume - I used to love this.

ASAP cleanser - Again, this is nice but it has nothing on my beloved Trilogy cleanser. 
Elektra magnesium cream - Every night I massage the boys feet with magnesium cream. I'm not sure that it makes any difference but they love it so I'll keep it up. 
SKII eye cream - Not worth the price. It was pleasant to use but made no difference to my eye area. For the price of a full sized pot I expect miracles. 

Goodness Every Week face scrub - If you're after a cheap, gentle exfoliant this is worth a try. 

Coffee body scrub - This was a $3 Kmart find. It's not like the traditional coffee scrub, it's more like a sugar scrub with coffee mixed in. For $3 it wasn't bad but I won't be repurchasing. 

L'Oreal Casting Creme Gloss hair colour - I used up the last box of my favourite hair colour. I was very sad to see it go but also looking forward to going to the hairdresser from now on. I haven't been to a salon for over ten years, my hairdresser in Perth worked from home. It'll be nice to go to a salon and be pampered. 

Omorovicza cleanser - My dislike of sample satches continues. 

Inika BB and Foundation - These are both beautiful and I'll definitely purchase them when I've finished a few more of my base products.

Hourglass primer - I just don't understand the hype. It's a nice product but the Inika primer is nicer and it's cheaper.

Snappy Jaws toothpaste - The boys loved this. I think Eljay ate more than he used to brush his teeth.

Trilogy Vital Moisturising cream - I've found another holy grail. As soon as I finished this sample I went out and bought a full sized tube. 

Lush Whoosh shower jelly - This is another product that the boys loved.

Now for the tosses.

I had a little clear out in April and tossed a few products that I don't love or that are old. I replaced the Shanghai Suzy lipstick, it was the old formula with the grape flavour which I don't like, so I replaced it with the new flavour and formula which is much nicer.

I have to mention the Nuxe lip balm. I don't get the hype. I've tried it twice now and both times I've been under-whelmed. Each to their own I suppose.