Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September Goals


I sent my phone in to get repaired during August. The inner earpiece was broken, so I couldn't hear a damn thing when making phone calls. Which I actually do kinda often, so it was a bit of a nuisance. I was told it would take 5 days, but it's now been longer than 2 weeks. I've been using my friend's old iphone, but it's still got all her things on it, and no real battery life, so I only really use it for using calls and texting. Anyway, this is a long-winded way of saying I have no photos from the past month. Which is why my "week in pictures" posts have disappeared, and why you get the delightful photo above of me in the bathtub for this goals post. 

Let's review August's goals.

- Complete the August splits challenge
I got really sick in August (still recovering, almost a week of work sick), and totally lost momentum. I'm starting my own September splits challenge to try and make up for it. 
- Train handstands 5x a week
Nope again. Same excuse as above. 
- Buy Meg and Dad a birthday present
- Finish at least one book
I almost didn't think I would cross this one off, despite really focussing on reading this past month. The book I spent most of August reading is like, 700 pages long, so I'm still a few hundred off finishing. But I did buy one book, and finished it in a couple of days - it was that good. (And yeah, I'm one of those people who usually has a few books going at once). I plan to review it properly during September.
- Take clothes to charity bin and photograph clothes to sell
Half completed. I gave two garbage bags worth of clothes to the charity bin. Still have not photographed those clothes I want to sell. I think part of the reason I've been delaying on this is because I don't even know what I'll do with them once I take photos of them. Do things still sell on ebay? 
- Get back into a regular gym schedule
Nope. Sickness, etc. 
- Organise Alex drawers
I did organise my Alex drawers! (mostly). 

 - Train handstands 5x a week
- Stretch 5x a week
- Buy J's birthday present
- Get Dad a Father's Day gift (this should have been an August goal, really)
- Finish two books
- Organise my filing cabinet
- Organise the basket of stuff in the bathroom
- Find a storage solution for my sock drawer
- Review our New Zealand itinerary, and make sure everything is ready to go!
- Go to the gym once a week

There's quite a few things on that list, but I think I can get it all done. 30 days, that's plenty of time, right? 

How's your goal-setting and goal completing going? I love hearing what other people are focussing on for the month!
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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Review: True NARS lip pencil set


I received my tax return the other week, and decided to use some of it to treat myself. I stumbled across this limited edition NARS lip pencil set in Mecca and it was love at first sight.


Firstly - that packaging. Oh me, oh my. 
The lip pencils come in a hard case with a slot for each of the three pencils. The graphic artwork on the top of the case is stunning, and there's a giant mirror on the inside. This set is so beautifully packaged up and would make a perfect gift. A jumbo size pencil sharpener is included in the set, which is really thoughtful of NARS - you won't have to bother yourself with picking one up since it's all included. 

Honestly, the packaging is absolutely stunning, but it's quite bulky so pretty impractical to take travelling or throw in your handbag. I think of it more as a collectible that looks beautiful on top of my vanity.


The set comes with two satin lip pencils and one velvet matte lip pencil.  All lip pencils are full sized.
Included in the set is Yu, Luxembourg (both in the permanent line), and limited edition Provocative Red.

Yu is a bright, fucshia pink. 
Luxembourg is watermelon red - probably my most favourite of the three pencils. 
Provocative Red - the matte in the set - is a deep, muted red.


The texture and staying power of these is well worth the money spent on them. All three are beautifully smooth and creamy, and apply like a dream. They don't dry my lips out, although they don't really moisturise my lips either. The two satin lip pencils make my lips look shiny and juicy.

Provocative red is really velvety (as the name would lead you to believe)

Each colour lasts 3.5 - 4 hours on the lips - they do stain a bit, which I think helps with the staying power quite significantly, but they don't come off in the middle leaving a ring of colour on the outside of your lips, like some staining lip colours do.

(L-R: Yu, Luxembourg, Provocative Red)

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Review: Zoeva Face Brushes


I've been using zoeva brushes for so long now - they're affordable, really great quality, and come in a mix of synthetic and natural hair bristles.  I've amassed a bit of a collection of both face and eye brushes, so will focus this post on face brushes. Another post will come later on eye brushes. 

I bought my brushes from both luxola and zoeva directly, but this was back when our dollar was mighty. I had good experiences with both websites, but you'll have to do some research to work out what is the best site to order from in terms of AUD value.


Brush shapes for all your facey needs.  


Brush 127 - Luxe Sheer cheek 
This is a natural hair brush, ideal for powders on the cheeks. Originally I used this to contour, but with washing this brush has lost its shape and the bristles aren't as dense, and have a bit more give to them. So now I use this when I want a hint of colour on my cheeks - if I'm using a super pigmented blush this brush works really well because it doesn't pick up that much product. Honestly though, that doesn't happen that often and the petit stippling brush has pretty much got my back on all my blush needs, so I'm hesitant to recommend this one. The brush cleans really well (apart from the aforementioned loss-of-shape issue), and dries really quickly. 

Brush 105 - Luxe Highlight
This brush is a natural-synthetic blend. This brush is super fluffy, and gently tapered. I use this every day for applying highlight to my cheekbones and to the top of my nose. This is probably one of my favourite brushes that I own. I think this would also probably work well when using powder to set the under-eye area. Again, cleans really well, dries quickly as the bristles aren't too dense and I've had no issues with this brush thus far. 

Brush 122 - Petit Stippling
This brush is another dual-fibre natural/synthetic brush. This brush is almost identical in shape to the Real Techniques stippling brush, but it's a teeny bit smaller. I actually prefer the zoeva brush to the RT's one. The size fits the apples of my cheeks just that bit better, making it perfect for applying blush. I love that this blush applies cream and powder with no problems. The bristles are really soft, have a little bit of give to them (so they're not super fluffy), but are still not that dense. Another favourite of mine.


Brush 106 - Powder
Pretty self-explanatory, this one. Applies both pressed and loose powder really well. Nice and fluffy, really soft synthetic bristles (I think softer than the RT powder brush - definitely a lot smaller than that one). I use this every day to apply pressed powder, and I really feel like it picks up so much product, and distributes it so flawlessly. Another favourite. 

Brush 104 - Buffer
This is my least favourite brush. The bristles are quite soft, and really dense. When I first got this brush, I thought it would be a good contender against my favourite foundation brush - the Sigma F80. Oh how wrong I was. This applies foundation really streaky, and it's never consistent. I also feel like this brush just absorbs most of the product, as I always need to use two pumps rather than my normal one. The brush is also such a pain in the butt to clean. Avoid this one.

Brush 102 - Silk Finish
This brush is synthetic. I haven't actually seen any other brushes with this brush shape. The bristles are super dense, and unlike the buffer brush, it applies liquid foundation really well. No streakiness here, sirree! I regularly use this brush to apply foundation, alternating with my Sigma F80. It cleans a lot easier than the Sigma F80 though, which gives it bonus points. 

Have you tried any zoeva brushes?

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Monday, August 17, 2015

My 5 Top Tips for Journalling

I had so many diaries as a kid that I poured my heart and mind into. I would tell anyone who would listen that I was going to grow up to be a writer (not entirely untrue...lawyers write a surprisingly large amount of words each day), so in my diaries I would write down all my thoughts, dreams, latest stories and characters, the latest playground gossip and whatever else tickled my fancy at that time.

I don't always keep all my journals, (some are wayyy too cringey for that) but I think they're great to look back on, even just from a personal development point of view.

Even now as an adult, I still try to regularly take time out of my day to pen my latest thoughts. I've tried to do journals on the computer, but I think at hear I'm always going to be a pen-and-paper kind of girl.

So, because journalling is kind of a big part of who I am, I thought I'd share with you my top tips for journalling, as committing pen to paper is kind of really hard sometimes.

1. Work out what you want in your journal
Your journal is your place, so it can be whatever you want! You can write about what happened in your day, key life events, your thoughts and reactions to world events, goals you're working towards, to-do lists, quotes and poetry that inspires you, favourite passages from books, the possibilities are endless.

I have a friend who is on this year-long project where every day she snaps a polaroid of something she did that day, and draws a picture in her journal, and that's her way of recording her life.

I personally have a few journals - I have one where I write my thoughts and feelings about what's happening around me, and I stick mementos in it and try to make it this book I can eventually look back on, and then I usually have a journal that I take with me where I scribble to-do lists and random thoughts, song lyrics etc.

Work out what works for you.

2. Never wait for inspiration
Honestly, you'll be waiting for a long time, and your journal will sit there gathering dust. I try to journal every morning on the train, on my way to work, and I try to journal at least once a week - usually on the weekend.
It may seem to take the "fun" out of it, but if you make journalling more of a habit, rather than waiting around for inspiration, you're more likely to actually stick to it.

3. Find a book that works for you
Do you like lines, or do they restrict you? Do you prefer more structured journalling, with pre-written questions? Will you be carrying it around with you? If so, you might want something smaller, and made of a sturdy material, such as leather.

I remember reading once that really beautiful journals actually stifle creativity, because we get too afraid to write in them for fear of "ruining" the beautiful pages.
Think about the way you'll be using your journal, and then try get something that works well with that.

4. Look up "journal prompts"
Sometimes I have writer's block, and can't think about what to write. And if I let that stop me from writing too often, then I would fall out of the habit of doing so. When this happens, I like to look up "journal prompts" online for some inspiration. These are usually lists such as "Goals for the next year, ways to improve my life, things I'd do if I had time, fears I'm having right now".

I don't always then follow them, but I find that by reading through these ideas, my brain starts whirring and I'm able to come up with my own ideas!

5. Stick with it
It takes 21 days to create a habit. If you're new to journalling then I suggest giving it a go for at least a month. Set a goal to write for 10 minutes every day, or 20 minutes every couple of days, and just do it.

I think our lives are so busy, and constantly on the go that it's really beneficial to take time out for your own thoughts.

Do you journal? 

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